I awakened from one dream into the next,
Peeling away the veil on another layer
Of the illusion of this reality,
Repeating this cycle of tiny deaths
Until I returned once again
To the light;
And all of the wanting,
The suffering and pain of attachment,
Had burned away in the heart-fire;
And I remembered,
Not who I am,
But what I had always been --
The clear, bright light
I heard the World call: ah-aaah!
Bursting through the silence
Of the Great Mother's womb,
From whence the oceans
And all subsequent life
Have been birthed --
The slow, rolling waves
Lapping at the shores
Of this existence,
Embracing me like a warm bath.
"I am a woman,"
Says the curves of these thighs,
Says this skin, soft and supple
As the clouds in my skies.
"I am a woman,"
Says the fire in these eyes,
Fearlessly, they open wide
Despite the secrets that they hide.
"I am a woman,"
Says the beating of this heart,
Says the scars that wrap around it
From the times it's torn apart.
"I am a woman,"
Says this unending stream of love
That connects you, wrapped up in these arms,
To the Heavens up above.
"I am a woman,"
Says every cell of this Earthly form
Until I return to the androgyny
Of the God from which I'm born.
We grow up feeling that
We are all alone
Livin' in an age when
Life exists inside the telephone, but
Sometimes I remember
What it is I seek, and
I take myself outside and breathe
Deeply as I greet the trees
Life is better when
We are together
I can fly higher when
You light my fire, and
Love it is infinite,
It’s everything we are, so
Let’s ignite, the light within
Let’s shine it from out hearts.
We grow up thinkin’ that
We are not enough
They tell us we are born in sin
And that life is only tough, but
Sometimes I remember that
Everything but love
Is manifested by the mind
Not created up above.
So let us teach our children
That they are infinite
Powerful with magic
To create just what they wish
Remind them they are perfect
Exactly as they are
Born of pure divinity
And made up of the stars.
Let us take this moment to
Heal all our wounds
Release instead of own this pain
Let us sing a different tune, for
We are born of beauty, and
This I know is true
I bow to your divinity,
I shine brighter in the light of you.
I just want to tell you that
You are not alone
Let you put your baggage down
As you step into my home
I give you permission to
Be just what you are
To break from your conditioning
And activate your heart.
Sound is the basis of all creation, and this bird has been singing as of late. I wrote this little song shortly after arriving in New Mexico in August. It's been reverberating in my soul ever since. And just weeks ago, I had the honor of singing it to my SoulCamp family at the end of a beautiful ayahuasca ceremony in the mountains outside of Sacramento. It's a moment I won't soon forget.
There's a color, on my face
Been painted by the human race
Can you see it?
How would it taste,
If all the lines could be erased?
Tear down my form and
Forget my name
Silence this incessant brain.
For we are all a victim-slave
To memories of passing pain.
And there's a color, on your face
They say it's different but
We're the same.
Like the trees and the rocks and the stars above
All painted in the color love.
So brother, sister, mother child,
Remember that your soul is wild.
Dry your tears and
Raise your voice
And in the oneness of all life rejoice.
And there's a color, on my face.
Runs deeper than the human race
Once all the lines have
Together we can be the change.
This short piece is the result of a thank you letter writing exercise at a writer's club meeting I so joyously facilitated this week. More to come.
I saw you standing there again today. In the same place as all the days before since the moment of your creation. There's something comforting about your uniformity, something I can count on even when the world around us is in a constant flurry of change and evolution. Yesterday, for example, when the rain came and the sky grew dark, in the middle of the afternoon. Everything felt heavy, like the bottom of the sea or my legs trying to walk through a dreamscape. I felt a fear rising in me as though I, along with all I knew to be, might be swept away. Carried off into the cosmic abyss. But then I peeked outside through the blinds, and I saw you there, wavering something fierce, branches piercing the shadows and the swarms of earth and leaves. I felt as if your roots had reached up through the floor of my living room and wrapped themselves around my cold, bare feet. I felt my mind come back down from that place of turbulence and sense my connection to the ground, and I could breathe again. Do you remember it? Doing that for me? Or is grounding just so embedded in your essence that you had no choice? I guess it doesn't matter, really. That moment has tumbled into this one, the now in which the storm has passed. But I remember it, and I will remember it for all my time to come. So I want to thank you. I thank you for being and for showing me how to plant myself into this great, green earth.
This body is a house of fire
Burn the walls from the inside
Flesh melt off these bones
Reduce me to the core of this land
Upon which your fingers have danced
To the song of impermanence,
To the blazing of a sun
Nor falling from the sky
Powered by the inifinite
Energy of life
A teacher to a student:
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m worried. I just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“Do you have to know?
“Well, no. I don’t know. It’s just that…”
“What will knowing give to you? And what will it take away?”
“It would give me a sense of clarity, I suppose. And security.”
“And what will it take away?”
“Anxiety, I guess. The fear of what may happen, and if I’m doing the right thing. The uncertainty.”
“Precisely that. Herein lies the danger. For it is only in the raw energy of uncertainty that magic can take place. It is the missing ingredient in so many lives. Everybody has uncertainty in life. But when a person looks down uncertainty's dark corridor, one of two things happens: Either they turn and run, retreating to the tiny room at the end of the corridor in which they exist…”
“Or, they breathe deeply, take hold of their faith and walk away from their safe but rigid confinement. They go free.”
“And what if they walk into a bad situation, find themselves in some kind of trouble they could never have prepared for?”
“I see you left your faith in the other room.”
“I’m only being realistic.”
“You’re being short-sighted. You’re forgetting that there are other conditions that must be met in order for the universe to orchestrate her magic, offering help and protection.”
“For a man to carry on in good faith he must know two things firmly. The first is that the path he follows has heart. How does one know this? One just does. Listen to the body; it will never lie. Visualize the path in your mind’s eye. Can you picture it with some clarity? Or is it only vague? Once your vision of the path is clear, hold focus and pay attention to your chest and gut especially. Has your pulse increased? Can you feel a wave of lightness spreading through your body? Does your heart flutter?”
“You will know it if it does.”
“Then there’s the gut. Feel for the weight of it; watch to see if it grows deep like an ocean or if it sits still like the reflection on a puddle, undisturbed. Does it move you? Or does it leave you feeling indifferent, uninspired? This is how you know if a path has heart. And if you see that one doesn’t, you change paths immediately.”
“I think I understand.”
“Don't think, accept. Now, on to the second. A man must be aware of his state of being. Not only must he travel a path that he has determined has heart, but he must do so in a ready state. It is a man’s responsibility to ensure his energies are balanced, that his mind, body and spiritual plane are maintained and healthy. Firstly, he must be aware that these aspects of Self exist and then he must work every day to better himself in these areas. This does not mean a man must be perfect, balanced or enlightened. Far from it. Magic helps those who are ready. But to be ready one must be doing the work. And the work is never finished.”
“Doing what work?”
“Spiritual maintenance! Self-maintenance. Living in truth and authenticity, with eyes wide open to the reality he creates for himself both inside and out. Awareness is key. Even a man who is making poor choices and living an unbalanced life but is aware of his state and is doing the work to break free is more ready than a man who is living a conventionally healthy and moral life but is unaware of the Self and its many aspects laying dormant within.”
“I see. How could a man like that even recognize that magic happened, if it did?”
“Exactly. You’re getting it now.”
“I think—no. I know I am. I can feel it.”
“That a boy.”
What a blessing this year has been. Let us take a moment to sit with it, to breathe with it, to let our hearts beat with gratitude for all it has given us.
It brings me joy to see so many people giving thanks for this year full of life, full of deepening love, full of adventure, full of change and growth, full of challenges overcome. We are shifting, and 2017 was an exercise in divinity. A light is rising like the sun, guiding us into 2018. This is a time for reflection, as the full moon will look down upon itself in the waters of the world tonight. It is a time for setting intentions, to usher in a new year (if only on the 12:60 frequency that governs us now, but we won’t get into that) with purpose, with fire guiding our water flow. Now is the time to set the tone. Now is the time to be.
I began 2017 with a dear friend in Australia and the year that unfolded therefrom was the deepest and most transformative of my life. Sitting down with my journal to reflect on it, I was overcome with emotion, with thanks and awe at the fact that it was real life, that it was mine. I want to honor it, to acknowledge the profound change it has brought to my being, to my body, to my mind, to my heart and to all of my relationships. I want to acknowledge the sense of purpose that burns in me now like a little star, growing stronger with each deepening breath, fueling me for the journey forward.
It’s here. It’s always been here. There’s no line of separation between those other dimensions and the one that I have always accepted as my reality. There is no separation of anything. That’s what she told me, and I knew it to be true. Trust. I trusted everything she said.
Chicago-born citizen of the globe, rich in the things that really matter. Let's get weird.