Neural Pathways

I’m following my thoughts, or they are following me.  Paved neural pathways carry me down trails of self-doubt, I don’t even notice.  Thoughts are chasing me into corners, but it’s my own voice speaking, so I am not alarmed.  It happens every day, this predictable demise of self-love.

Sometimes it is the small thoughts that wake me up.  Small, repetitive, tedious thoughts.  Nagging, list-making, flaw-finding thoughts.  Insidious thoughts – they take over and I don’t stop them.  They sound like the voice of reason, driving down these neural pathways that are more like neural ruts.  I am beginning to catch them before hours go by, before my whole day has been shadowed by doubt and dissatisfaction.

More and more, these life-sucking thoughts are being caught by the light of my own inner awareness.  They are becoming more noticeable, like red flags.  More and more, I bring myself to back away from the abyss of self-loathing….for that is exactly where the neural ruts lead me.  They all tell me I am garbage, in so many words.  Even (and sometimes especially) the “self-improvement” thoughts also lead me to that trashy feeling.  These thoughts are tricky, like I said!

They often present as subtle, grating, fear-based reasons for pervasive, fear-based questions.

Like:

“What is wrong with me?”

“Why am I fucked up?”

“Why do I do everything wrong?”

“Why do I suck at ______________?” (parenting, relationships, adulting, etc.)

“Why am I a horrible_______________?” (insert noun)

depression

When I look behind these thoughts – that are actually narrow, self-absorbed and self-loathing fantasies – I see where they are coming from.

I see the scared me.

The exhausted me.

The hurting me.

I see the me that has almost given up, but not quite, and if I could just have a hug and some love and some grounding energy, then maybe I’d be okay.

But I am alone.

It is up to me.

“It’s okay, baby” I say.

I stroke my own arm.

“You’re all good, kid” I whisper, hugging myself.

“This life shit is hard sometimes.  You are human.  You are on a spiritual quest with all the trappings of the body: Pleasure, Pain, Duality.  Joy, Loss, Grief.  Anger, Hate, Jealousy, Despair.  Fear and Desire.  Empathy.  Love.”

And with this quiet reminder, my tears are flowing and my heart is bursting with forgiveness – for this struggle, for the precarious nature of life, for myself, my friends, and for those who would be my enemies.

My neural pathways are being weeded and plowed.  The farmer of my mind is not my thoughts.

The Farmer tills the soil of my very heart.

My mind gives up resistance, in glimpses, here and there.  New neural pathways are explored.

This is more pleasure than I thought possible!  Are you sure this is allowed?

“Yes,” says the Farmer, “It’s your life.”

*

 

 

 

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.

*