You Have Everything

August 5, 2013

What would be the best advice on life you could give to a twenty-year-old?

Mine was: “don’t listen to other people’s advice”.

“That is, quite simply put, the worst advice I ever heard in my opinion” came the inevitable response, and then, a bit surprisingly, a question:
“What’s the up-side of not looking for advice?”

“Doing what you want the way you want to do it” I said in response,
“discovering your own, original, unique way.
Making your own choices.
Being responsible for your own choices.
Owning your life.
Owning your experience.
Owning yourself.”

Still he didn’t give up.

“The whole purpose of asking for advice is to make progress, by learning from the mistakes of not only ourselves but the ones before us” he retorted, “where would we be if we didn’t ask for advice?”

Where would we be?

Where would we be if we did not follow into footsteps, if we did not turn to others to ask what life is, how to live it, who am I?

Where would we be? What would we do if there was no one to tell us how to live?

I asked those questions and as I did and an image popped into my mind, straight from some dark forgotten corner where my long gone zen past hid: a pilgrim with a sac carried over his shoulder, and in the sac everything he needs. Everything he will ever need. To be who he is. And then I knew, without any doubt I knew that I have everything I need, that I know everything I need to know, that I am everything I need to be…

to be what I am.

I do not need the support to be myself. I do not need an advice on how to be myself, in fact such advice would be impossible to give because there is no one out there who knows how to be me. No one knows what it means to be me — only I do.

No one knows what it means to be you, either. No one knows how a life that is an expression of who you are should look like. Only you do. And you do know.

You know everything you need to know, you have everything you need to have and you are everything you need to be,

to be what you are.

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Feel Reality

July 25, 2013

The growl was rolling in my throat. A rhythmic, vibrating accompaniment for the movements of my body, the soft steps, the stretches and contractions of muscles. I moved a paw forward and my lips lifted over my fangs. Wild. I was wild. I was a wild cat. Another step crumbled a pile of dry leaves, I moved my paw, I moved my hand, I touched the soft, rumpled blanket. Bed. I was in bed. There was silence and soft breath near me, there were the heavy spots of warmth where dogs slept. I was in bed.

I was wild. I closed my eyes again. The forest was warm, pulsating with life. Life I could feel … I can feel it! I thought “I am a cat and I am the forest”. The thought brought others along, “I am the cat” I thought, and the cat became distant, distinct, separate. “I am being the cat” I thought, and stopped being it. I was thinking now, moving back into my body, back in my mind watching, observing, describing … “no!” I thought, “No! Stop thinking, stop thinking … be…”

I padded through the forest, with the forest, as the forest. I felt it on my skin. I felt it in my muscles. I felt the tension, the softness, the presence. I felt it as my body. I felt the trees and their silence, the buzzing of their flesh, of my flesh, stretching high towards the sky. I felt the water spilling over a damp earth. I felt pulled downhill with the rushing streams, I flew over rocks in the rapids with the dancing rivers. I felt the fear and submission of pray hiding nearby, in thorny bushes and earthen holes. I felt their timid presence. Their rapid, pulsating life was my own.

I felt another life, strong, powerful. Present. I felt it and new I must meet and confront it. My authority against it’s. We must try each-other. The tension must be resolved. The strength must be tested. Hierarchy must be established.

I felt the forest, I felt being, I felt life. I was life.

“Now you know” said the cat, “now you know how you can be wild in the world”

“Yes. Thank you”

There was an acknowledgment. The cat left.

I lifted my head, I opened my eyes. In the midst of the night I was wide awake. “I was a wild cat!” I whispered to my husband. “Oh” he said.

Oh.

There was nothing more to be said.

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I am that I am

July 21, 2013

This is me up there. Yes, that is what I Am. I talk with nature. Trees teach me how to be alive on Earth, and rocks, and big cats. I received a lesson from a panther only a few days ago, it taught me how to be present and not collapse when I am surrounded by people. It was a valuable lesson at the time, especially given my limited experience with human interactions. I do not look for those.

It is not that I don’t enjoy them, at a certain level, but they are not as fulfilling, not as open as relationships with nature. Human interactions require words and concepts. I find words and concepts limited and shallow.

I do not believe that mind is the be-all and end-all of human perception. I find the mind to be pitifully small and constricted, utterly unable to comprehend reality. I am not my mind.

I am my body and my life and the world and by feeling it, by being present with it, I shift it, I affect it, I redesign it. I clean up the trauma that causes sickness to heal my body. I do not require medication to deal with sickness, pain or  inflammation. I bring myself up from a collapse to allow my life to flow smoothly when there are problems or lack of any sort. I do not require marketing to attract clients or money.

I enjoy the idea of dying one day. It will be a spectacular adventure and I am looking forward to it. Because I know what I am. And I remember when I chose to be born. I know why I chose it, and I know why I was born to my parents. I know that I did not begin with this birth and I will not end with this coming death. I know that I have no beginning nor ending at all.

I do not mind pain nor fear, I experience it as a natural element of growing in places where I need to grow.

I do not believe that there is such a thing as a tragedy. I do not believe there is such a thing as wrong, evil, bad, nor do I believe there is good nor right.

I do believe that values, moralities, ethics are nothing more than stories created by human minds to manage trauma.

I do not believe that anyone deserves or doesn’t deserve anything. I do not believe that anyone is entitled to anything. I believe that I create my own experience. I believe that everyone creates their own experience.

All of it.

This is me. This is what I am.

This is what I am hiding. This is what I have been hiding since I was a little child because, even when what I was was not clear to me, I could feel what I wasn’t. This awareness caused pain when I was a girl wanting to fit in. This awareness caused a discomfort when I was a young woman wanting to belong. This awareness caused great joy once I grew into myself, but the pain is still there. Scars left by the fear of rejection tighten my skin still, become inflamed when rubbed.

It got rubbed during the last few days. The scars got rubbed until they throbbed with pain, and the pain brought out the childish misery and that, in turn, brought out the rebellion. And anger.

“I will not hide anymore” I thought.

I am not yet entirely recovered. The scars, mostly gone, left raw flesh in their wake. It itches still and so I am not as gentle, as gracious and considerate as I might be. And so I write in this way. Clearly, openly and straightforwardly.

And yes, it scares me, but the fear does not bother me. The fear is simply a natural element of me growing in this place where I was afraid, where I am afraid, to own myself fully.

In this place where I am that I am.

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Life After Facebook

July 13, 2013

I can’t quite put my finger on this stick. I do know the meaning of the words I wrote, I remember meanings from the past, but right here, right in this moment — what am I saying? What am I experiencing?

Mess, mostly. Confusion. Noise.

There are many things that have been happening lately. There were people here, in my home. There were my reactions to those people. There was trauma coming up, there was me falling unconscious, spacing out to a certain extent, desensitizing myself to life in self defense. Then there was the realization of what I’ve been doing, the returning awareness and the inevitable pain. And, even more inevitable, anger. Then I deleted my Facebook account.

A monumental step, isn’t it? It is, even though it shouldn’t be. It is “only an online app” but it is also an orientation. A constant, all-pervasing orientation outside, outward. It is a scene, and my life becomes the show, a show I play willingly. I experience things to share them, I see things to post them, I create things to market them…

And that, at this moment, on this level is as close to the center, as close to the point of those words as I can get: it is called MY LIFE for a reason.

It is also called my art. It is call my creation. But it wasn’t, I realized with some dismay that my trauma, my discomfort, my recent defenses were not only against people being physically in my space, but against my life being reoriented to accommodate people. To accommodate others. About my art being reoriented to create for others. About my writing being reoriented to communicate for others.

I realized that, and it gave me a place of free spaciousness right in the middle of the mess, the confusion and the noise: a place where I create for myself. A place where I am free to create for myself. A place where I do what I want and there is no audience or if there is – I am not looking in its direction.

Because it is called MY LIFE.

For a reason.

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You Create

July 11, 2013

It began with tension. Tension contrasted with the utter peacefulness of a summer evening. It was when I noticed it first.

It was such a beautiful evening, balmy and fresh after a hot, summer day, pink and blue with golden highlights, and filled to bursting with the forest scents and grassy aromas. It was so quiet, so peaceful — but I wasn’t. That was when I noticed it. That was why I noticed it. The tension, the … tightness.

And I thought I was doing so well! I was pulling myself up from my traumas and dramas, I was getting back to my art and to my work, I was making an effort, I was doing stuff again, I even made a list and created a schedule (a tentative one), I was doing, I was doing, I was busy … and it all seemed so silly suddenly. The busyness, the schedule, the doing. It was supposed to be a remedy for not-doing anything, which was bad but … it seemed so silly.

Because it was never the problem, I realized. Doing nothing was never the problem. Reading books all day or hanging out on Facebook, avoiding my art and abandoning my projects — that was never a problem. Doing, doing, doing would never be a solution.

I lost my presence. That was the problem.

I allowed myself to become unconscious, I allowed my life to slip out of focus, I allowed my vision to become fuzzy. Doing things, schedules, plans, objectives and accomplishments were supposed to fix that problem for me, but they did not bring presence with them. They only brought busyness. They brought movement, bustle, hustle, doing. Lots of doing. And tension. There was no presence in all this activity. There was no presence in tension.

Presence was in the peacefulness of last night. As I walked my dogs in the midst of gathering dusk, through the splendid silence of nature around me, there was presence there and I became clear, yet again, that it is lack of presence that is the problem, and it is presence that is the solution.

Presence.

Not doing, making, bustling and hustling, but presence. Presence as what I am, as my life, right now. Presence that transcends doing. Presence that renders doing obsolete because it, by the virtue of simply being, creates. Creates reality. Creates life. Spontaneously and effortlessly creates — everything.

That is one thing worth doing, I thought to myself last night, working on being present.

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