The house is quiet, only the sound of grandma’s oxygen compressor and the restless shifts of sleeping puppies punctuate the stillness. The overcast sky has overcome midsummer heat and a cool breeze wafts through the open front door, spun about the living room by the ceiling fans, tickling my skin at every bare side. Grandma is feeling well, things are calm, and the energy meanders about on the low end, right between “sleepy siesta” and “reading in a hammock.”

This is my harvest.

Appreciating Peace

I’m not exactly opposed to chaos, in fact, at one time in my life a therapist told me “you can be addicted to anything, even chaos,” in attempt to wake me up to my patterns of poor choices back then. I didn’t get it then, but it’s become obvious as time and life’s lessons have wore on.

I have all the markers of an intelligent person: I cuss, do drugs, stay up late and seek other novel experiences. I travel internationally solo, my #1 bucket list item is “swim with sharks,” and I’ve taken myself far past my own expectations and boundaries again and again. Yet, as of late, all I have wanted is a bit of peace.

Actually, I’ve been craving it, deeply. All my efforts to “full speed ahead” in July were thwarted by reality and I spectacularly failed every last expectation and standard I had idealized for myself at the start of the month. So here I am, beginning a new month and even a new phase of the year’s wheel, hesitant to make another attempt at idealistic grandeur for the upcoming month. Though my intuition and awareness are making it hard not to get excited anyway…

Closing a Chapter

Lammas is a Pagan Sabbat, or holiday, and serves for celebrating harvest as the long days of summer begin to dwindle. There are 4 yearly Sabbats including Lammas (Aug. 1st), Samhain (Oct. 31st), Imbolc (Feb. 1st) and Beltane (May 1st). Each Sabbat falls at a midpoint between the Equinoxes and Solstices, and carries its own seasonal/archetypal energy.

The focus on harvest is an interesting one, because it allows for taking inventory. In this way, Lammas invites us to review what we’ve planted and how we’ve sown those seeds since Beltane. Personally, since May, I feel I’ve been caught in a whirlwind.

So much has happened in just 3 short months and they feel markedly halved. From May through the first half of June I was on dieta, preparing and then participating in a spiritual retreat and largely feeling centered, focused and excited. Mid June through the end of July however, were marked by stress, uncertainty and groundlessness. I am grateful for it all.

Despite my tireless devotion, nothing I did before my retreat was “enough” for me. I felt like I was simultaneously the donkey and the carrot, trying to manipulate my development and attention to the “perfect” degrees in order to activate to upmost potentiality of my spiritual experiences. I struggled to remain in my beingness, fighting my addiction to doership at every angle.

Since my retreat, coming home to grandma being ill, I have been unable to maintain strict control over my experiences, feelings or thoughts, and have largely been caught up in the moments as they’ve happened. I’ve been wading through turbulent waters, barely keeping my head up, let alone maintaining “good form.” Yet, I’ve also still managed to study, write, edit, contribute, encourage, connect, love, meditate, practice yoga, share myself and otherwise be authentically me in spite of it all.

The juxtaposition of these reflections is illuminating.

From The Universe has Your Back (card deck), by Gabrielle Bernstein

Beginning Anew

I’m not going to set standards for my organic spiritual disposition. I am this person who studies astrology, philosophy, yoga and practices meditation, development and awareness – regardless of whether or not I make it a “daily task.” I am a writer, editor, collaborator, contributor, consultant, healer, teacher and coach – regardless of how/when/why these things all get done. I’m not these things because of anything I do, I am these things, period.

This is my harvest: I get to be me. In the stillness and quiet, as well as in the chaos and noise. I am Mayryanna. I am a blessing. I am blessed. All the rest doesn’t matter.

So yes, I’m excited. I’m excited to accept where I’m at, appreciate myself and explore the ever-expanding heights and depths of my consciousness. I will certainly be fighting old habits – for some reason I love planning even more than doing lol – but it’s a lesson I feel fortunate to be learning.

May you all have a blessed, reflective and illuminating harvest as well!

A soulful homecoming

Like the gentle yet persistent bubbling of a refreshing mountain spring, the joy and bliss in my heart enveloped me completely as we began our decent into San Jose this morning. Costa Rica, my beloved, how I’ve missed you! I hadn’t even realized how much until the tears started forming in my eyes.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you…” Overcome with gratitude for the opportunity to come back here again, I whispered my blessings to the clouds and mountains, and even to the big metal birds that provided my transport to this magical land.

Pura vida indeed. I hadn’t even touched down and already I was feeling the infectious soulfulness and spirit of this place… “This is truly Pachamama country,” I breathed to myself, absolutely elated at the thought.

Flying in to San Jose

Remembering the ease of spirit enraptured

Maybe it’s not like this for everyone, but personally, this country feeds the deepest and most potent parts of my being. I’ve had some doubts about my trip lately, nothing serious, but I came up against my old friend ego again, masquerading as perfectionism and control as I prepared for this journey. I’ve been trying to walk the line between devotion and beingness, but my doubts and insecurities had me feeling like I just couldn’t win.

I cannot count the times I’ve reviewed my behavior this week, looking for signs that I was still on the right track. “I think their might have been some dairy in that… Oh no, I forgot not to use onion! Damn, that weed smoke smells so good, I hope it blows my way just a bit – but maybe that’s not a good thing?” I haven’t been smoking, drinking, fornicating or eating off the dieta for over a month, yet I was still feeling insecure in my follow through on my commitments.

This is what I do. I am especially hard on myself, and not just when I have a reason.

This was a big lesson for me last year when I attended Apotheosis 1.0 and came to Costa Rica for the first time. I very plainly and painfully saw my own self-deprecation, self-inflicted frustration and my many other manipulative mechanisms of tyrannical self-control for what they actually were: ego drama and disease. I was guided into forgiving, having compassion and being gentle with myself – but I guess the freedom and healing that those things brought me had faded a bit over the past year. Sure, I wasn’t mercilessly berating myself for things that were completely out of my control anymore, but I wasn’t exactly being kind, patient and understanding either.

Big fluffy clouds over Costa Rica

I had already felt the tender nudges of Pachamama, attempting to guide me back towards my beingness while I was still at home preparing – but it wasn’t until I glimpsed this magnificent country again that I felt the glory of grace in all its fullness once more. “Ah yes, THIS. This unrestricted, unconditional love. This is what it’s all about… Yesss…”

I had been so worried about messing things up for myself that I had forgotten this trip, this soul journey is a gift. I am hear to enjoy my beingness, not to prove I deserve it.

Releasing my expectations

I’m letting go, again. I’m smiling ear to ear at strangers who cut me in line, with genuine compassion and care. I’m daydreaming about nothing but the moments I’m in… I’m embracing the unknowing, I’m accepting my imperfections, I’m surrendering to the fantastic hopelessness of not needing things to be different than they are.

We can know the nature of dislike, shame, and embarrassment and not believe there’s something wrong with that. We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who will one day emerge.

– Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

I am so incredibly grateful and that’s the focus I will maintain for the rest of this adventure. I’m not here to prove anything to myself or anyone else. I’m here to emerge organically, stripping away the needless labels and standards, to break out of the cocoon and take flight with the wings that have always been destined to be mine. I don’t have to know how, like a butterfly I will trust that my true beingness is inherent to me.

Costa Rica’s majestic landscape

It’s 1:23am right now and I’m restless…

I’ve gone to bed twice already, only to get up and try to “wind down.”

Is it because HW was feeling frisky and I had to turn down his welcome advances because of my dieta and now I’m just randy?

Is it because I’ve got some indigestion?

Is it because I slept on until 8am yesterday morning?

I’d it because I had that energizing day at the healing center yesterday?

Perhaps all of the above… But oh, it’s most definitely because of the full moon too.

I used to think that I had to stay up all night at least once or twice a month to maintain a regular sleep pattern. These sleepless nights almost always corresponded with the full or new moon.

But it’s been a while…

I haven’t suffered persistent insomnia like this in several months…

Even this past week, with all my restlessness, I never felt this charged up/wired.

So what’s a girl to do?

I’ve read a bit.

I’ve filled out the preliminary psychedelic research survey for my upcoming plant medicine retreat.

I’m writing this blog…

I suppose next will be some moon gazing, followed by a little ritual smudging and then some yin yoga.

I’d really like to get some sleep tonight… We’ll see.

So, I’ve been having some trouble with my dieta… Ot perhaps it’s more appropriate to say that my dieta is having some trouble with me.

Being sick and perpetually building upon my sleep debt all week has left me with less than peak self-control levels. Though I haven’t necessarily made any big mistakes, I’ve relaxed into a bit of apathy here and there and haven’t been as sure of my clean eating… and I’ve even skipped some of my Sadhanas this week.

Rather than get upset with myself though, I’m applying one of the skills I’ve been thought in Kundalini by releasing my guilt and being grateful for myself just as I am. I’m extending compassion to the imperfect parts of my being and holding myself in grace.

That being said, I’ll be applying another Kundalini principle as well and recommitting myself to my dieta and my Sadhana. I’m feeling much better, my sickness is all but healed, and starting tomorrow I will be beginning anew. No threads of disappointment or disciplinary action will accompany me and rather, I will rejuvenate my devotion with self-care and celebration.

Appropriately, tomorrow is also the Scorpio full moon. This is a time of deep passions and getting to the core of our truth. I’m excited to observe this and my renewal at my local healing center with 5 hours of yoga, mantra, meditation, detox, acupuncture and a sound bath.

I am so blessed to have this incredible local center and to be connected with a community that nourishes, supports and builds my best self up time and time again. I feel it is only more appropriate to recommit from this place of encouragement and connection as I prepare to join my global tribe for yet more healing at my upcoming retreat.