I have spent most of my life in search of this "divinity" thing, whatever it is...a lifestyle, a sparkle in the eye, some ancient knowing that everyone else had received the memo on but me. I became a doctor of the psyche and lost connection to the wise innocence of myself seeking counsel of those who I thought had answers I did not have. They acted like they had answers I did not have. The world acts like it has answers we do not have. I believed them. Many of us do. I did all the things. At some point, I think I had constructed something that SEEMED like divinity, yet something felt obscured and there was this constant aching in my heart. No matter what I did, this gnawing edge of something palpably tender, painful and raw in the center of my chest. It didn't matter how many mantras I chanted, how much karma yoga I did, who I dated, what I dressed or how spiritual I had convinced myself I was. I felt obscured from myself.
Spirituality has nothing to do with knowing one's own divinity.
I longed to feel real.
This real me had slipped off somewhere in the night outside of my awareness. I was trying on all the things but none of it worked because none if it was real, yet I thought I was the problem. It's like this in life, things feel confusing outside of us and our little person brain protects us by thinking it is something in us, so that divine light is tucked away and we forget it was ever there.
That ache. That deep ache in the center of my chest. I could hear a faint whisper deep from within. "I am real." I am real. Tears. That quote from the Velveteen Rabbit...“Real isn't how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
There is an ache in each of our hearts to know divinity for real. That ache, the sacred soul wound, IS the teacher of self-love, compassion, kindness and understanding. Its where you find your light, the love warrior you are made of. It changes everything.
Everything changes, nothing lasts forever. Seasons come and go, people we love will die (we will too), the landscape of our life shifts and changes like the tides of the ocean. Grief is our natural response to impermanence and change. It is healthy. It is normal.
Grief is love. It is the reflection of an open heart; interconnected and caring and loving in the world. It is our aliveness.
Initiation is movement from one mode of consciousness to another. As the landscape of our life changes, ideally so does our level and mode of awareness and consciousness. We allow life to grow us, shape us and evolve us. From one stage of development to the next, from one moment of spiritual expansion to the next.
Many cultures who move more closely with the earth's natural cycles understand this, which is why there are initiations, rites of passage after hardship, challenges and trials. This Western culture fears death, turns death into a corporate affair and we've built so many walls of illusion to protect ourselves from any proper rites of initiation.
Grief has become trapped. This way of actually living well, of expanding the capacity of our heart for more and more love, to move towards allowing MORE life to come in, to be more connected to the divine, ourselves and each other. This grief offers the opportunity to live even better so we can die well. Death teaches us about life every single day that death gives us another day here.
This is not meant to be morbid. This is truth. Love speaks in the language of truth. Every transition, every loss, every disappointment, every single challenge, obstacle, trial and difficulty is an initiation into deeper aspects of yourself, your own power and an opportunity to embody even more of your soul. So many of struggles people face, like depression and addiction, perfectionism, shame, fear, insecurity are all symptoms of trapped grief, unmetabolized responses to the flow of life and love that is trying to evolve us. It gets stuck in our bodies and we identify with it, it weighs us down, ages us, we project it onto relationships or things around us....our hearts become confused.
Reclaiming the initiatory power and healing potential residing in grief is to take back our own emotional power and remember who we are, what is important to us and how we want to truly, truly live so that we can come to the end of our life with gratitude rather than regrets. The initiation of grief is an initiation into the power of love. It is the capacity of your heart to hold more and more of the divine and to open even more to life in appreciation for the miracle it truly is.
Then, we learn we have nothing to lose but the chance to experience the freedom waiting in our hearts.
We do not have to remember another time here on earth when the magic was alive. There is no imaginary space where there are beings who live in partnership with the plants and animals, where this energy is both magic and the status quo and there is harmony. That magical planet is this one. This place we are living in now. What can be more magical than this? We must not escape here in our minds but bring our love to the magic of life that wants to cocreate and coexist with us here, now. Right outside our doors.
In our enthusiasm for the power of what is possible for us to create, we got carried away and built caverns and caves and castles and cubicles and walls that we cannot find our way out of. We think that nature is "out there" as something to visit on the weekend. We got so carried away with ourselves, we've forgotten our true nature. We've forgotten the magic that is under our very feet.
Western culture makes anything remotely connected with the medicine of the earth or living in harmony with it seem "alternative" or "new agey" or "unfounded" or something to not be taken seriously. Yet, these ways persist and persevere through all dimensions of time and space, holding this quiet, still and powerful ground. A wise voice that keeps speaking and whispering and singing through all the chaos and all the noise and all the confusion.
This is the wild. This is OUR wild. We are wild. We cannot cage ourselves up and expect it to last in any sustainable way. It is like animals who do not get to walk or run and hunt and play and move in the natural rhythms of how their bodies want to move and what they need to eat. This is us. We cage ourselves up and then we cry and scream and yell and go a little crazy and then expect each other to find a way to find sanity in something we've made that isn't even natural.
There is so much we've come to assume is normal that is NOT normal, that is actually crazy making and not good for the wild in ourselves. We have it turned around. I hear a lot about why, why did it end up this way? And, I do not know. For me, it's like hitting rock bottom. Perhaps we are finally hitting a rock bottom. It's only when we really hit the rock bottom that we begin to really, really truly appreciate the gifts of the rising. It's like we took our true nature for granted and have lost it, hit a collective rock bottom so we can find our way back and never take any of this precious life, this precious earth and all it's energy and magic ever again.
The way back breaks the heart back open, the love washing the soul wound whole.
I went for a hike yesterday. It was cloudy and the weather apps all said there was a 60% chance of rain. The people ahead of me on the trail were deciding whether or not to keep going. I was almost half way through the loop and I kept having this vision of walking along the green hills, farther than we'd (sammy the dog and i) gone before. Didn't make sense, this vision pulling me forward. So many people turning back because of impending rain. It didn't feel right to turn around, my body actually felt heavy...turning around out of fear of something that may or may not happen. Though, it did seem like it would rain. I had an umbrella. What's the worst? We get muddy? We get wet? I decided to just trust that whatever was going to happen was going to be a part of this vision I had to wander sprawling green hills. We kept going. The sky cleared. The hills were so alive and green, my whole nervous system sighed with relief. We adventured and found new places to explore, more magic to take in and of course, my trusty trail friend (sammy the dog) found a lost ball for us to play catch with. It never rained. The trails were cleared with people. We felt free.
Listen and trust your own inner voice. Even if there are obstacles, trust it is a part of the process because sometimes there will be rain or hail or mud or a fallen something blocking the way. Sometimes there won't be. Obstacles don't mean that your intuition is wrong. Sometimes we are lead in a direction to learn perseverance and persistence and the power of our own strength; your devotion your inner truth. Keep checking in. Making offerings to divine within you to honor the love that is always guiding your way. Notice what feels like a contraction in your body when you move back away from your vision, truth or desire. Notice what it feels like to move towards what propels you to feel more open and spacious, happy and free. Your body never, ever lies.
If we are not careful, before we know it, resistance can become a way of being and moving through the world. It can become a way of life that in and of itself blocks you from engaging with all that is possible within yourself. Resistance is a form of fear. Fear of what? Fear of life force energy, a fear of life. We often experience resistance at moments of growth, moments where life is propelling us in the direction of our highest growth, in the creative process, anytime we have transformed ourselves into a new level of life.
It happens in the in-between spaces, in the gap or void where the alchemy of transformation is possible. The opposite of resistance is letting go and surrendering, often to trusting the universe or some power that is greater than our small human beings can comprehend. The opposite of resistance is trust; it is relaxing. It is feeling.
Resistance takes so many forms. Perfectionism. Addiction. Procrastination. Spiritual escape into “bliss.” Chronic lateness. Feeling like we know everything already. Seeking a magical solution. Difficulty receiving. Anxiety. Depression. Creative blocks. Staying stuck. Self-criticism. Avoidance. And on and on.
Resistance protects us from life. It protects us from the truth. It also protects us from grief and feeling. What I notice is that beneath a lot of resistance is a range of emotions and feelings. Energy. Makes sense since resistance is often a way of blocking out life and the energy of life. Life force energy is creative, sexual, emotional, symbolic, love, clear and always oriented towards pulling us closer and closer to our wholeness.
Fear is afraid of fear because it is protecting something. It's become unsafe to feel fear, which is a little strange and funny at the same time. It seems really important to not throw the baby out with the bath water, which means that it feels vital to the health of our collective hearts to find a different way to navigate and understand our innately emotional experiences that naturally arise in the course of living life as a human being. I am reminded of that really old paradigm saying that children should be seen and not heard. I hate that saying, but I believe that this still pervades our collective unconscious as we have inherited and internalized these models of the patriarchy, which we use as inner models for relating to ourselves. This is our soul wound.
Children need to be heard in order to feel deeply seen. We, as adults, are absolutely no different. When we dismiss our fears as all the same, as "fear-based thinking" (which arises out of the body holding on to fear, which is real in the body) we try to rationalize away or use mind strategies to attack the body for trying to tell it's story. This is in fact not seeing or hearing the core of ourselves. In a sense, it is putting salt in the soul wound.
Our body stores every single experience we have ever had and, if uncomfortable, we try to get rid of it without understanding it. This is not healing or loving. Healing is creating a space of love for the meaning and understanding to arise. It is only in that meaning and understanding that what is needed informs how to transform this energy into wisdom and love. This is self-love. It is hard to understand this if we have never felt emotionally loved or held, which is more common than you think. Emotional neglect is far more common than the patriarchy and media and marketing and most people would like you to know. We think the way we treat ourselves and others emotionally is normal and health. Normal is not always healthy. (Like encouraging people to put themselves out and share their voice, and then tear them down when they do and accuse them of having too much fear based thinking to really put themselves out there....)
The universe is vast, spacious, infinite. Spirit is every single molecule and all the spaces in-between infinity and beyond.
There is more than enough space for the ALL of you.
How could you ever think there isn't room to spread out your limbs, spill your heart open on the altar of life, to express the depths of your soul, share with us the eyes with which you see this world, to dance heavily and lightly on this nourishing soil, to dig your roots down deep and claim this moment, this heart, this body, this energy, this space, this life as yours?
Your tears are the seeds of your prayers.
Your heart, a holy ground.
Soul a drop of this vast miracle that is existence itself living as you.
Anything that has you forgetting this, turn towards it with curiosity and desire.
Find a way to love that.
Find a way to love all the parts of you back home, into the comfort of your own skin.
In a moment of orgasm you forget your body as solid and know yourself to be energy.
All that you are is this.
Your breath, your emotions, your knowing, your movement, your senses, the way your body naturally and innately functions, the language of the universe is speaking through you.
And, find a way to love anything that has forgotten.
The universe is your soul.
You are both stardust and dark, grounding soil. You are the heavens of consciousness and the heavy, erotic energy of the life force of earth herself. You are an emanation of life and death every time you evolve or shed an old layer or emerge anew from old pain. You are the sky, sun, water, earth and space. You are everything and nothing, special and ordinary, perfect and imperfect, chaos and spaciousness, peace and conflict.
The in-between space is where life and you meet together, life as it is on life's terms and you as you are, naked and freshly you. The in-between spaces is where the alchemy happens that makes you, well you...where your soul dances in her ever expanding nature of both infinite life force and the finite aspect of this density of form.
This life is a giant in-between space, emerging at first from a womb and living, moving, breathing through this existence. It is not as fixed as we want it to be, believing our frozen nature to be safe, to be who we are and constructing a world around us to give us the illusion of safety when our nervous systems tell us otherwise. No. This is not acceptable. This way of living in fear and trying so hard to overcome your basic nature, it's not going to work anymore.
There is nothing to transcend. This is the time of awakening into form, of embodying this completely awe-inspiring precious nature of heaven and earth right here, right now. You are an embodiment of the in-between. The path of living into the pleasure of this comes through accepting the reality of death and grief, the cycles of life, metabolizing your own emotions and embracing the true nature of your heart....landing in self-love and pleasure that is immeasurable in the face of all else that is.