Awaken

I believe that what happens to us in this life is preordained. We are held and guided by a higher force. Call it what you will; Divine Mother, God, cosmic consciousness, Goddess, Self, the universe…we are held.

But just because things are “happening as they’re meant to” does not mean we should walk blindly through this life. It does not mean everything will fall into place and we have no work to do. We do have work to do. There is work to be done.

Preordained grace does not give us a free pass to fall asleep at the wheel. We cannot expect destiny to neatly lay gifts in our laps, just because we’re trucking along. We must be aware, we must activate, we must awaken.

What is it that sustains our own unique little universe? What is it that tugs and pulls at the sinews and fibers of our own unique little matrix? What is it that keeps us up at night, when the stars vibrate so silently that it’s deafening? What is it that strips away our layers till we’re raw and crying at the sheer heartbreaking beauty and terrifying mystery of the unknown?

Wafting from cracks in the pavement, showering down from the stars, emanating from the shivering branches of trees is our “meant to be.” It’s everywhere. It’s everyone. It’s all around us. But we must fearlessly turn our gaze upwards. We must look it straight in the eyes, we must peer into the darkness and trust the light will appear. Because the Divine Mother can lay everything out perfectly, but if we’re blind and sleeping, how can we see Her signs? How can we hear Her whispers?

Just because our destiny beckons us does not mean it is inherently ours. We must – we must – activate our power. Too often we give our power away. Too often we mistake fearful compliance for divine trust.

Trusting the process, allowing the sacred to hold us safe, is very different from throwing up our hands and giving in. Offering ourselves to the Divine and allowing Her to take the wheel is irresponsible. We are not empty vessels. Our ships can crash if we do not make an effort to steer them. We can ask Her grace to fill us and guide us, but we then must step up to the plate. We must do our part. We can be led Divinely down the most sacred, perfect path – the path where all our deepest desires will manifest – but if we don’t see them, we will pass them by. Do you understand what I’m saying? Am I speaking to you? We can walk right past our soulmate, pass by the building where we would have been offered our dream career, completely miss the courtyard filled with the guiding light that was to inspire our greatest artistic masterpiece…if we don’t pay attention. You can lead a horse to water…we must recognize our thirst and willing to drain the water.

I pulled an angel card from my oracle deck just before sitting down to this piece. It was “Blessing in Disguise.” It read, “What appears to be a problem is actually part of your answered prayer. You’ll understand the reasons behind your present situation as everything resolves. Trust in heaven’s protection and infinite wisdom to answer your prayer in the best way.” The angels sent you this card to help you recognize the blessing in the midst of an apparent challenge. What you’ve appear to have lost needed to fall away, and will be replaced with something better. Have no fear for your future, but continue praying and following the guidance that comes to you through repetitive feelings, thoughts, visions and words. Additional meanings for this card: One door closes another one opens • The “how” is up to God with respect to the best way to answer prayers • Release the need to control and predict the outcome of this situation • Trust.

My guru gave me a mantra some time ago. Om Parasaktyai Namaha. It means offer every disturbance to the supreme Shakti, treat every ripple as sacred teacher, release the intense need to craft your life so Grace can guide you and hold you safe. I recite it every day. Before asana, after asana; during, before, after meditation; in the car; in my bed; before a meal. Sometimes at the strangest moments. Sometimes in moments that simply beg for the fullness of those words. The mantra is dropped into my consciousness from above whenever needed, and I don’t question it. I marvel, yes. But I don’t question it. I take the life raft, I swallow the spiritual pill, I infuse my cells with the medicinal potion of their weight and trust trust trust.

We can get so caught up in definitions, concepts, the illusion of permanence. We can become so  afraid of ideas, of words. God, prayer, holiness, Spirit. These words have caused wars. These arrangements of letters elicit images, palpable reluctance, visceral emotions. But what is any word, really, but a feeling? Why do we allow ourselves to be locked up in definitions? Why do we even attempt to define ourselves, or anything at all? Man laid meaning to letters, after all.

Love. Truth. Trust. Wisdom. Remembrance. Oneness. Peace.

These words are just as sacred as God, prayer, holiness, Spirit, temple, worship, scripture. Because what are they but feeling, emotion, vibration?

One of my most favorite, cherished poems is this one…

My heart holds within it every form,
it contains a pasture for gazelles,
a monastary for Christian monks.
There is a temple for idol-worshippers,
A holy shrine for pilgrims;
There is the table of the Torah,
and the book of the Koran.
I follow the religion of Love
and go whichever way His camel leads me.
This is the true faith;
This is the true religion.
~Ibn Arabi

We are one. Love is our common blood. Truth is our uniting force. Angelic Divinity is our shared source. We are born from the same pure spring. We drip the same magic, we contain within us the same vast, black, starless canvas of moonlit, wondrous potential. So why do we insist on keeping up this act, why do we continue to cover for the ignorant villain that is separation? There is no separation. All is one. We are one. We are everything. We are everyone.

Our paths are littered with gifts. But just because we consist of stardust and bliss, just because we are children of the God and Goddess, does not mean we will be without suffering. Learning to remember the sweetness of our own inherent worth, learning to read the symbols and hear the poetry of our own deserving nature, learning to recognize the depth of the unconditional love that holds us safe…is not always easy. But it is essential to our transformation. Without awakening and activating, we cannot transform. Our souls will remain suspended in a false safety. And it is just that…false.

The people, places, experiences, objects and feelings that puncture our hearts, stretch our spirits, spill into our crown chakra and trickle through our cellular matrix are meant. to. be. there. They are sent to us from grace Herself. May we swallow our fear and learn to trust the burning in our center that leads us forward, that beckons us towards these people, places, experiences, objects and feelings. They are our teachers, our temple, our idols and our religion. They are the very reflections of ourselves, the counterpoints of our own souls. They are no accident. 

I believe that what happens to us in this life is preordained. We are held and guided by a higher force. But we must come to terms with our responsibility in this journey. Often our greatest blessings are disguised by a thin veil of conflict, confusion, fear, doubt. Don’t be fooled by the disguise. See through the veils. Burn away the doubt with truth. Anoint the questionable with faith.

It is overwhelming what an extreme privilege it is to be able to hold space for such a sacred practice, to be able to commandeer such an exquisite venture. Acknowledging how very blessed we are, what a sincere honor it is to be able to pursue liberation, is the most grounding, humbling, gratifying practice. It is the precipice for the deep work that will, inevitably, lead us to our own freedom. Our own recognition of truth, love, healing. Our own clarification of God and holiness, Spirit and prayer. We are being led and invited to awaken. To active. We are being called forth. It is time for our own discovery. It is time for us to open our eyes and expose the sacred, preordained life we have so profoundly chosen. Wake up. It’s starting.

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Transparency and Authenticity

Sometimes when I lay back in savasana or sit down in meditation, it goes like this: thoughts racing a million miles a minute, planning, thinking, contemplating, wondering, suddenly everything in need of processing spills out…it can sometimes go on and on. Then it’s followed by some squirming, or even just the urge to squirm…sometimes it doesn’t feel like “meditation” or deep relaxation at all but rather a big challenge. Then suddenly, as if struck from behind with a tranquilizer, I sink deep. DEEP. Ahhhh…still, peaceful warmth. How did I get here? What if I had given up during the thinking and squirming? I’d’ve missed the sinking. I’d’ve missed the depth. This practice is a journey. It was never meant to be perfect and pretty, absolute serenity and silence. Sometimes we get glimpses of that. But the practice itself is messy, revealing, and yet the most deeply rewarding one we could have. Each time we sit, we inch forward in our journey, we chip away at the nonsense that we so often mistake as “ourselves.” We discover our true Selves. We go deep. I believe in transparency and authenticity…and I’ll be the first to say going deep is not as swift and simple as we’d like to think. We must crawl back into ourselves. We must earn the depth with patience and practice. But we can…and we will. We can withstand the racing thoughts, the squirming fidgets. We can sit with ourselves and let the depth come to us.