“Put some water on it so it doesn’t hurt their teeth…” My grandma likes to remind me how to feed her dogs each time I’m fixing them a meal. I purposefully ignore her though.

About a year and a half ago both of the dogs had to have multiple teeth removed due to decay caused by tartar buildup. We were told to feed them dry food at least once a day because the texture helps to clean their teeth… I have told my grandma this many times yet, she still fixes them their wet food with green beans and reminds me to soften the dry food I give them, every single time I feed them.

What’s going on here? It’s completely obvious to me that my grandma LOVES her dogs. They are so spoiled and cared for… Yet, some of her well-intentioned habits have actually harmed them. Not only that, but even upon learning this, she is still resistant to changing her perspective…

Recognizing Confirmation Bias

We’re all guilty of being blind to things. We each see life through the filters of our own experience… and my grandmother is no exception.

The dogs may have gotten dental issues due to their eating habits, but eventually their dental problems reinforced my grandma’s feeding them only soft food. Their teeth did hurt, she was right – but now that the bad teeth are out, we have to change things or we’ll end up in the cycle of doggy dental decay all over again.

That’s why I don’t listen to my grandmother. That’s why I’m sure to feed the dogs myself at least once a day… Not because I don’t understand where my grandma is coming from, and not because the dogs prefer dry food (not even a bit), but because change is what needs to happen and right now I am able to be its agent.

Benji, our “lil’ old man”

Releasing Judgment and Control

This isn’t exactly ideal. I hate having to ignore my grandma, but what’s the alternative? I have tried to educate her but she’s 85 and in many ways decidedly that “old dog” who doesn’t want to learn new tricks.

It certainly doesn’t make sense for me to force my grandma to change her ways, instructing her with the truth until I’m blue in the face. It also doesn’t make sense to just let her go on feeding the dogs incorrectly either though. So here I am, in the less-than-ideal reality.

All is well. I don’t need things to be ideal, I don’t need my grandma to understand and I don’t even need the dogs to like their dry food. Just as everything is, in all it’s imperfect realness, all is well.

I can do my part, I can be the agent of change, I can take action and simply release control. No, I won’t be here forever, but while I am I can do these special things that I am aware of and therefore responsible for. When I do leave, I will pass on the knowledge and be okay with that.

I won’t ever be able to ensure the dogs are getting fed in a way that helps keep their teeth clean while I’m not around, but that’s a part of it too. Accepting responsibility for co-creating a better world doesn’t mean your responsible for everything, all the time – it means you do what you can while you can.

Paxton, our “silly boy”

Enjoying Life’s Little Imperfections

For now, even with the dogs scowling and grandma chiming in, I feel blessed to have opportunities to provide these little canines with thoughtful nourishment. I also feel blessed to be able to recognize and see what’s going on without judgement.

I am grateful for the opportunities even this little situation gives me to reflect and learn about how humans operate. It certainly helps me to look out for my own biases and ignorance too – or at least remain more open to entertaining cognitive dissonance.

Life will never be perfect. We will never be able to control situations entirely, even if we are “right” and have truth on our side – and that’s okay. This journey isn’t ours alone and we are all learning, but by releasing control we can simultaneously step into our power and subjective truth whilst also allowing for others to experience theirs.

Editing for a friend…

Recording video for a friend…

Moving in with a friend…

Getting help from a friend…

Breaking through with a friend…

Intercontinental magick with a friend…

Verbally processing with a friend…

Being encouraged by a friend…

Contemplating collaboration with friends…

Collaboration with friends…

More collaborations with friends…

More friends, more collaborations, more sharing, more love, more fulfillment, more joy, more memories, more love…

Image Credit: TruCreations (my friend Desaray Tice)

I have been more reserved on here lately. Alas, all is well, I am simply trying to rest and relax more. Also, “unplanning” is something I’m learning, which is quite fun…

Image: Facebook

I had another great weekend at Kundalini YTT. I’m feeling very honored to be learning such powerful human technologies.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of gratitude in the days since training. Things flowing, effortlessly… Suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised given I’m slowing down, doing less and not planning at all… but it’s still all novel to me, and I’m enjoying the process of learning how to be more at peace and contented.

Image: Facebook

I have been noticing and appreciating my global tribe more and more… Which to be honest, I didn’t think was possible because I have held them all in highest esteem already. Yet, my limitations of joy are still being challenged and stretched in each moment.

I have so many opportunities within my network… My understanding of wealth has been completely transformed and I honestly feel like one of the richest people in the world because of the caliber of my chosen family, peers and mentors.

I have been wondering less and less “what will I do,” whilst saying “what won’t I do” more and more… and I am truly curious. It feels as though the Divine is excited to show me all it can do through my faith…

Image: Facebook

I’m sure there will be many more stories to come, of all the enchantments and wonders that have me talking this way….. but for now, I’m still savoring them for myself.

Blessed be beloveds, xx mayryanna

I stopped looking 
and found you

Beneath forgotten
back behind my fear

You were waiting
for me to see you

Patiently ignored 
singing silent songs

I tried desperately 
not to hear you

Fixated on my loss
determining distance

I was afraid to feel
and created a sepsis

Denial of my love
circulating my pain

Ever deeper, digging
even bigger, growing

Until I had to be blind
even deafening myself 

Turning cold, draining
all enjoyment from life

And still, you remained
ever present in my denial

Until today, when gave up
I let myself be, entirely –

And there you were
waiting for my return

It stung to feel you again
after so long running

I collapsed into your arms
losing all strength and pride

It hurt, the gravity
I had been falling up

Such a long way
to come back down

To come back in
to find the truth

Settling into the gaping –
the harsh realities of life

My grief for having lost
for not being able to hold

yet being held in it
I found it was love

Tears fell from my eyes
into your subtle ether –

You smiled, I cried harder
weeping for the chasm

Realizing I pushed you
but you never left me

I was afraid of this
the cost of true love

The mourning that came
watching you struggle

The grief of separateness
exaggerated by death

Yet, here and now
in this beautiful surrender

Reminded of your wonder –
how could I forsake you?

You are worth the pain
Loving you is worth the grief

I cannot have you in my arms 
so I’ll adore you from afar

I’ll find you in my days
in the miracles and majesty

I’ll find you in my nights
comforted by memories 

In the unseeking way
of brilliant synchronicity

I welcome all of you
every joy and every pain

Thank you for your being
Thank you for your going 

Thank you for reminding me
of just how deep love is

“YOU ARE DYING! YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DRINK WATER, RIGHT NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! PLEEEEASE DRINK WATER!”

I feel crazed. I’m anxious and unsettled. I don’t know what to do with myself.

I am only 10 hours into a 32-hour dry fast and everything I thought I knew is now being questioned. My fight/flight response has activated and I feel fidgety. The hair on the back of my neck is standing up and my skin feels like it’s crawling. One thing is clear: I do not like this.

Image: beautifullyrawbelle

Dancing with Death… Again

I’m not entirely new to these sensations, though I’ve only ever experienced this extreme bodily anxiety for the briefest moments before. The earliest examples my mind can find are memories of falling, but the most clarifying experiences with this horrifying and overwhelming body-takeover have happened more recently – in Kundalini.

Kundalini yoga involves a lot of prescriptive breath work, including holding both the inhalations as well as the exhalations at times. Most people have held a big breath in, especially if they’ve ever swam, but personally I had never even tried to hold my breath out until prompted in Kundalini. It isn’t something you soon forget.

Panic, anxiety and the desperation to survive all swell up inside you immediately and you realize that you are dying. The first few times I tried, I was helpless to withstand my body’s automatic responses, gasping dramatically after the briefest moments.

“Why?! WHY? Why are you doing this?! BREATHE! LIVE! YOU MUST SURVIVE!”

But, after breaking through fear for just a moment longer, pushing beyond that automatic response – the peace and bliss that fills your being is indescribable. Overcoming the fear of death, even for the shortest time, is remarkably invigorating and strengthening. I can only imagine how restorative a full day of consciously ignoring my fear-response will be…

Beginning with the Hardest Challenge

A dry fast is not something to be taken lightly. Abstaining from water can kill you in just days and it is commonly the opposite of what’s recommended by health professionals. So why am I dancing with death in this way?

This is all just the start of a 21 day fast. I will conclude my dry fast at 8am tomorrow, beginning a 3-day water fast until 8am Tuesday. Starting Tuesday morning, I will finish out the remaining 17 of the full 21 days with fresh juices.

I am prepared to supplement with nut milks and bone broth should the need arise, but I will be abstaining from solid foods for the entire three weeks. Though, arguably not entirely restful, fasting is restorative. Perhaps others would find feasting relaxing, and I have before myself – but right now, I want to relax on a deeper, metabolic and cellular level.

Image: Facebook

I’ve been pondering these seemingly foreign concepts for over a week now and I’m realizing that so much of the difficulties in my life are caused by not really, truly just resting and relaxing. I have had disordered evening binging tendencies my entire life, and I’m now seeing for the first time it was never about the food. These kinds of realizations came not as a result of fasting today, I haven’t had any major breakthroughs and am mostly hangry, but they are what lead me to this course of action.

I’m diving in, beyond my fear response, to find out who I am beneath all the comforts and conveniences I have been accustomed to my entire life. If it isn’t the food I am looking for while grazing in the evening or otherwise over-consuming, what is it I’m truly craving?

Enabling Prolonged Endurance

Regardless of the fact that I have been called to do a three week fast, I am also still trying to learn how to apply the Divine commission to “rest, relax, heal and meditate.” So, how does one do a difficult, uncomfortable thing in a relaxing way?

Enter the episodic fast! I begin by facing the fear response caused by my dry tongue today and by tomorrow, water will taste like nectar from the goddesses! I’ve actually already been fantasizing about drinking water in the morning…

By Tuesday? Fresh juices will not only taste Divine, they will be gratefully received by a body that has reprioritized the quality and necessity of each nutrient. I imagine the feeling of nourishment and vitality sure to rush through my veins with the first sip will be sublime.

I can already imagine the involuntary sensuality of reexperiencing the sensations and tastes of each bite in my mouth when I do finally chew food again. Mindful eating will be automatic, no longer just something else I “have to try to do.” I will have reclaimed food for myself entirely.

Image: Heart Centered Rebalancing

Committing to the Process

That’s why I’m doing this – because I LOVE food. I do not however, love, like or even enjoy feeling enslaved, crazed and controlled by it.

Eating everything I can in secret like a starved and abused animal is not what I want for myself and my relationship with food anymore. I don’t want to feel ashamed and confused about my love for food ever again. Food is a great comfort, but only if it’s being adequately appreciated – otherwise it’s just another distraction from the truth.

I don’t know what I am going to find on this journey. I have already wanted to quit a half dozen times today and almost “messed up” by force of bad habits a few times too. I have felt desperate, sad, angry, frustrated, tired, lonely and irritable off and on all day and yet, I’m grateful.

Even having the opportunity to choose to fast means I have an abundance of food I can abstain from. When I almost “messed up,” I really caught myself making excuses to break my commitment and was forced to accept the complexities of my conditioning. Feeling angry, sad and tired has given me some perspective about other times I have felt similarly and reminded me of the intensity of emotions a lack of basic necessities can lead to…

I’m already learning so much, just 18 hours in. This is why I’ve stopped myself from chewing gum or going to bed early too – the lessons are in the discomfort.

Image: Facebook

Settling in for Restorative Healing

Now, just because I’m doing the hard things doesn’t mean I am punishing myself. Quite the opposite. In ways, eating excessively without pleasure or necessity because of a fear of discomfort was much more punishing.

Image: Facebook

I heard a definition of Sacrifice this week that resonates: “to make sacred.” That’s precisely what I’m doing with water and food right now. I am sacrificing these things so that I can make these things sacred to myself.

That’s why I can salivate at the thought of a drop of water today and yet last night, no amount of snacking was satisfying at all. I am learning to truly appreciate my blessings – as they say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Still, despite not wallowing in the potential misery of my situation, I am making allowances for some appropriate considerations. I am not exerting myself; I’m abstaining from caffeine, supplements and other stimulants; I am moving slower, being gentler with myself and others – noticing, listening and observing more. It’s all quite relaxing actually.