adventures of a fearless (mostly) globe trotting seeker...
wondering, wandering, barefoot, nomadess

Sunday, October 6, 2013

lick honey from the razor's edge

what if you spent your whole life searching for love and all you found was
what if you spent all your days afraid of being abandoned and you
ended up alone
you would have to make peace
you would have to walk barefoot to the ocean
and bow to all the gods who have no names
and accept that all great mysteries
swallow you whole
and truth takes no prisoners
it just slices you open on her blade
but if you are not afraid
of emptiness
of loneliness
if you can accept that you were born naked and even the strongest bond of love will not protect you from death
then you can begin to love your precious life
and lick honey from the razor's edge

Friday, September 13, 2013

God doesn't take 30 do

Friday, September 13
Los Angeles Ca

My birthday week...
It is my birthday this week...It has been quite a year. 
A year ago at this time I really committed to travelling less and grounding to create a home for me and my son. He was struggling and had dropped out of high school like I had, repeating alot of the self destructive habits I had at his age. I realized I would have to mature and model for him so he could have more stability to grow from. This morning I woke up in gratitude- I felt so lucky - I woke up in my bed that I love in the house I have really hustled for and look out the window at green bamboo and the sunshine in my backyard. My son is living with me now and just saved enough to buy his first car working this summer. It wasn't an easy journey to change the way I had been doing everything, but I wanted to have different results in my life and so I knew I had to change my habits. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. The biggest fight was with my own fears, resistence and ego to let go of the past and the things I had grown comfortable with. Even getting what you want can be a little scary... God gave me the things that I asked for and now I have to put on my big girl panties and keep taking care of the things I love. Hard work, dedication, faith in the mission and GRATITUDE...Happiness can be a choice...i didn't believe that a few years ago...

LET GO OF YOUR STORY! Yom Kippur is this weekend, it is a Jewish holiday, the day of atonement- letting go of the past. Traditionally it is a day of fasting to atone for all the sins of the year before, to ask forgiveness in relationships and with god...i believe that we live our prayers- so instead of fasting this year- i am making the clear decision to let go of the past emotional baggage and moving forward with strength to the future and the life my soul loves. in all our ceremonies and religions, i believe too much emphasis has been on redemption and suffering. we suffer because we don't know how to let go of our wounds and move forward to a better life. i have been in ceremonies where a mother prayed to god for a better life while her child was being neglected right next to her. she was still suffering from her wounding and so she could not let go of her pain and she was repeating the patterns with her own child. it is like we are all a bunch of wounded children walking around the planet lost and confused, blinded by our own troubles and poking each others wounds. to evolve this humanity, we have got to grow up as individuals! make your prayers real. bring the spirit to the flesh. make heaven on earth now. be willing to be happy. god doesn't take 30 years, you do.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Orphan Heart


when you are lonely
when you are lost
know i am waiting for you
follow the breadcrumbs on the desert floor
find the red door in the wilderness
listen for the cry of the black raven
dig through the diamond sands to find the golden key
in the darkness follow the one bright star and feel the faint rumbling drumbeat 
beneath your feet
look for the bonfire in the distance
we are gathering
your tribe
your family
we have waited for you many lifetimes
let your immortal soul wake up in your mortal body
taste the red wine beyond blood and death
and remember your destiny
my lover, my child, my mother, my friend
we are all ONE

Friday, September 6, 2013

Do you need a guru?

Here's the thing about teachers and gurus- they inspire us. Guru means "one who points to the way"- they embody something you lack or desire. At first, you are like a baby, you need to be under the wing- just as a mother is the whole world to her baby- the mother is the milk and the life- the baby needs the mothers connection but also needs to grow into a self sufficient adult. At some point you should integrate the practices from your teacher enough that you have the teacher and the practice living inside you, then the teacher becomes like a conscious inside you helping you to make your own decisions. A student is not meant to remain a child forever and if the teaching has been successful the student can be weaned to leave the nest and fly on their own. Of course many students are too afraid to take the leap out of the nest to individuate and many teachers hold their students from their own needs and never let them grow into fully independent beings. These are classic dysfunctions based in human development. The long term relationship between a student and teacher should be based on love not need. The student becomes a spiritual adult and continues the relationship only from the enjoyment of love.

fearless love

love exists on many levels. one of the most basic and necessary forms of love is a love of life. if we were not taught that life is good, if we were taught habits of fear, addiction, abuse and trauma, then it is very difficult to move from fear to love. but is is often the pain in primary relationships being dysfunctional that drive the individual to seek a greater, more universal love. if we do not love life, if we are at odds in ourselves with the purpose of being alive in a world that has so much suffering, then we cannot learn to love ourselves or another. the first kind of love necessary is a love and surrender to life itself and that love being unconditional, for just as we can never control another person, we can never control what life spontaneously hands us. wether we face joy or pain, union or separation, to love is a choice and it takes willpower to choose love again and again.

consumerist love- we spend more time trying to package ourselves to be worthy of love than being interested in learning how to love. we try to make ourselves look the best so that we will be chosen, like a product off a shelf, to be loved before our date expires. this is the classic consumer model of fear. what if we are not chosen? what if we are never deemed truly worthy of being loved? all of our existential loneliness is stirred and becomes fear of abandonment. and so much time is spent in the obsession to attract love that we do not learn to love the other in any selfless kind of way. what is the point of love?

perhaps the story of my life would be very different if i had learned to be more interested in how to love others than hoping to be loved myself. all the loves i have known have been fleeting, ephemeral, like quicksilver. the feeling of truth dances in the palm of my hand hand like water and then vanishes, like the exhale. like the ocean evaporates to the cloud to rain down again in another form. in this one fragile, tiny and trembling body, the temple of such an enormously thirsty soul, will i ever feel loved enough? again, perhaps the answer is to flip the question around. will i ever learn to love enough? the closest thing to unconditional love i have known is with my own son, and this love too was born of a selfishness. after feeling abandoned by my own parents, i wanted to have a baby to create that unbreakable bond- to have something tethering me to this unstable world. 

LOVE- "It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. ... And one fine morning ---- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" - F Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, July 28, 2013

We must learn to be hard without losing our tenderness

Downtown Los Angeles
Saturday July 6

"One has to grow hard but without ever losing tenderness", Esa looks down at his gnarled hands, his arms covered in rough tattoos. He is an older Mexican man in the rehabilitation house where i have come to teach yoga today. "That is what Che Guavara said. But I don't know how to trust anyone. I spent more years in jail than out. That's what they call being institutionalized. I feel more comfortable in prison than outside. I know how things work in there. But now I am finding out that whole way of life is bullshit. I want something different but I am older now. I got more years behind me than ahead of me. You come here talking about unconditional love. Well, I don't trust that. The only one who gave me unconditional love was my mother, she loved me no matter what. Even if I killed someone. So you see, I don't trust so good. The gang I was in, they taught us to say things like, "We don't care if the sun don't shine". Life is hard and you have to be harder. The way I lived was that I might have to kill my best friend. Nothing personal, but if the orders came down that's what I would have to do. So I couldn't get close to anyone." I nod my head, I feel in my own gut how I have a hard time trusting people too. When is it safe to be vulnerable? I may not have had to kill anyone or gone to prison, but I have deep places in my of wounding from childhood abuse and abuse I did to myself when I was angry and rebellious at everyone, including God. In many ways, my story is not so different than these men. Don't we all just ache to be loved and accepted? Don't we long for a safe place to put our guards down and be vulnerable, the warrior wants to rest and to finally surrender on the battlefield of life? I am here with two other women to teach the class. It's a bit comical, the juxtapose between the three of us attractive women and these big, tough men. We joked walking into to the run down house that serves as the rehabilitation center that we were like Charlie's Angels, a blond and two brunettes.

"I trust you more because you are women", Esa says. The other men nod their heads in agreement. I look around the room, we are sitting on plastic chairs in a circle. Many of these men have spent more of their lives in jail than out- that is what Esa meant about being "institutionalized".  The odds are against these men that they will find a way out of the prison system and cycle of drug abuse. I raise my hand to speak, "When I started yoga, people told me I would never fully revover from the drugs I had done. But I didn't believe them. Because when I did yoga, when I moved my body and breathed, I felt this connection to God, to my higher power, whatever you want to call it- and I knew that was the most powerful source in the world. I knew if I kept my dicipline and kept moving towards that God energy, I would not only recover and be healed, but be more powerful than before I ever did any drugs. And it has been true for me". I look around the room and catch Esa's sharp eyes watching me. I want to share the hope, power and peace of mind yoga has given me with these men, show them there is a way out of the boxes in our minds that we have been locked inside by the conditioning of our families, societies- all the bullshit we were taught to think we are not worthy of happiness. I want to tell them, YOU ARE WORTHY - AND THERE IS A WAY. They have value, they deserev to feel loved, like we all do.

"I need another fire"
 "I came up trained to be hard. We got tattoos for killing people. Now I go out on the street sometimes and I see an old gangster with tattoos on his face and neck from killing people, but he is pushing a shopping cart", he shook his head and everyone in the room laughed. "I don't want to be like that. i got lots of free time now. My psych tells me to go feed the ducks now with my free time. Feed the ducks!" Everyone laughs again trying to imagine this tough as leather aging gangster sitting on a park bench throwing bread crumbs to the ducks. "I came from a place of a lot of excitement. I came from a fire. I can't go feed ducks. I need another fire". After class he came to me to ask about the breath work i had shown them. I told him that i had come from fire too. Now I help other people go through their fires and that is an exciting, meaningful purpose for me. I told him, "Me too, I need a fire, but one that burns for good. Maybe you will teach this to other people and that will be your next fire". He nodded and had a light in his eyes.

Turn your shitty, sad, disempowering stories into fertilizer -for growth and change. Life will give you unending challenges, that is why it is so important to have a practice like yoga and meditation that floods your system with the happiness drug -Seratonin- and keeps you fit to face the challenges. Life is challenging, so stay positive, those are not just empty word, it is about your choices to fall into victimhood or rise to meet the road and integrate the joys and sorrows into one BIG beautiful story of you.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Finding your True Love

TRUE LOVE - A true story

In 2009, I travelled to Istanbul, Turkey to meet a mysterious sufi teacher. I had never met this teacher before, but I had fallen in love with sufi poetry and wanted to meet a teacher from this mystical tradition that is called the "Path of Love". Of course, I always need to have the real deal, hardcore experience, so I had sgned up to meet this teacher half way around the world without ever meeting him before. I had just filed for divorce, and with my life quickly disintegrating, I had an even stronger desire to find out what "real love" was. I walked into the teachers house, Mutlu Baba (which means, "Happy Father"), and he was sitting at a table surrounded by his students. They were serving dinner and there was an empty plate and chair that had been waiting for me. Baba waved for me to sit down next to him, a great honor. I sat my weary, jet-lagged body down, my eyes still burning from a sleepless flight from India. "Why have you come?" Baba asked me in broken English with his thick turkish accent. I looked around at the table filled with expectant faces, all curious about what the American had come all this way for. The women had round faces and were middle aged, they were stnding to serve the food while the men sat at the table being served. Most of the men had moustaches, in the Turkish style. I cleared my throat and looked earnestly at Baba, "I have come to learn Sufi poetry". He looked at me and laughed, "Sufi is free!" he said emphatically. Yes, I thought to myself, i have come to be free. Little did I know that being free would mean having myself psychologiaclly torn to pieces by this very traditional Sufi teacher. He would have to take away all my ideas of "true love" for my mind to be free. It would be a painful process over the next 21 days, but I did not know that yet. I still felt lucky to be welcomed into this teachers home so far from my own.

I love to share the wisdom of love that Baba taught me on that trip to Isatnbul, one of my favorite stories from the Path of Love is this:

Your soul is the king or queen and the throne room is the heart. The mind is the

servant whose duty it is to guard the door. For most of us the mind has become so

frightened from past experiences or past hurts that it has locked the door. So, the

king or queen is asleep on the throne. The soul is asleep and the decisions are being

made by the servant.

How can we blow the door to the heart wide open again. These are the practices that

engage the energies to open the heart long enough for the soul to bring again, the

king or queen to wake up and to be the rightful ruler of your life again.

Because of the fear in the mind, the body is numb to new experiences.

“How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all its beauty? It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise, we will remain too frightened ”- Hafiz