(it is not) enough

Are you centered?

Are you grounded?

Do you know how to live a centered, grounded life?

Do you know how to become centered, grounded at will?

It is not enough to know things. Data. Scientific knowledge. These are nothing but tools. And, tools in the hands of a madman are weapons.

You were born with tools that are still relevant, regardless of what is going on in the world. You don’t need to rely upon the tools of (hu)mankind, because you have the tools of humanity.

The tools of humanity are:

radical love

curiosity

breath

movement

creativity

None of these tools can be turned against the possessor without the possessor’s permission. What we call the mind is truly curiosity. When thinking ceases being curious and remains constant in a particular direction outside of curiosity, the mind is now the mindless.

We use our creativity outside of curiosity combined with breath and radical love, and we create needless chaos.

Chaos often looks like rules. Rules that should be followed no matter what. Rules that have paradoxes built into them.

Many will tell you life, itself, is chaos. But, what evidence do we have of that? The acts of humankind are often chaotic, but humankind has moved outside of life. Humankind has sought, for many years, to control and manipulate life rather than be an example of life. That is chaos at its finest.

The idolatry of the human mind, of human thought, is the misuse of humanity’s tools and will always lead to more harm than benefit. We are not the epitome of life; therefore, our thinking is not the epitome of thought.

We idolize ourselves to our own peril.

Let us put down the tools of (hu)mankind. Those tools are:

righteousness

fear

comparison

polarity

condemnation

These are the tools (weapons) of an imperfect being striving for unattainable perfection. Radical love can assimilate any of those tools (weapons).

Because radical love is an inherently assimilating force and our human nature is radical love, we are always striving toward assimilation… even when we are allowing our humanity to be weaponized.

Assimilation is not the opposite of individualism. Assimilation as a result of radical love does not mean we all became the same. It simply means we all become one. And, since we are all one, anyway, radical love does not alter our status.

Radical love simply enhances what is already here.

Have you ever been in love with someone and they looked so very beautiful and attractive to you? But, when you were no longer in love with that person, you looked at them and wondered what you ever saw in them.

That is the power of radical love. It helps us to see the beauty all around us and enhances our powers of attraction. But, the attraction is only for everyone’s benefit. That is what healing is all about.

Radical love is the simplest antidote to idolatry.

Will you try it?

photo courtesy of Will O at unsplash

permission to disagree

The internet is a fascinating space full of thoughts. Thoughts and ideas of all sorts abound on the internet, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the comment sections.

I love comment sections, but I have to be in the mood to peruse them. I have to know myself and be content within my current emotional state in order to handle the comment sections with any finesse and grace.

Comment sections are the canvas of your global asshole’s pièce de résistance. You can find so much underbelly in the comment sections. But, underbelly makes the best bacon.

Bacon is a great euphemism for how we all manage our cultural differences. Pork bacon is controversial on the global front. Those who live in their own cultural bubbles may not realize it, but a great number of humans have never eaten pork bacon. For those in those cultural bubbles, pork bacon is the standard. Until turkey bacon was a thing, folks who eat pork probably had no idea there were other sorts of bacon.

I grew up eating beef bacon and I maintain that pork bacon can never compare. Pork bacon is too salty and too wasteful. It’s mostly fat and don’t we all know that the body stores toxins in fat? And, that pigs are literally fed anything? Most pork bacon stinks when you cook it. I rarely buy it, but when I do, I only buy organic pork bacon. It doesn’t stink up my house and it tastes a lot better.

It’s also expensive. Turns out, treating pigs like living beings worthy of the best life has to offer (if you can obtain the best within captivity) is not popular among the folks who eat them. I have grown to see that you can tell a lot about a pork-eating people by the way they treat their pigs. If their pigs are used as corpulent dumpsters, you know what kind of value system you’re working within. It will tell you a lot about their society.

I don’t want that pork bacon to be the standard for anything. Do you?

Christians are not, technically, supposed to eat pork, but you can’t tell that by looking in most of their refrigerators. Then, there are cultural Jews, ethnic Jews, and religious Jews. They all have the pork conversation. (I don’t know what happened to the Hebrews.) And, Muslims, of course, don’t eat pork. Except when they hang around Christians too much. And, try to be too American.

Pork is an entire thing, is my point.

One of my favorite things about Zen Buddhists is that they don’t eat meat… unless it’s offered. Like, there’s an entire vegetarian expectation, but if you’re not the one killing or buying the animal flesh, don’t be too picky. Some religions would have you believe you’re going to suffer through all eternity if you don’t follow the dietary dictates. Zen Buddhists are like “calm your tits”. Around food, anyway. Still not okay for the monks to touch a woman.

So much disagreement among humans about what’s most important, isn’t there? Isn’t it beautiful?

I find it nourishing and humbling and gorgeous that there is so much variety of thought and behavior among human beings. “Harm none and do what you will” is a completely ridiculous notion, but it’s the guiding notion of many of us.

We are all harming someone. Most often, ourselves.

And, that’s okay. I think to accept that you, a human being, are a harmful entity no matter how much you attempt not to be can be a realization of freedom. But, that, too, is dependent upon personal stance. Some of us thoroughly enjoy being hard on ourselves. We don’t like giving ourselves grace.

As someone who enjoys freedom, I’ve come to respect restriction. I’ve come to accept that sometimes, expansion feels overwhelming and people need walls to feel comfortable and safe. The rules and strictures we apply to our lives are a skin. Some of us shed our skin regularly. Some of us remain small. Some of us simply add more skin as we grow.

One of my favorite lines in a song can be found in Christian rapper KB’s song I Am Not the One. He says, “It ain’t a thick skin, it’s a new heart.” I have found that the nuance of that line is where I have landed. In comments sections, in deli sections, in relative time and space, I have learned that the skin is less important than the heart. If the heart is calibrated correctly, the skin becomes less of an issue.

With that heart, disagreement becomes a pleasure, an example of how beautifully diverse we are. I don’t need or want your agreement; I want to know your heart.

No matter where we stand on the question of pork bacon, we all have hearts. I love to see even the closed ones. Don’t you?

your mission, should you choose to accept it

Right now is an important time in our collective experience. This planet needs to be guided by those who are rooted in and growing in Love. There is a peace and an awareness that comes on the energy of Love, because Love is the only real truth. Love defies reason, has no explanation. Love simply is.

If you know this, if you live in this awareness, it is time to level up. It’s easy to level up in Love. Love does all the work.

Remember that you are simply a conduit in this world. You are the temple within which Love is stored and the point of storage is so that something is contained until the one storing it comes back to bring it back out, again.

Love stored is almost pointless. Love exists to spread like an invasive species. Love exists to cover and enmesh everything it touches. Love is like the most pervasive and contagious virus in existence.

But, it doesn’t make you sick. Quite the opposite. It heals everything it touches. Love is the healing vibration. Love is the awakening energy. Love is the clarifying touch. Love is truth.

Your job, as a contagious sort, full to the brim with this Love energy, is to spread Love far and wide. To fling it to the farthest reaches of the planet, of the universe, of the multiverse.

That’s your single job as a human being.

Here is a game to play, to help you realize the power of Love.

Sit quietly, holding someone else’s hands. Form a circle if there are enough of you. Everyone does the following:

Close your eyes and envision a white light coming from your heart and your mind. This white light represents Love.

Imagine that light spreading. It’s spreading within your body. Now, it’s leaking outside your body. Now, it’s surrounding your body.

Now, the light is spreading out into the space around your body. Think for a moment of everyone you’ve ever known, ever seen, even the folks you don’t remember.

See those people in your mind’s eye. See the web connecting you to them. Send the light into that web, into everyone connected to that web.

Send a message with the light: You are loved. Raise your vibration. It is time to raise your vibration and spread Love.

Hold that thinking for as long as possible or desired as a group. When you’re ready to stop, just open your eyes and go about your life.

f(emin)ist

i want.

i want and want and want.

and the third syllable, the one that should mitigate my wanting, my desire… the third syllable whose job it is to transform my lustful nature into one of patience,

it fails me, again.

i don’t lust after the things society tells us we all lust after.

i lust after

freedom +

land +

babies.

i don’t want the man, just his seed.

seed.

what a ridiculous term, as the true seed lies within me.

the man has, at best, a fertilizer.

a root stimulant.

he can share it with me, like the answer to a math problem.

not a particularly challenging one,

just one in which i forgot a simple formula.

he rescues me with the answer. i’m to remember the formula myself.

isn’t that the way it is?

so,

i never lust after a man. i enjoy math and prefer the solitude in it.

i don’t want anyone giving me the answers.

i am not a cheat.

my want, my desire, my lust goes unsatisfied.

dissatisfied, more like. dissatisfied with the way everything has turned out, turns out.

om mane padme hum

it never quite obliterates the desire, that third syllable.

it never quiets my womanhood.

maybe it only works on men.

maybe it only works if you enjoy the answers more than you enjoy the formulas,

if you enjoy having more than you enjoy creating.

it never quiets my humanity.

the parts of me, the alls of me, the need for space cluttered with

trees +

moss +

soil as black as the shiniest skin.

i don’t need diamonds. society lies.

the only shine i require comes from the

sun and

skin with Kemetan ancestry and

eyes of one who delights in living.

babies are the gift we receive when we open ourselves to the mystery of life.

let me bask in the glow of a newborn,

let me become the succulent of the genus homo.

let me transform and transfer this desire into tangible means by way of

squatting and

birthing and

nurturing.

land + me + babies =

f(satisfaction)

people ain’t ****

Let’s start off with the poignant reminder that people are imperfect beings capable of committing heinous acts against one another.

Some of those heinous acts have been committed against me. Maybe some against you, too. And, that was NOT OKAY.

They had no right to do that. But they did it, anyway. So, now, I’m left holding a stinking pile of poop, probably covered in it, and no way to get clean. Really, really clean. As clean as I was before it happened.

FACT: I’m not perfect, either, and I’ve hurt folks, too.

I’m not about to discuss karma. You can berate yourself on your own time. I’m going to discuss acknowledgment.

I have had most of the people who claimed to love me hurt me in unforgivable ways. Maybe you have, too. I have the right to be angry with them for the rest of my life.

But, is that fair to me?

Let’s pretend for a second that I’m a saint. I’m suffering. I’m being martyred, maybe. And, because I’m being martyred, I have the right to be royally ticked off. I mean, you’re killing me and I did nothing truly wrong. I probably just told you something about yourself you didn’t want to hear. Maybe many, many times I told you the truth about yourself and rather than listening and doing better, you decided to shut me up. Permanently. Because you’re just that messed up, you’re just that far removed from the truth.

Is my righteous anger going to save my life?

Now, sometimes anger DOES save lives. But, right now, I’m already on the pyre. You’re about to set fire to me. Anger is going to do nothing to remove my body from this abysmal situation. Once again, you have decided that hurting me is a better choice than accepting me.

My anger will do nothing to change that.

So, should I be happy, then? If you wondered that in this moment, I’d like to point out that you’re more intelligent than that. That’s an immature question. It’s an emotion-based question rather than a logical one. I want you to get out of your feelings for a moment and get into your heart.

Oh. Did you think your heart is where your feelings reside? No, sorry, friend. Your heart is the most logical place in your consciousness. Your mind is where your feelings reside, because feelings are simply thoughts. Thoughts and beliefs and stuff we’ve decided to hold onto regardless of how reasonable or unreasonable they are.

So, jump into your heart space for a second. What’s there?

Some of us can’t do this right now and that’s okay. Come back later.

Those of us who can move forward, who can take the time to gaze (with our mind’s eye or whatever technique works for us) into our heart space, let’s do that. Take as much time as you need.

.

.

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.

.

.

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.

.

.

.

.

.

.

So, what did you see?

Was it anger?

Was it fear?

Could you see anything, at all?

I’ve been gazing at my own heart space for a while, so I have forgotten what it feels like the first time you do this. These days, I see a blooming flower, all red and luscious. And, HUGE. When I first began, the flower wasn’t this big and didn’t take up so much room in my chest. Now, she’s ridiculously big. I can watch her open up whenever I want.

This is the truth of who we are.

We aren’t the messed up things folks did to us.

We aren’t the messed up feelings we carry around inside us.

We aren’t our anger.

Honestly, we are loving beings. The MOST loving beings! We are so full of love and compassion that it sometimes scares us because we haven’t quite learned to trust ourselves, yet.

That’s okay. We can work on that together. Learning to trust myself was the biggest Life Lesson of all, because all my life I had thought that I didn’t (or couldn’t) trust OTHER people. What I learned was that I don’t need to trust other people if I trust myself.

But, how do you do that?

lightbeing

they say
the brokenness is where
the light gets in
but
you only ever looked at
darkness
with the wrong eyes.

the wound is where
the
light
escapes
dont be so quick to
heal.

you have waited your
entire
life
for moments such as
these
and
they
dont come often or
easy
how lucky for
you
that you have
broken
into so
many
pieces!
gaze upon the
light
escaping to the dark places
of the world
and
remember
what you are.

star light cannot be contained
forever
and you
my beloved
are star in human form,
containing every element
every state.
the craters
the highs
the valleys
the mountains
they are not enough encumbrance
for
the terrain of
you
was not created for
earth
alone.

the cracks are where
the light
escapes
and you bemoan
only because you have forgotten
what
you
are
stars share their light
long after they are
gone
and covet not the
illusions
of labor and intention.

your light burns
hot
and singes
what you believe to be
you
dont scar too quickly
and believe me when i tell you that
the wound is where the
light
escapes
and we delight
in your
brightness.

parenting teens without breaking down

Once upon a time, I gave birth to four humans within five years, one at a time. It was a ton of fun and I completely immersed myself  in my mothering role. I loved that no day was ever the same, as I am easily bored in this life. Parenting four, young children day-in and day-out rarely bored me and I spent the time doing a lot of healing from my own childhood.

I remember standing in my kitchen when the youngest of the four was around age one and thinking to myself I cannot wait until they are teenagers! I will have four teens at the same time! I can’t wait to see what they try to get away with and what they think they know! To say that parenting was my jam would be a gross understatement.

But, then, I actually had teenagers. Continue reading

7 habits to cultivate healing from trauma

Life is all about habits.

We can become habituated to anything. ANY. THING.

Many of us have become habituated to dysfunction and abuse. Our society acts like these things are fringe social issues, but they are, in fact, the norm. I’ve never met a single woman or man who wasn’t abused or traumatized in some way.

Have you?

As someone who considers herself a Healer, I attract people who may be perceived as broken. I have attracted “broken” people all my life, even before I realized I had a gift for serving those who need it most. At times, I have resented this calling. Being a Healer often means you have to suffer, just so you can internalize and truly empathize with what you have been called to heal. Experience is a wonderful and profound teacher.

Not all Healers have dealt with their own trauma, though. I have met, unfortunately, many Healers who still don’t understand their self-worth, who still don’t understand that they are inherently worthy of the best life has to offer. They became habituated to suffering and never saw themselves as worthy of the freedom they so desperately wanted to share with others.

I don’t think you can share what you don’t even have.

For years, I supported women, but I still had my own work to do and I knew that. I hesitated to be put on a pedestal and I refused success when it tried to befriend me. I just don’t believe in doing anything halfway, you know?

Eventually, I embodied the reality of Abundance in such a way that I just couldn’t jive with suffering, anymore. Like…it doesn’t stick AT ALL. When I’m around people doing great civic work and I see that they are still operating from a fear and scarcity mindset, I realize they are still habituated to suffering. And, I walk away.

To some, this looks callous. To some, this looks like I have my head in the clouds. But the truth is that I know for a fact that Life Is Beautiful. And, I am worthy of all that beauty. Sure, there is crap out there. I know. I have survived a lot of it, myself. But there is also beauty.

I can turn my head and look at what I want to look at. So can you.

If you’re struggling with the habit of feeling traumatized, here are a few steps to help you on your healing journey. We have all been there, my friend. But we don’t have to live there.

1. Walk away. That’s right. Walk away. When something isn’t serving you, when something makes you feel bad, you walk away from it. Distance yourself. Physical distance is best, if you can manage it, but psychological and emotional distance is good, too. Learn when to tell yourself, “This isn’t for me.” And, then leave it where you found it.

2. Focus on gratitude. Crap happens to all of us. But just because something happened doesn’t mean we have to give it a lot of space in our minds. I’m not saying pretend it didn’t happen or distract yourself with mindless games. I’m saying distract yourself with a sense of gratefulness, because just like the bad things that happened, there have been good things. Even if you can only think of one good thing that happened today (and maybe it wasn’t “I woke up”), that one good thing is still a GOOD THING.

3. Meditate on love. Love will change your life. It will change everything about how you view the world. Sit and just think about love. Think about how you feel when you love. Think about how you would like to feel. Maybe you’ve never felt loved before. Imagine what feeling loved would feel like and then…

4. Love yourself radically. Don’t just normally love yourself. GO BIG OR GO HOME. Like, seriously. Say nice, loving things to yourself out loud…no matter where you are. Include others in it. “We look FABULOUS today!” Buy yourself gifts. Literally litter your home with trinkets so that when you see what you’ve bought, you bring a smile to your own face. Get cute every day so that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you like what you see. If you need to make wardrobe or other changes, DO IT. You are the most important thing in your life. Act like it.

5. Change your environment. Okay, you’ve walked away from the messy folks, the folks who bring you down, the folks who are generally miserable. Now, you need to work on bringing positive vibes into your spaces. Put up artwork that makes you feel all good-tingly inside. If you love being on social media, follow a bunch of positive sites…even if you feel like it’s ridiculous. If they’re talking about Law of Attraction stuff, even better. You know why? Because…

6. Remember that Like Attracts Like. I know, I know. You’ve always heard that opposites attract. That’s gotta be why you’re always in dysfunctional relationships, right? Wrong. Because opposites don’t attract unless you’re a magnet. You’re a human. With humans, similars attract. You have got to look at what is going on within you that is attracted to harmful people and situations. You have become habituated to dysfunction and you can become habituated to health. Whenever you find yourself drawn to something or someone, ask yourself why. “Is this a reflection of who I am? Is this a reflection of who I want to be?” Your life is a mirror.

7. Forgive yourself. Maybe you can’t forgive your abusers. Maybe you can’t forgive a certain situation or a certain person. But you can forgive yourself. A lot of us get stuck in the habit of dysfunction as a way of subconsciously punishing ourselves for past mistakes in judgment (even if we were too young to have really made a mistake). It’s not your job to punish yourself; it’s your job to love yourself. And, forgiving you for being a mistaken person in the past (even if that past was 5 seconds ago) is a HUGE part of loving yourself.

It’s possible you’ve never been told this before, so let me tell you, now:

You are precious and worthy of the best life has to offer.

If you need to, print that out and tape it somewhere you can read it several times a day. It’s the truth. And, you are amazing for making it this far in such a challenging world. Kudos!

sunglasses were once called sun blockers

I don’t want to bond with you over
racism
and
misogyny
and
abuse stories
and still
I’d like to be able to share
our stories
without allowing
our stories
to define us.
I don’t want to bond with you over
the fucked up things someone
did to you
said to you
forced you to do
and still
I’d like you to feel
safe
sharing your stories with me.
At the end of the day
you are
not
those stories.
The story of
who you are
is not
contained
within the confines of
what has happened
to you.
That is just a
lens.
You can take lenses off.
You can take lenses off.
When you look at me
and I share
my stories,
I will look at you,
too,
and then,
if you’re up for it,
let’s take our lenses off
together.
That’s the power of
story.