Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Are You Wakening Into Life?!

Do you know you your body is an instrument, a divining rod for all that you feel, all that you know, your own unique interface for who you are and all that you experience, both consciously and unconsciously? Your nervous system is one of the finest networks designed by nature and our endeavors to replicate and recreate, through the internet and other communication webs, what has already been done so exquisitely, by the cosmos, is really an adorable attempt to understand and utilize the finer inner workings of our own highly sensitive, internal system, a radically interwoven web of interconnections, both seen and unseen, measurable and immeasurable to human observation. We are so much more than dull meat suits! Even if you believe that you are soul inside a body, having a human experience, this does not really fully cover intricacies or simplicity, of how fully connected to life you truly are. Stardust walks with you, inside your bones, the very same elements that compose the cosmos, are fundamentally you. You are a universal intelligence, now as you are.  Nowhere to go nothing to become, no process of enlightenment to be undertaken, nothing to prove, heal or even realize, unless you care to realize, in this moment, you are already whole, you are the very answer  that you seek, you are life, breath and Connection itself, ever wakening to Its own existence.
So with this inevitable awareness unfolding all around, more people than ever diving into the experience of their own deliciously, human-divinity, why are we the most, numbed, drugged out, population, ever to grace this earth? It's simple, it is our own awareness that is doing us in. Because we are aware of ourselves, we are also aware of fears, limitations, desires, we are aware that something seems to be missing and none of the things that are promised to us, sold to us in droves, from technology to religion, actually make us feel any better. They don't deliver the everlasting glamour, the piety, the wealth or propriety that they are supposed to and so we drag on through life, wondering silently or not so silently, "What the fuck?!"
We act like beggars and robbers when we are all Kings and Queens, equal to, not above, all things. We act as if our life force is something to be bartered with. We act as if we don't matter, then struggle to assert our personality in all things, attempting to give the world a makeover in our own image, instead of realizing that the images, and experiences of the word are already part of us, part of our very make up both biologically and energetically. We enact these horrors, create these rules and regulations and set ourselves up to be at odds with our very being and then we wonder why we are destructive, depressed, anxious and even suicidal? It is no wonder, we are, so many of us, doing our very best to eradicate our very life force, our ability to choose what we truly value and create in harmony with our souls and nature. It is no wonder that we suffer. It is no wonder that we choose drama, distortion, distraction and intoxication instead of fully feeling ourselves and all that we have engendered in this world. We are both the authors of horror and wonder and we constantly live at odds with ourselves and nature, walking a line between destruction and creation and not really understanding where we fit in, what our purpose is or why we are here, just knowing, deep in our bones, that something is off and it is not supposed to be this way.
As shamans, through antiquity have practiced, mental illness or dis-ease, is also a disease of soul, or perhaps more accurately, an indication of soul loss. How can we feel at ease in our bodies in our lives, when our most fundamental elements of self are diluted or even missing? The answer is we can't and the entire savior culture is more of a detriment than an aid to us divining who we are what we truly need. I do not doubt that medicine has its place and utility, or that religion can bring wisdom and comfort but popping pills, guzzling alcohol, or stabbing ourselves with needles, is not the answer, anymore than trying to pay our way into heaven. We need our souls to function and no one can give that to you, no matter what they promise and no commercial no matter how good they make it look, can fix your life with what they are selling.
Dare I say, and I do, that the very feelings that many of us avoid and perceive to be harbingers of doom, may be the very wake up calls we are looking for? What if what is known as depression, is really a state of deep self oppression, in which we refuse or do not know how to feel, see or acknowledge the deeper realizations and messages that stir within our bodies and psyche? It may be anger, grief, resentment, rage or even hopelessness, but to acknowledge, to feel, is to live. We may not want to feel that way, who does, but we cannot deny the elements of our human composition and expect to retain our humanity. We are programmed left and right with the idea that if we are doing it right, whatever that means, that we we will inevitably be healthy, wealthy and wise, sexy and irresistible to each other and the cosmos, and if not then just give your troubles to Jesus, or whatever guru of the day you wish to lay your autonomy at the feet of, or here's an other option, take some accountability for how you feel, what you have created and the choices that you make based on whomever's value system you are operating under and make a stand for what you actually value! As our own values slowly erode, those codes that give us access to our very soul intelligence, become replaced with a societal value structure and if you do not really buy into what the world seems to want you to value, then well, you can look to a savior or to Prozac, to save you from your own radical self. But here is the truth, you don't need saving. You don't need to lie prostate for anyone living or dead, to redeem yourself, you don't need to barter your life-force and resources to buy little bottles full of little symbols for normalization.
What you need, dare I be so bold to suggest, or no, I will not suggest shit to you. I will say what I have found I need, because who am I to tell you what you need? Not another goo goo with all the answers. No. I don't know what you need, but I can and will advocate for my own.
In my own experience what I have found I need, is to allow myself to fully feel the immensity of my being, the fullness of my humanity, to tend to my insecurities, to lean into the discomfort, to allow to the joy to rise, to ride with exuberance, the ups and downs of being alive and in this body. What I need, is to offer myself patience and compassion for the constant state of contradiction that I embody as a living, breathing human. What I need is to embrace the audacity to focus first on myself, who I am, how I feel, what I love, what I need, discerning breath by breath, moment to moment, what is appropriate for me to commit my life-force to as each opportunity arises and I choose to meet it, exactly as I am, now, not how I wish to someday be. That my friend, is good enough, for me. That is a worthy endeavor, a cause worth playing for, my own delicious enlivening! Yummy!
I recently came to understand for myself, that a sensation that I was associating with anxiety, is actually parts of myself that have gone numb, have fallen complacent, waking up. It's uncomfortable, undesirable even, and yet, so life affirming. The need to tend to the sensations rattling my body, brings back me into myself in a deeper, more compassionate way, and even as it activates me, triggers me even, I acknowledge that every event in in my life unfolds to support this enlivening. I can only thank life for giving me the experiences that I need to fully claim my values, my own life-force as I delve into my purpose, which is so elegantly simple, to become fully alive in this moment, in this body, compassionately attentive to my own humanity, divinity and all my incredible talents a well as shortcomings. I now understand anxiety, simply, as pent up life-force, my own yearning for life to be more fully lived.
So many of us are actually being wakened into life through the very experiences that we try to avoid, to numb, to control, to subvert, to manage. So many of us seek to normalize, whatever that means, our individual signature with the hope of fitting in, of being good girls and boys, of not rocking the boats, not changing too much, not feeling too much and we are all suffering for it. We agree to be a little smaller, a little duller a little less vital than we could be, and so as this great awakening continues to rumble our bellies, shake us from our beds, knock us into our hearts, our guts and out of our heads, we must all ask ourselves, how do I want to play with my one precious life, my vitality, creativity and indomitable spirit? How do I know how to come to alive in this life? I ask you this, when was the last time you laughed until you shook, until tears streamed down your face? When was the last time you let yourself cry, until you were emptied and cleansed? When was the last time you danced for no reason, for no one but you, for the pure pleasure of feeling your own body move?  When was the last time you dreamed, sang, or howled at the moon?
Life stirs inside and all around and will take no substitute for being fully, unapologetically lived. We are being wakened into life!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Feeling My Way To Freedom

No one is perfect. No one is happy all the time. No couple has it all figured out, no matter how good they may look. Nobody feels good all the time and it is frankly really hateful of ourselves and each other to insist that we do. No one can live up to that kind of pressure! So I invite you to take a breath, sit down, pull your feet up and wail with grief, anger or even joy, if you like. Once the story begins to unravel the expression of any emotion is just so deliciously primal. 
I myself, have been living in a very intensified state. In the last month, a story that I had been particularly fond of, has unraveled, I find myself in a choose your own adventure tale, and I find the choices that are unfolding before me, are not what I thought they would be. 
Through this time, a deeply unsettling sense of anxiety has revealed itself to actually be a rather relentless anger, uncomfortable and yet somehow, so life affirming. Fire melting through numbness, waking sensations both desired and terrifying.
Anger is a hard one for me to register, the fear of becoming out of control with it, turns it to a lurker in my awareness. Other feelings I can register quite readily, but anger, it frankly frightens me and although I know it is mine, it is the feeling that I most readily wish to blame another for. You see, I cannot possibly be the one generating all this discomfort for myself, yet I do and I do even more damage by not acknowledging it, when it is there. I'd rather feign hurt. Hurt I can handle, but when the hurt sears through my body, no longer as hot tears, but more like a brazier in my belly, I shut it down, I ruminate in past pains, rather than letting that sacred fire burn through the old growth, I mean, what if it gets out of control?  My anger could very well consume a small village.
Slowly, I am learning, deeply, not just in my mind, that attempting to manage my emotions through suffocation or replication is not true fluidity and is not actually feeling, and where either of those choices may provide temporary relief, both will also lead to ongoing emotional outbursts, self implosion, recriminating self hate, as well as miscommunication with others. 
I do not belong in a box, not one of anyone else's choosing or my own oh so clever, craftsmanship. I can never be all one thing and when I insist that I am, I find I have to shift others roles in my mind to maintain my position. I will actually poison my perceptions of others and what is between us, to make them the source of my discomfort and pain and latch onto that pain like a dog with a really stinky toy that should have been tossed out a month ago. Yet, is so comforting and familiar, I just don't want to let it go. Pain like a guest that has overstayed it's welcome, yet I am too polite to ask it to leave and too angry to actually be a good host to it. So what now?
What lies beyond this story? What other feelings are waiting to take root? What happens if I let go of my insistence that love must be this way or that? What might happen if I truly let the story go and tend only to the sensations that arise from this body in this moment, making no one's burden my joy or discomfort?
That sounds potentially a lot like freedom!
I know the Light is not courted into existence but is simply allowed. I know that love blooms not because of how many seeds are put into the ground, but how well I tend to the ones that I choose to plant. I know that rage can be fuel, that certain seeds only crack open under the most incendiary conditions. I know that new life is always sprouting and that holding onto certain seasons is as unnatural as it is unsatisfying. I know all of this.  I know an awful lot.
My mind is a most ingenious trap, forever seeking ladders to climb and imagining the most fascinating obstacles to be in my way. But now, in this moment, I am feeling it. I am feeling myself as the storm furious and cleansing, with no object to destroy or to liberate, a storm does not think in such terms. A storm simply does not think! I feel the lighting cracking inside me and the ozone it generates, my senses picking up nuances from the very air around me that tingle with vitality. I am this force and I must live at its center, in and all around it, fully claiming me, which inevitably lets you off the hook.  
I release you! I surrender. This static vog between us, melting in the light of real love and full self acceptance. A new day rises within and without, and as we drag the rubbish from under the beds, from out of the closets, I find these are not the treasures I once thought they were. They are empty costumes, they are outdated outfits, itchy and constricting and we deserve so much more. We deserve liberation! We deserve to see each other stripped of our old constructs and tedious roles, we deserve love and acceptance not these veiled threats, change or else. Change or no change, we deserve freedom.

Thomas Wilfred, Unit #50, Elliptical Prelude and Chalice

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Goddess Is Buzzing

The Goddess is singing in my ear, or perhaps more accurately, I should say, buzzing! 

With the Solstice energy rising high, I can feel Her, the Eternal One.  In pagan tradition, She is the Unchanging, the Undying. Yes, she moves through various phases, Maiden, Mother, Crone, but it is the role of the God, to unite with her, to surrender to her and in so doing, be reborn. This is the role of ego, to surrender to the Source, to return, over and over to Darkness, to the Womb, the Void, to Silence. This is life in balance. Ego, or energy going out, can only expand from that space within, lest entropy completely take over and the entire universe fall into disarray! 
Ha! The inward turn, is actually inevitable, so the question is really, how much suffering do we really need to generate in avoidance of that inevitability? The answer is really so simple, none. We do not actually need to generate any suffering, yet we do, so do we believe in the sacredness or purpose of suffering or do we, now choose, to see suffering for what it really is, resistance to natures cycles. 
Our modern society seems hell bent on resisting the cycles of nature. We are the only species that can, not only better its position in life with its creativity, but can use the very same ingenuity to destroy ourselves and all around us. We are inherently, creative and destructive. That is not a bad thing. We must be willing to dismantle the old, to give rise to new growth. Please note, I do not say new paradigm here because that is irrelevant. There is no new paradigm! This notion that a new paradigm can arise from our current value systems to replace the current personal and societal dysfunction, is but a trap of ego, another phase of resistance to the return to Stillness, a clever attempt at salvation through doing and over doing, rather than going within, resting and reconfiguring, which to ego, is very much like dying, and that it resists with every fiber of its existence.  Ego loves the idea of evolution, that we are ever rising to a greater state of never before experienced exaltedness, but that is simply not the case. "This has all happened before and will all happen again." To quote, Battlestar Gallactica. Life is cyclical. 
History provides us with plenty of evidence that we have existed in a paradigm in which we lived in harmony with each other and nature, to a larger degree. In no flaming shock, those times were presided by the principles of the Great Goddess whose values include, harmony, community and collaboration. Similarly, this is how a bee hive functions and looking back through antiquity, the Goddess has been symbolized through time, as a bee or in relation to bees. Honey is one of the few materials that does not degrade over time; honey that has been sealed in jars, found in tombs in Egypt, up to 3,000 years old, is still edible!  Talk about unchanging!
Does it escape your attention, that the bee population has been decimated, in recent years. That the unholy mind of innovation, bent on creating itself, greater than any god, is destroying the very principals through which nature functions in harmony? Do you notice the disease of youth seeking, in our culture, the inability to embrace the next phase of our development.  From maiden, to mother, to crone, these sacred passages are invalidated with every procedure imaginable, the erasure of the evidence of wisdom from the very bodies that bear the life-force into this world. 
Not only does this show in the way we treat our bodies and our obsession with staying youthful, but in our greater society as well, as we refuse to move out of our natural fire phase, our grotesque destruction and consumption of everything, and into the next phase of our natural development, wood, the phase in which our collective begins putting down roots and once again caring for its own people. In the study of ancient cultures, it was through the discovery evidence of an existing social structure, that cared for those who could not care for themselves, through which the humanity of the species was confirmed.  
To return to a truly shared state of divinity, is to once again, fully embrace our humanity, our frailties, commonalities and differences, our interdependence upon each other for more than our mere egos survival, but to truly thrive together as individuals and as a species. We already have the key to cease our cycles of suffering in our hearts, our wombs, deep within the subtle intelligence of our beloved bodies and the body on which we all live, Earth.
As the Great Whee of Life turns, it is once again time to embrace the wisdom of the Bees, community, collaboration and harmony.  

Inspiration for this article, came from my own dreams last night in which I met with the Meissae, the Bee Priestesses and in which it was conferred to me that, we as a society, need to be seen connecting with each other, caring for each other, touching each other, even when that makes others uncomfortable.  In further dream exploration, a utopian society was shown to me, "a new paradigm" world in which the same dysfunctions still underlies, beneath the shiny exterior because that world was still built on regulation and religion.  From latin regulate (v.) early 15c., "adjust by rule, control," move in a straight line. As well as religion, whose roots mean to tie or bind.

To me the Melissae are saying, "Hey honey, this is the sweetness to life as well as its greatest medicine and our eradicable message, is simply to live by the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would have done to you. Listen to Nature and to the Buzz of your own Heart."

Further inspiration came from this article

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Living In The Unexpected

Image result for skipping down the cobblestones
It seems to be pretty commonly accepted in many New Age circles, that if you can learn to control your thoughts, learn to control your feelings and thereby vibration, and learn to keep yourself pure, that you will have control over your life.  Of course these ideas aren't presented in this way, exactly because despite all the effort put into controlling all these elements of your inner and outer world, control is still the bad guy.  So we want to let go of control to be free, you hear it all the time, let go! But at the same time we are supposed to control our thoughts and feelings to get what we want.
OK. Now even I am confused! Which is it! Do you want to train your monkey mind or set it loose in the wild, because I'm pretty sure, we can't have it both ways.
So why the obsessive focus on the positive?  Because it's something that we can attempt to control and without even realizing it, we buy into the another layer of the reward and punishment system.  You better be good and raise that vibration or the Universe won't give you what you want! Maybe you're dreams will come true if you stand on your head for two hours a day, while only thinking happy thoughts and eating nothing but plant matter?  So I should become an acrobatic cow and then I'll be happy, is that what they are saying?  Not likely, I like steak too much and I would rather stake my claim to my full humanity, than sit with a sifter and attempt to sort through the parts of me that are deemed, spiritually acceptable.
The overwhelming message in regards to manifestation and co-creation really seems to be, you can have the life you want if your vibration matches all the the things that you want to have and there are a thousand and one ideas about how to raise your vibration.  Do you really think the Universe cares what hoops you jump through to feel good about yourself?  Or that your spiritual prowess or value is determined by how good you are at manifesting?
I don't know where we got the idea that the universe is a giant Cost Co store with everything that we have ever wanted right at our fingertips, and that our membership dues are based on the purity of our vibration.  Can you say consumerism much?  And just so we are clear, this is not a new idea, the whole Judeo-Christian reward mythology, is based on pretty much the same notion, if you are good enough, pure enough, God will accept you and let you into heaven. The only real difference that I can see, is that in this New Age version, God has been replaced with The Universe and heaven has become yet another facet of materialism, a real fancy one known as Abundance OOO AHHH! You get your money for nothin and your chicks for free! One might also call this spiritual materialism, not quite as pretty, but kind of accurate. If this is really how you want to use your spiritual powers, then by all means, attempt to manipulate the Universe into giving you what you want and then, as so many do, become sullen and sulky when you don't get your way and run and find someone to fix or save you, so you can be more deserving. Way to raise that vibration! I mean, isn't that what all the law of attraction teachings say?  You can order anything off the Universal Cost Co menu, including people, IF you are pure enough, if you resonate with the right stuff and if you're not, then hop back on the positivity train because, that'll get you there.  If you have another way to interpret, raising your vibration or purifying your thoughts, please, I'm all ears.  But before you say, or even think anything, consider this, contrived positivity will always lead you back to what you are lacking.  Real positivity is like the lily that grows in the grossest of places, it arises naturally and thrives of off of you processing your shit! Mmmhmm, because that is magical!
I wonder, how many of us even stop to think about who inside us even doing the wanting?  I mean we are essentially trained to want through experiencing lack and then trying our best to fix or fill what appears to be lacking, which just might be our own acceptance of ourself! It's funny when we can accept things as they are, they so often, then shift. Take me as I am or not at all and I will do my damn best to do the same for you and together we will grown in presence and tolerance together, and what is meant to felt will be felt, what is meant to stay will stay, and what isn't will be alchemized or naturally released.
Everyone is damn pleasant when they are getting what they want and can be manipulated into being cooperative when they believe that there are rewards to be had by doing so. Think about it.  When you were a kid, you most likely operated on a reward and punishment system. When you performed in the way that was approved of, you got something that you wanted.  When your behavior was met with disapproval, something was taken away, or you were punished or isolated, withheld affection or approval. I know many people subscribe to the notion that we are Children of God, well, if you are reading this, you are likely not a child anymore and you also, have more than likely transposed whatever issues you had with your parents onto Creation.  In other words, if you are good boy or girl with a properly raised vibration, you'll get what you want. But if you are a bad boy or girl and slip into negative vibes, all the sunshine and unicorns will be taken away. But if you are good, rewards will rain down upon you and in this revised paradigm, you don't even have to wait to until you are dead!  You can get It now, if you can figure out what the fuck, IT is.
Talk about a yo yo!  
So someone cool comes into your life, but they don't have all  the things that you had on your  little manifestation list, so you discount them, never knowing what might have been.  Maybe you have this idea about your perfect job but as you begin to live it, you realize it is not what you thought it would be or worse, it's exactly what you thought it would be and you still aren't happy.  Now what?  Have you done something wrong.  Oops better check you vibration!  Better make a gratitude list, better find something, anything to distract you from the discomfort. 
What if you lean into yourself, right now, as you are in this moment. Hold the discomfort, cradle the discontent, the fear, undulate with the grief, the sadness, roar with the rage.  Let it all move through you as you acknowledge... I am not my list. I am not my vision board. I am not my failure or success. I am just as I am, fine or not so fine and that is OK. I am this breath, this body, these feelings, this space and all that crowds into it just begging to be held. I am the unexpected, I am the Mystery.
No matter how positive you are, you will never be able to control all the factors in your life. Bodies become unbalanced, diseased and it's not because they are doing something wrong. People will come into and out of your life and if you have that, "the qualities that I want in a partner list" stuck so tightly to your nose, you will miss them.  Some of the things that you struggle with you get to choose, some you do not.  Some of the very choices that you make in search of what propels you, what makes you happy, what just might be your purpose, will include hardships, labor that is required to bring those things forth. Nothing is born into this realm without a little discomfort, including You!  
The birth process itself is a magnificent struggle, a new life, forming and scrabbling into the world.
You manifesting you, as that deep and abiding Presence that, resides and always has, within you, is simply about you meeting yourself in any condition, without condition and walking through it.  If you  can manage this with some dignity, humility, humor and courage, you will be well on your way to living a truly blessed existence and you will find that all the lack that you have spent so much time trying to escape in a myriad of ways, was never more than bleak trance and you are as you always were, enough.
Now take a breath into that, let yourself be filled and naturally emptied. Know yourself as Source! Kind of fucking magical, right!?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sh*t Happens As We SHIFT!

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We aren't as careful or meticulous or clean as we would always like to be and sometimes, we make messes; even when we are being super aware, poop can still occur! My sweet pug, Grommet The Adorable, (full title) reminded me of this when he came into my work room for a cuddle, as I was easing into my day, preparing for my first client.  He made his way onto the bed, settled in turned around and then, I noticed, hmm, what is that?  Oops! It smells. Hmmm poopy but print. Eew. 
I'm sure I've left some poopy but prints in my day, not literal ones, not since I was a wee babe, anyway.  As that wise old adage so elegantly states, "Shit Happens!" 
Why yes, yes it does, and shift happens too!  How we deal with the shit often determines the quality of the shift.  So in this instance, I could have gotten mad, I could've been grossed out, and I was a bit, but I also had to deal with it.  I could not positively think the shit stain away. That doesn't work. No matter how I viewed it, I had a little poop to clean up. Just a little. But pretending it was chocolate when it was clearly poop, was not going to help.  
Sometimes the most positive thing you can say is, "This positively fucking sucks!"  
Well no need for all that drama, not for such tiny thing but, "Deal with it, we must.  Pretending it is Tootsie Roll, will not make it so. HMMM." My inner Yoda sayest to you.
We can, however, always choose the attitude that we approach any stain or storm.  We can hum while we wipe and change out the bedding, we can dance in the rain and hop through the puddles or we can storm and fume and grumble and bitch.  Either way, its gotta be done.  
There will never be a shit free life. We all just have to keep on wiping and moving and as you well no, nobody's poo smells like roses.  It's a fact. Its waste and waste smells. That's how you know you don't need it, it has a distinctly unpleasant quality to it.  From the psycho-spiritual to the emotional to the very physical substance, what you are meant to release and clean up, has a way of letting you know it does not belong. All information, vibration and nutrition gets passed through the bodies and then released because those bodies cannot use it and they are all very effective at releasing toxins of all kinds, all we need to do is be present to what wants to stay and what wants to go, as we clean and release going along in life.  
So as the wisdom of the bodies, all the bodies dictate, and the wise master, Bruce Lee, spake, "Absorb what is useful, discard the classical mess." And for my own two cents, "As you go along in life, do your best to clean up your mess."

Art by: Camilo Rojas

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Loving A Wounded Woman

First off, I'll say this; I want to love myself, I really do. I also want you to love me, I really do. I admit it! 
I am in some ways, pretty good at loving myself, and in other ways, I suck.  I have gotten better and better at telling people to give me space when I need it, to fuck off even. I have gotten better at not walking on eggshells when I can feel someone is not in a great space their self, and not taking it personally. I’m slowly getting better at really paying attention to what is going on in my own body and seeking help from others when something is off.  
I still tend to want to do it on my own.  I’d rather look into whatever trouble I am having and find a way to balance it naturally, myself. Sometimes this works, sometimes not so much.  The trouble with that is that I have to first acknowledge that something is wrong and I don’t like to do that.  I’d frankly rather ignore it and have fun, whether that be going shopping instead of doing my taxes or checking out on social media instead of booking that dentist or gynecologist appointment.  I get instantly rewarded in those situations... Like Like Like! Where as self care can sometimes feel like an endurance test, all those distractions taste like cookies!
Too often feeling that something is off in my body, or in a behavior, brings up vast amounts of shame and failure. It’s disproportionate, really, I know that everyone gets sick, that bodies become unbalanced, through no fault of our own.  I know that people need help to stay healthy at multiple levels, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I know that, all of it.  But there can be a vast gulf between knowing and living. 

Neglect and abuse have always been neighbors. They live in a duplex with a withered yard and on any given Sunday you may hear one side of the complex howling and thumping, but form the other side of the duplex, you don’t hear so much.  On Monday morning, both doors open releasing slightly disheveled kids.  They probably don’t talk much amongst themselves as they shuffle off to the bus, they may be less willing to meet the eyes of the driver or their classmates.  One set of kids, one side of the house, is shrouded in secrecy.  They are the secret keepers, the Silent Guardians of the family, the policy is don’t ask, don’t tell, although at it’s root, this the motto for both houses.  One side of the duplex, abuse, bears terrible secrets, scars and nightmares that don’t go away in the light and yet somehow, get normalized.  
On the other side of the house, the neglect side, the don’t ask, don’t tell policy, is rooted in something a little different.  Where as terror is not necessarily at the foreground of their interactions, those who live in a house of neglect, simply don’t feel important.  They don’t feel they matter and so their material manifestation is distorted.  Perhaps the laundry needs to be done, the cupboards are less than well stocked or the fridges contents are beginning to look like science experiments.  The parents can't seem to pull it together for themselves, let alone their kids. Perhaps the children, where not beaten, feel a bit beaten down, wary and weary, or even depressed.  The message, not necessarily spoken, is clearly delivered, none the less, you don't matter. 
I grew up in both sides of the duplex. There was fun, there was drama and there was fear.  I learned who I needed to be in the varying environments and I created certain skill sets and behaviors to deal with wherever I was.
One mark of neglect seems to be the shuffling of blame, one parent blaming the other for their discomfort and lack of accountability and lack of ability for clear communication, was a common display in my family. Your dad hasn't paid child support, your mother is crazy.  This was a conversation that I got stuck the middle of and I surfed between the flotsam and jetsam from both wrecks. I learned to stay on alert for drama and outbursts in those unpredictable waters.
My parents divorced when I was eight and shared custody over us three kids.  We bounced back and forth between them, over about a sixty mile split, between Corwin Springs and Livingston, MT. Both of my parents were emotionally volatile people, the range of their emotional expression was unpredictable, and sometimes frightening. And they were both great at having fun.  
And that is another mark of neglect, replacing real care with the search for fun and other distractions.  Pizza and movies instead of hard conversations and homework.  And later in life, beer and take out instead of cooking and cleaning. Drugs and sex over education and parenting, me, with my own child. Forever searching for fun and distractions, gets passed down, from parent to child to the next generation, just like abuse, the seeds are planted when one is young and if not weeded out those weeds take over and flourish.  Self care gets replaced with distractions, addictions, more volatile relationships and pampering, and where it is nice to pamper oneself, it is not the same as self care.  Self care can be uncomfortable, as I already stated.  It requires us to be present in our body, listening and feeling to those signals, which will inevitably include pain. Real self care requires time and attention.  Attention that because of the seeds of neglect, we may just not think we are worthy of. The message can be subtle, yet it roots in deeply, informing us of who we are and what to value.
Somehow not taking care of yourself just becomes ok.  It’s not fun and it can be quite uncomfortable and expensive.  
And that is why I, a Wounded Woman, raised in a house of neglect, with visits from violence, can be hard to love.  I'm still learning to love myself and sometimes, what comes up, to be loved on, triggers the shit out of me!
That is why loving an abused or neglected woman will be one of the most difficult undertakings a person can embark on and also the most rewarding, especially for ourself! Often we learn to put on a good front, we learn to look good, dress nice and seem to have our shit together, but the longer you know one of us, the more you will see how carefully we have crafted that mask so no one can see what is going on inside of us, how little we often, actually think of ourselves.  
This is part of our allure.  We are often self effacing, we are more concerned about what is going on somewhere else with someone else and where at first we may be able to direct that attention solely at you, and you will bask in it, the facade will crumble and then we will want, no we will need you to take care of us, because we do not know how to truly care for ourself.  In this way, that strong woman facade cracks.  Through our distortion and pain, we want you to fill us.  Somewhere deep inside, we know you can’t but we ask anyway and not very clearly, for we ourself, do not really know what we want and our signals are all scrambled. We just know that we hurt, we don't want to, and we have been promised relationship as a panacea for all of our problems.
We do know what we don’t want.  We don’t want to go back.  We don’t want to cross that derelict yard into that crumbling building and find ourself there, the hurt, neglected little girl that we were.  We want to remember ourself as the one who could handle anything, the one who held it together, the mediator, the one who kept the others safe, not as the broken Orphan Child.  Yet, that is who we are, to at least a certain degree.  
So this is where you come in as our lover and this is where we often get abandoned yet again, when we ask you to do something for us that you cannot and you do not know how to tell us this or how to care for yourself in the face of our storm.  If you are aware, you will gently redirect our grasping for your attention, back to us. If you are skilled in your love, you will kindly if firmly guide us back to that place we would rather not go. I you are brave, you will tenderly hold us while we make that Journey, even as you remind us that you cannot make it for us.  
You will listen to our fears, our pain and not try to fix it.  We don’t need fixing, we just need reminding that we are worthy and you can do this simply by sharing space with us, and by letting us share ourself with you, ALL OF US.  Not just the glamour, not just the sexy minx, not just the mother, not just the  Child, but all of us.  All of those aspects that live simultaneously within us that are simply trying to be seen, to emerge.  If you can hold us as we fall apart and come together, and fall apart, again and again and again…Loving us, guiding back to ourself back through the Wound and into our Center, we will become your Goddess, a true Force of Nature!  We will love you back with all the fire in our soul, for to see a Wounded Woman as Whole and Worthy is a task for a Warrior and a battle that can only be won when the armor has been laid down, the weapons discarded and we stand before each other souls bared. That is the greatest Beauty to behold. 
Ultimately our Truth is this, and for us only to claim, I AM WORTHY! You may point the way for us but only we can walk that road that inevitably leads us back to where we came form our Center, our Home. That sacred place where innocence is never truly lost, and where even the most broken may once again find themselves Whole.

Photos by Reinfried Marass story behind these photos at

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Priestess. Child. Mother. Daughter

Here with my Mother. And she has touched the Other Side. I hold her foot, surrounding the center, the arch, that realm where heart and gut meet, that Central  Zone of Above and Below, the Solar Plexus point in reflexology. I close my eyes.  Grounding. I see her tiny foot an infants foot, my mommy as a sweet baby.  I see her as a young girl on a green field in dappled sunlight with her pony and her dogs. The healing flows... My Beautiful Mommy.
It does not escape me that the main focus of my work, both in my own Inner Realms, and in the outer circle with others, has been largely focused on Healing and Integrating Inner Child and now here I sit with my own Mother as she heals a huge crack that Will LEAD to an even greater Heart Opening.
There is no other Way. I feel the Sacred Child Calling for Home and it is Beautiful!
I realized yesterday, that I know things about my mom that many do not. I remember a different version of her from when I was a child, a version that was struggling with her every breath to reclaim herself from a fragmenting upbringing and even further damage and dissemination from her relationship with my own father. I wavered through the middle of this tempestuous reconfiguring.  Floating between troubled shores and doing my best to navigate flotsam and jetsam from both sides. She struggled to breathe, both literally and figuratively.  She has always been rather fragile, my beautifully delicate mommy. And she has always been Wild and for that I will love her forever.  
I've been right along side of her as she has strived to figure out her own feelings and become a more stable person, as she has tried to discern, what is the most healthy use for all of her Fire, and believe me, there is a ton of it! She is full of Sacred Rage, and I am afraid that it will burn her up at times.  
I waffle between being Child... Priestess and just terribly tired and afraid, and perhaps now, I am just really feeing that FEAR, I almost lost my fucking MOM! 
I have been on the move since I first found out, calling the hospital from Washington, friends and family and then hopping into my car and driving the 600 plus miles form Seattle to Bozeman to be with her.  It kept me grounded, focusing on the road, staring into snow at times, as I reminded myself every ten miles or so to drop my shoulders and BREATHE.  
I swooped up my own daughter, Destiny, on the way and we proceeded together, to be with our family's matriarch, my grammas are all gone. Mom now reigns as our Elder.
I arrived at Bozeman Deaconess to see a glowing woman in her bed, awake and clear, pink even! The confusion of the prior day passed. She looked beautiful!
As far has heart-attacks go, Well...she did it like a champ! In---Out over the course of the weekend. She paid attention to disturbing signs from her body and acted on them and it probably saved her life.   
She will be better, faster, stronger!!!
But not yet....
Fist, she will be slow and tender and tired and in need of patience and care.  
I am not the child who waffles any more.  I too am a Mother now and I know there is no way to control any outcome.  The best we can do is to be true to ourself, to be kind and patient, starting right here and at HOME and to share that love as best we can when we can.  I will be encouraging her to care more for herself and less about what the idiots out in the world are doing and I will do it from pure selfishness because I want her HERE.  I even told her I would follow her over and drag her back into her body, as a Daughter hell yeah, as a Priestess, I would not interfere. She chose to stay, even if, for a moment she confessed to regretting it because, yes, there is so much pain and suffering here in this world and details, never ending details and fucking medicine and bills and cleaning…
The Devil and the Divine are both in the details.  What we ignore as well as what we tend to, weaves the fabric of our life, the loops we make and the loops we drop, all become a part of that tapestry.
The nuances of Life are discovered and rediscovered in those small, often seemingly inconsequential moments, those moments that make up a LIFE! Those moments that yearn for our tending, for our awareness, for our compassion for our Presence, those are moments that are worth living for.
So here it sit, in this place in this time, the Mother of a Daughter, the Daughter of a Mother, A Blooming Priestess and Glowing Child. Here is what matters, what I choose to make important, what I choose to tend to with all the Fire in my Heart warming this Sacred place where I am...

Priestess. Mother. Daughter. Child 
Lady Justic