Holding On, Riding Through

Lately I have been living viscerally. Life has been so…I don’t even know how to put it. Interesting? Doesn’t seem to cover it. Unpredictable? Grand understatement. Frightening? Inarguably. Exquisite? Without a shred of doubt. 

But what happens when life is all of this at once? Naturally it’s always all of this at once, there is no separation, but what happens when mind acknowledges all of this at once? It’s overwhelming for the human psyche. At least in my experience. We, generally speaking, love separation. Separation as a means of coping. How does one subsist if life is both pleasurable and painful at once? Deeply haunting and incomparably radiant in the same breath? It’s enough to make my eyes fill with tears just writing this. I understand it and yet it’s difficult to comprehend the oneness of it all at times.

Mercury is retrograde through July 1st (my birthday) and this past Thursday was the full moon. The full moon cusped right on top of Friday the 13th, a very spiritually auspicious day. A dear friend of mine wrote on Friday that, in ancient times, Friday the 13th was the day of Love. That in honor of the Goddess Venus, couples would stay home on this day to make love. How amazing is that? The day, regardless, is packed with potent energy. As is the full moon. As is Mercury. By the way, Mercury in retrograde means that, from our perspective on earth, the planet appears to reverse its orbit. Hence the flow of “backward” energy in many of us celestially awakened beings. Read more on Mercury in this lighthearted piece.

All this being said, I was going pretty strong up until about a week ago. I was making peace with Mercury as I tend to do in the few times per year it goes retrograde; being gentle with my own forgetfulness and working to harness the opposite flow of energy for good rather than evil, if you will. With the full moon, however, my body welcomed a stormy shift of emotion. An emotional (temper-ish) tantrum unlike any I’d had since I was a little girl. A full blown hyperventilating panic attack, again, unlike anything I’d experienced since childhood. A deep-set and overwhelming need to control what was going on around me and a complete emotional shut down when I realized I could not. It was alarming, considering what I practice every single day, that I was not able to reach my yoga and pull myself out of the hazy confusion. Everything became viscerally real before my eyes. Life and death. So many deaths have crossed my radar in the past weeks, a number of people in my immediate life have left this world, and the experience rocked me. 

The ultimate breakdown occurred with family-related circumstances and one of those moments occurred when life begs one to be with one’s own Tribe. All I could think of was curling up in my momma’s arms as though I were a broken baby bird. The realization that life is unpredictable as the weather, determined as the wind and yet stunning as the sunrise was all so destabilizing in this particular that I sought the comfort of the only thing that grounds us (or me, rather) in such a moment. My family. When life gets too real, loss is palpable and fear is threatening to sink one’s ship, it’s time to head to port.

I still feel queasy from the experience, this morning. I still see the faces of those who have died floating past my vision and it still brings me to tears sitting here writing about it. This is coming from someone who believes deeply that nothing is an accident, that there are no mistakes, that we are held by the Divine Mother and everything is happening as it’s meant to happen. This is coming from a dedicated yogini whose self-inquiry has uncovered deep-rooted fears and faced them head on. This is coming from someone who works every single day to meet fear with love, to seek Truth and nourish Spirit with it. So to be so toppled over by life, by the realness of it, by the horrific interlaced with the breathtaking…was unexpected. 

I suppose the whole matter lies embedded in the human need to control. To control one’s own life, control the length (and sometimes events) of the lives of those one loves, control the weather and sadness and successes and the past. We even tear ourselves up over trying to control what has already happened. Am I speaking to you? 

The point is that these Truths exist all wrapped in one neat package. One pill to be swallowed. It’s when we break apart the capsule and try to sort through the threads of Truth within, separating them, hiding the “bad” ones under the tablecloth, that we find ourselves in conflict. It’s when we can’t believe that the monstrousness of the world is as necessary as the brilliance of the world. Naturally the latter is always easier to digest and celebrate. But ignoring the Truth and existence of the former, that’s when we begin to draw veils down over ourselves…veils that only obstruct our own vision. I don’t know about you, but I seek clarity, in all forms.

It’s hard when your comfort in this world, your trust in this life, is shaken. It hasn’t happened to me in a very long time. But I know it has happened for a reason. It has offered me a chance to seek Truth over ignorance. It has offered me an opportunity to deepen my own self-inquiry immensely as well as tap into the collective consciousness and the rawness of humanity. It has allowed me to share in an experience that many, many, many other souls are also having. I am still riding the waves of this tempest, but after the maternal medicine I received I am riding more smoothly. I am grateful for a tribe of supporters, for parents who support and love me, and I am absolutely overflowing with love for my brothers and sisters who experience suffering under the guise that they don’t have that same network of support…because they do. It may not be in the same physical way as others, but it is why I come to my mat with the intention of healing. It is why I focus, personally, on emanating healing energy. Because I know how blessed I am to have my loved ones, and I seep gratitude for them every single day that I breathe. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to navigate this thing we call life in a state of loneliness. 

You are never alone.

And yet…alone is all we ever truly are in essence. Another surface dichotomy that, upon examination, is all One. I haven’t a neat package to wrap this up with nor a fancy ribbon to wrap around it to give it the appearance of tidiness. This is raw, real self-inquiry on the page. This is an honest conversation about how gorgeous and terrifying it is to be human, to take the risks and experience the blessings that we do every single day. This is about Oneness. This is a reminder that, in every single breath and every single heart beat, we are in this together.

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