WSJ - 2016

Wild Sacred Journey: day 10

This time of year is challenging for me. Our society has adapted itself well to electricity and climate control and assumes that we humans can maintain the same levels of productivity year-round. Maybe you can. When I first started working on farms, and eating and living closer to nature and more in tune with the rhythms of the seasons, I learned that I cannot.

We exist in the natural world. We are of it. And yet we distance ourselves and shut ourselves off and live life disconnected. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for shelter that protects me and lets me live comfortably. I am grateful for the convenience of electricity. And I am also aware of how the difference between my internal environment and external environment affect me. As the days get shorter and the weather colder, my body switches which foods it wants to eat and the quantity. I have less energy to work as many hours and crave a little bit more sleep. I want to move slower and spend more time in quiet. Why not? Perennial plants hibernate. Many animals hibernate or at least slow down their activity in winter. Even water flows more slowly as temperatures drop and it comes closer to freezing. All around us, nature gives us signs that it's OK to pause, reflect, take rest, restore. 

And even though I know this, every year I find myself fighting it and judging myself as wrong or lazy for something that comes as naturally to my body as breathing - responding to its environment. Yoga is the practice of harmonizing our inner and outer experiences so that we live life an authentic and aligned life. That means honoring ourselves where we are. So today I accept - I accept my 'failure' to accomplish the same amount now as I do in the summer. I accept that I may not make all my self-set deadlines. I accept that I need nourishing and restoration. I am, after all, both wild and sacred. And I am always unfolding at the right time... it just may not be my time. And I accept that, too.

Wild Sacred Journey: day 9

No - I haven't forgotten about my promise to write here daily. And while I certainly have not kept up with it in the way that I envisioned, life is not an all-or-nothing game. Some days you write and share and express, and some days you are quiet and you listen.

I was traveling for a wedding and spending time with my family and while there were so many beautiful things that were both wild and sacred about that trip, I just couldn't bring myself to write - in that moment, I needed to just be experiencing. And then I came home and this first week back has been challenging, to say the least. I have been exhausted mentally and off-balance physically from the irregular sleep and eating patterns that we get into when we leave home. And all of that has felt wild, and if I look closely, I can see glimmers of sacred. But again, I just couldn't bring myself to write about it.

Then last night, a release. Something shifted and I'm not even sure what, but I woke up this morning feeling back to a more 'normal' version of myself and with a renewed commitment to my routines and practices that serve. Funny, how we have to have discipline to stay wildly creating.

As I've been listening into what's been coming up for me in life, in relationships, and in my writing over the last couple of weeks I'm seeing a theme of fully embracing paradox. I have carried a story that to be responsible and trustworthy, we have to be consistent and rational. And there is, of course, some truth to that... but what about laziness and impulse and magic - all the things that just don't make sense? They need room, too. So instead of forcing myself to choose and then vilifying one and worshiping the other, or, hell, vilifying the fact that I have contradictions in the first place, I now choose acceptance.

I choose to accept my desire to connect and my need for solitude, my longing to express and he gift of listening, my discipline and my flowing creativity, my hard work and my laziness, my goals and my reality. No shame hanging over my head or guilt dragging me down - just peace and a beginning over, again and again. 

As Walt Whitman says in his Song Of Myself:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Wild Sacred Journey: day 7

Today was sunny and blustery and a great day for soaring. At least, that's what the buzzards told me. Surely you've felt it to: that swooping feeling in the pit of your stomach when a big gust of wind blows past and around you. Did you know buzzards can actually see air currents? Although they have powerful wings, they prefer to soar, without flapping, and so they ride those currents around in the sky - demonstrating what it means to 'go with the flow' and achieve great results with a minimum of effort and a decided lack of struggle. What powerful reminders for me, as I teach and prepare for a forty-day program that starts Monday. Freedom through ease. Yes, please!

The leaves were crunchy, the air was frisky, the sun was strong, and it was a perfect day for rolling. At least, that's what the dog told me. Fully present and fully expressive of his inner joy - through his body. How do you express your joy? Do you allow yourself spontaneous, physical expressions of it? Or is it through words? Everything we feel, everything we think, everything we experience lands in our body in some way. If we do not give full expression to it and allow it to pass through (yes, even the good stuff) that energy gets stuck and we become less present and more likely to manifest dis-ease. So today, I was right there with that dog: rolling and doing yoga poses and expressing joy. But I express to let go because who knows what this next moment might bring and presence brings peace more than trying to hold on... even to what feels good.

Wild Sacred Journey: day 6

(This photo was found online. Not sure who to credit it with... but I am sure it is not mine)

(This photo was found online. Not sure who to credit it with... but I am sure it is not mine)

Yesterday, I told myself I didn't know what to say for day 6. It was a lie. And I knew it, even as I told myself that. It just took a little while for me to own exactly what it is I needed to share. Why? Because the more we get close to truth of who we are, the scarier it is to put it out there. We have these voices inside us that say: what if no one understands? Worse, what if they understand and don't like it or mock it?

There is something about unveiling the sacredness of who we are for the world to see that risks diminishing it. Risks letting it become profane. But isn't it also the beauty of this journey: uncovering our memories of things that are less tangible and then seeking to express them, here on Earth, in a denser form? The only form that truly allows for manifestation? Isn't that what this wild sacred journey is about?

So what is it that feels so scary and vulnerable for me to share?

My journey within the past year has been one of rediscovering and healing my connection to the Divine Feminine. And not a moment too soon. Whatever our differing views on how to solve the world's crises, I think it's safe to say that we can all agree we are in a crisis. And in fear, we may seek to blame others outside of ourselves or things outside of our perceived control. But the more I walk my path, the more it becomes clear to me that we have disconnected from the femininity of our source and we are all paying the price. This Divine Feminine exists in everything. She exists in all creatures, in rocks, in trees, in water, in the sky. She exists in children, in men, in women, and in those who do not identify as either/or. But we live in a world that prizes boundaries, logic, numbers, power, linear progress, and concrete reality over water, flow, creativity, vulnerability, and the magic of the inexplicable. And so, while we also need these more 'masculine' traits to keep us balanced, we need to shed our shame and fear of weakness and starting speaking about our experiences that sometimes defy words, too.

This process for me has taken on many forms, but one of them has been a re-commitment to fostering creativity in my life. And it has been a journey of learning to challenge the voices in my head that say: who are you to create? You're not an artist! Your work isn't any good! You don't have the genius for it... But creativity is the realm of our Divine Feminine. It is what she is here for: to nurture and birth into Being all possibilities and inspirations that long to be made manifest. Maybe it's a painting, or a dance, or a piece of music. Maybe it's a new scientific idea, or a new business. Maybe it's a new flavor of ice cream or a new tool that will revolutionize gardening. Maybe it's making a stunningly silly video that goes viral on Youtube, making people laugh and also leaving them wondering who thought that was a good idea?! Human ingenuity is unbelievably beautiful, when offered from the heart. And it doesn't need to be important. It doesn't even need to be seen or shared. It just needs to be created.

I am currently doing a 30-day creative writing program. And what I wrote yesterday is very different from anything I've written before. It took three tries that were clunky and wordy before I finally allowed this one to flow out. And I love it. And I'm scared of it. And I had no intention of sharing it. So, in honor of this wild and sacred journey, in honor of vulnerability and freedom of expression, in honor of the possibility that my walk might inspire someone else, and in honor of our Divine Feminine... here it is:

On nights when the moon is full, I have sex with moon snakes.
All day, I feel my wild wolf belly starting to open sleepy eyes and stretch inside me
Then, finally, the moment when I turn my lights off and hear the faintest echo of a howl
    - part anticipation, part celebration
bouncing around in my ribs.
Crawling across my bed, I peak through the gauzy curtain to invite my moon lover in
Her beauty never ceases to take my breath away
The wild wolf in my belly bares its teeth in a smile.
Her light the white blue of an old lady’s hair
drifts through my window
and lands beside me in bed
where the purity of it throbs in my belly and sheds some of my own, darker density
so that my bare flesh takes on her glow as my twin moons rise,
driven upward by a back arched to meet her
and a willingness to love, heart forward.
Beside me, her light condenses into a serpentine form,
curling around the mountains and valleys of the sheets
like a river that flows away from the sea
reversing course
her coolness slipping inside
being drawn back into the mossy grotto
and then back to the womb of the Earth
where she pools, now liquid in form
coiled and ready to slide all the way up my spine
to be sighed out in pleasure
 - a winged offering, soaring back towards the moon in her night sky
becoming a new star.

Wild Sacred Journey: day 5

We all have one. At least, I hope you do. A picture of you, as a kid, being completely and fully and unabashedly yourself.

This is that picture for me. Yes, I had a mullet and I owned it. Yes, I loved stickers enough to think it was a great idea to put them all over my face. Yes, I LOVED that costume and would only take it off when mom forced me to wash it, at which point I would wait until it was clean and (barely) dry and then put it right back on. And I loved to dance around the house whether music was playing or not.

And then life happened. And there was a long period of time where I pretended I didn't like pink and sparkles and sequins. Where I cared a little more what my hair looked like. Where I stopped dancing for the pure joy of movement.

But she's still inside me. And although I'm an adult now and it's not always appropriate for me to bust her out (nor do I always feel like it), some days you need to let go and give in to that little kid.

This afternoon, I came home from yoga, ate some food, watched a little Netflix and then asked myself what I needed most to feel good in this moment. The answer was my very own dance party. So I cranked my favorite dance tunes and started that dancing/singing party in the shower. When I couldn't justify wasting anymore water, I took that party to my room where I danced around in fancy dresses and heels. Partly because why not and party because I was figuring out what I was wearing to a wedding I'm going to next weekend...

But the point is this. I had an awesome afternoon and when we need to shift some energy in our lives, it doesn't always have to be serious. It doesn't always have to be yoga and meditation and walks or 'exercise.' Sometimes being unbelievably goofy and child-like is just what we need. The sacred purity of innocence is found in our child-like wonder and wild. We just have to be willing to let it all out, especially if no one is watching. No performance - just a joyful expression of what is true and beautiful about being alive.