I naturally awaken between 5:30 – 6:30 AM (sans alarm). Though I usually don’t get out of bed until about 7AM. There are some days where this shifts – ie. early morning training, travel, etc. Life taught me about the importance of sleep the hard way (aka 2 prior hospitalizations). Exhaustion is really easy way to run yourself to the ground. As much as a capitalist system will like to convince you that you are worthless without constant hustle, please try to remember that you have more worth and value than that which you produce. In a past life, I was up at all hours of the day incessantly answering email and being a buzzed-out version of the energizer bunny. It took me years of constantly hitting a wall to understand that rest is necessary for recovery and integration. There are times that I still burn my candle low, but life is about progress, not perfection. Arianna Huffington shares some really good resources on rest and rejuvenation (in case you’re interested). These days, as soon as I awaken, I simply observe: the sound of my roommates getting ready, the sound of my neighbors, the sound of the animals around me. I take it all in using my senses. I eventually make my way to a meditative state and check on the moon state / water tides for the time of day and make space for my daily card picks.
This morning I jotted down a series of topics I wanted to cover on my blog. I had this beautifully sketched out piece of writing and was looking forward to making space to bring it alive! The universe had other plans. It was hair care day! My workday made me feel anxious today, so it was nice to end the day with something relaxing. I made my way to Studio Siubar in Encinitas and had Serena work her hair magic. We engaged in lively, deep goddess conversation. As the evening ended, her boyfriend, a Shaman, came by to bring her a meal. Acts of Service. When he entered the studio, I was diving into a book about astrology. It had a really fascinating and unique approach so my instinct was to devour it.
My book exploration came to halt when her boyfriend began to speak. I was suddenly stunned. A flow master, an alchemist, an absolutely brilliant mind. He noticed that while I made space for the world of spirit, I was also logical. He defined the marriage between the two as alchemy: the science of spirit. It’s not all logic and skepticism. And it’s not all love and light. The human experience lies between the range of all the extremes. It’s inherently paradoxical, painted in technicolor, and lots of grey. With every word that he shared, it was as if my ability to perceive expanded a little more deeply. Not only was he extremely eloquent, but he was also a channeler. It was clear that he was connected with something beyond. An individual with near instant access to a state of flow. How magical! (If you’re inclined to do so, listen to his podcast! Click here.) Prior to leaving the studio, I looked at both Samson and Serena. You ever meet a duo that just fit each other? Those two will build something – I feel it. Much love and magic to them both. Forever grateful for meeting Serena – one of my first SD friends whom is a community weaving master! Today we found out our friendship is 9 months old!
“What I want to tell you today is not to move into that world where you’re alone with yourself and your mantra and your fitness program or whatever it is that you might use to try to control the world by closing it out. I want to tell you to just live in the mess. Throw yourself out into the convulsions of the world.” Joan Didion
To close this off for the day (my body is currently craving beauty rituals + sleep), I will share what I initially intended to share:
- Don’t make assumptions: As humans, we love patterns. It’s often that we come to conclusions based on observed patterns of our cumulative experience. While pattern recognition keeps us safe (and lies at the core of the way modern day research is conducted), it is vital that we keep our observations open-ended. How to do that? Curiosity. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Asking questions will help us steer away from the tendency to jump to the path of correlation equals causation. Curiosity helps us stay in the space where correlation could imply causation.The more questions I ask, the more I realize the truth (lower case t, not upper case T) in life tidbit #4 (below).
- In regards to conflict and desire, be direct – Ask for what you want: I love me a direct human. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I love people that are willing to face conflict head-on rather than trying to sweep it under the rug and hoping it “all sorts itself out”. None of us here on Earth are mind readers. Hoping that someone will understand a passive-aggressive statement is like sitting in your couch all day waiting to win the lottery. It could happen, but at minimum you have to go out the door and play some numbers at your nearest mart. Warning: Getting what you desire might require direct action *gasp*. Luckily, I meet a lot of direct people! The Western social structure we’ve created doesn’t value direct communication. It tends to prefer niceties and indirect messaging. This has been especially ingrained in women. I believe this is detrimental. Want something? Address it. Ask for it directly. The worst that can occur is that you are met with a “No” or some sort of unpleasant disagreement. Ever wonder how some people’s lives seem to be ever-expading and magical? Chances are those people are willing to ask for what they want and they accept….*see #3 below*
- Failure is part of the process: Accept No. Accept defeat. This past Sunday, I had brunch with a new friend. Jaya is a therapist by training and another brilliant mind. Over the course of a few hours we geeked out on theories, looking at a patient/client in the context of their environment (rather than just an individual with disease), and the importance of recognizing where we’ve been given privilege. At one point during our conversation we talked about death. At the age of 17, I was admitted to the Rochester Early Medical Scholars Program (REMS). This program gave me access to a series of incredible mentors. One of the most vivid lectures in the program, came from a physician whom emphasized that accepting death as a possible outcome to an intervention was part of what made a good medical doctor. And also what made a good human. He emphasized that healthcare professionals weren’t divine beings that had the power to stop death. At one point or another you had to accept that you had done what you could for a patient. You had to surrender. You had to throw the towel in with the whisper I tried my best. Even the most outstanding of physicians have had patients pass away in their care. This doesn’t make them less effective, it makes them human. Imagine if the surgeon whom operated on your mother after a near-fatal car accident would have retired after his first “failed” surgery? Failure is part of the path to success in the same way that death is part of life. I believe that in order to live well, we have to be willing to try again. That process will include mistakes – it’s inherent to the trial and error nature of discovery. Next time you fail, look at your failure, extract the lesson, forgive yourself for being human, and try again. Courage, my loves, courage.
- Accept impermanence: Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is set in stone. Not our personalities. Not our beliefs. Not life itself. Professor Brooks (https://rajanaka.com/), whom I’ve mentioned on this blog about a million times used to often say in his lectures – Certainty is Death. This is one of the many reasons I love the ocean – the fluid nature of the ocean reminds me of the impermanent reality I live in. While that may seem like a terrifying concept, it is my opinion that our impending mortality is what gives our lives that much more meaning. It is because we’re going to die that the events that take place after birth have meaning. Death is the only thing we’re all guaranteed to universally experience in this life time. Death being certain implies that life is uncertain. Want to know why that’s magical? When nothing is set in stone, anything is possible. If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what is. Possibility galore! Knowing that my current experience has an expiration date, makes me treat every minute as a divine gift from the cosmos. The fact that there are these creatures that can ponder the meaning of their existence and contemplate on their mortality on a planet they call Earth is a magical, otherworldly, and bizarre occurrence <Insert Carl Sagan’s The Dragons of Eden>. I believe that the beauty of this experience is enhanced by its finitude (read 2 of my previous pieces on death: A Conversation with Thanatos and Apoptosis and Shooting Stars). Death is not a problem to be solved. It’s one of the extremes of the birth-death continuum. The counterpart to life – an invitation to make space for change and transformation in our lives.
Hope you all have a magical Friday/ weekend!