From a Sweet, Juicy Place of Love

So much has transpired since my last entry here. I turned 27. There was a Full Moon. We nearly lost our patriarch, my Grandfather. His circumstances improved. I thought I had to move. I house-hunted like mad for a week. My cousin got married. There was a New Moon. I found out I didn’t have to move. I went on a couple dates. The earth did who knows how many pirouettes on her axis.

Life went, beautifully, on.

Despite the epic changes I have imparted on my life in the past three months, despite the uncertainty – a thing I bend over backwards, quite literally sometimes (on the yoga mat), to avoid – I have been brought to my knees in sheer gratitude for all the love and abundance that IS my life, lately. More so than ever before. I have been brought TO LIFE.

I find it so interesting, the concept of uncertainty and “the unknown.” I mean, it’s hilarious to me that I even look at it as an option. As if my perceived structures of control have any effect whatsoever on the chaos that is time and space! Things are going to happen, the earth keeps spinning, life goes on.

I recently joked with my parents, “Is this just how life gets, as an adult? One thing after another? You think you have everything all settled and then BOOM, car trouble. BOOM, something at home breaks. BOOM, something else pops up.” They smiled sideways and wrinkled their brows as if to say, “………Well, DUH.” The problem is not that life hurls “one thing after another”, I am now realizing. The issue is that I expect it not to do that! The story that I have is one of a child, where others take care of business for me, others help me through every decision and oftentimes make them for me. It’s kind of my autopilot, to be honest. I’m used to calling up my mom when I get a confrontational text message or email, when something happens at work, when someone wants to have a serious discussion – I need to carefully detail her advice before reacting. I do this. I don’t trust my own judgement, even though my life is lived by way of intuition. It doesn’t make sense, right?

I think a lot of us are like this. I am so endlessly blessed to have the support system I have, but I see now that I have taken advantage of their wisdom and advice so frequently, that when it’s up to me to make decisions…I balk. I worry that someone will say, “WHY did you say/do that???” I worry that someone is not going to like that I acted like a doormat or didn’t stand up for myself, or that I didn’t say the appropriate things during the conversation and now the moment has passed.

But you know what? WHO CARES! SO WHAT!?

If I’m in the driver seat and it’s up to me to make the decisions that only have to live with, then why wouldn’t I be most concerned with my reaction to my own life?

It makes so much sense, when I lay it out like this. But, at 27, I am just now learning how to carefully remove my training wheels and balance on my own. I am just now respecting and giving weight to my own thoughts, opinions and motives. It, is, SO, liberating.

I am also working more towards being more grounded and authentic (read: less of a people pleaser), and more trusting and content in the day-to-day (read: less of an “uncertainty avoider”). I am fiercely working on coming from a place of love rather than fear (have you ever taken a day to do inventory on how many times you move from a place of fear rather than a place of love? It’s astonishing, really).

No matter how much we plan, life has its own agenda. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way demonizing planning. It’s awesome. It’s kind of my middle name. I always have a plan. But sometimes, just letting the fluidity of life take its course, can be so much more delightful than you ever could’ve planned. I’ve begun planning for today, instead of all week. Yes, there’s a rough outlined sketch of the week in my head, but by not calendar planning every detail of the week (in pen, no less), I suddenly can breathe so much more deeply. I have the freedom (as if I didn’t have it before…) to change my mind. To do things differently. To make my Tuesday plan my Thursday plan instead, and do something else on Tuesday. To NOT do things I don’t want to do, and to add in as I see fit. Why wouldn’t I live this way all the time?

In the well-intentioned act of planning so as to cultivate a structure of perceived security, we can often sink unconsciously into a fear-based way of living. Preventive. Frightened. Walking forward, tentatively, with our hands outstretched trying to ward off any potential chaos. 

BUT THAT ISN’T LIVING. That isn’t LIFE.

So now, I am taking another vow (y’all know how much I love those…). I am taking a vow to live life as it comes. I’m always going to scribble lists on post-it notes and write on my calendar. I’m always going to roughly sketch out my plan for the week, mentally. It’s who I am. There’s nothing wrong with being this way. But there’s something very wrong with going on autopilot and boxing out the potential for unexpected beauty. Unexpected chaos will enter our safe little emotional villas whether we invite them in or not. But unexpected beauty? It has a much harder time sliding through the cracks. We actually have to step outside, we actually have to look up, to see it.

And it is there, always.

I am committed to stepping outside, as often as possible. I am committed to looking up. I am committed to letting the beauty wash over me, shatter me, day after day. I am committed, in every single moment, to approaching my life from a sweet, juicy place of love.

Won’t you join me?

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Snakes and Saving Grace

I have dreamt of snakes three times in the past couple of weeks. Twice last night. Once I woke up with a gasp, lurching to the other side of the bed, my hands curling in fear towards my face. An orange snake was definitely slithering up the side of the bed towards me. Not threateningly, but slitheringly, enough to jolt my sleeping body sideways and “gasp” me awake. Snakes, in the Dream World, can actually serve as Spirit Animals, totems, indicating healing and intuition. They can signify transformation.

I’ve always been super keen on dream analysis. It’s been a large part of my intuitive processes, for as long as I can remember. So it comes as no surprise that dreaming of snakes or serpents shed light on the working through of difficult situations in one’s waking life, specifically in regards to emotional experiences. Hi. Are you, like, spying on my life?

My thrice snake dreamt subconscious is wailing, “I GET IT, WE HAVE SHIT TO WORK OUT, I’M TRYING!” But the snakes are hissing, trying? Clearly not. Pick up the pace, babe, I’ll slither faster to make you jump.

And jump I have. Jolt I have. Shaken awake, I have been.

I read this  a m a z i n g  piece last night from Pure Green Magazine, 6 questions with one of my teachers and greatest sources of inspiration, Elena Brower. Everything in our lives, everything in our bodies and minds, are a balance of the feminine and masculine. Two energies. They are not separate; they are one, one spectrum. One undulating, but often vacillating, span.

I have been struggling with this spectrum, or perhaps upon this spectrum, rather intensely of late. I listened to an e p i c  podcast yesterday as I strolled through nature, a discussion between two powerful women. A 20 minute conversation in which Ashley Turner, one of my other greatest teachers, soul sisters and sources of inspiration, dove deep into the very subject of balancing masculine and feminine energies within each of us. The importance. The threat we face when we don’t allow these energies to balance. The fear surrounding this allowance.

As a female entrepreneur, an experience which Ashley and Jackie Dumaine touched heavily on in their dialogue, there seems to require quantum leap for success. An illusion that we must abandon our soft feminine sides in order to succeed professionally, financially and stand alone in our power.

This has played a small part in my energetic tug-o-war lately. Part of it has also been rooted in the subtleties of yin and yang. Yin being the soft, slow, more sumptuous feminine energy; yang being the active, more vigorous, masculine energy. We need both. We need Rajas (get up ‘n go!) in balance with Tamas (inertia) to find Sattva (luminous “balance”), in the yogic teachings of the Gunas. There is no one elemental requirement, it is a recipe, a concoction, a desperate need for what I like to call operational balance. 

By “operational balance” I mean mobility. We are never truly in a state of stillness. Even when planted in deep meditation, our cells are changing, our hearts pumping, the molecules of air floating around us. Our atoms are vibrating. Our breath streaming. Part of my intention, as a yogi and as a human being, is to find a steady place of “operational balance.” Stillness within motion. A secure sense of serenity whilst the world moves around me, whilst my physical being tinkers away at maintaining life, homeostasis, within me. Sounds blissful, yeah?

I’ll be really honest here.

I’ve failed miserably at this intention for the past few months.

Yes, you heard me right, I said for the past few months.

It’s no wonder I’m jolting awake from dreams of reptiles invading my bed. No wonder I’m popping awake first thing in the morning, eyes blinking wildly, mind grasping at what day it is, where I’m headed, what I’m to do once my feet hit the floor.

I’ve been constantly mobile, even when still. Even laying in bed, in between dreams, planning, scheming, mentally penciling out all that I want to accomplish, all that I perceive to have fallen short of, all that I can do better.

I’m not ashamed to write it here because I believe, fervently, that to call ourselves on our own shit is to stand in truth. It is to seek redemption, healing, a soothing over of our own foundations. Even if it’s a quivering, knock-kneed, sulking and lackluster stance, it is one anchored in truth.

My feminine energy has felt siphoned and weak, lately. I’ve been bulldozing it with my masculine energy. Physically, professionally, mentally. This has left me depleted and super emotional (my femininity screaming at me to please nurture Her by making me weep at country songs on the radio, fall to my knees at my altar, adorn myself with protective crystals and keep flowers in my room to brighten the dimming flame of my inner Light).

So, what does one do, in a predicament like mine?

Turn to teachers. Read. Journal. Podcast. Seek inspiration. Draw from the well of creativity. Bask in the glow of the muse. What my life is made up of are all elemental necessities; all things, activities, beliefs, practices that I need, that I rely upon, for productivity, growth, wellness, health, balance and nourishment. I don’t want to rid my life of anything I’m doing. But I need to add to my repertoire more healing, balancing, loving practices. I need to call upon some of the balancing and replenishing coping mechanisms I so adoringly practice, but have let fall by the wayside. More yin to stand equally with my yang. What I’m saying is,

I don’t want to do anything differently; I want to do DIFFERENTLY what I’m already doing. 

Does that make sense?

It’s not about what we do, it’s about how we do it. It’s not so much what we say, it’s the attitude with which we say it. It’s the conviction with which we believe what we believe. It’s the energy with which we love, not the words “I love you.” It’s not the physical form, but the ethereal matter within that brings a person alive.

So bring on the snakes. I’m ready for the emotional healing. I’m ready to take on the swelling challenge that floats before me. It’s frankly easier to stop doing one thing and replace it with another. It is. It doesn’t sound like it, but it is. That’s easier that doing the same thing differently. It takes a cunning, articulate focus, an unparalleled depth of desire and commitment, to cultivate the very subtle finesse needed to recalibrate one’s approach to one’s own life. THAT is transformation.

Our human minds often resort to black and white thinking, I am no exception. It is the crux of my struggles in this life. While it’s difficult to change behaviors and patterns of any kind, it’s simply easier to go from black to white. Rather than white to ivory, black to ebony, shades of grey, varying degrees of sameness.

But this is my challenge for us all, dear serpent-powered Tribe: to fertilize the soil in which we have already planted. The earth from which we already grow. I believe in us, collectively and individually, I believe in our capacity to approach our lives, to inch towards everything we already do, think, believe and practice with refined tact. Reborn strategy. I believe we can renew the way already are, so as to better serve our highest purpose. I believe in us. I believe in our transformation.

Sometimes, what we perceive to be the scariest things, like snakes and spiritual elevation, are actually saving Grace we’ve been awaiting. Sometimes, it’s just the call of our own, sacred transformation.

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image source

On the Other Side of Fear

I have news : we’re human. This means we are not, will never be, and have never been (nor were we INTENDED to be) p e r f e c t.
We fuck up.
We make mistakes.
We’re here to LEARN.
We trip and slip and curse and break. Things, ourselves, each other.
Anyone claiming to be perfect or holier than thou is full of it. They mean well, surely, but it’s bull.
I am flawed. Deeply. But you know what? I have learned that what I love MOST about others is often what they consider to be their own flaws. Crazy, right? That what I adore, someone actually feels insecure about.
So let’s stop chasing our tails expecting to wake up one day able to do it perfectly. Everything. We’re not INTENDED to, it’s not what we’re here to accomplish. Perfection. It’s an illusion.
We’re here to LOVE.
Bigger, harder; relentlessly.
We’re here to fuck up and then go, “Oh, that sucked, I’m not gonna do that again.”
We’re here to be messy, to be disciplined about some things and an utter wreck with other things.
We’re here to do what feels good, to injure as little as possible, to bond in our humanity.
We’re here to be REAL. Authentic. It’s kind of a rare trait these days. Especially in this little Narnia land of social media.
I am drawn to my brothers and sisters who share their vulnerability, who aren’t afraid to admit they’re HUMAN and real, who shake the world and do incredible work, but who also share their shitty days and biggest fears and most nauseating insecurities.
Does it make us any less mystical or spiritual or successful or capable to admit we’re flawed? To curse? To get heated? To love persistently? To gush adoration for every sentient being? To get pissed in traffic?
N.O.
We’re human. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. We can admire and adore and idolize and worship others all we want, but in the end, we all have a heartbeat. We are all temporally here, together, to do the best we can.
The moment we stop taking ourselves so seriously, the moment we start accepting and embracing ourselves FIRST, regardless of the “likes” or agreement – is the moment we step into our authenticity.
It’s a sweet space. Let’s meet there.

XO
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Be YOU

I love the image I shared below, but I have come to share a truth palm (I don’t know why but that phrase just feels right : like a face palm, but with the TRUTH).

I very rarely feel “able to accept all changes.” If I’m being really honest, getting really vulnerable, I will admit that no matter how many hours I spend on my mat, no matter how bendy I get and how far behind my head I can get my foot, I am psychologically inflexible.

There are occasions when I am naturally soft, flowing and open. Wildness and serenity are as familiar as the freckles on my nose, but mostly because I go to great lengths to craft my existence as carefully as I can. I bend over backwards to weave safety nets and build backup plans. I am undoubtedly pulled by the heaviness of the tides, affected by the tug of the moon; as thrashing and fierce in my emotions as the monstrous waves one moment, and then as placid and still as surface once the tide’s gone out.

“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply” is one of my favorite quotes. We are human beings. We are deeply flawed physical characters housing ineffably perfect bodies of Spirit, ruled often by intellect and irrevocably by emotion.
So what’s the big deal with admitting our perceived weaknesses? I spent so long feeling shamed by my inflexibility, especially given the field I’m in, but I now am exhausted by the shadow I myself have built around it…like a fortress of remorse…”I’m so sorry I wasn’t born more easy going, I’m humiliated by my internal (and sometimes external) reactions when things don’t go my way, when I’m taken by surprise and perhaps, even, don’t get my needs met.” I’m through with thinking like that. Because, you know what? We’re not “one size fits all.” We’re not hardwired for perfection. For so long now I have perceived this trait of mine as a hinderance, a deep flaw in my character that threatened to hold me back, cause me stress, set me apart from the “go with the flow” mass of humans I so lovingly admire. But no more. I choose not to hear that story and, even more, choose not to believe it.

For one person, flowing flexibility is inherent. For others, like myself, it takes showing up every single day with a little thing called courage. How (not so subtly) POWERFUL is THAT? Showing up each day, facing the fear that our perfectionist plans may get hitched despite our best efforts, and comforting ourselves through the uncertainty that is this chaotic, beautiful, blissful life. Cultivating the medicinal coping mechanisms that will soothe the unpredictability of the world, act as a balm when the precariousness of external forces chap our sensitive exterior.

I think that’s pretty damn AMAZING, if you ask me. Being able to harness an inner power that not only accepts our own soft spots (a kinder term for “perceived weaknesses” – like the soft spot on an infant’s skull; it’s not a flaw, it’s simply an area that requires handling with care, a very mindful attention towards not being dropped on that extra sensitive spot), is POWER. It is the predecessor to a practice of shifting and growing into the behaviors we seek and desire in ourselves. It IS possible to plant seeds of intention and gently curve ourselves into a different shape; but it takes practice, patience and acceptance. It takes knowing, and allowing for, the potential that we may never change shape.

It may never be in our ability to actually MORPH into an easy-going, “go with the flow” type individual; it takes embracing our rigidity and deep longing for order, and melting it with our love. It takes the steady, parental reminder to our inner child each and every day that, while change is uncomfortable, we are working hard in each moment to set up a safe space in which to rest, regardless of what happens on the outside. We are not claiming to be something we can’t be, we are simply allowing ourselves to flow in our own unique, sometimes inflexible, sometimes exquisitely rooted way. We are fighting fear with love, quelling anxiety with truth.

There will never be any way to wish ourselves into another form. There will always, enduringly, be only one way to proceed: acceptance. Love. Truth. To tell ourselves, in consoling whispers, the truth of our own understanding. To accept, and embrace, the parts of ourselves we have too long poked and prodded, wished into oblivion. When we come to a space of insight, of taking off both the rose-colored glasses and the hateful goggles of judgment, and see our true nature for what it is…that is when the healing ensues. That is when, no matter how flexible or rigid we innately may be, we find safety from the mercurial fluctuations of life.

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Permission to Write the Ending

Gaining closure. Easier said than done. Gaining closure from a relationship without the other person’s participation? Damn near impossible. Or so it seems. But this piece is intended to shed some light on how we, as sensitive beings with the sacred and painful gift of free will, can move towards closure without another person’s involvement.

Sound incomprehensible? Read on.

Now, first let me qualify “relationship.” By this I don’t just mean romantic partnerships. I mean any relationship had between human beings. Friendship, family, marriage, dating, work associations, childhood bonds, acquaintanceships, crushes, even toxic back-and-forth type connections. No matter how fleeting or lengthy an encounter was, ending relationships of any variety and duration can be tricky business.

I’ve written a lot here on this blog about relationships ending, moving on, making peace with endings. But what about the endings we didn’t plan for? We experience loss and the end of relationships for many different reasons. It’s not always a neat, mutual parting, tied with a bow. In fact, it rarely is.

What about when relationships end because of infidelity, rejection, sudden change of heart? What about death? Sometimes relationships end unexpectedly, irrevocably, and a conversation either isn’t offered or perhaps isn’t even physically possible. So what then? How do we process and move on?

Recently I’ve had two separate (and as polar opposite as can be, as far as breeds of partnerships go) relationships of different lengths and contexts, end. Actually, one has been over for quite some time, but I’m only now processing the ending of the friendship, and actually more through dreams and random thoughts than intentional thinking. The other ended abruptly and, heartbreakingly, On a physical level, it was a natural ending. On an emotional level, on a heart level, it was almost as if it ended without my consent.

I’ve reached out to one of these two people. Crickets. No response. Is there anything more frustrating in the world than one heart that yearns so deeply to thread together some semblance of completion to a ragged and jagged hemline, and another heart whose beating can’t even be heard from behind the wall that separates them? Than a friendship that spanned oceans and years and growing pains and celebrations, a friendship whose shooting star quickness constructed memories that now lie glossy in printed photo books but are fossils in real life? It’s strange. It’s haunting.

Even though I moved away from both of these relationships, I instigated the separation, even though I wouldn’t have written the endings the way they occurred (blast that pesky free will business), it really matters not. They ended. That’s the fact of the matter. And what am I left with?

EXACTLY WHAT I HAD WHEN I STARTED.

I am left with myself. My heart. My Spirit. My intellect. My yearning for human connection. The lessons I gained from these respective connections, tucked into the pockets of my soul, buttoned up beneath my heart and protected by its warm, pulsing beat.

So I guess the answer to how we find closure and peace around a situation whose ending we did assign our approval, all comes back to ourselves. Every relationship occurs as a learning opportunity. I believe everything is preordained. I believe we meet the people we meet, that we form friendships and fall in love and experience discord with certain people for very Divine reasons. I believe, as I’ve written before on “letting relationships end”, that not everything is meant to last forever. That sometimes we learn more from a six-week encounter than from a six-year encounter. Not always, but sometimes. Sometimes I think we learn more from a fiery, passionate, star-crossed love affair than we do a faultless romance that just cools down and tapers off. Not always, but sometimes. And man, do we have a lot to learn from the “sometimes’.”

My best answer to the question I myself posed at the start of this essay is this: all we ever have is ourselves. We have experiences with other human beings of the most amazing, glorious, wretched, wrecked, mind-blowing and heartbreaking sort so that we can better understand ourselves, our own hearts, and how to love more fiercely, fearlessly and furiously than we could have without them. When a relationship ends without our permission, it is a sacred reminder from the Universe to never hoard our love, to never mask our emotions and to never wait. It is a whisper from the cosmos to act now, to be authentic, to never play games. Someone can be taken from us or leave us at any point; someone can fall in love and then change their mind; someone can adore your friendship and then, simply, stop. We have control over our own thoughts, bodies, minds, actions and capacity to love. But that is all. We cannot control the world around us (no matter how often, and aggressively, we attempt to convince ourselves of the contrary) and the sooner we realize this, the more ownership we take over own lives.

So we cope. We offer ourselves what we’d offer the one we love most; solace, support, comfort. We can write a letter we’ll never send, fill it with words the other person will never read. We can weep and then laugh; we can spill the contents of our heart into a jar, bottle it up, and send it out to sea. We can let the beauty of our experience shatter us, we can really feel what it feels like to suffer a loss outside our control. We can empty ourselves of the confusion and pain and frustration by feeling it, by really being in it. Holding space for it, staying present with it, and letting it run through us – like the wild, threatening river that it is. That’s all we can do. Because life has a plan, and it doesn’t always match ours, but that doesn’t mean that anything that’s happened to us didn’t happen exactly as it was meant.

We can dream and think about and remember people we once knew all we want…we can attach whatever meaning to that longing sensation that we will, but it is always going to be our own projection. Which means we have the power to offer ourselves closure. Peace. Conclusion.

Everything we think and believe is a projection of our mind. Thus, our sweet, well-to-do hearts can rest in the power of the mind that thinks itself ruler. Because we can tune that station as we will. We can close the page, gently and with reverence, on a relationship whether or not it ended the way we “wanted” or “expected.” Because we have the insight, and the free will, to caption our own still shots. It doesn’t have to be “UNTIMELY ENDING.” Things that happen are always timely, no matter how difficult it may be to see in the moment. Someone not returning our calls or simply disappearing from our lives actually makes us way stronger than having all the answers. It provides us the opportunity to answer for ourselves, to write the ending for ourselves.

No matter the context, no matter the collateral, we master our own ships. We pen our own epics. We – every, single, time – have permission to write the ending.

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CLICK

As human beings we crave CONNECTION. We just want to CLICK. With people, places, ideas, experiences. We just want to relate. And we want it as often as possible.

When I realized this, it was a bit of a “well, duh” moment blended with “okay NOW everything makes sense.” I felt compelled to share. I felt compelled to tell you, yes you, to please not be so hard on yourself when you feel threatened by incompatibility (I’m talking to myself here, too). Don’t judge yourself when you’re triggered. It’s an organic response stemming from a place of Love. It’s not our differences, our perceived weaknesses or flaws, but our reaction to them that causes suffering.

The decision, often quite unconscious, to feel “less than,” is the chief causal factor associated to our suffering.

I’m always so intrigued by how these essays go for me, I must say. Sometimes I sit down and bang one out, soaring through the overhead sky of inspiration hanging on threads of notions and kicking my feet in the starry abyss. Other times, like in this case, I start an essay on April 3rd and return to it on April 18th. So much – and I mean so much – has transpired since I first sat down with this concept. This concept that I chewed on for an entire day before downloading it, here, on this blank canvas with a blinking cursor.

Since first resting my bottom on my electric blue exercise ball (because it turns out this is infinitely more fun than a desk chair – just ask my friends, they’ve seen the videos of me bouncing on it when the blinking cursor is giving me the fish eye and my inspiration well is parched and cracked as the bed of a drought), I have decided to pick up my life and place it on a parallel path. Moving. Jobs, house, counties. I made the decision and boom: the Universe conspired. Everything aligned. But that’s a different essay entirely…although it’s totally embedded the webbing of this theme: CONNECTION. Because that’s what’s making this farewell so bittersweet. The realization of how deeply I’ve connected to this community, these past 5 years. Sometimes it takes leaving something to see how profoundly affected one has been by it in the first place…

Which leads me back to my initial point. We just want connection. It’s what we seek naturally, inherently, like beacons radiating into the night. Warm, ultrasonic waves of searching. Magnetically seeking a likeminded fit. A click.

I have always felt threatened by other people’s differences. I have always craved sameness. The “click,” if you will. It has taken me 26 years to understand this about myself and I suspect I’ll spend the next 26 or more, if I’m so blessed, investigating why I’m like this. But I think my realization earlier this month really illuminated the foundation of this circumstance.

I just want to connect. WE JUST WANT TO CONNECT.

It’s not about jealousy, it’s not about envy, it’s not about disagreement or judgement or competition or comparison. These are all the weaker (and I’m talking ice cubes in your decaf drip, watered down whiskey weak) forms of something much greater. They appear in these feeble configurations to distract us from what’s really going on. The root of everything is love. The source of everything is LOVE. Whether we recognize it on a daily basis or not, that is truth. That is gospel.

But when our delicate human psyches get swept up in the tidal wave of sickly exterior shapes like jealousy and comparison and judgement of self and others, we lose all contact with that source. The sweet nectar from which ugliness can spring. Because, remember, there is no duality. Everything is a spectrum. Love rests easily on one end, rage burns furiously in the middle and hate hangs haphazardly from the far end (I’m reminded of a favorite song, The Ballad of Love and Hate, by the Avett Brothers…I’ll link it at the end of this essay if you care to give it a listen, heart poetry).

The transparency of the matter is that we can be so damn hard on ourselves for something that is simply in our nature (at least I know I can be, so I assume you can be, too). I have spent so many years unconsciously berating myself – which manifests usually as a deep ache in my belly, a nervousness in my limbs, a scattering of my thoughts – for not being able to just accept the differences of others. The extraordinary flood of satisfaction I have experienced when I’ve met people whose checklists line up with mine (yes, yes…it all matches up, check, check, check!) and then the fretful free fall of disappointment when one of us changes, or some difference is exposed, and I feel a gap wedged between us. My brow furrows, is the gap traversable? How do we CONNECT now that we’re not the same?

It’s so funny to write this out, to really begin to dissect the concept. I know most people don’t think like me (because, well, most people are not highly sensitive, Type-A, overanalyzing, introverted intuitives). So if you’re reading this thinking, “What’s wrong with this chick? We’re different, duh, what’s the problem?” then GOOD ON YA! That makes me bounce happily on my ball for you. Because you get it. You see through the veils of weaker interpretation. You see that the differences are all perceived. They’re masks. What’s underneath is love. What lies below is the universal pulse that inevitably connects every one of our sorry hearts: the quest.

The quest for love, connection, that “CLICK,” the energy of feeling totally understood and held and supported. If we could put on horse blinders and dull our senses and just SEE one another straight up, no fancy dressings, we would see the “soul and not the story,” as my teacher Seane Corn says. We would see that our preferences, practices, opinions, beliefs, mother tongue, skin color, stature, orientation and political party are nothing more than obligatory check marks in boxes on a list made by society. BARRIERS AND BORDERS ERECTED IN AN ATTEMPT TO BLOCK THE FLOW OF LOVE.

Once we see this, once we realize that being triggered by differences and perceived incompatibilities are just organic responses stemming from a source rooted in LOVE, we can begin to rewire the innate reaction we have to resistance.

Kathryn Budig just offered this nugget of wisdom as I bounced on my ball distractedly and mindlessly opened a Facebook tab (because, well, that’s also how these essays sometimes go…like a cat following a shoe string): “Walk your beautiful path and wish the others well. No one has the same gifts to offer. The ones who value yours will find you. So, in a nutshell—competition and comparison are moot. How refreshing is that reminder? Cue big exhale.”

We will find the threads of connection. They are there, enduringly, below the surface. We mustn’t harden against ourselves when we feel these physical responses in our bodies, when we have these swarming thoughts and the panic waters begin to rise. May we intervene, kindly, gently. May we realize that this organic response is stemming from a place of Love. Simply and sweetly. Our craving connection is a most basic and pure necessity; akin to our need for oxygen, food and water.

May we awaken to the fact that feeling “less than” or “greater than” is a choice. It is the spring from which our suffering flows. May we choose to plug that leak with pretty flowers and mossy twigs. May we admire our handiwork and turn back towards one another. May we smile softly, letting the corners of our mouths turn up. May we listen, devotedly, for the CLICK…

And now, without further ado, I give you The A Bros: The Ballad of Love and Hate.

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Sisters of the Divine Consciousness

Ladies, Mamas, Sisters, I have an important announcement + invitation for you . . .

I have taken an oath. An oath of Love. One that vows to abstain, as much as humanly possible, from judgement, critique, comparison + discrimination. I extend my oath to all Sentient Beings, but feel this message is ESPECIALLY important amongst us. Amongst women. For we, as well you know, are the harshest critics of all. Towards ourselves, towards one another, and towards the ghastly, unattainable expectations below which we rest our Sacred, precious existence.

I invite you to join me. Join me in the fierce practice of impartial LOVE. Join me in promising to counter every judgment/comparison/critique/discrimination/harmful thought with one of Love/support/praise/compassion/or even neutrality. Do not underestimate the power of neutrality!

How another woman looks, what she wears, if she uses makeup, if she works out, if she’s thinner or fatter or younger or older or prettier or uglier or smarter or duller or more conservative or more provocative or more successful or quieter or less ambitious or WHAT-EV-ER…is NONE of our business. As my hero Elizabeth Gilbert​ says, in every case, “YOU LOOK TERRIFIC.” You ARE terrific.

No matter how you live your life, sister, I support you. I stand behind you. I may not always understand you, but I am empowered by you (even when I can’t admit it to myself + choose the path of neutrality instead). I AM you. You ARE me. We come from the same starseed. We are here as daughters, sisters, mothers, healers, Divine Feminine embodiments. A global sisterhood meant to uplift, connect, support + SANCTION one another’s equally precious and sacred existence. We vibrate on the same resonant frequency. We NEED each other. There is no room for dissonance. There is no room for disharmony. We have enough obstacles without turning on each other. We are on the same team. We are cut of the same cloth. We are made of the same cosmic magic. We are in the same Tribe.

I want to share with you my most favorite space on the wide web. The official website is coming soon, but for now you can join our global network of mamas (mama being WOMAN!) on instagram.
“Mothers of the Universe, Daughters of the Earth, Sisters of the Divine Consciousness. We hold the Light of our past. We are the women who create our future. We are all MAMA.”
Nothing has spoken to me like this mantra (because it’s SO much more than a mission statement) in a LONG time. Perhaps EVER. I am so moved, so utterly anchored + inspired by this notion . . . it awakens in me all sorts of memories, this life and otherwise, and leaves me feeling supported beyond words.

I have worried a lot about the negative effects of internet and social media on our wellbeing, as a whole – health-wise, in terms of Self-esteem, wreaking havoc on relationships and free time. It can be detrimental when addicted or used mindlessly. But I am putting my yogini foot in my mouth big time, more and more, as of late. I am FLOORED by the connections I’ve made. Especially in the past 12 months. Some of the greatest friends, business partners and teachers have emerged from wonderful corner pockets of the globe as a result of this powerful tool called social media. Summah, Nicky, Madison, Ksenia, Tribe de Mama, I could go on and on and on and on . . . you are all reflections of me. I am utterly and irrevocably altered and bettered by your roles in my life. It is only the beginning. I honor, respect and support you in every way I am able. I SEE you.

So, with that my MAMAS, I ask . . . are you ready to liberate the pure perfection that is the Goddess within you? Are you ready to break free of the chains that have kept you bound to the belief that anything outside of you has any effect on you whatsoever? Are you ready to leave behind the false belief that any woman ANYWHERE is ANYTHING but your equal, your sister, your teammate and your Tribe? Join me. Join us. We love you. We’ve been waiting for you. ❥❥❥

http://www.tribedemama.com

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