sometimes, love feels heavy

I have been thinking a lot about relationships.

Relationships are a part of life and I love relationships… in theory. In my personal life, relationships have astonished me with how messy they are. I’ve often been able to visualize healthier ways for situations to go, but in the moment of contrast, things can get pretty strange and uncomfortable.

I’ve noticed that a lot of us are walking in active trauma. From that active trauma, we’re trying to create relationships that feel beautiful and nourishing and safe.

But, love isn’t safe.

As someone who tends to love “too much”, I’ve been surprised by certain invitations to heartbreak. Friends have been less than friendly, children have been less than child-like. Relationships are intense and amazing and tricky. If you are someone who wants and encourages people to be their full self in relationship with you, you have to hold space for the fact that sometimes that “full self” wants nothing to do with you and your desires around relationship.

In this season of my life, I’m aware that love isn’t safe. I don’t have to blinded by love in order deal with someone’s less than stellar attributes. I can see the person clearly, with all their faults, and still love them and accept them.

But, not everyone is in that space. And, the part of relationships that I’ve been noticing and working with over the past decade is being able to endure the limitations people in my life have around love and not letting it diminish either my light or my love.

For most of my life, I was surrounded by people who viewed love as a transaction. Transactional love encompasses a lot of limitations, as it is rooted in a normalization of deficiency. What happens when you don’t agree that love has anything to do with deficiency?

The typical human being may use love as a tool rather than a way of being. When love is conceptualized as a tool, it will too often be used as a weapon. Don’t allow that reality to dominate your awareness of what love is really about.

Love is abundance and not everyone feels they can carry abundance around. They don’t yet understand that abundance isn’t supposed to be carried. It’s not something you do, it’s something that simply is. It’s not something you choose, it’s reality.

This is why, now, when someone cannot tolerate my love, cannot meet my love with love, I don’t question what I did wrong. I don’t wallow in guilt or shame, confusion or depression. Instead, I continue to walk in love, ready for the next person I come across. And, ready for when that person who rejected me is ready to come back and try, again.

True love is like a light; it is a light. It shines, and its shine is not diminished by the blindness of the person encountering it.

My only prayer is that the blind person is able to see soon and that I am thankful that I was once blind and now can see. Love can feel heavy and blinding when we don’t yet understand what it really is. But, that’s okay. Those of us who know will keep shining.

genitalia. ew.

I want to begin today’s post by apologizing for the direction of the previous post. It went to a place I haven’t allowed myself to go, in writing, for a while: genitalia.

Now, personally, I enjoy genitalia. Tastes vary and all that, but I find genitalia enthralling. In the right context.

The genitalia I shared yesterday was completely out of context. Afterward, I wondered if I should rate that post “M” for mature. Do you still have to do things like that for blogs? Warn people that they contain “mature” themes?

I’m not sure how “mature” a theme genitalia is. All of us have it. There’s no magical age where you suddenly grow genitalia. At least, not once you’ve made it to this side of the moon.

But, all the thinking about that post led me down a dark, spiritual path. I began to ask myself questions like: When did I become someone who pretends genitalia don’t exist?

I have always been decidedly pro-genitalia. I’m what some might have called, in the pre-pro-sex days, overly-sexed. But, about 6 years ago, I decided that my kundalini energy was being blocked and I needed to use the creative juices “down there” to create a life I more thoroughly enjoyed.

I stopped having sex.

Thus began a spiritual journey that has opened me up in a lot of ways and closed me down in a few ways. I’ve enjoyed this part of my journey, but I’ve also realized that good sex is vital to health spirituality. My problem was that I wasn’t having good sex, because I found that I literally couldn’t stand the people I was having sex with. They were needy and selfish and lacked integrity. I figured if that’s who I was attracted to, that’s what I needed to clear up within.

That’s my ultimate spiritual practice. If I like you and you are problematic, I feel safe assuming I’m problematic in similar ways, and I’m going to realign.

I’ve been realigning diligently. And, now, I feel appropriately realigned for whatever is next in my journey. I imagine the sharing of saliva is upcoming and the very idea grosses me out.

We all have our thing. I’ve always rathered have sex with someone than kiss them. Kissing seems far more intimate.

But, I digress…

I’ve been pondering the intersection of a highly spiritual practice and the sharing of genitalia. It can get very messy. There are so many stories of sexual perversion among spiritual “masters” and the like that it becomes imperative that we more passionate beings scrutinize our desires and intentions.

But, there’s also the matter of recognizing that some people think sexuality and spirituality should have nothing to do with one another, and in their own sense of deviation, label things perverse which are perfectly normal and natural.

As usual, the things which make us most human are not so simple to comprehend or decipher. We just have to do our own work. We just have to trust the path we’re on. The way is not about a destination so much as a traveling method. The destination appears and is left behind many, many times along the journey.

I’m not going to lie. I often wonder if my favorite spiritual teachers have sex and, if so, with whom. Like… it seems like I can’t trust you if you’re not sexual, so I assume you are, and I think a huge part of knowing if you should even be listened to is how you think about and behave within a sexual context. I would never trust a life-long celibate person to give me spiritual advice. I think that’s insane. Celibacy is a tool, not a work.

But, in the spiritual paths, we don’t really talk about sex unless we’re in-person or someone’s proclivities and/or unfortunate choices are being dragged through the mud. We want to separate sex and spiritual practice (unless we’re into tantra… which is whole other conversation. I’ve studied tantra and I think it’s been warped, as a path), and that’s not human.

So, yeah. Genitalia. It’s a beautiful concept that I think I’m ready to touch on, again. Haha! I crack myself up.

But, seriously. The genitalia’s alright. It exists. It has a purpose. I think it’s time to stop basking in the glow of our misalignment with regard to human sexuality. We’re either doing too much or too little. Just as I found out about The Beauty Way, The Way of the Horse, and The Way of the Desert, I will find out about the non-tantric Way of the Genitalia.

Or create it myself.

walk in beauty

Walking in Beauty: Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony
In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
Hózhóogo naasháa dooShitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa dooShikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa dooShideigi hózhóogo naasháa dooT’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa dooHózhó náhásdlíí’Hózhó náhásdlíí’Hózhó náhásdlíí’Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…

shared from here

know your no

Homophones bring me joy. I love language, so I love deciphering not only words and meanings, but connections between words and meanings. Connection is the starting point of all significance.

The English words “know” and “no” are fun to play with and tease. “Know” represents a specific type of awareness, generally understood by “westerners” to root in the physical. When one attempts to explain how one knows of or about something others cannot physically sense, that knowledge is called into question. It’s an extremely immature and unscientific response, especially given what we now understand about atoms and molecules and all things microscopic, yet it persists.

We will not limit our understanding of the word “know” in that manner for this thread of thought.

The word “no” represents rejection. We might say it represents negativity, but I feel that is a repetition. Rejection is the primary intention behind use of the word “no”.

When we think of “know” as awareness and “no” as rejection, we ride a specific wavelength. There’s a certain energy there that is fun to explore. Can we be aware of one thing without limiting our awareness of something else? Isn’t rejection an example of limitation, as well?

Both words energetically represent limitation. When we focus too much upon what we know, we limit ourselves and our human experiences. There is more that we don’t know than we ever shall know. To be mindful of this is to grow past the limitations of knowledge. Yet, that does not make knowledge insignificant. With knowledge, one can more carefully cultivate one’s lived experiences. To know something is to further inform the way one travels; that information (in-formation) is a good thing, if one can label things good.

“No” is another powerful limitation that informs how we move through our space and time. I love it when a baby first learns the word “no”. It’s the first verbal sign that they are learning how to reject what doesn’t work for them, and that is a vital part of the human experiences. No one accepts everything that comes their way, unless they’re on a very specific spiritual path. And, even then, those folks have said “no” to “no”.

We all limit our experiences in one way or another.

The trick, as I see it, is conscious limitation. Are you aware of what you are rejecting and what you are accepting? Do you know what is going on in your life?

In our current dysfunctional, American society, both “know” and “no” have become vilified ideas and words. Certain people would prefer we remain ignorant and just accept what was handed to us by previous generations and the “powers that be”. To know the problems and reject them… that has become a contentious plot point. It’s not our first time here, but it may be the last time. Those who depend upon our ignorance and acceptance of injustice and hatred know this, but do the rest of us? As more of us become aware of how much power we hold (all of it), the plot will thicken and all may seem lost.

When things seem bleak is the most powerful place for “know” and “no”.

Know what you know. Reject what you reject. But, remember that what you know is not ALL there is to know. Don’t remember that from a fearful or anxiety-ridden awareness; remember it so that you can step into the power of the unknown (also all of it). When you surrender, only surrender to your faith and trust in how what you know has given you a glimpse of how amazing and wonderful and beautiful what you don’t know can be… and walk into it. You know, now, what to reject. You are proficient in saying “no” to what doesn’t serve you and the rest of humanity.

Now is the time to know that you know how good life can be. And, make it so.

make magic

I hope this day finds you crying.

Crying out in laughter, tears streaming down your howling face.

Crying with tears of love, your heart radiating so brightly it hides the sun in the sky.

Cry tears of grief that leave room for the sweetness you missed while lamenting the bitters.

Cry out in the pain of birthing a new you, stomping upon fallen, wet leaves within the forest of your mind.

May you leave your mind and find a space that calls out for your voice, your tears creating new rivers and oceans, like the Mothers of olde.

Surely, you realize this Earth is no mistake. She exists because women like you, women with their tears and love and anguish and joy, have always existed.

Thank you for continuing the tradition of crying, for tears contain salt and salt has always been a healer and cleanser.

The salt of this Earth is women like you.

You, woman.

end/beginning

We are coming upon a time that some of humanity’s peoples traditionally thought of as the ending of one year and the beginning of another. The time to reap and harvest was perceived as a reasonable beginning point for time.

Other peoples perceived Spring to be a good time to begin the new year, as Mama Earth was awakening.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the differences between a life lived from a sense of personal control (harvest) and a life lived from natural abundance (Spring). I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how agrarian cultures lose their connection to the Divine through their worship of their own achievements, even though that was not the original practice.

We live in an agrarian culture. Or, at least, a culture that was formed during an agrarian period.

I often wonder how that’s serving us.

If it’s not serving us, anymore… Have we picked up something better? Are the expectations we are currently normalizing and cultivating an improvement? Or are we disconnected further?

Time will tell. Perhaps this month. Perhaps in March.

photo courtesy of Mother Earth and Aaron Burden

pray not prey

What if every word we utter is a prayer? (And, it is.)

What are you praying for? The Divine loves you so much that your devoted wish is practically a command.

Know, then, that your words matter.

Know, then, that “no” is just as much a conviction as “yes”.

So many people will tell you that the Universe doesn’t hear “no”. If you repeat, “Not this. Not this. Not this.”, they say the Universe only hears, “This. This. This.”

Blasphemy.

When have the Universe and the Divine not been One? And, the Divine hears and honors all “no”s. All of them.

The problem isn’t the “no”. The “no” is perfect. Perfectly whole. But, not perfectly complete.

The Divine works in completion.

So, while “Not this” is a perfectly whole prayer, it is not a complete player.

The Universe works in completion.

There is no lack of movement in the Universe. You can stop. For a time, you can stop. But, there must be some movement in a direction after stopping.

All stops are pauses.

And, the movement after the stop, after the pause… you get to decide the direction. But, if you have not chosen a direction, you will feel like the Universe has only heard “This” when you said “Not this.”

This is the beauty of living.

You are in control. You don’t have total control, because this life is generous to ALL of us. Simultaneously, all of us are co-creating, generating, praying.

Do you know you’re praying? Do you know your whispers are written in triplicate, copied a billion times over for the benefit of all?

When you know, do you change your words? Do you shift your utterances, lifting all of humanity in a verbal embrace?

Words are prayers of healing.

How many of us are healing by death?

the peace pilgrim

I never think of myself as protesting against something, but rather as witnessing for harmonious living. Those who witness for, present solutions. Those who witness against, usually do not– they dwell on what is wrong, resorting to judgment and criticism and sometimes even name-calling.

Peace Pilgrim

gently, gently

How fragile are you?

This is an important question for human beings to ask themselves, if they intend to move beyond the limitations to which they’ve been socialized.

How fragile are you?

So many of us want people to be gentle with their correction. We have normalized an idea that we perform better as humans when people are tender with us. Is that true? Or is it a symptom of the normalization of trauma?

How fragile are you?

Societies that have normalized violation and violence (same thing) create people who constantly feel violated and oppressed. This is to be expected, but it’s not the only kind of people created. Because societies are the larger culture and families are the smaller culture in which people are socialized, family culture can transmute the more harmful societal norms and keep people from internalizing them too deeply.

How fragile are you?

What did your family teach you about power? Did it teach you that other people have more of it than you? Did it teach you that everyone has power and it is possible to take the power of others? Did it teach you that power is shared? or that power is synonymous with capital? There are so many lessons that we learn about power and, simultaneously, powerlessness.

How fragile are you?

Here’s a tip: human beings are created to enter this world through a trip through a vagina. We are formed in the womb in a way that gives us the ability to shift and be squeezed through a hole that widens to a 10cm radius. Not 10 inches. 10cm.

How fragile are you?

Could you possibly be more fragile now than you were at birth?

Perhaps it’s time to stop nursing your fragility. Life is not gentle. Beautiful, yes. Gentle, no. Birth teaches us that. We can fall into alignment with life and be beautiful ourselves, but we won’t be gentle. Gentle is not the opposite of violation. Gentleness is completely subjective. It is a sensory experience and no one can predict how your senses operate.

When I ask you to be gentle with me, I am asking you to prioritize your assumption about how I will feel about something. There are times for this approach, but it’s always rooted in fear.

How fragile are you?

Only as fragile as you allow fear to convince you you are.

Here’s another tip: Being conditioned to weakness does not make you fragile or requiring of gentleness. Strength is not a fact; strength is a perception.

photo courtesy of Lubo Minar on unsplash

craze(d)

Many of us spend a lot of time trying to understand crazy.

I’m talking about true crazy, not fun crazy. I’m not using crazy as a synonym for amazing or even incomprehensible (because sometimes we call things crazy simply because we can’t understand them). I’m not talking about people with mental health issues.

I’m talking about crazy as in harmful. To me, that is true crazy. It is absolutely insane to go around harming folks and the planet on a regular basis. And, people who have an entire life agenda around harming others, whether rooted in trauma (of course it is) without a lot of thought or with intention, are an example of true crazy.

Why do we spend so much time and effort trying to understand them?

Why do we spend so much time and effort assuming we should be able to understand them?

Why do we spend so much time and effort assuming they can be understood?

To understand something, one uses the logical aspects of thinking. What is rational about trying to cause harm?

Nothing.

That’s what makes it crazy!

How much of your precious life has been spent trying to understand what is incomprehensible?

I think this mentality around understanding is why so many folks argue with people who hold fundamental differences of opinion about life.

We have many, many people on the planet who are working for human rights. All human beings are born with certain rights, as inhabitants of life on planet Earth, and not all of us recognize that. But, many of us do and those people work to help others recognize it.

And, explanations are fine with a person who truly doesn’t understand something. But, do we know the difference between a lack of comprehension and a lack of acceptance?

Most of what many of us try to educate around doesn’t work. Why? Because the person we are trying to educate does not accept that our premise is true. We tell ourselves that what we are dealing with is a lack of understanding. Sometimes, we go as far as to tell ourselves we’re dealing with a lack of empathy. Those are very prideful and egocentric views of disagreement.

We’re often just dealing with a lack of acceptance.

If a person rejects, or does not accept, your premise, how are you going to make any headway with that person? You’re not. You will just be locked in a battle, assuming you don’t know how to have enough consideration for that person to leave them alone.

Assuming that people are just too dumb to get your point is an impediment to getting your point across. And, that’s the message behind continuing to “explain” something to someone who disagrees with you.

A lack of understanding is not the foundation to disagreement; a lack of acceptance is.

And, here’s the major point, for those of us trying to lead sane lives: People don’t have to accept your ideas.

You have to accept your ideas. No one else. We have all been gifted with free will. We can all live exactly as we choose. We can say what we want. We can believe what we want.

Why does that sound so good to us until we meet someone whose living, words, and beliefs are reprehensible to us?

Of course, there are extremes to being out of agreement with one another. Mass exploitation, enslavement, genocide, any form of systemic oppression. I’m not saying it’s okay for those things to exist. I’m saying that the people who support those concepts are not doing so because they don’t understand your points about how bad they are. They support those concepts because they don’t accept your points about how bad they are.

In a few occasions in my life, I’ve had the opportunity to dissect a point with a person who disagreed with me. We would agree upon every, single small point leading up to the larger point and STILL disagree on the larger point. We agreed on the path, but disagreed on the destination. How did the same path lead us to different places?

That was so fascinating to me, that I could totally agree upon the nuances of a point with someone and still disagree on the larger point, that I started thinking more about how I view the concept of understanding.

I realized that I view understanding as a moral issue, not an act of rationale. But, understanding is not a moral issue. So, I had to rearrange my relationship with understanding.

I suggest we all really sit down with our relationship with the concept of understanding and see where we have misunderstood the concept. Because misunderstanding the concept of comprehension will only lead to misunderstanding our fellow human beings.

And, misunderstanding each other is where relationships (or the potential for relationships) fall apart.

At this point in my life, I no longer try to understand crazy. I no longer try to convince people of my points (unless both parties are enjoying a bit of verbal sparring…I love a good debate/argument). I no longer assume something is wrong with you because you have reached a different conclusion than I have.

We get to think our own ways. Who am I to tell you how you should think? Or believe? Or live? Or behave? If you are not my child, it is not my responsibility to educate you, unless you have requested my insight.

That’s also what blogs are for. I’ve stopped using the people in my environment and started using tools like blogging to share my unrequested thoughts about life. That’s just me trying to be considerate of those around me.

Certain things are crazy, if you ask me. It’s crazy to live a life of intentional (or unintentional) harm. But, another human being simply disagreeing with me about life is not inherently crazy.

It would be crazy for me to assume it was.