It started with some pickle juice; an attempt to ease a headache that was going on 30 hours… I was exhausted, I hadn’t been able to remember things for hours and was even forgetting the conversation I was having mid sentence before finally excusing myself for bed by 7:30pm.
Once I drank a sip though, I was soon eating a pickle, and then some blackberries… Before I knew it I didn’t have a headache, but I was definitely not fasting anymore either. My evening binging monster got me again the moment my willpower had run out.
Offering Myself Forgiveness and Understanding
I have felt a lot of things today about what happened last night. A part of me wanted to give up this morning, feeling amazing until the realization of why I didn’t have a headache anymore sank in, truly for the first time.
I felt like a complete failure. I felt sad and frustrated with myself. I was angry too – I had been working so hard, just to blow it?!
I let the discomfort come and go, deciding to resume my fast, noting that a mistake is only a failure if you let it stop you. So, I forgave myself and then started looking for clues to my behavior, trying to understand what happened and why so that I can be more prepared to handle the same situation in the future.
Finding Unlikely Allies Amidst the Disappointment
I began to think over the incident with curiosity instead of judgement and was surprised by what I found. Despite “disobeying,” my body and compulsion really tried to keep to my commitment in their own subtle way. Somehow, I managed to stay under 500 calories during my binge, which, given that it was all I ate yesterday, still left me in a caloric deficit sufficiently low enough to still encourage the cellular and metabolic benefits of “fasting.”
How? Why? I’ve been pondering this all day. I believe I was asking too much, too fast, and this was my body and mind’s way of letting me know that.
Yet, given the lack of conscious control I displayed last night, I can’t help but believe that they don’t want to stop the fast either. Somehow, by finding that moderation between my extreme ideals and completely giving up subconsciously last night, I now feel more encouraged to continue than ever!
Redefining Success… Again
I can see now just how much my ego wanted to be calling the shots for my fast. It created an almost impossible regimen, probably to trap me in failure and give me a reason to return to feeling sorry for myself. Well, not this time.
I’m adjusting my regimen accordingly, allowing for some watered down bone broth when I feel overwhelmed by detox symptoms. I may find other supplementation as well, but I am still beginning every day fasting and will not be exceeding the 500 calorie mark for the remainder of my water fast (the juices I will start consuming on Tuesday will bring me out of this extreme fasted state, and I will continue supplementing as needed but without calorie restrictions).
The point of this process isn’t to prove myself perfect at fasting, it’s to learn and discover things about myself. Therefore, last night’s “mistake” has been just as essential to this experience as any other one will be.
Extending My New Conceptions of Moderation
This experience actually helped me to release attachments of my ego in another respect as well. I have been trying to abstain from making purchases of “things” since October 2019 but have found myself breaking that commitment to buy presents for international friends at Christmas time and now considering purchases as I will be exploring alternative housing options in the second half of 2020.
I will be taking my cats and living as a nomad from my van for at least 3 months, traveling through many western states and even British Columbia – so I ordered pet IDs and Passports for both my cats. I also bought a bike and am looking at a trailer/stroller combo for my cats so that they can accompany me when I leave the van too. Despite these things becoming necessary as upcoming changes in my life have become apparent, I have felt incredibly guilty too (oh ego, can’t you just leave me be! I’M TRYING).
This recent experience has helped me to cement a growing suspicion I’ve had lately: it’s not about buying nothing, it’s about buying the right things. That’s why I bought a bike: I love riding but have never owned my own bike as an adult, I also believe it is one of the most efficient modes of personal transportation, and essentially it’s a purchase that will bring me enjoyment, improve my quality of life and expand my sustainable independence.
Learning, Adapting and Growing in Love
The peice of my personal New Year’s Divination in which I was told what would help me achieve my goals this year is making more and more sense: “balance and moderation.” I have always been an extremist, and it’s always fed my ego’s proclivity to self-sabotage. Well, not any more.
Sure, I’m me – I will probably never stop trying to challenge myself – but, I’m starting to realize that doesn’t always have to include extremes. I can still learn from this fast, even with a more practical regimen. I can still be a mindful consumer and make smart purchases.
What’s important is that my goals are actually benefiting me. Adhering strictly to extreme ideals might be appropriate for a professional athlete who sacrifices their body for their sport, but I’m seeking an optimal and masterful lifestyle for myself. Which I’m beginning to find also means I am seeking a more balanced and moderate lifestyle.
Accepting My Own Grace and Appreciation
I just finished sipping a cup of warm broth. I have a slight detox headache but have managed to subdue the light-headedness I had as a result of trying to do too much today. I’m feeling silly about it, but appreciative that I am committed to providing myself with what I need – even if my ego has to step aside.
I’m sure I will find new ways to make mistakes on this fasting journey, but I am determined to offer myself grace again and again in order to continue and overcome. After all, there really is no ultimate that I am trying to achieve. Optimization and mastery are never ending – they are a way of succeeding as well as a way of failing.
In these ways, I’m finally learning to trust myself at 31 years old. Yes, I have traumas to heal, bad habits to overcome and good ones to create, but I’m also an incredible soul, mind and body that have chosen to align for the betterment of this world. I can’t do everything, but I can do the work of healing and use it to encourage others by sharing what I learn. And you know what? I think I’m happy to be just that, that I am.
Blessed be darlings! May you all offer yourselves the grace to find balance in your own lives as well.
Tears stream down my face as I sit cross legged and cross eyed in a room full of others doing the same. We’re all dressed in white and we’ve been doing Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training all day for the past three days. This is our last exercise for the weekend before a monthlong break.
It’s a short, “sweet” exercise my trainer smiles, radiating with an intoxicating yet unassuming grace. She guides us gently through the whole process, watching over us as she speaks: “begin in your most beautiful and regal meditation posture.”
Precise and Prescriptive
We sit patiently as she explains an exacting series of mental, third eye focuses and the silent mantra that we will be repeating throughout the meditation. “Now, draw your eyes down to 1/10th open, your gaze is on the tip of your nose.”
Most meditations and even exercises in Kundalini are done with the eyes completely closed, but as I’ve progressed to training I’ve come to enjoy this one. It has a remarkable disarming and balancing effect, allowing for a lot of clearing – and that’s just what I’ve come to know through my own, very brief experiences so far.
“The eyes focused at the tip of the nose causes the optic nerves to cross at the third eye. Thus it is easier to bring your mental focus to the Third Eye while the eyes are directed at the tip of the nose. Both the pineal and the pituitary glands and the area between them are stimulated by this eye posture, which has the effect of breaking old habits and creating new ones.”
I get excited as I feel my mental defenses begin to shut down.
She then leads us through some corresponding Third Eye excercises, how they will be interspersed with breathwork and finally begins the meditation prompts. “Deep breath in, suspend the breath and bring to mind an encounter or incident that happened to you.”
My mind immediately rushes to one of my earliest traumas, something that has impacted my life greatly and haunts me daily. A memory I don’t care to think about that has also somehow still weaved itself into the very fabric of my heart and mind.
“Really?!” I hear a desperate whisper from somewhere inside of me but there is no stopping to listen, I’m locked into the meditation. The rhythms of the practice’s mantra and Third Eye patterns, the enchanting drishti (eye gaze) and my trainer’s reassuring voice all working together to help me unlock these very deep pains that just minutes before I had no awareness of.
Trusting the Process
We repeat the sequence. That’s when the tears start, flowing uninhibited from my eyes – yet somehow my gaze remains fixed and strong. I’m sweating, profusely, but I’m trembling like I am cold. I can’t even think much about these things though – my entire mental plane is consumed by the prompting of my trainer.
“Visualize and re-live the actual feeling of the encounter.” More tears, more sweat, more trembling. Repeat.
We are lead on a powerful journey, step by step. Switching roles with the Other in our encounter and remembering the experience from their perspective.
Rediscovering the Past
It was a shock. I wasn’t experiencing my expectations or assumptions about my Other’s perspective at all, I was experiencing their stress, their distractions and their fear. They had no awareness of how their pain was affecting me in the memory at all.
We complete the meditation by repeating the internal codes of sacred geometry and vibrations in silence again before we continue on to forgiving the Other and our Self. The cycling finally ending with our focus on “letting go of the incident and releasing it to the universe.”
We then go through the steps of closing out our practice for the day, but I’m still crying. I get a picture of the meditation from my trainer and thank her for the impactful weekend, she asks if I’m okay and I smile, still crying as I nod and say “yeah, just -” while motioning erratically around my head. She nods back silently and I am comforted to know she too has experienced the rewriting of her own history.
Healing with Patience and Joy
I sit on my mat, and cry some more. Another student comes up to ask me something and then realizes I’m processing and respectfully tells me we can talk another time. I smile genuinely at her too, as tears still fall from my eyes.
I returned to my regal posture as the room buzzed around me with everyone preparing to leave. Breathing long and deep I set my intention to clear the rest of my process so I can actually get home and another meditation we learned this weekend comes to mind.
This meditation incorporates celestial movements, mudras and arm movements in specific patterns, with a mantra that you recite outloud. It takes me an instant to decide to do it mentally so I don’t call attention to myself.
It’s a fun meditation for children to do in stressful times. Within maybe a just a few brief minutes I was beaming again, the tears completely gone.
“The mind become a monster when it becomes your master. The mind is an angel when it is your servant.”
This past week has been a doozy for me. I had to go back and look at last week’s Divination just to get a grip for this week’s spread – and of course, found comfort seeing the obstacles, prayers and discomfort all laid out for me even before the week had started. I’m telling you, being the channel does not excuse you from having to learn the lessons…
Regardless, the wheel keeps turning and the lessons keep coming – it’s time for a new week and new discoveries! Let’s dive right in:
A caterpillar does not simply become a butterfly, it must first undergo complete dissolution into cosmic goop and be stitched anew, cell by cell, via its transformation. In this same way, seeking our highest expression requires an ability to let go of what we think we know in order to fully trust in the wisdom that’s “beyond” us (in this instance, namely our egos).
As we officially begin a new year and new decade this week, we are all being called to consider our own metamorphosis. What might we become if we become what we were always destined to be?
Trusting Our Own Truth
This beautiful Kuan Yin card asks us to go within, deep within, to those places inside of our soul that persist beyond conditioning and compromise. We are being called back to that place of Destiny.
To do this, we must understand that destiny and karma are not opposed. The soul must fulfill its destiny, but it also has to navigate karma all along the way in order to do so.
Often, there is a sense that if something is destined it will come to pass no matter what. This is true, but not in the sense that fate clears the way and sets things up so that karma isn’t an issue at all. Destiny will come to pass no matter what, even if you have to struggle through thousands of years of karma to make it happen.
This card asks us to find that truth, the one that persists beyond the coordination of this time and place, straight into the purest extension of our infinity. We are all being called to return to our most pure and potent potentiality, that central point of being in which we are empowered to act with clarity and discernment – even avoiding unnecessary karma through an alignment with our eternal destiny – but how do we do that exactly?
Listening for Our Own Voice
We all need to just shut the f^ck up. Seriously.
Information is like a plague upon our modern world, and in all our desperation to attain knowledge we have lost something that was already gifted to us from the beginning of time: wisdom. That still, small voice that exists even amidst deafening silence is the key – we must return to that place of “peace that passes understanding” within us.
In many ways, this is a conscious stripping away of justifications, excuses and “evidences” we have hard saught throughout our karmic cycles. As such an act of destruction and decay, it will be painful and we may even experience feelings of sorrow and grief. This discomfort is actually a great sign that you are doing the work and decluttering your destiny of unnecessary karma.
In Buddhism we can learn that attachments are the roots of our suffering, and therefore to truly detach will often require a purge of that suffering. This isn’t to say that every attachment is undesirable or unjustifiable; in truth, grief is the cost of love, but that doesn’t make love an unworthy pursuit. Rather, acceptance of grief along with love can keep us from attaching to unrealistic expectations of love, ultimately making the experience of that love more conscientious and fulfilling.
It is in this same way that listening, coming into our stillness and quiet, can reacquaint us with the wisdom on the other side of our knowledge. Sacred silence offers us the space to rediscover our endlessness and the endlessness of our world. It can help break up densities and shift perspectives, reaquainting us with the true magick of our wisdom that extends beyond mere understanding and enables us to find faith.
Making a Universal Stand
This final card has a beautiful duplicity to it. It portends both clearing as well as grounding. Perhaps the clearing is the less obvious power play here, so let’s start there.
Earth isn’t merely a passive entity on which we enact our life’s dramas, but rather an active and powerful spiritual body, ever working alongside us on our spiritual paths. There is a reason we bury people when they die and why all life eventually decays and “returns to the earth,” this planet is a powerful alchemist, capable of taking in and reabsorbing matter, which also enables her own infinite destiny of creation.
In this way we see the pattern of metamorphosis emerging again. The earth is in a constant state of metamorphosis, as we all are, and it is in this place that we find her power of clearing.
This isn’t a clearing in which all is forgotten, never to be remembered and thus everything is fundamentally changed forever, having no entanglements to the past at all. Rather, this is the true clearing work of decomposition and reconstruction. This clearing work recognizes that for something to truly be no more, it must become something else.
This is why truth and destiny are eternal: the past is never truly gone, just merely recycled into the future. We have all heard that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” and this is why. There is truly “nothing new under the sun.”
Which is precisely where we can find our grounding: not in the elements that will endlessly change, but in the integrity of cosmic flux and change itself. What remains despite all else? What are the things that cannot be destroyed? What of these cosmic and eternal powers exist within us?
The Power of Coming Undone
As we all set out to begin this new era, may we be bold and brave – may we be able to strip away the unnecessary karma and realign with our true destinies. Might we all be willing to submit ourselves fully to the alchemical processes of existence and be reduced to the bare necessities of spirit and soul in order to be restitched through our own Divine metamorphoses.
May the fear, conditioning and justifications of the past all decay and dissolve into the primal, cosmic soup of endless possibilities once again. May we all dare to dream new dreams, and might they all be filled by the most ancient and holy Truth. In these ways, might we all be realigned with our destinies and begin 2020 with the empowerment and freedom of finally releasing our unnecessary karma.
I am sick. I’ve been sleeping most of the weekend, feeling unlike myself as cold and flu medicine circulates in my bloodstream. My fever broke but I still smell salty-sweet from my sweating. I’m wearing my shirt inside out for some reason…
My face is broken out and my eyes are glazed with that lost look of sickness. By all measures, I am not exactly desirable right now. Yet here I am, feeling totally, completely and fantastically loved.
Looking in all the Wrong Places
I haven’t always felt this way though, even when at my best. There have been countless times when I was well, fit and primed, yet still felt rejected, undesirable and unloved. It took me over 3 decades to discover what was available to me all along: love starts with ourselves.
See, back then – 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago – I was more concerned with what was “wrong” with me than anything else. Everything was a potential weapon I could use against enemy number one: myself. Of course I was the problem and if I could just look right, act right and be better everything would change.
Well, everything did change, but it’s not because I found some perfectly “right” way of being. I simply allowed myself to start paying attention to more than my fear and pain. I started to appreciate the love in my life instead of justify my rejection of it.
Coming Back to the Truth
I never needed to work out every day to be loved, but I tried to use my own self-worth against me to manipulate myself into doing just that. I never needed to push myself beyond my own boundaries to be loved, but I would sacrifice my integrity for any small semblance of external approval anyway. I never had to lose myself and become what everyone was told to want, but I was too busy listening to the chatter of desperation to tune into my own heart.
I had it all along, I was always loved, but I couldn’t accept it. I was never good enough, never deserving, and my life became a distorted version of who I thought people wanted me to be rather than the expression of my own unique divine existence. I had rejected myself, and from that place I couldn’t accept anyone else either.
The turn around came when I broke through rock bottom and found it was me running things with pitchfork in hand down there. I had to decide if I would keep feeding my inner hatred and disease or if I would endeavor to rise above, so I started climbing out from the pit of my own dispare.
Starting at the Bottom
It wasn’t easy; reclaiming my life would require sacrifice and strength. I would meet challenge after challenge, most from within, my thoughts and emotions seemingly at war with my intention. I had spent decades grooming myself into a victim and undoing all that conditioning is time consuming, and painful.
I wanted to become “the person I could respect most” in this world, and though I have always enjoyed personal development, I started to pursue my actual enlightenment for the first time. That was just over 3 years ago.
Making the Climb
Since making a commitment to authenticity in the summer of 2016, my entire life has changed, and that has included my understanding of love. What I was chasing for all those years was approval, not love. What I deprived of myself of in attempts to try and get approval, that was love.
It started with me, I was the one who decided that not being approved of meant I was unloved. I was the one who denied myself my own affection and care in order to try and manipulate myself into becoming something I wasn’t. And it has to be me who undoes all the damage too.
I am sure I will be continuing to deconstruct, heal and integrate what I’ve learned about loving myself throughout the remainder of my life. I find it absolutely vital that the time it takes does not matter though. I cannot allow myself to create new conditions for my own acceptance and love again, even if they “evolve” with me to sound desirable to my new world views.
Becoming Aware and Appreciating the Journey
You see, love isn’t a destination but a way of traveling. There is no prescription of behavior or belief that makes you more or less deserving of love, but what you believe about love will color every aspect of your entire life.
When I didn’t love myself, I didn’t love anyone else, and I couldn’t accept any love for myself from others either. Love was to be earned and well, no one is worthy.
But that’s just it. True love is a blessing that extends beyond justification and deserving. By opening myself to the grace and beauty of love’s power, I was able to overcome my own limitations as well.
Taking in all the Majesty and Splendor
I am still making this climb, I am still undoing the damage I did when I was desperate to force myself to be “ideal.” I don’t know how long this journey will take, and I don’t care. It’s all great now.
Here I am, feeling gross and undesirable, knowing I am loved. I have opened up and as a result my life has become filled with love.
I had over 150 messages on my phone to catch up on from this weekend – all from encouraging, inspiring and loving people I am blessed to know, from all over the globe. I have a generous and loving family, I’m close with my sisters, my mom, and my grandmother. I get to be a part of things I am passionate about and am no longer afraid to make people uncomfortable or be unliked.
I don’t need everyone’s approval anymore because I have my own. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m also no longer suffering the delusion that I should be either. I am better than perfect, I’m real.
Every Vista an Achievement
I’m not sure that there is a top to this climb, but there are innumerable views along the way. Wouldn’t it be sad to miss everything in a desperate scramble to summit?
That’s what I was doing for the majority of my life, more concerned with achievement than living. I never stopped to admire the speckled inclusions in my sensitivities or marvel at the expanse of my mind, I had been missing out on the immense passions of my heart for even the smallest of delights.
Now? I am enchanted, each moment a blessing. It doesn’t matter how well I do at something because I’m already proud of myself for trying. I no longer try to manipulate myself and my Self is very grateful.
It is in this way I feel I already have everything I could ever want. True richness comes in perspective and true wealth emerges from gratitude. No matter what my life holds, it will be blessed because I bless myself and others. No matter the challenges I may face, I will rejoice because the outcomes are less important than what can be learned.
I wish this freedom and joy for each of you. If you have been denying yourself your own love, decide to stop manipulating and do the work of repairing your heart. You have the power.
“Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have.”