Every thing is indecent, in the right context.

mayryanna

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a crisis of faith. Though my devotion to the Divine and its infinite substratum has only grown, I feel at odds with my ‘self’ in different and new ways all the time. I doubt my faith in my ‘self.’

Yet – not in the way you might suspect.

I have found my ‘self,’ in many ways, on an every accelerating path of growth these past few years and it just seems ‘logical’ that everything is suspect, including and especially me. In what way am I suspect? In what way could I not be? The list of my ‘unknown unknowns’ is endless.

I firmly believe that at any moment, everything and anything can change.

This isn’t based on literature, philosophy, science or any other type of acquired knowledge. I have lived this, over and over again. Everything and anything is always changing, including and especially ‘me.’

So, the crisis of faith ‘I’m’ having? Is the fact that my ‘self’ has been more and more consistent, potent and real as I have become increasingly detached from the outcomes it fears/hopes for. Oddly enough, symptoms include more opportunities, creativity and productivity, decreased stress, heightened awareness and empathy, experiencing endless synchronicities, high desire and capacity to learn and striking decrease in cognitive fear. It’s marvelous.

The trick? Well, I feels I’m just not taking ‘things’ as seriously and having more fun with life – but that’s not the whole story. And that’s the crisis. I finally feel that I am living my life 100% as ‘me’ without overthinking what that’s ‘supposed to mean.’

The pressure is off.

No imitations. No secondary labels. No games. Just good, honest enjoyment of life.

It’s taken years of work for me to be comfortable celebrating my inner child; working through trauma and fear that ran deeper than my memories. I have found ways to heal my wounds and learn from my mistakes. I truly have no regrets.

I have spent my life learning to navigate my gender and sexuality, both as a victim of others expectations as well as my own fears. I have hated my body, I have intentionally hurt myself, I have even attempted suicide. Yet, now I am completely at home in my Divine earthly temple, proud of its sensual essence and honored to care for it entirely.

I have been weak.

I have been tormented.

I have survived.

It feels good to be on the other side of developing these strengths. I look forward to much more pain, hardship and life’s other gloriously Divine blessings.

In these same ways that I have learned to embrace my strengths though, I have not been so well recieved. Someone who challenges their ‘self’ in this world of egomania is challenging the whole of egomania. I’m learning not to take it personally.

Despite my latest poetic video showing less skin that Victoria Secret ads or Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, Facebook denied a boost for it because it violated their so-called standards.

It’s art. It’s supposed to be provocative, and no – you don’t get to censor it just because it makes you uncomfortable.

That’s the point.

I exists mostly, as an artist, to make people second guess themselves. I am here to make you feel primordial energy again in the cold, dead, mechanized and faux world. I’m here to point out the surrealism of our so called ‘reality.’

And so here I am, in crisis. Doubting, not myself, but rather my lack of self. I’m staring blankly into the truth that permeates existence and wondering – wandering – again consumed by wanderlust

Who’s with me?

To be sane in a world of madmen is in itself madness.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Your Aunt asked if you’re pregnant,” my grandma says, cheerfully.

Now, no woman wants to hear this, even when they are pregnant, let alone when they emphatically are not pregnant. It’s basically a roundabout way of saying she looks heavy.

Furthermore, I am definitely in the latter category. Emphatically so because I am barren. That’s right, 100% infertile. I have no eggs because I don’t even have any ovaries to house them in. No babies in this belly, at all.

“What’d you tell her?” I ask after the initial sting wares a bit.

“Oh, that you’re not, of course.” She says quickly. Still not looking up from the game on her iPad.

“Why would she think that?” I asked, “doesn’t she know I can’t have kids?”

“Yea, she knows… but she’s heard of women before…” My grandma starts.

“Well it’s impossible, it doesn’t matter what she’s heard about other women.” I snap, feeling stung again for completely different reasons now.

It’s hard to have autonomy as a barren woman.

It’s hard to have autonomy as a barren woman. My own mother just weeks ago told me she “refuses to believe” that I can never have my own child. This was not the first time I’ve had to explain my condition to her, and she was there when I was a guinea pig for the Drs as they tried to figure it all out. She just refuses to accept who I am, at least this part.

Now, I don’t think that my mother is malevolent in her hopes of my future motherhood. I don’t even think my busy-body aunt was trying to hurt me with her gossip. I honestly believe these women, my grandmother, and the countless other people who tell me they are “sorry” for me are genuinely trying to wish me well – they just can’t see that they’re wishing me their version of well.

Breaking things Down

Let’s take a look at the expectations my family has in just this area of my life:

  1. That whether I look a certain way or not implies their right to make comments about my appearance, even if they might be ignorant and hurtful
  2. That I would desire to be “better,” e.i. get pregnant and have a child
  3. That I want to live a life similar to the ones they have chosen for themselves

There are also possibilities of alternative goals in my aunt’s case:

  1. That hurtful comments will cause me to feel as insecure about my body as perhaps she does about hers
  2. That hurtful comments will radically influence my behavior and I will act more appropriately, e.i. stop seeing my lover

The reality is, in any case, I can’t really know their intentions. However, this does point out that none of the possible motivations are actually my problem. It’s all about their expectations and all completely out of my control.

Certainly, I can make their opinions my problems. I can be dissuaded and manipulated through subtle insecurities and programming – but in reality, I don’t have to believe a thing they say.

It is not my responsibility to make my grandma more comfortable, especially if that means lying about my sexuality. I don’t have to disassociate from my physical truth in order to believe what my mother believes. I won’t change my behavior or wish things were different because of my aunt’s immaturity.

My responsibility is to be authentic, and in this manifestation, that includes being barren.

My responsibility is to be authentic, and in this manifestation, that includes being barren. In fact, it even includes the disproportionate body shape my aunt finds so noteworthy. My condition has caused hormone imbalances from the time my body tried to go into puberty and shifted gear into menopause instead. The first time some nosey person asked if I was pregnant, I was only 13 – I wouldn’t even know the cause of all of my physical abnormalities for 4 more years at that time.

Who knows what that elderly man at church was trying to imply or what his expectations were, but at that time, I didn’t know how to think it through like this. Consequently, his comments became a weapon I used against myself for years.

Shedding the Unnecessary

I am trying and have been trying to improve my physical condition for over a dozen years now. I’ve successfully reversed osteoporosis, built healthy relationships with my body, nutrition and exercise, and am feeling sexier with each passing year as I learn to care for myself more and more. I am not perfect, I’m more than perfect – I am aware of my own self-worth, self-responsibility and my immense personal power.

I am happy to be barren. I harbor no resentments against myself or the infinite for my condition and I have no desire to become “better.”

I am happy to be barren. I harbor no resentments against myself or the infinite for my condition and I have no desire to become “better.” I don’t want children and feel no loss. I channel my creative energy and I have plans for a grand legacy, feeling only expansiveness within my being regardless.

I am confident in my sexual autonomy. I have boundaries for my encounters and practice mutual respect with my lover. I am worthy of pleasure and I feel no shame for being a fully sensual being and expressing myself in those ways.

And so, I let the rest go. What isn’t fuel for my passions or encouraging my development must go. I will not stagnate my progress for the sake of other’s ignorance, regardless of their perhaps well-intended expectations.

It’s rare, actually, it’s even quite difficult to escape expectations. Every day, as soon as we wake up, we hit the ground running with expectations. Even before consciousness, there is the expectation that one will wake up by a certain time in order to do certain things by other certain times…..

I’m sick of it.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out. I’m a glutton for surprises, the unplanned and the moments that could never be planned. I don’t want to have expectations of every second of my life because then I miss out on what the moments have to offer for themselves.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out.

The Sanctity of Nothingness

Perhaps some will say that I’m a fool, that nothing would be accomplished without making plans and setting expectations – but is that true? The wind doesn’t make plans to blow the weather through the plains, the mountains don’t have expectations of breaking apart the storm, and the people can’t even have expectations that it will rain wherever they happen to be (though we certainly try our best to).

A cougar may hunt, and even have great techniques that land its pray almost 100% of the time, but it doesn’t have the expectation that it will make a kill “at 5pm, every third Thursday.” It doesn’t require that it’s to groomed itself before it goes hunting. It doesn’t “have to” bring back a huge elk for a dinner party it doesn’t really want to have but feels obligated to host anyway…

We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more.

No, we humans are the fools. We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more. We are so desperate for validation and justification of our existence that we sacrifice authentic living for conditioned expectations.

Here’s my point: the cougar goes on living it’s great cougar life without schedules, tasks and expectations – what would a human life look like if it did the same? Arguably, some expectations and plans are beneficial, e.i. brushing your teeth, wearing clothes and having a fulfilling life – but are they really the means to getting these things?

Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Perhaps the key to a good life isn’t painstakingly designing every detail and moment to match up with external and internal standards you have to struggle and suffer to achieve… Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Reevaluating Motivation

If I only brush my teeth out of obligation to the expectations of my society or conditioning, I’m missing out. However, if I brush my teeth because I’m actively aware of my life, my body, how good it all is, my gratitude for my teeth and my ability to keep them healthy, the task becomes a celebration. It’s in this way that expectations steal from us: they make the completion or acquisition of an experience or trait more important that the experience or trait itself.

Imagine for a moment a different world, one where people operate from genuine need or desire rather than expectation. Imagine if the normal was to wake up when you feel rested rather than when you “have to” in order to be “on time.” Imagine exploring your days rather than planning them. Imagine allowing for life’s spontaneous joy and peace to bless you when you least expect it… Seems so wonderful, and so alien.

Well, that’s what I’m doing today.

Reinventing my Success

I’ve been laying in bed for hours. I woke up on my own at about 7, but I’ve been reading and writing since then without finding reason to move. My kitties are cuddling me. My lover is trying to make plans to see me today… and I am just doing nothing.

Two fluffy kitties, one comfy bed and all the time in the world…

I told him he could come by as long as he didn’t have any expectations, explaining my current desire for void, and he told me to let him know when I feel like making plans.

Right now, I have some loose ideas about how the day might go. I have desire to clean my space, and it needs it too. I also feel some curiosity and creativity bubbling up, so perhaps some study and work will get done, but I can’t say for sure what or when. I was inspired to write this blog and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. No plans.

I’m hungry, but not for my usual, easy-to-grab-and-go breakfast smoothie… No, today I’ll make myself some pancakes, for brunch now I guess… And I’ll eat them slow.

I’m also feeling like some self-care… It’s been a while since I’ve had a ritual bath. Maybe I’ll make a custom face mask and deep condition my hair too. I guess I’ll see!

Lover wants to go for a hike and forage mushrooms, which does sound fun. So perhaps once I’ve eaten, straightened up my space, and pampered myself a bit I’ll join him… He also said he would just bring me dinner later if I like though, so we’ll see how things go…

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Offering Renewed Perspective

The reality is, I won’t get everything done today. The reality is, I never do. With or without plans, LIFE IS FULL! That’s why there is always more – it’s not because we don’t do enough, it’s because we could never do it all, even in a million lifetimes.

Still, even without my plans, I will accomplish stuff today. Accomplishments are a part of life, we simply can’t avoid doing things entirely. We can however, make the act of doing things something we needlessly stress over.

So, I’m done. I’m hereby relinquishing my expectations. I’m letting go of all the “shoulds,” “coulds” and “woulds” to embrace what is, regardless of what that means I am. At least in accepting myself and my reality I can make decisions that are informed by truth, even if it’s just the basic truths of desire and need.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations. No more artfully designing the distance between myself and “good enough.” I declair myself FREE! Free to be me, free to have bad days and to have really surprisingly good ones too. Free to exist grateful for who I am rather than punished for who I “could be.”

Here’s to wishing the same for all of you. Blessed be!

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!

I’ve been having trouble keeping up with blogging this week – though I think it’s a side effect of some sort of bigger picture… I’ve been tired, like abnormally, deeply and saturatingly tired. I “feel it in my soul” kinda tired.

I think I know why too. My sister and her husband left to do some visits with their missions supporters, and my exhaustion hit at the exact moment they left the house. My hypothesis is, knowing myself, I have been “on” since I got home from retreat. First it was the stress of making sure my grandmother was recuperating and catching up on things that didn’t get done while I was away, and then once my sister showed up a week later I was thoroughly distracted a d kept busy with family visits an my mom’s birthday. It’s like me to forget myself when I’m focused on being “on” for others.

So when I was finally given some space to collect myself, I found myself spent and utterly exhausted. I’ve been going to bed early, I’ve been waking up late, I’ve been skipping workouts, I’ve been forgetting to blog – and I feel great about all of it.

I don’t have the convenience of simply focusing on my needs all the time, and that’s okay. At this time in my life I get to be more invested in my family and I’m grateful for that. Perhaps one day I’ll have all of my own time to invest in myself, but I’m certainly content that it’s not right now.

Still, that being said, I’m learning to no longer resent myself for needing to go deep on my self-care sometimes – even when that just looks like taking a few steps back and going slower, getting more sleep and relaxing my own standards and expectations for a little while. This alone is a miracle. I’m really quite the expert at being hard on myself.

Even just a year ago, I was beating myself up non-stop for not reaching ridiculous goals I had set for myself. Now, I do still like having ridiculous goals, but I’m much more reasonable and understanding when they need to be adjusted. My flexibility is improving.

I haven’t been fighting this exhaustion because I know that I must feel this way for a reason. If there is a reason for my tiredness, it makes sense to honor it – even if it’s not ideal and is otherwise disrupting my plans. Looking back today, feeling much more rested after a few days of extra sleep, I can see how I haven’t had a break to begin integrating my retreat yet – so of course I’m exhausted!

Apart from all the spiritual, mental and emotional lessons I underwent just a few weeks ago, I also had a very physical experience as well. I felt as though every cell in my body had been upgraded – and that’s going to require an adjustment period!

Coming out of the fog of these past few days, I’m feeling much more capable and thinking much clearer. Where would I be if I hadn’t let myself rest though? Based on past experiences, I know I’d be frustrated and annoyed with myself, and I’d also still be tired instead of looking ahead to starting July feeling fresh and focused.

I’m so grateful that I’m learning how to be better than perfect. I am so thankful that I’m learning to take back my time. I am so appreciative of myself and the difficulties I have undergone in order to make myself stronger, as well as more sensitive.