Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Trust and the Truth

I used to lie as often as I told the truth. I went through phases where I told the truth and then phases when I would almost exclusively lie and then again meet somewhere with lies and truths woven together to build the story of me. These lies were lies told to others and to myself so indiscriminately that I am still unraveling those stories apart. 

Small lies, big lies, lies about my name, my upbringing, my work, my life, my heart. Lies hidden under a guise of play acting, pretending something is true, hidden behind a sense of "trying it on." Lies to protect my smaller self. Lies to protect raw, abandoned, hurt, tiny, little bits of me. Lies told for so many reasons, but all untrue, all told to wall in my own living truth, to put that truth away for another day or year, to hide my real self from you and from me. I knew sometimes when I lied, that I would have to reconcile that harm that I sent out-- some days, I knew that I would have to answer to myself for the breaks I made in the energy of what's really real. Some days I did not. 

And while I deeply like the idea of trying something on, before committing to the purchase, I see the lie in my life then, for what it is; deep commitment to dis-honesty, but really, a deep hold in my own fear. 

"A lie would make no sense unless the truth was felt to be dangerous." - Carl Jung

In this work that I'm doing now and over the last few years, I tell the truth. At first it was very hard and exhilarating. I was giddy with it. When truth bits flew out, it was a release of my self into the world. There I am. See me? Giddy. Alive. In small parts. One chunk at a time. 

Then, another shift, when telling the deep truth becomes what's normal, and you are almost telling the truth in every single moment in life. Then, when you do lie, or carve out a mini story (usually in mothering moments where I'm not ready to tell the truth), the lie feels like shards of glass stabbing through my skin. I have to make peace with that lie and usually, then, I vow to tell the truth later. Make a note to readdress as soon as possible. 

Living in truth becomes the norm. Resonating truth in each breath, in each word, each thought, each action. 

This week my honesty was challenged. Challenged in a very new way for me.  I was threatened by someone that I gave a courtesy of trust to. I engaged in a trustful way. Very open and ready for the work to begin. I showed up. I stay present. I did not run.

My truth was telling me to run. To hide. To not show up to begin with. To find a way out. To protect myself and others in the circle. But, I stayed, I fought against my own truth. I was so afraid of falling back into the me that hides and lies and can't sit still, that's when my voice said old words in a new way, I fought. I forgot to listen in. 

What happens to truth when there is no trust? 

Can I hear the same words with new ears? 

Is it ever okay to hide and run? What other ways can I protect myself now? 

How can I hold space for something and someone who rings wrong? 

This made me angry. Anger is my shit. I know that. Reaction is true. Emotion is an indicator of where the pain-points are in this process, journey, life. Resistance is part of the truth, just as acceptance is.  I'm taking in the information now. Coming down from the anger and panic. Moving through to optimism and hopefulness again. Working on trust again. This time the lens is on me. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Mother of The Phoenix: Truth Teller, Truth Teller, Whole Body on Fire

Little bits of truth bubble up in all of us all the time. I'm blessed with gifts of knowing when those bits are coming beforehand, recognizing them when they arrive, and gifted with a depth of expression to put those bits into words. Maybe that's why I'm drawn to words and reading. Maybe it's the opposite drawing words to me. 

We've all been told to do something every day that scares us. It supposed to help you grow or challenge us to live differently to shake up the normal life ruts that we fall into. Well surrendering all the crap that you do and think and emote and fuss about every day, and leaving that crap behind, is the same sort of thing. It shakes you up. There are no ruts. There is more happiness, much more freedom, because, I think, you live with less and less baggage. Lightness is an easier load to carry, no?

My practice isn't about doing poses or sitting on a meditation pillow or wearing tight pants or lighting incense. My practice is about finding my truth again and again and again and again. My practice is about walking the walk. Truth and non-harming are two the the yamas that I'm working through now. I am living truth and non-harming. I cannot levitate. 

Practice is one of those words that means by all definitions that there is no mastery. I am not a master of truth. But I will throw myself into the fire over and over again to see what is left of me, to see what rises from those hot, stinky ashes every single day of my life. Each day I practice, whether it's on the mat, or in my conversations, or while cooking for my kiddo, I'm there in my truth because I want to be there. I am going back to the fire every day so I can be clean and so I don't get stuck living some stale lie of a life that doesn't serve me and my practice. 

Leave it behind. Let that shit go.  The past is always there. But it's so interesting what happens to the past when you leave it there. The future seems so much more accessible and the present, well, that's the real gift. I'm so alive right now. I'm glowing. I radiate light and power and honesty. 

I am the mother of dragons married to a bit of the Phoenix. I'm the rightful queen of this life of mine. I own this fire. I practice in fire. Ashes are air. All of my little truth bits have space to bubble up and be heard because I'm not stuck focusing on some lost moment in the past, some ancient fear or wrong. The yuck is burnt off every day. All what's left is the truth. It's all me. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Acts of Will, Acts of Grace

I used to say and think that love was an act of will. It came from Shakespeare and the concept was appealing to me. That if you wanted love badly enough, that you could will it to be and could will it to last, just by the act of will--an act of commitment. Maybe the idea that love wasn't some big romantic thing that floated into us from a divine source through magical faeries and dancing lights, made me, at the time, feel comfort. If love is so magical and divine then, I (feeling unmagical at the time) would not qualify for the star treatment.  Why would the fates divine to give me the magic of love? 

Love being an act of will, rooted in the practical, being available to any of us who wanted to put forth the effort, well, that sounded like a better deal, something that any old human could muster. 

Since then, a billion things have happened in my life, things that I have summoned up through sheer will alone, and more divine, magical things. 

Acts of will are divine. The will is as divine as grace. Grace comes directly from god. Will is not the opposite of grace but a part of it. Our will is part of our spirit, that living thing in you that is not like anyone or anything else on earth. Your will is the drive you have, the mental focus, the mettle of your spirit to preserve when challenged. Grace is all of that and more. Grace is the light in you. It's divine and unique.  

Love is an act of grace. Love is seeing the best in others and in yourself. The power of positive thinking. Grace is also loving yourself enough to know when to protect yourself and when to be fully vulnerable. Love is not all you need, but it sure is wonderful and helpful in life. 

The more I grow to love and honor myself, the easier it is to love other people, even those who I love the most like my daughter, my mother, my friends, my yogis. I see their faults and weaknesses. Loving someone for exactly who they are is the highest love. Loving without asking. 

I keep trying to finish this but it's not finishing. I need to put a pin in this. I feel like I was going somewhere and then...not so much. Stay tuned.

Yoga is not an act of will.