May 29, 2012 0 comments
As I step off that cliff of safety into the exciting unknown of my future, I am aware there are many of you doing the same at this time. What an incredible moment this is in our collective transformation as humans! We are being challenged to trust and go to the next level of our potential, as individuals and as part of many gathering teams, tribes and circles all over the planet. As I have shared my fears and dreams, I have been hearing from you about yours. Many of us our experiencing the same processes:
Facing fears that arise over what we are being called to change and to do.
Releasing judgement about what our lives were supposed to be up to now, and surrendering attachment to what we think they should be in the future.
Intensely desiring to expand, to awaken, to live more fully despite the consequences.
Realizing that we have to let go of the illusion of control, surrender to the flow and pacing of things and allow support to come to us in many forms.
It feels like a form of spiritual healing crises for many of us, where the toxins of sabotaging myths, habits and beliefs are coming up to be cleared out in order to make room to fulfill our true potential. The cleansing itself can be anxiety producing, even painful, but the wholeness on the other side is well worth it. This collective awakening is happening all around the globe, and I want you to remember this: You are not alone. We really are on this journey together.
I want to share with you an incredible piece of writing by a bright light that was taken from this world this last Saturday in a car accident. It is well worth the read. Even though Marina Keegan was just 22, and she is speaking to her fellow graduating classmates at Yale, I read her words and I know she is speaking to all of us. She was an old soul who saw the big picture and was passionately moving forward to make great change in this world. As a prolific political activist, actor and writer, Marina spoke to the part of us that still believes it is never too late, and that we are someone who is part of something bigger than ourselves. “It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together.”
We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.
It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.
Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts.
This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse – I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.
But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”
Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.
But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes…) We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay.
We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
When we came to Yale, there was this sense of possibility. This immense and indefinable potential energy – and it’s easy to feel like that’s slipped away. We never had to choose and suddenly we’ve had to. Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck.
For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.
In the heart of a winter Friday night my freshman year, I was dazed and confused when I got a call from my friends to meet them at EST EST EST. Dazedly and confusedly, I began trudging to SSS, probably the point on campus farthest away. Remarkably, it wasn’t until I arrived at the door that I questioned how and why exactly my friends were partying in Yale’s administrative building. Of course, they weren’t. But it was cold and my ID somehow worked so I went inside SSS to pull out my phone. It was quiet, the old wood creaking and the snow barely visible outside the stained glass. And I sat down. And I looked up. At this giant room I was in. At this place where thousands of people had sat before me. And alone, at night, in the middle of a New Haven storm, I felt so remarkably, unbelievably safe.
We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that.
We’re in this together, 2012. Let’s make something happen to this world.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, your fears, your dreams and stories of your journey below. Remember, your sharing allows others to share what they need to share as well.
From my grateful and never alone heart to yours,
April 5, 2012 0 comments
As I write to you, I’m here at home sitting at my love desk (Really, it is a glass table my husband Jordan bought for me that has the word “love” etched in multiple languages all over it), door wide open to blue sky, chilly breezes and birds singing ecstatically to the spring.
It’s been an interesting past 2 weeks since my birthday Equinox rituals of offering petals of forgiveness to the ocean and the planting of seed/prayers on Mt. Tham. Many of the sunflower petals I threw had to do with trust. Maybe you can relate to at least one of these:
I forgive myself for not trusting myself, my choices, my intuition, my callings in my life.
I forgive myself for not trusting the flow of my life.
I forgive myself for not trusting love, and buying into fear.
I release the thought I have to do this all alone.
I release the fear of being seeing completely, in ALL my colors.
I release the thought it is not safe to be fully awake and powerful.
The visioning seeds/prayers had the same theme, of asking the universe to create the space and change in my life that allows me to really live into my highest life purpose, and a promise given that I would trust what comes my way.
Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it. The universe has responded with a fiery “Ok, you want change? I’ll give you change.” Tuesday I got a call that upended my world and knocked me flat for a moment. Normally I would just pick myself up and begin to work like crazy to fix the problem, make things better. So I decided to do the opposite. I gave myself a gift of a full day of falling. I cried and allowed myself to feel all my feelings and to be supported by dear friends in my fear, sadness and despondency. Even though I felt “weak” I knew that in order to claim my power I needed to surrender. I cleared my calender for the week to meditate, journal, and become more present to myself, my husband and my life. Trusting my instincts, I have continued what I started a few weeks ago, clearing like crazy. Clearing out old wounds of pain. Clearing out tears I have not cried that needed to be released for my cleansing. Clearing out negative beliefs and stories. Clearing out my physical body and physical space. Clearing to make room for what is to come.
I have no idea what is to come, but I can tell you that while yesterday was a day where I just wanted to give it up and fall on the floor in a puddle of mush, today I feel filled with hope, potential and yes, trust. I wonder if this is what the caterpillar feels like just before they become what they are meant to be? Some caterpillars actually do break down into a gooey glob before their transformation into beauty.
So here is my commitment to myself and to you: I will answer the call to trust. I will allow myself the space to be me and to become even more me. I will practice trust daily, step by step, even breath by breath if I need to. Come join me. As French author Anais Nin wrote: “The day will come when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Sending you a virtual bouquet of flowers, each one reminding you of your true inner beauty and essence blossoming into life.
BTW, about the pic above: A warm Thank you! to the women who came to the first of many to come Wild Woman Circles. We shared, we cried, we danced and laughed, cleared out old stuff with the sunflower forgiveness ritual and created a safe, sacred place for our healing and growth. Powerful spirit sisters, I am so excited to see where we go! Attached is the picture from our ritual. For those who were not with us, since we could not travel to mama ocean, we brought her to us. Such a sweet release it was!