Healing Prayer for our World

my lover & i were sitting outside this morning. before that i sat in the garden by myself a bit. it was so lovely, after a night of intense firework displays (i wore ear plugs the entire time, amazed at the war-like quality of our celebration; a nation founded on war, no?), to sit in _space_, reflecting on the thoughts and attendant feelings that came & went. i feel fully in my life in this time of transition. at other times a feeling of i should do this or that comes upon me. i feel pulled places. this morning i knew i was centered and knew that the thoughts i was thinking, the space i was in (literally) was exactly where i needed to be. the thoughts and feelings i was having were absolutely the thoughts & feelings i needed to guide and direct me on my course. such self-trust! i am thankful for moments like this that feel like a break in the clouds.

as my lover and i were sitting after doing some yoga in the sweetly penetrating morning sun, we started talking about healing as we’ve both been focusing lately on understanding our paths and work in relation healing in this lifetime. he brought up the two greek figures, the two divinities, hygenia and asclepius, who have greatly influenced the foundations of our current medicines. he got this from andrew weil’s book Spontaneous Healing. hygenia represents the innate natural healing that happens from within. she is prevention and cleanliness; she is the daily taking care. she is utilizing and honoring our body/soul/spirit natural bent toward healing. she is utilizing the forces within to heal themselves, to tap into that to carry on the healing process from within to without. asclepius, the greek god who holds the staff, is the foundation of our western medicine: treatment after something has already gone on, external remedy for “fixing” what ails you. the two go hand in hand, and sometimes one is needed more than the other. and just as it should be; they keep each other balanced. but, as is so often the case, sometimes systems of complementary forces get out of balance and our culture has nearly forgotten the hygenia system of healing in place of the “get sick and we’ll fix it later”, very scientific and research-based system of allopathic medicine. hardly preventative in training, doctors from this tradition are taught emergency medicine, medicine of the pill which can cure anything, surely, devised and researched upon in labs and on people all over the world– side effects may vary.

this came out this morning because i was asking for some feedback from ini. he said, you focus on therapy which creates space for other people’s process and allows them to come to their own healing. being with you is inherently therapeutic. it’s an inherent gift that you have to bring natural healing up from the depths within other people, manifested outwardly.  i was really touched by ini’s words, and he and others have said variations of them before. encouragement toward who i inherently am so strengthens those inherent gifts. it’s such a gift that he gives me in reflecting back to me my inherent gifts! it strengthens them and helps me clarify them, so i know better how i touch others and how i offer that. it helps me know better how i serve and, in doing that, i can better approach situations.

it also teaches me that if i am inherently placed with this gift there is nothing that i need to “do” per-say. i already am that. (and what i already am is actually such a beautiful surprise and gift to myself and i naturally love to share that! – does that make sense?) it’s in stark contrast to the “outside culture” which challenges me and us to “go, be, do”, “challenge”, “get better”, “be more; be better” coming from a place of lack, of improvement of, you weren’t good enough from the beginning- make something of yourself! this way says, you are already “good enough”, in fact you have a ton of gifts to offer that already exist inside you- the fun part of the work is uncovering & developing those gifts and learning how to share them. what fun!

i feel thankful that i am getting a glimpse of this relaxing into my inherent nature which is a gift to myself and my world. it’s such a gift to me to relax into my being just as i am and find that it is not only good enough- it is great! and more than enough to help myself my world, which is exactly what i want to do.

it reminds me of an article i read yesterday by Roslyne Sophia Breillat © 2008 (emphasis mine) (read whole article here):

It is important for her to learn that her body and her life are not something to be” fixed” or “improved.” These intellectual male strategies will not serve her precious healing. She does not need to be told that she must heal within a certain time or as others think she should heal. This will only diminish her power, dishonour her wisdom and weaken her strength.

It is important for her to stay away from those who advise her with words and phrases such as “must,” “should,” “can,” “can’t,” “have to.” For she is ever so slowly and ever so gently learning the sacred arts and sacred acts of surrender and acceptance. True healing arises from the vast mystery of a timeless place, as true love arises from the vast mystery of a timeless place. It has no agenda, no structure, no fixture, no demands. 

If healing is to happen, it will happen gently and sweetly and powerfully in alignment with love, with inner stillness, with the innate intelligence of the body. It will happen with the natural flow of Mother Earth and her affinity with the feminine psyche. She will gradually find treasure within. She will slowly awaken to her true nature. She will find the wondrous gift of giving to herself, her being, her spirit. And love, joy and vitality will again flow through her veins. 

She will learn to live in the world, but not of it. She will learn to connect with and give to others from a right place within, a very real place. She will give of herself, of her being, but only when she is also giving to herself. She will give of her essence as she has never given before. 

And there will be no force, no momentum, no shoulds, no shouldn’ts in her gift of giving. As her body heals she will learn not to do anything that depletes her precious energy resources, her precious strength. She will learn to avoid anyone who drains her life force through psychically feeding upon her power. 

 

What a powerful quote! The whole article is worth a read. I think after reading this yesterday it set some deep ancient thing further in motion in me. I felt as though I had not only heart the words, but they had somehow become a part of my cells and started reproducing and breathing the ethos of this into existence. I started to live what I read without any effort. What magic! Much Gratitude!

May all people of all genders & sexes feel this freedom to be themselves and arise from within themselves to have space to share their unique gifts and talents in further healing. That’s my prayer for our world!

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Respect is a Yes! beforehand

lately i’ve been searching the web to uncover more about what it means to be an herbalisti’ve been watching youtube videos, reading articles, looking at schools and perusing mentor profiles and specialties to see what’s out there. if you know me at all, you know i love plants! and i am enamored with the healing potential of plants in their relationship with humans. i’ve been pursuing this path (even unknowingly) for the last 5 years. as i am searching the web, of course i stumble upon the wise woman university website and start perusing the mentor offerings.

i follow my intuition in life; that mysterious inner guiding principle available to us all trusting that it will take me where i need to go. growing it stronger through practice. today i felt attracted to one woman’s offerings so i started to read her poetry. this one in particular touched me (found here),

“DID SHE SAY YES?

And did you ask her permission
As you poured thick slabs of concrete
Upon her fertile belly, kissed by the sun for aeons?
And did she answer, “Yes, of course I don’t mind, do as you will”

And did you ask, “May I?”
As you ripped ancient trees from her deep forests
Tearing their roots from her abundant womb
Where they long gathered sustenance from her underworld realm

And did you ask, “Is it alright if we pollute your sparkling rivers,
The flowing veins shining between your loins?”
And did she answer, “Yes, go ahead, I don’t care
I don’t need them”

And did you ask her permission
To trespass upon this sacred home of your belonging
Your beloved Earth
Who gives you so much?

And did you say, “Thank you!”
Falling to your knees in gratitude
Upon her verdant grass,
Her rich moist soil?

And did you say, “Sorry!”
For all you have taken
From this Mother Earth
Whose loving strength is your support?

And did you ask so gently
If you could touch her body,
The body of the Earth
In this way?

And did she open, yielding so softly, so sweetly to your axes,
Your bulldozers, your chainsaws, your bombs?
And did she surrender generously, without choice or complaint
To your greed, your plunder, your ignorance, your force?

And did she say, “Yes!””

~Roslyne Sophia Breillat © 2010


i see so much environmental disrespect as i travel through life. all of this that she brings up, i have seen. i have seen this happen to women’s bodies, too. i have felt the repercussions of this entitlement toward exploitation, toward possession: this thing is here for me, i should take it no matter the cost.

consent is an oft-used word these days. consent is an enthusiastic YES! in sex & relationship in the place of silence, or even at times NO! consent is changing how people communicate about sexuality & sharing themselves; how they relate to one another. i hope we can extend this conversation about consent to our relationship with our Mother Earth for we’ve been taking advantage of her body far too long without asking her first- is it okay if i take this from here? is it okay if i build this here? she is a living entity and deserves the same respect people do. time for a huge #paradigm shift. 

home

ini wiht cherimoya

“Never make your home a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” ~ Tad Williams

in the garden of freely written weeds

thanks for the inspiration, daily post 🙂

“Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.”

good thing i started this this morning in my usual pre-writing warm-up of writing whatever the fuck wants to come out!

Good, she slipped in past the gates. The guards were enamored by her shiny plaits, not even realizing what slips under their gaze. Superficial sally subterfuges willy wonky heart spirals. Tombstone groomstone hello moonstone. Sapphire giraffe fire hello backfire . hello goodbye rye stye eye fly. Hello good morn jello mold uncle horn. Jello mold uncle horn reborn true form hello goodbye 4 3 8 stye one time fly by fire fly fire fly uncle jump yellow trunk hay bale dry spell uncle wren hi then queen lace dread face xylophone instigate yellow jacket I elate relate uncle hay bale dale frail ol mail female red grail holy snail junk pail sex fire 4 trie quail egg remake 7 8 2 1 sally subterfuge has won.

okay okay okay, so the idea i want to write about is actually spoken of in this daily prompt in the words, “the rational mind doesn’t nourish you.”

when i say, slipping past the guards/gates, that is exactly what i’m talking about! i see the gates/guards as…

the rational mind …

the rational mind as a kind of trap, a filter that inhibits us from reaching full heights/depths/potentials of thought/imagination … we’re going places kid and the rational mind can only take you so far.

one time i lived with a famous writer & that’s what she told me … you get to a certain point in the creative process where the mind doesn’t help you at all. at this point, you just have to be washing the dishes or going for a walk in the woods or lighting the peace pipe for ceremony and then

WHAM!

that’s when the “good idea” “better” “best” idea comes forth… the mind can only take you so far … and then there is mystery that moves through us.

 

And isn’t that what all good writers try to do (of course good is a subjective in my own head)? to try to write the spark of life into their words? (you can quote me on that one, dear wordpressers.)

 

From time to time i have written stuff that i look back on and think, wow, that’s actually got merit … maybe i should harvest a bit from that piece. the piece could’ve been hidden for years in the antiquated folders of my computer.. such a post a came upon the other day.

 

i think i wrote it while i was housesitting on a mountain in southern california, in a home where i could see the city of LA from the mountains in the evenings. it sure made me think… here’s an unedited, spur-of-the-moment piece from then 🙂 :

 

You are the artist

We give you space and trinkets and wine

You are the artist, after all,

And you might need it to take the edge off

From all of your midnight wandering up lake ave at night

To reach the mountains and see the city

An indeterminable call that wells up

And froths forth from your mouth

So we’ll take the froth, collect it in little jars

Bottle it and sell it, maybe even around the world

And we’ll feed you wine, you might need I to take the edge off

Tear the edge off the world, to reach center

 

 

 

 

When the world says you are a writer

Write for us and share oh please share as if your life depends on it and so does ours

And so does ours

My gender pronoun of choice is us

What do you adore

 

I cannot live without you garden

 

Oh my god I am sick with your words mary you cut right to the point and present your poems as is you are some dark cryptic grave the shell that breaks open to reveal the lifeseed sprouting

In each of us!

If I can tell you anything tonight through my words

It is that the creative spark is in each of us

Did you hear me

It is not relegated to any one other than you tied up in your very same flesh

You amid the mud and pinnings of culture and ways we do this around here

If I could give you just one glimpse of the nature within

One waft for your glorious sniffer of the scent of freedom

If I could cast a little light on your trail right night

Your trail which is your very own which is your vewy own

How can I say again what cannot be said

Only felt

A  felt sence so I bring attention to it now

I call from the top of the mountains are you listening

Bring your self forth

Bring your self forth

lost & found of the soul: finding true center

thanks to this daily post for the prompt!

 

lost & found

sometimes when things are lost, it allows us to more easily find something else. sometimes when i lose my fear and aversion to discomfort, i find my true strength. sometimes i lose my knack for “people-pleasing” and i am more able to find my true voice and move from my true center, unafraid of how others perceive me or my life. sometimes when i lose something, i am not lost at all, but rather am more found, by myself. sometimes when i lose friends or we drift away, it is not because i have done something, but because i am moving closer to my self, my real purpose and the relationship no longer fits into my life. sometimes in my commitment to truth, i must withstand loss. sometimes it can hurt to lose things, but what i find when they are gone is greater than the loss.

sometimes i must lose in order to find.

this teaches that loss, too, can be a gift.

dreaming in the warehouse, my mother’s strength

post inspiration via daily post


 

you are there, mom. the room is huge & cavernous. we are a in a warehouse & as soon as the dream starts i know that i have been there before, in these circumstances. it reminds me of the huge carved-out warehouses i played soccer in during my youth. the metal curvy side-walls, the football field sized floor stretching from one end to the other. cavernous.

only this time, people aren’t running around chasing a ball. the warehouse is sparse & suddenly a lion jumps in from the forest outside. chased by a puma / leopard. followed by a lumbering bear. at first the animals are focused on each other. their huge, powerful bodies collide with one another in fighting dances. my mother & i and a handful of other people crowd to the corners as the predators bat one another with huge claws & snarl and snap their sharp teeth. the bear’s roar echos through the warehouse and my whole body shakes with the thunder of its reverberations.

i am so scared. i inch along the walls trying not to be seen. for some reason, i have to stay in this warehouse and keep moving around while i am within it. i feel watched by the predators as i move. my body now palpably shakes as i edge around the perimeter. my breath is short & i feel sick to my stomach.

there are hyenas now, taunting & mocking us humans in the room. they are laughing at us & the bear, with one strong paw, swipes their laughing faces across the room. i lose the breath from within me & i am overtaken by nervousness. these are powerful creatures and i am probably going to get eaten.

and then, as i am edging around nervously, afraid to be seen, i am faced with the most curious aspect of all. suddenly i am seated behind my mother who is sitting cross legged like an astute yogi only 3 feet from a seated lioness. they are looking one another in the eye. my mother says nothing as she and the lion are rapt in shared gaze. from this, her silent example, i intuit that even if i am afraid, to survive this wild warehouse experience, i must reveal no sign of my fear.

like the good yogini she is, my mother looks as if she is unbothered, unfazed in the face of the lion. she is as powerful as these predators, i think. and they have nothing on her as she squarely faces them, unafrai. i am still trembling, but i admire my mother sitting there regally & triumphantly.


 

a few days later i tell my mom about the dream. she listens fascinated as the dream unfolds. as i finish she says, “wow, i consider it a compliment that you think of me as that confident.”

is it the tigers, lions, bears & jesting hyenas that demand my fearful response? or is it, is life’s stage, as the dream appears, an illusory mirror dictated by and responding to my behavior toward it?


 

soon after, the animals jump out of the windows back into the woods. i see them tackling one another ferociously, careening past trees and into the hollers. i feel so relieved that these powerful beasts are now playing with one another again. i sink back into my body & breathe a sigh of relief. i am safe again, unscathed. alive to live another day.

a fresh wind moves in: letting go of the angst

Today as i walked the loop by my parent’s house it was palpably a different experience for me. We moved into this house from a fish-bowl neighborhood, where everyone is competing with each other & can literally see into each other’s homes to know what they’re competing on. One of my friends growing up – her dad was a basketball star on our state’s NBA team & i used to play in the lake, others were my wild soccer team members (lots of stories to share about that!), and others were children with lame mothers who didn’t enjoy it when i would invite their daughters to play in the ice with me- so what if our feet got caught as we tromped around the icy stream beds? we were on an adventure! but i digress..

We moved here and it was spacious & surrounded by farm fields and the occasional farm house (which pretty soon got torn down as little box neighborhoods, as i call them, were popping up in their place). Good bye corn & soybeans, Hello plastic siding & same-looking boxes with same landscaping for people to live in! Everyone gets their little mortgaged square of bland, colorless earth around here. At the time, i was a very active young one – playing sports in every season, hanging out with friends, making out with my boyfriends in the basement. It was a time i look back on as being so outwardly-focused. But sometimes in my room, especially at night, i would feel this hungering ache. I would write poetry to my boyfriends or write in my journal to God. I read Edna St Vincent Millay. I wondered what it would be like to live an artist’s life and i hungered. It was a hungering ache i didn’t understand & it made me feel very very alone & misunderstood. While on the outside, perhaps everyone would’ve said, well, that girl had such a great, well-liked high school situation – and, in so many ways they were right – but there was so much uncharted territory, so much of myself, left unaddressed and, well, neglected. The plastic siding & homogeneity only made it worse.

They tore down the farmhouse i could see from my bedroom window – and the one across the street too, where my sister & i would dare one another to sneak into the old, falling-apart, creaky barn & where i got the then-wild asparagus & transplanted it into the garden. The neighborhood seemed to magnify this ache that i had. The homogeneity was excruciatingly painful. I saw it as a place with no character. Without soul. Filled with slaves disguised as people who take out mortgages & listen to everything the local news says. A place where people live in fear & do not think for themselves.

My inner life was relatively untapped while in high school. My inner learnings were to unleash themselves/i was to open up a few years later as i faced certain struggles like death, injury, desire & ways of life different than the ones i’d known growing up. Since this homogenous neighborhood experience & many seekings of character, art, ingenuity, individuality & ram-shackledness later, i am pleasantly surprised today as i go on an evening walk and feel peace as i look around at the surroundings, the plastic siding, the boxes, the manicured lawns.

Suddenly, my judgment or perspective of the place was not holding me back from enjoying my little moment in nature, my walk on the concrete loop in the subdivision’s flood plane turned into nature trail (i’m sure you’ve seen one of these places – a little forest, prairie, wetland nook in an area unbuildable for homes within a subdivision). The prevalence of non-native, “invasive” species didn’t bother me. The cotton woods were beautiful, as were the red-breasted black birds and the shrubby legumes were so prevalent & taking back that landscape, fixing nitrogen into it, so well! The sky had just rained & big grey billowing clouds were still turning above me. I felt like a witch as i harmonized with my surroundings, taking step by step, recollecting & embodying the walking meditation i had taken part in the week before at the prison meditation. Perhaps it was seeing some of the horrible natural devastation in Peru just a few months prior that gave me this perspective. The clear-cutting of the amazingly diverse amazonian rainforests into vast deserted land. The pollution near rivers & in cities. Perhaps it was this perspective which more easily allowed me to “let-go” of my previous hold on hating & judging & disdaining this young adult habitat of mine. Perhaps there’s something in this week’s astrology (I think so), which eased this transition for me. Or perhaps, this wound has finally dislodged in a deeper way within me & i have found peace here from within my earlier surroundings which beckoned so much pain, angst & aching. So many questions. So many existential crises.

And today on the walk, they felt transcendentally resolved. I felt finished with them. I was there, in this same place i have been so many times before, in so many moods and i felt … peace. simply put … peace. And that release brought happiness and gratitude.