Monthly Archives: April 2014

Enthusiasm

If a blade of grass could choose any time on the face of Earth to be alive, they said, it would be during your lifetime, here and now.  This is THE most exciting period of history to witness.  

 

You know that feeling you’d get on Christmas morning as a child?  Your birthday?  The first day of summer vacation? That sense in the belly, that today would be “special” or “different”?  It was like a quiet SQUEE.  A hushed squeal in my soul.  That extra things would happen that set the day apart from any other mundane one.  I woke up with that sense for a long time.  I’d wake up just SURE that something “extra” or “special” was going to happen that day.  Whether anything remarkable happened those days or not, I don’t know, but it never seemed to explain or sate the sensation.  The feeling would persist for days on end.  I remember asking my mother about it.  She thought I was being daft, I think.  This sense stayed with me long into adolescence.  This sense that something special WAS ON ITS WAY.  Even though it never showed up, the anticipatory silent squeal yearned on.

 

I had an opportunity to try out some NLP techniques on an impromptu Skype call last week.  A new friend walked me through a few exercises.  Using the simplest one, I felt eager to see what else the technique could do.  Moving from “waking up” a dead spot on my big toe, I figured the next natural step would be addressing my inner child.

You know, as you do.

So I was lying in bed one morning last week, and decided to try some NLP.  I began addressing Young Jennie.  It started with very simple affirmations like, “It’s okay to be afraid.  I love you.  It’s okay to not have all the answers.  I forgive you for being small.  It’s okay to make mistakes.”  Before too long, the waterworks are flowing and I’m feeling incredibly grateful and emotional.  I went on for a long time; it felt like 30-45 minutes.  As I moved into a more meditative state, I wanted to look at her.  I wanted to find the image of her appearance.  Which me am I addressing?  Before The Fall?  How old am I?  5? 7? I remember being glorious.  Where am I?

 

I thought about an article I’ve read about how a “healed” adult, if fully actualized, would closely resemble themselves just before entering school, about age 5.  Conversely, if you want to know what kind of grown-up your son or daughter will be socially, look at their social development at about that age.  This has been one of those ideals that’s stuck with me.

 

At 6?  I really was glorious.  I was vibrant, funny, keen, energetic, optimistic, generous.  I was affable, high-spirited, charismatic.  My mother would later start calling me a “drama queen”.  But at 6, all I knew was that I was full of a spirit which made me zealous to be alive.  I wanted to sing, dance, act, be a waitress.  I had verve and passion for aliveness, and it made me an intense young girl.

 

I was enthusiastic.  The latin prefix theo- refers to God.  Entheo- refers to being possessed of God.  To be full of Spirit.  So enthusiasm really means to be full of Spirit.  I wanted to look that shining girl in the face.  I concentrated.  I stopped trying so hard.  I envisioned her and I finally found her.  God, was she hard to find. But we sat.  Face to face.  Her shining spirit smiling at me.  Me smiling back.  Sharing a Namaste.  She’s still there.  She’s still alive.  She’s here to teach me.

 

As I’ve awakened, reconnected, and been developing my relationship with Spirit, I’ve rediscovered the enthusiasm.  My grown up feels teeter on can’t-stay-in-my-skin-levels of squee.  The more I get in touch with my Spiritual Energy, the more enthusiasm naturally infuses my life.  And when I am headed to see my peers & chosen family?  I can hardly contain myself.  I feel like I have so much buoyant energy that I could never remotely run out, and I might poof into nothingness in an instant.

 

Young Jennie had something to teach me, already.  There’s a reason my daughter (almost 6) and I have been digging that Frozen song.  It’s time for me to “Let It Go.”  I’ve restrained my feelings.  I’ve restrained myself.  Because I internalized all these messages about how I needed to be less of those things which defined me, which made me special.

 

I’m learning how to accept myself unconditionally, but I’m not perfect at it yet.  I’ve struggled for the last 2 years to find my “place” in the energy group.  I was able to get to a place where I know that I have worth, and it’s perhaps not important to itemize a list of my contributions.  I realized that the validation I was seeking outside myself, to tell me that I matter, could be found within.  I also asked my friends if they could help me with some information like, “we can always count on you for jokes”, or “class wouldn’t be the same without you”, or “your insights have helped me realize XYZ”.

 

I don’t think it’s childish and petty to need to be recognized.  Recognition is incredibly powerful.  I’m a work in progress – we all are – but until we reach total emotional self-sufficiency (which is to say never), we’re going to have to ask for things from our loved ones.  Emotional things.  Like, “am I meaningful in your life?” or “please reassure me that I’m important to you/this.”  The therapists tell me this is a healthy way to manage emotional well-being.  In a perfect world, our own self-affirmations of being worthy and having value would suffice.  Until we get to that perfect world, though, I’m going to continue to ask when I can.

 

Enthusiastically.

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You’re Not the Boss of Me

So I have a situation with a friend.  I’d characterize this as a close friend, even a member of my chosen Family.

 

This person is fond of interrupting or talking over me, especially to anticipate my next point, observe that “it’ll be interesting what emerges next for you (me)”, as if he knows, and then act dismissive or disinterested when I actually have more/different things to say on the topic.  He is fond of rolling eyes, using a very polite tone to say “that doesn’t interest me”, and using dismissive phrases such as “yawn” to let us know how wizened and erudite he is.

 

This in itself merely chafed at my personality.  I wondered why I was bothered by his interrupting, and why it irked me for over a year, before I could identify exactly what behavior bothered me and why.

 

It’s this smug attitude that he already knows not only what I’m about to say, but what will come AFTER I’m done processing my current stage.  And if I would just hold my tongue long enough for him to please tell me all about it.  And if I actually had something to say that he missed or overlooked?  He’s onto the next topic.  Now, I may be a prickly feminist bitch, so I had to check my politics to make sure I wasn’t overreacting or being oversensitive.  There were a few circumstances that came up over the weekend, with this friend and his partner, which brought this dynamic into focus for me.  I confided in a (mutual) friend about the issue I was having, found no real solutions but a lot of empathy and validation, and moved on.  And in a matter of days?  How about 2 other people have either come forward to complain about the same issue, or have recognized this person engages in this behavior habitually, and they’ve taken to ignoring it/the behavior/the issue.  Can you say silencing, invalidating, and gaslighting?  I wonder how many others have quietly floated away due to this person’s condescension, paternalism, and smug attitude?

 

This last weekend was this friend’s turn to manage our Big Kid Magick ceremony for this quarter.  For at least 2 months beforehand, he’d been offered assistance or guidance by at least 3 members of the group.  As the date of the ceremony grew closer, the offers turned to insistent pleas for any kind of information about the intent.  You see, this Big Kid Magick group was supposed to be for fully sovereign Magicians.  One of the precepts of inclusion in the circle is that We Do Not Let Life Interfere With The Workings.  We understand, of course, that life intervenes, but that this level, we magicians would anticipate these hiccups and deal with them responsibly.  Second precept?  Once you’re in, you’ve committed to a year’s worth of Really Showing Up.  So finally, the night OF the ritual, hours beforehand, the ceremony was nearly cancelled.  Why?  A “hunch” on the part of the ritual leader that it may not happen due to “little bits of chaos”, and logistical issues.  And if we were going to have the ritual at all, it might only be 4 of the 12 included.  Oh, and the best part?  The intent for the ritual, finally announced hours before the ceremony itself?  Leadership.  Leadership of self and of others.

 

Here’s three articles on Leadership to refresh what popular thoughts are around what constitutes this ideal.  http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/7-traits-highly-effective-leaders.htmlhttp://www.inc.com/peter-economy/the-9-traits-that-define-great-leadership.html, and http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/courses/communicationskills/leaderqualities.pdf.  I especially appreciate that the second one puts Awareness at the top of the list.  I think having a strong understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the group you plan to lead, is fundamental to good leadership. It’s evident that having a high level of integrity, utilizing effective empathy and communication, and a robust means of staying accountable, position us well to assume responsibilities for others.

 

We call this person’s behavior excellence?  We call this impeccability?  We call this striving to be better?  We call this self-mastery?  Just where does integrity/hypocrisy fall in this person’s definition of Leadership?

 

I probably wouldn’t be feeling so judgy or snarky if this EXACT SAME PERSON wasn’t fond of telling me how he’s evaluating my leadership skills.  How he acts intrigued and excited about these “first steps” to act like a leader/present on a topic/lead a class/assume and exert responsibility, myself.  This has been going on for easily 2 years.  It has hurt my feelings, made me feel insecure, and ensured that I tried ever-harder to please the folks that are observing and evaluating.  You see, long before this couple met me, I was on a path of self-mastery.  I’m first-born in my family, an overachiever/perfectionist, Alpha and accomplished in business and society, charismatic and educated.  Life kept putting me in leader/supervisory positions.  I resented the call and resisted for a long time.  But by the time I had reached this group, I had 7 years of sobriety and recovery from my own dysfunction.  I would frequently be recognized as being a very self-aware, accountable, and healthy individual, by professionals and laypersons alike.  I’m frankly outraged, now that I realize 1.) I’m not the only one he talks to this way, and 2.) it’s a chronic issue, 3.) based in his own poor self-esteem, which has been 4.) cleverly disguised under the smug guru act.

 

So, new rule.  My self-worth, my impact, my “leadership skills” are not for my friends (or family!) to define.  If a person isn’t writing my paycheck, where do they get the right to judge my growth or development?  I’ve been a legal adult for over half my life.  I freely share; I rock a very high level of transparency with my process, my thoughts, my instincts.  I am accountable to my foibles and my triumphs.  I know the exact nature of my strengths and liabilities, and I’m consistently seeking and pursuing improvement on those.  It’s been said that “all knowledge is self-knowledge”, and I am pretty intimate with all these particles and processes.  Also?  Asking for validation is a healthy response to the insecurity experienced above.  I’ve been asking for the emotional currency that would “fix” this dynamic between us.  I guess I’m learning that the request has been denied.

 

One more new rule.  If it takes you three years to recognize that I really am a leader, already?  Maybe we weren’t so close, after all.  Maybe you were too busy talking about yourself to notice.  I probably want people in my intimate circle that recognize my substance.


Your being “an individual” does not mean the rules don’t apply

So I read this amazing article, and basically agreed with every word.  http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/2007/06/10/10-realistic-rules-for-good-non-monogamous-relationships/

 

There are those among The Poly that claim There Are No Rules.  That whatever work for you and your ‘mours, is totally fine.  In general, I agree with this.  We are on a journey, each of us.  Individually and as families.  And we begin on that journey at whatever point we begin.

 

However.

As the article states, polyamory could be viewed as a state of consciousness.  There are nearly infinite permutations of polyamory.  One might argue there are as many ways to do poly as there are people, or couplings, or families. The variations are incomprehensible. And that’s what they’re trying to say.  That there is NO One Right Way.  And that’s fine.

 

However.

HOWEVER.

These rules for doing poly well?  Really do apply.  As Raven Kaldera states in the beginning, these are not training-wheels relationships.  Do not try out your emotional IQ in a poly relationship!

 

I also see comments which support and validate my own position.  I’ve become ADAMANT that these ten skills are really REQUIREMENTS.  What happens when you really really like someone, but they don’t pass muster?  You’ll suffer some really difficult feelings, or they will make efforts to learn these skills.  And the breakup/nullification you undergo as you realize their skills aren’t sufficient?  WAY easier than a year or a decade or a date attempting to swat away the drama hornets.

 

Some anecdotes: When she says “know thyself”?  And to be able to assess yourself brutally honestly?  This is really crucial.  I am fond of saying that if you don’t enjoy emotional processing, poly probably isn’t for you.  There really is a lot of it, all the time.

 

Big giant emphasis?  Go for content, not form.  This one struck me as really crucial.  I’ve learned to focus more on the content than the structure of a (proposed) relationship, and it has served me very well.

 

ALSO HOLY CRAP BE NICE.  This needs speaking and writing down?  After all of that self-examination, embracing your assets and liabilities, leaning into shadow, and you’re still a miserable jerk that acts like everyone’s one thought away from abandoning you?  That looks a lot like a CHOICE to be miserable.

 

One final note.  Cunning Minx mentioned recently that it really all does come down to partner choice.  If you are partnered with folks that have a sturdy emotional process and a giant dose of communication skills, everything can be gravy.

 

There are reasons folks take to the internet and attempt to share best practices.

 

 

 


Seduction

What does it mean to be seduced?

 

Is there an inherent boundary violation in it?  I think not.  I think to be seduced is to be compelled, impelled, by a force which makes us choose to push through a limitation, into an experience that we desire.

 

And what is desire?

 

I’ve been long motivated by a restlessness.  This fiery, masculine, must-always-be-doing, frenetic energy.  If there has been a gnostic transformation for me, it has emerged through my sitting with stillness.  Receptiveness.  Being-ness.  Being stillness.

 

This restlessness led me to explore far and wide though.  The depths of mind, of sex, of energy, of body, of spirit.  To attempt to find any space where that fire didn’t feel confined or impinged.

 

And yet I’ve fallen in love with my lustfullness for life!  That thirst, that must-have-now is what’s driven me to explore so far and so wide, right?

 

The birth of what’s emerging began when Dan and I connected.  His masculinity, little were we aware at the time, was present enough for me to relax into my authentic feminine energy.  Well, that plus the birth of Isabella.  The psychic jolt that I got with breastfeeding and intentional holistic parenting, gentle discipline and affirming language, connected me with this archetypal Feminine experience.  While I explored the intuitive wisdom that my body held, plus that of her body, I allowed that wisdom to guide our choicesTrusting this intuitive knowing was probably the first step in the seduction.

 

Then I went and put a Goddess symbol on my body.  If you’ve met me in the flesh, it’s probably one of the more remarkable features of the body I show to the world.  This was my first experience with Real Magic.  Once I demonstrated for myself visually, carved into my flesh and marked it for posterity, that I was connected to Goddess, to Mystery, She began to quicken and manifest in ways I’d never imagined.  More of the Archetypal Feminine began to emerge.  More intuition.  More sensing.  More juicy body wisdom.  More trusting the knowing.

 

Then GLEE.  A friend recently stated that I was “so primed” for GLEE, and for learning about energy when it showed up.  I’d been praying to the Universe, a silent mantra from my soul, “I know it’s time to learn energy.  I must learn by doing.  Show me the playground.  Where is the field to practice?”  Then in short order, POTQ.  Energy and sacred sex and healing and being of service and Being Big and love and connection and the woo really got soupy.

 

The summer of 2012, Isabella turned 4.  Dan and I had lived in Northville for almost a year, and we made a radical choice in our relationship.  He offered that I would spend his birthday weekend at a kink-spirit-camping-sex event without him.  Birthdays are a big deal – this was a huge sacrifice for him – and the lineup for this event was so unparallelled.  It was like that Christmas story, the Gift of the Magi?  Dan sacrificed his deep desire for me to be near on his birthday.  I reconciled with myself that because of the date conflict, it would just be something I’d miss.  For him to offer, and me to be able to go without any energetic weirdness between us, was a hugely transformational moment for us.  In the weeks before the event, I experienced an awakening of a Goddess with a Name.  I’d been existing in this soup where I could touch archetypal energies of the Universe, but Deities and manifesting and some of the mechanics of Magick still remained a little “out there” to me.  I wouldn’t have denied that they existed; but I was heavily on this path of trusting my own resonance and knowing, and those experiences were as yet beyond me.

 

And so I was masturbating this one time.  I was sending my sexual energy to my Goddess statue, the one that matches my tattoo.  I was just donating, loving myself and sending that energy towards the effigy of Goddess I believe to be reawakening.  My thoughts wandered to the book that I’d been reading, about the exciting resonance I was feeling about Lilith.  As the ecstasy began to take me away, I experienced this deep knowing.  This knowing that Lilith and I had always been one; that she had been with me forever and I with her, that I was her daughter, that it’s been her essence that’s led me to be so intrepid, so independent, so not-subservient.  The recurring snake dreams.  Crying; weeping…. she understands.  The queer-not-quite-masculine-nor-feminine nature that I have.  The swoon of being known, recognized, kin to an entity with a name was almost too much to take.  I tried to relax in it, stay with it, allow and flow….. and it went dark in my vision.  As I hung in what seemed like free-fall, a vision came to me through one of many tunnels in my consciousness.  I saw myself bleeding for Lilith.  It was that stark, that simple, and that fleeting.  An image of my body, with rivulets of blood cascading down.  For Her.

 

The coming month or two would give me an opportunity to fill in what meaning I wanted for that ritual.  I decided it was not undertaking any new responsibility or formalizing anything New at all.  It was an honoring, a recognition, a dedication towards connection that had always been.  A formal speaking aloud of my belonging to Her, for whatever that meant.  The ground where I was whipped got not only the blood of my flesh, but my menstrual blood as well.

 

And perhaps it was then that the stone was tied to my ankle, for what would be the greatest love affair of my life.

And it’s peaceful in the deep
Cathedral where you cannot breathe
No need to pray, no need to speak
Now I am under

For being in service to the Universe is a great seduction.

 

I swoon, I fall, I regain my bearings, and She turns me again.  Sometimes I am allowed a raft, a timber, a project to cling to, and other times, She tests my resolve by tossing me upon the waves.  But how sweet to be violently pummeled by a powerful Ocean of Mystery!  It is so moving to feel the sweet moments of tension as this pressure and that twist my senses, disorienting and confusing me.  How small my perceptions for how large my senses!  The Mystery always has a greater purpose, a greater plan, some other something that is becoming.

 

And there are times that the Ocean herself seems to rest, and we Breathe.  Together.  That I become so entranced and entangled by her rhythms within rhythms that my wild dance lands finally in undulating subtle waves contained under a placid facade.  That my body and Hers are one again, and I am floating.  Awake and aware, able to swim and able to drown, movement is effortless and heavy, the oscillation of sound and silence, light and dark, movement and stillness, each undulating as subtle rhythms in this amazing body-container with eyes.

 

How could any earthling hope to compare or compete with that?  When I try and articulate how the Mystery is my primary partner, how my work and my Path simply must take a priority place in my life, it seems like there is this context missing.  The understanding that my life kind of isn’t my own any more.  That Lilith and I and the Mystery and AllThatIs are engaged in this wild sexual dance of creation.  That when I try and live according to the ordinary ways, I get all kinds of reminders that This Is Nothing Ordinary.  I have wanted to write about this seduction since it began, but I’m not sure when that was.  It’s gotten bigger. Heavier.  Infinitely sexier and more awake.

 

I truly cannot express the utter amazement and awe at living in this new Mystical awareness, what that’s like.  I want everyone to know that the Greatness and Expansiveness and Numerous-Luminous (Numinous!!) Love forms are accessible to each of us, at any moment.  I want to teach Tantra to the world!  To learn to drop into the sweet ocean of feeling.  Psychic feeling, physical feeling, emotional feeling.  We are each sorcerers, capable of wielding the forces of Creation.  In every moment.

 

So I’m moving forward (or sideways, or spiraly-upsidedowny) with my Work.  My Words.  My Path pulls me ever forward.  I’m learning to find more stillness upon the waves.

 

And oh, how wet I am…