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GRACE is … (2016)

I recently discovered Tony Anderson and have been mesmerized by his music, and Grace has inspired this:

GRACE is …

… those rare moments when the thoughts just drop and I just become aware of being breathed and the brilliance of the practice making love to and through me from within.

… the Universe giving a new pose and recognizing that all the hard work and training done allows me to step up, take the opportunity, and embrace the challenge.

… the right spiritual journeywomen, friends, teachers, guides, mentors, and family in 7 different countries supporting my metamorphosis and re-emergence, and the technology that keeps us connected.

… the Universe giving me love notes when I’m on the verge of giving in, including a soul sister who rocks her sobriety and is committed to working deeply, the exquisitely articulated wisdom from wise souls of today and throughout time, celebrating the 80th birthday of the mystic who first set me over a decade ago, Divine Feminine, and Radical Aliveness.

… not planning to travel this year but finding myself in 3 different countries on 3 continents, twice to assist workshops in lineages I’ll take out into the world, and once to reunite my own opened heart and mind with extended family I’ve avoided for almost 20 years.

… and learning that my extended family has been praying for me and my return to the motherland so that we may know each other.

… belonging… to myself. to my family. to my communities. to this country. to this world. to the Divine. to myself.

… the opportunity to learn and practice.

… sharing my lineages and witnessing their profound effects to help and support healing in others.

… trusting and saying YES to the process, especially if it means engaging my own darkness.

… having reasons to write many thank you notes.

… when I now trust myself and my core more than the crutches I’ve used.

… CLARITY.

… CHOICE.

… sitting in the fire of complexity and appreciating the perfection of its challenges and opportunities.

… the one who has slayed me up the revolution also provides the warm nest and enables healing.

… surrendering to the pain and also feeling held by the earth and kissed by the heavens this whole time, and discovering myself becoming the beauty, strength, and resilience I’ve longed for my whole life.

… finding myself living some answers into a life I only dreamt about 12 years ago, through Grace.

Thank you Grace.

Thank you 2016, for the opportunities, learning, and practice.

ॐ शान्तिः

DECEMBER 31, 2016

Manifesto!

I am entering practitioner training at the Radical Aliveness Institute this year, and am SO EXCITED to start creating a practice soon. Radical Aliveness is a powerful process that can hold the complexity, honor the diversity and messiness of real life, and engage the elephants of both individuals and the collective in our modern era. Not to mention, this work illuminates the interconnectedness of our society and so often, I’ve seen why some Divine force has called two participants into the same circle for profound healing.

I am particularly interested in helping to heal the gender divide, and specifically in the shorter run, helping women to own their wholeness, power, and leadership. Women today are driving forces and massive contributors in addressing the problems we face. We are creative, collaborative, more accessible to our empathy, powerhouse thinkers and executors. However among a certain group of women (well represented among my friends and peers), we still get triggered around our relationships with men (not only sexually, but at work, in families, at places of worship, on the streets) where we are shackled with the desire to be the “good girl.” An inappropriate remark can send us second-guessing ourselves and backpedaling or striking out at someone’s manhood, instead of returning with a statement like, “Excuse me, that statement is irrelevant to the case at hand. What IS relevant is climate change, gender-based violence, the disappearing middle class. Now will you join me in addressing this?”

I also see (and have been a) women staying in sexual relationships where they desire partnership but the men are not willing to commit, and we have wasted so much of our life force energy pining over unavailable men. And I’ve also been in a committed relationship where, once I “snagged a man,” then I sat around with the expectation that he take care of me in ways that my father couldn’t. Radical Aliveness helped me gain clarity around my subconscious child needs that drove me into an immature use of my sexual energy that harmed both myself and at least one man I really cared about. Today I see the effect my mother’s, my own, and my peers’ immature femininity on ourselves and on men.

While my dad was angry much of the time when I was a child (he’s changed a lot in the last decade), at the time I didn’t see that he inherited the stresses of his father as the first son (shouldering much responsibility for his family’s wellbeing when his father died at an early age, as my father was forging a new path with a young family in the US). I also do see how my mother’s unwillingness to come into their relationship as an equal had added an undue burden on him. I also do see how our cultural conditioning and the times led her to believe that this was the only way for her, and how strongly she would assert and fight for her child needs, even if she had to stay with a man who was demeaning to her. The complexity is that she taught me how to fight, and that I’m so grateful to have so much more opportunity than she had.

There’s something about the Western women – those of us with privilege – who can influence the direction of change in the world. The current Dalai Lama is quoted as saying Western women will save the world. Rainer Marie Rilke also noted over a century ago: “One day… the girl and the woman shall exist with her name no longer contrasted to the masculine… It shall not bring to mind complement or limitation – only life and being: the feminine human being. This progress shall transform the experience of love, presently full of error, opposed at first by men, who have been overtaken in their progress by women. It shall thoroughly change the love experience to the rebuilding of a relationship meant to be between two persons, no longer just between man and woman.”

My suspicion is that we Western women are closer to our wholeness than we realize. Most of my close friends have made (and some still make more than their men). Is it possible we can begin laying down the projection and expectation that the men “take care of us”? Can we take up ownership of our own wounds and baggage instead of projecting it onto men, and free them up to begin tending to their own? Can we evolve relationships from a subconscious codependency to consciously mutual cooperation? And can we free up energy from the drama of unrequited love and turbulent relationships, and hold space for and listen to our less privileged sisters and brothers around the world express their impact and the help that would better serve them?

I’d love to develop and support strong tribes of strong women, where women leaders can get together and explore these topics and work out these triggers. My Guru in India talked about the separateness of women in modern life. He passed last year but still comes to me in images of trees and this is what he gave me recently: back in time, women were the roots of the communities, with men as the trees that emerge above-ground. The interconnectedness of the roots below the surface gave strength to the trees and the ecosystem. Today, women are both roots and trees, and so need even more support yet are more separate than before. I’d love to explore the fear that keeps us separate, and help that energy go direct into a healthy interconnectedness. I’m also immensely curious about catfights because I suspect the force of that energy is likely a strong attraction.

At some point, when I’m stronger in my own grounding and practice, I’d like to work with men and take on that projection and help evolve the immature masculine. But I have more work to do in owning my anger around the patriarchy before I can be in integrity with that work with men. This creative life force that men seek out to merge with in women – men have this too, they get to discover this creative force within themselves and love and respect this aspect in themselves; only then, can they properly honor it in others. As my Guru said before he passed, with a sparkle in his eye, “Teach the men too. But start with the women.”

last updated March 7, 2017