who did you pray to before you knew of the existence of god?
i read that once and it stayed with me
i had to pray today...but lets rewind a little shall we?
you see, writing about the 'pause' between the breath and my evening last night of dropping into that space that i touched with my gentle and kind attention, of 'getting off the train', and simply standing to view or perhaps re-view my surroundings, i dropped in...down and in
it was time, halfway through this project and i needed to see where was i? and how the hell did i get here? i needed to go back, way back, and rest with my original intention for this practice...something had, and has shifted, and as is so often imperative, i had to check that i hadnt got lost...and folks, perhaps, quite truthfully, i had...just a little x
you may be wondering why i started this at all? no? oh well you have my full permission to slip this bit, i wont know, and if i did i wouldnt tell ;-)
here's what set this fire ball in motion...i started to research courage...to read and explore, via the wonder of the t'internet what it means to dare, to take risks...i found great quotes and inspired articles and people living with these words as their guide...i used to be daring, you know, in the fact i could galavant around the globe, solo travelling to my hearts content, winding up in strange encounters and, a few times, slightly risque situations...i dared to follow my yearnings and take chances and seemingly had the guts to do so...however i had left something important behind, outta the negotiations and that something was me!...confused?..please let me explain...
i wasnt at home
no? need more??
i have lived most of my life far far from my body, far from inhabiting the most luscious landscape, far from experiencing this crazy map of my whole goddamn life!...its easier to do crazy shit when noones home..i mean, who cares?..what ya got to lose??...i had even spent almost a decade teaching yoga without actually embodying the basics myself first!...i hope you will forgive me dear friends xx
its only in the last few years that i have come home, that i feel the solid sensual aliveness of what its like to be sitting in the centre of myself, not flying around out there somewhere, or weighed down, cant see the woods for the trees heaviness...i am here (well most of the time) and that, dear ones, is the problem per se...i wish to have that courage, daring and risk taking nature, but to bring myself along too..its kinda important, and quite frankly, non negotiable!
but in doing so i bring my humanness, my vulnerable heart, my fears and tears and aches n pains, and my gut instincts, and bone wisdom...quite a heavy suitcase perhaps?!
and for some reason, that whole desire to dare, seems that much more tricky, theres more to feel...and i guess, theres more to risk...hmmm..maybe just writing that is a step in the lil step program of dare :-)...you see part of the reason i skipped out the back door on my self along time ago is that i got hurt, really hurt, and though its not necessary to know the reasons why, that held hurt and disappointment, as painful as it was, is now more transparent for me...i see it..i feel it...and im just beginning to accept and soften to it, to love it and to give it the attention and acknowledgement that it never got before
i guess im scared that im gonna be hurt and disappointed again
who the hell isnt hey??
so..this is where i am in my practice called life, and in that toe dipping of taking one lil step at a time
so..researching all of this i was given a book...a beautiful book that inspired me even deeper..a book about rumi and his relationship to shams of tabriz...powerful, soulful, affirming and love...''40 rules of love'' by elif shafak..read it..its good :-)
and there were 2 things that started the spark...one was a quote that stayed with me all day and night:
''fret not where the path will lead. instead concentrate on the first step.this is often the hardest...''
a response by a character to a woman's lament at turning 40 years of age:
''forty is a most beautiful age for both men and women. did you know that in mystic thought forty symbolizes the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening? when we mourn we mourn for forty days. when a baby is born it takes forty days for him to get ready to start life on earth. and when we are in love we need to wait for forty days to be sure of our feelings.
the flood of noah lasted forty days, and while the waters destroyed life, they also washed all impurity away and enabled human beings to make a new, fresh start. in islamic mysticism there are forty degrees between man and god. likewise, there are four basic stages of consciousness and ten degrees in each, making forty levels in total. jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights. muhammed was forty years old when he received the call to become a prophet. buddha meditated under a linden tree for forty days. not to mention the forty rules of shams.
you receive a new mission at forty, a new lease on life! you have reached a most auspicious number. congratulations! and dont worry about getting old. there are no wrinkles or gray hair strong enough to defy the power of forty!''
that night i awoke in the wee hours and the idea for ''40daysbefore40'' crystallized clear and ready in my mind :-)
this is my practice...my prayer...my call to the wilderness...my meditation
and so that was the intention
but i got lost..lost in feeling like i had to show something huge each day..to manifest amazing artwork and astounding insights!...to offer more and more of the extraordinary in order to...to...well...if am honest...to be seen, to be approved of, and to be loved...shit!!!
you know what i realised in this pause yesterday? that i had lost the point...this is about my relationship to life...whats possible when you turn up and wake up and step in and commit...its about the small things, and its about my hearts whispers and the ordinary of engaging in life with each breath
i also found today to be quite tender...in this pause i felt my truth again, beneath the doing and planning...in that place i felt my sadness at my heart, and the realisation that it doesnt matter how many projects i say yes to, how many pieces of art in any form i create and show, how many people are reading these words, or how much of this 'doing' i do!...you see, what i know now, and i have been gifted as a blessing from this practice, is that, it doesnt matter...it doesnt bloody matter!!..i dont need to seek outside of me, i dont need to be seen by you, and i dont need to earn your approval or love..none of this grasping is gonna truly touch me and feed me anyways...
i am sooo loved..soo deeply and utterly loved that i am blown away
and yet i see now that its simply about letting life in...letting you in...letting that love in to touch me at my very core...its one thing to write about staying in bed all day, hiding from life and feeling sad...its another to show up and go, hey life, hey you beautiful other being, here i am, and all that i am and offer in just my own naked self, is enough!!
time to drop the veil...the veil that has those cracks that let the light in, that is becomig thinner and thinner all the time...its time to let it go and let the world, and you my darling, in...
i prayed today..i crawled outta bed and went to that sunday church that works best for me...the direct hotline to you know who...i went to dance..to the class that holds the space...to dance and bring and offer all that i am and all that is real...i offered and prayed and sweated and fell back back back into my body...and goddamn it, that prayer felt goood!!
so..i dont know what this insight means to be honest
i am still going to turn up here every day (or night ;-) )...but im gonna put down all the huge stuff and props and bright lights, and im just gonna bring me...half way there...20 more days to reverberate and say adios to the decade of my 30's...this is my practice, my prayer and my journey...i thank you for accompanying me so far...sending a real, warm, and heartfelt hug to you out there :-)
night night xxx