Archive | April, 2016

On the Importance of Going Crazy

When I was going through grad school, for my MSW, I regularly played Alanis Morissette’s version of (Seal’s hit) “Crazy.” I sang at the top of my lungs when she sang:

No, we’re never gonna survive/
Unless…we get a little crazy.

It was exactly how I felt with the pressures of school and home and self-care weighing on me. It also made me question the fact that I was training to ‘diagnose’ mental health issues. Maybe ‘crazy’ people were simply checking out of a reality that was too overwhelming for their mind or body.

In any case, I began to see the value of going a little crazy. If I didn’t scream at the top of my lungs, or laugh until I cried, or kick the laundry basket until I felt better, I was going to break.

Sometimes crazy is necessary so that we can handle the pressure of ‘reality.’

::: ::: ::: :::

As the world knows, Prince died last week. Damn, that was a blow. He was the original sexymotherfucker for my generation. Girls and boys loved him and wanted to be him. And, for a lot of women my age, at some point or another, Prince was our spirit guide. (And maybe still is…sexymotherfucker ’til the day he died. Mmmm.)

Lots of people in social media published this meme:

053be9588d787c143d3c04b7dd0b37c4

 

I think of this as a modern koan- unexpectedly opening our eyes with a short phrase. We are connected (dearly beloved) and that’s the only way we get through this rollercoaster that is Life.

What a lot of people left out is the fact that this is just the intro to one of his most famous and recognizable songs: ‘Let’s Go Crazy.’

And what is this song about? The importance of not conforming to social standards to the point that we break down. Going crazy is the way out of the box so that we can get through this life.

Prince, like Bowie and many others, was the artist who hid nothing of who he was. He was never ‘in the box’ to begin with. He never denied or relaxed or weakened himself or his artistry. This is why we love and applaud him (and all the others). He had the balls to do what most of us don’t.

From social standards, a lot of what Prince did and who he was, was ‘crazy.’ Hard to understand. Different. Radical. Rebellious. (Hell yes.) And it was brilliant.

::: ::: ::: :::

One of the songs I added to my personal Modern Hymnal was ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley. Like the other songs, it talks about the craziness of different worlds and realities within ourselves. It acknowledges that we already are crazy.

So, I wonder, why not take it one step further and let a little crazy into our lives? It already lives within us. Why not go a little crazy for a while and let out the truth of who we are?

I know you already know where the crazy lives inside of you. The part that wants out to laugh or scream or dance or fly or sing or fuck. It sits in the middle of your chest, right this very minute, asking for you to let the door open a bit.

Do it.

Because remember:

We’re never gonna survive
Unless…we get a little crazy

/ / / / / /

Are we gonna let the elevator
Bring us down
Oh, no let’s go!

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts

/ / / / / /

Well, I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
Just like me

::: ::: ::: :::

Fellow travelers, today- do the unexpected thing. Go crazy. Let it out. Be weird. Be the you underneath the suit, underneath the mask. Because it’s important to let go and feel free. And it’s the only way we’re going to get through this thing called life.

Love to you,

Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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You dig it.

 

Dirty-Heart-Dig

 

I offer my sick and wounded heart.

I offer what I loathe about myself that only you know.
That dark thing which I’m sure
would cut me off from all my friends’ love,

My admirer’s lust,
My patron’s pity:
It is drowning me;

You know how to turn it
into gold.

You dig it.

| Uriel Gray |

::: ::: ::: :::

Yes, I do dig it. Totally.

 

 

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Lust Is Not A Problem [One]

When I was going through a libido surge (known as The Sex Surge), I felt a huge desire for a man who was not my husband. I lusted after him.

I don’t mean like, “he’s hot, I’d do him” lust. I mean dripping with desire. The wet, heavy kind of lust that fills your entire being and fuels the fire within you. It weighs on the body like water, but really it is napalm, ready to burn everything down at the slightest flame.

This lust weighed on my body and propelled me towards this man, even when I knew it was a bad decision. I couldn’t seem to help myself. The giant magnet of my lust made me want to stick to him.

 

Woman-On-Fire-Lust

 

Except…after I ovulated the lust dampened itself down and felt more like the flames from birthday candles.

For a while, I felt very guilty and ashamed of my desire. How could I want someone outside my marriage (especially when I have a really good one?) ?? What the hell was wrong with me and my body? Why was it doing this?

I felt guilt, shame, and frustration for the lust and how it felt in my body.

But then, one day, I decided: Fuck. That.

I decided that my lust was not a problem. Fuck what society said- that lust was the downfall of women + men + society + Jesus + families and….whateverthefuck. Fuck what religion said. Fuck what psychology said, even. Point blank, going to decide for my own damn self: lust is not the problem.  

Here’s why I decided that:

My lust was hormonally based. If my lust went away after I ovulated, it was not a fully honest response of my body. It was a response based on certain hormonal circumstances. Maybe the content and object of my lust needed some examination, but the lust itself was just part of the hormonal package. There was nothing wrong with it.

Lust is an emotion and all emotions are okay. Simple: every emotion under the sun is okay. Joy. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Fear. Love. Compassion. All of them are okay. They are simply feelings- and no feelings are wrong, they just are.

Lust is not a problem, then.
It’s just an experience.
One of the gazillion of experiences we have as humans.

Here’s what is a problem: how we handle lust.

Just like all the other emotions, how we handle them and how we let them run through our lives is the difficult part. Lust can take us for a ride, or we can take the wheel and turn it towards good in our life.

Next week I’m going to talk about the two pitfalls of lust- and how to overcome them.

Please Watch Part Two: Lust Is Not A Problem [Two]
My first video ever. Woot!

::: ::: ::: :::

To the four people from my state who I signed up for the RSS feed because you asked me to (and anybody else who is in the Providence, RI area):

I’ll be talking about this topic (and sharing the two pitfalls of lust and how to avoid them) in Providence on April 27th.

Come see me present: “Lust: The Hot Path to Deeper Authenticity” at the 85th Providence PechaKucha night.

When: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
Where: AS 220 – 115 Empire St., Providence, RI
Theme: The Seven Deadly Sins
Time: doors open at 7:20 pm, show starts at 8:20

If nothing else, come hang with me and have a drink. :o)

More posts later, but lust [two] will be next week.

Lots of love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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What to do when you are [spiritually] lost.

It sometimes feels like drowning. Like you can’t get enough to breathe. Your heart hurts and your lungs hurt and your brain is set on fire.

It sometimes feels like being in a dark forest. Only it’s inside you. And you can’t see and it’s getting darker. And all you feel is fear and exhaustion.

It sometimes feels like weeping. And you are all alone. And no one can hear you. And it is hell.

It sometimes feels like falling apart. You are cracking and you cannot hold yourself together. And it hurts as the pieces pull apart. But there is no way to stop it; you aren’t strong enough to fuse it together again.

This is the Dark Night of the Soul.

And it is one of the most bewildering experiences of life.
Because it feels like death. |and it sort of is.|

How do you get through?

You start being still.

Instead of forging ahead and finding the way and crashing and flailing and doing all the things you used to do that worked- you stop. Because flailing and old ways are like quicksand. The more you move, the faster you will drown.

You quit looking for the way out. And you stay. right. there.

You mediate or pray.

You go into the wild and breathe. |even if all you have is a patch in the city.|

And you notice who you are in this dark place.
Who are you when it’s all gone to hell?
What do you think in this place?
What do you feel in this place?
What demons come at you in this place?
Who or what brings you memories of calm?

You get to know yourself here.
Because if you can’t know yourself in the depths of darkness, you’re fucked anyway.

You listen to yourself.
To the stories of your own soul.
To your longings and your failures.
To your memories of joy and pleasure.
To the nasty things you say to yourself in your head.
To the grief of your heart.
To the desire to find the sun again.
You listen to yourself.

 

dark-forest-mystic

 

And once you begin to know yourself in this place, things will change.

You can begin to listen for the next step.
In prayer.
In meditation.
In the woods, walking and walking and only noticing. |not thinking.|

There is always a next step.
But you will have to trust your gut [womb/ovaries/pussy/balls/cock] to take it.
And you can only trust your gut if you have listened to yourself.
You can only trust yourself if you have thought with your heart.
Listening to yourself in the dark is an act of soul.
You must know your own voice in order to have faith.

There will be a light.
There will be a step where there seemed none before.
There will be an idea.
There will be a voice showing you the way.

And this is how you will get found.
By your own voice, your own gut, your own hard work.
Your soul will pull you forward.
This is how you will get found.

::: ::: ::: :::

And if you need someone to support you, or love you up, or hold the flashlight while you have a good cry- that’s what I’m here for. I’ve been through these dark places before. I know the path. I cannot walk it for you, but I can walk it with you.

 

 

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patient eyes.

I was at my massage therapists place a couple of months ago (who told me I am ‘angelic royalty’ and have a ‘whole football team’ of protectors- how could I not go back?) and he asked me when my spiritual awakening was.

I had to think.

It was around age 6, when my father said I should ‘ask Jesus into my heart’ as a gift to my mother for Mother’s day – and I distinctly remember thinking, ‘Oh, you have to ask him into your heart? That’s weird because he’s with me every day…’ Jesus was already my spiritual friend, why did I need to ask him into my heart?

You know that I’m not a fan of Christian church or beliefs anymore. But I think that might have been my spiritual awakening. Or, perhaps more accurately, my spiritual shutdown.

Maybe I was awakened when I was 14 and really started getting Biblical. Prayer was an amazing tool for me at that time. I prayed for what I wanted, it sometimes showed up- but I always felt better for praying. (Sometimes what I wanted didn’t show up- and that was good, too.)

Maybe my spiritual awakening happened in college, when I stopped believing. There is a lot of beauty in the world when you don’t believe in God. Also, a lot more ease.

Maybe it was my re-awakening at 23 when I could no longer stand to not believe in Something. What a difficulty it was to say, ‘I believe again. My science-based heart is baffled, but my soul is calling for you. I believe again.’

In any case, during my teenage years, I happened upon this song (or maybe it was in college?) and it has been a prayer for me ever since. I remember dancing to it in seminary, just like I did last night, drying the dishes.

It’s symbolic + thoughtful + mysterious. A very good prayer, indeed. You can find the video here.

 

moon-mystic

 

Patient Eyes | PM Dawn | The Bliss Album…?

Whatever it is I do, I try to think about you
I have a love for you that nothing hides
Whatever it is I do, I’m always thinking of you
I hope you look at me through patient eyes

I’ve become amused, I’ve become blind
I’ve become what I know not breathes
You seem illiterate to all my emotions
I stand corrected, how well you read

Oil and water, lust and sympathy
Are life and death my way through the sun?
Where originates all the pain that leaves
My memory a traumatic sponge and sings to you

Well, define my love with attitude
Open up your mind and it will sing to you
You can always tell but I know remorse so well
I left reality early due to the lack of love, reason

Whatever it is I do, I try to think about you
I have a love for you that nothing hides
Whatever it is I do, I’m only thinking of you
I hope you look at me through patient eyes

It’s the windows, the doors
The passage ways to the truth
Oh, my God, it echoes the mind
In total recall as wild as the deuce

It’s so deceiving is the clouded heart
So superficial is the open wound
I caress the infinite light
That even at night overshadows the moon
That sings to you

Well, define my love that lives within you
Even when I die, it will sing to you
You can only tell if remorse has done you well
The misconstrued my answers
Due to the lack of love, reason

Whatever it is I do, I try to think about you
I seek the sympathy and I can’t lie
Whatever it is I do, I’m only thinking of you
I hope you look at me through patient eyes

::: ::: ::: :::

Oh, beloved fellow travelers, this song always makes me think of you. Look at me and my attempts through patient eyes, please. I have a love for you that nothing hides. 

Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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