felt you aching
restraining
holding back
your rythm 
stuttering 
shuffling 
staying hidden


it took pain
to break you
open you to 
what love is
what it means
to sacrifice 
happiness –


for mourning 
but that is
commitment 
gonna feel it
getting realer 
grief is that
other side


the cost of
love – missing
experiencing 
even the void
even the ache
even the stutter
even the brake


all because, oh!
love, the love –
gloriously painful 
achingly beautiful 
eternally devastating 
infinitely generating 
divinely inspired 


center of everything –
what can i withhold 
i offer all, trembling 
take my life
take my truth
take my pain
take my hope


your ways stab
straight to soul
beyond to more
deep to core
and you make 
all life’s having
meaningful 

Two years ago, December 2017, I began on a journey I had been starting my whole life. I’ve always been too conscious. I’d always asked to many questions. But there I was, finally doing something about it.

Sure, I’d meditated before. Sure, I’d fasted and journaled and exercised and read personal development books and articles – sure – I’d been obsessed. Sure, I’d been following High Existence online for years, but there I was: doing something about it.

I had seen HE’s 30 Challenges to Enlightenment bopping around on the interwebs for a while already, but I had only just bought the program and December 2017 was my first official 30 Day Challenge: High on Existence. No drugs, alcohol, nicotine or caffeine for a whole month – and because I’m me, I included sugar (I’m more addicted to it that any of those other substances). I anticipated a difficult time, but was pleasantly surprised: I actually enjoyed myself.

Development and Growth

Subsequent challenges would prove more difficult and with time my personal development would again evolve, but I can’t help thinking back to the ease of that December, and how empowering it felt to feel so in control of myself. Flash forward to today though: I’m a mess.

I keep waking up late, I’m gloriously failing at implementing my own Sadhana practice for my Kundalini yoga teacher training, my self-care has been minimal, I can’t seem to keep up with my responsibilities and I’m randomly overwhelmed with such intense emotions and thoughts that they consume my whole being. Ah yes, the putrid smell of growth.

Since December 2017 so much has happened in my life, I feel like almost an entirely different person. I’ve taken trips to the underworld and back with Momma Aya, I’ve begun to develop a more comprehensive understanding of my Being through yoga and meditation, I’ve started developing peer and mentor relationships with people I admire and respect, I’ve learned Reiki and began practicing Divination for others, I’ve started to heal trauma and confront fears, I’ve begun bloging and am blooming more purposefully in my life… All to find myself here: feeling more out of control than I did back then, before any of this began. But is that really what’s going on?

No Longer Playing Games

You see, along with my personal development, I’ve been doing deep spiritual work too. It’s not as simple as getting “better,” it’s about dismantling my egoic understanding of “better” and the manipulative devices I am conditioned to deploy in this world as a result of those delusions.

You see, 2 years ago my ego was still calling the shots. Being able to detach from my vices so easily felt good because it confirmed my biases about my abilities to manipulate myself – er, I mean exert self-control. But those subsequent challenges? The meditations and self-care? Those required so much more than self-manipulation.

In the last 2 years I’ve learned to give my ego a backseat, and it’s shaken everything up. At times, I am literally completely out of control – in fact, I aspire to be totally out of control. Yet, my ego is still there, still screaming and throwing fits. It’s not so nice when it’s not getting it’s way: confirming biases and coming out “on top.”

Choosing a Master

Alas, there we were, still listening. See, I may have put Ego in the backseat, but Spirit was still back there too. Observer was up front with Wisdom navigating, but kept getting distracted by all the commotion:

Are we there yet?!” Ego likes to scream.

Where exactly do you want to be?” Wisdom replies, “You haven’t exactly helped us formulate a plan E.”

“Be here,” Spirit wispers.

“I don’t know, I don’t care!” E screams, “Anywhere but here! Somewhere exciting! Let’s do something good, let’s do something seen. I don’t want to waste my time, and I’m not letting any of you waste yours either.”

“We’re all in this together E, and I love your passion,” Spirit cooes, grabbing E’s hand on the seat between them and giving it a little squeeze while gazing deeply into E’s potential.

Ego recoils sharply, with a look of disgust for Spirit’s vulnerability and affection. Spirit remains, unfazed by the discomfort and reaction.

“Well?! Go O!” E yells again, at which point Observer is startled to find itself in the driver’s seat, speechless.

“Seriously?! What’s your problem? Just GO!” Ego exclaims, growing in ferocity.

Observer turns to Wisdom for guidance and W shrugs as if to say, “I know.”

And this sort of thing was going on for a while… ‘Round and ’round; it’s completely immobilizing. It couldn’t continue, I had to choose a different driver.

It would seem, despite my naive assumptions of meditation training, that Observer isn’t the best driver – but I can’t put Ego back in that seat again either. Wisdom is squarely in the navigation position, of its own personal assertion, so that leaves Spirit.

The most obvious and unassuming of all. Of course, surrendering to Divine grace is the answer! But have you tried to actually do that? It’s not exactly easy.

Seeing Clearly

It’s not as simple as deciding to do something and doing it anymore. Everything is scrutinized and examined, mostly because Ego is in the backseat DEMANDING it to be so. That’s been one of the major lessons in my life this past year: much of my “personal development” has actually been more “Ego development.”

Even putting Observer in the driver’s seat was Ego’s move. E knew that O could be manipulated, overwhelmed and controlled. Spirit is always the one to, not fight back but, remain tranquil and resilient despite anything Ego tries to do. As far as Ego’s concerned, “SPIRIT CANNOT BE THE DRIVER!”

I’ve only just made this choice as consequence of my calling to Kundalini and everything I’m dealing with now are just the consequences. It’s seriously maddening at times though. I am actually at war within myself.

Ego knows it’s different this time, and it’s not giving up control without a fight. It’s using everything it can to its advantage: old patterns, pain, manipulation, self-sabotage and symptoms of mental illnesses all resurfacing within me to try and force E’s desperate agenda. And yet, with Spirit now in full power, I am unphased.

Accepting the Promises of Grace

Maybe I’m not waking up and doing the perfect Sadhana every day, but I’m reconstructing the patterns within my heart and mind that have made me content in my excessive comfort. Maybe I’m not practicing self-care or approaching my goals and projects as mindfully as I want to, but I am rooting out the lies of unworthiness, insecurity and fear that have plagued my life. Maybe I’ve not yet mastered the simplicity of my own Sovereignty, but with Spirit at the healm it’s only a matter of time before I get better and better at developing those skills and understandings too.

Personal development can look like a flawless execution of a challenge, but it can also feel like falling apart. Dense pockets of conditioning require a bit of finesse and tenderness, but they have to be worked through. Whatever isn’t flowing, is growing stagnant and contributing to dis-ease.

As much as we want to undergo growth to feel better, we have to be willing to work through even those patterns and pains that make us feel worse. True healing doesn’t happen at the surface, and this is just one of those times I get to explore a messier side to the art of growing. Even amidst the struggles I can rejoice knowing I will make it through.

“Ah! Fine! Can we at least get going now!?” E says in a defiant huff.

“Only once you’ve calmed down dear one, where we are going an attitude won’t serve you…” Spirit encourages with a smile, “but we’ve got all the time in the world to sit, here, with you.”

Ego’s eyes grow big with disbelief and wonder. Caught within the illusions of its own fear, subject to everything but distractions, for once E seems itself speechless – emitting only: “… okay.”

Another old poem, this one written over 4 years ago, still as ever suitable for this time. Isn’t is a wonder? The ageless applications of art…

You don’t have to hide away in there anymore

You’re not blind any longer sweet child –


I know the sun is painfully bright, just feel – crawl outwards

Come out from behind the rock that shields you, adjust your sight


Come, sit next to me in the light, slowly untightening

Feel the warmth, allowing your muscles to loose & limp


As terrifying as it might be, it’s all you’ve ever really wanted

You need it to survive, to grow, & even to die – bliss


*


Come, let us receive life, let us soak it up & recycle the energy

Let us contribute openly, allowing the flow of synergy


Awaken once more with me to witness our grand system

Let us rest here receiving these Divine moments together


I will watch you grow, burst, bloom & unfold

You will see my petals unfurl & my sex exposed


We will celebrate our youth, lust & exploration before yet –

Resting – release, remember, let go – nostalgia for the tainting


*


We will surely grow beyond these selves we now call home

Disengaging places, our ‘ifs’ – back to breaths, dissolving in


Our bones grow weak in supporting, ground to dust again

Our muscles grow weak in their carrying & down we go


Before long we begin to blend, melding together

As each decays we’re less distinguishably me or you


Melting, evaporating, becoming a smaller part of all

Existence reabsorbing our energy – true remembering


          You’re once again close enough to spark, starting –

          Once again, hearts beating in indistinguishable harmony

          Lightning – striking, burning through the blankness


          Ourself – yet again one with Source, the Divine –



& beginning

I will find you – we cannot end

On the way to the airport in Madison, I am bidding my Wisconsin adventure adieu – but not before receiving the last few lines I needed to complete this new poem:

Rare glimpses
sky shy peeks
muted beneath
dull grey clouds
o’r barren scapes


Rusted trappings
comfortably home 
amongst the golds
coppers ‘n’ bronzes 
hazy with wet air


Farm houses cast 
complete with silos
randomly checkered 
among still green hills
covered in naked trees


Fall is lingering
yet not yet winter
everything feels dim
muffled beneath snow
not melting faster


When the sun says ‘hey’
everyone takes note
grateful for the oddly
briefest moments of
bright shining splendor 


Wisconsin in November
an atypical adventure
delightfully enchanting
not because it trys to be
wholly uncomplicated


Sprawling country canvas 
sprinkled with hokey charm
this temporarily muted palate 
exaggerating delicate beauty
magnifying the simply peaceful 

my heart is a garden

bursting with blooms

shining emerald brilliance


buds, petals and blossoms 

rejoicing in their cool

milky-pink rose quartz glow


fairies and fae folk 

dancing and singing

round an endless fountain 


love abundant, pouring

from the endless depths 

of my eternal soul