Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Hot and sweaty and tired. Today was a day filled with working. Which is good. Working means that I will be able to afford my expenses in these next few months. And I am grateful to have the option of a flexible part time job that doesn't require me to do anything too out-of-bounds. I'll take it. If I am able to work almost ever day until the end of school, then I will be just fine all summer. No expensive travel plans, though, which is a bummer. But I feel like I'm supposed to be here right now. I have a garden to tend, and a lot of projects to explore fully. I am exactly where I need to be.

But in the bigger picture, I spent the first few waking hours of my day in anxiety and despair. While I have gratitude for what life has given me that sustains me creatively and physically and emotionally and spiritually, I see so much in my life right now that feels limited and not in alignment with the highest vision that I hold in my heart for my life. I will take this work as a substitute teacher to fill in the gaps of my employment, but it doesn't give me any great joy, it doesn't make use of most of my gifts, and it doesn't contribute to the world in the way that I know I want to contribute. I'll be able to pay my bills for the next three months, and for that I am grateful. But I am not content with just working to pay the bills! I have known that for my whole adult life! I am an artist, a visionary, a dreamer, a creative, passionate soul. I need to know that my energy is going into something amazing that will touch lives beyond the mundane grayscale of daily life. My work as a flute teacher, as a teaching artist, and as a musician - these things have moved into that truly meaningful realm. But these things are also coming up for consideration now. I will teach flute lessons happily until the end of time, and I hope that the universe delivers me more students in the years to come. I also deeply love my work as a teaching artist, but at this point, funding has all but evaporated, and if I am to continue doing this work, I will need to dive deep into networking and getting clear on what it is that I want to offer. My work as a flutist has waned in the last few years, as I have let go of my connection to the familiar realm of classical music. I have little interest in investing my energy there, but can do it if I need to. But now, I feel a new wave of creativity coming, a new investment in the sacred improv work I have loved with all my heart. I am excited and nervous to see where this will go.

What I do know is that I don't want to be doing anything just because it helps me to get by, or because I am capable of doing it if I need to do it. That, to me, is the heart of apathy, the most boring, grayscale, flatland version of living that I can imagine. That was the source of my despair and anxiety this morning...seeing the ways that my life has slipped, even slightly, into the realm of half life.

Work is only half the story, too. The other half is this isolation that I feel in my days, this loneliness that haunts me in the shadows of my awareness. I have spent so much of my life as an independent woman, happy to roam hither and thither without a care in the world, needing no one to keep me company as I soar into the inner reaches of my being, and into the outer reaches of the world. I have learned so much in this approach - I have learned that within me is a resourceful, brave, fearless, adventurous spirit that knows that anything is possible. To quote Tracy Chapman, "I've been places where I question all I think I know." For sure. I have found that much of my life has felt held back and weighed down as a result of trying to share it with others. I have been frustrated by people who are wishy-washy and never on time. I have been irritated by people who are noncommittal and scattered. I have wanted to feel free and unencumbered, able to follow my heart and be spontaneous. And I have found that that has very, very rarely happened when I am with other people. So, for much of my life, I have chosen the solitary high road, and not regretted it for a moment.

But now, I am feeling something else settle into me. I am feeling the gifts and blessings that are possible in sharing my path with someone. I am also seeing that perhaps part of the frustrations and irritations that I have felt with others were half based on my expectations and half on my not being able to express my needs in a clearer way. I also feel that part of my frustrations and irritations with others were pointing me to the truth that I was walking in the world with people who may not have been serving the unfolding of my highest truth...and I was probably not serving theirs either. And that's okay, it is what it is. But I want to be more mindful from now on. I want to trust the feeling in my belly completely, and to listen to my heart completely. I will know the truth if I do.

I don't want to do this life alone. That is the bottom line. I have sought community and companionship, and have become a networker and gatherer of good people. I have brought people together and into my life and into my home, and I have felt the definition of family expand on and on. I have loved that my life is filled with so many beautiful beings, and that I have been given the opportunity to share life with amazing people. But deep in my heart, I yearn to meet the man I will spend my life with. I long to meet the one who will pierce my heart with his presence and love, who will accept me for all that I am, and who will enter into sacred relationship with me. I feel that there is a deep part of life that I have not yet known, not really - living in communion, in service to the Beloved through the beloved, in true love practice. I have had enough relationships to know that I have not yet been there, not at all. And I have spent so much time feeling content in my independence that I haven't sought this. But now, it haunts me every day. I long to meet my love.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making Mistakes

I've had a nice little break from blogging these last couple of weeks. If by "nice" I mean that I have been in the process of experiencing the fallout from my last blog writing, and from trying to figure out what it means to "follow my heart." I have been venturing into a minefield of my own creation, and have been learning how to really screw things up in my life with exquisite lack of grace. Now, I am left feeling lost and sad. I may or may not be able to repair the damages done here, and some things will surely be washed away. I am left here with a lot of confusion and sorrow, some anger, and some frustration - both with others and with myself. What matters most, though, is that I thoughtfully consider these situations, and allow them to teach me.

What I am sitting with now is patience and understanding and as much self love as I can manage. It would be very, very easy for someone with a tremendous capacity to be hard on herself to be caught up in judgment and criticism and self-loathing right now. It would also be easy for me to choose to take in the judgment and criticism and anger of others right now, and there are certainly some people who hold that in regard to me right now. But I have learned beyond any question that punishment never works - whether from self or others - it only drives in more anger and frustration and guilt and shame and self-loathing. And I have danced with those things for a long time in my life. I don't want to keep revisiting those old habits. They haven't worked before, and they surely won't help anything now.

I think I'm entering into a new chapter of my life. The late fall and winter were such a heavy time of feeling swallowed in anxiety and darkness. Now, with the coming of spring, I have entered into a time of creating drama and learning how to make mistakes. Back in the winter, I wasn't sure that I would survive the darkness, and felt like I was falling into the abyss most of the time. Now, I know that I will survive, but I feel like I can't help but fuck things up. Neither one is the life I want to live, and at one point today, I felt like I couldn't take any more! The anxiety crawled up my leg and wrapped its fear around my throat, and I felt like an animal caught in a cage, wild and out of control, ready to fight its way out. I wonder how much of my fucking things up lately has come from that wild, scared animal part of me?

There are no clear answers. There are no guarantees. I am as bound by karma - the laws of cause and effect in my life - as anyone else. I have spent a lot of my life as a perfectionist, the good girl, the one who seems to do no wrong. Maybe this time is necessary so that I learn how to be as imperfect as possible in order to find middle ground somewhere. All I know is that I want to live with authenticity and honesty, I want to embrace Love, Truth, Peace and Joy in my life in every thing I think and do, and want to follow my heart. I don't even know what that means right now. And that's okay. I am going to sit with this for a long time, I think...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beyond Mind

Last Friday I made a breakthrough. I allowed myself to sink down past the surface level of my emotional reactivity that was triggered by random things that have little to do with my life. And I came into contact with a pit of fiery anger that boils within me unconsciously, deep down, holding me back from living the fullness of the Love that is my true nature. I held nothing back, and allowed the anger to speak what it has stuffed down inside of me and hidden for years and years. For once, I suspended the tight grip that I hold on what I allow to fly out of my mouth - or my hand - and let it rip. I set aside the part of myself that is "evolved" and "wouldn't dare speak such a thing" and I let go of words and thoughts that have been fermenting in the depth of my psyche. I let it all fly, and what came out was, initially, the height of "jackal" speaking, within the realm of NVC. My jackals howled and wailed and hissed and spat. I hurled it all forth. And it began to mutate, from deep anger and bitterness to some sense of perspective, then to seeing how it all connects to the deepest Truth and Love that reside within my being. These dark places, when held back, will always keep me from living the deepest Truth and Love possible.

This is the part - the free and uninhibited release of the Jackals to speak their piece - that has held me back for so long. The part of me that has held it all back has said, "oh, it's fine really, there's nothing wrong, I don't have any of that kind of stuff in me." And that hasn't been working - it has been a cover up of the pain and deep wounds within me that long to be healed, but cannot be healed until I am willing to see them and allow them to come out into the light of day. The poison must be drained from the wounds in order for the wounds to heal.

Here's the thing - I KNOW beyond any doubt that I AM NOT my MIND. I KNOW that this poison that flew out of my mind and through my hands is not the truth of who I am. I know that it is garbage that must purged. I know that there is a much deeper place of truth within me, that is the very core of my being, and the very core of all beings. But as long as I hold it in, pretend it's not there, and live in deep denial, pasting on a false identity with all those I know, and creating a life built around that, I will be living with little authenticity. The love I offer and feel will be small and conditional, based in illusion - essentially living a lie. And I also see that when people - myself certainly included - live in this degree of unawareness of their own pain, with no sense of self-reflection, and with no longing to heal and release these wounds with their poison and pain, they just continue to create a world based in the very same lies and wounds and pain. I am deep, deep, deep in the process of unlearning this way of being. I am not willing to live this way any longer. I want only to live authentically. I want only to live in Love, Truth, Peace, and Joy. I will not settle for less.

But I am now caught by the reactions others have had to my words. I should probably have had better discretion and considered the potential reaction of other people before posting my writing online. There are those who have no idea what I am talking about here - those who still identify with their minds, and believe all the thoughts in there, and must adamantly repress anything that doesn't fit with their version of reality. Those who can't comprehend that the mind, when not thoroughly disciplined to be in service of the heart, is the epitome of madness, running and spinning on its eternal hamster wheel. Monkey mind, as the Buddhists call it. I am grateful to know that I am not my mind. I am grateful to be able to listen to these kinds of thoughts - bitter, angry, harsh ones - and listen more deeply to them and what they have to tell me. I am grateful that my spiritual path has helped me to cultivate a sense of observation much of the time, and that this observer is able to allow thoughts to pass in all their wildness, and to maintain a sense of objectivity much of the time. Certainly not always. There sure are times when I am caught up in emotional response - as when my anger or sadness are triggered full force. But a good deal of the time, I am able to move into self-reflection and work to understand what is going on within myself. Not always right away, in the midst of the reaction - but always in reflection, at the very least. This is my practice.

What I am feeling more clearly than ever before is what it means to to not take things personally. My sister was screaming at me, and trying to engage me in a fight that was not based in anything pertinent to the issue at hand, and she entered into petty, vindictive attempts to inflict guilt and punishment, and to try to control me. I defaulted to a clear understanding that her response is not about me, fundamentally. And I am not taking it personally. My mother's friend entered into the same conversation, to a lesser degree, with attempts to make me feel guilty - and I was clear that I didn't need to take it personally. Finally, my mother sent a message, filled with rage and upset, and I was able to stay with not taking it personally. I have never before seen more clearly that I don't have to get caught up in the drama, that I don't need to make some desperate attempt to smooth it all over. I am only responsible for my own mind and my own reactions. And I am choosing not to take this personally.

I have spent too much of my life taking things very, very personally. I have felt like I must satisfy other people's needs, to give them what they want from me, to keep the peace. But I see that I've been doing that at my own expense. I have not felt like I could express my truth in the moment. I didn't feel like I could say "no." I didn't feel like I could say when someone was making me angry or uncomfortable or when someone was being inappropriate. I learned to stuff it, to swallow it, to just smile and bear it, to deal with it in my own private hell later. That is really, really harmful. I have been living this way for years and years, since I was a kid. It sure is convenient for everyone else, that's for sure. But it's not REAL. It's me pretending to be fine with whatever even when it's not the truth. It's me pretending to be something I'm not. I yearn for acceptance and authenticity, and I am deeply longing to live from my heart, my truth. I am seeing more and more clearly how I have been blocking these very things from being possible, too. I was socialized to be that way - I was taught to live that way by others who were taught the same thing, and who don't even know what I'm talking about. And that has made me really angry. People who don't know who they are have been teaching others to not know who they are, and on and on and on it goes. Until it doesn't anymore. I am not going to play that game anymore. I want to really know who I am, how I feel, what I want, and want to stay connected to that truth in every moment of my life. This is revolution. This is unlearning. This is the way home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

I have deleted this blog due to too much drama.

I should have had better discretion before posting something so personal.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Moving into Clarity

Sometimes clarity comes like a bolt of lightning, showing the way to the deepest truth. In those moments, there is no fear, no hesitation, no doubt, no questioning. When this clarity comes, its revelation is powerful and alters everything in the way of its full realization. This past weekend was full of these kind of epiphanies. I was given the gift of profound insight and clarity, and my heart was opened all the way to the sky, knowing that love and courage are powerful, and that they will always lead me home, to my heart.

In the depths of night, these flashes of truth are the very ground of being. But with morning light, I found myself re-emerging in the world, and in the reality I have created for myself. My choices – whether conscious or unconscious – have created the circumstances of my life. And this is the truth of real-life karma – the laws of cause and effect. I am bound by my choices, my thoughts, my actions. But I am also grateful for these experiences of profound insight to offer me an opportunity to make different choices. I have the opportunity to recreate my life in every moment. That is what I am sitting with now: staying connected to my truth and listen to my heart, even when my past choices come flooding the moment with their fallout. I also see right now that everything in this life is like a sandcastle – the waters will come and wash everything away.

There was a moment in Saturday night's ceremony when I experienced a strange moment of deja vu. I was sure that we had just finished singing the 53rd hymn, but suddenly we were on the 51st. I looked down at my book, not finding the words that were being sung, and looked ahead of me, seeking the number of the one we were on. I was stunned by my discovery, that somehow I was ahead...yet I had been singing along and had found no discrepancy before... I was puzzled, but given the insight that sometimes life gives us these kinds of blessed opportunities – to move back in time with ease and without hesitation. Life always offers the chance to make new choices, to step into deeper truth, more profound love, to embrace authenticity. These are things I have longed for in my life, and things that I have pursued with passion for years. But this weekend, life ushered me into this in a whole new way.

What does it really mean to follow my heart? And how do I let go of things, while connected both to the clarity I feel and the love and kindness in my heart? Not only that, but what do I do with the noise that surrounds me – actual noise, psychic noise, and mental noise – as I try to listen to my heart? Most of us haven't been taught how to live from the heart, to live from truth and love – I know that I haven't been, anyway. Doubt and hesitation are nipping at my ankles at this point. It's a real challenge to walk in this world and to make choices from the perspective of my highest truth – there is support for that, for sure, but there is much more unconsciousness that surrounds me. People are often just trying to get by in the world, doing the best they can in the moment. But that's not my way, it never has been. I am a Warrior, fighting to live in my highest truth, connected to the deepest desires of my heart.

I have basic needs that must be met in life in order to take care of my body and worldly existence. We all have that. But I also have deeper needs, needs that fulfill my heart's desire, my spiritual evolution. These are food for the Soul, and we all have that too, but it tends to be neglected more easily. And to the degree that the heart and spirit are neglected, we are filled with anger and sorrow, and our lives become full of despair and meaninglessness. We then make choices that contribute to our superficial, fleeting happiness. We entertain ourselves and drink and smoke and have relationships and buy things and have life that fulfills the bare minimum needs that must be met so that we don't just kill ourselves overtly. But in those choices, we are killing ourselves slowly, and the misery and flatness that fills our lives erodes our connection to our deepest truth, and to our heart. What we are left with is hostility, bitterness, hollowness, shallowness. And to me, this life isn't worth living.

It's easy to generalize and observe this around me. To speak in words of “we” and “they” without taking it into myself, my own life. But that is where I must take this – into my own life, my own heart and soul. How have I been compromising the depth of my heart? How have I settled for shallowness and escapism and fleeting happiness? In what ways do I need to reinvest myself in my own heart's deepest joy? My work. My creativity. My love life. My contribution to the world. Even some of my most basic needs.

I have been lonely and full of longing. I have been lost in the ways that I fit into the world, in the ways that I contribute. I have been hesitant to offer myself with boldness in my creative pursuits. And I have wanted to stick my head in the sand and not deal with some of the most basic things. I have made as few choices as necessary to get by in the world. I have been trying to survive, to just get by. And all the time, I never quite saw that in myself. I have always wanted to embrace my truth, to be loyal to my highest dreams, and to honor my life's visions. But I now see that I haven't been doing that. I have not been bold. I have not been committed. I have not been willing to take risks. I have not wanted to trust that the Universe is conspiring to give me exactly what I want. I have not believed that it was possible to really have the life I want. I have not believed that I deserve to have everything that I long for in this life. I have not always been this way – but in the last year, I see how I have moved in that direction. And now, I have seen the light...

It takes boldness and courage to stand up in the light of day and ask life for exactly what I want. I have been taught that I should take what I get and be happy with that, and that I shouldn't ask for too much because that's selfish. I have been taught that life will be full of pain and suffering, and that my dreams are never going to actually come to fruition, because that never happens. I have always laughed in the face of these kinds of beliefs, balking at such small-minded misery. And in spite of that, I see how I have believed the very things I balked at. Not consciously, and certainly not admittedly. But I have.

I want to live my life with passion and boldness, truth and love. It will take courage to step beyond doubt and fear. It will also take clarity and commitment to continue moving toward my heart's true desire. And I am moving in that direction, one day at a time. I have been passionately inspired to put together a benefit concert to raise funds for the flooding in Peru – and the creative component of that is in complete alignment with what I truly yearn to do, musically. I have longed to find ways to contribute my time and energy to something meaningful and fulfilling, for my life to be of service in a greater way. I have known what I was willing to walk away from, but hadn't had a clear picture of what I wanted to move toward. Now, I am moving in that direction. This project will be amazing, and I am stepping beyond the inertia that settled into my musical life years ago.

I have been stirring in the realm of love relationship, as well. For so much of my life, I haven't put too much value in relationships – feeling that they were a distraction more than anything. I have really come to hear the longing in my heart, though. I am longing for a relationship that will truly transform me, to surrender to the practice of love that will utterly pierce my heart. I have been in relationships that were just fine, that served some small need in my life at the time, but none have had the potential to really, truly bless my life in a profound way and leave me changed. I don't care so much about the comforts of sharing life, of having an other half, of having a routine and rhythm that includes another in my day-to-day existence – although those things are fine and wonderful, and I would welcome them. I do care about entering into a relationship based in the deepest possible love, Love that transcends two individuals with bodies and needs. A relationship that is rooted in personal growth and evolution, in spiritual practice – and a relationship that IS spiritual practice. A relationship that is kind and gentle and bold and clear and real and passionate and spacious and deep. One that is grounded in reality and full of acceptance and honesty and good communication. I have always had so much love to offer, and have offered it freely. But now, I am also ready to open my heart, to be vulnerable, and to allow love to enter me, to pierce me, to transform me into a servant of Love in ways that I have never felt, but have intuited. I will accept none less, and I know that I deserve none less.

Whole-hearted living. That is my mantra now. Letting go of fear and complacency. That is my mantra now. I don't need to wait for life to give me these things, to show me the way to these things, to encourage me to choose these things, for others to live it by example. Nope, I need to embrace them within myself because I know they are the key to living my truth, living authentically, living my heart's desire. The only person who will suffer if I choose anything less is me. But the best part of it is that if I choose to live this way, in spite of all doubt, fear, and adversity, I will inspire others to do the same, and will be working to create the world I want to live in, one day at a time. Now, that's worth it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Heart's Authenticity

When I don't follow my heart, I suffer. I may not even realize that I am not following my heart, but I will still suffer. My heart's desire may seem impossible, foolish, unlikely, ridiculous, impulsive, impractical, or childish. And my mind will instantly begin dismissing this desire for all those reasons - having already made up its mind that there is no way we're gonna indulge or even consider it any further. Then, there is emotional response and bodily feeling - the reactions that result from ignoring the heart's desire, and then choosing to dismiss that truth for things far more reasonable, practical, possible. Choosing what makes sense over what makes my heart sing.

And now, I sit here in the cool morning air, hearing bees buzzing by my window, and birds calling to each other in the trees, and I know that the whole world out there only knows living from truth, from the heart. Birds sing because that's all they know, and bees fly by because it's what they do. Trees stand up tall to the sun, leafing out in lush green, because it's why they are born to this world. The whole wide natural living world lives from the heart - living Love, Truth, Peace, and Joy as a natural state. There is only that way. Even in the natural world when there is killing and dying, there is only following nature's directives for survival and need.

Sometimes I think the words "I think, therefore I am" are some of the most destructive words ever spoken, and yet, they are revered as one of the most fundamental basics of being human, and embracing philosophy and higher mind. I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that read "You don't have to believe everything you think." I loved that one, and when I bought it, I wasn't completely clear on what it meant. Over the years, though, I saw it daily, and began to get it. By the time I crashed my car last November, I got it. I really got it. And yet, I must have got it only conceptually, because now I see just how many ways that my mind has been controlling me, owning me, below the radar of my own carefully cultivated watching.

I wonder how many people who are afraid of mind control - conspiracy theory people who fear the government and the hidden agendas and the aliens, etc - are actually just not aware that the deeper aspect of their fear might just be that they are controlled by their OWN minds - and feel the fear that comes in the belly as a result of living in fear. I mean, I am sure that there are plenty of things that go on beneath the surface of appearances in this world - and that the media are biased in what they choose to tell us, but I have too many things to keep me busy than to spend my days in fear of the government, the aliens, the corporations, the secret societies, whatever. I know that I have a lot of choice in my life, and at this point don't feel any fear about those kinds of things. But I digress - I wonder just how much of the fear that people experience and label "mind control" is actually literally MIND control, being controlled by a mind that is not disciplined, and not rooted in following the heart at all costs.

There is no fear in the heart. There is only fear in the mind. The heart knows. But there is so much chatter in an undisciplined mind - so many voices, so much chaos, so many beliefs that come from the self, the childhood, the family, the culture, the education, the media, whatever - that it is often hard to hear the voice of the heart, the voice of that inner truth. It's in there trying all the time, communicating and not feeling heard. This, I now see, has been the very story of my own suffering for so long now. I have struggled so hard with not feeling heard - it has been one of my primary issues in all that I do, and in every relationship. And in this moment, I am seeing for the first time that I have been longing to be heard by others in such an intense and demanding way, but what I have actually been longing for is to really hear the longing of my own heart, to listen within and truly hear what is being asked there. My heart has been ignored for a long time.

The small pleasures of my heart have gotten through on occasion. In creativity - cooking, painting, arranging my home and my altar, in being in nature, in the books I read, in the things I choose to wear, and in surrounding myself with color, in the music I listen to, even in the spiritual mantras that I post around my space. There have been many ways that I have created a soulful life. But in this moment, I am seeing how these little things are simply small heart pleasures. The little stuff that makes me smile, that creates the world I want to live in in the most cursory way, that makes my life a living work of art. But these things are so small - really superficial, honestly. When compared with the yearning of my deepest heart, which I am finally in touch with in a profound way, these things are merely candy. They may be sweet and fun, but they do not sustain me. If I am going to live from the heart and follow my truth in a profoundly authentic way, I have to go way, way deeper than that.

I have been making choices from somewhere else most of the time - from my mind for sure, with perhaps glimmers of my heart's song trickling in, little by little. But I now see why my life has been feeling meaningless for these last six months, why I have been so desperately afraid of my own death coming before I have truly lived. In order to truly live, I need to honor the truth in my heart, I need to embrace my own authenticity with utter solidarity. It's funny - these are things I have already been aiming to do, and thinking I WAS doing, but I now see how it was only conceptual before. There was a smallness to the truth and authenticity I was following, and it was appearing in my life as "just okay" and "quite fine" and "good enough" and I was complacent and stagnant, in a holding pattern. I have been in a holding pattern for a long time now. In my work, in my social life, in my love life, in my art. I mourn all that time now - all that time when I didn't quite know what was wrong, when the low-grade fear filled my belly, and my heart felt collapsed, and life felt two-dimensional, and I wondered what the point of living was.

I was sitting with the question, "what is the point?" for the entire winter. It was almost a mantra. I get it. My heart WAS collapsed. There was no point, and is no point to living a life that is rooted in following my days with halfheartedness, half-life, half-devotion, half-inspiration, half-clarity, half-passion, distrust, indecisiveness, flatness, gray-space, and complacency. There is no point in living that life. And the fear in my belly was my heart's message that things couldn't go on like that. My winter of anxiety was my heart's desperate plea to find a new way. Now, it is early May, and the way is being revealed.

I don't honestly know how my heart feels about a lot of things. I thought I knew, but I didn't. I know how my mind feels, for sure. But my heart is full of wonder and discovery, and in this moment, I feel totally new. My heart is finally going to be given space to express its voice in my life. There is still a sinking feeling in my belly - fear that the change that is coming in my life will bring more pain. But if I trust the truth of my own heart, the letting go will hurt less and less. It will be soothed by a balm of honesty and authenticity that is full of freedom and peace. If I follow my heart every day, then I will be able to fall asleep at night without any fear, and I will be able to die to my life when the time comes without any regrets.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Heart and Mind

I feel utterly rearranged. The profound insights that were given to me this weekend are still sinking in, and my body and mind are reeling. In this moment, I feel something inside of me trying to resist allowing this change to settle in, as if it's all too much, and will require too much. I have seen the depth of the madness of mind gone out of control, and I have seen the profound height of love when fully surrendered to the heart. And now, as I sit here in my ordinary life, I know that change must come - conscious change, rooted in courage and truth.

Partly, it feels like a dream - like the weekend was an intense, wild, powerful dream that penetrated the depths of my being, and offered me insight and wisdom into the very ways that I function in this world. Mind, and its tendencies, and how they affect the way I see the world, the emotions that move through me, and how my reality is created within that. Heart, and the ways that mind tries to convince the heart that its way is filled with madness and unreality - and how the heart's truth is the only thing that makes life worth living. I experienced intense struggle and misery, judgment, fear, collapse, resistance, then sorrow, then tenderness, understanding, and the most intensely piercing love I have ever known. And I see now that I have resisted love with great intensity. I have feared it. I have pushed it away. I have lived an existence that was content to feel small love, to accept that as enough, because it is safe. But it will not transform me. And that is the most profound beauty of love - that when I truly surrender to it, it will utterly transform me.

What a blessing that this insight does not merely come in a theoretical, metaphoric, intellectual way. It offers me understanding on this level, for sure, but then dives deep into the ways that I live. I have seen the chaos of my mind, undisciplined and out of control. I have seen the way that my emotional state becomes chaotic as a result, following here and there, reactive and unstable. And I see how this whole process creates misery. The mind is a tool, I am not my mind. But until I rein it in, breaking it like a horse, I will be bound by its wildness, and I will suffer. But beyond mind is the heart. The heart lives beyond logic and practical, rational choices. It lives beyond justification and the stories I tell myself to validate what I think and feel and choose. The heart is pure, it is true. It knows, and it tells me what it knows. And I see how I have disregarded that as impulsive and impossible for my whole life. No wonder I have been through this intense time of breakdown, and have felt that my life was meaningless. As long as I am not following my heart, I am not living my truth. I am living halfheartedly, falsely, and life shows up in that same way. I accept things that are "just fine" and "quite good" - and when things that are "amazing" and "incredible" and "too good to be true" come my way, I disregard them as exactly that - "too good to be true." I push them away, unconsciously, because I have not believed they were actually possible.

There have been a few times in my life when I have been touched by profound intuition, and have made crazy decisions that seemed impossible. I have followed my heart in these choices, and my life has been profoundly blessed. Walking the Camino de Santiago is one such thing. Going to Peru to do Medicine work is another. But much of the time, I have simply decided to leave things alone, to make choices that are convenient and comfortable. And now I see that I can't keep doing that. If I do, I will die while I am still alive. I will move toward living an existence that is gray, that is half-alive, that is not entirely true, that is filled with soul-level boredom, and I will continue to feel like my life is meaningless, slipping by into the void.

Life is really fucking short! I have known the truth of how I want to live. I have spoken it. I have been moving toward it. But in some way, I see that it hadn't penetrated me yet. Fear has held me back. Fear of making a wrong decision. Fear of failure. Fear of causing trouble for others. Fear of looking like a fool. Fear of causing harm. Fear of all of these imagined things. Truly, fear of being who I am. Fear of authenticity. Fear of living my truth and following my heart, no matter what. But now I see that anything other than that - living my truth and following my heart - is an absolute waste of this precious life.

I have some major things to bring into alignment here. I have some letting go to do in my life. It is scary - now I am back in the light of day, sitting in the life that I've created by the decisions I've made. I have to walk with courage and let go of any reliance on outcome - I have to choose what truth comes from my heart, and then trust that life will carry it into the winds of manifestation to become what it will. I have to let go of things and people who don't uplift me into the highest, finest version of myself. I have to let go of relationships not based in authenticity and courage and truth. And I have to make things right with someone I have hurt in my unconsciousness - if it's not too late, that it...

I now understand the emotional chaos I have been experiencing - it is the result of my choosing to live in compromise with my truth and integrity. Of not listening to my heart, disregarding its knowing as impossible and irrational. Of not living fully in accordance with the highest truth I seek. And of not being willing to trust love, to allow it to truly touch me and pierce my heart, opening it to the light that is within it. My heart has been telling me its truth anyway, but I have not been listening, and there has been deep conflict within me as a result. I know now that if I follow my heart in everything that I do in this life, I will be able to sleep at night without any fear, and I will be able to die to this life without any regrets. I pray from the depths of my soul that I move toward living that authentically from this day forth.


Inside a hostel in Cusco, Peru