the hardest thing i’ve never done.

we are all careening through life.

we are trying to be successful, be loved, be happy.

we grasp at anything that gives us the smallest glimpse of the right direction.

i’ve never been good at direction.

not in driving and, some might say, not in living.

but i’ve always felt like i’ve given it my best shot.

and that’s all that’s really mattered to me.

i’ve prided myself in having not regretted the decisions i’ve made – even the ones that may have gotten me lost.

because i’ve always found my way home, in the end.

it’s never been difficult for me to find light in the dark or smile through tears.

because i’ve always known that the wrong turns don’t really matter. they are simply there to lead us back to where we need to be. and they give us a new purpose: to focus our energy on what does matter.

today, i closed my eyes, let the sun hit my face and cleanse my thoughts.

then i asked myself what has been the most difficult thing for me to do.

of all the experiences i’ve had, when did i feel the most lost?

the answer didn’t surprise me. or thrill me. or scare me.

but it was simple:

the hardest thing about life, my life, has been the times when i told myself i couldn’t do something.

i told myself that it was too big for me. too great for me. too good for me.

the most significant battle i’ve faced in my life has been to believe that i can do it.

whatever it happens to be.

and, when i opened my eyes, i sat there with this revelation.

and i held it in my heart.

and i told myself that i am good.

deep-down, good.

that i deserve good.

then i asked myself to start believing it, trusting it.

and making it the first step in a right direction.

Leave a comment

Filed under attitude, journey, Shivaya

things i’ve learned in adho mukha svanasana that will help in everyday life.

that’s downward-facing dog, in case you’re wondering, and — for the sake of this post making sense — it looks like this:

down-dogok! now, forward march!

  1. breathing is muy importante!
  2. phone calls/surprise guests/sneezes consistently occur at inopportune times.
  3. gas happens.
  4. it takes approximately 2.35 minutes for the vein on your right temporal lobe to bulge when you’re under stress.
  5. sometimes upside-down is the only way to view a situation without losing your mind.
  6. dogs are far superior than people at many things, adho mukha svanasana being one. loyalty being another.
  7. the unexpected things in life can bog you down and limit your reach. e.g. t-shirts, etc.
  8. daily vacuuming/dusting/sweeping is inevitable, especially if you have cats.
  9. it never hurts to try… well, it hurts a little, but you’re better for it.
  10. if you’re persistent and patient, you’ll arrive at the place you never knew you needed to be.

Leave a comment

Filed under attitude, funnies, journey

love and its multi-faceted ways.

i told you i’d be honest.

and, the honest thing is, i contemplate love a lot.

real love… what is that anyway?

when we’re infants, necessity is love.

when we’re toddlers, need is love.

when we’re children, things are love.

and some people never outgrow this phase; to some people, things will always be love.

for those who do mature past this stage, physicality becomes love.

i’m not just talking about sex. (although that’s certainly a part of it.)

i’m talking about presence. presence becomes love.

parents want their children to be present.

friends want their friends beside them.

lovers want their lovers near.

close. alongside. nearby. proximal.

it’s the love vicinity.

as long as we are inside it, we have peace.

except, it’s not real peace. and it’s not real love.

because, it seems to me, real love stretches over space. it cannot be defined or confined by parameters or by any other uncertain thing.

and real love can only be found inside of us, where our true Self, our soul, exists despite emotion, without attachment, regardless of expectation.

it’s the place within us that recognizes that we are never alone and never in danger. the place that allows us to breathe, exhale, let go.

the place where we can give ourselves freely without fear of disappointment, embarrassment or failure —where we can walk amongst others and feel a kinship, a connection.

this place is not something to attain, and it’s not a physical journey we make: we are always there.

in the moment we make this peace with ourselves, we become the love we seek.

then, and only then, can we step outside the vicinity and realize we are never outside the vicinity.

Leave a comment

Filed under journey, Shivaya, togetherness

my mother and her unrelenting need for me to have a tv.

i don’t have a couch.

or a coffee table. or living room furniture in general.

when i have guests over, they must sit on the floor or at the dining table or on my bed (which is, as it turns out, weird for some people — but only some).

and there’s not a lot to do once they get there, aside from watching my animals act a fool, listening to music and chatting with me.

because i don’t have a tv.

most of the time, my laptop serves as a means to watch movies. but that is all. no tv.

and, honestly, it doesn’t even bother me.

and not having living room furniture doesn’t really phase me either. i would actually rather have that big open space than any furniture.

sure, it looks empty, but it leaves me room for all the dancing that i do in my underwear (not in front of guests), which — i think — is largely more fulfilling than any sitcom or reality show.

so, no tv. no furniture. no problem.

except, for the last few weeks, it’s all my mom can talk about.

every time she calls, she peppers me with questions re: furniture, tv.

(we also frequently discuss my eating habits and the fact that i haven’t been out for a visit in X days.)

but i’m not sure what her obsession is with this tv. apparently, to her, it a living room makes.

i’ve never been much of a tv-watcher. at all.

i kind of like not having a tv because it makes me do other things that are a bit more cognitively-involved. like reading books. and writing. and taking pictures of interesting things. and napping. and dancing in my underwear…

a few sundays ago, my mother called me while i was watching a movie on my laptop. she just wanted, you know, to say hi. also, to let me know that my grandma’s circa-1999 tv is up for grabs. “mom,” i say. “i really don’t need a tv. and, there’s really not too much room in here. how big is it?”

she didn’t know.

“well, tell her i said thanks, but i just.. i mean, it’s not really on my list of things i need right now. but thank you.”

that’s fine with her. also, what did i eat for dinner?

then, last friday, she and my grandma were out terrorizing the retail market, and she called me while i was working. first, to get directions to hancock’s. then, to tell me that my grandma was, in fact, getting rid of her old tv. and if i wanted it, i could pick it up.

“ok, well, tell her thank you, but i just don’t really want a tv.”

silence.

“i mean, i have my laptop to watch movies, and i don’t want to get in the habit of just coming home and crashing in front of a tv.”

silence.

“ok, i’ll think about it.”

great, just let my grandma know if i wanted to pick it up some time. also, what was i eating for lunch?

and also, i don’t need to wait until the next holiday to visit her, for crying out loud.

2 Comments

Filed under attitude, funnies, journey

let me tell ya about being lonely.

and i don’t mean the nobody-loves-me-and-nobody-cares, pitiful kinda lonely.

i mean the trying-to-find-peace-in-being-by-myself kinda lonely.

[side note: i watched an episode of oprah a few years ago about single women and their attitudes toward singleness, their self-talk, etc. one of the tips i remember the expert giving was to, instead of saying you’re going to do something “by yourself,” saying “with yourself.” which i assume is supposed to help negate attitudes of loneliness and self-pity through increased thoughts of self-worth. “i’m doing something with myself!” it’s all about connotation.]

now, back to the business of being lonely…

i realize i am not one of the world’s foremost experts in loneliness. i’m not even close.

and i know that i have technically only been “alone” for approximately one month, 12 days and five hours. (who’s counting?)

but before aug. 26, 2009 at 5:30 p.m., i had never been alone. EVER. throughout my entire life, there has always been someone lingering nearby — family members, boyfriends, husbands.

i have never come home to a house when i wasn’t expecting another human being to be there.

i am nearly 28 years old and i am living alone for the first time in my life.

and, i’ll tell ya, those first few weeks were pretty painful. i did a lot of thumb-twiddling. and napping. and talking to myself.

and there are still moments when i think that i might go out of my motherfucking mind.

i have cried and i’ve chastised myself for crying: “goddamnit, an adult person should be able to be alone with herself!!”

with herself.

but even in this short time, i have been learning. patience, mostly. which, regrettably, i’ve never been good at.

i’ve had a lot of time for a lot of thoughts to flow through my head. everything from traveling to dinner to relationships to spirituality.

and, one evening about a week ago, i turned down my thoughts, turned up my radio and danced in my underwear. in the middle of my living room. i made a total fool of myself… and i loved it.

i loved it so much that i held out my arms and i began spinning in circles, just like i did when i was eight years old.

i continued spinning — arms outstretched, eyes closed tight — until i couldn’t stand it anymore.

then i fell to the floor and laughed with myself. i laughed ’til i snorted, ’til tears were rolling down my face and my sides ached.

and i thought, this is only the beginning.

Leave a comment

Filed under attitude, journey, Shivaya

crossroads in a clear-cut path.

i was in a work meeting today.

a long work meeting.

one of those work meetings that seem as though it will drag on into the depths of infinity.

people were talking, discussing, lingering, deducing.

and i thought, at one point, i would have to excuse myself to puke. because all i could feel was the spinning.

i could see mouths move, but i couldn’t keep up. my eyes flitted from face to face in desperation. i lifted outside of my body and attempted to slow everything to a tolerable level. but it didn’t work. i tried to breathe deeply and focus on anything else. but it didn’t work.

i was surrounded by people who were invested in things, in projects, in energy that i couldn’t create space for. i could make out a few sentences here, a few words and phrases there. but mostly i just tried to stop the spinning.

the world was moving too fast for me. it was bombarding me with things that i didn’t want to hear or see or be a part of. i was an alien on my own planet.

and i just wanted a slow-down.

it filled me with both frustration and joy.

joy, because these things were not my things. these things were not the occupation of my mind, my heart.

projects, assignments, duties.

i didn’t want these things invading my life.

and it just made me realize that i have so much further to go on this path.

and that, to get there, i must clear my mind and start over.

just me and myself.

slowing down.

becoming acquainted.

on solid ground and with firm footing.

Leave a comment

Filed under attitude, journey, Shivaya, spirituality

in memoriam: a dream.

once upon a great while, a silver cloud crosses a great mountain overlooking the sea above a city surrounding a town. the city and town are darkened – a shadow is cast over all life. and the sounds are only silent.

as the cloud forms from magic, its atoms pitch and roll inside its sphere and crash into each other until electricity explodes from its billowy shell. and it tumbles across the sky with new-found purpose.

the earth trembles at the force of the magical cloud. the mountain can feel the inevitable approach, but the souls in the city, in the town, below have never seen or heard such creation and cannot even begin to think of the wonder being produced above their heads. and their lives move forward — untouched, uninspired.

the cloud continues on its path toward its destination: the mountaintop before it. they seek each other as if magnetized. their impending fate powers ever-forward, the crashing and booming becomes louder and pulls the air into a swirling chaotic wind. the townspeople remain melancholy as the wind whips their hair, their clothes, their possessions, into a frenzy – into a masterpiece of life.

all eyes and mouths sag tirelessly. their focus: the ground.

and then, announced yet unannounced, the silky, billowy layers of the cloud begin to collide with the great mountain and it rips slowly; the atoms inside frantically awaiting the moment they are unleashed. the crashes become louder, consuming all thought and, as the mountain quakes with joy, lightning pours from the cloud. the light reaches beyond the realm of sight. and, as quickly as it comes, the sound dissipates. the cloud becomes empty and soft – and sweet rain descends to the earth.

all at once, the barren soils of the town, of the city, bloom into a lush forest. life resumes, but its pace is slower, more thoughtful. light replaces darkness. mouths curve into peaceful smiles. eyes greet eyes. hands touch hands. there is music. and hope.

the mountain and the cloud and the townspeople remain unchanged yet forever changed.

hearts beat stronger, voices lift spirits, all eyes look upward. their focus: the sky.

once upon a great, great while, there is love…

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction, spirituality, togetherness