Attitude of Gratitude: day 1

It's hard to believe October's already over. It has been a month since I got this new website up and running. And I committed to writing a blog a day in celebration of our wild and sacred journey. And I got 10 done.

There will always be the voices in my head that want to count that as a failure - that want to say I broke my promise and make that mean all kinds of bad things about who I am. But those voices are unnecessarily over-dramatic and I try to not really listen to them. Perfectionism, like many of our thoughts and stories, serves a purpose - it encourages us to step to new heights and to always try our best. But left unchecked, it will keep us from ever trying anything at all.

And now November's here. And instead of throwing in the towel, I'm switching up my blog post challenge. For this month, in honor of Thanksgiving, I will post as least three things per day I am grateful for. Day 1:

  1. The chance to begin again
  2. Creative endeavors and the sparks they bring to my life
  3. The soothing sounds of church bells on the crisp air

I'll end with what I wrote during my creative writing experience in response to the prompt asking me to write a dialogue in which I break up with Perfectionism:

(K, an adult in their 30s, stands on the edge of a chasm, pausing for a moment but without fear, flexing new wings and looking thoughtful. P, a child of about 10, can be seen sneaking into sight behind her. Eventually P moves fully into sight, looking terrified)
P: I don’t want to scare you… but I wouldn’t do that, if I were you!
K: (turning to face P) And why not, P?
P: I don’t know! I just know that something bad might happen! What if your wings don’t work? You’ve never done this before! You could fall and die… or worse. You could survive and get laughed at! Or… what if they do work? What happens if you could then roam the whole earth. I might never see you again here! We’ve never been apart… Everything you feel, I feel. You’re my whole world! And I would miss you…
K: (going to P and taking P in their arms) Oh, dear P. Listen to you. Always worrying, always afraid. Remember that time I wanted to play soccer with those kids and couldn’t let myself do it - couldn’t relax because I knew how afraid you were of being laughed at? Remember what that felt like to be split in two - part of me doing and part of me working so hard to hold up shields of toughness. It ended up turning play into work, P. We didn’t get laughed at, but we didn’t have fun either.
P: Yes, but… no one laughed at us! I mean that’s always how this has been… you want to do and me, I just want us to make sure we don’t get hurt. To make sure we’re liked. Being alone and unlike and hurt would be the worst thing in the world. So we’ve got to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen! I’m not saying we shouldn’t do things… just that we should know how to do them first. We have to be the best. Otherwise we’re weak and not good enough.
K: I know, P, I know. And I used to agree with you. But remember that time that every part of me wanted to lean in for a kiss… and I froze… and those walls came back up and I listened to your fear and didn’t do it? Remember just how cold and alone we felt then? I regret that, P. What would our lives be like today if I had just thrown caution to the winds and gone for it?
P: It wouldn’t have worked out anyway! Can’t you see that now? Looking back we can both see that it wouldn’t have worked, so I was actually right to hold you back and keep us from getting hurt. I think we should just wait for the right person to come along so we can skip all the messiness. You’ve heard all the others talking about love. It’s all messiness. Why can’t we just skip that and go straight to the happily ever after?
K: (sighing) P. You’re getting a little old to believe so much in fairy tales.
P: (muttering) …says the person with wings who’s about to try and fly off a cliff.
K: That’s different! Magic exists. It’s fairy tales where everything is black and white and people are either good or bad, in love or not, happy or sad… that’s what seems increasingly unrealistic. I don’t think happily ever after exists in the form that you think it does. I think even there it’s still messy at times. There’s a whole world of gray out there and that’s where what makes life interesting happens. Don’t you want to experience that some day for yourself, little P?
P: No. I don’t think I could handle that. I like to know where I stand…. and that? That sounds complicated and confusing.
K: It does right now. I understand. I used to feel that way, too. But someday, little P, you’ll grow up, too. And then you’ll realize that you’re stronger than you thought and you’ll realize that all the things you were afraid of won’t hurt you as much as you think they will. And you’ll realize that to hide behind walls is really only half a life. By the time you get your own wings, P, you’ll realize that the exhilaration of flying outweighs the risks….(pause) That’s why I have to go. I have to try. I am afraid, and I will always have your little voice in my head warning me to proceed with caution into the unknown and that’s a good thing! I’m grateful for all the things you’ve taught me and all the ways that listening to you has brought me to a higher level of achievement and focus. Acting for the both of us has taught me many lessons… but I think the time has come for us to stand on our own feet. I am in a different place now and while I will always take a little part of you with me, I need to grow bigger, not stay small with you, little P. And if I grow bigger, maybe you will be able to, too.
(P stand looking very sad and K moves to give P a hug. Then K stands back and turns back to the cliff. This time without pausing, K takes a running leap and disappears down, away from view. P screams and rushes to the edge, when all of a sudden, K soars back into view, a little wobbly but aloft. K is laughing)
K: (calling back to the cliff where P stands) Definitely not perfect, little P! But so worth it! And I’m getting better already! (throwing a wink/wave/blowing a kiss, K flies off and P, realizing it’s possible and their fears have not come to pass, stands a little taller)


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 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.