Please Lord, Don’t Let Me Be a Liar.

After my run today I put on some music, a flowy skirt, and started dancing in front of a mirror outside. I could smell the sweat that glistened on my skin. I looked down at my feet as they lifted and dropped to the beat of the music. Funny-looking feet I thought. They looked like they belonged treading on wild ground. In wild fields of grass or desert or forest.

They weren’t slender and careful, but hearty and loud. The Wrong feet I thought. They must be wrong. They should be more beautiful, more lady like. My feet seemed more suited to be tree roots than dainty wings for my body to use to glide over the earth.

I watched as they fell, the soles of my feet curving over the ground below. I looked and saw how with every step they became one with the earth below. There was no reluctance in that connection, no hesitation. They bounded down as though earth was reconnecting to itself.

I thought that was quite nice. It’s nice how sturdy they made me feel. It’s nice how the earth seems to know them. I figured it wasn’t for me to judge, this relationship between my feet and the earth. They seemed to get along so well, maybe the earth didn’t think they were Wrong at all. Maybe the earth loved them as it welcomed their thud onto its surface.

I watched them again and they seemed rather…lovely. I imagined my ancestors stomping across their fields, with these same sturdy soles. Maybe they liked how well their feet wrapped over the ground. Molding to its form and keeping their gait steady.

I saw my feet through different eyes and I loved them. I looked down and whispered ‘thank you’.

My eyes moved upward as I surveyed the rest of my body. It too seemed sturdy. It seemed large, with thick thighs and full branches for arms. I watched as it danced. It announced its presence with every slide of my hips and whip of my hands. As though the dance was an affirmation of life, of presence. It yelled to the air around it, I AM. It whipped itself around as though shedding its boundaries of skin and flesh. Resounding in its message to the sky and to the trees, We Are.

Its dance seemed to be one of understanding. Understanding the relation of All Things. The earth under my soles, my body and the air around it, the sun shining off my skin, the trees exhaling life, and the insects and birds echoing that dance all around me.

It didn’t seem so Wrong either, this thick body. I liked the way it moved, like thick resin slowly slipping down the bark of a tree. And fast sometimes like a woodpecker hungrily tapping its way to sustenance.

I liked feeling this way…natural. I felt like a human, like a woman, like an animal. I wasn’t rushing to cover up my scent with deodorizers and all manner of fragrance. I wasn’t covering up my curves and jiggles with fabric and binding them with elastic. My hair stayed frizzy and knotted into a loose bun atop my head.

Could I stay here? Here, where I felt real. Would I have to be a liar again? To stop dancing and feeling my feet in the soil. Soaking myself again in fragrance and paint and a courteous demeanor. Would I rip my heart away from the trees and the sky and train it to stay quiet and find solace in the validation of society?

I didn’t want to be a liar again. I didn’t want to zip myself up in a body bag of deception. Please Lord, don’t let me be a liar. Don’t let me forget.

I want to learn the language of all of nature and to let it float from my tongue. I want my skin to radiate the truth of the earth and all it knows about who we are.

Could I live truly? Or would I slip back into ‘good enough’ and ‘normal’.

I wanted to yell to myself to find a man who was real too. Someone I wouldn’t have to lie to. Someone I wouldn’t have to appease. Someone who was awake. An animal like me. Whose feet knew the curve of the earth and whose skin had befriended the air around it. Someone who had a secret knowing with the sun, like I had a secret knowing with the moon. And in this, we would smile.

If you see me walking on the street or laying in a field somewhere, yell out to me. Ask if I am a liar today. Ask me if I speak the language of the trees or the deception of man. Point to the sky and remind me of the sun and the moon and how their light knows the bumps and valleys of my skin.

In this, I would be so grateful and hope to respond that I remember who I am today. I am not a liar. But please, ask me again tomorrow.

Gathering Faith [A Poetic Take]

I sit here next to a big tree with white flowers just past their blooming stage. The tree buzzes with bees and wasps and a bird sits inside, singing a long song.

For a week or so, I feel like I’ve been in a cave of sorts. Quiet, buried, still. I tried not to speak with anyone. I didn’t go on my usual runs or do my weight training. I barely danced or even woke up before late afternoon.

I felt all I was doing before slip away beneath my feet, unsure whether I was lifting off the ground or whether the ground was sinking. I meditated and I tried to do some things that kept me at least a little awake to the world.

The pulse of my life’s heartbeat seemed to have slowed and barely made a ripple as it flowed through my being. I was still getting insights, deeper understanding and knowing, and yet I was far away.

The lens focused on my life had zoomed out, far away from any specifics I was nurturing before. I had a theory that perhaps I was feeling my life’s movement. Maybe I was changing direction. Perhaps I had to slow down and zoom out to make some kind of shift.

Yesterday, I felt the energy quicken again. That feeling when you’re trying to solve a problem and you’re looking at all the pieces and suddenly, it all becomes clear. You see which pieces need to move where and the flow of Answer whips through you.

I couldn’t see the pieces specifically, but I could feel them. I could feel myself preparing for something. The shapeless started taking shape in my mind and that same lens starting zooming back in.

Where would I go from here? What was next for me as the country started to reawaken?

My mind went a thousand different ways, flurrying into a panic. And just as quickly as I rose off the ground in a tornado of confusion, a stream of thought gently laid me back down.

Just take it one step at a time. 

Oh yes, that incredibly simple advice that I often blow right past in my attempts to control the uncontrollable.

I felt such relief. Yes, I could take it one step at a time. I could feel my way through. I’m good at that. I could focus on today and trust that what I need for tomorrow will arrive.

I remembered that I am not in charge of the universe, or this planet or even the flow of my own life. I’m responsible for my thoughts, my intentions, and my willingness to trust and follow impulses and inspiration. I, in fact, do not bring up the sun or make the birds sing.

I am Part Of this greater existence, this greater heartbeat of life. I could never be alone or forgotten, nor am I responsible for making life Work.

I took a deep breath. I paused to smell the varied fragrances of the garden around me and to watch the birds gliding across the blue sky above me. I felt the presence of creation and the aliveness in it all – including myself.

The trees around me didn’t look worried. Nor did the grass or the soil or the bushes. The sky hung over us quietly and a breeze sleepily rattled the leaves high above the ground.

What wisdom did they know that kept them so steady? Were we more wise than the trees and all of nature? Are we aware of something they are not aware of? Or is it foolishness that causes us to wring our hands in worry and anguish while they continue to exist, steadily and surely?

I do not think I am wiser than the trees or the birds or the bees. A quiet knowing beats in them and it must beat in me as well. Somewhere behind thought and underneath judgement, I believe that same knowing speaks. So, I’ll listen. I’ll trust.

Maybe it’s easier to listen when life moves slowly. But I’ll have to feel out a way to listen when life moves quickly too. To stay in rhythm with that ultimate knowing. I feel this is more important now than ever before. I can’t let the distractions and noise of life carry me away from myself, back into the grind of complacency and compliance.

Every morning I have to pledge to stay awake. To remain willing to listen to the knowing that sustains all life. To hold this to be true and above all other illusion that blinks in and out of my waking life.

Your Creation Cave

Joe Dispenza says that for you to experience something new in your life, you essentially have to become new yourself. You need to accommodate for the new things by adapting your personality.

In essence, if you constantly think about how you don’t have enough money, that trait becomes a part of your personality. To a degree, it dictates your behavior and your words, and even your relationships.

To experience having more than enough money, your personality would have to shift to include this new aspect. You now think about what you would like to do next with your money, for example. Your words and actions would follow this understanding that you have about your finances.

I’m most intrigued by this in terms of career, personal expression, and expanding your boundaries of experience.

Who are you? An artist? A mother? A chef? Someone-who-is-lost? A failure?

Two things hold you where you are, defined by a label.

1. Your own thoughts and habits.

2. The people around you who know you as you have been.

Even when you make the choice to shift your self perception, often others around you keep reminding you of who you were. And most troubling is your expectation that they won’t accept you as New. They won’t accept your new label or new activities.

So come, enter your Creation Cave. Don’t try to squeeze your new identity into the already over stuffed suitcase of your old identity.

You’ll need somewhere free of judgement. Free of reminders of who you have to be. You’ll need it to be quiet, and with lots of open space.

This is both an inner cave and an external space of creating. Inside, create a judgement free, quiet place where you can explore your new desire. In here, you can think whatever you like and you can imagine yourself however you would like to. There are no rules, no expectations.

On the outside, limit your exposure to other people’s thoughts and judgments. Not just about you, but in general. As you listen to people judging others, you participate in rigid labels. Part of you takes in this judgment, without even realizing.

Judging is a way of holding someone or something in captivity. If we see people as able to change and shift, we would not be able to judge. The judgement would become obsolete too quickly. Remove yourself, even temporarily, from this societal norm. It will bind you without you knowing that it has. You’ll feel like you can’t change, the world won’t let you [but that’s not true].

So, limit your exposure to the chatter of people. Withdraw your attention from those you cannot move away from. Attention is very powerful, and most everybody wants yours. But you have the power to control what you give attention to. End conversations that don’t feel good early on. Un-focus your attention when someone you can’t get any from is in your face. Remember that they cannot control your thoughts, though they try to influence you.

And as your inner world quiets, create a space on your computer or in your room, garage, outside in the yard…where you can work on the new aspects of you. This is an external representation of the change you’re making.

Wear clothes you’ve never worn before. Buy that thing you’ve stopped yourself from getting. Maybe you’re a budding photographer-go buy a camera. A soon to be body builder? Research everything you can about weight lifting. Start practicing the mechanics of lifting.

Find a space and some things that are a reflection of who you would like to become, the aspects of your personality that need to change for you to live out your desire.

Soon, it’ll seem more possible. It will feel more natural to you. It’s not that big of a leap from where you were to where you want to be. Stay quiet, stay focused. Stay slowly turning that wheel of change until you’re steady enough to emerge with something to show the world. And even then, pay no mind to their reaction. Smile because you did it, you did that first little thing that expresses the new you. Keep going. You got this.

You’ll get to know your Creation Cave. It will take new forms and include new ideas and desires, but you’ll know how to use it. You’ll know how to freely and easily shift who you are to become a more joyful expression of yourself.

Stop Believing in Yourself

You know those times you felt yourself willing to rise into a new endeavor, or to follow your joy instead of the paycheck and you thought “I believe in myself”. Well the truth is, that phrase isn’t the lighthouse guiding you to new shores that you thought it was.

“Believing in myself” has gotten me into trouble many times. I used it like a blanket to protect myself against uncertainty and the fear of inaction.

I’ll just keep believing myself. Surely, I know what to do. I’m me. I’ll just stay steady here where I stand and everything will work out fine. 

In reality those times you spontaneously felt belief in yourself, you were feeling the conviction behind a decision you’ve made. There’s a whole world of difference in there. Conviction is powerful. It drives you past the known, past the comfortable and into new landscapes of life.

There are so many times when believing in yourself won’t feel like anything special. It won’t make the impact you want it to on your mental/emotional state or in the details of your life.

Here is a revised and more specific way to use believing in yourself to your advantage.

Get Specific. Beef up what you mean by putting specifics behind it. That way, it has more meaning to you. Define what parts of you, you’re believing in. What is it about you that you are rallying behind?

This takes away the vagueness of the phrase and adds power to it. Right away you’ll feel more clarity and more direction and readiness.

Set Intentions. What would you like to achieve in your life right now? What matters to you? On a daily/weekly/monthly basis, what activities would you like to partake in? What aspects of your personality would you like to shift?

Write it Down. Make a list of your intentions. Log your current specifics in relation to those aspects of you that you are championing.

Update Regularly. Redefine what it means to you as often as necessary. Keep it fresh and keep it relevant to where you are in your life and what currently matters to you.

This is an example of what I write for myself (shortened):

Get Specific: ‘I believe in the parts of me that know how to listen to my inner guidance. I am a good listener. I believe in my persistence and ferocity in pursing things that matter to me. I believe in my ability to be clear-minded.’

Set Intentions: ‘To write 2-3 blog posts a week. To meditate regularly. To keep my physical activity level in a place that supports optimal health and vitality. To eat food that nourishes me physically and emotionally. To have a pleasing balance between incoming and outgoing finances.’

[Notice how I have kept these a little specific, a little general. You just want an overview of intention. This is so that you know for sure that you have things that are important to you and they are KNOWN. All parts of you are aware of your goals, desires, likes. For me, it’s a bit of a psychological trick. I feel more comfortable with myself and with trusting myself if I think that I know what I want. Otherwise it feels a bit too hazy. I fear I’ll go off track or become complacent.

No need to write down everything that’s important to you, just choose a few that are most relevant to you right now.]

Write it Down: I write in a notebook as well as post a piece of paper in my bathroom with general daily affirmations. Something like, ‘I trust that my spontaneously arising impulses and instincts correspond to my highest well-being and the highest well-being of those I care about. I trust myself to listen to that guidance that lights my way with ease and knowing. I trust that my intentions and goals will be lovingly woven into the fabric of my every day…’

Update RegularlyAs my intentions and goals change, I update that list. Let’s say on my list is “learn 5 new words a week” and after a weeks I don’t feel as passionate about that goal. I update my list to what is most important to me right now.

Now, when you say you Believe in Yourself, you will feel the depth and breadth of what you mean. You’ll feel the power of it rise within you. Because you know it isn’t arbitrary. You’ll know that you really mean: I Have Conviction.

“I am sure about what I want and my ability to achieve whatever I desire.” Not because you’re going to use all your effort to go out and get it – but because you are in tune with your life’s unfolding. You know that it will be incorporated and integrated into your life. Because you’re right there with it, right there with your intentions and with your knowing that your life is on your side.

Life is for No Reason

Have you ever stood looking over the cliffs of your life wondering what it was all for? What was your purpose? If you found this purpose, would it lead you to happiness?

Your purpose is chosen by you. Life has no purpose, but to be what it is. It continues to become and you are a participant. Life needs nothing from you. But in awakening to its flow and coming into union with your life feels good.

You know those things you like for no reason? You want to spend more time doing them, but you can’t find a worthy enough reason?

Those are the things that are meant for you. Not because they are more holy or because they are your foretold destiny, but because they appeal to you. Nothing you ever do is more or less holy or worthy than the rest. Except in this way: your attitude about it.

The feeling of fulfillment and purpose flows from within you outward – not the other way around. When you feel in love with something you’re doing, it’s because you are enjoying partaking in that activity. It is you that is bringing the love to the activity. And so, you can do that with whatever you like.

“Okay, so I’m supposed to love this job that I hate? If I change my attitude about it I’ll suddenly like it?”

Sure, maybe! It depends on how willing you are to apply this to your life. But for ease, don’t try to love the job you hate. Give yourself a break. Stop trying to like that which you don’t like, and stop trying to search for something you do like.

Searching implies it is out there, to be found. This is not true. What you like, is already inside you. You already know what it is. Maybe you can’t point at it and define it in terms other people understand…but you know what it feels like. You know how you feel when you’re resonating with something.

Don’t fight against what you’re doing now. Just appreciate what it gives you. And start to feel around inside for that feeling of fulfillment. Start feeling the outlines of it and lean into it.

Life is for no reason. You choose the reason. You choose your ‘why’. No one can validate it or invalidate it for you.

What is it that you like? What thoughts and feelings do you enjoy? What imaginary world calls to you most?

Make your life out of what speaks to you – on the inside. Champion your own cause. Create the world that you love. From the inside out. Stop asking the world to give you purpose, when the world will shape itself to the purpose you define.

And there is always a self designed (and designated) purpose. There is always something within you that you want to be seen or spoken. It can change over time, but right here, right now, something inside calls to you. I invite you to listen. To tune out everyone else (even that inner dialogue) and just listen. Lean into what it is you truly desire.