I have not been utilizing spoken language to communicate for 10 days now and I’m officially a third of the way through my vow. I have been learning a lot and figured this was as good a time as any to post a bit of an update.
Interestingly, my abilities to continue making noises and write to communicate have made my vow more difficult rather than less. I have found myself struggling to “grunt just right” or write something as quickly or “efficiently” as possible again and again. The trouble always arises because this vow doesn’t only affect me, and I still have habits of adjusting myself for others.
I am not at an ashram, I’m still finding ways to do my work and have my relationships, yet I feel profoundly limited in my ability to give people what they want. In this way, I am being tested, but so is everyone else in my life. I am being confronted by my desire to make things easier for everyone, literally ALL THE TIME. In turn, they are also being invited to explore their expectations of me, and it’s not always comfortable or even understandable.
I have thoroughly succeeded in rocking the boat lately. I have been tempted to just call this “rewilding my voice” intention off on more than one occasion, but all this resistance can only mean it’s worth the effort – so I’m pushing through, and taking everyone on a growth adventure with me!
I am however, hereby changing my “I can makeep noises” rule slightly, to exclude word-like sounds. Only official grunts, growls and purrs from now on. Okay, and maybe some monkey chatter and bird whistles – but no more human-esk attempts a communication. Though who is to say where the line is unless I explore it??
Alas, I am again committed to the original commitment… But you see my difficulty?
I started vow of silence on Wednesday. Until the night of my performance, I am not vocally communicating with others.
I am writing. I am making noises. I am talking to my cats, singing to myself and practicing my set in private (my musician is the only one who is going to be hearing my voice this month).
Mostly though, for this month, I’m exploring my silence. So far, it’s already been quite illuminating.
I’ve learned vocal reaction and response can happen long before any conscious choice/decision, much of it is automatic and conditioned. Another lesson I’m a bit more surprised by, is my ability to over complicate and be excessive even in nonverbal communication.
The latter has looked like chaotic body movements or tantrums of non-linguistic sounds and facial expressions. The former has mostly been knee jerk, “trash” or throw away “habit” responses. For example, never before have I realized the extent of my nervous humor before!
Though these insights are sure to be useful, what I’m really most excited about for this journey are my intentions. The first is honestly akin to “becoming less reactive,” but feels more rightly defined as “creating space between stimuli and response.”
Often I get overly excited by communication, especially when it’s about things I actually care about, and in that excitement-oriented mania I lose sight of the purpose of communication. So, in part, this vow is about increasing the value of my own communication. I plan to do this, not by eliminating my responses, but by allowing myself the time to curate and design them with more care and consideration.
Secondly, and similarly, I am attempting to train what I’ve come to call “verbal processing” out of my communication habits. I have found myself able to talk topics in circles, in order to imagine and explmore every perspective, often even playing “devil’s advocate” just to ensure no view point is left behind.
Honestly, I find verbal processing fun. That’s why it’s become a habit. Still, it does nothing for the potency and power of my words.
Ultimately, my purpose will require I do my “verbal processing” internally, so that when I do speak, the thoughts I am presenting are a collected and cohesive whole. This will provide others the gems of my experience and analysis without having to muddle through the garbage to get them. Again, increasing the value of my spoken word.
Finally, and perhaps most fun, I am exploring rewilding my voice for a few creative projects. This is why I am allowing myself to make non-linguistic sounds.
So far I have been absolutely delighted by one occasion of non-verbal sound exploding from myself. I growled and grunted and clicked, utilizing my physical form, movement and every muscle in my face to communicate my intentions.
It felt wild.
It felt really, really, really good.
I am so excited that I am just 3 days in and have so much more time to explore the silence. Who knows what my voice will actually be like on the other side?! But, I am sure excited to find out!
The last two days were pure MAGICK, and in this way I will hold for them eternal space.
I am blessed. I am blessing.
I am a part of a global family, a universal tribe made up of men and women across this globe who speak different languages, have different cultures and yet, express and experience the same true divine love. It is this love that connects us, regardless of understanding. It is this love that has ultimately brought us across all time, space and history to the grand intersection of NOW.
I do not know them, I know them. They permeate my being with their essences and I feel for them with complete abandon and liberation. I can tell them anything. I have told them everything.
Secrets I thought I would take to my grave, I gave confessed, to strangers – and I have been generously accepted, supported and truly, powerfully loved. That is Apotheosis.
It is an enchanting example of how people are taking back their responsibility. The exact opposite of ignoring the ugly things and letting your fears control your perceived reality. This is, as the fam calls it, “facing your resistance.”
This is power.
This is magick.
This is truth.
Yes, see it. See it so clearly you understand it enough to reconstruct what it means for you. Rearrange the way you think about fear, yes, actually change what it means to your inherent cognition.
Yes, that clearly. That intensely and vigorously. Embrace even, and most especially, the parts that you least want to discover, confront and accept.
Look your demons square in their eyes and ask their name with the commanding authority of your divine birthright.
Look your demons square in their eyes and ask their name with the commanding authority of your divine birthright. Watch their monstrous features soften as you realize you were never tormented by them, you have been tortured by your fear of them.
Dare to create a new reality for yourself in which you don’t have to slay your dragons.
Dare to create a new reality for yourself in which you don’t have to slay your dragons. Allow your dragons the opportunity to teach you.
Pain is inevitable. We must grow and adapt, which requires change and that can feel abrasive – especially if we have been practicing resistance for our whole lives, like most of us have.
But what if the dragons have divine messages and we must but learn their way of communicating to unlock the secrets and freedom our hearts have always longed for? What if monsters are beautiful, scared and lonely? What if everything we are afraid to knowisn’t actually what we’re afraid of?
Could it be possible to choose our pain wisely instead of simply accept the victimization we inflict upon ourselves? Can we challenge our discomforts and develope the discipline for pursuing universal optimization and the devotion of personal mastery?
What if the only thing we have to fear really, truly is fear itself and the way it robs from our happiness by distorting our perceptions of reality?
It’s not easy.
It’s not simple.
It will take our whole lives.
But expansion of love is our universal destiny.
We are all divinity learning to love itself, and all we actually “have to do” is decide that we do love ourselves. That we love every last bit of our naturally subversive, gloriously imperfect and infinitely fragmented divine Self.
Acting on radical acceptance. Demanding revolutionary honesty. Accepting that all progress starts with the infinitesimal fragment that is you, me, or any specified “identity” but that it is always going to ripple out and consequently effect the whole of divine Source. This is the essence of true morality and ethics: making the responsibility of blessing your own.
This is the essence of true morality and ethics: making the responsibility of blessing your own.
We are both separate and unified. Both “I” and the “other.” We must make a choice to sacrifice the temptations of ego and fear conciousness and allow the “I” to live in service of the “other” in order to truly integrate wholeness.
We will always be tempted to be “self-ish,” masquerading as mutations and manipulations of the pure divine Source, but we always have the choice to choose true divine love – the choice to see beyond the limits of our conditions, ego and fear and embrace with all powerful grace the totality of existence, which does include even these “selves,” the “others” and yes, even our “demons” and “monsters.”
Searching for some inspiration, I shuffled through the prompts in a journaling app. There were a few I felt no spark from, but I knew when I found the one. “What does personal development and growth mean to you?”
After all, this blog is called Optimal Mastery. It’s obvious I’m invested in progress, but I haven’t actually talked about what that means to me on the blog yet. Well, here it goes!
Optimal = better than perfect
I’ve been obsessed with the idea of optimization for years now. Ever since taking philosophy classes in college, I’ve wanted to learn more and more that allows me to live better and better. Sustainability, cooperation, appreciation – things that amplify blessings and benefits get my heart racing.
I don’t want to just own any home. I want to own a home with a negative carbon footprint, that’s completely off-grid and self-sustaining long term.
I don’t want to just do any work. I want to write, publish and create from around the world, on my own time, and still live more luxuriously than most.
I don’t want to be just any human. I want to be a person who’s learning and exploring each and every day. Someone who serves others, honors herself and invests in her convictions. Optimization, to me, means never giving up on my own personal best.
Mastery = getting personal
Mastery is the “how to my why.” Essentially, I believe optimization can only be achieved through personal mastery. Self-control, discipline, but also awareness, patience and compassion are all a part of it.
By committing to oneself, to master oneself, one commits to becoming both their own student as well as teacher. It requires life long recommitments too.
Optimization isn’t a static goal, and neither is the tool of mastery. It is ever fluid, its disciplines and devotions ever fluctuating, flowing and reforming as it is informed again and again through the awareness of presence.
A Lifelong Dedication to Refinement
In all, Optimal Mastery means I will never stop learning, growing and evolving. It doesnt mean I must be perfect. It doesn’t even mean I believe perfection exists. It does mean I’ll always be asking myself the hard questions.
I want to live a full and complete life. I want to leave it all “out there.” I want to test my limits, prove my strengths and develop my weaknesses past my comforts, conditions or excuses. I want to live my life on purpose and create intentional meaning.
So that’s what personal development means to me. That’s why my daily blog is called Optimal Mastery. That’s how you all got to be so lucky as to witness the messy art of my growing.
Showing up for the Yin yoga class my sister teaches at our local wellness center last night, I was cheerfully greeted by one of my Kundalini teachers at the front desk. “Oh Mayry! I’m so glad you’re here, it’s so good to see you!” Her smile was so big her eyes scrunched together to make room.
Now, this isn’t uncommon for the vibes at Taspens, but last night was also special because I had just officially registered for the Kundalini teacher training course they will be offering in the fall. I beamed right back at her, filled with joy and excitement for being a part of this incredible local tribe.
I was a bit early for the Yin class and began some light conversation. The owner of Taspens and a woman I consider a personal guru of mine joined in as well. She also teaches Kundalini and was excited to let me know a few of my next steps.
“I’ll schedule a call with the teacher for you, to discuss a few things,” she said, and then went on to mention the mandatory Saturday Sadhana practices during the course and signing the code of conduct at the end to get our certification. I nodded along in agreement, smiling.
Suddenly, my attention shifted though, “the code is essentially a commitment to the yogic lifestyle. So, trying for a vegetarian diet, abstaining from drugs…” Right there, “uh oh,” I thought as I shifted uneasily on my feet.
Honoring My Truth
I have been leaning vegetarian for the last dozen years but, no drugs? Given that I just found my hag stone after my plant medicine retreat in June and, according to my own personal beliefs, have thus been officially called to the Shamanic path, I worried this might actually be a problem.
“So…” I started, interrupting the flow of chatter between the teachers, “if I were unable to sign the code because I’ve been called to the Shamanic path, would I still be able to take the course?” I asked, nervously.
Shamanism is a part of my path for sure, but I’ve also been called to Kundalini. Not being able to reconcile the too seemed completely wrong – Pachamama had come to me through Ayahuasca AND through Kundalini, how could they be opposed?
“Yes,” both teachers exclaimed, looking at me and then each other, then back at me. They started, “and it’s just about trying your best, we understand some people have to eat meat for medical reasons… Maybe just try it for 40 days, you might be surprised…”
I cut in again, “I have no problem with the diet, it’s just that… I am called to the utilization of ‘drugs’ on a ceremonial basis for medicinal and religious purposes.” They seemed to finally understand what I meant now, their eyes widening to fully ingest what I was saying. “Oh, no, well – he just wants to get everything out in the open up front so there are no suprises when it’s time to sign the code… But, you will talk to him so you can mention that. If at the end you don’t sign, that will always be your choice to make.” My guru finished, half-smiling.
The big smile returned to my face and both teachers responded with large smiles blooming across theirs as well. “Okay awesome,” I sighed, relieved.
Embracing the Unknown
Now, some may wonder, “what’s the point of taking Kundalini teacher training if you know you won’t be able to get certified?!” And honestly, I don’t blame them.
In this world of achievement laden “value,” it would seem I am setting out to rob myself. After all, the certification is the reason for undergoing any professional training, is it not? Well, I suppose it’s not for me.
Some might say I should just lie, or withhold the truth, sign the code anyway. Others might tell me I need to really consider the code and whether I truly feel called to both of these seemingly “contradictory” paths, or even something to the tune of “perhaps your plant medicine experiences are behind you and this is the next step in your development?” To be sure, I’ve thought all these things for myself already too.
But, I cannot lie. Fundamentally, my commitment to authenticity and truth is what has aligned me with my path, and subsequently both of these paths too. And undoubtedly, I feel beyond called to both of them, I am already connected and intertwined with them spiritually. Finally, given the parts that plant medicine has played in my past, I cannot in good consciousness banish all plant medicines from my life in the future – regardless of how well meaning my intention is in doing so.
No, the mental gymnastics to be done here are not to rectify me to the norm – it’s the opposite. I will be a Kundalini Shaman and I will learn to walk this line with grace and appreciation.
Letting Mayryanna Bloom
Somehow it all seems better suited anyway… I’m not just a guru, I’m a Rockstar Guru. I’m not just a yogi, I’m a Rebel Yogi. I’m not just a Shaman, I’m an Modern Eclectic Pagan Medicine Woman who researches and utilizes a variety of ancient spiritual healing modalities to live my authentically powerful life to the fullest – all without shame, malice or discontentment.
I don’t need a certificate. I will proudly slap “Unofficial” to the front of my teacher title and gratefully explain my why to everyone who cares.
This “inconvenient truth” will not detract from me at all, no. This will only empower me more. By allowing myself unpopular distinctions, I will emerge unparalleled.
By allowing myself unpopular distinctions, I will emerge unparalleled.
So, after some careful reflections and considerations, I’m even more excited to study Kundalini now! Certification shmertification – nothing compares to a soul that fully embraces its fate, inconveniences and all (shout out to Nietzsche for his concept of Amor Fati). I am simply grateful for the opportunity to learn, to grow and to further become this gloriously inglorious woman: Mayryanna.
I’m always here to discuss and explore, so drop a comment, follow & subscribe! Feel free to contact me with questions, comments and thoughts too! Thanks for being here, thanks for being you, thanks for being.