A Reminder of Origin #yoga #toxic-masculinity #unity-consciousness

A pond in Hooksett, NH that was a delightful destination to a nature walk with my husband. A popular path for many, yet walked with a reverence that holds the landscape with peace and joy.

If I go back to the origin of my blog’s title and consider the impetus of the name, I am reminded of the pulse behind the darkness. We are, undeniably, immersed in a time of chaos that can be over-whelming. More often than I’d like to, I find myself considering whether we are a World Gone Mad.

These days I can count insanity by just one degree of separation, sometimes less. On Sunday I conversed with a colleague who was trying to find her grounding after bearing witness to the aftermath of a senseless shooting: A father shot dead by a young man, unrelated. Two kids left behind to watch it from a car’s window.

In my hometown, the community FB page is filled with comments about a man who took it upon himself to drain an entire pond, destroying a beaver dam and countless lives, so that he and his friends could ride their snowmobiles in winter. A season used to be, but is not often, without snow.

I cannot help but wonder if the world has gone mad. Next door, the neighbor who talked to me about love and community years ago as we both displayed our Obama signs with hope has, it seems, turned to the dark side. The opposite of hope and love, staked to her ground.

What is happening? Why is it so easy for us to fall into hatred and fear? Why is it so difficult for us to pause, consider, and breathe the light back into our collective story?

We are succumbing to our own madness through a belief that our world is spinning out of our control. Thinking, ever-foolishly, that we are here to control it. The land is mine to mold my way…

Instead of, I am of the Earth, and therefore a part of all life it nourishes.

Simple facts forgotten. Ignored.

I honor the light in you that is also in me. Therefore, I will do no harm.

I find myself turning to the land with every excuse I can muster. I have taken up foraging as a reason to walk into my wild home and find peace and connection. Belonging returns when the heart opens back to its origins. More than ever I have become a fervent believer that our salvation as humans will only return when we turn to the Earth with reverence. And through this return, find our origin. We are of the Earth, but not limited by it.

One vast body boundless

Yet we allow ourselves to be limited by our own myopic vision. We allow fear to establish our parameters and this fear grows to mistrust, which too often turns to hatred.

I find myself using the term “toxic masculinity” all too often, but there is a disturbing truth to this phrase. It is what kills the hope and love inside of us. It is rapidly seeking dominance again, as it has so often done in our collective history. Why are we afraid of the softening? Why are we afraid of vulnerability? Of surrender? Of love?

We are not truly held by walls and barricades. They are blocks. Temporary, but more often than not, dangerous. They shut us out from the wider world. They block the light of life. They block the greater truth. They block the flow of energy that seeks our connection. They block our coming home to ourselves.

On Sunday, my colleague and I also spoke of this lose of connection. We are both yoga instructors, but our desire to thread this idea of union is not limited to the mat of practice. We spoke of Earth. Of nature and our connection to it. We spoke of how to bring the concepts of yoga, which share the teachings of all the ancient wisdoms, out into the community in a way that brings us home to ourselves through a reconnection with wonder and nature.

During one of my foraging walks with another friend, conversation led to physical education classes and how simple and effective it would be to switch the focus from competitive sports to exercises like nature walks. Imagine combining P.E. with science, writing, history, and, an inherent mindfulness. The possibilities turn from limiting, to limitless. It’s in some ways a radical shift in perspective, but it’s also a chance at our salvation. Each child given a sense of belonging instead of vying for one.

If we all had that sense of belonging, would we need to erect walls to separate? Would we need to point fingers and declare, “You are not good enough?”

True connection to one’s self and the greater “world,” unites. It is yoga. It is a coming home to the self and the self’s origins which, at its essence, is a limitless belonging.

One vast body, boundless

Our Broken Moral Compass #usaelection #politics #ethics #morality

I am sitting here, again, trying to make sense of what feels like no sense. The idealist inside of me is struggling to comprehend how nearly 50% of the nation I call home can support a person who is by all moral codes so far from decent that we have redefined humanity. Or maybe we haven’t? Maybe we’ve always had 50% good and 50% bad inside of us and only now it seems we’ve given permission to let the bad overshadow the good.

But I am not okay with this and doubt I ever will be. I am not okay with a white man who cares only for himself ruling a nation in the grip of fear. I am not okay with racism, sexism, homophobia, repression, oppression, inequality, injustice, rape, and all the other aspects of that define what is morally reprehensible inside of us. I am not okay with the placement of one self above another. Yet here we are, again. And, here I sit in the midst of a currently undecided election wondering when and how it all went wrong. Again.

We have work to do. That is one thing that has become glaringly clear. Collective work. And, individual. I know I must ask myself am I doing enough? Am I doing what is right not only for myself, but for every being that shares this living planet with me. Right now all I want to do is weep, but weeping provides a temporarily relief to the pain of a collective wound that desperately needs tending.

And so I think perhaps I must look at the term service too, and what it means in the definition of the self within the whole and the whole within the self. And I think perhaps I must look at the term fear before I search through love. The fear that exists inside the individual self and inside the self that is the whole. I must ask myself what pieces am I willing to untangle and how far can the reach be extended? We are all, in some way, complicit in this state we have created for ourselves. Right now it feels like a living nightmare, but, if truth be told, this living nightmare has been playing out for thousands of years.

It is, thus, not surprising that we would resist waking from it. And, in turn, realizing that we need not enchain another who does not look on the outside the same as us, that we need not rape into submission, or ravage land that simply asks to nurture us. We have taken up arms in the defense of fear, we have long held the righteous hand of anger and mistrust, and we have long looked into the myopic lens of the “advancement” of the self over the whole. It’s then perhaps little wonder at all that we find ourselves at this place in time still holding fast to the defensive grip of our fears.

We travel through the shadowlands yet we are still resisting the light. It sounds cliche, but it is, nevertheless, truth. We are interdependent, intricately connected, bound through invisible webs that can tie us, or unite us. And, we must work through the individual self, to recognize the whole.

Hope in the Shadowland #Causeway #writephoto

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Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

In the land filled with shadows hope slipped behind the clouds as the light receded. The great womb of the sea felt the hollow, pulsing the dull ache of emptiness. “What have we done?” the lonely souls called into the wind. Long ago they had given up a reply, but something was different about today. The breeze felt softer on their skin, like a mother’s caress, urging. It brought the scent of honey to their lips. “How can it be?” they wondered.

Resigned necks lifted tired heads, and eyes sought answers from the sky. How long had it been since they had looked beyond the horizon? Above, gray clouds morphed into shapes deformed and grotesque. Yet still the eyes gazed above, transfixed, for the eyes were seeing themselves. “Do not look away,” the voice whispered through their minds, “you must see who you are and who you can become.”

And so they looked, following one scene of horror as it passed into another. And as they watched, the earth below began to shift. Above, the gray of hatred gave way to pain. Bruised and battered, the clouds turned violet-blue until sadness released the heaviness and tears began to drop upon the lifted faces. They trickled down naked arms and fell, one drop upon another, into the womb below. Heavy with need, Her water’s broke in release and the causeway lifted their bodies to be reborn.

Together, they shuttered and sighed as their lungs released the effort of holding back. And the sky above continued to change. Pink bloomed around the edges of violet as their hearts softened into harmony. One hand reached for another, and then another, until fingers laced a pattern of unity. The wind blew away the final wisp of gray and the mirror broke into blue and gold. A warmth that felt like wonder filled the land as joy slid from the golden rays of a sun long forgotten. Cells felt the memory of truth and began to dance the feet back to life.

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt challenge #causeway. 

Imagining A World Made New #poetry #poems #spiritualpoetry

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I’m trying to imagine a world made new

this riptide of dis(ease) softening into rebirth as seven

billion people grow golden filaments

around the darkness of our womb. At night

I claw dirt back into Her body

to hear the heartbeat wrapped inside

release the tired shoulders, She whispers, you

who have learned to wear blades

as you seek to stretch beyond the chrysalis

breathe whole

arms, ready to release

the heavy weight of fight

trap the body collecting pain

without permission. You wounded

warriors of the light

stamp identity upon the heart

pressing the false hold into a battle cry

lodged inside a forgotten throat

Sing truth to open the portal to the heart

and allow the soul

to shout victory

darkness is a demon

only if left unexplored. Let the cry loose

Let it soar through the shadowland inside

until it ignites the joy that is life. Real

life. Release those golden threads and weave

the memory of unity

whole

Unity

 

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DNA. Photo credit: Pixabay

 

A lot of words and emotions are stirring through all of us right now. There is anger, fear, combativeness and there is also a deep sadness and despair for many. We are in a time of struggle and upheaval. Our world, in many ways, appears to be falling apart. Yet, it is always darkest before the dawn, and here we are, collectively, standing on the brink of the dawn.

Before the light can break through, we must individually and collectively face the darkness. We must peer into those shadowed depths and face what can only be described as fear, head-on. The shadow-self cannot be ignored, because turning away from it is a form of denial of the self that seeks to be healed and loved the most. The shadow self is a reminder of our humanity. It is not wholly to be seen as our failures, but our lessons in Life. The full breadth of the spectrum exists within all of us. What sparks the fear, can also spark the light.

“I am human, therefore, I am imperfect.” A statement of acceptance and not denial.

“I am sorry for what I have done, but I have learned from this.” An affirmation of growth.

“You are not different from me. You are my mirror for what also exists inside of me.” A statement of profound truth.

“I love you and I accept you.” To say this, but also to know it completely is the path to unity of the individual and the whole. We cannot truly love ourselves and others until we accept and love, unconditionally, all aspects of that self.

There is the still pervasive belief that there is an “other” that is disconnected to the self. This allows us to defer blame and culpability on another, giving us a false sense that it is the other that needs to be healed or changed in order for justice to be achieved. It is not justice, though, that needs to be achieved, it is a balance.

Until we peer into, examine, and ultimately love all the shadows tucked into the crevices of self, how can we truly heal and move into that state of peace and unity? To examine the “you,” we must also examine the “I,” knowing that they are, in essence, one and the same.

The impulse to harm, or even to kill, exists in you, as it does in me. As does the ability to love and everything in between. The full spectrum of the self cannot be denied when the “body” seeks to be healed. Polarity exists to bring us back to the true center.

The body dances with energy that some call the dark and the light. Others call yin and yang, or the Ida and Pingala. Some call these two energies the masculine and the feminine energies. Here is the thing with naming and defining, we can get caught up in semantics.

Right now, people are posting “black-outs” on their profile pictures as a call for awareness of violence towards women. Yet, there is also the violence that occurs towards men, and to all forms of living beings, including the planet Earth we all share as our home.

The polarizing energies that dance inside of our bodies are actually unifying energies. they swirl like DNA around our spine, joining at their nodes into a central channel that carries the unified energy up and down our spine, and horizontally out to the cells of our body that join into tissues and organs. A healthy, harmonized body has an equal balance of both energies. A dis-eased body has an over-abundance of one, and an underabundance of another. Sometimes there is more Ida in one place, sometimes there is more Pingala. More masculine in the heart (which can result in heart-disease), let’s say and more feminine in the thyroid (which can result in hypothyroid disease). The body knows how essential balance is.

We are not simply man or woman. We are not simply “black” or “white.” We are not simply “you” versus “me.” To heal one half, we must heal the other. To find the light, we must also embrace the darkness within. One teaches us about the other. The balance of the whole is the balance of the individual.