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.
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.”
I don’t talk to my dad, at all. We’ve been officially estranged for over 4 years now.
It wasn’t always like this. Granted, my dad and I never had an easy, comforting or reassuring relationship, but there was a time when I thought the world of him. He’s my dad after all.
Perhaps every little girl has those moments of seeing the whole world in their daddy’s eyes – at least, I have the memory of wanting too. I wanted the relationship he and my “naturally slender” sister had; to sit on his lap, cuddle up and eat treats at night with him… but, I was one of the chubby daughters which meant no food after dinner for me, and subsequently no bonding on the couch either.
Dad worked all the time as an entrepreneur, and that meant high stress, which he in turn took out on us at home. Of course, no parent is perfect, and even despite his anger issues and overinflated ego, I maintained a relationship with him well into my adult life.
The Point of No Return
I actually credit my ex husband with helping to first start distancing me from my father’s suffocating dogma and attempts to control. Still, it wasn’t until one of my sisters came forward with sexual abuse allegations that I started to see my difficulties with my father in totally different light.
Maybe this is why every therapist I’ve ever seen has wanted me to undergo memory regression therapy, telling me I have an abnormally high amount of my childhood “blocked out.” Maybe this is why I trained myself to wake up at the sound of my father’s footsteps even when I could otherwise sleep through a foghorn. Maybe this is why my guts tie themselves in knots at the mere mention if my father’s name and my skin feels like it’s trying to shrink back into my body at the thought of him being near me…
Did I want to believe it? Hell no. No one wants to think about their parent as that kind of monster.
At first, I simply stuck by my truth. I didn’t remember anything.
But of course, it’s not that simple… Here’s an excerpt from peice of writing about the night my sister confronted me about not fully believing her, 5-6 years ago:
The last time I went out with — she cussed me out for not protecting her from dad when we were little.
I would have stopped my heartbeat if I thought it would’ve helped me remember –
She asked me how I didn’t hear it – that I was in the room –
A month later and I still don’t know what to tell her.
The pain has become an illusion; emotion cooked from raw to rubber?
After that point, it didn’t matter anymore what I did or didn’t remember. I was too young and naive to protect her when we were kids, but as a grown woman I couldn’t just turn blindly from her pain… So I began to advocate for her.
This ultimately climaxed in a heated conversation with my father just over 4 years ago. On that fated day, I would tell him that a relationship with me is a privilege and not his right, and that if he wanted to be a part of my life he needed to prove to me that his children’s wellbeing is more important to him than his pride.
My sister had asked him to get a polygraph so I simply backed her request, posting our relationship as collateral. I haven’t had a conversation with my father since.
Only the Beginning of the End
I had hopes, at first. In denial that my father would actually sacrifice me for the sake of his self-image. Then I got angry. Really fucking angry. Finally, extremely sad.
I recall sobbing to close friends during the saddest, most frustrating periods: “I wish I could hate him! This would be so much easier if I hated him… But he’s my dad and I love him – that’s what hurts most.”
Still, it’s not only the emotional turmoil that amps up in a situation like this. There’s the family drama, people taking sides or something even worse: people not taking sides.
It’s enough to make you crazy: being accosted by a respectful member of my small hometown community and innocently asked, “how’s your dad?” I’m not a liar anymore, even for discretion or convenience, so I tell them I don’t speak to him – which they’re always surprised by.
My dad has a public persona, only people close enough to be family were ever unfortunate enough to see his private side. Still, I’m not going to air my sister’s business to the whole neighborhood either. So, I just end up looking like the rebellious and wayward daughter he paints me as, every time. He’s a Christian after all, and in his circles, that alone counts for everything.
Then there’s the inter-familial dynamics. My mom still talks to my dad, and so does my sister who shared the nightly cuddle ritual with him. The family not only feels divided, it is.
We all play it cool, but I for one can always feel the underlying tension. Trying to imagine my poor sister’s position is excruciating: “either they believe me to be such a self-deprecating and attention-seeking liar that I would fraudulently claim to experience such horrible atrocities, or they’re simply willing to have relationships with my abuser…” Who could stand to think such things about their family? Yet, this is the strangeness we are living through.
Wading Through the Muck of It
One amazing thing has come from all of this though, I’ve become somewhat of a lie-detector myself.
My dad started gaslighting me as a child, telling me that some of my memories weren’t real. He was also accused of infidelity and asked to take a polygraph by my grandparents when I was in middle school. Essentially, the “truth” surrounding him was always somehow in question.
I didn’t realise how this had effected me until I was an adult though, and only after seeing some of the unfortunate patterns it had created in my behavior. As a young adult, I actually sought out liars to be friends with. I was comfortable with my ex husband’s con-man delusions and an ex girlfriend’s self-confessed pathological lying because I was used to being fucked with.
Things not making sense was what made sense to me. Because of my father’s self-constructed truths, I was completely comfortable with others who would try to bend and shape reality with their wills as well.
It wasn’t until I noticed this pattern in my relationships that I started to understand the gravity of my grooming. I made it my mission to detect truth from the lies.
Developing a Truth-Line
It all started with observations, and this was the biggest take away: when people lie, they often get dramatic and seem desperate. They will very often use their emotions, voice and body language to try and convince you of their lie. In fact, this is the most important determinant: lies require belief in order to exist.
The truth is the truth, is the truth. It cannot, by virtue of being the truth, be anything else. In this way, it is self-assured, self-justifiable and rightfully, can remain peacefully at ease – even when under attack.
You can research, read, ask, study, scour, hunt, discover and pry all you want and you will only ever uncover more truth. Truth is an advocate for curiosity because it has nothing to hide. Lies however, will always ask for your trust because it’s essential that you take them on faith – they will crumble beneath an investigation.
Liesonly exist in our consciousness. Without a mind to think them to be true, and with no basis in reality to actually back them up, lies simply cease to be. In this way, they must be spread in order to ensure they survive.
This is where the drama and desperation come in. Liars often make theirs an emotional plea because they really, truly, need you to believe them. Without your belief, their reality starts to crumble.
Now, having done this work of developing a compass for detecting truth, I actually find myself laughing at my father’s feeble attempts at manipulation. He’ll spend weeks, probably even months at a time, tirelessly writing letters to family members about how true his truth is – as if somehow that makes it more true…
Meanwhile, I’m still taking ever further steps away from his delirium.
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.