Poetry/Prose

Now, Decide

photo credit: mine

photo credit: mine

Right now is a live wire.

You may think only something (maybe boring, maybe not, but limited by what you are exposed to) is happening.

When really everything is, now.

From the outside to sit still may seem pointless–but it is in doing this that we boil ourselves down to nothing and feel everything at once.

A massive speck, sitting there.

You might be in a little room with just yourself yet you know a whale is traversing the sea, a baby is being born, someone is digging through garbage, a businessman is clinking a glass over a million-dollar deal and you sit there and just know.

And on and on and on.

It’s electric, and you have so many options, how to perceive, right now.

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Poetry/Prose

Heart + Soul

Me, giving myself a hug, like I do every day.

People practice yoga for many reasons. I am starting to think that mine was so I could give myself a really strong hug, every day.

A draft/scrapped stream of consciousness submission to a love book, which runs from grounded factual almost-narrative to ethereal, philosophical mumbo-jambalaya (I submitted another piece so just share this one in case anyone likes it–it’s a “true” story).

I guess if I were to sum up what I have learned in one sentence, I’d say this: love—I mean really loving—is inherently risky when you think of yourself as separate from its bounds (but my point with this piece is to argue with great gusto that you are NOT). There are so many other things you can say like “yeah, but there’s always another chance at love,” etc. But I want to focus on the perception of risk.

I want to drill deeply into the idea of risk, because it is by doing this that I feel I have learned to love more deeply than I ever thought possible. I have learned to move–or rather dig, like one would try to dig a tunnel through the Earth herself and emerge on the other side to, surrender, lie down and look up at the stars–through the risky stage into the more mature stage of embodying love more fully than ever.

These days, love, to me is not even a contract. It is a purpose and an impulse that is a highest birthright, a deepest refuge and an unlimited source of courage and power.

(One quick aside: meditation has been the key to me discovering and focusing on the concept of risk as a critical key to loving more freely and deeply. Sitting still on a regular basis kinda makes you brave like that.)

My story is grounded in the fact that about 12 years ago I left the comforts of my own culture to date, marry, divorce and again continuously date and have relationships with men from countries and customs quite different than my own. People ask why I have trouble going back to American men and I will say this: once a man from another culture stretches your perception of the way love can be, you have trouble going back to a more predictable pattern.

After my first breakup with a Turkish man, I was completely devastated. The idea of finding something like that seemed preposterous. So I lost hope. I met another Turkish man after that who showed a tendency to commit so, in one unconscious, default, fearful-foul swoop, I married him when he asked.

I loved him, but not in a way that was risky.

Not in a way where I felt I had something really to lose. He’d never leave me. Not because I was me, but because he was dogmatically locked in somehow. Marriage was more important as a container than as an experience and a daily stream of choices toward intimacy, organic behavior and interpersonal evolution vs. guarantees and automatic behavior.

I have not married since.

There was something so settling yet uninspiring about that marriage. We were together three years—two of which were minus any sense of physical passion given that there was only a modicum to begin with.

When I began practicing more yoga and moved us to another country, as a leading spouse with an overseas job, the shifts within me were too great. I realized I was stronger than I ever knew before and gained a sense of the fact that I could survive alone. I broke out of the marriage and into an international scene of men, many of whom were Arabs.

My first experience after divorce was with a Pakistani man, then an Egyptian, then a South African, then an Indian and then, for a year and a half, I settled down with an Iranian professor who specialized in artificial intelligence and natural language processing. We seemingly had a very nice run, but then one day, out of the blue, an expert at studying and testing the real vs. the artificial, he said he couldn’t be with me because I wasn’t Iranian. So many messages we humans make up to say a simple thing: my soul doesn’t run in parallel with yours anymore.

Needless to say the last five years of my life, post marriage and in the thick of dating, have been a character-building exercise. The breakup with the Iranian was especially disillusioning and yet profoundly sobering because he was a) the first person to ever break off a relationship with me and b) he retracted his love–confirming several times that he never meant the words he said every day until that point. The words “I love you,” suddenly became somewhat obsolete in their subjectivity.

Someone could get really jaded by all this–but I found it an opportunity. A chance. To get real.

When I look back, this was a massive turning point in my process to learn how to love more closely to what my ideals of the feeling truly are. The key word being: feeling. Countless memes, books and self-help guides circle back around the concept of loving yourself. But to really get down to this at the experiential level, for some of us, takes going through pain and loss.

These are the only types of experiences that we engage in to understand ever more deeply our ability to survive them. Some people may not engage so fully as try to medicate these sentiments. But when you engage them, when you burrow deeper and deeper into the pitch-black caverns of pain and loss, you start to notice a pattern that the more deeply you loved, the greater the depth inside you reached when these sentiments call you with them.

This is where risk comes in. When it’s real, when it’s deep, you know it can—and will, by death, breakup, circumstance, eventually—be taken from you yet you must proceed. Through the pain, this fact becomes matter, and the experience of your deepest levels come in so handy as anchor points for you moving forward.

Because you know, it’s going to get really dark sometimes, but you also know something more important—you will and do survive. This is the other side of the coin of loving. It’s a coin that is constantly rotating in the air if you can only keep your heart open.

Closing the heart–by either nailing down a relationship that may not be based in love or by avoiding the pain that love promises–will freeze that coin in mid-air. A dullness will take over your life. You will be an observer of love rather than a subject to its whims.

By nature, when you are separate from it, love is totally risky. Deep, true, honest, passionate and vulnerable love carries risk. Yet the fear of losing it is far greater a risk in the end. And even fighting that risk and defeating that fear cannot protect you from the pain of someone leaving your life. Still, what if you could see these situations from a different kind of dimension. A dimension where you are all one in the same and just moving in and out of these mirrored rooms and experiencing all these experiences and losing but gaining before losing again but one is related to the other?

In the end, diving in, pushing against all of your fears, against all the perception of what is gambled, means diving deep. And the deeper you go the closer you are to the wellspring’s source inside–yourself.

Once you get a load of that, it’s like you see this massive light on the ocean bed. Nobody else can see it. Nobody else can reach it. You know it’s your secret. You know it’s inside you. This light. And you just kind of shift.

Voila! Risk no longer applies.

Instead of tightly fisting the good and loving times, obsessing and over-analyzing how you can make them last, you open your hand and let them come and go. You are enough. You are love itself. As is everything else that makes that inspires that love to grow and expand. And as it expands you realize something—that everyone that ever loved you, every love you ever shared, EVERY EXPERIENCE WAS AND IS FROM THE SAME SOURCE. YOU.

This drops your shoulders if you let it. It introduces fear to its dead end, when you remember. If you return to this thought, really let it sink in, you begin to feel the futility of being anything but fear’s opposite: loving.

You are not threatened. You are suddenly operating from a center instead of reacting to external realities. You are highly mobile, never stuck, never trapped, never abandoned. YOU ARE LOVE. And you know how and where to move when you admit this–flow away from what is pain and toward what is joy.

If nobody is around to share it with, you are bathing in it–you find you have so much of it inside. You just do.

It’s time to stop getting so confused and distracted about the source of love–right behind, under, above your nose, 24 hours a day, every day of your life.

Acknowledge and fuse love as it is: the gift of life itself, coursing through you, offering you constantly a breath, a view, a sound, a taste of it. Poised and held surely at the very breast of life itself, you are life’s baby: alive, tended to, and if you should be open to it, loved.

Sometimes I drink my smoothie in the morning and imagine I am at the breast of the universe. Isn’t that weird? Well. It’s true and it makes me happy.

You woke up, you can read this, you have food to eat, you can interpret this with electric intelligence–when did you forget this meant that you are always, always, so, well, loved!

And from this place, the love you extend from yourself is like honey from a bee of your mind, flying flower to flower, processing experiences, self assured in its flight, landing, natural, purposeful. Being alive is a calling, and it’s enough.

Stop struggling against it by creating things you want that you don’t have. Just be … just buzz. Love is its own reward, a luxury, a risk, a gain, a loss, until you realize it is actually you. And the fibers of your being begin to insist on this. You start to realize you are gold.

You are pure gold and you deserve to be protected, cared for, respected, alive. Boundaries start forming around this, naturally and cognitively. You start to study, how to care for this love that is yours. You discover things that cause you to move toward or away from others, effortlessly, without a second thought … it doesn’t matter because you are and have enough: love.

And you don’t need to be around people who promise to be the source of that love and can’t. In fact, you just won’t.

Again, risk starts to reduce as a consideration, in a practical sense this time.

Finally, I will say it hurts sometimes. It does. Because, as the adage proclaims, change is the only constant in life. But that feeling you keep trying to avoid happens whether you engage in loving or not. You suffer less to understand how it works–that it is you at its source, that it is inspired and mirrored by others in a magical mix of ways, but to begin with, it’s YOURS.

Today, I have a lot going on in my private life and nothing at all. Depends on the day. Bottom line: I love myself, I integrate everything every lover, every friend, every family member, every ONE gives me that is good for me and throw the rest in the burning garbage can labeled “past tense.”

Risk is an invention of the mind. Love is natural, organic, resourceful–nothing experienced could ever be a net loss.

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Poetry/Prose

You Would Have Been Lions

photo credit: mine

photo credit: mine


Cubs

What can I say?

When I can’t lick you

I know

You would have been lions

My mind is part of nature herself

All twisted and dressed

In cement

And male ambition

My mind is part of that nature too

And it got made up

Still, I want to lick you

Cubs

Both of you

You are still here

You would have been here

You will be here

And yet

You would have been lions

Cubs

Everywhere

Every moment

Every chance

I think of you

You are still here

You would have been here

You will be here

And when you are

I will never let you out of my life

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Poetry/Prose

Lucid Dreams of Liberty

Tycho Dive Album Art

Tycho Dive Album Art

This might sound weird to some people, but I like going through things–all kinds of things.

Every day I say thank you for this life and EVERYTHING; every, little, thing, feeling, neurosis, worry, joy, happy memory, exciting upcoming event, strand of love extending over oceans, unresolved regret, etc., etc., infinity.

It’s all invited, it’s all at the table.

And I cherish all of it for a few minutes a day, because it’s my process, all of it.

Yes, I like going through things–not around them, not avoiding them, not locking them away.

And I like when my friends, life coach, healers and family call me out to help me do this … to help me see what’s what, what is a load of crap worth no attention whatsoever and what is worth concentrating on.

This process is like turning the light on in the attic of life.

Taking time; sifting, sifting, really looking at stuff.

Deciding what is useless and throwing it away.

Keeping what is useful and integrating it into my person.

Otherwise, all that crap we don’t look at, sort through, really attend to, sits in unlabelled boxes, lives up there, mixed, acting out, through us, unconsciously.

I want to know all the things in all the boxes, where they are.

I want to clean them.

Sort them.

Find the gold that the experiences left me, throw away the load of crap ego-bate it was buried in.

If I really want to help others in the future, I have to look through this stuff closely, consciously decide I don’t need the ego-drama ride, consciously throw it away.

With every box unpacked, I come out in a more meaningful place, with more people to relate to, more deeply.

People I can look at and say “hey, I see you there, I know where you are.”

This way, I can meet more people, feel more life, experience more connection, less judgement, more clean, motive-free Love, less fear, anywhere, anytime, with anyone.

This way, I am truly free.

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Poetry/Prose

Who Do You Think You Are?

Image courtesy clashot.com

Image courtesy clashot.com

Let me put it this way

We lose a civilization

With every extinction

Everyone

Has the wisdom of society

Even if we only see

With our narrow minds

Their purpose relative to us

Entertainment

Nuisance

Food

Transportation

Companionship

Lives marked

If survived

By our reactions

To convenience

Or inconvenience

Reckoning

We never will

As everyone collides

Millions and millions of galaxies worth

Of us

Species, families, kingdoms

Come

Call them what you want

Put them in silly categories

The birds would laugh

If they could or would

Pull focus

On the tiny speck

Of humanity’s rationale

It’s absurd

This obsession

Running away

From what we don’t know

By making up stories

Of what we think we do

You will get so much further

Watching, listening, whispering

Submitting

To your territory

Your dharma

And wide amazement

To all others’

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Poetry/Prose

The Holy Cow

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 3.18.40 PMOh holy cow

No more questions

Am old enough

To turn around

To see

The sacred pattern

Sure of itself

So much more

And nothing more

Than me and you

All that you have lived

Through all I have been

My existence

In every tense

Is what you longed to see

What would happen?

You never asked

If I became

So now I can only open

Every morning of my life

As you flood my eyes

Punctuate my dreams

With the actions

That I am

Forging

For what you aim to know

What you aim to see

What you wish to be

Oh holy cow

So many reasons

So many seasons

So many toys

My mind plays

Tiny games

It is true

And meaningless

In the moments

I have never arranged

The cells of my body

The truth

The causes

The effects

This beautiful work

In my soul’s wake

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Poetry/Prose, Yoga & Spiritual

Is it … Desire?

My cat, Pasha--image and editing: mine

My cat, Pasha–image and editing: mine

Was looking at my cat’s fur, as I do often

How perfectly it grows

Most people think about how annoying its shedding is

I guess I like to think of how it grows

Where it comes from

 

There’s something so elegant about cats

Inspiring if you watch them

The way they move

Their very structure

Springy joints

Powerful, understated muscles

This fur

The way it lines his face

The tiny, short hairs growing along his nose

 

And I wonder and wonder

What makes this fur grow?

What holds all of the cells of his fur together?

What commands the molecules that join to make the cells?

What?

 

Those molecules, those atoms, they can do whatever they want

But something commands them, to become, his fur

 

And then I start to think, about everything, this way

What holds anything together?

Is it …

 

What if it was, desire

What if I sit here and type

Because of desire?

 

The two cells that started what I am

They were held together by something

Their molecules

 

The molecules, the atoms

That could be doing whatever they want

Somehow, they come together

To do something very specific

 

Scientists will laugh at me now

DNA child, it’s DNA

But with this mind of a child

I will continue ceaselessly

As if it were a matter of my favorite toy

On the shelf

 

The answers

Like that toy

Will never satisfy

As much as inspire

More and more

Questions

More and more looking

At more and more toys

More and more answers

That never complete

This … desire?

 

I’m going to keep on asking

Like the scientists do, too

Because maybe I’m not just a child

Maybe I am one of them

Maybe we all can be

 

What brings that DNA together?

What commands those molecules?

What is it?

 

Look at anything around you

Ask yourself–what is it?

 

Whatever it is, you are a product of it

So am I

 

And if it’s desire, shouldn’t we tune into it?

I mean, if you do something you don’t desire

Aren’t you going against it?

 

If two people don’t share a desire

It is incomplete

Nothing will hold together

It will break apart

 

If someone stalks you

You will ask the police to come

You will tell the person to fuck off

A million times

Even if their molecules

Construct an ego

That won’t listen

 

You are part of this desire matrix

Telling molecules what to do

Your molecules

Someone else’s

 

The configuration we are discussing now

My fingers and your mind

As you read this

There is a command of molecules, atoms

 

The electric attention of your mind

If a video can travel over invisible space and time

To reach your phone

Why can’t desire bring this message to your mind?

And your mind to draw its own conclusions?

 

I’m not convinced

Never convinced

And if you read my stuff you know

I don’t believe anything

So that I can study everything

 

And today, I wonder

 

What is it?

Is it … desire?

 

 

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Music/Book Reviews, Poetry/Prose, Yoga & Spiritual

We Will (Wear the Satin Jackets)

Seems to me that one of the greatest mistakes I’ve made so far is to assume that just because it feels and felt so good to be close to them, that any of the loves of my life provide me with answers.

On the contrary, upon their attractive entrance, they open new lines of inquiry: into myself, into life itself, into what it means to love, into my past, into my deepest fears, plunging me deeper and deeper, lifting me higher and higher, below and beyond an outdated recognition of self.

In fact, as we draw closer to anyone, we are pulled into the unconscious, the out-of-control part of ourselves. All our little secrets from ourselves, once anesthetized by comfortable solitude are awakened and name-tagged by a connection that precariously and paradoxically tempts us with our oneness and announces our division.

If we live in love, if we live bravely, we are always being stretched.

We can run away. We can cling too tightly when the lessons are done. Many do. I know I have, sometimes. Then comes a time when the soul gets hungry for what it needs, overrides the silly and pointless aversion of nature and all of her gracious, healing elements.

In this staying, with anyone, we realize that it’s the conscious gestures that are the rudder and the sails on our soul in a massive sea of self-and-other navigation–we learn through trials and pain to balance amidst the incessant stirring of these unconscious waters by relationship.

Essentially, the things we have conscious control over are the means to making what is inherently unpleasant–the tilling up of our most rigid personal soils–bearable and even enjoyable.

From the smallest, unseen, secret, subtle gestures to the most overt displays of affection–our conscious effort offsets what is natural with mechanisms termed civil … even, superficially, “loving.” Be they efforts toward the self or other, stuff that comes easy or changes that are tough, they are conscious.

In the end of the day, however, it is the submersion in this shadowy, unconscious sea, brave and ready for regular humiliation, that is the ultimate act of love in a universe held together by it.

I know today, who I am. But I’m ready, always ready, for you to change me, love. Because whether I surrender or not, you are doing this with every thought I think, every feeling I feel. Whether I want you to or not is irrelevant. Because you gave me life itself, we will.

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