Healing

I Woke Up– Thoughts After the Election

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It has been a long week.  I have felt emotions and feelings this week I have never known.  But I have felt, and that is the victory.  In a patriarchal society that encourages us not to feel, to lock up our emotions, to medicate our pain away with drugs (prescribed and otherwise), shopping, food, sex, social media and binge T.V. actually allowing yourself to feel is an act of rebellion.  And in these times of upheaval and division that is where we must all begin.

Last Wednesday morning I woke up devastated from the results of Tuesday’s election.  What to me had seemed unthinkable and impossible had been made possible.  I was only prepared for one outcome of the presidential election – a historic one.  I WOKE up Wednesday morning.  I woke up to the realization that my beliefs and values are radically different than those held by many of my fellow Americans.  I woke up and saw a nation divided into red and blue.  I woke up to the fear and anger that had made a Trump presidency possible and the fear and anger that rose in myself and others as a result of his election.  I woke up to the pervasive presence of racism, sexism, fascism, misogyny and inequality in this country.  I woke up and realized we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.  I woke up to the truth.

And for that, I am filled with gratitude.

Here’s the thing about the truth – it is a line drawn in the sand that once crossed there is no going back.  I cannot unknow what I know now.  There is no going back.  There is nothing to go back to.  The only option is to move forward into the unknown and to shed the skin that no longer fits and to once again sit in the dark and feel all of my feelings.  But I am no longer afraid of the dark.  My darkest hours, my heartbreaks, my setbacks and let downs have been the very experiences that have brought forth and kindled my light.  In his beautiful letter to his daughter and wife, in response to the election, Aaron Sorkin rightly articulated what I know to be true, “America didn’t stop being America last night and we didn’t stop being Americans and here’s the thing about Americans: Our darkest days have always—always—been followed by our finest hours.”

I had expected that the election of our country’s first female president would be the catalyst for uniting Americans and pave the way for equality, for tolerance, and restore hope and love after a divisive campaign season.  Although this election did not result in the election of a female president I do believe that the results of this election will be the catalyst for uniting Americans- just not in the way I had expected.  We have work to do.  And the first step we must all take is to grant ourselves permission to feel all that we are feeling right now.  Allow yourself to fully experience your sadness, your rage, your uncertainty, your hope and your love.  Because we all need to show up as our highest selves to do this work.  You will be called to rise, to expand and to lead trough love not fear.

Take your time.  Take care of yourself so that when you are called on you can take care of others.  It all begins with you.  You have to feel in order to heal.  And you need to be able to declare yourself whole before you set to work on bringing forth a better world.  The greatest service you can offer the world is to step into who you truly are.  You don’t have to see the bright side just yet.  Allow yourself the time you need in the dark and while you heal and face your fears know that you are not alone. When you are ready turn on the light.  I believe in us.  And I truly believe that in the end love will always win out.  If it hasn’t just yet, than it is not the end.

“There can’t be a large scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level.  It’s gotta to happen inside first.” – Jim Morrison

Love Always,

lauren

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MY LIFE FELL APART–AND I’VE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER

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Marina Abramovic

Next week I will be celebrating the two year anniversary of my life falling apart.   My life has seemingly fallen apart and back together several times.  I’ve had huge career changes, identity upheavals, I’ve sold everything I owned and moved to a foreign country, and returned from said foreign country with nothing but a broken heart and an impending divorce. I am no stranger to change. But the devastation two years ago was different.  This was a spiritual tsunami that would wash away every remnant of who I thought I was.  There would be no going back.  There was nothing to go back to.  I had unknowingly entered my “dark night of the soul.”

I had just celebrated my 30th birthday when I became physically sick.  I was continuously sick for over 18 months.  Having been blessed with a strong immune system I rarely ever got sick and on the rare occasions when I did catch a little something it never lasted longer than a week.  But this time despite the numerous medications, doctor’s visits, and home remedies I couldn’t heal.

Somewhere along the way my dear friend mentioned in passing the work of Carolyn Myss.  Not knowing anything about this woman or her work I googled her.   And instinctively I knew I was meant to read Anatomy of the Spirit.  I devoured the book and I knew then that my illness was not purely physical. Consciously or unconsciously our psychology influences and affects or physiology.  As Christane Northrup has said, “my soul was using my body to get my attention.” It was begging to be heard and acknowledged.

But if I am one thing, it is painfully stubborn.  I don’t learn easily.  Gentle nudges do not generate any traction from me.  So I dug my heels in.  I was not about to release my long held beliefs of a world without god, or my resentments, or my ideas about who I was and what I was here to do and accomplish.  But the Universe just laughed at my attempt to control and resist what was happening

The Universe: Oh, that’s cute.  You still think you’re in control.

Me: I am in CONTROL!  I have free will and I’m not buying into any of your woo woo.  I was trained to think like an academic.  I worship at the alters of logic and reason.  You can’t change me.

The Universe:  It has already begun.   Your petulant resistance has left me no choice but to do this the hard way.  I’m sorry dear one, but it’s time for you to wake the f*ck up.

Me: Ha!

While still battling illness, I entered into the darkest mental and emotional place I’ve ever known.  This was no ordinary depression.  I found myself asking some really uncomfortable questions like: “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” “What is the purpose of life?” “Is there even a purpose?”  “Is this it…?”  Every vestige and reminder of who I had been was stripped away including the need and desire to write.  Writing had literally saved my life several times before when I found myself clutched by depression.  Even during times in my life when I actually had nothing, no money, no phone, or job, or belongings of my own, or contact with any kind of support system, I had writing.  And that singular act, the need to create, gave me a reason to keep going, to keep living.  No matter what else had been taken away from me I was always a writer.  They could not take away my need to bleed words onto a page.  But then they did.  I was lost, my identity thieved from me along with my dreams for the future, my beliefs, and my motivation to do anything. I no longer knew who I was or what I was supposed to be doing.  It felt very much like this, except I still had an overwhelming desire to live despite not knowing what that looked like anymore.

Then I gave up or rather I gave it over.

 Wilted into a heap on my boyfriend’s bathroom floor with tears silently gushing down my face I surrendered.  Whether or not it was a prayer, I don’t know.  But it was a white flag waving.  “I surrender.  I surrender.  I surrender.  I surrender all this struggle and hurt and loss to you, Universe.  Whatever is happening to me let it be done.  But now, please show me what to do.”  And slowly, in very subtle ways, I was shown.

I started praying.  I had never prayed before and I was still unsure who or what I was praying to, but somehow each morning, before my meditation practice, I found myself on my knees, asking for help.  I started asking for teachers, for healers, for gurus, anyone who might be able to help me.  And one by one they showed up.  I learned that the only way forward was to go within.  I began to see that the struggle, the getting lost, the losing yourself was an essential part of growth.  There was no bypassing it.  It’s only when you’re lost that you begin to search for the way home.

The decision to surrender, to be uncomfortable, to put my faith in uncertainty was the bravest choice of my life.  It just so happens it was also the defining moment of my life.  My journey of awakening began the moment I surrendered.  Until then I never knew the strength and courage it takes to truly let go.

Most people don’t go there.  It’s not comfortable.  And it’s a lot of hard fucking work.  Soul work.  You have to mine the gold from within and in the beginning the moments of light to guide you onward may be fleeting.  But it’s worth it.  The morning will come.  You will wake up to all that you are.  And when you do it will be the beginning of everything.

My desire is that this space and my own search may be of service to you while you find your way home no matter where you happen to be on your journey.  You do not walk alone.

All love,

lauren

Full Moon- Super Moon in Pisces

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Yesterday was the Full Moon in Pisces and yet another super Moon.  A super Moon is when the moon is closest to the Earth making it appear larger in the night sky and increasing the energy of the lunation.  Leading up to this Full Moon I felt the energies building, the waters rising, resulting in several episodes of cathartic crying.  Pisces being a water sign, reminds us of the depths that are within us.  It is the sign of expansive consciousness and great sensitivity.  You can expect this to be an emotional Full Moon.  Do not be afraid of depths.  There is tranquility in truth and truth resides in the heart. The time is apt to embrace the shadow so that you may create light there.  This is an ideal time for deep healing and cleansing.  Dive deep.

To learn more about the Pisces Full Moon head over here.

…And a little inspiration for your Moon work journey

xo -lauren

Diving into the Wreck

Adrienne Rich, 19292012
First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
Otherwise
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.