Saturday, July 2, 2016

a lesson in lessons

and i hope you find
more than just yourself.
i hope you find
the strength
not to hurt the people
who love you.
i hope you find 
a thousand miracles
hidden in the soft rain
and i hope you find art,
in all the people
you deserve to love.
                                               r.m. drake

























Everything is a lesson. We are not always ready to learn.

We think we are. So we go seeking, asking, half assed listening to only what we want to hear or think we need to know. We put unreasonable expectations on ourselves to be at a particular place by a particular time and so exist at the mercy of place and time--stuck and feeling as if it is running out. You aren't. And it isn't.

Every single moment, as noticeably catalytic or necessarily subtle, seemingly, even, stagnant, hosts a lesson. Lessons are woven intricately into all of our doings and it takes time spent patiently unravelling them, deciphering their message from the coded repetition of our patterns and habits and recurring sequences of events, before we can understand them with and implement them into our being. Look at the first sentence of this paragraph: full of commas; perforated by pausing meant to implement another similar, connected idea or strain that contributes to the entirety of the message. Excessive perhaps, but indicative of how a lesson is not always immediate, but, how as the sentence to follow relays, needs to be pulled from the pauses and collected from what seems to be a constant relearning; to be siphoned from the bigger picture that we have created, so that the truth might reveal itself in its grandeur.

So that the real lesson, not the one that we are seeking the answer to, can be learned.

We learn what we need to as we need to, not what we want to when we want to.

We have epiphanies not because of some random dawning of understanding, but because of a collection of hints and happenings and molecularly sized lessons climaxing into a knowing. An aha. An I get it. Sometimes a duh. Most of the time, a sweet reprieve from thinking and a softening ohh, that's why, and here I am, exactly where I need to be and all of what caused confusion or what played out as an annoying continuation of the same sequence of learning becomes essential, relevant, and clear in this moment. As a lesson for the next.

We are never done learning, we are in a constant receiving of bits and pieces of understanding so that bit by bit and piece by piece we become more whole, or at least more connected to what is whole. And the seeking lessens as we learn the ultimate lesson: listen.

Listen. Notice synchronicities, divine timing, dream messages and humans only meant to be messengers and nothing more--the ones that come and go and leave you thinking and feeling on a level untouched by those you are meant to learn more slowly with and from. Gather the hints from what resonates, from what causes you to react. Believe that seeds are being planted always and that only will they begin to flourish when the soil of our beings is fecund; when we are most fertile, ripe for gestation and producing. Remember that you, like and as nature, are subject to cycles, and that often we re-learn before we really learn. And often what is learned is not what we expected. And often what we expect is what keeps us from learning--what we feel we need to know strangles our knowing, is too loud for the intimate listening required to really learn.

The need to know in and of itself is distracting enough without the need to know where and when--but the need to know why here, why now, when the lessons do settle in--those questions are irrelevant. Really, none of it matters except that you did learn. And then, most importantly, how you use that information. How you take ownership of what you are going to do with that knowing.

That was something I learned from the students here--they embodied ownership; they all came as they are, uniquely expressive, perceptive, human. They came with a stronghold on their own journey, taking full responsibility for what they would get out of this--what they were after, willing to receive, abundant in offering. Yet because I was not looking for that particular message, I didn't know that was what I had received as a catalyst for necessary personal learnings until their teacher vocalized it two nights ago, and I saw so clearly in my own doings that I had learned that from them. And then, in the knowing, I could see so clearly how their energy had permeated, given me the strength to shine a light on some shadows in a way I hadn't anticipated. And really a lot of dangling strings tied together in a remarkably strong knot and I feel now each inexplicable experience and lesson tethered to my being. Anchored in self. In knowing.

I could not have learned what I learned here if I wasn't ready for it. I would not have had the circumstantial awareness to open to this perspective, this angle, this shedding of light on this shadow that isn't so dark after all. Could not have attracted a more necessary collection of humans to be seen by and in, could not have said goodbye to a heartbreak I didn't know could exist again, could not have aligned in this way, in this relationship with myself until I was strong enough to. This experience is just a bit piece itself of the entirety of our life experience: we learn what we have come here to learn; we come as we are and the lessons come as they will. Our growth occurs as part of our contract to the divine for this go around at life--whether you believe this is a one chance opportunity or an infinite collecting of lessons to weave over many lifetimes, we are here to know what we are meant to as we are meant to, and then we are meant to share.

Share who you are, be revealed to yourself as your are to others, honour the space you are meant to hold, with faith, with kindness, alive and learning. Connect, spread love. Whether it is through pancake tricks, unscripted honesty, respectful inquisition or just coming as you are, in the smallest and most immense lessons all of our lives are being changed; at once you may be learning and revealing a lesson to someone else.

It's pouring rain again as I write this, just as it was that post on those first days of being here. Only this time the filters are less. The sureness is more rich. A truer light unwavering through the shadows.

Thank you everyone who has allowed me to teach them, allowed me to learn, taught me everything.

xx

Friday, June 24, 2016

what i didn't say {poem}























I asked for one last goodbye.

I couldn't let us dissolve like that:
into a pool of pain,
hurt creating an abyss to lose
all that we had once loved in,
life rafts constructed from pointed blame--

here, take fault and you won't drown in my own sorrows.

I couldn't let us cut each other out,
literally, viscerally,
raw and readily scarred--
there are sweeter ways to make space in your heart.

I asked for one last goodbye
not to ensure for my own heart
that yours was as defeated,
not to know that you knew what you were giving up on.

No, I needed to know that we didn't give up.
That every belief we had in love,
still pulsed in the very hearts
that now, deflated of hope, could hardly hold themselves up,

but would. I asked to know yours would.
I asked because your suffering is mine
and mine yours and I have not yet landed
in a space that is no longer ours.

But I will.
And so I say goodbye to remember,
and to thank you for loving me.
For trembling with me when we touched,

and coaxing trust from my defences,
letting me love you as I knew how,
for accepting what you could
and leaving when you couldn't

pretend anymore that we were more than we are.
Thank you for the strength it took
to love me first and love me still,
and for, in the last goodbye we shared,

left that love, kindly, behind.





As published on Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/06/i-asked-for-one-last-goodbye-poem/

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Spacious, full

so this is it, then--

the dissolution of hope.

Reality permeating
our newly emptied hearts

spacious

echoing

of what us meant just one rainstorm
ago
and through every storm
and how the sun feels so much different
when it rises than when it sets.





















This full moon was a potent one. This month has been a potent one. This coffee next to me is not potent enough. Never is...

I am in Santa Teresa Costa Rica, cooking for a yoga teacher training and generally having my spirit transfused in, well, the most potent of ways. Coming here, I immediately felt the shadow side to this oh so easy going surfing village--the trees have a dark allure about them, as if in contrast to the light grey/barely blue sea whose vastness gets lost in catching the light of the sun--she wants something from you here, Mother N, she wants to know all the things about you you aren't willing to share; all that you cling to underneath what you present. She wants your truth.

And she can have it.

The energy created in this teacher training has been one of welcome and acceptance. There is a grace to every human here that has allowed the space to feel full--and so too my emptying heart.

It is an interesting paradox to exist in: at once so empty, so spacious, yet so full. This is the visceral sensation of a cycle in completion: there is fullness-- resolute, decided, finished; and there is emptiness, that which is leaving making space for all that has the potential to occupy. This is sweet: to be unoccupied, with all the room for anything. This is not a duality, at once empty and full, but rather a sameness, a unified state, a oneness. Its the end of the equation.

Let's look at the beginning of it.

In coming here, I was wrought with self doubt as to where I stood spiritually. But that is just it, I was trying to stand--I was confusing my physical existence, what I could prove, align with, embody even, with my spiritual one; with the purity of existence itself. I was lost in doubt, delusion, and emotion, convinced of things I didn't believe in adjudicating my very beliefs. I had lost the trust in my higher moral conscious and was like a fish out of water. And there was that sea with its constant energetic embrace, and there was my truth, in my own. All of the pieces of me that seemed scattered, unresolved, gently fused together in a remembered awareness of my energetic presence here, and I felt whole.

This is my pattern: question, remember, affirm. It isn't to seek out new information, it isn't to desperately need to know, it is to create a distance from myself only to collect back again, more sure, more honest, more content. Undeniably an energetic being as much as a sassy, heart forward, over-thinking human sticky with salt water and mangos, listening always to the echoes of my behaviours.

In the spaciousness those echoes become more clear. They inignorably sound off of our skeletal existence, the bare bones of whom we are as constructs of our patterns. Listen. What is on repeat for you? What removes you from the constancy of source and intoxicates you with the constancy of habit? Where are you cheating yourself of an immediate aliveness?

A sister of mine says that we hear these echoes, or rather, repeat our lessons time after (defeating) time, looping and looping a string of behaviour, at some point realizing, here I am again, when will I learn? And every time we complete a circle, the strings are being woven into a cord with the eventual strength to use the lesson instead of being used by it; rather than orchestrating the way that we live, our patterns become the foundation from which to transform. We learn to alchemize our shadows into light.

And then we start to get right addicted to truth for feeling it's weight in gold.

Fullness. From the emptying out, from the spaciousness created in trusting, in being willing to let go, in hosting the echoes of our behaviours so that they might resonate more obviously, poignant in deliverance to our knowing, comes a richness. Truth of self is satiating, and it is found in taking accountability for that which feels burdensome, that which is created in suffering, and choosing what is necessary to heal. Choosing to empty out to delusion, false hope, conditions, energetically harmful contracts with your physical and emotional self so that you might feel full of possibility, integrity, and, well, you.

You. Complete. Whole. Clear. Emptied for expansion, filled by truth.

I did not know the light that would come for me in the shadows here, but ooh lala do I hope you find the light in yours, and feel the same completion. I hope you saw the sky last night and howled. I hope as the moon closes her cycle to allow for the next, you will too; that as the days get longer, your spirit gets brighter.

Thank you always for seeing me: dark, light, in pieces or collected together in a unique expression of energy, life, love.

xx



Monday, May 30, 2016

the truth comes out



I consider myself a very private person.

This is laughable. This has been laughed at recently by some of my closest humans. My laugh is the last thing I keep private...

I am here. Laughing loudly. With a voice whose volume has little to do with loud/quiet and everything to do with impact. With a collection of words strung together into some semblance of an opinion or provocation. I am here with poems that if you follow closely enough you'll know when to ask, as some of those humans have, if I need to ceremonially burn a relationship relic. I am here with eyes that change colour with my mood and play host to the fire that is alive in me. I am here to converse in all of its forms, be it I write and you read, or we swap roles, or we swap stories over tea and both leave knowing that our souls were untangled a bit from our performances--from those ideas we have about ourselves.

I am not private. This is an idea. An idea that for whatever reason I am attracted to and so continue to believe despite acting entirely different. And in that is my understanding of truth.

My truth is different from yours, and neither is right nor wrong, rather it is our individual reservoir of fuel to live from. To come as we are. However, there is an interesting differentiation between the truths we tell ourselves--as with my self-convinced privacy-- and how we are revealed through our actions.

To some extent our actions are a product of what we believe or desire ourselves to be, but when misaligned with our truth they only decompose and in such facilitate the growth of a more rooted sense of self. And what permeates then, through our roots and into our external, behavioural blossoming is a more honest self. Our truths are not changeable, they are uncoverable. And once uncovered they need not be explained, not even understood, certainly not compared--they simply resonate on such a level of intimacy that we embody them with precision, grace even, that we can only be seen as living in potent integrity.

My truth has been diluted by what I have told myself, but is heightened by what is observable in how I live. And by people who see me when I think they can't. Conversations we have had simply through being.

And conversations that are more literal.

I'm understanding the necessity of discourse as much as I once revered privacy, or lately, silence. I believe the way to lift yourself from banality, as Svetlana Alexievech says, is to descend into the depths of yourself, especially through meditation and self inquiry and respect for what you are listening for, but also to allow others to dive with you. What someone asks you or what truth of theirs they offer, perhaps through saying what you weren't able to but oh yes feel the resonation of entirely, are ways they plug into your truths that serve to add light into deeper crevices, providing new angles of perception.

To quote another rad woman with somethings to say, Nayirah Waheed refers to humans as either organs or swords--there are those whom help us pulse, who feed into our vitality and raise our vibrations, and those who slash us open or sever parts of ourselves that must die so that we may live more fully. Persons whom play host to conversations that are unnerving, expansive, and serve to siphon truths from every polluted bit of distrust in ourselves and not need confirmation from anything but our willingness to know more intimately, who we are. Those who, in not judging us, ask us to do the same for ourselves.

That is where I feel most conversations suffer: judgement. Be it the ones you have with others that are subject to vagueties, half truths lacquered in fear and lengthy vocabulary to avoid saying what is directly aching to move from your strangled throat chakra, or in those more quiet ones we have with ourselves. In self-judgement, we take what we hear from our truth centres and taint it by looking for validation or "rightness" from books, professional intuitive diagnoses or predictions, our astrological sign, doctrinarians, like-minded opinions… external reference points for our internal knowings. Judging in the most cyclical of ways what we know by what we don't know. Y'know?

We do not know anything for sure, but we learn so much more purely when we do not question every piece of motivation to do, every inclination or innate sense that evolves us, anything we feel compelled to share, but instead surrender and notice from the place of having arrived instead of seeking arrival. When we look at the way we work against or in harmony with every bit of external information we receive, when we hear not just what is said in conversations, but how what is said lands with us--internally. And we do so with the intention to simply witness our experience. When we are tuned into, and tuned by, what is not said amidst all that is being said. This is where listening occurs at its finest--when the questions you ask are not navigated towards a specific answer, but an actual wonder at what is. When what you hear can occur far more subtly than the decibels that speech reaches. When the experience of conversation is as fascinating as the subject matter, and both allow us to see ourselves more clearly.

See what happens when you find yourself just as fascinating, when you find yourself where you left yourself and arrive as a bit more of your self. When you are not looking for anything, but accepting what you are. When you radiate your intentions and worth, founded in a trust in your feelings to be tethered to truth. When your vulnerability not only with others but with your own self is nothing short of fierce, and you take that into the interactions you have, knowing one thing for sure: what is unsaid has as much value as what is said--and you ought to get oh so clear on both in the next conversation you have with yourself, so that you may converse more honestly whether in whom you are being, or whom you are sharing your being with. Whether you're alone or navigating your depths with another; whether you're private or not.



Thank you to those who took the time for tea*, who laughed directly at me and with me, who elevated me and grounded me without saying anything, who scratched a little deeper into my truths and held the space for me to feel those raw feels. I hear you. I love you.





*another half truth to the humans who know me best. It was coffee. Lots of it. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Imagined our Love {poem}






















I imagined kissing you slowly,
your lips finally finding mine as your hand ran the length of my thigh,
your heat and the safety your shape brings me
as you leaned over me

I imagined meeting your gaze 
in the darkness and from only the light of your eyes 
knowing we chose this together--

falling in love again.

I imagined after so long, 
after all the time and the hope that had collected 
what it would be like to release in to you,
Surrendering

I imagined how after exposing
ourselves openly honest, raw,
how it would feel to lay together again.

To make love.

To choose love.

But it was all just my imagination and illusion is cruel.
My lips are dry and my legs feel weak.
I'm alone in the darkness,
Closing my eyes, falling into a dream of you 
Again. 
Surrendering to sleep and time and 
The truths I laid out for myself.
For in reality,
in letting each other go,
we loved on still.





As published on Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/05/an-imaginary-love-poem/

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My poem, my prayer {poem}

























I want to live in joy.
In this "i am" of enlightenment I lose my fight, my sight of what I want to do with this life.

I hear you about "being"
I'm with you, I'm agreeing,
mind at ease, I'm receiving,
but wonder if thoughts are really so deceiving...
is it so wrong to be thinking sweetly believing that there is life to be lived?


Can your spirit be driven 
by this love you have found in your true sense of self this freedom, this wealth-- abundant, and oh, isn't it intimate…
what will you do with it?

Let the sun touch your skin and walk blooming lotus.
Plant seeds, kiss the earth,
give thanks cast to the wind.
Give in to the ocean. Give up fleeting emotion--
Feel it and leave it,
Look to your heart to believe it,
Trust what is true
to your sense of you.


Think if you wish,
not to control or convince you,
but with curious freedom,
to listen in and move
from your heart, it's your home,
bring love when you come,
bring love where you go.


This is my joy, my prayer, and my poem.





As published by Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/05/my-joy-poem/



















Thursday, May 5, 2016

the birthing process

"In that place again that I know that I know, but I don't know….for me this is where some of the most raw creativity births out of delicate vulnerability.

The wise and the ancient say that paradox is the nature of Life. That Life is composed of opposites that seemingly contradict. When I can become awake in this stormy place of contradictions, in my highest vision I can see its because something inside is transforming. That it cannot make sense because true sense is a multi-dimensional experience. Therefore to find comfort in any kind of sense my mind seeks is to grasp too tight to the tiny dimension of man made knowns.

I don't know. But I know. But just cannot know. And if i did, if we knew, how could we ever be surprised by the lessons that unfold through the mystery?"





There is still sand in my hair. This could mean that I am a horribly inefficient shower-er, or a testimony to the clinging residue of the fine black sand in Mazunte, or perhaps even a very tangible example of how I am holding on to my time in Mexico.

I am holding on to my time in Mexico.

Though, not because I long so much for the sun on every inch of my skin and the sound of the ocean to lull me asleep at any hour of my oh so un-agenda'd days, not because of mangos ripening on the trees outside of my door or the kindness of that quirky town and the jungle medicine of the one before it, but for the ease of being that I had. There was an ease of doing, yes, certainly, but that connection to myself, that deeply reverberating sense of truth and integrity, that unshakeable calm despite all that was shaken--it was easy to just be.

What is not so easy, is to take those moments that shatter your paradigms as if breaking ground for your roots to grow sturdier yet and your soul to drink in the Earth and flourish in harmony with life itself, and transition away from the place and time which provided the sanctuary for this gestation. Not easy, but oh so necessary.

So necessary to realize that it was not the place and the time, but the you. The willingness. The readiness. The awakening of your spirit to experience something in the fullness of its intensity. To not shy from discomfort or seek out distraction. To not dilute the potency of your feels, be it the most alive sense of joy, of viva la vida you have ever known, or a sorrow that seems far too palpable to be purely emotion. To not repress. To simply not repress. Ever. Anything….

This is the birthing process. Post gestating in the womb of everything nurturing, shaping, defining, spacious and quiet, and entering into the noise of possibility, creating, expanding, expressing. The time when you are brought to life with an insatiable wonder at all of it.  And yet a distrust. You were once so protected and now so fully vulnerable. All that you feel is new and yet innately natural. Indistinguishable yet refining itself all to its own devices. You are home and you are not. You are you and yet….there is something more. Something that amidst all of the contradictions you can sense that you are only just coming to know, just coming to embrace fully as your archetype, your place, your aliveness. Your self.

It is so much simpler in the womb. It can be that simple out of it. Life can be as simple as surrender. We exist with paradoxes, we exist with truths that exist simultaneously with other truths and it is our objective not to know one from the other and which is "right" but to trust in the option of both. To know we have options. To know that at once all is already decided for you, yet you are only being revealed to that, to yourself, layer by sweetly unique and changing layer. To know that each birth required a death of some kind, a letting go….so let go. Simplify. Trust.

Be born again. Even now. Fully embrace that all that you know only brings you closer to all that you do not; the complexities of change only seem so-- your evolution is simple. Be willing for those bits of you that no longer ring truest of true to die off and the newest of your buds to receive more vital energy. Again, do not repress your feels or your questions, rather trust in those same feels providing you the answers. Again, trust. And believe in magic.

For the birth process is that: magic. A dark and light, white and black magic blend of something inexplicable yet fully liveable for each of us with our own very unique process of integrating into whom we always have been. Mine will look different than yours; right now mine looks like comforting bits of sand in my hair, feels like wading through the sea, consciously moving but more slowly, more aware, and excited in a way that moves my nerves and bones as the relentless sincerity of the waves crashing to the shore did--I may not be able to hear them now, but I remember them, and learn that it is actually myself I am holding onto. And I write these words as much for me as for you. And I hope for us all to continually take opportunity to be in the sweetly mysterious, magical process of growing more alive.

xx

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I am not afraid to love you {poem}




'
















I'm not afraid to argue,
come--see me.

Confront me.
Disagree.

Let me know you
like you know you,
show that you care to understand me.

Ask me questions
I only seem to have the answers to--
help me get clear.

Dig deeper.
Inquire.

I am not afraid of your
intensity,
get passionate with me.

Be sure,
and not so.

Be vulnerable.
Tell me what happens
to your heart when I smile--

is it so terrifying
to not be able to reason at love,
to let now be enough?

Feel.
Weep.

Let me in on your confusion,
your doubts and debates.
What weighs on your heart?

Ill take it in mine.
I'm here to hold you
as you've held me,

to ease you your suffering.
To look into your eyes
and see the truth

through the fear.
To know that when we conflict
we grow closer in

trust,
a willingness to feel,
working to understand.

Surrender your heart
from your words,
and know

that I am not afraid
of love.




As published on Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/05/i-am-not-afraid-to-love-you-poem/

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gestation

The neem tree scatters sun and shadow across my skin, My legs hang painted gold, rooted, sure, knowing Mother Earth's fertility. Take it's medicine, take my time. Gestation, growth. I reach out in wonder, touch it's leaves and blossom alongside, wise. I can still touch the sound of the ocean with my heart. The echoes are the same there. The echoes are the same there.




I have never been more naked than I was in Mazunte.

I have never, either, been more quiet about it.

Never have I been more honest, done more letting go, found more ease/acceptance/value, got cozy in my heart, been eaten by more bugs, eaten more tortilla chips, digested, lived out paradoxes without being torn between two equally true truths, listened to the same song on repeat, listened to myself…. If Yelapa was womb-like, then Mazunte was where I released fully into a period of gestation, growth.

And here is the thing about growth: we can plant as many seeds as we like, offer water and sun, sing to them the sweetest of melodies, but if the soil is not richly fertile, those seeds will starve. In other words, we cannot learn our lessons unless the willingness to do so provides the most fecund environment to nourish what we need to know--or rather, what we already do.

You know all that you need to know. None of what you feel you need to learn comes from anyone else's information for you, whether that be in conversation, written in books, broadcast from an alter/stage/podcast--those are the sun and the rain. And let them feed into your growth, let them provoke you, move you, resonate with you, but understand that the resonation comes because they are touching a piece of truth that already exists within you…and then seek to understand this truth as intimately as you can. You become oh so fertile, oh so prepared to flourish when you get oh so clear on your very own version of the world and understanding of yourself within it. The spirit that courses through you is in everything you touch and see and exist in harmony with, every serendipitous connection with creation--get to know it, your spiritual awakening will birth your human awakening.

But before birth there must be a gestation time; digestion, or as was described in the silent retreat I participated in in Mazunte, a process of deconditioning. After having a pure experience, it is necessary to allow an awakened moment to set in, to keep it from the conditioned mind's patterns so that it might settle more deeply, more purely yet, closer to the divine knowing of the heart. When we feel something rock our beings on a soul level, we cannot ignore that that vibration needs to settle, otherwise the excess energy of it simply gets flung out into an abyss, robbing us of the nutrients it contains that grow us incrementally. Example: falling in love. Ooh lala, delightful. Trance like, a vortex that one can quickly lose oneself in and start to compromise ones own identity for how something feels or the illusion that attraction, lust, desire, hope can persuade us with. We forget that love takes work, constant choosing, commitment, and requires a coaxing from the romance of it all into the great significance of what it can effortfully be; and so it goes for the level of intimacy we have with ourselves. Ultimately, we need time to steep in our lessons, revelations, remembrances, and self love, so that they might concentrate richly and as a developed part of us, so that when they are questioned we know if we are meant to hold steady, grounded in our roots, or bloom further, continue to expand, versify, die and be born again….

And when you do birth again after a proper, potent gestation, there is an urgency to living now, as you are meant to. Awake. In tune. Enraptured and rapturous. Provoked and provocative. Spacious and open. Continuously stoking your own fire so that you might do so for others--you are not meant to please everyone, but ask them to know themselves by how they are stirred by you. You are not meant to doubt or rush our own process, but to take your time in reverence of your epic formation. Aware of your worth. Trusting. Faithful to yourself and all that can only exist uniquely within you makes you indispensable, alive, present. We are not meant to experience this world in any other way but through the intelligent absorption of our minds and bodies and wondrous experience of our hearts. And in fact we do not need to know, at all, but to settle into experience contentedly, intuitive, feeling, uncompromisingly trusting in every bit of your being.

You do not have to spend six weeks under a Spanish sun, ten days in silence, or hours listening to words that sound just as medicine heals….you just have to listen to you.

xx







Friday, April 29, 2016

love you with joy {poem}






















What joy can I bring you?

We know pleasure,
oh yes, how we know pleasure…

but I mean not of a single finger
up your spine to wake your
skin and bring your chest to mine--
no, I mean the loving trace

of my hands on your strong back,
and our sleeping tangle of fingers and legs
like roots weaving to ground together.
I do not mean your lips on the cusp of my chin,

warm breath at my neck,
but the words of your mouth--
the questions that cut the tension of touch
and ask me to go deeper.

I mean the joy in knowing
we can conflict and emerge more intimate,
not colliding in lust,
our bodies worn but our hearts more weary;

I am here to hear all you have to say,
and hold you more closely than
the arms that pull each other from our clothes
ever could.

Let us instead pull each other from our souls,
vulnerable, naked, free.
Delight in my laughter,
and I will in yours,

have the courage to love me,
dance because yes, my hips fit perfectly in your hands,
and when we make love let it be in the joy
we have found in being in love.




As published on Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/alone-not-alone-with-you-poem/

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alone and not {poem}




I am alone and never alone with you.

You are embedded in the most
naked parts of my soul;
The first I think to tell
and whom I most wish to listen.

You alone comprehend my duality--
I see the brilliance
in your strength and your soft hurt.
Blur the lines; we harmonize.

I feel your distinct embrace
whether your fingers lace with mine
beneath sheets for a night
or your words wrap themselves

around my heart, lingering until
the next time we meet--
the nights are sweetly sleepless
with or without you here.

Space makes no difference
between us and time holds no meaning.
Look at the stars on any night
and I will see you there.

Love anyone else and see
the contrast to our potent relevance.
We are a love unfindable.
We are an us undefinable.

Defiant, even. Taking the road less travelled,
and knowing not where it leads
and caring even less,
for the company is irreplaceable

and trust connects our separate paths.
We flow. Synchronized.
You take the words out of my heart
before I can gift them to you

and we stay attune, borrowing feelings
but leaving them where they
were found so that we might touch them
when the missing is the most palpable.

Oh these late exchanges.
I would not take sleep over time with you
will rest enough knowing
we only need to dream to meet and dance.

Our love is poetry, each word necessary
rhythmic and pulsing, infinite in impression. Raw.
Written by two whom only know
to live in the depths of each other.

Go deeper with me yet, insatiable.
More love to find beneath the wise willows,
in the roots of the oak trees--
meet me in our rabbit hole

and fall asleep with me to the sound of the sea.
Wake again more alive, with a resounding
belief that ours is not a love
to try to understand

but to hold as I would be held by you,
if you were here on this night I sleep alone.





As published by Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/alone-not-alone-with-you-poem/

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Some of the People I know {poem}

























Some of the strongest people I know are the most gentle. 
Sometimes the strongest people I know cry the sweetest tears. 
At times I know their strength more fiercely in their humility. 
Always in their vulnerability. 

Some of the bravest people I know have the most fears. 
Sometimes their bravery comes from a need to conquer. 
At times what is unconquerable feeds their courage. 
And they learn the powerful grace in surrender.

Some of the most joyful people I know have sadness. 
Sometimes their light is made brighter by the raw truths in their darkness. 
At times they are so moved by what they have found that they howl 
with sorrow fuelled compassion, humanness.

Some of the most lost people I know have the greatest propensity to live.
Sometimes their confusion is but the siphoning through of what matters the most.
At times what they find filters through is a potent dose of brilliance, inimitable.
And they embrace their journey in its entirety.

Some of the most alive people I know die time and again.
Sometimes they change in but a moment, fluid, evolving, existentially free.
At times they are so unattached that they scatter impulsively, undefined
and come to land in a deeper, more expansive sense of self.

Some of the most governed people I know have the wildest dreams.
Sometimes their discipline is what grants them their freedom.
At times their boundaries so respectable that I crave
the guidance of their sureness.

Some of what I know of myself is not myself at all.
Sometimes I am brave, strong in joy and sadness, alive and dying.
At times I am sure, mostly I am wild, always I am free
ever willing to grow, discover, express the dual nature of me.




As published by Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/some-of-the-people-me-poem/

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I dance {poem}





















I dance for the moon,
letting her pull me as she does the entire ocean,
sway me through the thick air
loosen my hips and
lubricate my spine.

I dance for my sisters
feeling their feminine pulse with my own--
freely expressive, bold, and alive.
I sway my thick hips
and pour open my back.

I dance for the music
of everything living. Cicadas they call
and roots pound with bass,
the Earth is my sitar--
move my hips, move my heart.

I dance for you--
for the weight of your hands on my hips
and the look in your eyes that said
I was yours to love
as the jazz dripped cool down our backs.

I dance for myself
and my sweet desire to live, to move
and to love each inch of my skin.
My soul at my hips,
the song in my heart.

Dance for it all.
For your grace and your wonder, to touch
a vibration that you cannot see.
Move your hips, arch your back,
set yourself free.



As published by Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/dance-yourself-free-poem/


Friday, April 22, 2016

day twelve

"Diez huevos org├ínicos, por favor. Gracias"






















I spoke too soon.

Twice.

First, I politely ordered ten eggs (because I can never remember twelve in Spanish, so I never get a full dozen...) breaking my vow of silence on the very same day that I took it. But, breakfast…..

For the next ten days I didn't say much more than a few "ow's," and listened only to the ridiculous dialogue of my distracted and quite imaginative, mixed tape lyrical mind (whose obscure, and borderline spiritually toxic soundtrack included Medicine by Rising Appalachia, chanting Jai Shiva, Head over Feet by Alanis Morisette, and Get Low by T-Pain), at times laughing aloud at the absurdity of me. Which I hope did not disturb anyone else's silence or leave the impression that I am, perhaps, more crazy than I am. Or just, that I am.

I am.

That was the very simple guiding mantra of the twenty minute to three hour meditations of this 10 day silent retreat. Or rather, the question: who am I? *

And the very non-answer answer can be found in your spiritual heart. Not your heart heart, that masterful feeling organ that pulses your vitality through your body, but the one that attends similarly to your soul. Your spirit. Your youness and the isness, oneness of everything and everybody. And it is something that there are many and no words for, a very necessary experience of existence found in silence, in simply being beyond the doing, "knowing" mind.

And I talked, too soon, after it.

And not enough about it.

That was the second time. Leaving the retreat I broke the silence in too many ways about too many unnecessary things that took me too far from the very palpable result of this whole journey: the undeniable feeling of self.

You feel everything and can deny nothing. It is all there for you because it is all within you, from what you project into the experience to the moments you land back in your flesh from somewhere ethereal and as gorgeous as any bit of jungle I have seen here--from the very marrow of your self. Although my days of sea, salt, and sun, words, movement, and anything in a tortilla are very simple and leave plenty of space for me to know me, there is something incomparable to the nothingness that is everything of silence--and its remarkably loud.

To be with you in this prolonged, intentional, intimate way: remarkable. Any distractions you create become a part of your unravelling, and you have this birds eye view on the very wondering of your soul. And when everything is directed toward the heart for observation it bypasses the didactic mind and instead of undergoing some sort of psychoanalysis of bad or good it just is. Because without the personality to dictate how you are going to perform this quiet ceremony of sorts, you get the undramatized version of yourself and the most tenderly simple resonations of what matters--a quiet symphony vibrating inside of you. And no matter what awful rap song would pervade my space to whichever rawly impactful chakra purging lightening of self that I was immersed in, the sensation of being oh so sweetly satiated by something I could not quite define never mind control, and really did not care to understand, lasted through the sleepless nights and sunrise walks like an elixir of truth.

Because it was.

Truths. Every meditation an offering of simple understanding in oh so potent form. Epiphanies that landed in ways that were not merely neat, oh-I-get-it realizations but would embed themselves in the very fibres of your being so that you might weave a cloak from the inside to wrap around your exterior, enrobed, embraced by non-duality. I felt as if I were sea glass, softened by the steady massage of the ocean and glowing softly--not in a way that called to be seen, but in a way that was seeing and accepting. So much to see. So much acceptance.

So much to share.

But even this seems like too many words and not enough.

And it is all a bit much, trying to process and digest and remember is pulling at the strings of that cloak and re- sharpening my salt-exfoliated edges, especially when accompanied with re-organizing life beyond the silence. I want to stay in the quiet and the feels.

Last night I was asked directly for the first time after ten days of silence: how do you feel?

Afraid of losing how I felt in silence.

I struggled as everyone there did: with the stillness--most often ending a three hour mediation in a sort of seated sprawl…--with the lack of sleep (dreams are wild when you are in that sub-layer of awareness for hours of the day), with the wandering egoic mind, with the maddening desire for creativity and expression, and was literally in some form of countdown (minutes of meditation, meditations in the day, days left at all) for the totality of the experience to be over and yet now that it is, I want back in. I want to steep in that heart wisdom for more than hours, for days or for howevers long, until my entire being emerges, prune like and cared for, and then and only then fully expel every bit of holy-YES for every body, in bit pieces of the most sincere sureness. To share and write, to cry and dance and laugh however crazily from the grandmother soul of my mango-filled belly, head back and heart open.

How do I feel? Gorgeously overwhelmed. Alarmingly peaceful. At odds. In full surrender. And understanding why after each meditation, the bowl would chime and we would be told "a few more moments" to sit with the stillness we had just witnessed. Sit a little more with the self. No rush, no waiting. Ease of being. Aware. In the heart.

So all I have for now is a passionately suggestive: Sit in your heart. And then sit a little longer. Feel something, then feel a little truer. Know yourself, and then dig a little deeper. Trust your intuition. Listen. Love.

Some poems and thoughts coming your way in later days.

xx


(and if you wanna steep for ten days until prune like and inexplicably at ease with all of your everyness: http://hridaya-yoga.com/meditation-retreats/10-day-hridaya-silent-meditation-retreat/)


* I will talk more about this question later, as it is not meaning anything to do with your personality or defining qualities, but something much much more. And also my aversion to this question and subsequent replacing it with "know yourself." But who am I to suggest mantras--T-pain showed up in my background noise.



This piece is now up on Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/speaking-too-soon-after-10-days-in-silence/

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Letting love take it from here {poem}























I've given myself to you time and again,
let you have my heart and have it handed back to me.

You have walked away, closed and bounded,
then sent a whisper in the night of missing me as yours.

You have made sadness familiar to me
in all of these goodbyes--

yet I would take back none of them.
And, now, I will take it from here.

The love I wanted from you
I will give to me.

I will reach deep into the vastness of my heart,
and plant seeds of forgiveness,

acceptance, and love into its fecund pulse
so that I might be sustained

by what courses, warm, thick,
through my veins--alive in self.

Alive in love.
I will not grow weary wanting

what cannot be given,
will not tire from desire to co-create

but write instead my own great romance
from the love I was created.

I will dance under the moonlight
with my arms to the sky,

letting the stars pull at my fingertips
and spin me as you may have,

wanting nothing more but to fall
asleep in the tender shelter of my skin.

I will love this body not for what it can do
but for the songs that it holds

in harmony with the sway of the trees
and the pounding bass of the sea.

I will love without a calculation
of value, without seeking reciprocity,

the only exchange I make is in
receiving as vulnerably as I give.

I will love with tenacity,
reverence-- spirited and free to love

as I may. Love as I can. Love as I am.
I hope you will do the same.

I hope all lovers will not be caught wanting,
broken, questioning love.

but know it to be in themselves always,
plentiful and unwavering--

undefined by another's acceptance,
inimitable as your own sacred offering.

Love on. Love hard. Love you.
Let love take it from here.




As published by Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/i-will-take-it-from-here-poem/



Friday, April 8, 2016

Love is alive {poem}
























I want you to know what love is.

For it is not a feeling you have felt
nor one that you can learn.

No darling, it is something far more palpable.

Innate.

Pulsing.

Love is not something you fall into,
not anything to find or trade for,
but something you come from.

It exists in the marrow of your
soul, permeating your heart
and encompassing your entire being.

It is limitless, with a disregard
for object and highest reverence
for truth.

It hardly whispers at all, and is not
provoked by lust.
Love is not a stimulant,

not a high, not a vortex,
but a force, a vibration
of the most potent quality.

It is not something to complicate or master,
to control or understand,
but rather, when we are purified

it is love that we radiate.

Love is a light.
Love is life.
I want you to know love

so that you might know what it is like to truly live.



As published on Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/live-in-love-poem/

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The poetry of alive {poem}

























I set out to write by the sea:
the ocean in her grandeur
colliding with the rocks and shore
so fully alive
in her untraceable power.

Her body was a fortress
I could not move against,
and so, I moved with her--
allowed her fully palpable energy
to take me.

Bouyant.
Suspended.
Embraced.

My spine arching to each wave,
surges of energy into my chest
my heart,
my breathe.
I could feel her calm urgency
pulsing through me. I was

Reverent,
in awe,
humbled.

Black sand in the contours of my shape
and salted hair--the wisdom
of Grandfathers in each powdered
grain of volcanic ash
exfoliating my every part,

connecting me deeper to all
that was before me
and all that is with me.
Blending masculine
and feminine--
purifying.

Intoxicating.
Sweetly simple.

Every sound, every sensation,
every resonance
from everything living
massaged into my being
and messaged my soul:

Feel something

it was anything but a whisper.
And so I poured myself back into
the wildly mysterious ocean womb
Rolling, still, as she was.

I moved,
laughed,
wept. 

And the ocean became more
concentrated in salt
and more concentrated in me--
I became the sea
and the reflection of the stars and moon,
and I remembered again

that all life is one,
that all is alive.
I set out to write by the sea,
but she wrote herself into me--
Living is poetry.



As published by Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/living-is-poetry/