It's been a minute.
I've been doing lots of reflecting, writing, regrouping, lately. As I reflect over the past year, what I've done and seen, what I've learned, where I've traveled, what I've come to see and understand about myself, and about my perceptions of others... I am just blown away, at the process. At who I am now, when I look back at who I was then. I've made another lap around the circle. The absolute truths I knew then, versus the illuminated and ever-changing perspectives that I have now. Oh, these blessed spirals.
And I'm writing through all of it:
Wild Horses and Mistakes: The Year I Followed My Bliss, Accomplished Absolutely Nothing, and How it Changed My Life Forever
(Subtitle is a bit long...it's in progress, but that's the feel of things.)
Meaning, I didn't "do" anything but choose myself, my priorities, my health, my joy, my creativity. I didn't have a list to tackle or a pile of to-dos and must-haves. I followed my heart, my intuition. My wild horses. And that's a concept, in and of itself. It's never just about the horses, is it?
Anyway, I know you'll enjoy getting under the hood, peeling back my chest-plate and seeing my heart and my reassembled guts in this new sacrifice to the Gods of Creativity and Musing. I can't wait to share it and set it free, but I am deep into revisiting, mindfully, each place, chapter, and section.
The Soul writes; the ego edits.
The past year has had me up in the clouds, soaring with birds of prey as they watched the wilds below. Galloping across rugged terrain, not knowing where I was going, stopping at water holes, weathering storms and fire, and just knowing that I'd get there. Somehow. It's had me waking in new places to new faces, smelling and sensing and feeling new things, absorbing new vibrations, and healing on levels so deep that I didn't think I'd ever reach them. It's had me shatter illusions and chase new ones, only to see them disintegrate in my fingers and drip slowly out of my hands, back into the seamless expanse of energetic alchemy that surrounds us. Constantly. And it does. We are, at all turns, exactly where we need to be.
Hold out your hand, take one step, and begin. It really is that simple.
We are sublime players and doers and crafters and actors and creators...who can, at our best, move effortlessly through what may feel like a heavy minefield of pain, disappointment, shattered hopes, dramatic fears, deep loss... and we can get through, easily, with all that we need... when at our best, most true versions of who we are, as living, breathing, dynamic, sensing, beings.
The past year in question began last fall with a trip out to the east end of Long Island, the furthest trip I'd taken solely and purposefully on my own... it was an hour or so away. I stayed in a bed and breakfast and unearthed a sacred chest full of memories, pain, stories, and experienced powerful growth. And that trip began a quest, a Campbell-esque journey of my own. Because I saw that not just solitude, but the allure of the new and strange and unknown, brought the most amazing spiritual insight. In the way of facing our own demons, our most disturbing beliefs about ourselves and each other. Because it's all thought, really. Perception and response.
And I can't possibly sum up in one blog post all the truths I've witnessed, the stories I've rewritten, the deep healing, the pain. The numbing, seething, darkest pain that I never thought I'd see eye to eye again. And meeting it, head on... and surviving through it. And the freedom in that. Finding the most special souls who understood what I was experiencing, as I experienced it. Possibly keeping me in one piece and lending me their strength. Flashlights. Candles and Light and Love and symbolism and reminders and guidance and whispers and hope... and faith. Always faith. Just... keep... going. And the passing of Life before my eyes as we got rear-ended and sent back to the starting gates, at the peak of Bliss and perfection and understanding. Always, the pendulum swings. And the gratitude for those setbacks, for those life-changing illuminating moments: that remind us in such a powerful, unmistakable way... what is truly important.
Self, family, friends, community. And living through to heal. When we take that often painful, scary and tumultuous journey within, to know ourselves, deeply... we begin to heal. In healing ourselves, we heal others. But also, we heal the karmic past, the residue, the eons of pain that lingered heavy in our bones. Women who came well before me and were stricken down and cut out for their wisdom. And the gift that these times bring, in carrying that wisdom forward. In never letting that Light die.
I could write for days about it, and I do, in this new project. I write about a lot of things, though, because really... it's about a divine and very human balance. It's about seeing energetically and intuiting and listening, but it's about using that insight to sculpt the present moment, here and now. It's about meditation and self-love, and also about using your voice and knowing when to let your tiger teeth show, just a little. it's about loving and doting and giggling and cherishing our babies and kids... and knowing that we can also plan and strategize, make the right decisions, and plant our feet firmly in soil, getting it all done, while we dance in the clouds, looking down upon it all in gratitude. It's about a healthy, grounded, free-flying balance of all things. It's about equilibrium, and what it takes to find the right balance, for each of us. Because it's different. That's the key. One doesn't suit all. That's why we do this work. It's why I do. To find what works for me, and to utilize it here, now, in my Life, in my world, for myself and for those that I love. it's about authenticity. Truth.
Wild. It's not about being reckless and obnoxious and surly and crude and promiscuous. Although it can be, without apology, but not always. For me wildness is about nature. That includes human nature. Just as a wild mare runs through a barren landscape, she knows to stop for water when she sees it. She knows to rest. She knows to protect and teach her little ones. She knows when to run and when to fight. Intrinsically, it's in her nature. It's in her wildness.
So, finding our wildness I think, is more about finding...ourselves. And listening.
In that quest, I've made a discovery. Any of you who follow me on social media have seen my fluctuating posts about health, fitness, different diets, and so on. Trying to get back to that more slender, more youthful, more exuberant "me," from my my youth. That in itself has been a journey. I had a lot of success with the Paleo diet, in losing weight and warding off sugar cravings. it was great for that. But in the process, I developed a lot of joint pain: bursitis pain in my hips, low back pain, well, I've fought that since my c-section. Knee flare-ups. And the crash over the summer, well, it set me back something fierce. All the progress that I'd made went out the window. I was grateful that we survived, that my son was okay... first and foremost. But the glimmer of that wore off and my pain got worse. Much worse. As the summer wore on, I felt crippled. Frustrated. Defeated and bit depressed. I felt, in body, like I was twice my age. I was wearing belts, taking salt baths, sleeping with special pillows.
i turned inward.
And I did get back up and back to the gym, for physical therapy, as I healed through it. But I still felt like a chronic patient, always hurting, wearing a cloak of perpetual sadness and feigning hope and joy. It was exhausting. I was depleted and felt guilty for not being able to be...me. The cheerful, light-shining, optimistic joie de vivre type of me that I can be. But I got through it. As people do.
So, here's what happened: it all caught up with me, as things do when we ignore them. I was knocked on my ass with a bug, a virus of some sort. My whole body shut down. All I could do was lay in bed. Everything hurt. I was completely out of control. And a friend recommended I... do an enema. Gross... thanks for nothing, I thought. Or... a juice fast. Hm...
I had tried the raw diet, the juicing, the vegan lifestyle, and it never, never worked. And I now know why: fat. Ten or so years ago, when I first tried to go vegan, I went low-fat vegan. And I never did processed food. So... that didn't leave me a lot to eat and I eventually went mad and started eating people on the train. No, I made that up. But I did invade a local restaurant and wolf down an entire rack of ribs, in a very not-demure fashion. I was completely deprived and starving. After that, I swore it off and kept eating the way I wanted to. I started eating seasonally: heavier in winter, lighter in summer. I tried to listen to my body, and it worked for a while. I found the Paleo diet and it promised all the solutions to my problems! Yay! Well, I don't know anymore.
I had a re-deux, with the juicing, about two weeks ago. To get my ass out of bed and healing, I lived on fresh-made vegetable and fruit juices and my old-reliable bone broth from my Paleo book, for a few days. No solid food, although I added some probiotics and supplements, too. And within days, I was up and at 'em and nearly pain-free. As of now, I haven't eaten meat in about two weeks and I've never felt better. Joint pains that have plagued me all year, are nearly gone. I can't explain what that means. To be in "chronic pain," and accept it as such, and for it to leave. It's...awe. A miracle. I'm a believer. Spiritually, I let Gaia heal me. Real-world speak: plant-based is no joke. It works. Get the sludge out, and your body will heal. Period. We are amazing, miraculous, self-healing machines.
So, for now, amid all the other changes in my life... I am living 80/20 plant-based. I indulge in some good cheeses and free-range eggs here and there. And my collagen-filled bone broth. And my raw wildflower honey with capping. So, Moby would still hate me. But... I don't. I love me. And I'm happy to say that I'm taking better care of myself than I ever have, which frees me to do so much more good in this world. And we need it. I'm just so grateful to be here, I don't what else to say. I'm just so fucking grateful, not to hurt. I'm like Oscar-speech-emotional as I write this, which sounds hokey, but for me... it's that big of a deal. I don't know if this is my forever lifestyle and way of eating. I don't make those promises anymore, because... Life. But I promise that I will listen to what my body asks for, and come through for myself. Because to let go of this... would be stupid.
So. Good things coming. Wild Horses is writing itself, and I'll not rush it. But it's coming, more every day. Writing it, living it, has changed me. It's brought me back to my natural, wise-woman-wildness in all the most beautiful ways.
And for all my readers still feeling the dark... keep walking. Please. It doesn't last, you'll get stronger, the Sun will come. The Light is everywhere, once you let the darkness fade. Let the pain through and then out of you. You can. I promise. You're okay. I see you. And woman to woman, or human to human, I love you. We're all in this together. xoxo
Trouble sleeping... midnight-write.
So. Here it is... My son. My love-bug.
It's been a while since I've shared some precious, divine insight from this little dude.
Every once in a while, he just comes out with something, that's so out there. Way out in left field, and at 3.5 years old, I just don't know where he gets it. But I do believe there is a thin veil that separates us from other realities, what some call the spirit world. Different planes, if you will. Dimensions, sure. Whichever. And I believe that children are closer to this magic.
So, this morning, he started talking about babies. Out of the blue. And he told me this:
"Before you were a real baby, you were a pretend baby. You weren't really here yet."
"A pretend baby?" I asked.
"Yes. You were still pretend, you were in the circle, still." My arm hair stands up.
"Uh huh. Actually it's more like a swirly hook, Mom. But before you're a real baby, you're in that big circle, see? Then... you become real again."
"Wow, buddy. I love hearing you talk, do you know that? What a beautiful way you have to see things..." He smiled, laughed, and ran off to zoom his cars around before school, after that. And just as quickly as it started, the conversation was over.
But, wow. Now, the analytical mind can take this apart and turn it into a lot of nothing. As such minds do. But I find it intriguing.
I'm just gonna riff for a minute, bear with me. It's one of those days where things happen like dominoes and say the same thing, over and over, from many sources. And it just itches inside, like you have to mention it, too. Just because. You know? Anyway. It brought all this stuff back up, from when I first started to really delve into energy work, healing, intention, manifesting, etc...
Let's just chat, here:
So, circles. I've always had this vision of the collective consciousness, right? Since I was a teenager. More on that in my next book... but for me, it's like... a galaxy. A... universe, maybe. A giant, swirling spiral of energy imprints. Memories of being, of art, of inspiration, of hope, of fear. Echoes of intangible essence of the endless multitudes, swirling in the cosmic goo, in some plane that we can't access directly, while in these bodies. Yet, when we meditate, when we create art, when we reach those peak and blessed flow states, when the analytical mind shuts off and we lose ourselves in creation... I think we tap into this spiral. This... circle. We channel, we direct energy into art, we understand deeper and deeper truths, we communicate with memories of loved ones. We step into the in-between: a foot in each world. In the middle. Perhaps, that's why they call it... medium. A conduit for energy, in the middle of two worlds.
So, cool. A recap of my view of spirituality and energy.
But to hear my son talk about pre-birth, and being part of the circle? It blew my mind. Back when he first started talking, I asked him for kicks: "what's the meaning of Life?" To which he answered, "circle."
Or...he is just closer to magic, and us? As we age, we grow cynical and creep further away from it.
Who knows. But I thought you'd enjoy the story. The whole thing filled me with some sort of connection and hope and Love. So, I thought I'd share... as I do. I think I'll doze off, now.
xoxo Goodnight, dreamers xoxo
what if there is no Meaning?
what if we are here, simply to Love?
To relish in what was once an abundant paradise?
what if...we had it all:
rivers, streams, wildlife, waterfalls?
conscious thought to appreciate it all
and to see and connect with each other?
and maybe somewhere,
in the realm of conscious thought,
we began to question and seek.
the seek for meaning, we had to assign meaning
great, grand, unquestionable meaning,
to such simple beauty and abundance.
we had to explain it to ourselves,
a prime reason for existence,
for what was once Heaven on earth.
to be sure, such paradise came with perils:
natural disasters and unexpected events;
the very wrath and ferocity of nature, Herself.
let us always remember that to be natural
is to be both beautiful and serene,
while also being savage and unapologetic.
utmost beauty and Light in contrast
with destruction and darkness.
this is Life. at its most simple, without pretense
and the delicious sugarcoating that we love so much.
the glaze that makes our lives so palatable and sweet,
the desire to magnify the beautiful
and look past the broken and raw and ferocious.
but we had to find meaning,
we had to, and we do still.
and so we created belief.
and then there were divergent beliefs.
this caused conflict.
and hell on Earth,
as humans battled with their beliefs
in their attempts to understand and explain what was given
in such simplicity and ease in Being.
we are here to work and to Love,
to care for ourselves and others,
to nourish and replenish,
to celebrate, to dance, to smile.
in our search to create meaning,
we've lost our true purpose.
what Life ought to mean:
Love, effort, abundance, celebration, creation, consolation, connection
what we've created in our time here:
conflict, judgments, illness, imbalance, cruelty, distortion, stagnancy, hatred, greed
we've also created:
progress, growth, art, masterpieces,
bold and unabashed testaments to our collective existence.
we bear witness to our searching hearts,
we provide proof of our existence,
we leave imprints, we plan and calculate memories
in a desperate attempt to scream out that
WE WERE HERE.
but what if there is nothing to fix?
what if this is who we are?
what if... Life... is simply this?
but not just to live
but to dive in deep
and live loudly.
to communicate, freely.
to express, to feel,
to move beyond,
to not conceal,
but to show, to share,
to glow, to be aware
of each other, so gratefully.
and how precious is this?
these strings, these precious things,
these tethers, these threads,
a simple tug, a lonely moment,
travels and connects us
to each other, but really,
back to ourselves.
because to see each other's eyes
and to breathe each other's sighs
above and between the
clenched fists and the cries
is to be Love
to be in connection
to be awakened
to know that we are all in it together
it's not how long Life is,
but it's what we do with it.
perhaps this is the question to ask:
not the why, and wherefore, and how-come
of it all, but the what.
deep into Life.
what are we doing with it?
As many of my readers know, I am a big advocate for anxiety. I've been through it, in every possible manifestation. My mind has entertained every possible reality or un-reality, in my lifetime. So...I know.
I just get it, like that. I'd out-weird you in 3 milliseconds.
That said, I've been paying attention to my own ebbs and flows, lately. Because the point...the meaning... the message in ALL OF THIS... is to keep learning and keep sharing out. When we focus on ourselves, and our small, narrow spot on this hunk of rock, we become overwhelmed and anxious and get stuck. But when we flip it, find the lesson, and share it...we let it cycle through us. In and then out.
I've often wanted to survey people with anxiety and "personality disorders" and look for common denominators. I know straight off how many folks have gifts that they struggle with and it often results in anxiety, depression, cyclic emotions. And there are ongoing debates about this: is it mental or spiritual? Was John of God...a true healer and mystic? Or would the DSM categorize him as mentally ill, and his followers as naive fools? Or do we just not know enough yet about the brain, mind, soul to even guess? This is an ages-old debate, and there is no answer. It's like trying to solve and impossible riddle; God or not? Things that can't be proven or disproven take on a special sheen, an allure of the unknown, they become surrounded with mystique and drama and excitement and worship. Because it engages us in searching. it's delicious, we get to go on a quest. A journey.
I'd also be curious to see how many of us, who struggle with these ways of seeing and being in the world, have been close to death. And this is a part of my new writing project...how a near-death experience can create pathways into new and alien understandings, never before witnessed. And how those moments change us, eternally. And I think true anxiety stems from something so simple: awareness. To be awake, alive and attentive in one's life, is to notice. To notice what is happening all around us, to internalize and empathize and wonder. To associate and try to understand. Always questioning. And such awareness leads to deeper awareness, within. It's a true paradox: because to remain in safety, in the middle, not disturbed by the goings-on of the physical world, is to be disconnected to much of Life. Numb. It's a bit of a bubble-wrap existence. Which sometimes, is needed and preferred, for our own well-being. But on the other side of that, if we venture out...we face those unknowns, which induce fear, anxiety, panic...there's no easy way about it. Unless, you are numb and in the deep-seated routines of our mechanized society, like Cipher...back in The Matrix, enjoying his steak, and are truly oblivious. Ignorance as bliss.
I once saw this psychic, out in Dix Hills, her name was Karen. She was the most in-tune, spot on, detail-driven reader that I'd ever seen. She had a true gift. I do believe, and know, that some of us have true gifts, and now more than ever. Although there are also plenty of enterprising folks who are great actors and will gladly take your money to confirm that yes... you are sad and "your soulmate is coming. Please by the True Love candle for $20 and light it on the full moon." It's an old line and they all use it, because it's such a common plight. Be wary of those. I call them "record-players," because they all repeat each other. They are well-trained and play on insecurities, they can read body language and subtle cues.
Those with true gifts have met and communicate with Spirit and can read subtle energies. They gather clues and symbols from the ether...and steer through the fog to some Truth that resonates with you, that helps you, that validates concern and points you toward a path of healing and growth. True psychics are teachers, sharers, ponderers...they just can't not. They often make money, but they can't not share, or their gifts will literally tear at their psyche propelling them into distress and disorder. Often they have troubled pasts until they come to terms with what they are experiencing. It's really fun when they're skeptics because it turns everything upside-down. Anyway. I greatly admire those true teachers, I've been very, very blessed and humbled to have crossed paths with some who are really out of this world. Selfless, humble, kind, compassionate, and never enabling. Always empowering, even when it's hard. Role-models. Superheroes, in my eyes. Living to teach and inspire and not indulging in nonsense. Which is also teaching; it's leading by example and showing us how to set boundaries. My heart goes out to them, my soul honors them; deep bow, deep bow in gratitude.
But Karen... well, she gave me specific dates, she did auto-writing, and everything panned out, perfectly. She wrote down the birthdate of my son...years and years before I met his father. She just saw things. A beautiful soul, one that melded with and changed mine, as some special souls do. And way back when, she also made a comment that always stuck with me: "I see squirrels in the attic. You're sitting there, watching life from the second-story window. You're commenting, and watching, and imagining, and pointing. Packing away your little nuts and berries, for later. You're safe. But you're not really living, are you? You're watching."
Wow. Haunting. For years and years. No more attic windows, I declared.
And writing, well...it's a peculiar thing. To me writing...is like a self-inflicted torture. It's isolating, challenging, heartbreaking, scintillating, exhausting, invigorating, maddening, and yet...it's salvation. It's induced madness, it's breaking your own heart, it's bleeding for art, constantly. And i love it. <sicko
But it does keep me in "the attic." Which is why I always push myself out. A new adventure, a new story, a new enchantment, a new mode of creativity to employ. Something to start the creative fires burning, something to make me feel alive, something to connect me, enliven me, jumpstart me. I'm someone who must feel and live the bits of story before I write them. That doesn't mean Ana was autobiographical, but that certain scenes and moments were flavored with truth, from actual experience. Well, some...Antonio was made up. A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste. :)
And the current project is also inspired by real-life. Lessons that are lived through, painfully, in many cases. It's a bit psychotic, to intentionally hurl myself into lesson-bearing experiences, but I'm learning loads, and at the end of the day, I get to be someone who can lay out some cold, hard truth, from the ground, from the front-lines of Life...to throw it back to those stuck in the mud: Here are some things that work...you're not alone...and you can absolutely get through this. What a gift to even be able to do that. Grateful for every encounter so far, in this Campbell-esque journey, truly. Deeply. I take none of it for granted.
So, one thing I became keenly aware of in my throes of anxiety, a few years back, was the isolation. Having an entire world to fear, a thousand voices, every word a possible threat, and not being able to explain it to anyone. And the disillusionment, which is the killer for so many of us. We idealize and wear our rose-colored glasses, and when those ideals crumble, as they must, we are distraught. Illusions fall, and once again, we are naked and trembling, lost in the void, climbing out of the primordial soup, searching for anything to cling to. That's where that spark inside is found.
And it is there, right there, in that deep pit...where the choice is made. Give up, start the dying process. Become bitter and stagnant and lost in your pain. Or fight. Lost your mind? Make a new one. Reconfigure your life as you would your hard-drive. Defrag and dump what doesn't work, limit interactions and input to those that can lift you up, inspire you, remind you why it's worth it. Environment is key, internal and external. We are amazing, resilient, self-healing machines. As much as I jokingly bash tech, I admit that we, human beings, are incredible, electric machines that work on and with energy. It's all the same, I see that now.
And anxiety can be crippling. It can stop us from living the lives that we want to. But there are ways to reinvent ourselves, find focus, notice and steer away from destructive behavior when we need to, our own or someone else's, and find ourselves back where we should be...within ourselves, present, alert, and ready to experience Life. Committed to the work, which is different for each of us.
And for me, spirituality has been a cornerstone. And it's non-negotiable, it's a reality for me. Religion is not, but spirituality is. It's an undercurrent, a coming-home, a knowledge and wisdom, deep inside, that we're all connected. I've seen it and felt it. That unconditional Love is real, that these connections are real. And that God is Love, and that we can heal with Love. Which is why I have no problems when people get religious around me, because I don't put men in white robes or any of that into my equation. So I don't get turned off, really. Each individual has their own God or figure head in place, to represent that pure Love. God is Love, I might even go so far as to say that God can be... all of us, aligned, in service to each other, for Love. I might say that we, collectively, joined in consciousness, are God, or at the very least, channels for God/Love/Universal energy to flow through. And how often we forget to connect, within. MEDITATE. It starts within.
Love, the most powerful force in the Universe. The most formidable weapon that we have against hate. But don't listen to me, I'm a hippie. Naive. I take kick after kick, live in constant disillusion, and still choose to understand and Love people that don't understand me. And that's fine. I don't do it to get it back, I do it because the world needs it. Because when we send out those tendrils of hope, compassion, understanding, when we resonate and acknowledge, a new world is born, leaving its new inhabitants changed...hopefully for the better. I believe in waves and ripples, I believe that energy is contagious, I believe that it's never a mistake to genuinely care for someone and wish for their best.
And it doesn't always work, because...anxiety, all around. We're brilliant on our own, wrapped in our art and our safe spaces. And then we interact. Enter variables. It's become an act of courage and bravery to be the first one to consider perspective, and choose empathy. To put down the shield, to lower our guards and say...hey... it's all good. We're cool. Go do you. Nothing but Love, here. And yes, it's exhausting and confusing and trying and sometimes, we make mistakes. And there are times we need mile-high barriers because not everyone means us well.
Because we are also human and fallible. And we get nervous and confused and we overthink and get further and further away from those little kids inside of us that just want to play, and we put up these walls to push people back and away from us, because we just don't know if we can trust them. Because Life is hard, and things suck, and we grow weary. That happens. Oh well. But I still Love. Like one of those inflatable dolls that you punch and it bounces back, smiling like a dope. < yeah, me. Let me try this again, I know I'll get it right this time. But not forever, I know when to let go and move along. And we're just not compatible with everyone. (I'm like a fungus though, I grow on people. :) Just give it time...)
Anyway, I'd rather walk through Life knowing and appreciating this magic, this force, that connects and drives us. If its all in our heads, why choose to live in a self-created hell? No, not for me. Not anymore. I allow myself to flow in and out and experience different ways of being, to gather perspectives. I will take any hardship or challenge and spin it around and try...try... to make something beautiful with it. Sometimes we can't. But I always try, first. Gullible? Maybe. But determined to spread Love and sincerity and wide-open humiliating heart-sharing wherever I can. Because we need it. I've wanted to rebuild the world in Love since high school. Finally, all these years later, it feels like the world is catching up. Or...I'd just been in the wrong places and didn't see or feel it. Environment.
Many think that being spiritual, is being religious. Believing in a God-head, following a set of rituals, and all the rest. Not so. True spirituality is found in our humanity. In compassion, kindness, altruism, loving attention, forgiveness. Seeing the best in people and urging them on. Planting seeds of hope and encouragement, to combat the negativity that surrounds us. Choosing to hold the torch...the lamp... beside the golden door. To illuminate the path. To support, without harm. To acknowledge, to appreciate. To understand. And this is huge. I think one thing that an anxious, deep-thinking mind craves, more than anything, is understanding. That moment of: I see you, I get you, you're not nuts, I think that stuff too. Lots of people do. You're not alone, in there. There is a huge clan of us that see the world differently and take in the world in different ways. We're all weird and squirrely. And we're all in it together. <3
I've been, admittedly, in a bit of a funk. Not with writing, I've been writing through it, constantly. And I'm grateful to be able to do that. It's other things. Mundane things. Day-to-day things. There have been so many changes and shifts, again, that have spun me around into all sorts of new understandings about myself. What really drives me, what works, what doesn't, where I'm headed, how I'm blessed. And lots of shadows. Lots. So I've been...shadow-boxing...and learning as I go. As I do. I never realize how deep or ridiculous my funks are, until something outside of me happens to cause a shift. Tonight's was magical and right on time.
Only in the connecting, or reconnecting, as this soul felt so familiar, did I realize how swept up in nonsense and bullshit I had become. Like a tornado of drama whipping all around me, and all I had to do was stick my arm through, wiggle my fingers, and realize that I could walk through it. But I didn't do that. I stayed in the tornado and let it whiz me all over the place, from distraction, to frustration, to annoyance, to distraction.
Tonight, it was as if someone was shining a flashlight straight through the mess, and into my soul. I remembered. I smiled. I met her eyes. It starts within me.
She was giving a lecture on Feng Shui and Space Clearing. That's what her card said. She was charming and lovely and beautiful. She reminded me of a woman named Erika, the shaman's daughter, who years ago made the wolf medicine that inspired a chapter of my novel. But below these layers, she was so much more. We talked of energy and resonance, evolving and knowing, of balance and light and dark, of positive emotion and dark shadow and the necessity to confront and heal through these shadows. Remembering our medicine and sharing it, healing and seeing the oneness that we are. We spoke of shamans and the Great Spirit, of Salem and herbal medicine. Energy. Consciousness. Innate gifts rising. Spirit. Symbols. Resonance. Synchronicity. Intention. Taoism and how it relates to Feng Shui. Universal Laws and what the Law of Attraction really is, and how it's so often mistaken for simply being in a constant, disconnected good mood. The universe and all that is. And the moment I spotted her small metallic dish and sage bundle, my heart smiled. Some symbols provide conversation beyond words...just simple understanding, memories of shared wisdom. Celestial nods, that we aren't alone in it. We're not. We're really, really not.
I couldn't stay for the lecture, but I got my medicine, and I'm grateful. She was even wearing a wolf shirt. Aaooo... right on, soul sister. Feeling quite blessed and back on track.
It's so easy to get lost in the physical, the will of the mind and ego. The motivation and follow-through mindset. No matter how far I think I'm getting, I am always snapped back into myself, to remember that underneath it all, we are intentional, spiritual beings. Let go or be dragged... It takes all three. A beautiful, cosmic balance, toward a unified purpose. Body. Mind. Soul.
Thank you, Laura. Aho! <3 xoxo
Hello friends. It's been a while.
I'm at one of those exquisite places...when I fall off my bike. Slide off the chair, step in a puddle, hit myself in the face with a door. You get the picture...
What exactly...do we think we know?
I've had more and more folks approaching me, talking, chatting about spirituality. Spiritual awakening, what is it? Relating to things I've said or written and I relate to what they say, and in those moments...we grow. We acknowledge each other, we nod, we smile. Even if we don't see eye to eye in our interpretations, we ponder the same things. We are no longer alone in what we were experiencing. And this is beautiful no matter where we are in the circle. Because the secret is... the further we go, the less we know. And that's the real gift: it's faith, trust, and appreciation for the unknown. Freedom of mind, of other people's thoughts. The journey of the Self. Gratitude for the exploration. Gratitude for rising each morning, starting our days intentionally, and not knowing what wonderful things might happen or what challenges we might face. What a kick in the pants. And I wouldn't change a moment, the whole ride so far has helped me to become a more compassionate, patient, creative, appreciative person, finding more courage, grace, and persistence than I've ever known I had. Humbled in gratitude. <3
This is a loaded question. And I will say, that it's different for all of us, yet similar in its scope. Awakening...is transformation. Talk to people, observe, look around, notice things. Simplicity: nature, beauty, sunsets, smiles, ocean waves, birds in flight. Kindness in strangers. Patterns, trends, similarities, differences. Pay attention to how the world works, how nature works, how people work, most importantly, yourself. How YOU work. And you'll begin to understand. There is such beauty, a stillness, a peacefulness, a great Love... all around us, despite what media tells us. See...that we are all connected. Your awakening may be different from mine in what you see, feel, and know. But yet, we change. We grow. We're evolving.
I can't paint you a picture or write it all down succinctly, or explain anything to you. I can't give you a how-to list. Not really, no one can. It's about you. I can tell you about me, but I can't tell you about you. Only you...can. And that's pretty much the whole basis of waking up. Understanding that you are an individual that is multifaceted, dynamic, interesting, shocking, boring, all of it. You are a story. A grand collection and enactment of hopes, fears, dreams, and struggle. Dark and light, sorrow and joy. A dance of all of these things. And we can change what our stories say, if we see them for what they are. Once we know who we are. We get to choose, once we can see clearly. Some of us see magic, some of us see science. It's all the same to me. The true nature of the human experience... is amazingly magical and incredible to me. So the science IS the magic, and the magic is proven. It's just reality, one that most of humanity has fallen asleep to.
Who are you?
That's a whole blog in itself, but this is the direction I will leave you with: remove time. Who you are isn't your breakfast, your clothing, your mate, your job. If you were dropped into another time, far removed from this one, and you woke up, searching, exploring, seeking, feeling, acting...who is that person? That...is who you are. A soul, a being, who observes, adapts, and moves. We make the rest of it up, based upon history, experience, the thoughts of others, the ties we make, family, friends, jobs, adventure. We create stories of identity. Wake up to the idea that...you can create your life, on purpose. Consciously. Intentionally. Not as a victim of life, but as a creator of life.
I can tell you that there is great freedom to be found in facing fear, although I can't tell you what your fears are.
I can tell you that you're worthy of an amazing life and that it's okay to want things, although I can't tell you what to want.
I can tell you that I've had the most humbling, beautiful, awe-inspiring glimpses into the worlds of spirit and energy, although I can't prove them to you or tell you how to "achieve it" yourself.
I can tell you that all you need is within you and that all you need to do is listen.
I can tell you what an awakening might feel like, in terms of internal thoughts and feelings and experiences:
- suddenly seeing the world with new eyes, as if you were reborn
- finding yourself more aware of your connection to others and to the world around you, often without reason, and often at times of great grief and sorrow
- vivid dreams that seem to convey messages to you, sometimes abstract, sometimes crystal clear
- noticing patterns and synchronicity more often, and asking questions about whether they might mean something, when you had never entertained those thoughts
- consciously wanting to learn more and more; you may feel like a sponge, wanting to soak up input, constantly
- you may begin to notice things you weren't aware of before about societal function and structure, and you start to question those things as well (government, education, food, medicine, social groups, equality)
- you may feel driven by impulse, you may feel more creative, you may feel urged to follow your heart and trust your gut feelings more
- you may find yourself in battle between fact and fiction, science and spirit, what you know and what you imagine
- you may explore religion, if you never have, or you may disband with your set religion altogether, favoring freedom and compassion, but something will cause a shift in your understanding of spirituality
- you will just KNOW...that there is more. More than you ever imagined before. And you'll find yourself drawn to others who share your new views and perspectives, and your life, as you know it, will change.
Transformation is a gift. Allow it, allow your Self to rise up. And be kind, patient, and gentle with yourself. Treat yourself as if you were reborn, because you are. Parts of you must die, in order to truly live. Know that you're not alone. Know that once you fight through the jungle of doubts and torment and pain and fear and nastiness...that you'll find beauty, joy, wonder, awe, and hope. That you'll wonder how you made it through...before. Every sleepless night of thinking and rethinking and praying for peace. Every book, every new adventure, every new soul you encounter is meant to help you and guide you...not punish you. See everyone and everything as a teacher, and you'll come through lessons very quickly.
Learn. Grow. Evolve.
And always, always, always...come back to Love. <3 It's who we are, beneath it all. xo
The passage in Ana J. Awakens about the Native American prophecy has been coming up. I'd love to say, here...go buy the book and read. And I'd love for you to read my book, truly. But, that's just not me to push it onto people. It was never about that for me. Whomever is meant to find and be transformed by my words...will be. So, find the passage here...get from it what you will. Kahente Genesee was a young, light-skinned woman, who was taken in by Northern tribe in the 1600s. She, and this following passage, were inspired by many readings from Black Elk and other indigenous leaders, the Hopi prophecy, and many hours of secluded meditation in nature with Native flute music. It was an enchanting experience, feeling and writing these parts of the book. I really enjoyed it, it was a blessing and quite an illumination. There was a lot more about Kahente that I'd written: lineage and so forth, her back story...but it didn't appear in the book.
And if you haven't heard...something epic is happening right now. Native tribes from all over, in unprecedented ways, are coming together at Cannonball River/Standing Rock, in South Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. It gives me chills to see these brothers and sisters flock together, to fight for water. Water, indeed is life. But it's about so much more than the pipeline. Our indigenous people, across our sacred Earth, have time-honored respect, reverence, and love for our planet's natural resources. I, for one...am eternally grateful to them and am inspired by their protest. To see the old ways, these ideas of caring for our Earth, as our Mother...which I do believe that she is...as God is our Father...a sacred balance of masculine and feminine divine energies... to see attention brought to these people and communities is awe-inspiring and I believe signals great changes for us.
Groups all over the world are waking up, blinking open their eyes, and knowing...that something is off. Something isn't working. Something just isn't right...and that perhaps it is time for change. And more and more, change is upon us. Welcome to the Shift. Consciousness. Compassion. Humanistic values. Collaboration. Community. Gifted communication. Dreams and higher ideals. Visions of a better world for our children's children and growing exhaustion with the status quo.
Forgive me while I let it all go and muse, a moment... If you don't get me, it's cool. Stop scrolling and go back to what you were doing. A year ago, I wouldn't get me , either. But those who do find resonance here...this is for you...or for us.
We are waking up in different ways, with different focal points: environment, spirit, exposing corruption in multiple areas, financial chaos, a government that doesn't care about us, fighting for clean food and water, vocal opposition on the front lines. It goes on and on. Some of us lean toward the physical...peak performance, stealthy bodies that are ready for anything. Survival in any condition, without excuses. These people are warriors, they inspire us to achieve our greatest health and fitness, which is important. Motivational speakers and evolvers...help us to go within and find peace, balance, and hone our mental health, developing a fierce mindset and focus. And spiritual leaders guide us back toward our souls, our spirit center, and the Great spirit or universal energy that connects us all. And women...with children or not...you are our Mothers. Extensions of the feminine divine, pumped full of compassion, nurturing, charged with inspiration, creativity, a heart bursting with love for anything small, fragile and delicate, a protective passion for nature, in all its forms. A desire to mend, heal, protect, comfort, and support. This is your true nature, and it is not weakness, by any means. It is essential, it is needed, and it is sacred. Let yourself shine, be a beacon of kindness and nurturing for your fellow human beings, in an auspicious time in our history. Whatever your line of work, rich or poor, young or old. Allow your heart to release its armor and let the Love out. Our Earth needs it. Humanity needs it. Striving for our best selves includes balance: mind, body, soul.
We are...waking up. In profusion now. Those who've learned and grown and found deeper connections can help others through as they go through confusion, mental strain, anxiety, the storms that we all talk about...wondering what the shift is going on. Help each other. Lift each other up. I would be lost without my group of evolving friends, near and far, as we fought through the chaos together, seeing the world change...or witnessing ourselves change, on deep levels. And coming through it...to see peace, connection, calmness, and purpose. Oneness. A synergy, an unconditional Love beyond what we used to believe in, was born and it spread out. As it is for so many of us. And please, if you are experiencing anything like I've mentioned and feel lost, confused, anxious, like your world is crumbling and your ideas and beliefs are being challenged...you aren't alone. Allow your process, find support, and stay strong through it. You are loved and are so much more important than you know...if you are going through this transformation. It truly is a gift. But it's harder before it's easier. You're not crazy, you're not losing your mind. If you are, than many, many, many of us are. If you feel genuinely depressed or can't get out of bed or function...get some help, reach out and talk to someone that you trust.
I believe that we are finally seeing our social structures and systems for what they are...and we are seeing through them. As if they were bars of iron. And losing these safety nets, of who we are...our very identity as members of societies with certain established norms and understandings and expectations...is terrifying. "The old world must crumble, so the new world can begin."
Many ideologies and philosophies...even prophecies...point to what may be going on for us, and I will let you find what you find, on your own. But always remember to come back to your breath. Your body. The present moment. Find and listen to your inner voice, nurture that connection. Hear yourself. And find some faith...in something. God, the universe, yourself, a friend who can mirror you and keep you steady. The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Something. An anchor of some sort.
That said...here is Kahente's vision, reprinted from Ana J. Awakens ©2016, Stacie Hammond. If you share this passage, please credit my work.
These are my words. 1675. Kahente Genesee
I see a time when Earth will take a deep, cleansing breath; her children will slowly begin to wake, filled up with love and hope. I see [that] new generations of my children’s children will shed the false world to be imposed upon them. They will know and feel that there is more. They will love, trust, and bring back the dying old ways, in the constructs of the new. This wave of awakening will spread across the Earth; some would remain asleep, but little by little most would awaken. These children will breathe in the new life and air of their Earth mother. I see that spirit, wonder, reverence, and peace will be restored. And that the Earth, stripped bare and weary, will heal, as will its people. New generations will return to the land, with respect for it, they will honor it, practice gratitude and patience in growing their crops, and in their hunt. They will respect all living things, including each other. They will honor the sun and moon and all the natural beauty of life. They will honor the wind, and the water of Life. They will honor the early ones, before them.
My words have been hidden for many years, I’ve never shared my visions. I know the time isn’t right. I know all of the people that took me in have a slightly different set of beliefs, however well meaning they are. But my vision will stand, I have seen this as well.
When the time is right for Earth’s children to awaken, my words will be found, and a series of signs will begin to pass.
A few chosen people will be awakened and inspired with Light, and they will know not why they must, but will spread love and peace effortlessly throughout the Earth, regardless of adversity, with the speed of lightning piercing the sky. Their mission will be only to love and to spread love. This love, this remembering, will be the first wave, that begins the awakening.
A Tribe will come together to aid many children, who against all odds, despite fear and hatred of others, will go into the world spreading peace, restoring natural and sacred spaces; this act of kindness will echo throughout the Earth, warming the hearts of many, leading to the second wave.
Wise ones will emerge, hidden but conditioned for years with a mission to heal the Earth, but finally having the proper channels of spreading their messages. They will continue to love but will educate others. Teachers and leaders and storytellers and healers will grow from the Earth like blessed flowers, blossoming outward with divine guidance, to lead the rest. By now, many, many children have been awakened, and they march on knowing their mission. These awakened, chosen children will always flock to each other, like the crows on the plain. They will see it in the eyes of one another, they will feel it instinctively, as the bee recognizes the flower. But they will not fight nor battle; they nurture, support, and love. They know that love, the ultimate power, is their weapon. They know it is a force of formidable power; the mightiest arrow against oppression. They work together for the greater good. This wave may last for many years. This is the third wave of awakening.
A great and terrible challenge will come, as the Earth’s people still battle one another, and many still sleep. Humanity will face a point of no return. To heal and change, or to stay sleeping and perish. The challenge of the many awakened people will be to overcome the selfish deeds, the violence, the consumption, the fears, and to maintain peace, love, reverence, respect, renewal of the Earth, forgiveness, and above all...connection to Spirit. Hate will bring more hate; the awakened must remain vigilant in their mission. They must stand firm in their resolve, allow the veil to be lifted, to show the truth. They must see their oppressor, and this will be painful. For the oppressor, is among them. Humans have created a dangerous oppressor, the violator of the sacred, and must work in peace to reverse the damage done. The people, the children of Earth, must come together and remember who they are. Remember the old ways, utilizing the new.
The Earth, their mother, will provide sustenance in harsh climates. She will cleanse herself and nourish herself, and all the creatures, big and small, that she cares for. The awakened will overcome, steadfastly. The Earth, the stars, the sun and moon, the early ones, and the elements, all work to bring about the desires of humanity. The hardships arise when humans desire terrible things, that are born of fear, regret, greed, doubts and shame. The waves of awakening will slowly cleanse these ugly feelings. With each deep breath from Mother Earth, more ugliness will be purged out to the surface, like bad spirits that corrupt us being chased away. More of the wicked and lost will awaken to the Source of love that surrounds them. They will let go their frightened ways and learn to trust their Mother, Spirit, and ancestors again. Many, many souls will walk in faith, harmony, love, and peace, with a collective vision of the healed Earth. A spiritual Earth. This will be the fourth wave.
When the spirits and grandfathers and grandmothers have been satisfied and see that humanity has awakened to rejoice in their gifts, to return to the ways of the first people, the Earth and its people will truly begin a major healing, and the path back to the sacred will become clear. This paradise on Earth will require changes. Great changes, for great changes were harshly imposed and allowed that took the spirit and beauty and majesty away. I do not foresee destruction of our Earth, as many do. I do not foresee only one kind or tribe of people to be herded together and saved. I see awakened souls from all corners of the Earth, coming together in unity, in harmony, to reset the balance of all things. When this balance and natural order is restored, a beautiful and sacred Earth can be found and celebrated once again.
If these changes do not occur, and the ways of old are lost, given to more and more heedless death, destruction, disrespect for the Earth and all of her creatures and resources, I foresee a great cleansing of the Earth, which may appear as destruction, but it will be simply a deconstruction, of a false world that was built upon the back of what is eternal.
But, if all the awakened can work together, using the tools and speed and wisdom of future generations, honoring their Creator, they can create their own paradise, once again. It all depends upon their desires and actions, and respect and love for their Earth mother and each other.
When the time is right, when enough have awakened, these words will come out and be seen and heard. Light will be shared once again. The awakening and path to healing will begin.
Blessings and Light…
(before her time; from the beautiful valley)
Stop the Black Snake. It's time for renewable energy. It's time for a shift.
"Read your book. You're flirting with dangerous stuff..."
Me: "Awesome. I love making people think, it's my favorite." Big smiles, Namaste, Be Well...etc... I go back to thinking about the paleo vs vegan argument. And that perhaps, I could do it...IF I could keep bacon and didn't have to eat seitan. How could I go vegan and not eat grain? It doesn't compute...what would I eat, lettuce and fruit? I'd waste away from malnutrition...nah, stick to Slow, sustainable...
"I mean, you're pretty delusional, though...." It continues. Awesome. Let it go, let it go... <-----Elsa sings in my head. "I mean..." I realize that I am in no way, shape, or form...letting it go. I was getting riled up, I couldn't help myself. DEFEND YOUR ART! The ego screams... Okay..let's do this.
"Enlighten me," I say. :Rolls shoulders back:
"It makes no sense, how can you be spiritual...and not religious. It COMES from religion. The Light you talk about...IS JESUS. You're contradicting yourself, here." Okay, a Christian. I was raised Christian, no problem.
But...Oh boy. I won't rehash the whole debate here, but I'm sure you can all imagine where it might have went. And it did, and then back again.
I will let you all explore and educate on your own, the information is out there, if you care to look and form your own conclusions. What I can do is offer a window into my own experiences, thoughts, and notions on the subject. The driving force behind the more philosophical bits in the Ana story. We all form our own ideas about things, I don't expect anyone to read anything and take it at face value. Even stuff I write. I'm just another human. Come up with your own understandings and ideas. It's okay to think, really. It is.
For me...from a young age, I had a problem with dogma. The staunch rules, the contridictions, the absolutes...and the ugliness that radical belief has caused, historically. For me, it hasn't worked, so I thought... what would? Could I keep the beautiful, mystical, inspiring messages...the wonder and awe and gratitude for Life...and let go of the oppression, the judgment, the hellfire, the cruelty, the domination...etc...
So that's what I did. Spiritual. Yes, I believe we have a soul, a spirit. I believe our soul IS our consciousness. I believe they are one and the same. I believe the mind is more than the brain. I believe there are greater forces at work FOR US and not against us. I believe that it is up to us to see, feel, and appreciate this force and to allow it into our lives and consciousness. I believe that by doing so, we evolve, we grow, we heal inside, and we influence our outer world. I believe that we are very powerful beings and that we can utilize this force, this divine energy, in positive or negative ways. I believe that it is our choice. I believe that Heaven and Hell are ideas, that exist within each of us. For some, they see religion as their savior. For me, I see religion as a human-made construct that divides and destroys us.
Throughout history, the most atrocious and destructive wars have been fought in the name of religion. The most vile and disgusting behaviors have been allowed and not spoken of.
Any school of thought, however widely accepted, that fosters hatred, judgment, annhiliation, murder, and cruelty...is not of God. God...is pure Love. Pure Love does not destroy, it heals. Pure Love does not have a gender, God is not male nor female, but amorphous and omnipresent. Love does not condemn, it accepts. Love does not wage war, it seeks peace.
Since I was a teenager, this has been my view. And I have seen, felt, and known enough, to believe that for me? In my world view? This is the path. Every fiber in my being says so.
I have friends of all different faiths. And we all accept each other. We accept and respect differences, we discuss similarities and learn from where ideas diverge. Sit back and observe social media for a bit. Especially the self-help pages. They're filled with uplifting statements, little tokens to keep you "vibing high?" I get it, that's great. I appreciate it. But if you are aware of where these messages come from...you'll see the most beautiful statements from a myriad of different faiths and idealogies. Buddhism. Christiantity. Muslim. Hinduism. Kabbalah. Taoism. Even some Paganism and Wicca. All mixed up together, nicely, toward the purpose of inspiring us. Without the dogma. All of these idealogies, existing together, without arguing, on one feed. And what we can learn from this, the LESSON here, is...wait for it, wait for it...
What if the way forward is not to create one mass faith? To simply convert or destroy? What if moving forward means to accept and respect individual ideas, toward a common purpose, sharing simple moral virtues of our shared humanity? Kindness. Acceptance. Do no harm. Love. And by Love I don't mean "romance," I mean unconditional Love, support, caring, and holding ourselves in a positive space, energetically.
What if...as I wrote in Ana's journey... what if it really is all energy? What if we are responsible for what we put out? What if religion was simply a way of assigning value and form to an indescribable phenomenon? And what if we all healed ourselves and put out positive energy, toward a common evolution, regardless of religion? What if...we actually did have that much power? If you're Christian, what if Christ flowed through you...and you had the opportunity to use that force for good? You, alone? What if Christ has returned...in the form of consciousness? What if it was up to you to connect to it? What if we are all the same, connected at the Source? And if we stopped fighting, well...wow. What could we do? How might we grow, change for the better, collectively?
These are just thoughts, and by all means... only absorb what you resonate with. Read, learn, and make your own decisions, for sure. But in case you find yourself wondering in the middle of the night...feeling, just knowing that there is more? That something...something is different, but you can't put your finger on it? It's us. We're changing. Collectively, we are evolving. We are growing more conscious, more aware, more empathic, more connected. More and more every day. Embrace it. Shift. It's happening, in a real way. We can see it, as we look around, as we observe. We can see waves of empathy, acts of Love, rethinking and evaluating old ideas that don't work. Ages-old information coming to light, information that changes perspectives.
Even the Dalai Lama has spoken on the need for humanity to embrace...humanity. Love, kindness, compassion. And to let go of the old ideas of religion, ideas that no longer serve us. We can heal each other, we can move forward together. We can create Heaven on earth or Hell on earth. It's us, it's up to us.
This shift...is what Ana J. Awakens is all about. And I won't apologize for writing it, for feeling it, for being the lucky one who got to let it flow through her. The story changed me and my world, no...my Universal view. It brought me in contact with souls that I had never known existed, which I am still so grateful for, as these people have taught me, and connected with me in ways that I still can't explain. But I'm grateful. And as much as I've rambled here, I've barely skimmed the surface. The mind, the consciousness, will only perceive what it's prepared to perceive. We only experience and "see" what we believe. This is why beliefs need to be challenged and outdated ideas need to be let go. Make room for the new. For the unimaginable. For the inexplicable. For awe, for wonder. And have fun with it! The spiritual journey can and should be one of wonder, joy, growth, laughter, perspective, meaning...and oftentimes, absurdity. But we must always remember the child inside. Love, grow, learn (unlearn), dance, laugh, smile, and delight in the simple things. The world is what we make of it...each of us. Why not imagine something beautiful, why not interpret the world in a way that empowers and delights you? There is a lot to love and to appreciate, if you look around...and let it in.
Somewhere, there is a place where spirituality and current science meet...and this is where we are, collectively. Maybe. I am never sure of anything, I am constantly in flux these days, and I love that. As it is in nature. Such is the spiritual path. Such is Life. A constant ebb and flow. Let Love be our constant. <3