If we try to exile life to a private island,
we will drown in the wine of angels.
There's a reason we have yet to reach heaven.
We don't know how to handle permanent loveliness.
We clench our bodies for fear
they will be stolen in the night.
We don't know how to harness
our own power and just might
kill ourselves if left in charge
of our own brains,
or if our brains were left in charge of us.
What is a rebel? Someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct. Someone who resists authority, control or tradition. Someone who rejects status quo sometimes to the point of being thought of as weird or an outcast. Someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action. Someone who says, "This (insert word: job, relationship, societal beliefs/constructs, etc) isn't working anymore and has got to go." A person who is innovative, insightful, and not afraid of ridding the dead in life. Sounds like a raven to me.
There is so much more to who we are and why we are here than I believe is humanly conceivable. I do believe that the more aware and conscious we are about the choices we make and the words we speak to others and ourselves, the more it deeply affects our being.
This should go without saying, but wild man lovin' is best done by a wild woman. Get outside together. Sleep all tangled up beneath the stars. Bask in the moonlight. Furthermore, talk about the moon, bring her right into your relationship because she informs so much of the way it shifts and changes.
Society continues to punish them. Many women who are released from prison are sincerely sorry for what they have done. They know they cannot change those circumstances. Even though they know they cannot change the past, they want to give back to others in an attempt at redemption. They want to find a way to help others so that they do not make the same mistakes that they did. They yearn to be productive citizens. As a society, we do not make this easy.
Regret, like an annoying mosquito, still hovers close, ready to bite my sweet ass. I smother the notion like a shawl around my chest, protecting me from the moonlit nights remembrance. I whisper knowingly, "No regrets, just love."
I will hum these achingly warm and compassionate phrases to you when the tears stream down your flushed cheeks. Bring me your dissonant melodies and I will show you how these tense suspensions resolve and how the cadences of sadness will eventually modulate to a brighter, major key.
If you went through this at any stage of your life as I did, then you surely have felt that there was always something wrong, that sooner or later you have to sit down and have a serious private talk with yourself, to try to figure out the reason behind the painful and strange existence of this tiny hole in your soul, the one that keeps knocking, the one that doesn't agree with the way you numb the purpose of your life with these daily injections of procrastination, and you end up with the easiest way out: blaming it on fear, fear of the unknown, of the pain of change, of the failure, of people's opinions, of the commitment and the ability of being patient.
And now here I am by the table, writing, and feeling exactly like a hero, because I woke up just to write. A hero who will never leave her journey or go back to that struggle of feeling or trying to fill the morning emptiness because the mornings are hers to write and the sky is listening with great pleasure.
When we begin to practice self-love in our lives, we slowly become aware of how we talk to ourselves, and rather than being judgmental, we can bring both kindness and compassion into that internal dialogue.
I often find myself answering a plethora of mundane questions as soon as my sexual orientation is revealed to someone. Given that I'm not blessed with the patient grace required to answer this unvaried line of questioning, I will instead offer you the deepest wisdom I can summon from the heart of a woman in love with another woman.
I just turned 44 a few weeks ago and with every birthday I like to do a little numerical research. According to numerology, the essence of the number 44 is conscientious, balanced, and methodical with a focus on what it wants to accomplish. I have lots I want to accomplish but it’s helpful to also look back and remind myself of some things I have learned, actually these are more "awarenesses" than "lessons".
'What is your background?' was a common thing people would ask me if they were of Indian descent. They would tell me that my last name was of Punjab heritage and they always said I should go to my homeland. I convinced myself that I didn't need him, but his absence stretched long and wide. The feeling of abandonment and the relationship to rejection were sewn into my side, stamped on my forehead, and burned into my heart.
Seven weeks ago, I tried to squat 405 pounds and failed. Last week, I succeeded. I can tell you without hesitation that I am better today than I was seven weeks ago. No debate. No ego. No fluff. Black and white proof. Perhaps more importantly, I know who I am and who I am not.
I want to sit across from you for days and take everything from you. But I never will. I will however, keep writing you into my life. You will forever take up entire chapters, and sometimes you'll make it into the footnotes. Once in a while, the preface will be dedicated to you.
What are the moments that make up your day and night? Where has this year carried you? What is at the center of your knowing? Do you find comfort and truth in the unknowing? Does music hold the lineage of your stories as it does mine?
Just once to see the 'real being' that seeks to see me -- like the waves that roll up the beach to catch but a pining glimpse of the soft sands that dream to sip the ocean. True love is what's left, when we fail to any longer understand it through its decomposition.
I believe it is only here that we can experience true peace and beauty. When we practice the art of doing nothing, we release the pressure we place on ourselves and everything in our lives. And more importantly, we also begin to allow life to work its true magic.
Remember that there is so much strength in kindness, courage in connection and bravery in tears; these qualities are the elixir that feeds our wild spirits -- the fire that burns brightly in our beating hearts and breathes life into our weary souls.
Actually, these moments are not beautiful: it's too easy to be caught in the path of razor-sharp ice needles, and they crack so quietly you never know if they're about to fall until you're crushed and killed -- a bleeding mass that will be quickly swept up because no one wants to ruin the plush cream carpets either.
The truth is that grief -- like any other hardship -- is a seed full of immeasurable potential for growth and development. It is both an honor and a miracle to bear witness to the transformation and enrichment a person can undergo after a trauma.
"Thanks," she said. If Amy was still in magazines, she would have put Danny on the cover. But Amy had a feeling this woman's beauty was the last thing she thought about. There was such little vanity about her, but somehow she was more beautiful, makeup-less in paint-splattered overalls, than any model Amy had ever seen. "You're... you're beautiful," Amy blurted out. "Bah..." Danny said, shooing the words away. "That ain't gonna last." She pointed to her heart. "But this is. So that's what I focus on."
There are smiles in the sky, songs in the trees, and asteroids in the garden if only you are weird, wild, mad and wise enough to open your blinded eyes, to uncork your tightly sealed ears so that, at last, you are immersed in awe. So that, now, in this instant and forever after, you shimmer so brightly with droplets of joy that it is your face, too, that is reflected in the moon.
You are more real to me than most things.
I want you in a precious way.
A world is formed
not desperate, or touched with broken hearts.
I don’t know what time it is
and it doesn't matter how long we are here.
I will try to remember daily that I am not alone. I'll write my way out of this coffin I have nailed myself into. I will turn my fear into fare and chew it up and spit it out. Then I'll stomp on it boldly and leave it in the dirt. I'll cleanse my palate with deliciousness and rejoice in the fact that I Am Alive!
Tell me, which lion born forgives itself for pretending to be a zebra? Which drop of rain flies upward in some vain attempt to kiss the very face of our raging Sun? Who am I to deny the very life we were born to share?
To embark on the pleasurable journey of developing a positive body image, the most fundamental way to feel good is to feel good about being alive. Anyone can access this feeling at any time because it is simply a shift in awareness, from complacency to gratitude, regardless of your struggle with your weight and food.
I hope I am inspired as long as I live. And I hope I live as long as I am inspired. Whatever you do, don't leave the café. Keep writing until you are empty. Until you are less than empty. Until the furnace inside of you is dulled to ember.
On February 14, 2015, I invite you to join 1 Billion Rising to stop violence against women. There are events worldwide that are drumming and dancing in support of ending violence and breaking the chain.
It was a year of anger and relief. Grief and empathy. Heartbreak and open-hearted compassion. Anger and sadness and bone-aching loneliness. Kindness and support and healing words and gestures. I rediscovered old strengths and developed new ones.
While it has been a wallop of a year in every way possible, from the astrological occurrences never letting up on intensity to my insides crumbling on the floor for months on end, to the countless hours toiling away on getting another book from pen to publishing date, to the generosity and kindness of hospitable friends opening their doors for me and dealing with my wanderlust spirit, to the actual time frame of reconnecting with dear friends and family through one adventure after another, these are the stories that have shaped me.
I chose trust because I was about to leap, about to jump off the cliff into the unknown, into the not-yet-experienced self-forgiveness realm, and I knew one of two things... either everything would change, or I would remain in the shaming abyss I have spent my whole life in.
Why is it wrong to be flawed? Why do we have to associate imperfection as a bad thing? Imperfection is beautiful, it's awe-inspiring; imperfection is what makes this world, our home, a place worth dwelling.
My teen years were hellish and I received messages on a regular basis of how I wasn't good enough. Like anything that is played over and over again, a groove became imprinted in my psyche that put me in a loop of that feeling. Moving myself out seemed a task that couldn't be accomplished, and then my spiritual journey went into full force and I found my way.
Above all, honor the wisdom of your own silence. Know that it is true and strong and whole and good. Know that it needs no explanation or justification. Know that it is what it is, and nothing more or and nothing less. Know that it is everything. Just like you.
Yet it was clear as the dawn after a storm. As she linked her breath with these therapeutic movements, this kind voice stayed with her more and more consistently, and rather than question the whys or the hows just yet, she decided to do what it took for this voice to speak up more.
I wish that time to save God is here and now. To liberate Him from boredom and loneliness. If scientific facts irritate you, go for logic, common sense, and compassion as well, then religion shall be switched off for good, and replaced by virtue instead.
I was the beholder. In the eye of the beholder, all parts of me were valid, vibrant, and vital. All sides of me, no matter how it looked through the mirror darkly, were to be held, loved and listened to. All of me has something to say, something to share, and something to teach.
"No shit. Think about shipwrecks," Leanne said. "The old ones, from the days of pirates and shit. Think about all that gold at the bottom of the ocean. But only the brave ones, who dive way down deep into the wreck, only those muthafuckas get that gold. Well, you're at the bottom of the ocean kid, might as well look around and see what you find."
My heart collides with reality
and scatters bits of me everywhere.
I know this place.
I've groped about it before.
sending out emotional bounty hunters
to scour the wreckage
and drag back pieces of myself
to wedge and shoehorn it all back in
wherever it will fit.
We think that we communicate effectively. Sadly, we communicate less than anything else on earth. Isolation is the epitome of our culture, and it breeds in us, as it would any other being in this situation, fear, depression, boredom, and social illnesses.
This is a call to arms, hands, feet, hearts. Cultivate your creative nature every day. Believe in impossible ideas. If you have impossible ideas, they are within you for a reason. You think only other people can act on their ideas? Are other people more deserving dreamers than you?
You can speak frivolously about how much you love someone and can tell your sweetie sweet nothings and I love you all the time, but if you do nothing to back it up, then what is it really? In other words, Love is not frivolous or careless -- and it is certainly not lazy.
We must write ourselves into the fabric
of everything we have yet become.
Because unlike your skin, hair, and bones,
your words you take with you when you go.
Life, like land, is formed when fire meets air and water,
when thought meets emotion and language,
the edge of a moment.
Take a mental vacation and download a guided meditation app on your phone. It even works for non-hippies. Trust me, I know. A brisk walk, an occasional yoga class… a good book and a cup of tea or a glass of wine? A 20-minute self-pat on the back, so to speak. You deserve it. You've earned it.
Now what? As this phase of my life draws to a close, snakes come to signal another round of total transformation. Like Eve with her apple, I sit and wonder what the next bite will taste like, what will fill my soul's plate. I have inklings -- wispy ideas of what might be on the way -- but as usual there's nothing solid. God damn, isn't that just like change?! Rolling through causing mayhem and upset, without a single answer to a single question. Everything's a riddle. There's no use in a magic eight ball or in throwing the I-Ching. The answer's always the same: in time, it will become clear.
Our real hope for change rests in this sacred place from where miracles materialize. This subtle, invisible place holds the sacred energy of Qi, the universal life force. To go there, we have to move into this gentle place, we have to be still, be quiet, observe, move very slowly, be very, very, gentle and realize that what we don't know is the source of all things that we experience. This is a place that is difficult to visit in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.