What If?

 

The light is shining so brightly these days

Upon my very soul

I’ve been moving furniture

Out of my temple and into the yard

The furniture looks like crap

And dammit, now it’s there for all to see

*

Inside my soul is dancing

Something is alive and celebrating the demise

Of the hiding from light

Of the believing of lies

Of the self-created stories that turn into nightmares when I am pretending I am separate

My soul says YES

Even as my eyes release tears and my heart is bursting

Even as I rage and try to convince my lover that I am too difficult, too complicated and too damaged to love

He sees me in a different light than I can see myself

A thick cloud of doubt surrounds me sometimes

When I get very, very close to someone

When I begin to feel trust

My guards want to protect me:

Scared Sally, Angry Annie, Jealous Jenny, Distant Deb, Hateful Helga

The names help **

I say “hi”

I say “Will you walk with me, stay close, but let me handle it this time?  I know you want to protect me.  Thank you so much for arriving when I needed you, when I didn’t know how to handle the obstacles.  I have learned so much since you joined me, though.  I think I know another way now.  You don’t have to leave me, you don’t have to die, just rest now, here – inside my heart.”

And I walk in to his life

And I connect

And I am so close, so close

To peeling back a thick layer of protection that looks and smells like jaded disappointment and cynicism.  It’s heavy and cumbersome, but also familiar like a childhood blanket

I want to open this door, and let all my love pour out onto him

Into his life

Into our moments

Into something real that we are creating

The question for me is “What if?”

Because I’m almost there, but not quite

Maybe I’m someone

Who needs more convincing, reminding and reassuring than others

And maybe

I’m just right

*

 

** The book The Dark Side of The Light Chasers by Debbie Ford speaks extensively on loving our shadows and self-compassion.  I highly recommend it.  The naming of my shadows comes from that book, and I find it to be a very useful tool.

 

Jupiter Loves Venus

 

Oh Jupiter,

Expanding everything

Enhancing everything

A boon to my senses

Each moment is stretched out,

Yes with you, even the seconds get longer

Richer

Imbued with magic

Damn….

This is what it feels like

Unavoidable attraction

You light me up

Making me shine even brighter

Such a gentleman,

Accentuating my light with your own

My favorite thing –

Being close to you, next to you, near you

Your smell, your energy,

the way you recognize me, seeing me

Jupiter,

Even if I’m across the room and we are playing it cool

An electric current runs between us

If anything ever happened,

We would grab each other and run

At the first opportunity,

We would grab each other and run

And sometimes,

It’s only in our minds

And hearts

Sometimes we just have to hold space

And know

There will be more

Time

Hugs

Kisses

Moments stretched out for the angels to play

~ angels love the lovers ~

Our every interaction

Exists within this field

Of wonderment

Like, how did we get so lucky?

*

 

 

 

Closeness, Connection, Being Held

I spent time with the goats today.  I run in my neighborhood, and at the end of my run I often stop at their corner.  Goats are the “animal vegetation management” for a handful of select water facilities in my town.  There are about ten goats that “work” at this particular facility.  Really, they hang out all day behind a chain link fence on a nice patch of land with trees and water and lots of grass.  They hang out and they eat.

The alpha male (the one with the largest horns) is very friendly and outgoing.  I feed him dandelion greens from my side of the fence, which he loves. Today he sweetly motioned toward the juniper tree next to me, full of berries.  I pulled some and fed it to him – he was in heaven!  He has bone white fur and wide-set milky blue eyes that gaze at me with some kind of recognition.  He licks my hand when I press it against the fence, and he will even slide his big torso along the fence to let me pet him.  I have named him ‘Fountain’ for he gives me a fountain of love energy.

Fountain the goat feeds a desire in me for loving connection.  I wish that chain link fence wasn’t there, because I’d really like to sit with him and hang out for a spell.  Just sit and pet him and look at his beautiful, serene eyes.  Feed him dandelion leaves and juniper berries.  That sounds so completely satisfying.

It sounds more satisfying than sex.

What I am realizing is that through sex, I have really been seeking closeness and connection.  I am realizing (with some frustration) how fundamental this need for connection is, much deeper than the desire for physical pleasure.

I know how to have sex and I enjoy sex.  But when there is a disconnect, when the heart is blocked and we are just going through the motions, chasing an orgasm, trying to play the part — that’s when I feel truly alone.

In sex, we expose ourselves.  Not just our bodies.  We expose our raw energy.  We expose our youngest self.  We expose our hurts and insecurities.  We expose our desire and our lack of desire.  We are vulnerable.

Being vulnerable is beautiful, but it doesn’t look like porn.  In fact, I’m not even sure what it looks like yet – I am just beginning to explore this possibility of being totally authentic EVEN IN THE BEDROOM.

I know how to have porn sex.  Porn sex is hot.  But wow, it can sometimes leave me feeling so, so empty.  (I’m not a porn star; I’m talking about private “porn-style” sex).  It’s so easy to skip over all of the things that create a real heart connection because look: life is short and we’re horny so why not and come on I’m an adult and this is a human need and let’s just get to it.  But I wind up feeling unknown, even to myself.  Even as we lie together with damp skin and tangled limbs.

I was seeking closeness, connection, being held.  Now I am held in a sweaty embrace, but the closeness isn’t there and the connection is absent.  Who is this stranger next to me?  Who is this stranger inside of me?

Instead of post-coital bliss, there is cognitive dissonance.

Something wasn’t right to begin with, we didn’t acknowledge what was really going on.  Getting into bed was so much easier than speaking of the caginess of the energy, the walls that were up even as we undressed and kissed and fucked.

I lay in his arms feeling not at all myself, and disappointed in myself for ignoring my intuition before sex began.  We were both trying to run away tonight.  From ourselves and from each other.  I felt sad about it and we talked.

Talking helped, as unsexy as it was.  It didn’t make the walls of fear disappear, but I came back from my own vanishing.  In my head I was already thinking of how to leave and how to break this off and how I just don’t know what I’m doing in love.  I don’t want to vanish anymore.  I want to be here.  I want to be held.  I want closeness and connection.  I want the light of being real.

Nothing is airbrushed here, and the light is not especially flattering.  It is the light of facing what is.  Some would call it the light of truth.

May this light be the light that leads me into love, of myself and of another.

*

 

 

Down the Rabbit Hole

 

I want intimacy to be easy and effortless.  I want it to feel natural and comfortable.  I want it to make me feel secure.  I want it to satiate me.

But intimacy has another plan!

Intimacy says, “Come here, come into the land of the unknown, let’s tear down your expectations, your assumptions and your misgivings.  Let’s scrape the paint of falsehood off your pride so that it glows again.  Forget the self.  Forget what you think you want.  Let your senses awaken to what is happening now, let that be enough.  Let the truth of you be enough.  Let the truth of him or her or them be enough.  Let WHAT IS be enough.”

I am enough.  This is enough.

I am.  This is.

But I want it to look and feel a different way.

What about the fairytale ending?  What about unwavering bliss?  What about “finding happiness”, like it is a landmark we have discovered, conquered and can now capitalize upon?  What about my twin flame, my soulmate, the one who completes me?  Don’t I deserve that?

Intimacy is laughing.  “Do you know who you are, child?”

We imagine that we are lost.  We imagine that we are not whole.

We imagine that we have to struggle, suffer and endure in order to be rewarded.  We imagine that we have enemies.  We imagine that we are too complicated, too sensitive, too ugly, too much of a work-in-progress to be received fully as ourselves.

We imagine that we have to bargain for our happiness.

We imagine that we have many flaws and all of them need fixing.

We imagine that there is a better version of who we are now.

We keep striving.

What has been forgotten?  What awareness is underneath the bullshit, the chatter, the distraction, the noise?

Intimacy is relaxed, watching me wonder.  A bemused smile crosses its lips as it sees my thoughts churning – “I’m going to figure myself out, fix myself and become an expert on love and romance before I dare get close to another human.”

Intimacy says, “Nice try, kid.  Here, have another helping of this thing called Life.”

*

My thoughts carry me back to that day, not so long ago, sitting in the sun across the table from him and sipping coffee.  It was already over; we both knew it.  But here we were again, sharing more magical moments.

And then his words came crashing down:

“What did you think was going to happen?”

He said it so casually, his voice tinged with pity for my ignorance, but still swaddled in kindness and caring because that’s just how he is.

In that moment, he felt sorry for me.  He thought we were grown-ups, having a grown-up romance, steeped in impartial maturity.  An arrangement, not a relationship – at least not the kind that can be defined.

What could I say?  Of course I didn’t think anything was going to happen.  What could possibly happen?  I’d be delusional to imagine a life together.  I’d be crazy to think that the love in my heart had anywhere to nest with him.  

The house of cards tumbled down in those moments.

The fantasy went POP!

But the blade of his words were stinging on my heart.

There had been a dream of soft sand, and sunshine, and togetherness and kisses and feeling understood, feeling wanted, needed and loved.

I walked away that day.  There were a few more ending conversations, promises to remain close friends, but my heart was done.  I was so, so tired.

It has taken time to remove the fish hooks of his love and the story I wove with him.  There’s still some in there, I can feel it.

They hooked right onto these other fish hooks that have been there much longer, the ones that trigger grief and abandonment, “daddy-issues” and all these ways I am harboring pain.

And since the band-aids don’t work anymore, I feel like I have but one option:

Heart alchemy.

*

My new lover is willing to walk on the gravelly rocks of intimacy

barefoot

with me.

I’ll be honest – it’s kind of freaking me out.

I want to shoulder the sharp edges of my reality for him.

Let me hide this suffering so we can pretend

it’s only the soft sand and the breeze and the

waves on our naked skin.

But no, the naked heart is far more jagged

and intricate

and full of promise

than those fleeting moments of delight.

I’ll admit,

I don’t totally understand his willingness

and I question my ability to stay in this space

with him.

When offered fight or flight —

I fly like a bird.

I circle from a distance.

But I am searching

for a place to call home

and nest.

 

This lover is somewhat fearless

of the shadows and the jagged edges.

This lover has me feeling very curious,

indeed.

 

 

Sand

 

Set the timer

Get the money changers out of the temple of your heart

For 5 minutes

Don’t try to capitalize on anything

*

Don’t set the timer

Do what you do

Let the love that you are

Seep into the streets

The forest

The body of another

*

*

Your wings are unchained

The veil has been lifted

And there is nothing left to hide from

Dissolve like sand

When the One who knows you touches you

Here

The end of yourself

Is just the beginning

 

*

 

 

 

The Beheading

I don’t want the rose-colored glasses.

I want the gritty, changing landscape of your personality and face.

I want to touch your feral mind.

I don’t want the pretense of wrapping this up in a tidy package.

I don’t want shiny paper.

I don’t want the sophomoric ideals that get filed away so that it can all read like some manifesto of a life that was fantasized, but not lived.

*

I don’t want to try to make this look pretty.

*

I want my savage heart to be recognized by one who has found the end of himself, and stayed, made a home there.  One who needs nothing from me – or anyone – to know that he is ok.  One who loves himself enough to tell me – or anyone – that he needs a hug, or a friend.

I want to know someone who turns from the dazzling lights of outer “reality” to move ever-deeper through the darkest tunnels of the inner experience.

*

So please, look at me with the eyes of your knowing.

See that I am so very imperfect, in every possible way.

See that nothing can stop me from traveling in these tunnels, leaving behind the world of identity.  As unpopular as it may be, and even as the ground crumbles beneath my feet, all I can do is press on toward my own beheading.

*

We are searching because we know there is a light in these tunnels.  Even when we can’t see it, we can feel it.  Sometimes the light appears and it is so very small.  Like a tiny memory of something sweet, something that keeps you coming back for more.

Gradually, and randomly, the light becomes larger and brighter.  It fills up the entire cave of your being.  The light pours through you and out into the world, into the eyes of everyone you meet, filling your words and your deeds.  You are the light.

And as the light, you are moving and living and breathing in this body that feels so dense and so real.  You are filled with emotions governed by the body through the endocrine system.  You are full of thoughts, worries, beliefs, convictions.  Hopes, dreams, aspirations.

Something in you is telling you to continue walking.  Walk even further into the dark forest of your consciousness, into your own void of owning/controlling/knowing/being anything.

Walk.

*

My form is disintegrating as I walk.

Who is “I”?

My limbs fall off.

Who is “I”?

My head is cut off and rolling away from me.

Who is “I”?

The head tries to stay in control, staring at the scattered body parts that it once called its own.

Who is “I”?

A presence remains.  Unattached to the head, the trunk, the limbs.

It is now existing as raw energy.

It is living now as it has lived throughout the ages.

We don’t recognize it, lifetime after lifetime.

We forget:

we are it.

*

I don’t want the rose-colored glasses.

I want the beheading.

I want all-pervading consciousness to live in me, through me, as me.

Because any idea of “me” just doesn’t add up anymore.

*

 

 

 

Oh, Intimacy.

Intimacy.

It sounds so appealing, doesn’t it?   Enticing.  Fun.  Close.

Sexy.  Safe.  Secret.

Fantasy made real.

But then there’s the uncomfortable feelings that might occur.  Like fear and insecurity.  Or jealousy.  Issues of control.  Attachment.  Need and want.  Vulnerability.

Oh, shit.

It’s one thing to send someone a sexy photo of some naked portion of your body under just the right light.  It’s another to stand naked with your feelings and thoughts in front of someone without playing games of shielding.

For me, stepping into intimacy has been a slow journey.  I learned to hide early on, to transform myself on a superficial level to accommodate the external world.  I learned to be a yes girl.  An actress in everyone else’s story but my own.  I picked up on cues… what will make them like me?  What will make me acceptable?  How can I get the attention I need?   With men, I shared my body, but not my truth.  How intimate is that?  Not very.

None of this is unique!  A common, common story.

I denied myself food, and pleasure, and fun, and self-love.  My breath was shallow, my thoughts were often shallow.  My sense of suffering was chronic.  The paradigm I believed in depended on my oblivion to what it was that I actually wanted to experience.  My “want” was insidiously driven by the power of external validation.  The story of chasing my worth outside of myself, looking for love while holding my breath, is long and sort of boring.  It’s a story of false starts and dead ends.  A story of resisting my own knowing.

Intimacy is like waking up sober from your own thoughts, your own story.  It is the is-ness that is here now.

Intimacy has everything to do with honoring what feels good rather than what looks good.  Living without the story of some external reward or external validation, I am free to realize that breathing feels good.  Listening to my body feels good.  Self-love in its many forms of expression feels good.  Following my intuition feels good.  Not rushing to decide, respond or act feels good.

When I am free from the story of what I should or should not look like, feel like, accomplish or gain – I can look around with fresh eyes at this world that is truly, constantly, my own reflection.  I can move from that place.  I can smile first, or love, or hug.  I can receive.

I can say yes, gladly and honestly.  I can say no, simply.

Oh, Intimacy.

Dare I approach you?  Dare I let you in?  Dare I sit in stillness and ask the question: “Who?”

Who is having these thoughts?  Who is watching them?  Who is feeling the emotion?  Who is observing the feelings?  Who owns the sense of lack or want or need?

Who is chasing?  Who is forgetting and who is remembering?  Who is breathing in?  Who is letting it go?

Ohhhh…

So close, so intimate.  So completely woven into the tapestry of our lives, our stories.

Who is weaving?

 

Namaste.

 

 

Undateable

As the day of love approaches, I find myself considering putting myself back on “the online market” so to speak, as in online dating.  I’ve done it before, but it’s been over a year and I stopped because I wasn’t having very much fun.  However, I’ve heard of a couple of newer sites that sound like they might be worth a try, and besides – it’s all about where you’re at in the moment, right?  We attract that which we are vibing, that which we are putting out in the Universe.

I question the validity of my efforts, though, for there are a few “snags” in my fabric that make me feel a bit ~ you guessed it ~ undateable:

  • I’m a cat lady. I’m also a little crazy, but that is not a diagnosed condition, just my own self-assessment.  I only have two cats, but they are my children.  And they are the glue that holds my family together.  So my potential mate must like cats.  He must not be allergic to cats.  And he must specifically receive signs of approval from MY cats.  No pressure.
  • I am a single parent of teenage boys. I have been a single parent through the majority of their childhood.  I’m decent at it, but I won’t lie – the challenges are real and constant.  I love my boys something fierce.  And I bow to them as my greatest teachers.  They come first, always.  I need and desire a relationship in which I am understood as a mother.  I wear many hats and my superpowers are vast.  But damn, I could use a break sometimes.  Men I’ve dated often think they get it, but then they don’t.  This does not seem to be contingent on their own experience of raising children, but guys with kids potentially have more of a clue. “Potentially” being the key word….
  • My mind is cracked open to the awareness of human suffering. I care deeply.  Specifically, issues regarding sexism, violence against women, racism, violence against people of color, economic oppression, disregard of people living in poverty, violence against children, and the subtle yet violent brainwashing of men.  I want to talk about these things.  I want a meaningful discourse about these realities with the person I am dating.  I crave an ongoing conversation that makes our hearts softer and our words more kind, even as the pain of understanding suffering breaks our hearts and minds.  I don’t want the band-aid or the kool-aid!  Please, travel in this space with me.  Not for me, but because your soul is aware of its own contract and you, too, have come here to awaken and forgive, love and forgive, be and forgive, forgive, forgive.
  • I have experienced the end of myself. For many years, I kept hitting a cement wall (the end of myself), and it would feel painful and it would be a huge learning experience, but I kept re-creating my identity and my attachments.  Somehow, over time, I have given myself over to this death.  I still attach myself to my identity, but it is somehow looser, kinder and more porous.  The “me” I thought I was isn’t real.  This I know.  The “me” I identify with today is only temporary.  I long to constantly experience the end of myself, for that is the glimpse I have into a life of freedom.
  • When “I” stop clinging to “me” there is a letting go that usually makes me weep because I am so grateful and so relieved.  It is like a load of ten thousand bricks has been lifted from my mind and I can feel, for a moment, that the life that breathes and moves in this body is eternal and sacred and unaffected by conditions.  This presence is deathless, changeless and undeterred by my creative displays of suffering and story-telling.  In fact, it is through these experiences of suffering, these “dreams” if you will, that I seek the end of myself more and more.  Suffering was my introduction to freedom, for it was in times of trial that I rigorously pursued the presence of unwavering love.  I chased my lies until I found the thing that was far more interesting, and to this day I drop to my knees in my heart center when I feel this end, this death, this eternal nature.  I feel it as the the living water, and still I know that I am only grazing the surface of how brilliant it really is.

 

I suppose these are not too many deterrents, but in my experience, the trail gets less and less crowded on the path of soul-reckoning.  There often seem to be more women than men on this trail.  It is somewhat inconvenient that I am primarily straight.  So good luck to me!  Ha! 😉

Also, blessings and love to you – whoever and however you may be – on your love journey and in your seeking.  Namaste.

 

 

 

Recess Friend (Ode to the Lover)

 

Hello in there,

Can you come out to play today?

No?

Too many obligations and commitments?

I see.

Merde.

What if I was to stand outside the window of your mind,

and incessantly sing to you?

What if I suddenly found myself standing next to you, leaning in to curl my head against your shoulder?

Touching your face with gratitude?

Then would you leave this place of thinking

to come play in the recesses of our brains?

Those places we haven’t discovered, those places

untamed and uncaged?

I want to run in that field with you,

smelling flowers with the warm wind blowing into us.

I want to run until we are in the sand

naked

and at once rolling onto the wet shore to let the waves

lap us and engulf us.

The Angels and Time begin a bargain

to extend the moments now,

these fleeting moments that simply ask us

to keep doing what we’re doing.

*

Do you remember the first time you kissed me?

It was like inhaling all of those things

locked behind a veil of mystery.

An entire boquet, an entire galaxy

of secrets!

*

At recess, it is all there:

A million secrets to explore ~

A thousand ways to receive the gift ~

Taking turns surrendering, and simultaneously protecting

each other in this evolution.

It’s okay if you want to retreat and hide back in your cage sometimes.

I might do the same.

Sometimes, I might want you to walk with me during my retreat, holding my hand and just listening or whispering a kindness, such as “How beautiful you are when you live your truth.”

Sometimes, I will want to walk alone.

But darling,

I like recess.

It won’t take long before I return to play,

with a softened heart

and smiling eyes.

*

For there is so much delight to be found

outside the cage!

The illusory cage that seems so real when I am standing inside of it, turned away from the field and the sun and the sand and the wind.

But now that I’ve tasted the freedom in the Garden,

even the shackles in my cage are pointing me back

to the incredible lightness of my true nature!

The heavy heart prods itself out of its reverie, chanting

“Guess what time it is, sweet one?  It’s time to wake up the dreams!”

And as I open the eyes of my knowing,

the dream shoots into consciousness

so again I am standing outside

with the warm wind,

the field, the sun, the sand

and you.

*

This time, when you lay me out like canvas

for your paint,

and every stroke from your brush,

every strike of your color,

sends me into rapture ~

This time I fully immerse myself in the bliss of being held so perfectly,

and my mouth opens wide

so gold can pour forth,

glowing with the magic of Prana ~

This energy that has awakened has no beginning and no end,

no death and no resolution.

Regardless of how suppressed it may have been,

regardless of having coiled itself into a dormant position

for years or even lifetimes,

when it awakens,

when it begins to shake,

all the walls start crumbling down.

And we dance upon the rubble that piles up,

we dance and dance and dance.

*

Kiss me again like that,

my Recess Friend.

*

 

 

Shadow Men

The men of shadows like me

Because I know how to dance in their dark streets with my light

and I am unafraid of their secrets

Out of curiosity, compulsion and naivety

I have wandered into their inner chambers

Craving the pull, but all the while a sinking feeling

and trying to ignore it

Craving the story

‘cause I saw it in a movie

And every form of media

and residual karma

*

But it doesn’t take long

for the windows to disappear

and for the reek of loneliness to fill the stale air

Your internal temperature gets colder,

the closer you get to a man like this

And when you arrive as far as he will let you in

you might feel lost while looking at your reflection

*

What were you seeking when you traveled so far away

from safety and from love?

An experience that leaves your soul feeling weathered and torn

rather than comforted and cared for?

You knew –

it would end this way

leave you feeling this way

You knew,

but something drew you in

and you wanted the poison instead of the Prasad

*

Like a Siren’s call, you were called

to these shadow men

The Everything in you trying to understand itself

Feeling yourself the lowest of the low,

you ate garbage and developed

sunken eyes

Yet still, somehow you managed

to preserve your ember

while entering the mouth of the Wolf

That place where you have to die to survive

and break your promises or at least

omit the truth

Lest everything you love get stolen

broken or desecrated

That place will forever remind you

that things can always get worse

And you must find your way out of this mess

*

Your breath becomes shallow

A listlessness begins choking you

You are defeated by the lies you kept telling yourself,

now disappointing and shabby in the light of day

While the good people of the world

have coffee and dreams and commitments they love to keep

You have this –

shadow to reckon with

And you feel tired

like you spent all night digging yourself

another grave

*

*

Time, great healer

Wash me in your Ocean

Ring me out like the robes you will have me wear

when I meet you at last, for tea

*

*

She walks alone and alone

She walks alone and not alone

She stops pretending to know everything and she becomes

a beginner, what an honor

She left the dark streets

and dark avenues

full of tempting, lurking shadow men

The ones who made her look angelic,

if only for a little while

She found this path, instead

High into the mountains

Take off your shoes

*

The Gurus appear in her dreams

when she walks this way

up the many steps

in the misty grey morning

Up the many steps,

she is visually hydrated

by the bright green moss and wild foliage,

all covered with dew

The moist, cool air

filling her nostrils with the fragrance of clean, dark earth

Tiny white flowers

singing praises with her crumbling identity

and ecstatic heart

*

Oh Deathless One,

these shadow men

They just can’t light my fire

like You

*