Days don’t stack like dominoes Anymore. Each morning finds me naked and nestled in Chocolate cake sheets the beeps of my alarm are really a KEXP-ish, late night DJ Rizz-ish trance-like nudging. Gently. I sit on folded towels to meditate because this Practice is simple. No expertise, no pricy props required. It can just be a deepening of days, the v e r t i c a l landscape of round open spaces and ever-blooming honeysuckle. Even in winter it blooms. A s l o w n e s s . I’m learning how to breathe. Days don’t stack like dominoes. This day was balmy air and woodpeckers tapping at fir trees. It was me and the silence, driving by Discovery Elementary, with its billboard announcing Humor: Lifeskill of the Month. I want to attend Discovery Elementary, I want to play hopscotch. Further down the road geese stood stretching on one leg like yogis beside a small pond and I opened my lungs real big, real wide and honked a greeting with my mouth-horn. These indelible days refuse to stack. Instead they fold and whisper…
My priestessing practice is bubbling and spinning and crackling in the fine-hair-raising incubation chamber around me. I did two Tarot readings today. Extended my reach and hooked up to some electric wires strung across the ethers like those spark-throwing lines the metro bus attaches to. Felt the !surge! Felt the humming beneath my fingernails, the warm waves coming off of the connection between me, the cards, and my client.
Let the Wild Rumpus begin!!!
Today the woman called me about signing up for her plant shaman apprenticeship, eager to offer a reduced deposit and flexible payment plan so that I could begin the wheel of the year with her in May. She talks in this breathy voice but underneath it is cast iron seriousness. I met her at the Women of Wisdom conference and was intoxicated by her energy and the possibility of deepening my spiritual practice, but when presented with the cost, I began to consider the possibility of joining the next round, which begins in September. Right now I am in financial transition and wary of making serious commitments.
But this is the second time she’s called. She keeps insisting that the money will come if I believe, and today she was saying it’s best to act soon, that “dreams have a way of slipping through the fingers.”
Now I’m not wanting to vilify her–but here’s the thing. I got to experience my own transformation today through this interaction. At first, I was excited to hear the message from her about the new payment option. And my mind started racing and I was configuring elaborate plans to bring this all into focus over the next month and a half and was feeling tight in the chest and panicky with her “act now or all is lost!” tone.
I did a tarot reading on it and the nausea emerged–the hooked feeling, being dragged along by someone else’s plans, being swept up, a fish with shocked gills trying to keep up the respiration rate, in time with someone else, in time with a different heartbeat.
I just left a working relationship built on disequilibrium and found my free! lightning rod spine again. It’s not about her. It’s not about this new person or that other person. It’s not about anyone else. It’s about me HEARING myself and honoring that voice. I have always acted impulsively and chaotically and dramatically–completely ungrounded and whipped around by windstorms.
I am feeling the call of the silence now. That trepidation I discovered through the mirror of my cards, hours after the pressurized phone call, was an indication of the solid column I’ve built connecting me to my own heartcenter, to the Great Mother’s womb, to the crowning heads of the births of stars–and all of it slow and measured. Cultivating Patience now. It is like the space between words. The unformed potential.
I heard. I heard myself. I called her back and left a kind yet firm message stating that while I deeply appreciate her flexibility and consideration in reaching out to me, and that I do look forward to working with her, that it has become clear to me that the September session is the right decision for me.
And it could be that simple. And the world didn’t come crashing to a halt. And the gates of her farm have not clanged shut as if in the grip of an angry tempest, barring me forever from the work of herbal shamanism (which in itself is the magic of LISTENING to the plants, of hearing their complex messages).
I listened and I spoke and I am.
I love you, sweet ones.
The deep cranial work Sasha did freed up some old, fancy-pants demons. This bright morning, fresh from shared coffee and laughter and conversation rich with metaphor, when I hugged my pal goodbye, my loosened neck muscles clamped down and I had shooting nerves like skyrockets and a mean little cloud descended upon me. Or maybe ascended from me. At any rate, no matter how many shamanic techniques I tried today, I couldn’t shake the pain or the edge of aggression seething from my skin.
This afternoon, I called Sasha to ask her about it. Before this work of reclaiming my worth that I started in the fall with my abundance circle, I would not have called. It wouldn’t have occurred to me. I believed with a steely and unnamed certainty that my lot in life was to struggle and suffer. Unquestioningly.
I called Sasha and we talked it through. She listened. She held space. She talked about the weight of the energy she released last night, the density of it, the ancientness of it. I knew immediately that this was heavy-duty old-school protective armor that I donned at some young and green time when things just weren’t safe.
Today I just needed to move through it. And to rest. Sasha suggested ice and a gentle self-massage performed by the tips of my fingers under the weight of my naturally-resting skull. Just a gentle working. Just a releasing. And some tears to melt away those old barnacles of my emotional callouses.
And now I sleep.
Her hands were ribbons beamed from the sun, a diffusion of gold bars through dense forest. That was when she worked on my legs. Like trunks. Strong. Steady. Rooted. Pulling the sap up from the soles of my feet, the sustaining nurturance. Her fingers working at my back brought warrior images: on the left dorsal stood a fierce masked one in red; on the right was the counterpart, in blue. Fire and water. Engulfing, submersing. Mars in me. Aries and Scorpio. Each breath pulled at me and drew me deeper below, and the visions kept coming. A page ripped in half, or a curtain, and butterflies appearing in the crevice between, crawling out, clawing out. A swarm.
And on my neck! Those hard cords of muscles on my neck, when plucked like harp strings, blasted open a spinning disc in my throat–the aqua chakra, the one that all the psychics say is blocked in me, the one they say is clouded and muffled. When it began to throb and shine, I felt a pulsing in my solar plexus. Power chakra.
Shine on, sweet.
I love you for your
I am officially opening myself up to the Universe. To flow. Each day planting daffodil bulbs for my eventual crop circle of blossoms–a giant concentric circle of all of the meanderings and stuckness and somersaults of these, my years.
I answered an inquiry about writing for an LGBTQ blog and submitted samples of my writing. Why was I compelled to blurt out disclaimers about most of my publishing credits being in the realm of poetry and personal essays? Just open up and let go. Let go of outcomes, expectations and preferences. Release my watery body into the stream and let the current carry me, arms and legs akimbo, effortless. In my circle of folks learning to work with the material plane, learning to ALLOW the blessings, we keep coming back to this principle: Show up, do the footwork, allow Spirit (in my case Goddess) to do the rest.
I’ve spent so much time being microscopic. The other day I was standing with someone who has provided many challenges over the past couple of years, lessons about relating, and all of a sudden, I realized that I am physically taller than her. A profound zooming-in and freezeframe moment. How could I not have noticed this?
Because I’ve been energetically cowering beneath her. Because I am now learning what my right size is. Like when you grow up and are shocked to realize one day that your parents aren’t giants, that you can look them in the eye. A revealed alteration in consciousness I experienced, standing in the hallway with this person.
Like how for two years, I’ve been working for this client, going to her yard, cleaning up, and her golden retriever rushes out, yowling and barking and all frisky-like, and I have been so frightened. Even though I love dogs and most of the dogs I work with love me. But this one I couldn’t get a handle on. Yesterday, however, when she came barreling toward me, I simply stuck out my hand, nonchalantly, at my hip, and you know what she did? She ran up and nuzzled her nose into my cupped hand, and I petted her, and she made this gurgling noise, like a pig oinking, like she was indulging in utter gluttonous delight. And I’ve been afraid. She was just talking and I heard shouting. I don’t want to imagine violence anymore. In the early times, the fingerpaints I had only came in hues of bruises and empty houses and growling stomachs. I am blending a brighter set of paints these days.
For all these years.
You should see how tall I am now.
I’m just the
And that golden is my new pal. All that’s golden. Stay golden, Ponyboy.
The fear has been crouching there, just at the edge of my vision, all. day. long.
My money is changing. My job is changing. My me-ness is changing.
Between the yoga, the energy work, the abundance work, the writing community, the Eckhart Tolle book group,
my me-ness is changing.
I left yoga today springy-spined and feeling completely integrated. Then I had to pee every 20 minutes for the rest of the day, which is no easy feat when your job is all about driving.
I’ve become an expert at identifying public restrooms (you wouldn’t believe how many places are off-limits and sometimes I have to go so bad my abdomen is in a vice grip and my home base is a moving vehicle instead of an office and so it feels like a monumental injustice that a business would deny me their toilet!!!).
My urination rate explodes off the chart after Bikram yoga because before going in, I chug 3 liters in the hour and a half leading up to class. Then I sweat my own sort of Snoqualmie Falls and my cells are famished for water. Thus, the cycle begins. At the end of all this, I actually get kind of a dehydration headache. After pounding water all day! Weird.
Tonight is the full moon in Virgo and I called two women to a healing ritual in my home. Cancellations, complications and health issues of those involved means it didn’t happen. Virgo, my sweet. Oh compassionate, conscientious one. Oh healer, oh fixer-upper. The Virgo moon and I are crooning our own serenades to each other this night while my stomach begs me for chocolate.
My friend bought me a pass to do Bikram yoga. Hot hot hot. The sweat rolling down, slippery behind my knees, my lungs feeling constrained and tight due to the spectre of cigarettes (today is 35 days smoke-free!).
And today I laughed at myself! And marveled at myself. To hold these postures, to kick your leg out behind you all arabesque-like and curve yourself into a spoon, to twine your legs around each other like caterpillars on flower stalks, to bring your forehead to your knees like prayer–funny sometimes and profound sometimes and always beautiful because I am
My friend AKD wrote this poem called “I Have, I Have, I Have” from the prompt of “I Want, I Want, I Want” in our writing class. “I have Life,” he said. And we all sighed in wonderment and behind that wonderment was wonderment that we should be surprised. That it could be that simple.
I laughed at myself because I am no yogi. I love my body but haven’t always. I stretched and focused my virgo meticulousness on the tiniest attunement of muscle and ligament, skin and tendon, and had to laugh at myself slipping from these contortionist positions into a sweaty, lobstery heap on my Yugi-Oh! towel spread across my yoga mat. The towel made me laugh, too. Yugi-Oh is like this watered-down anime that was a cartoon and(!) card game similar to Pokemon. I like his hair. Impossible yellow and fuschia spikes. And he always talks about “the heart of the cards.” You know I love that.
I looked around the room, each face poker-red, ripening sweat a nice unrestrained dankness in the air, lankness of the hair, faces screwed in concentration, but also a kind of surrender. I loved the Presence of it. I had no space in my cranium for lists and shoulds and fretting. Just in the moment. Breathing and sweating, one with my wondrous flesh.
On the way home, crunching a slightly tart and crispy apple, juice splattering all over my pink hands in my haphazard chomping, I located a warmth in my spine. A vitality. I looked at the fading sun and the incongruous snowflakes (scary if I let myself think about the juxtaposition in this time of global climate change and the freakishness of snow in Seattle) and relaxed into it. Into the dusk. A sweet little serpent of laughter rose up from my sacrum and I lifted my lips to Gratitude.
I am in training. These past two weekends, surrounded by folks with hearts for heads and hands for hearts, I walked with a jar of water, filling up, pouring out, filling up again. You know this water? Nourishment. The one that signifies flowing–flowing like essence like honey like ambrosia. I am in training to be a Shanti Volunteer. To sit with sweetness and non-judgement, to be a Container. A Holder. Spacious.
Each day, Spirit dusts off a new brick in my path, the one I am creating, the one that’s always been there, obscured. All of this can coexist. All of my pieces and parts. I told Andrea that time felt so flimsy and relative. I can fall deeply into a day and skip lightly across months.
I looked around at the skills I’ve collected and realized that the pieces are all stacked and now I can build! All these years of scraping and struggling! Why have I been thrashing about in universities that squeeze and hex me? Why have I been bleeding from one minimum-wage job to the next? Someone bring me a tourniquet! I am a healer. I give counsel and love and hold up mirrors to show my community how powerful they are. I read the Tarot. I create ritual and sacred space and rites of passage. I am an ordained minister of SHES (Spiritual Healers and Earth Stewards) and Priestess of Artemis–the Huntress, the Protector, the Wild One.
Artemis is one of the Virgin goddesses, but virgin like the original Greek meaning. Virgin like “whole and intact unto herself.” Lacking nothing. Perfect as she is. Like you are. Like I am. I feel my own quickening coming on, throbbing with the lub-dub, lub-dub of the pulse of it all, of the Great Mother, of the global village or whatever you want to call it. Infinitely small and infinitely vast. But everything circling around the same center. All the humming converges in this: Inhale. rest. Exhale. rest.
Concentric. We share the same center.