The Girl Asleep at a Party

When I was in college, I used to get blackout drunk. At UC Santa Barbara, that is called “Wednesday” , Certain as there was a Saturday and I didn’t have rehearsal? I’d be drinking 5-6 hard liquor or beer drinks a night and wandering into a stranger’s house to use their bathroom. 

There would always be that one girl, asleep at a party. She’s surrounded by activity, people are stacking cups on her head, and the world could light on fire – she would not wake up.

A few months ago I had a very rude awakening. The world, the planet, our lives are all short and maybe we are able to come close to our reason being here. But in the meantime happiness is the only thing worth pursuing even if it means risking the way you used to be.

I’m anxious. All the time. I don’t know minute by minute what I’m supposed to do and I’m letting others dictate that for me. I’m trying to surrender to the path, let the ride be the guide and really choose what challenges me and makes me happy to wake up every day.

Put the pursuing of that makes me want to be the girl asleep at a party. I know I won’t be able to go back to it, but I want to be her, just for an evening. 

I’ve taken a little bit of Kava-Kava, this herbal anxiety medicine that I found at the organic drugstore. It makes my lips tingle. It makes me want to eat a cookie. It makes me want a hug. It makes me want to pass out in the middle of the party.

This is the challenge of a conscious life : once you wake up, you can never go back to sleep. You must be conscious at all times even when it feels painful or scary. You must be the truth about your life if you want to get anywhere close to your joy.

I hope that I’m listening to what I truly believe is in my heart. I hope to stay awake and energized throughout the entire process of transformation. I hope I don’t get swallowed up by what I expect of myself. I hope that I don’t die before realizing infinity every day. I hope I can live in joy and happiness even when it hurts. I hope to never fall asleep again. 

May you never fall asleep again. 

Sat Nam

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The Price of All That Happy

I saw an adorable but ugly dog – my favorite kind. I squealed at him and shouted, “PUPPY!”. The owner looked frightened. When I find out that my favorite band is playing near me, I’d put on displays of convivial joy while hunting down tickets online. If someone handed me a shaker of truffle salt? I would jump up and down in excitement.

Professionals stay neutral. Children stay happy. Realists stay realistic, but also can’t get hurt as easily. Where is the middle ground? Neutrality is what we seek on the spiritual journey, but also happiness. What happens when we seek to cross these both? Does it even happen?

This morning, as I wring myself out in yoga class and get rid of all the fears that surround me on a daily basis? I’m struck by the fact that we can never have a lot of happy without a lot of sad. Just as in a risk-and-reward situation, the higher you go the higher you have to fall.

Consider the wave. As it heads towards the shore it gets highest before it falls. But then it goes back and another high is reached. The water goes fast and then slow, and paces based on it’s peaks and valleys. When it’s closer to the sand, it is forced to absorb the changing landscape before it has strength to rise again.

life like this...

life like this…

But it always rises. The higher it goes the more it inspires, accumulates and moves. It takes the whole landscape with it and fills its volume with sea life. It’s majestic, joyful and moving as the way nature intended. Beautiful motion.

I realize I am in a phase of my life now that I am tentatively calling “the good happy lonely”. I’m a woman on the verge of the next phase of my life and trying to enjoy the present while all of life fills itself inside me. That makes me happy. The price of all that happy is an equal or greater amount of sadness sometimes. But I have to know deep inside me that the wave will grow strong again even when I don’t feel it will.

The price of all this happy is sometimes laying on a mattress in the middle of the floor and feeling a void. The price of all that happy is a vulnerable feeling that I’m exposed as a fraud to everyone who knows me, false as that assumption may be. The price of all that happy is some sweat, tears and pain. The price of all that happy is sacrifice. The price of all that happy is some love lost over time.

But then I see a carton of truffle salt in the grocery store and I think – the world cannot be so bad. This savory fruit of the sea exists, and just like the sea will rise with me again.

May the price of all your happy be the strength to fight for it and let things go. May the price of all your happy be presence. May you ride your life like a gentle wave and feel lighter in every step along the way. May the price of all that happy be a committed relationship to the wonderful, amazing soul that you are.

Sat Nam.

Fear is a Brave Stone

Start, and the pressure will be off. Maybe not right away, maybe you aren’t even aware of the changes that are happening. But you’ll feel much better under pressure in the right direction than stuck in an old one. 

You know how the saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Something moving has no time to atrophy. But what I’m curious about is how that stone started to roll? Was he pushed off a hill? Did he get dislocated from a spot that was formerly secure? Did he grow from a small grain of sand which over time snowballed into a bigger, stronger stone?

Any of these can happen. But here’s how life works, according to a rolling stone:

1. The first three seconds of falling are going to be the most terrifying part of your trajectory. You are going to gather unfamiliar momentum and it’s going to scare you shitless.

2. After that, you are going to keep going and it won’t be as hard. But you still won’t know what’s at the end of your race. So keep racing.

3. If parts of you break off during the fall, you are going to have to leave them behind. True story.

4. You are falling as part of an organic landscape. Everything around you, the earth, the sky, gravity and all the elements in nature are supporting you, even though you don’t feel it. 

5. When you land, you are out of momentum until the next shift. But you have changed all the landscape around you by risking your fall, brave stone. Don’t take your new role for granted, because you may have to change it just as quickly.

6. You have fallen into a better place. Actually? I can’t say this for sure. But you have fallen and you are still here. So that’s something. Be grateful. 
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“FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!”

 

May you be continually falling into better landscapes. May you trust the first three seconds of your fall are making the rest of your run easier. May you be truthful to your path, even when you feel pushed by it. May you fall with grace. May you land with ease. May you live with passion.

Sat Nam

A Big Announcement and A Big Thank You

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Ok, so it’s not that…Sadly. 

I’m moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. I have 1,000 in my bank account, some dreams and ideas, and a yoga mat to work out the details of those on. I’m seeking a spiritual and creative community, and some place to call my own version of home. 

Those of you who I have flaked out on in the past month? I have to say I’m sorry. I should make time for those who have sat with me and stood for me and I couldn’t get to you all. Hopefully this makes a difference. 

When I first came back from New York City, I was someone pretty burned by her career choice. I’m making similar risks so some of those are equally as scary. I feel ready now, but at the same time it took me quite some time to get there. A few catalyst events have moved me to make fast changes, but I can wait for miracles as they are seeking me out as well. 

There is somewhat of a castrated feeling when you come back to the world you had such hopes of bringing success stories towards. But that is ego, and not spirit. Needless to say, when I returned home 2.5 years ago my ego was deflated and out of touch with any sense of meaning. 

Then something amazing happened. Life showed up. You showed up. One of the lessons I learned back at home is that miracles often occur in spite of how worthy you feel of them. Best just to accept them and be grateful for the chance to keep pounding out the details of life’s grey areas. 

I made friends. People who enjoyed having me and my big mouth around. People who didn’t care that I lived with my parents or worked in a department store. People who held my hand at tea when I broke down in front of them and let me spend the night on their couches. People who laughed with me, and wanted me to come on adventures to magical faraway lands like : Stockton, Sacramento. Whenever I walk into Kohl’s, Alicias Sugar Shack or Aria Bakery, I will have people I would like to see, and people who like to see me. That makes me so happy.  

I fell in love. Deeply, passionately, and for someone who didn’t see me as broken or less-than feminine divine. I found someone who made me feel safe and beautiful, and although that ended I can’t imagine how my years here would have gone without him. I had lived in New York City, land of thousands of singles and soul-seekers, and then in the middle of nowhere I find someone who had more soul and passion and dignity than someone of a thriving philisophical metropolis. Although our relationship ended, I consider it a success in how he and I changed and grew. I will love what he did for me and who he is: the person who made love real for me when I least expected it. 

I did things I never thought I would do. Make a movie. Learn to Cook. Swim across a lake. Learn to Salsa/Bachata and get so good at it I can hold my own at clubs. Master 120 day Sadhana. Find myself at a yoga festival. See my favorite band. Seek out projects with passionate people. Become an unexpected mentor and friend. Be chased by carneys. Get a certificate in web development. 

I’m seeking happiness. Adventure, joy, connection and the answers to questions I may not have or know. My own version of home. A basic prosperity. Love. The way to the present. To really value and love my soul so much that all blessed karmic paths are attracted to it’s plane. To serve my destiny. To accept failure and move on. To become more real, and more myself every day. To be. To live. To enjoy. 

And I have you all to thank for that. Thank you for valuing me when I didn’t value myself. Thank you for giving me a hand and a shoulder. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the love. Thank you for listening. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for the passion you have brought to my life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Giving Up on Giving Up – Karam Pad to Shakti Pad

I’m moving out of my parent’s house in less than 5 days. At nearly 29 years old, this would be a good time to move on with my life. I’m hungering for something different, a new life, new circumstances. So what did I do?

I got a haircut.

Then I recognized a pattern. Every 3-4 years my life seems to change completely. College, 4 years. New York, 4 years. Sonora, 3 years. Usually a drastic haircut happens a few months before a major shift. For some reason, I need to shed skins. I thought this came from my wanting to be an actress, but as I’ve retired from that profession I’ve seen more and more that I can hardly keep up with the changes I want to make for myself. 

There are stages of spiritual development we all must pass through in order to master ourselves, our destiny, and our tasks on this planet. The first stage is the apprentice, where you take everything in and absorb everything. Next is Karam Pad, where you align against discomfort, push your limits and test your knowledge. Shakti Pad is next. This is where you confront the ego. This is where you decide if your work is aimed onto the higher path or quit altogether.

There are lots of things I haven’t made it past the Shakti Pad with. Singing, Dancing, Typing, Crafting, Waitressing, Sales, Mime… all things that may or may not have given me spiritual fulfillment but for whatever reason I had to leave it behind.

But what if I’m leaving myself behind by giving up before an ultimate payoff? What if by focusing my mind I can focus myself to true destiny?

We can all be kind of good at a lot of things, but if you master something? REALLY put the time in and heart and get past the awkward phase? Miracles beyond your wildest dreams usually fall when you least expect it.

For the past few days I’ve been a little on edge. Old addictions and thoughts are popping up when I don’t need them. Old reminders the big fear : You’re just going to get a drastic haircut again and want to change everything in 3 years anyway. But will  you really change yourself in that time? 

I’ve wanted to hide these feelings. Hide from everyone, really. If my home for the past 3 years was a crowded movie theater, I feel like the person who is sneaking out the side door. I don’t want to bother anyone, I just want to leave. Secretly, I think I’m annoying everyone and no one will miss me. But publicly? I hope that once I leave, that cracks the light open for someone who feels stuck. That if I can seek a basic prosperity in a space where I don’t know the rules, anyone can. 

And this is where the next phase of my life is headed. I want to realize that I’m probably still in apprentice phase with myself. I need to cross over to the space where there is no ego. And in that way, I let go of not being good at things right now. My hope is that I keep doing what I love doing and the money, fun, adventure, space and balance appears. 

I have dreams. I want to work as a writer/producer and get paid good money working with talented people. I want to make pieces that people will think about. I want to share light, and make a difference for someone who I may never see or hear but who is affected by a message I have yet to send.

In the meantime, I accept that I have a lot of work to do if I am going to get to the Shakti Pad of myself. I promise to be present with the changes, and acknowledge that I may not be able to solve everything, do everything, or be everything to everyone. But if I can rise to the challenge of meeting my soul with grace, work at it every day, and seek joy in all I do? Then I will be fine.

I’m giving up on giving up on myself. Because I am the source of all that makes me powerful, graceful, and human. And that is enough. 

May we all develop as we are. May we all leave the spaces better than when we arrived. May we all embrace change. May we stick with our true gifts from God and leave what everyone expects us to be. May we be happy exactly as we are. May we prosper as we grow. May we love ourselves as we stumble through the change.

The River and Elements of Choice

We drink every day out of the cup of our own consciousness, but never aware of the other side of it. Many times we wish our identities could be solid, our emotions identifiable in origin and our roles cemented. At least then we could scale our lives down to margins and degrees.

Could you imagine? I am 80% happy today for my role as daughter, barista, and yogi has been filled. Now that other 20 percent, if filled by my role as girlfriend, nuclear physicist, and professional break dancer? I would be set for LIFE!! Also? I want to dye my hair/get a tattoo/go by my middle name so that everyone will INSTANTLY know I’m different without anything happening. Michael Fassbender will also come into my work, get coffee, fall madly in love with me and we will dance at our wedding to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”.

You see how crazy that sounds? We are creating holes in our own life for things we aren’t even sure we want. Each identity is crazier than the last because we can’t wrap our head around infinity.  How can we filter happiness when we are constantly searching for things that make us unhappy? How do we make choices about who we are when the model changes constantly? How do we react to change and not get swept into a false identity because of it? How do we not wake up in shock wondering “Is this REALLY my life?” and feel drowned by that discovery?

Life flows much like a river. At our best, we move at a natural course and are filled with life. But imagine if the waters of that river were to encounter a huge island at the center of the river’s path. An unexpected division, a natural obstacle to life’s flow. Half the water would flow around the island one way, the other half would flow on the opposite side. One way has the exact same volume of water as the other, the only difference is the direction.

I’ve reached an age where things are neither good or bad anymore. My life simply merges and diverges depending on the obstacle presented. Whether I go on one side or the other, I’m still water. I’m still mutable and transformable and a product of my environment.

Depressing, right? But think of it this way:

The water, when flowing on it’s natural course, can’t see the new pathways being created during the merging of the elements. It can only feel the motion and respond by joining with the universal organic flow of everything around it. 

Our job is to not see the monumental island in our way. Our job is to find the path of least resistance and go there. Over time, the island becomes a bar of sand or disappears completely for the water is made strong by its consistency. I’m not the best at limiting my fantasies, nor being swept away by illusion. But with practice, and with love and time? I could follow the flow of my life exactly as it is and get exactly what I need. The organic path of the soul, lived by its present. Delicious.

May your time, talent and discipline prove to be your best friend. May you not see the giant island but feel the grains of sand flowing between your feet, and trust they are wearing what isn’t needed. May you choose either/or, but be blessed with the knowledge that there are no bad choices, but simply choices to be reckoned with. May all of your problems be the result of a life that you want, a life of least resistance. May your destiny serve you in ways you never knew, and may you be blessed because of it.

Sat Nam.
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