Saturday, July 2, 2016

a lesson in lessons

and i hope you find
more than just yourself.
i hope you find
the strength
not to hurt the people
who love you.
i hope you find 
a thousand miracles
hidden in the soft rain
and i hope you find art,
in all the people
you deserve to love.
                                               r.m. drake

Everything is a lesson. We are not always ready to learn.

We think we are. So we go seeking, asking, half assed listening to only what we want to hear or think we need to know. We put unreasonable expectations on ourselves to be at a particular place by a particular time and so exist at the mercy of place and time--stuck and feeling as if it is running out. You aren't. And it isn't.

Every single moment, as noticeably catalytic or necessarily subtle, seemingly, even, stagnant, hosts a lesson. Lessons are woven intricately into all of our doings and it takes time spent patiently unravelling them, deciphering their message from the coded repetition of our patterns and habits and recurring sequences of events, before we can understand them with and implement them into our being. Look at the first sentence of this paragraph: full of commas; perforated by pausing meant to implement another similar, connected idea or strain that contributes to the entirety of the message. Excessive perhaps, but indicative of how a lesson is not always immediate, but, how as the sentence to follow relays, needs to be pulled from the pauses and collected from what seems to be a constant relearning; to be siphoned from the bigger picture that we have created, so that the truth might reveal itself in its grandeur.

So that the real lesson, not the one that we are seeking the answer to, can be learned.

We learn what we need to as we need to, not what we want to when we want to.

We have epiphanies not because of some random dawning of understanding, but because of a collection of hints and happenings and molecularly sized lessons climaxing into a knowing. An aha. An I get it. Sometimes a duh. Most of the time, a sweet reprieve from thinking and a softening ohh, that's why, and here I am, exactly where I need to be and all of what caused confusion or what played out as an annoying continuation of the same sequence of learning becomes essential, relevant, and clear in this moment. As a lesson for the next.

We are never done learning, we are in a constant receiving of bits and pieces of understanding so that bit by bit and piece by piece we become more whole, or at least more connected to what is whole. And the seeking lessens as we learn the ultimate lesson: listen.

Listen. Notice synchronicities, divine timing, dream messages and humans only meant to be messengers and nothing more--the ones that come and go and leave you thinking and feeling on a level untouched by those you are meant to learn more slowly with and from. Gather the hints from what resonates, from what causes you to react. Believe that seeds are being planted always and that only will they begin to flourish when the soil of our beings is fecund; when we are most fertile, ripe for gestation and producing. Remember that you, like and as nature, are subject to cycles, and that often we re-learn before we really learn. And often what is learned is not what we expected. And often what we expect is what keeps us from learning--what we feel we need to know strangles our knowing, is too loud for the intimate listening required to really learn.

The need to know in and of itself is distracting enough without the need to know where and when--but the need to know why here, why now, when the lessons do settle in--those questions are irrelevant. Really, none of it matters except that you did learn. And then, most importantly, how you use that information. How you take ownership of what you are going to do with that knowing.

That was something I learned from the students here--they embodied ownership; they all came as they are, uniquely expressive, perceptive, human. They came with a stronghold on their own journey, taking full responsibility for what they would get out of this--what they were after, willing to receive, abundant in offering. Yet because I was not looking for that particular message, I didn't know that was what I had received as a catalyst for necessary personal learnings until their teacher vocalized it two nights ago, and I saw so clearly in my own doings that I had learned that from them. And then, in the knowing, I could see so clearly how their energy had permeated, given me the strength to shine a light on some shadows in a way I hadn't anticipated. And really a lot of dangling strings tied together in a remarkably strong knot and I feel now each inexplicable experience and lesson tethered to my being. Anchored in self. In knowing.

I could not have learned what I learned here if I wasn't ready for it. I would not have had the circumstantial awareness to open to this perspective, this angle, this shedding of light on this shadow that isn't so dark after all. Could not have attracted a more necessary collection of humans to be seen by and in, could not have said goodbye to a heartbreak I didn't know could exist again, could not have aligned in this way, in this relationship with myself until I was strong enough to. This experience is just a bit piece itself of the entirety of our life experience: we learn what we have come here to learn; we come as we are and the lessons come as they will. Our growth occurs as part of our contract to the divine for this go around at life--whether you believe this is a one chance opportunity or an infinite collecting of lessons to weave over many lifetimes, we are here to know what we are meant to as we are meant to, and then we are meant to share.

Share who you are, be revealed to yourself as your are to others, honour the space you are meant to hold, with faith, with kindness, alive and learning. Connect, spread love. Whether it is through pancake tricks, unscripted honesty, respectful inquisition or just coming as you are, in the smallest and most immense lessons all of our lives are being changed; at once you may be learning and revealing a lesson to someone else.

It's pouring rain again as I write this, just as it was that post on those first days of being here. Only this time the filters are less. The sureness is more rich. A truer light unwavering through the shadows.

Thank you everyone who has allowed me to teach them, allowed me to learn, taught me everything.


Friday, June 24, 2016

what i didn't say {poem}

I asked for one last goodbye.

I couldn't let us dissolve like that:
into a pool of pain,
hurt creating an abyss to lose
all that we had once loved in,
life rafts constructed from pointed blame--

here, take fault and you won't drown in my own sorrows.

I couldn't let us cut each other out,
literally, viscerally,
raw and readily scarred--
there are sweeter ways to make space in your heart.

I asked for one last goodbye
not to ensure for my own heart
that yours was as defeated,
not to know that you knew what you were giving up on.

No, I needed to know that we didn't give up.
That every belief we had in love,
still pulsed in the very hearts
that now, deflated of hope, could hardly hold themselves up,

but would. I asked to know yours would.
I asked because your suffering is mine
and mine yours and I have not yet landed
in a space that is no longer ours.

But I will.
And so I say goodbye to remember,
and to thank you for loving me.
For trembling with me when we touched,

and coaxing trust from my defences,
letting me love you as I knew how,
for accepting what you could
and leaving when you couldn't

pretend anymore that we were more than we are.
Thank you for the strength it took
to love me first and love me still,
and for, in the last goodbye we shared,

left that love, kindly, behind.

As published on Elephant Journal:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Spacious, full

so this is it, then--

the dissolution of hope.

Reality permeating
our newly emptied hearts



of what us meant just one rainstorm
and through every storm
and how the sun feels so much different
when it rises than when it sets.

This full moon was a potent one. This month has been a potent one. This coffee next to me is not potent enough. Never is...

I am in Santa Teresa Costa Rica, cooking for a yoga teacher training and generally having my spirit transfused in, well, the most potent of ways. Coming here, I immediately felt the shadow side to this oh so easy going surfing village--the trees have a dark allure about them, as if in contrast to the light grey/barely blue sea whose vastness gets lost in catching the light of the sun--she wants something from you here, Mother N, she wants to know all the things about you you aren't willing to share; all that you cling to underneath what you present. She wants your truth.

And she can have it.

The energy created in this teacher training has been one of welcome and acceptance. There is a grace to every human here that has allowed the space to feel full--and so too my emptying heart.

It is an interesting paradox to exist in: at once so empty, so spacious, yet so full. This is the visceral sensation of a cycle in completion: there is fullness-- resolute, decided, finished; and there is emptiness, that which is leaving making space for all that has the potential to occupy. This is sweet: to be unoccupied, with all the room for anything. This is not a duality, at once empty and full, but rather a sameness, a unified state, a oneness. Its the end of the equation.

Let's look at the beginning of it.

In coming here, I was wrought with self doubt as to where I stood spiritually. But that is just it, I was trying to stand--I was confusing my physical existence, what I could prove, align with, embody even, with my spiritual one; with the purity of existence itself. I was lost in doubt, delusion, and emotion, convinced of things I didn't believe in adjudicating my very beliefs. I had lost the trust in my higher moral conscious and was like a fish out of water. And there was that sea with its constant energetic embrace, and there was my truth, in my own. All of the pieces of me that seemed scattered, unresolved, gently fused together in a remembered awareness of my energetic presence here, and I felt whole.

This is my pattern: question, remember, affirm. It isn't to seek out new information, it isn't to desperately need to know, it is to create a distance from myself only to collect back again, more sure, more honest, more content. Undeniably an energetic being as much as a sassy, heart forward, over-thinking human sticky with salt water and mangos, listening always to the echoes of my behaviours.

In the spaciousness those echoes become more clear. They inignorably sound off of our skeletal existence, the bare bones of whom we are as constructs of our patterns. Listen. What is on repeat for you? What removes you from the constancy of source and intoxicates you with the constancy of habit? Where are you cheating yourself of an immediate aliveness?

A sister of mine says that we hear these echoes, or rather, repeat our lessons time after (defeating) time, looping and looping a string of behaviour, at some point realizing, here I am again, when will I learn? And every time we complete a circle, the strings are being woven into a cord with the eventual strength to use the lesson instead of being used by it; rather than orchestrating the way that we live, our patterns become the foundation from which to transform. We learn to alchemize our shadows into light.

And then we start to get right addicted to truth for feeling it's weight in gold.

Fullness. From the emptying out, from the spaciousness created in trusting, in being willing to let go, in hosting the echoes of our behaviours so that they might resonate more obviously, poignant in deliverance to our knowing, comes a richness. Truth of self is satiating, and it is found in taking accountability for that which feels burdensome, that which is created in suffering, and choosing what is necessary to heal. Choosing to empty out to delusion, false hope, conditions, energetically harmful contracts with your physical and emotional self so that you might feel full of possibility, integrity, and, well, you.

You. Complete. Whole. Clear. Emptied for expansion, filled by truth.

I did not know the light that would come for me in the shadows here, but ooh lala do I hope you find the light in yours, and feel the same completion. I hope you saw the sky last night and howled. I hope as the moon closes her cycle to allow for the next, you will too; that as the days get longer, your spirit gets brighter.

Thank you always for seeing me: dark, light, in pieces or collected together in a unique expression of energy, life, love.


Monday, May 30, 2016

the truth comes out

I consider myself a very private person.

This is laughable. This has been laughed at recently by some of my closest humans. My laugh is the last thing I keep private...

I am here. Laughing loudly. With a voice whose volume has little to do with loud/quiet and everything to do with impact. With a collection of words strung together into some semblance of an opinion or provocation. I am here with poems that if you follow closely enough you'll know when to ask, as some of those humans have, if I need to ceremonially burn a relationship relic. I am here with eyes that change colour with my mood and play host to the fire that is alive in me. I am here to converse in all of its forms, be it I write and you read, or we swap roles, or we swap stories over tea and both leave knowing that our souls were untangled a bit from our performances--from those ideas we have about ourselves.

I am not private. This is an idea. An idea that for whatever reason I am attracted to and so continue to believe despite acting entirely different. And in that is my understanding of truth.

My truth is different from yours, and neither is right nor wrong, rather it is our individual reservoir of fuel to live from. To come as we are. However, there is an interesting differentiation between the truths we tell ourselves--as with my self-convinced privacy-- and how we are revealed through our actions.

To some extent our actions are a product of what we believe or desire ourselves to be, but when misaligned with our truth they only decompose and in such facilitate the growth of a more rooted sense of self. And what permeates then, through our roots and into our external, behavioural blossoming is a more honest self. Our truths are not changeable, they are uncoverable. And once uncovered they need not be explained, not even understood, certainly not compared--they simply resonate on such a level of intimacy that we embody them with precision, grace even, that we can only be seen as living in potent integrity.

My truth has been diluted by what I have told myself, but is heightened by what is observable in how I live. And by people who see me when I think they can't. Conversations we have had simply through being.

And conversations that are more literal.

I'm understanding the necessity of discourse as much as I once revered privacy, or lately, silence. I believe the way to lift yourself from banality, as Svetlana Alexievech says, is to descend into the depths of yourself, especially through meditation and self inquiry and respect for what you are listening for, but also to allow others to dive with you. What someone asks you or what truth of theirs they offer, perhaps through saying what you weren't able to but oh yes feel the resonation of entirely, are ways they plug into your truths that serve to add light into deeper crevices, providing new angles of perception.

To quote another rad woman with somethings to say, Nayirah Waheed refers to humans as either organs or swords--there are those whom help us pulse, who feed into our vitality and raise our vibrations, and those who slash us open or sever parts of ourselves that must die so that we may live more fully. Persons whom play host to conversations that are unnerving, expansive, and serve to siphon truths from every polluted bit of distrust in ourselves and not need confirmation from anything but our willingness to know more intimately, who we are. Those who, in not judging us, ask us to do the same for ourselves.

That is where I feel most conversations suffer: judgement. Be it the ones you have with others that are subject to vagueties, half truths lacquered in fear and lengthy vocabulary to avoid saying what is directly aching to move from your strangled throat chakra, or in those more quiet ones we have with ourselves. In self-judgement, we take what we hear from our truth centres and taint it by looking for validation or "rightness" from books, professional intuitive diagnoses or predictions, our astrological sign, doctrinarians, like-minded opinions… external reference points for our internal knowings. Judging in the most cyclical of ways what we know by what we don't know. Y'know?

We do not know anything for sure, but we learn so much more purely when we do not question every piece of motivation to do, every inclination or innate sense that evolves us, anything we feel compelled to share, but instead surrender and notice from the place of having arrived instead of seeking arrival. When we look at the way we work against or in harmony with every bit of external information we receive, when we hear not just what is said in conversations, but how what is said lands with us--internally. And we do so with the intention to simply witness our experience. When we are tuned into, and tuned by, what is not said amidst all that is being said. This is where listening occurs at its finest--when the questions you ask are not navigated towards a specific answer, but an actual wonder at what is. When what you hear can occur far more subtly than the decibels that speech reaches. When the experience of conversation is as fascinating as the subject matter, and both allow us to see ourselves more clearly.

See what happens when you find yourself just as fascinating, when you find yourself where you left yourself and arrive as a bit more of your self. When you are not looking for anything, but accepting what you are. When you radiate your intentions and worth, founded in a trust in your feelings to be tethered to truth. When your vulnerability not only with others but with your own self is nothing short of fierce, and you take that into the interactions you have, knowing one thing for sure: what is unsaid has as much value as what is said--and you ought to get oh so clear on both in the next conversation you have with yourself, so that you may converse more honestly whether in whom you are being, or whom you are sharing your being with. Whether you're alone or navigating your depths with another; whether you're private or not.

Thank you to those who took the time for tea*, who laughed directly at me and with me, who elevated me and grounded me without saying anything, who scratched a little deeper into my truths and held the space for me to feel those raw feels. I hear you. I love you.

*another half truth to the humans who know me best. It was coffee. Lots of it.