Archive | August, 2016

little soul.

I’m headed out to the Temple tomorrow night to see an old, but moldy, band with a gal pal. And I was reminded tonight of this gem. From a favorite band who knows how to grow old with dignity. Check the lyrics, but also check the song. It’s so much more beautiful when it’s whole; some of the best poetry I know.

[ETA: I realized, after posting this last night and listening to the song on repeat for a bit, that I want to have this kind of impact on the world. I want to be the little soul that leaves a footprint. I want to illuminate your mind. I hope I do, fellow travelers, I hope I do.]

 

little-soul-heart

 

Little Soul | Martin Gore 

My little light
Is going to shine
Shine out so bright
And illuminate your mind

My little soul
Will leave a footprint

This little voice
Is going to sing
I have no choice
It will infinitely ring

My little soul
Will leave a footprint

I’m channeling the universe
It’s focusing its love inside of me
A Singularity

My little words
Are going to sting
Haven’t you heard
The pain and joy they bring

My little soul
Will leave a footprint

I’m channeling the universe
It’s focusing its love inside of me
A singularity

Your little eyes
They’re going to see
I can’t disguise
The beauty inside me

My little soul
Will leave a footprint

 

 

0

Existential kink.

People, I wish I had invented that term. Truly, I do. But I did not. The lovely Carolyn Elliott did.

I’m taking her course on magic right now and she’s been teaching about Existential Kink. Now, I’m not gonna say much about what it is, cuz that’s Carolyn’s bread-and-buttah, but I will talk about what it’s showing me in my own life. Cuz it’s cool as fuck. 

 

Yesterday’s post was probably one of the most weird posts I have written. It came from a place of truly feeling totally lead to post it and also the most flighty, air-headed place inside me. So air-headed, in fact, that I went and edited it at 10 o’clock last night so it felt more me.

But!

This is the thing I’m learning from Existential Kink: to accept all the different parts of me. Even the ones I don’t like. Like the air-head part.

I wrote, over on my hormones website, about accepting all of ourselves. At the time, I was thinking about all the different selves we grow over a life time. (Surely, you are not who you were ten years ago, right? That’s what I’m talking about- those past selves.) But then I got into Existential Kink. And that kind of blew my world open.

I’ve been working on self acceptance for, like, eons now. Especially the dark stuff, because -for me, a long time ago, sex+desire was dark stuff. This blog is the map of my sexual and sensual self-acceptance. And while I feel like I’ve accepted a lot of my sexual self (not all, but a lot), I’ve not accepted other dark parts of me.

Like:

  • the inner air-head who does stuff without thinking
  • the self- judgment that I can do excellent hip swirls in belly dancing, but I suck at full body circles
  • the part of me that is actually…greedy
  • the fact that sometimes, I totally feel like this song (just a bit, just a teaspoon)
  • the part of me that actually likes rejection and frustration and fear (yeah, that’s some dark stuff)
  • the part of me that, after all the work, is still filled with longing sometimes
  • the inner piece of me that enjoys the fuck out of hating and judging
  • the fact that I sometimes don’t want to be any of the roles that I am or have chosen (mom, wife, lover, healer, spiritual traveler, writer, etc.- fuck them all)

Accepting that stuff is hard work. It feels gross to start with. The fact that I have a part of me that says, “If I was you, I’d want to be me, too”? UGH! I feel so gross even admitting that. It’s so far from the picture I have of myself as a loving, kind, healer-person.

But if I don’t accept it, I’m resisting it.
And resisting it is fighting myself.
And fighting myself is a useless endeavor.

Fighting all the things that live inside me is hard work and it just keeps me spinning in circles.

Accepting these things, even when they are frightening or painful or gross, means I am accepting all of myself. No more resistance to the totality of who I am. And when I don’t resist, I heal towards greater wholeness.

Existential Kink- the practice, the living of it- is exactly what Jung meant when he talked about ‘making the unconscious conscious.’ When I know these dark, hidden parts of myself, and especially when I accept them, I become more conscious. And that is what I am here for.  

Also, it feels really good to admit to all of who I am and accept it.
It feels really, really good.

And in a weird way, it leads to me being a better person. I’m not bullshitting myself about who I am anymore. And when I don’t resist or BS myself, I have a lot more energy to do really good, loving stuff.

We all have pieces that we don’t love. It’s part of the human experience. But if we can uncover them, open the door and shine some light in there- and then spend even a few minutes accepting what’s there in the dark- we become whole, piece by piece.

It’s hard work, but it’s really good stuff.

Me and my whole self are going to dance class tonight to see what else I can accept of my brokenness. I will love my crappy whole body circles and hold the longing in my hips and grin my wide grin at the sometimes bitch in the mirror. And it will be lovely.

Love to you, fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

1

The songs. And the truth.

People! I have so much to share and say and only a thimble of time. (I’m writing this as I take on the sensual mom task of making mac-n-cheese.)

I want to give you the Temple update. (Except, I realized- it’s boring if you’re not me. So, nevermind.)

I want to tell you about how I was a horrible ball of anxiety this weekend, but how that helped me understand my shadow side better. (But also realizing, maybe that’s boring, too. I will not bore you.)

And I deeply want to tell you about what belly dancing has taught me about how to grow good people (and bad ones). (This isn’t boring. I’ll talk about this. Just later.)

Most especially I want to talk about ‘home,’ and what I know about that, now that I’ve been in one place for 14 years.

But today, because I only have a teensy bit of time, it’s this. I’m also writing today because Ben, from the band, Call Security (I have no idea what they sound like- I’m just linking because he’s a nice kid), bagged my groceries today and he was so goddamn enthusiastic about his life and his prospects. I am going to borrow some of his enthusiasm and go for it.

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

I’m in a writing class to learn more about my Wild Heart self (because, of course I am) and I love it. One of the prompts asked us to find five songs that were truth for us right now. The way they felt, or the lyrics, or the music. That something about the song felt like absolute truth, this very moment.

Then, we had to refine. What was the one word or one sentence of truth for that song? What could you boil it down to? What was the essence that you could carry with you, easily, in your pocket?

I feel like so much is shifting for everyone right now. (Retrogrades are ending. That’s usually the reason why. Cleaned up our shit and now moving forward. Me, included.) And our truth can, and does, change on a dime. We need these kinds of touchstones and playlists to help us stay connected to our ever-evolving selves. To drag us forward, to let us cry, to give us hope.

And we need these songs because their essence is a prayer. Some of us sing ourselves into an entirely new life with them; resurrected.

Before I share mine, I want to ask: what are your five songs? What are your truths right now? What essence do you need to carry in the pocket of your heart and let it rub against you like a favorite pair of jeans?

My truths, below, are only mine. If you know these songs, a completely different truth may emerge for you. That’s the cool part of this thing; and that’s what completely fascinates me about people. We’re so creative and amazing.

Take a few minutes to write down your songs, your truths, and find their essence.
Leave a comment, let me know what you find.

 

Five songs. Five truths.

// Song //
Girl, Put Your Records On | Corinne Bailey Rae

// Truth //
In the words of nayirrah waheed, “I am mine own, before I am anyone else’s.”

 

// Song //
Like A River | Bishop Briggs

// Truth //
There is desire. And there is seduction. And I am the dance between these two.

 

// Song //
Mysterious Ways | U2

// Truth //
All of me is here; the receiver and the director. The prayer and the action.

 

// Song //
Freedom | Georg Michael

// Truth //
I can make this new space my own; it can hold everything, all my strange pieces.

 

// Song //
Right Here, Right Now | Jesus Jones

// Truth //
Stay with all of it in this very moment; choose wisely from here.

 

// Bonus Track //
Just Say Yes | Snow Patrol

// Truth //
For sparkles + joy + moving beyond fear.

Those are my truths. Or at least, they were my truths a month ago. Still pretty close to me these days, honestly. Tucked in my soul, I open their frayed, folded edges and smile at what’s written inside. Clues to my becoming.

 

 

0

{ s p a c e }

Hey, fellow travelers- did you miss me?
Well, I missed you!

Last week I took off for a couple of days to one of my favorite places on Earth: Kripalu Yoga & Retreat Center. I try to get there for some serious R&R every year. I didn’t make it last year, and I was not going to make it again, but I got overwhelmed. My circuits were all fried and I needed a couple of days away. Luckily, my dude gets it- he took the kids and I got two days away.

The best part of retreat (especially at a place like Kripalu) is that I get taken care of. I don’t have to think about the usual responsibilities. They feed me, they give me a bed, they even set the bed time (10 pm). I don’t have to think about anything and I don’t have to do anything. It’s awesome.

This time, I went because I needed some down time. I needed to be cared for. But I also got something I wasn’t expecting- I got my mental and emotional and spiritual pipes cleaned out. I journaled like crazy while I was there, and shit that has been stuck in my various systems got shoved out. It was really good. (Honestly? I think we need to get away from our usual habits on a semi-regular basis so we can do this kind of reflection and clean out. We need to jump out of our usual routines and ask: is that what I really want anymore? What am I doing with my life? What need to go? Stay? Get fixed? It’s good stuff.)

 

Yoga-Kripalu-Gita

 

Anyway. I met three great people while I was there. Edith, the 81 year-old yoga teacher who totally made a convert of me. If I ever take up yoga, it will be Kripalu yoga. Edith was amazing- her energy was quick and bright, as was here mind and spirit. She taught me a breathing trick, too. I love her.

Then there was Susan. Susan was, literally, an angel. We had one meal together, but she made sure to come and find me once a day and see how I was doing. She was funny and kind and a little nerdy (so I loved her more, of course!) and she had the best stories about traveling. She was a smile and a laugh and I am so glad she found me.

Then, there was Greg. He is a yoga teacher from Montana who is living life according to what works for him. He makes money in several different ways, which the rebel in me loves. And he has a wide, optimistic view of the world. I love that. Greg has a beautiful heart. (Greg, you devil! If you’re reading this, hit up my contact page and send me your email address, I want to talk to you more!)

Anyway, this retreat was good and necessary in so many ways. And it made me think of Vipassana, by Macklemore (yes, that Macklemore). We’re all here, breathing, doing our best.

Keep on, fellow travelers.
Much love,
Joanna :: xoxo

Vipassana by Macklemore

Yesterday, forget it
Tomorrow is, nada
The present is, right here, through the breath, watch it
Atheist Jesus piece, hangin’ on a cross
We sit and discuss God on lawn chairs
About how we got here,
What it is, what it isn’t, shit
Fate versus faith, scrimmagin’ with coincidence
Leave out the market and hold up on the business end
Focus on the genuine, with everything else, you can shed the skin
I was a couple moves away from being dead
In that ER overdosin’, eyes bleedin’ red
I fell in love, made an album, got a buzz
Lost it all, sobered up and guess what?
Now we meet again
And I’m back, finally just laughin’
Expectations are resentments waiting to happen
Studying the Dharma, Karma of a pastor and his practice
Bahá’u’lláh Buddha, God, to the mountaintop and I’m traveling
Learnin’, yes, reflectin’ on what matters
People, impermanence, lack of attachments
It’s space and time, a couple man-made distractions
The measure of a spirit that no human can ever capture
Church, this booth is my Vatican
I don’t control life, but I can control how I react to it
Student of the breath, brick beats and balancin’
Desire versus truth until I finally find happinessI was put here to do something before I’m lyin’ in that casket
I’d be lyin’ on the beat if I said I didn’t know what that is
The world’s a stage and we play a character, I found him
It took me 20 something years and a bunch of shitty sound checks
I’m not gonna be content, until I find gratitude
Regardless of my sales or the record deals they’re handin’ you
If the next generation takes our legacy and samples you
We’ll have a bunch of mp3’s and misled kids to pass ’em to
I use my veins to create the color I paint from
Delve into something ’til my heart becomes my paint brush
I told my mama I’m not stoppin’ ’til my name’s up
Thinkin’ those comments on that blog is gonna save us
Searchin’ for everything but Gods and validation
Get insecure and then we start blamin’ the haters
Used to look to women to fill a part of me that was vacant
Truth, the only thing that I ever used in moderation
So I stare into this paper instead of sitting at a cubicle
Take all ugly shit inside and try to make it beautiful
Use the cement from rock bottom and make it musical
So the people can relate to where I’ve been,
Where I’m going, what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard
From the guts, fuck the glory
Just a person on a porch putting it all into recording
Many in my past and many that came before me
I just keep walkin’ my path and blessed to share my story.

 

 

1

Normal Sinus Rhythm

P.

I want to love everyone into health and wholeness. Even if it hurts me to do so. Because there is always more love.

 

Q.

I want everyone to love me for my big heart.
Please, please love me.
Please hold me tight and thrill me with your nearness.
Hug me like I am your life ring, love me like I will keep you alive.

 

R.

Give me a safe place to rest. A room without responsibility or demands or minimums. I have had enough of giving. I want to receive. I want to be held as precious and delicate and lovable. Protect me.

 

S.

Please hold me in your hands, cup my pulsing blood, and call it beautiful.
All this dying I have done- tell me it was beautiful, and that I was good.

 

T.

Make me race again, with delight and desire. Let me laugh + have fun + and be carefree. Carefree. Carefree. Delighted and wild.

And then, repeat.
PQRST. PQRST. PQRST.
This is how my heart beats.

sinus_rhythm

 

 

0