I found happiness 
at the bottom 
of my darkest 
scariest and
hardest 
resistance –
as soon as I
let go of my
fear and expectations 


Drowning in bliss
doesn’t always 
feel all that
pleasant 
but the pain
makes resilient 
my most broken –


Healing in
to bloom
forever
dying just
to grow again 


here
I AM
now


i am 


now
I AM
here


Again to grow
just to die
always
crumbling 
diffusing out –


Brilliance of most
tranquil suffering 
but the joy
difficult –
thinking all
and every way
killing potential highs


Goals and potentialities 
sneakily influence 
if I don’t watch
my mischief –
easiest 
purest and
most beloved
at the center
of what can never be lost

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

My art mimics my life in strange and beautiful ways. Poetry is the medium through witch I understand the otherwise unimaginable. My philosophy and my poetry are so intertwined, even I cannot find the ends and beginnings – this is one such poem. Written well over a year ago now, it grapples with the inherent, compelling nature of art, in which you feel trapped, fated and overcome by the need to explore, express and exemplify the very ticks of art itself…

Stuck to the back of my throat 

You dangle there, taunting 

I’m used to this now of course

My breaths tripping across you

Coughing and gasping at times

It’s become “no big deal”

Even though it really doesn’t feel right


I keep trying to clear my throat

I want to shake you loose 

I want to spit you out 

Still you cling, sticky and slimy

No matter what I do I can’t get rid of you

You’ve changed the way I sound

Everyone is asking if I’m okay


Plunging fingers down my throat 

I’m going to purge you, I have to to breathe

Still, you lubricate my penetration too much

I gag and gag but find no real relief

It seems you might defeat me

I feel you filling up all my spaces

I fear you will take over and I’ll drown


Am I not already drowning?

I wish I could check my privilege at the door

It wraps around my neck just like a scarf

It protects me against the cold, frigid truth –

but I really wish I could take it off sometimes


Underneath I feel there is relating, sharing life

Underneath I know there is hope, beyond me –

I can feel the raw fragility of my identity failing

Somehow, down deeper, I am free to truly Be


I am grateful – so many don’t have this cusion

I appreciate and cherish the embellishments

I drink in so fully I become saturated in bliss –

but without shared abundance, joy is limited




Along with the scarf that chokes back tears

I have a heavy coat, it shields me from fear –

emotional baggage, collected from my past

Now, I can boldly face the harshest extremes


Underneath I am weighed down, hot & sticky

Underneath I am exhausted from the wearing

I can feel the child in me wailing, so very tired –

somehow, without baggage, I can be truly free


Still grateful – many don’t know these lessons

I appreciate & cherish the things I’ve learned

I accept, not broken but forged by the sorrows

With vulnerable openness, my hope is assured




If I peel off the layers I’ve so carefully acquired

what will my naked heart be forced to see?

If I give up the burdens I so faithfully labor for

what will my exposed soul let others see?




What’s real is that I am blessed beyond my own knowing, not having to fight the battles so many others do –

What’s real is that I am jaded beyond other’s understanding, they never had to survive the things that I’ve been through –

Still somehow, despite all separations and limitations, the boundary lines blur and blend

Yet someway, despite the indoctrination and hesitation, we all find ways to heal and mend

For these reasons, in spite of my own blind selfishness and ignorance, I am thankful –

For these reasons, in spite of my own healing woundedness and shame, I am grateful –




Reality isn’t about perfection, but acceptance

So I’ll keep trying. I’ll continue to look for ways to untie, unbutton and remove my subjectivity

to share in other’s pain & let them share mine 

I will stand up against suffocating promises, + tortuous memories that try to steal my hopes

I will fight against the choking restrictions of my indifference, all without sacrificing bliss




So what if I am not who I wish to be – who am I to be anything anyway?

It is better to be grateful than to be sure; gratitude will always bless me, even when

I am wrong –