Sometimes, much like an infant, I feel fear, I feel alone, I feel unheard within my practice. I then swaddle myself with images, past experiences and moments of grand transformation, the moments of when I get the honor of observing my clients or students achieve greatness on their terms.
The story here is that even in my naive life, I felt a connection to something within that was bigger than any fear. I allowed myself to find the comfort within me. I woke up the next morning in gratitude for my beating heart.
Each organ has a sound associated with it, and the sound for releasing excess energy, or grief, from the lungs is a sustained sssssssssss. This sound has many functions. Physiologically, it releases excess CO2 from the blood by slowing down and aspirating the exhale. It also calms the nervous system by limiting the amount of air being released and contracting the diaphragm.
I scream breath,
And love comes rushing out of me
like the fountain that it is,
while hope circles the doorway,
waiting to be let in.
Faith was already in the room,
it had to be before I could begin
consuming doughnuts of lilac,
and soothing soups of self-belief.
Human beings are masterful creators. There, I said it. Some may shake their heads, while others will ponder and meditate on that seemingly mysterious statement. A rare few, however -- and by “a rare few,” I mean all of us Rebelles -- will understand intuitively that this is an undeniable truth.
What I will say is that I am here now and liking it. I’m not going to tell you where I am, or what I’ve done or managed to accomplish, and I am doing that for a reason: I’ve known you long enough to know you wouldn’t be satisfied with knowing.
Nature taught me to be a Woman. Her slippery creek stones instructed my feet to dance. Her fallen logs taught my body to balance, and her winged bards my voice to sing. From her trees I learned what to seek in a Man: Roots, shelter, humility, courage, grandeur. I learned to love my naked body from the naked flowers and naked stones. A gnat walking my hip bone and a scent on the breeze have taught me to be the witness at the center of my senses. Nature is the Master of Tantra, and I am her daughter.
Looking around now, all I see are yogis and yoginis perfectly flawed. It’s so refreshing to finally allow myself to be part of something where everyone fits in. Yoga is not an exclusive club, but for everyone who wants to gain from any aspect of this mystical discipline.
I made myself a mind palace, and did not realize I built it for two. You were in every inch of it, it just took you time to manifest. You had to pull yourself out of the polished wooden banisters that lead up to our attic room.
But the truth is, the term stigma should remind us all how imposed markers are unjustly used to label those who have denied the accepted status quo. We've been cultured to adhere to certain social and societal standards. Our belief systems have been shaped by the ideals of the world as we know it: good versus bad, smart versus dumb, poor versus rich, strong versus weak.
Autumn is also an important period for harvesting. As I harvest the knowledge and experience I have learnt from all the interactions of the past months, I also harvest the berries, barks, roots and plants to make into medicine.
So many on spiritual paths seem to think it necessary to deny themselves physical pleasure. But certain traditions that don't reject this essential part of earthly existence, such as Hinduism, hold that physical pleasure is sacred. Food, sex, fine wine, art, and fine clothing, are all amazing joys of living on this planet. To cultivate soul fullness, it is necessary to mindfully appreciate these material indulgences. And the key is definitely mindfulness, not to engage in gluttony or excess, which are addictive patterns that deny the present moment.
That week I walked into Yoga, unrolled my mat in the same place I'd been unrolling my mat all summer, and there beside me on the wall was the same tapestry I had been weeping beneath all summer, a tapestry of an elephant with a small mouse at his feet -- Ganesh.
They'll bleed a blood to transform
this disease the women in my family
have been tortured with for far too long.
A blood to feed the mother,
a blood to heal the others,
and a blood to feel another.
The sacred space, the blood space.
The blood of light, the blood of dark,
the blood of yes, the blood of no,
the blood of lost, the blood of found.
As we invest in relationships with others, we should equally spend our time on things that we are passionate about. We should become aware when we allow something to dominate too much of our energy and time. One thing, one career, one situation does not an individual make.
And what is a job? When you step back and consider what constitutes a career, it’s ridiculous that we should go to school for 15+ years, enlist in some sort of arbitrary labour, all in order to supply ourselves with the necessary things to survive.
A sigh escapes me, drawing me deep into the terracotta earth beneath my feet. This place, so far from my life, has released time, recognized it for nothing more than a concept. No driving force or governing power is held by each sweeping tick, the incessant circumnavigation of the clock's unstoppable march.
My experience and inner wisdom kept shouting at me, time after time, that the next snoozing episode would only deepen the wounding slumber, only worsen the scarring from lingering between dream, nightmare and awake, and yet, I thirstily pressed our button, knowing the damage I was doing us.
The teacher will see each one who enters as an innocent who is placing their life in the teacher's hands for guidance. This is a place of supreme trust, and a loving teacher will honor the one that comes to them.
How do you know that you are facing resistance? Well, do you decide to clean out your garage when you know you should/could be working on that project? Do you distract yourself with internet, TV, gossip magazines, porn, other people’s drama or addictions? Yup. We all have them. But why?
For reasons that I have never been able to comprehend, there is this human perception that hitting bottom occurs only once in life. I have come to realize that this is not necessarily true. There are varying levels of "bottom".
You won’t think I am smart,
funny, witty or pretty.
I’ve spent my entire life
listening to these lies
And my body and being
are ready for change…
will no longer be
the source of my pain.
This is where the real magic happens. This is when you stop giving a shit about a bunch of shit that doesn't actually exist or matter. This is where you find presence. This is where that magical, mystical myth called peace resides. This is where your truth resides.
Here is some good news though... you and your partner are a perfect match. Yep, a perfect match for bringing up each other's shit. You can either spend your time throwing that shit at each other like mindless apes, or you can seize the opportunity to own your shit, then evolve beyond it to expand your consciousness and your heart.
You are balanced, I live with you. You are me, you are my chakras. You are a work of art. It's not easy but you do it. You live true to who you are and know it. When you are open, chakras, in my Yoga practice, I don't question it.
It took me thousands of steps to understand I could never outrun myself, that there was no grand oasis with an infinite perimeter that could keep my demons at bay. The sanctuary I had forever sought exists only in one place -- it is everywhere, it exists in every moment, it is within me.
Meanwhile, you're romancing your sense of self by listening and learning. You are feeding your psyche and building energy that generates its fuel from within, no outside validation needed. This 'self-generated-light approach' kind of puts a whole new twist on the concept of 'taking a selfie', huh?
The I Am statement takes one out of Victim Consciousness and into Victor Consciousness. Victim Consciousness is a behavior of externalizing our problems and blaming people and/or circumstances outside of ourselves for our current life situation. Consistently playing the blame game will keep us static and in a cycle of creating the same conditions over and over again. Victor Consciousness is when we accept responsibility for our creations and fully understand that nothing in our life is accidental or is anybody else's fault. Each and every action we take is a conscious choice to either go toward Victim Consciousness or Victor Consciousness. There are no in-between places or grey areas in this model.
Before man discovered fire and electricity,
There have always been women's hips.
Hips beaming with fire and light,
Source of renewable energy,
The reason for evolution
and incentive for revolutions,
The birthplace of desire,
Hips blossoming, seducing, inviting, receiving.
Wild, innocent hips.
However, those of us involved in these various movements have and do make choices that are difficult and inconvenient. We have not shied away from difficulty in the past.The fights against racism, sexism, homophobia are not easy. Yet bravely people have done them -- because they are the right thing to do.
The artist, the dreamer,
the girl who rocks life harder
than anyone she knows.
The girl who can dance,
choreograph and loves to watch the snow.
The girl who dreams big and lets everyone know.
Because she is not all talk.
She is action.
I choose to live. And I summon my truth in life to every observing eye and listening ear; the doors of unlimited potential and possibility of blessed realities to come into fruition from my own intent.
Being a vibrant single man who is also a passionate poet, I generally hand-deliver these haiku cards to women. This draws a wide range of reactions from a wide range of women at the moment of unexpected poetic truth.
We spent time after time
together in the silence,
feeling all the feelings
I had never allowed into my soul.
We spoke of beginnings,
endings and all that life
gave in between.
We watched as night
flickered slowly into day
and saw day burn out
into the warmth of dusk.
And we treasured it.
There are two motivating forces in this life: fear and love. When we move from a place of fear, we are acting out of fear of something happening, fearful negative thoughts, and stress. When we move from a place of love, we act out of love and compassion for others, feelings of joy and happiness.
I stoop down to scoop up these pieces of myself. And as I eat them whole, they add fat and flesh to my love starved ribs. Packing a bag of rations for this new adventure, I step off to explore an entirely new world I had actually always inhabited. This fairytaleless land was here all along; it was simply waiting for my awakened gaze.