Tag Archives: freedom

shaking my fist at god

It’s been a tough time lately.

The Global Youth Peace Summit was amazing and also incredibly challenging on many levels. I can’t even quite explain it, to tell the truth. But in the two weeks since it ended, I’ve spent a lot of time alone (nothing new there) and I’ve been pretty depressed. I have been weaving all kinds of stories about what people think of me and what a fucked up person I am. And although I know that these are not true, that in fact these same people like and even love  me very much, and in fact I’m not fucked up at all, I’ve found it really hard to get out of the story.

In addition, I’ve hardly had any work lately, because my company just doesn’t have any work to give me, and since I’m paid a very good hourly wage but not salary, if I don’t have work, I don’t get paid. It also gives me WAY too much time alone. And when I’m alone, I get depressed. The one just sort of follows the other.

The time after the Summit is generally tough for everyone involved. The village that we create there is a powerful space of love, acceptance and healing for everyone, no matter what role they play or how they show up. It just happens. And leaving it is generally hard and can often be a letdown. It’s kind of like what happens for many people after Christmas. This year I had hoped that since I live in Austin now, it would not be as hard. In fact, I think it’s been the hardest post-summit experience yet.

I find that I’m embarrassed about what’s been going on for me and resistant to blogging about it. However, at the same time, I feel incredibly pulled to do so. In fact, I even started a new blog the other day, just so I could shout out without reservation how I feel and what I’m going through.

But, since I made a commitment a while ago on this blog to not hold back anymore, and to reveal the “deep, dark shit,” and also because something in me tells me that this is part of my service and what I have to offer the world, I’m going to write about it here. Basically, when things get bad, I hate myself. I honestly truly HATE myself. I think that I am a terrible person and that I really don’t deserve to be here. I think that other people don’t care about me. I think that I should not have come here to Austin, that the people at Amala Foundation don’t want me here, that they wish I would leave.

I think of past arguments with random people and past situations that were hard and I get stuck obsessing on those situations also.

I think about being single and that there is something innately ugly about me and that is why I’m single. I think about how hard it has been for me to do work in general, and how much I procrastinate, and how I don’t stay focused on creating photographs and writings, and it spirals into a truly ugly internal put-down session. It is just insane. Truly. Insane.

The thing is, I know this stuff isn’t true. I KNOW IT’S NOT. But I can’t believe that when I’m in it. I just get sucked down, like it’s a huge deep-ocean whirlpool from some 50s horror movie.

Let me say this, also, the good news: It’s shifting. I’m climbing out. I went to a volunteer appreciation thing at Amala last night. It was sweet. We did a sacred pipe ceremony (native american style) and then had a talking circle where we passed the talking stick. One of my friends and I went together and we both have been feeling very depressed and horrible and we both spoke up during talking circle. It was great to just say out loud in that community: “I am doing terribly, I hate myself, I think you all hate me, I don’t know who I am or why I’m here,” and then just pass the stick! It was awesome to do that, actually.

I truly didn’t want people to come up and get all huggy with me after, and people were very sensitive and kind in that way, but I felt a lot of love sent to me without direct contact. I did get a bit of very solid loving feedback from some people I feel very comfortable with, and then someone else who I respect and care about immensely, and was one of the people I had really convinced myself did not like me anymore, sat and talked with me for a while. He’s so real and so sweet and was very solidly rooted in knowing that everything that was happening is FOR me and not TO me, and that it’s all serving my evolution. As soon as he said that, I knew it was true. And I also realized that he indeed still cares about me and likes me, and that nothing at all was wrong.

Then I spent some more time today with someone else I care about a lot but who I have stories about that cause me pain. We had a sweet conversation as well, and we just kind of roundabout got into some of these stories I have made up. As we talked, I again realized that all my stories were missing big huge chunks of information and that when those were filled in, then the whole story shifted and my confusion was evident. Which felt fantastically freeing.

So, now, I feel like things are on a more even keel. I pulled a tarot card from the Osho Zen Tarot deck (online) and it was “Trust.”

“Trust life. If you trust, only then can you drop your knowledge, only then can you put your mind aside. And with trust, something immense opens up. Then this life is no longer ordinary life, it becomes full of God, overflowing.”

That resonated so fully and completely.

this is me today

Oh and the reason I named my post “shaking my fist at god” is because I’ve been fully doing that lately. If you know me, you know that the god of my understanding is simply the universe, all that is, the pattern and love that underlies, permeates, creates, sustains and destroys all that is. Generally, I cultivate trust that the life unfolding is the exact right life for me. But this past week in the deepest muck of this darkness, I have denied and resisted, shouted and sworn, “why have you forsaken me?” And it felt like an important part of whatever this process is. To just say, NO, God! WHY ME, God? Fuck you, God!

and now…the other side of the mountain…the downhill side. for a while. [like the old Donovan song: “first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is”]

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Austin

Ahhhh. I arrived in Austin yesterday. It is beyond surprising to be here. I can’t quite explain it. But, being as this is a blog, I will try. Best I can do is a shorthand version…

Leave santa cruz in a blur on the evening of June 1.

Spend weekend in oakland, seeing old friends, catching up.

Whirlwind 2-night trip to Willits (northern CA) for work.

Then back down to Moraga for 2-night visit to other old friends, one of whom just was diagnosed with a brain tumor, only to learn that she has to have immediate brain surgery and my 2 day visit turns into week long which is absolutely beautiful and blessed and she makes it thru surgery and is ok; tumor is benign; she’s recovering in rehab, and so I

hit the road on Thursday, June 14 and it’s a grueling and emotional journey across the desert (which I’ve crossed each summer by myself in both directions for the past two years already, swearing I will never do it alone again, yet here I find myself, alone again, drained and exhausted and not sure what I am doing or why I left or what I’m driving to…).

Arrive in Austin on Monday afternoon. Emily’s house in the country just outside of town, cicadas’ orchestral roar surrounding me, swelling and waning, the air conditioning in the house keeping my brain temperature from reaching dangerous highs, a good-bye potluck for Emily happens and I’m suddenly surrounded by 20-somethings.

This morning, Tuesday, Emily packs her bags, we make a list of when and what to feed Jed the dog and Bessie the cat. I wave to her as she pulls away from the tilting 1-bedroom farmhouse that will be my home for the next 5 weeks and collapse onto the couch.

I’m here. My heart is beating. I’m alive. I’m in Texas. I don’t know how anything is going to look.

Bring it.

video art

today I had my first class of the semester

Video Art

Wow, there’s some freaky shit out there. The instructor showed us some various “art” videos on youtube. I am looking forward to exploring more. I think I’ll invite some friends to be involved in my projects this semester. Maybe the piano player will compose some music for a project. And we can do a cool misty layered nature dance poetry barefoot nymphs in the forest thing. Or, maybe it’ll be just me and the creek, with the rushing water as the only soundtrack. Or…stay tuned!

I went to Fremont today to put together a report I’ve been working on, and leave it in a binder on the project manager’s chair. She wasn’t in the office. Which was good—I don’t want to see her. I find myself so annoyed that I’m doing this work. And simultaneously very grateful that I have it, that it’s good money and that it gives me the opportunity to continue this floating, drifting, following my heart thing I’ve been doing.

I don’t know where this is all leading. Some days, I get freaked out about that. But really what’s the point? It’s not like I really have a choice. Whenever I try to get a “real” job (which I have done many times in my life) I always end up miserable and sooner or later I quit. So, fuck it. I’m just gonna keep creating, keep trusting, and keep doing enough biologist kind of work to pay the bills.

On a deeper level I realize more and more that what I’m really doing—and all I want to do—is live in service to something greater than myself. Something that is me, and is also you and you and you. It is a great feeling when I get connected to my heart and remember so clearly what is important, what this life is about for me. Service.

The first post I wrote in this blog was about Service. It was almost 2 years ago–hard to believe–and I was going off to live at Mount Madonna Center for a 3-month program called Yoga, Service and Community. I had just quit my last full-time career kinda job, and I knew that I wanted my life to be about service. And it was at Mount Madonna that I met Vanessa Stone. Recognized and resonated with her message that our humanity is our spiritual path, that we can look to the living map of our own life to guide our soul’s journey. It was my call home.

I went to Austin that August for the Global Youth Peace Summit put on by the Amala Foundation and Vanessa, and it was afterwards, staying in a friend’s house in Austin, that I realized I wanted to write, to photograph, to create—and that the work I have to do is to communicate “spiritual ideas” through various creative outlets.

And so, here I am…still midwifing this new life into being. Remembering tonight that there is nothing required but gentleness and allowing. I am so grateful. For the full moon, the creek, the little cottage sanctuary I call my home today. And for you, reading this. Please read. Read what I write and let me know what you think. It will help me so much to hear from you. May you be blessed in every way.

 

Forgiveness

Today I realized that February is about forgiveness. This coming month, the theme and motivation and primary action of my life is to forgive. First of all, myself. And then anyone else I’ve ever blamed. And then the god of my understanding. And then the corporations, the republicans, the polluters, the species-extincters, my mother, my father, my siblings, my friends, that guy who cut me off the other day at the intersection of River and Water in downtown Santa Cruz. Everyone. And then, again, most of all, myself.

Rumi:
Come, Come, whoever you are!
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
Come. This is not a caravan of despair.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vow
a thousand times,
still come,
and yet again, Come!
(translated by Coleman Barks)

ok, yes, i know photos are more interesting

I don’t have any photos here. But I need to post something. Just to kick myself in the behind. And get moving forward. Having stalled out, this is the moment to start my engine. It does not matter what I have not done in the last 24, 48, or 36 hours.

All that is over.

This is the only moment. This one.

So, with the energy of the here and now, I declare emancipation from the past.

Okay, that was helpful. Have a great moment, yourself.

adhd

Okay, this is going to a slightly more wordy blog than the last few.

I realized this summer I have ADHD. Now that I’ve figure it out, I’m like, DUH.

So, that explains why I have always had a hard time with follow-through, why I am challenged to finish projects, why my heart aches and my head spins when I think of everything I want to do in my life, why multiple moving parts make me feel crazy. Why I acquired the label “underachiever” as a kid.

I believed them and blamed myself. Why was I an underachiever? Why didn’t I ever live up to my potential? I’m a smart girl, high marks on standardized tests. Why always the failure, the inability to stay focused, changing my mind, flitting about? For decades, I’ve lived with this intense self-judgement. Why can’t I get things done? What is WRONG with me?

I have blamed myself, and kept myself hidden, and pretended I could do it. Knowing, fearing, that I couldn’t. Trying again and again. Spending HOURS to read a scientific paper that other’s could wiz through. Taking hours too long to finish projects at a job where I had to bill my time by ten minute increments, and come in under budget. I couldn’t do it. I blamed myself, judged myself a failure.

I live by lists. But how to translate a long list into a day and a week’s organized life? Completely overwhelmed. Surfing the internet, or watching movies, to avoid the failure.

Now, I am getting ready to do something about it. This week, I’ll start neurofeedback. My housemate just happens to do it. It’s one of the only non-drug modalities that is really helpful for ADHD. So, I’m hoping it helps. The other alternative, which I’m not ruling out, is medication.

This post is a statement, a claiming, a notice that the stigma stops here. ADHD is not a crime and I’m not going to be ashamed of it. Depression, alcoholism, addiction—all of which I’ve struggled with in years gone by—are illnesses, brain disorders, chemical imbalances. I do not have to feel guilty about them. I CAN do something about them. And I will.

If you are reading and can relate to any of this, hold your head up, do not let the myth of shame bind you. You are free, beautiful and worthy of love, respect and friendship. If you meet people along the way who don’t see it that way, that is not your affair. Let them go. Be who you are. Heal. Grow. Love yourself. Feel how you are loved by this universe. Perfect how you are. However you are.