Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Tapas. Heat. Fire. Burn.
I stand before the raging flames of what is, skin tingling with the heat and dripping beads of sweat, layers of self being singed away. I stand making a willing sacrifice to Her, to me. My full and clear intention is death. Something must die, pieces of me, ideas and stories and clinging, if I am to be born into my authentic Truth. And yes, I am.
So I set myself on fire, if not consciously at first, then certainly intentionally. Life’s intention is to live. Love’s intention is to love. My intention is to burn so that I may become who I am meant to become. She is guiding me. I trust this.
And that brings me here, back to Bali, to perhaps the most profound commitment to my spiritual evolution I’ve ever made. Stepping into this kula is stepping into the heat and the friction and the discipline that are the flames which will burn away what I thought I knew so that the phoenix of my true purpose may rise.
My goddess is it hot in here.
I thought I knew what I was coming here for. I thought I knew how it would feel to arrive. I thought integration would be easy. Burn. Burn. Burn.
Sleep deprived from jet lag. Bleeding from my moon. Thirsty from my body’s reintroduction to the tropical climate. Hungry from the reawakening of intense, intimate connection. Edgy from my thoughts of separation. All of my rhythms are thrown, form is gone, and I am melting into the shape She now wants me to take.
I’ve declared pleasure as my path, and so it is. What I’m learning over and over is that pain and pleasure are no different from one another. Each is a teacher. Each is a partner. Each is a necessary element and demands to be felt.
Even in the throes of my greatest pleasure, when the heat I feel comes from the weight of my lover’s body pressed against my own, the warmth of our synchronized breath pouring out from the depths of our bellies and the flames of passion rising as we are elevated to higher states of awareness, pain comes in as a teacher.
There is the pain of old wounds being unearthed so that they may be healed. The pain of seeing in the mirror of each other’s eyes patterns and habits that no longer serve and letting them go. The pain in that brief moment of recognizing that you’re no longer standing on the edge, but have actually stepped over to free fall into the unknown.
I crave the burn of this pain as surely as I crave the delicious ecstasy of our lovemaking. It’s a slow burn. We take our time. Time takes us. Flames mingle with tears mix with saliva melt into the nectar of our love, and there is no distinction. Consumed by the fire, death is assured, and at the bottom of the free fall, birth.
And therein lies the ultimate lesson coming through in all of this: there is nothing to fear. Even, and I’d say especially, the pain is bringing us to life and bringing us to love. Through the fire we are delivered to the promise of our own limitless potential for love. What, then, is there to fear?
Fear comes in through resistance, through holding on instead of letting go, through pushing against instead of leaning in. I say lean forward and let go and trust yourself to fall, over and over again, deeper into life, deeper into love. That is the path of pleasure I choose to follow, and with it, I welcome the pain.
Friday, May 8, 2015
Time is an arbitrary thing. It really doesn’t exist anywhere but in the constructs of our mind, this space that is actually limitless were it not for the self-imposed limitations we allow to constrain us. Symptom of the human condition. So it goes.
Another symptom . . . sentimentality. Looking back fondly. Holding on dearly. Marking the passage of time in specific increments, with birthdays, anniversaries, “a year ago I was . . .”
A year ago I was in a lot of pain while supposedly in the midst of one of the most pleasurable chapters of my life. I’d set off into unchartered territory, both inner and outer, and it was working me. A year ago I was resenting the hell out of my home for the moment and my partner at the time, for not moving in accordance with how I felt time should flow. I was counting the days until I would leave that place while simultaneously imagining into the possibility of forever with my oft-estranged beloved. Hypocrisy, irony, contradiction. Even more symptoms of the human condition.
Time has since passed. I sorted out the blaring contradiction in my life – saying one thing and doing another – by taking my biggest leap of faith ever and starting to live the life I’d been talking about for so long. I dealt in part with sentimentality by letting go [somewhat] gracefully of that which I’d held so dear. I still look back fondly, and I hope I always will, knowing that every experience then brought me to where I am now and paved the path leading to where I shall be tomorrow. And the perspective of birthdays, anniversaries and “a year ago I was” still signify an important barometer for me, allowing me to track growth and progress or lack thereof, yet another very human condition I like to do.
So here are the pertinent “measurements” I’m tracking of this past year:
- I let go of one partner and opened up to so very many friendships, intimate connections and lovers who’ve enriched me in infinite ways
- I said goodbye to a job and said hello to my calling, exploring entrepreneurship and creative collaboration and heart-centered offerings
- I parted ways with a house and allowed the concept of home to take shape for me in spaces and places across state lines and hemispheres
- I surrendered my notion of how things should be and allowed myself to receive what simply is
- I cut ties with resentment and wholly embraced an attitude of gratitude for even the most painful or perplexing circumstances and characters in my life
I’m tracking all of this as progress for a year gone by, when in fact the truth is this is lifetimes of work and deep remembering becoming manifest. There goes that arbitrary nature of time. We can make of it what we will.
So what will you make of it? What will I make of it? I’m leaning into a more spacious, patient and compassionate relationship with time. I’m in the inquiry of what’s it like to slow down, to suspend the agenda, to move at the speed of love. It’s love that has been working me this past year. It’s love that is my constant teacher, my motivation, my guiding light. It’s love that I feel for all the circumstances and characters in my story. It’s love that I know myself to truly be.
Love is unbound by time. For love, time simply does not exist. Love is endlessly patient and immediately accessible. It can hurry the hell up and it can slow down and wait. My commitment and my suggestion – take a note from love and let time fall away.