The hollow pain of suffering — breeding joy in the truest form

After being seriously shaken by stress, fear, joy, vulnerability and the depths of conscious daily existence through struggles and smiles, I could do nothing more than write…and cry a little along the way!

There’s that pain,

That pain when you sob inside and it just sheds one tear,

The deep heart-splitting sensation where the world stops,

Your breath yields to your organs cringing at the seams,

Only coming alive again when you gasp for air and sob as you lungs expand and contract,

Against the waves of existence,

Sadness swarms the mind more than the soul,

A temporary lapse of questioning divinity, peace…truth,

Yet there is that one point when death transforms to birth,

Our tears dry and our heart balloons to life,

And as long as we are standing on Mother Earth,

The cyclical nature of yin and yang will remain,

The hollow depth that we call sadness,

Intertwines with the passionate and joyful abundance of gratitude,

And we are left always being uniquely misunderstood,

Overstretch and undermined,

Where the melody of a song ignites the soul,

The release of eyelids closing to embrace the moment,

Where darkness feels as powerful as light,

Blending the eternal extremes of depression and confidence,

Rectifying that life is about all of it,

A creative process beckoning for enlightenment added with a splash of tragedy,

Keeping it raw and un-utopic,

Far from a fairytale,

Rather a medley of unspoken truths and screams of vulnerability,

There’s that pain,

That feels so real we know we’re alive,

That pain where our core is shaken,

And a new day is a blessing.

As our heart grows stronger,

We adapt,

And continue on our journey,

Slightly overmined and understretched,

Until our being feels enough pain to gain the flexibility to find freedom in the mind,

This is why a smile brightens the soul and we connect,

feeling the rhythms of humanness,

Asking us to feel pain to feel joy,

And back again. This is it!


Dynamic algebraic equation to existence — tenderness + defensiveness

I am less than two months into my “new” (although not so new anymore) chapter of my life. Living in South Lake Tahoe is more than beautiful in its surroundings and more than dynamic in my personal day-to-day. The positive thing about the word “dynamic” is that it includes a wide array of possibility and creative energy. However, the main reason I can only think of the word dynamic is because my life feels complex, complicated, compassionate, complete and totally unpredictable. The last time I checked, Webster’s Dictionary had a slightly different and not so descriptive definition:

Adj: marked by continuous usually productive activity or change

Well, Webster’s has it spot-on when relating to the continual change. The constant flow of new beginnings, relationships, opportunities, struggles, etc. is giving me the sensation that I’m in a tornado. I’m twirling around in a free-flowing dance somewhere between grace and chaos. But when I look hard enough through the dust, I see clear sky! The equation adds up, and the reassuring thing is that I see a great solution. I feel it within me that although I’ve subtracted a few things, I’ve multiplied in courage and now I’m dividing through fears I’ve ran from for years. Right now, each day is so dynamically random (where productive meets unpredictable), and yet I have an inherent feeling that things are evolving into divine goodness.

Due to the crazy emotional rollercoaster of taking on a huge new job, getting injured too frequently to keep up and getting comfortable in a new enviornment, I am stripped of control and left with a split between tender tears of acceptance and defensive lashes of self-identification; those moments of wanting to reassure myself I’m “ok”. In trying to add it all up, this is how I feel:

And with that, I guess dynamic feels pretty great! This is all for me to take on and feel with love…so yes, I have a vulnerable beating heart! And yes, I am definitely extremely sensitive to molding farther into the woman I am becoming, but this equation of existence has a complex, delicate solution that will come to fruition only if I work at it with, tackling as many variables as possible! This is not a 1+1 kind of problem, this is the dynamic unsolvable problem where the answer lies in my heart more than on paper. What’s your equation? Can you give it all you’ve got and be totally affected by things so that you feel love? Don’t worry, it will add up just right!

Putting the compassion in community

It’s official…I’m going to Nairobi, Kenya in January 2013 on a women’s leadership trip. This is a dream (to-be) come true for me. I have had a special place in my heart for Africa since I was a little girl; wanting to see the diverse culture and dynamic flavors of culture there. This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Rafting, safari, school visits, leadership workshop, self-defense training, and all with a powerful group of women who have established a microloan project for Kenyan women in addition to spreading education around AIDS and anti-rape for African women.

Just one week ago, I had no idea I would be surrounded by such passionate women and getting as involved as I had intended to prior to leaving San Francisco. Moving to Tahoe was a big leap for me beyond taking on a responsibility-heavy job. I was scared I wouldn’t find the wide-variety or influential resources the city offers across numerous social services. But for living here for only one month, I have found two things to be true.

1) Small community can mean big change.

2) Intention is everything!!!

In San Francisco, getting involved takes some serious effort, but actually getting to the top of a totem pole in a social group, non-profit, volunteer project, etc. takes more luck than anything. Everyone and their mom has more connections than you and it takes years and lots of networking to be a central member of producing action on a deep, noticeable level. But in Tahoe, the community is so open and so small compared to San Francisco, I already am landing in amazing positive social circles.

This morning, I was asked to teach yoga at my favorite studio in South Tahoe because they think my knowledge would be “valued”…that definitely would not have been noticed in the city. And if it was, I would be at the bottom of some sub-list that I would most likely never get off. Because I have narrowed my playing field, my true talents are now being recognized, and that’s gratifying. What happens after this?

My confidence goes up, my heart opens more, I meet more people, and my intentions expand beyond my last ‘crazy idea’. So when we validate each other for our unique talents, be kind, and be willing to get involved, COMMUNITY BUILDS and GROWTH HAPPENS. I’m now taking what I was doing on a small scale — teaching yoga to youth in the city (very infrequently) and trying to start my own program with at-risk youth here. Because although South Tahoe is not San Francisco, there are still youth who are suffering who can benefit from yoga. Hell, we all can benefit from yoga!

As I look back to first moving here and look forward to Africa, all I can do is laugh out loud and smile with abundant gratitude because my intentions are coming to fruition. I wanted to get involved in the yoga community (check), I wanted to get involved with youth (check) and I wanted to get involved with a women’s group making larger-scale change (check). And I’ve only been here a month. I feel so blessed about the vast space for opportunity.

Whether we live in a city or a small town, discovering and embracing community enhances our quality of life. If you have it, great! HARNESS THE POWER! If you don’t, set your intention of what you are most passionate about and it will find its way into your heart and life…keep making intentions! With community we feel connected, confident, and empowered…and this helps us dream bigger!! Next stop for me — Africa! Dreams really do become reality when we believe (and believe, and believe, no matter how long it takes!).

It’s your dream to make so get to the drawing board and don’t stop!!!

Confessions of a broken heart

I want to spread my wings and fly away…

I want to fly to a place of serenity, acceptance and graceful union. Right now in my life, I am locked in a cage of resistance and pain. After four knee injuries in the last six months, I am beyond over the trials of ‘ice, elevation, and rest’ bullshit. The swelling from my knee is spreading to my heart and I am left disappointed and organically sad at my damaged being. My joints have torn so many times that my heart is ripping at the seams.

I want to spread my wings and fly away to a place where I feel empowered beyond what I do. I am being forced to honor more than what I do, but who I am. And in this physical imprisonment, I am questioning my authenticity, my intentions and my connections with others. I am in so much pain that I am forgetting who I am.

I want to spread my wings and fly away…

I want to embrace my body with acceptance so that I do not forget all it has done for me for the past 23 years. How easy is it to forget the good things in the past and remember those that scared us? My tendency is to want more and I feel that burning normalcy charring my heart. Empowerment has become imploded with power beyond my mind’s eye. My wings have been clipped and my spirit feels grounded. So when it gets to the point of no return in life, what do we do? Fly away to a ‘better place’?

I want to spread my wings and fly; to a land where other people breed the same source of love I do and where we all understand each other. But after recent transitions in my life, I have come to the understanding that we will never always understand each other…that broken hearts are inevitable when we love because nothing lasts forever; not the same forever we dream up in our unspoken fairytale. When we come to the point where hearts are broken, we are tested by the overwhelming strength of our emotions. And when we continually spread our wings and fly, amongst leaving those things that are hardest, we leave those that are the best for us. Fear is the foundation to the fabric of our wingspan.

So now that I am at the point of no return with my body and people in my life, what do I do?

I stay grounded and mindful…

I do not get sucked into the advertisement of escaping to the far-off paradise. I trust that my body will prevail and guide me to where I am meant to be. I trust that time will heal the pain and my tendencies will shift as the moons do. I acknowledge that other people cannot control my love and that my authenticity cannot control theirs.

My physical injuries are aligned with my relationships with others. My broken heart can only be mended when I stop flying away, ignoring the reality that broken things need time to heal. No matter how much we want to force something in our lives, we have to stay grounded enough to appreciate the subtle differences that bring change. The mindful intention of grounding opens our hearts enough to love again…and again…and again. And eventually, just maybe, we will end up in a sacred spot of serenity, acceptance and graceful union. Letting things and people close to us go when necessary is part of rebuilding the heart in order to be healthy and healed…the rehab just sucks like hell. I thought I could say ‘been there, done that’…but this time I realize that I’ve never been here and I’ve never done this. And next time, it will hurt just as much…

So I stay grounded (or try) and maybe dream of flying away when it gets too hard. What are you flying away from? Can you find grounding in the middle of the sky?