Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: December 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Out with the old and in with the new. It's a whole new ball game. How to approach it? To plan or not to plan? To resolve or not to resolve? To hope or not to hope? Interesting.

Interesting that the word hope keeps returning to me--even as I loathe it. It's like the roadrunner--it will not die! It's like life; it keeps coming back and coming back and coming back.

So much of life is living in what I call 'the gap'. We have this great experience--love, ecstasy, joy--and we want to hold on to it. But the grasping alone kills it--literally squeezes the life out of a thing. So then, what? We're left in no man's land--the post-high let down that is day-to-day life. Typically, we go searching for the next high, the next true love, the next whatever that will take us out out of 'the gap' and into 'life', which only perpetuates the cycle.

So, how do we simply live in the gap? We cultivate maturity. We cultivate the ability to live in the ever-present now. We breathe. We cease and desist clinging to anything--dreams, outcomes, hope. All that. We simply live and we live simply.

Here's to the gap and all that it can teach us in this new year. Here's to planning without attachment. Here's to planting roots even in the face of rootlessness. Here's to settling down with our Self and not waiting to settle down with someone else. Oh--and for all us single girls out there--here's to not settling.

Here's to the gap. . . . and our ever present consciousness of peace and tranquility, even in darkness, even in fear, even in those itchy-scratchy moments of 'dis-ease', and those equally unsettling moments of joy and love. Here's to the gap between what we think we wanted and what we got versus what we always have. Here's to the gap and all it teaches us about emptiness, all it reveals to us about living in the moment, and all it illuminates in us about our attachments and fears, our moments of self-centered sadness.

Here's to the gap
may it open up
in you a place
so wide
and so deep
so fathomless
that you recognize
in you
the only you
that matters
the you beyond
time and space
the you beyond
face and grace
the you beyond

the you living in the gap

Monday, December 24, 2007

Anger Talks Back

So I was at the movies this weekend and got verbally assaulted by some random guy that thought we were talking too loudly--during the previews! Come on! Nevertheless, it was the universe talking back; it was god showing me how angry I really am. God getting all up in my face, calling me a cow.

It was scary; but not nearly as scary as the fact that a part of me wanted him to hit me. Part of me wanted the situation to escalate. I almost went there and then didn't. Because just as he was not acting out toward 'me', someone he doesn't even know, I wouldn't have been suffering at his hands, but my own and I don't want to sign up for hurting myself anymore.

I am so angry. I am so hurt. And I don't want to turn away from it anymore, just so that I can be 'good', okay, secure, whatever--anything but what I am. I'm furious. I'm full of fear. I'm sad, a sadness that sometimes feels will have no bottom, no end. But I know that there is no exit. There is nothing to fix. I just need to stay here--keep touching the feeling--without distracting myself.

This is the first principle of dharma. And it is the hardest principle to conform to. How to stop the lifelong habit of the ego to cling to hope, happiness, outcomes? And instead, just rest in the middle? Rest in the uneasiness of being alone--again? Look at the self-hate and self-criticism and self-loathing and just say, Oh yes, I remember that and not feed it any longer. How do we do that? How do I do that?

My mantra over the past few days has been: Abandon hope and live free of fear. Harmonize with your surroundings. And as I repeat it, I visualize myself naked, standing before my creator--the sunlight of the spirit shining down on me--singing my 'sa'. The visualization began with me as a child standing before God; over the past few days of meditating on it, I have grown into a woman and I have become that same God looking down upon me. I'm considering this a sign of progress.

So, here I stand
naked before myself,
before my God
with nothing to cling to

my hair hangs down
my back
my arms are spread wide
and my voice
calls out its
original sound
out into the vastness
of the light

and as I sing
I listen
and the whole
universe calls back to me
its own original sound




the earth sings
its song
ecstasy sings
her song
the breath sings
his song

sing along


Turning the Page

I've been meditating on this metaphor for most of the weekend. I found out on Friday that the one I've called my beloved, the one I thought was my true husband, the one I've said an ardas for everyday for the past nine months, has already started seeing someone else. And knowing that he can move on so quickly is so . . . I don't even have words for it. He says lots of beautiful things about what we had, but I just don't know anymore. I tend to think of it all as a dream that turned into a nightmare.

He's not the man I thought he was. But then no man ever has been.

Why, then, can't I seem to turn the page? It's such a clean metaphor. If in a journal, it is the clean white page, waiting to be written. If in a book, it is the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. You don't turn back several pages and begin again. You simply start the next chapter. What's in the past is in the past.

For me, the past is surely to be my future if I don't change (emphasis on the 'I'). I've repeated this pattern with men for as long as I can remember. So to truly turn the page, I've got a bit of work to do. It's perfect timing. The darkness is passing; the light is returning; the calendar is changing; and I'll be in a new house for the new year. It's not that I want to pretend that all things will be made new--like that--at the flip of a page, the snap of a finger. But that I'm going to give myself a chance. I'm not going to stop before the miracle--my very own Christmas miracle.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Killing Cinderella

or is it Sleeping Beauty? I went to my first therapy session last night. Hmmm. I know, I know. Some of you out there are saying to yourself, "Well, it's about time!" (smile). We did some talking and then she had me draw my anger and my sadness and then I was given an assignment to ask my anger what it needs. . . . all very interesting and yet I can't seem to wipe the smirk off of my face.

All cynicism aside, though, I did get some good information. My anger is directed out and in: I'm angry at myself for holding on to the idea of a happy ending. The storybook ideal is killing me. I'm also angry at God and men and my oh so many disappointments. The anger at God and men is pretty easy to address--forgiveness. Continue to connect and relate as best I can and allow a sense of softness around it all. The anger at myself for my continued hope--a bit more complicated.

I've gone from gifted little girl, to angry, acting-out feminist, to struggling, spiritual seeker, to mature (okay that's still in question), thoughtful, progressive woman. And in all of these variations there resided hope--hope that somehow, someday, someone would come and 'save' me. Am I right to blame it on the fairy tales? The story so deeply embedded in every girl's psyche that wrenching it out means a potentially mortal blow?

The greatest fallacy of this story is the idea that we need saving, or fixing in the first place. The truest reality is that we are already perfect. We just can't see it. We've traded our own identity and power--the great feast of the soul--for a watered-down version of love called romance, which has a bitter aftertaste. If it comes down to romance vs. reality: I'm finally ready for reality to win.

My belief in a 'happy' ending has kept me from experiencing life on life's terms. It is the cause of perpetual discontent and that ever persistent itchy, scratchy, knot-in-my-stomach anxiety about 'what I want'. It's all so childish. And yet, there is something about hope that continues to call to me.

Hope is a bird with wings. But faith is the thing that flies. Save yourself. Kill the story. And make up your own ending.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

To Be To Be

My spiritual name means True Being Beloved of God. The nature of this name, its inherent quality, is a stillness, a sense of ever residing peace and tranquility. Yet inside, I'm this little girl running around frantically searching for someone to love me. "Do you love me? Does he love me? Will you love me?" This frantic searching outside of myself for that magical 'something' has led me to accept things in the name of love which aren't love at all.

So, my test today is to stay still. To do nothing. To notice when my mind and my heart begin their habitual search and to pull them back; command them to come home; remind them that there's nothing to be found that isn't already here, within me.

In a way, I think the experiences I've had over the past few months have led me exactly here. This is my grace, whether it feels like it or not. To finally see myself. To quit running. To just stop, take a deep breath, and look. Look at my fear, look at my pattern, look at myself and love--love me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Offer

Today is a big day. I've just put an offer in on my first house. If they accept, I'll be moving in to my very own house in just under a month! Crazy!

I never thought of myself as someone who could or would buy a house (and truth be told I probably couldn't without my parents' generosity). But here I am today, a soon-to-be homeowner. It's a big step. It feels even bigger because I'm single. I always pictured myself doing this type of thing with someone. It's a great leap in responsibility, independence, and security--and all coming from me, providing it for myself, not waiting for someone else to give it to me.

My good housing karma continues though, I must say. I was about to make an offer on a house that I still had some reservations about when my broker brought me to this house--my house. It's perfect in every way. I walked through the rooms and as I came back into the living room I said, "This is it. Let's make an offer." It's just one of those things that you know. I know it's my house. Strange.

If you read this blog in the next day or two, please send out a little prayer. I could use something good right about now (smile).

home again, home again, jiggety jig. . .

Monday, December 17, 2007


Women always want closure--that one last conversation to end all conversations. That one final opportunity to clear the air. And honestly, that one last chance to connect.

Men never need closure. I will not explore why here. But I will give thanks for the opportunity that was afforded me today--to have closure. To look my beloved in the eye and say goodbye--and hello.

Goodbye to what I thought I wanted; hello to a possible friendship. Goodbye to the fantasy and hello to the reality. Goodbye to holding on and hello to letting go.

Hello to letting life be what it is--instead of doggedly clinging to what my mind has decided it needs. It is the 'need' that eats me alive from inside. It is the need that pushes others away. I run and run and run after what I think will make me happy and I only end up lost and out of breath.Truly I've never needed anything in my life. Everything has always been provided. So--Hello to living in the flow. Hello to actually becoming my name--Sat Purkh--True Being. Just Be. And let God bring to me what s/he will.

Perhaps one day I'll even give up on the idea of that happy ending.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Touching Bottom--a poem

Touching Bottom

touching bottom
searching for air
diving deep
to push off from the
solid ground
that is me
stripped of everything
nothing left
but the mad
scramble for air

coming up for air
breaking free
from pressure of desire
I swim
in the warm current,
of the now,
in this present moment
I can't feel
the difference between
me and the sea

One Day at a Time

No--not the show from the 70s. smile. My life today. . .trying to live and laugh one day at a time.

My last serious relationship brought me into the doors of recovery and a life of sobriety. This newest loss is bringing me to the doors of therapy and another level of emotional sobriety and recovery. I'm finally beginning to recognize that the only thing in common in all my failed relationships is me--ha! I can no longer point the finger, unless it's pointing back at me.

I've been struggling; I admit. The loss feels so incredibly sharp right now. But I'm ready to shift and yet I'm finding it hard to make it happen. I have to wait upon grace and until then, I just have to keep reminding myself to keep up! I was reading my favorite pages from the Big Book (of Alcoholics Anonymous) and there was a line that struck me in a new way last night because it mirrored exactly something that my beloved said to me: "I know what you want, everyone does." From the Big Book: "Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants?"

The interesting thing is that my denial is so strong that I can honestly say I don't know what it is I want--even when everyone around me knows! This leads to the conclusion "Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?" How, you ask, can I not know what I want after all this time? Because I so want to please and be accepted that I bend myself to the circumstances rather than having the strength and the courage to wait for the circumstances to meet me.

All of this longing and desire inevitably pushes people away; the pressure is unfair and they naturally run from it. No human being should be asked to fill my 'god-shaped hole'.

So here I am again, touching bottom and searching for air. One thing that has been revealed to me throughout this entire process is my grace, the gift I've been given: my willingness to continue touching the stone, continue returning to prayer, to faith, to hope--even in the face of disbelief, anger, and despair. I continue to come back, returning again and again to the fountain of hope that is God, that is faith, that is life.

I will live through this and I will come out on the other side truer, brighter, and more myself, which is the entire game--coming to the core of our authentic self. It has been my quest for as long as I can remember. So, here's to the journey. And in the words of Nina Simone, "it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me and I'm feeling good."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

House Hunting

I have always had incredible housing karma. No matter where I've lived, I've always found unique and cozy places to call home, whether a craftsman cottage near the beach or a turn of the century mansion on a hill, home has always been my refuge.

Now that I'm actually looking for a home to buy, well, it's a challenge. The new houses are cookie cutter look-a-likes, which don't appeal to my aesthetic sensibilities, and yet you know that everything is going to work--for at least the first 5 years. The older homes are lots of work.

How to decide? Hopefully, I'll just know 'home' when I see it.

Two Poems

The Barren Tree

Oh my beloved Lord
you have pierced me
to the root
I stand here
a barren tree
in the desert
waiting for the summer

The clouds gather
all is dark
the air is thick
and heavy
until finally
the sky bursts
and your warm rains
shower down over me
washing away my tears

Where there was once
a woman lost & alone
there stands now
a child laughing in the storm
in whose outstretched hands
lotus flowers bloom

The barren tree
now flowers
with song

Life is Calling

whitman's 'yawp'
emily's great leaping
dashes -------
Sandburg's salt and stone
Mary's wild geese

some things that can't
be named because
the light of the word
would destroy them

those that awaken
to the sound of the word
the poets,
they call to them

illuminated letters
describing and defining
life's indelible call--
Come, call my name

hear my name
in the city streets
in the high and lonely desert
in the ocean roar
on the mountain tops
and in the slow and winding river
hear my name

I am life--
live again

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What is True--Part Two

Yogi Bhajan says that everyone has the birthright to be happy. But instead of choosing to be happy, we hold on to pain. We wallow in it. So today, despite my grief, despite my fear, despite my anger, despite my regret, I choose to be happy. That's my truth.

It's the only way toward a different way of being. To believe that I can change. To believe that I have the right to love and be loved. To hold myself with such respect and subtlety and grace that love is no longer a quest but a presence in every gesture, every breath, every moment of every day.

Pain has its place. It is the touchstone of change--the catalyst and the fulcrum--that which burns us and that which moves us. But if we allow it, pain will make its home in us and never leave. Pain is a poor guest. Instead, I open the doors of my heart and my life and my experience to friendship, comraderie, laughter (always laughter), forgiveness, compassion and love, love and more love.

What is true?
We survive the loss of things
we thought we couldn't bear to lose
we live without the things
we think we need
Life goes on
relentlessly creative
seeking the next breath
the next experience
the next
restlessly moving forward
with or without us
in its wreckless abandon

Everything is true.

what is true

There's a line in the Big Book that says, 'we could no longer differentiate the true from the false.' And even though I've been recovered for a long time now, I'm back at this point, back at the beginning. Trying to sift through the layers of my consciousness to figure out what's actually true and what is my twisted perspective on things.

My purpose in relationships is to practice compassion and to serve and yet, when I'm upset, I find myself reverting back to old habits: suspicion, doubt, cynicism. So when my former 'beloved' asked yesterday, "how are you doing?" I had to ask myself--why are you reacting? Why are you assigning negative motives to this person you supposedly 'love'? How did this toxic soup get generated from such sweet beginnings, such fine ingredients? And can it ever be restored? The kindness, the love, the warmth?

I honestly don't know. It all feels so irretrievably lost, which fills me with despair--not because I'm not getting what I want, but because it literally makes me sick to think ill of him, to not continue falling in love with him, to question what we had. Is he just being a man and I don't know how to relate and reflect that as a woman? Is he just not ready? Or is he simply not the right guy for me? I honestly don't know. I do know that he was right, though. To let go. To allow the conversation to end. For only then can it begin again.

It fills me with so much grief to realize that I still don't know how to do this thing called love. I believed I had more grace on my side this time; I believed I had a truer sense of myself; I believed I could love and be loved. But evidently I still have a lot to learn.

What is true
is that I loved you
and love you still
yet I don't
know how to love
and until that
breach is covered
and crossed
all is lost
and can only be found
by turning within
to this hallowed ground
of the self and the soul
becoming whole

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Circus--a poem

The Circus

It began before it began
and it ended before it started.

The circus came to town
and the three muses called
him to their box of mysteries
and he lost himself
within, never to be found

I went to the house of mirrors
only to lose my way.
What was really there?
Distorted images of what
was true, reflections of me
and you

The Big Top came
and went
and now the ground
is simply trampled down--
no evidence of the magic
and the mystery that
once came to life
in a moment of time
and space
now gone
moved on

I stand here
looking at where it began
and I wonder where
it could have gone

the circus has left
this lonely town
and here I stand
my hands sticky
my heart pounding
my mind dazed
at the wonder that
lived and breathed
before me--now gone
only hints of the music
remain, lilting notes
of dreams and whispers
of hope

Friday, December 07, 2007

the blues

This morning is dark. The wind is blowing; it's cold and grey out. My heart is heavy with the weight of sadness and loss. It's caught me by surprise because for the better part of the week I've been able to clear it all out during sadhana and have a good day; but today is another story.

On Grey's Anatomy last night, as I heard Meredith give her speech about "it's better to be with someone, even if it's painful, even if it's the hardest thing you've ever had to do, it's better to be with than without," I felt like she was telling my story. But of course she's not--she's not even telling her own. She's just a character on TV. But today I find myself listening to "a river" by Joni Mitchell and wishing I could turn back the clock and do things differently; but God is the doer and I'm learning that destiny has very little to do with what I think I want.

Nevertheless, sometimes a girl just has to sing the blues. . . .

River by Joni Mitchell

It's coming on christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

But it dont snow here
It stays pretty green
Im going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene

I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

I made my baby cry
He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees

Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had

Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I made my baby say goodbye
It's coming on christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Jaya Bhagavan

I went to hear Krishna Das last night with friends--what an ecstatic evening. His voice just melts you. Prabhu Jot and I were crying within the first few notes that he sang. Bliss.

One of the songs I really resonated with is called Jaya Bhagavan--or Victory to the Soul. I took this soul listening workshop this past weekend and along with being premenstrual, I think the two together created quite the stew for my heart and mind. . . .but that's another story. Since then I've been trying to listen to my soul and all I've heard has been pretty good--surprising!

I recognize now that I haven't done anything 'wrong'. I've just been myself; but myself in an insecure and tenuous situation doesn't make for the most balanced and natural responses. I remember what I'm like in a committed relationship, when we each know where the other stands, and I'm pretty cool. (smile) That doesn't mean I don't have things to work on--that's the other thing I've heard as clear as a bell these past few days of soul-listening. Nothing that has happened has anything to do with 'him', the beloved. It's all about me and learning to relate and respect and honor myself--and then have a good time with someone else if they want to be there, too.

So, I'm going to continue listening and relating to the Soul, the Bhagavan, the divine within me--and I'm going to chant and sing the name of God; because as Krishna Das said last night, it's inevitable that you become what you meditate on.

I am the God dancing
I am the God singing
I am the God cooking
I am the God laughing
I am the God loving
I am the God living
I am the God within

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Blowing It

I've never really known how to 'do' relationships. Here's a quote from Yogiji that expresses exactly what has happened over the past few days:

"My question is: aren’t you an idiot? You sit before a mirror and dress up for one hour and in one second you can’t handle something and you blow it. Who will forgive you for that?

I am asking you a question. You wear your best dress, you dress up, you look so pretty and you want to be so magnetic and attractive and you end up putting a spoon full of soup in your nose instead of your mouth. I mean, I am just explaining what I am saying to you. I am not saying too much directly. Instead of walking on your feet, you put your foot in your mouth. Who will forgive you for that?"


This past weekend, someone in our community died of an overdose. It has triggered a lot of emotions in me. But primarily, it's made me look again at the mind of the addict. I am one, so I have a not-so-neutral perspective on it all.

The relentlessness of the mind of an addict in seeking oblivion is overwhelming to me. The duplicity of the addict is also overwhelming to me. Our ability to twist the truth, manipulate and lie--especially to ourselves--is astounding. I'm recognizing it at entirely new levels within myself as far as relationships are concerned. It's a whole new territory to witness the games our mind's play. I used to believe the worst feeling in the world was being played; but now I realize that I play myself all the time.

The polarity of the experience of the addict is part of this entire conversation. We long to merge; but instead of merging with ourselves, with the God, we lose ourselves in other people. We long to experience union; but instead of using the mind to elevate to union and shuniya, we allow drugs and alcohol to take us toward oblivion. How to teach the addict to manage the polarities? How to escape the duality?

People have been saying how good he looked the days before he died. And it's true. And that's probably what's most painful of all: We can look so good on the outside and still be dying on the inside.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Birth and Death

So, it's been almost nine months since my current saga began. Which begs the question: What have I given birth to? This morning I feel utterly barren, empty-handed, a dry desert stretched out in front of me. I have cried so long that I am spent. But I know some song on the radio or some look from a friend or passage in a book will start the tears again.

With every ending there is a beginning. I asked my soul last night: Is it really over? And an impish little grin opened in front of my third eye and said, It's only beginning. So I have many more adventures ahead of me; but for now, for today, I will grieve the end of all things--hopes, dreams, stories. The 10-year-old girl's vision that manifested before her very eyes has vanished.

I had a strange dream the other night. I was tied up, bound and gagged, with a gas mask on. It was a strange amalgamation of eroticism and war. I didn't want to be there; and yet I had gone there voluntarily. In another part of the dream sequence--that seemed to be happening simultaneously--my beloved was taking all these yearbook photos. This and that club, President of this, star of that, smiling and hamming it up with his friends. Then suddenly, he was there untying me--saving me. At the time, I didn't really know what the dream meant. It just seemed so very strange. This morning, after yesterday's letter from him, I realized Ah, he's let me go. He's saved me. I would never have been able to let go. In fact, I was so tied up that his letting go was the only thing that could 'save' me. So for that I'm grateful.

This morning I struggle to accept what is (although a small piece of me continues to hold on) and I try to see some future without 'us' in it. My soul has a few ideas so that's a good sign. But I will miss serving him. He's the only man I've ever genuinely loved serving. It actually gave me a thrill to get him a second serving of dinner or dessert. That's 'sad' as he would say, isn't it?

My soul spoke clearly to me when I asked what I'm supposed to learn: He is not Me. So I will turn my attention to serving the god within. And with that, perhaps the sun will return and the horizon will open up to a new day and a new way to be in the world.

May love continue
when all hope is lost
May love grow
despite things seen and unseen
May love ever
dwell in my heart
and fill the void
with the expansive light
of joy and bliss
May love be
and may I be
and may we all be
at peace.

He Said She Said

He said, It's all just a play.

She said, I know. I just wanted a happy ending.