Test Anxiety

At times, I may feel hot, other times I may be cold.

Perhaps I will be hesitant, and surely I will be too bold

My mind may be filled with clutter, and my heart all-a-flutter

I may feel thirsty, and have to pee

I may be hungry for all kinds of things

Yet my mind will get through the day, dragging my body with it all the way

My body serves me faithfully, I acknowledge gratefully

When at last the exam and I meet

I want to feel fully present

I want my chakras to be perfectly aligned

I want to get the crick out of my spine

I want to empty doubts out of my mind

And fill my eyes with only you

As we dance I will try not to misstep

I want to remain steadily energized, aware of every breath

Fully focused and feeling fine

With you, I want to have enough time

After our time together, when I emerge anew into the fresh air, I want to think of you and smile

I realize that my chakras, like my spine, are always slightly out of line

I know that my rebellious mind refuses to ever stop itself from running wild

Have I ever danced without fumbling around?

Even with these imperfections, I still marvel at these reflections:

Although the ideal may never meet the real, I still think of you, and smile

Hard to Break

I am human, with a messy human body and mind

I don’t intend to hurt anyone, yet I have a habit of leaving a trail of broken hearts behind me

I’m gifted at making people feel loved and special

I celebrate their strengths and passions

I serve up what everybody craves

When I cease to deliver their fix, they protest that I’ve misbehaved

I’m trying to shake this old survival skill that used to protect me but now makes me ill

I’m trying to garner new abilities, but ancient habits are hard to break when they are built into your anatomy

Light Reading

Quotes worth sharing, found along the journey, I bow in gratitude to the sages:

If you want to be enlightened, you’ve got to lighten up

You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the ocean in a drop

Do not wait for the last judgement, it takes place every day

Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are

Listen to your life. All moments are key moments

There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way

Who cares if you’re enlightened forever? Can you just get it in this moment, now?

I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Make a gift of your life and lift all mankind by being considerate, forgiving and compassionate at all times, in all places, and under all conditions with everyone as well as yourself. This is the greatest gift anyone can give.

When you judge another, your do not define them, you define yourself.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

The care you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek

Eternity is not the hereafter, this is it. If you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere.

If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.

Why are we born? Why do we die? Life has no meaning except for the meaning that we give it.

First do no harm to yourself

Live well

You can’t hurry love…or speed it up

Don’t work or study every day

Relinquish your need to be right. This is the single greatest cause of difficulties and deterioration in relations. The spiritual partnership is a relationship of equals. No one needs to be proved wrong.

You can’t hate a fire for burning you

Even after all this time, the sun never says to the moon ‘You owe me’. You see what happens with a love like that? It lights up the sky.

I am only responsible for my own heart. You offered yours up for the smashing. Only a fool would offer up such a vital organ. May we all earn wisdom in this life.

Oh God of dust and rainbows let us see that without the dust the rainbows would not be.

Simplify

To simplify thoughts and emotional responses to things, label experiences as:

a) Pleasurable

b) Unpleasurable

c) Neutral

When the body is free of tension, and the mind is free of fear, peace can fill your heart to overflowing, pour forth from your spirit’s center

Breathe in and release the tension from your body

Can you feel it now?

Morning Meditation

The autumn sun kisses the forest, gently disrobing trees the color of fire

Piece by piece, each leaf dances uniquely and unhurriedly to the earth

Without effort and without clinging, the trees let go of what they no longer need, in harmony with the natural cycle of beginning and ending, one flowing into the other

A single squirrel is busy burying treasure in the carpet of fallen leaves, while the mossrocks practice being both two and one

Mantra

I have a false belief that I should be able to handle all of my mental and physical ailments without any assistance; no therapy or medications.

This false belief comes from the mantras of stoic ancestors echoed by my parents that I am fine simply because they say I am fine

In fact, I am pretty fucking far from fine, and have hovered over the abyss of suicidality most of my life

When I made the mistake of mentioning my thoughts to end my life to a friend at age 13, I was not met with concern but consternation and reprimandation from my mother, who was called by the school guidance counselor

She yelled at me ‘only crazy people go to psychiatrists’, naturally implying that I was not allowed to be crazy, because to be crazy would mean to be less than perfect, less than what she desired, which was forbidden

She pronounced the word ‘crazy’ with disgust and disdain, with smug judgement, as if it were an abhorrent personal defect, an unforgivable sin

I learned to ignore my feelings, emit the illusion of perfection at the cost of stunting my personal growth

To be myself was inconvenient for others, and to be an inconvenience was to be unlovable

Though I remain chained by fear, I am ready to break the shackles of false beliefs that have held me back and kept me from receiving essential help for too long

One mantra rang true: I am strong

Hija del Mar

I feel waves of life move through me with universal rhythm

Like an oyster, I have no eyes to see my own pearl

I form my little shell, defenseless to the ocean’s swell

Unlike an oyster, I am learning to treasure my inner self

I’m sorry oysters, if I underestimated you

As a woman, people often underestimate me

I am a daughter of the sea

I want to remind every girl

That she is a precious pearl

Within her lies the whole world

Hangry

I felt anger towards the man who asked me for a handout, then scolded me for hesitating to give him my last dollar.

He said, ‘I’m homeless and hungry’

I used to be homeless and hungry too, but I never did how you do

I was too busy surviving to ask other people to be responsible for my life

I ate food scraps out of the trash and sold my body for cash

I lived without a home and walked the streets alone

I didn’t tell him- I kept quiet, as I always do

I am angry though

The Thirteen-Handed Man

Man, you got me writing in this journal like an adolescent girl

My heart gushing forth while my mind’s in a twirl

I haven’t crushed this hard since I can’t remember, and probably longer still

You’re half comedian, half musician, and 100% enlightened genius skill

You must have a lot of girls climbing up your hill

There’s so much I wanted to say to you, but I hold myself back still

I wanted to dance to your music wildly, sit next to you in the circle

Be the first to hug you, jump into all of your arms

My inner alarms played their broken-record tune, ‘you’re shy, you aren’t worthy, it isn’t safe to follow your heart’.

Your voice sang smooth as the moon, and I swooned

There is so much I wanted to ask you, about where you’re going and where you’ve been

So much I wanted to applaud about you, to share and offer you

Helping you is the least I could do

Even the man with thirteen hands could use an extra hand sometimes

Should you need them, my hands are here for you

The Young Girl

The young girl danced freely, moved like she had never been raped

Perhaps it is an unfortunate initiation into womanhood to be violated, to survive assault without letting it destroy you

Perhaps that is why I am so flexible in my body: I hold untold trauma in my childbearing hips, I must bend in order to work around it

I’m not growing up, I’m growing out.