Life’s gift

That’s what I’m missing. “With my whole heart for my whole life” rings in my memory as I remember getting it last year, after my Kundalini experience. “With my whole heart for my whole life.” What does this mean, really? Well, I’m going to take a stab at it.

To love with your whole heart for your whole life is no easy task. It means loving everything about you, FIRST and foremost. It means loving the impatience, the insecurities, the tendencies to overthink. It means loving your overachiever, your actress, the drama queen, and even the wounded inner child. You have to love. And you have to love deeply. And after you find that love for yourself, all bits and pieces of yourself, after you find that deep, deep, inner love, you can begin to love others. You can begin to love your town, your country, even the world…

But I have to learn to love the mundaneness of life. I have to learn to love the feeling of tiredness as I open my eyes to my alarm clock. I have to learn to find moments to love, like wiggling my toes after a Kundalini Yoga session or looking around at the people around me going about their days.

I have to learn to see the world, every day, with new eyes. With fresh eyes. With childlike eyes. Otherwise I’ll get bored, otherwise I’ll tire of the mundaneness of life. Otherwise I’ll continue to seek something that doesn’t exist, something in the future, something bigger, and bigger, and bigger…

But above anything, I have to learn to just love life. That sounds so cliché, but what I mean by that is finding the deepest parts of my being that are grateful to have each breath. My being that is meant to exist because it has goals to achieve and dreams to pursue.

My breath is my most precious attribute. It is healing in its own right, and it is purifying. It promises me life, it heals my heart, it gives me something to return to in times of turmoil or conflict.

 

I laugh as I think my go-to words, “I am going to be okay.”

No, no. As my best friend said it, “I am going to be more than just okay.”

Life is a gift, and recognizing that is the most healing moment I have had in my life.

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Ah, introspection

I’ve felt the emptiness for the past few days. “Existential crisis” or whatever name it should be given. It doesn’t haunt me anymore like it used to…Doesn’t drive me into a crazy workout, endless flirting with guys, binge drinking, partying all night…No. It just sits with me. Begging me to question what this means. What does this empty feeling in my stomach mean? I did Priya’s meditation this morning and then I did another meditation this afternoon. I went on a long hike this morning. I didn’t study today, I took a day off. I felt lost without it, in a way. It’s been my grounding point for the last month. I read Grace & Grit (Ken Wilber) and it felt like I was coming home…To learn about Treya’s suffering yet immense joy that she found in facing death…I felt comforted by her words and less isolated in the emptiness that I’m feeling.

I think being able to sit with the emptiness and not feel overwhelmed by it is healing for me. I hope it is. To sit with it and feel comfortable with the lack of fulfillment. Incense is burning next to me and it fills me. With what I don’t know, but it just fills me. Brings me home. I feel the longing to throw myself into addictions like in the past but I don’t act on it…Just notice it.

It’s been a quiet day of introspection, coming off the high or mania that was created when I was asked to look up statistics on relapse and lowering my medication. It filled me with so much anger, self-doubt, insecurity, and yes…Arrogance. Insecurities that were masked by my over-confidence. Fear that’s masked by arrogance. So much fear that I’ll be another statistic. That I cannot handle my emotions or manage my erratic thoughts.

Fear that I’m not equipped to be a psychiatrist if I can’t handle my own psyche…So much fear. Anxiety. Anger. Provoked by reading about psychosis and reading about the alarming statistics of relapse. Provoked by acknowledging what happened to me and accepting that this could happen again in the future. My defense mechanism is to reject anyone who believes I could be bipolar, turn a blind eye to the alarming statistics that I could have another relapse. Instead of accepting the very real danger that a manic psychosis is a possibility if we don’t play our cards right. It feels so much easier to tell myself that I’m invincible to another relapse, rather than acknowledge how susceptible I am to actually being a bipolar statistic. There is so much fear in me, in a way, fear of myself, fear that I cannot handle myself, cannot deal with my emotions, fear that I need the bipolar high followed by the lows…Fear that I cannot handle myself without a stabilizing medication.

My arrogance is a defense mechanism for my tremendous self-doubt I’ve created in myself. The overachiever in me compensates for the fear that I’ll never be good enough. Good enough for what? I don’t know. The over-confidence I exude is meant to make up for the lack of belief I have in my ability to get through this…

So behind that overconfident, arrogant, ANNOYING 25-year-old, is an individual who is still very much struggling to find self-worth, inner confidence, and meaning. And I’m still looking to the outside world to justify myself, by imagining that one day I’ll be a great psychiatrist. Instead of feeling fulfilled, just the way I am.

Let it be me

The pain I feel is etched a little deeper in my soul today. It rests in the cavern of my heart, as I do the work to uncover subconscious, collective pain that we can only feel as we destroy Mother Earth. Everything seems to leave its mark on me, picking me apart rung by rung.

The metal-bodied automobiles promise carbon emissions, rubber tire tracks, and the evolution of technology that causes disconnect between human beings and nature. The paved roads promise ocean pollution, a heating environment, and dangerous black ice. Even the birds, cats, and insects bring sadness as they do not currently exist in their natural habitat. WE don’t exist in our natural habitat…

I feel like I’m suffocating, minute by minute, living in a world where technology, productivity, and social status triumph over unconditional love, courage to be vulnerable, and the interconnectedness between humans, animals, and our earth.

Crying helps. That deep, raw, soul- and body-filled angst that causes you to double over in pain that can only happen when you know you’re not one with God. It eases the tension in your body that fills every cell when you sense the separation between you and your Creator and long to return to the space of unconditional love that is promised in death.

 

Amen, God. I whisper with vulnerability, courage, and strength. Amen. I know you’ve given me the tools to be strong enough for this life. Please, God. Please continue to give me strength and courage to live my fullest life. The life I know I can live. Please be gentle when I slip up and have compassion where I don’t.

Be my ear, my arm, my shoulder. Lend me your voice and your hand, let me learn from you and learn to move through you. Let me see beauty through your eyes and see Divine purpose in terrible disaster. Give me courage, God.

Through your name, I pray.

Call it God, Call it Spirit

The wind in my hair as I drive down my street on the way to kundalini yoga frees me from my thoughts and obsessive tendencies to think about everything going wrong in my life. “God is kissing your cheeks,” I smile with nostalgia as I remember walking towards class in Nottingham, England, a couple years back. The biting air had a way of shaking me awake and reminding me that we are here to learn and to love each other. That air exists all across the planet, the chill either freezing our bones or shaking us awake. Awake from the slumber that we are individual beings. That we are different races, ethnicities, social statuses, genders, sexual orientations…

Ah man life is beautiful. I seek these words when I find myself spiraling down into the existential questioning…Why do we go through pain and struggle? Is there some divine plan orchestrating our perfect dance? Does God exist? Are we able to trust our higher power when things appear to be in their very darkest?

These struggles remind me of a Dumbledore quote that I love so much; “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Namaste, friends.

Redwoods

Every time I experience a blow to my ego I consider it to be another scratch on my tree of life. The tree of life that exists for all humans. We either scratch another or allow ourselves to endure a scratch. To the extent that they could turn into memorabilia as we remember “that one scratch” or that one particular blow that rendered us depressed for the next two years…The stories we hold close to our heart that inspires others or gives us deep empathy for another’s suffering.

Yet through all of life’s blows wouldn’t we rather imagine that the scratches are because we have allowed ourselves to bloom from the humble beginnings of a Redwood tree that grows from small, humble pine cones that first must drop and be buried beneath the soil. That these scratches create immense compassion, strength, and courage to continue to grow…

That in order to grow into a tree that creates shade and oxygen for all it first must live in the darkness, break open into a seedling, live beneath the feet of those who walk among it as it keeps its sites high and patience unwavering.

Because amidst the turmoil and fear we endure as we lie buried in adversity, flattened by challenges, and broken through strife, the redwood knows what it will become. The redwood trusts that it will grow into its highest power, not because it seeks to see above those who walk among him, but because it craves to live in its purest form.

It craves to embody its highest power, through its life form, to give oxygen to life, to provide bark for the sparrows, and to eventually allow its seeds to break open in the beautiful awareness of the circle of life.

The circle of life. No ending, no beginning, simply a momentary, fleeting glance for humans who live 90-100 years.

While the Redwoods remain strong and sturdy, giving humanity eternal glimpses for those who believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Anger

For many of my “growing up” years I learned that anger should not be felt, acknowledged, or even recognized in our household. I grew up with an amazing spiritual background and two very grounded, rational parents who saw anger as something that was below them.

But I was so angry. Angry at my life, angry at my parents, angry at the world. But I hated the feeling and so I journaled. A lot. I lost myself in soccer, a sport I still am incredibly passionate about. I laughed through the pain and the rage that filled my very core and learned how to sit with the immense feelings of frustration and an existential longing to go home.

Home to my creator. Because life really is hard here…Life is not a cupcake and it’s definitely not a green tea smoothie. I haven’t really understood clearly what an analogy for life could be, but I feel like trying so here it goes.

Life is like a soccer match. A soccer match in the NCAA Final Four, where you train ALL YEAR round for a fleeting moment of completion as you finish the diving header that brings you to that championship match. You trained ALL YEAR for this feeling, this glimpse of eternity that promises you that if you train EVEN HARDER the next year you could reach an EVEN HIGHER high than the one you feel now.

In life we constantly strive to reach these highs — we discover new experiences that ignite our passions and fuel our soul and then the high ends and we are left yet again — wandering. Wishing. Wanting. Waiting for that next high.

And so it goes.

Abundance

I am an avid documentary watcher. As in, there’s this new Netflix for Spirituality called Gaia, and I’m obsessed. It’s everything I believe in. The power of attraction, yoga, consciousness, spirituality, just to name a few.

I’ve been watching Gaia along with Oprah’s Soul Sundays, and today I watched Gary Zukav’s (author of Seat of the Soul) conversation with Oprah on Soul Sunday. & I look at these impressive spiritual leaders & their stories & beginnings are all so humble. I mean, Gary was once a sex addict?!?

And then I think, “Wow, you really can become anyone you truly believe you can become. Even from the beginnings of once struggling with addictions…Whether it be to sex, food, alcohol, or even drugs.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we look up to these inspirational spiritual leaders who have been so much, and we have the utmost faith in what they are telling us. But I think we forget to remember that they have struggled with their own shadow, their own personality, their own programming.

So today, I am going to manifest abundance for myself. Abundance of love, abundance of energy, and abundance of peace. Because it is in my authentic power (thank you Gary!) to manifest that.

Cheers. 🙂

Gratitude

It’s such a simple word that conveys the highest level of spiritual endowment. To be grateful is to feel love, to dance because you have limbs, to move through spirit and to give without reservation, all while trusting that the universe is taking care of you. Loves you.

Wants you to be joyful. Run without abandon. Breathe in love, freedom, and peace. Exhale fear, stresses, and despair. Sit with the awareness that we are one. One in our hopes and one in our homes. That when we sing, we sing with the unified embrace that we are all here to fulfill the same purpose.

To love, to breathe, and to embrace all emotions, all thoughts, all words, and all beings while holding the awareness that it all serves a Higher Purpose.

Today, I am grateful for the expression of words on a computer that can bring contentment to my soul and fulfillment to my heart. I am grateful for it all. Fear, love, sadness, joy, anger, and peace. It means I am alive.

And to be grateful is to feel alive.

Loneliness

And then I begin to wonder, does anyone feel how I do? That sense of angst, loneliness, despair and suffering that we willingly put ourselves through to grow? The feeling that we could be masking this unhappiness, this depression, this hollow, emptiness with something quick – a quick fix – alcohol, relationships, exercise, or social media. But we know it will only give us that short-term high that we crave…Never leaving us fulfilled but only wanting more.

And so I just sit with the emptiness, the lack, the hollow feeling in my heart, hoping one day for it to be filled with an unconditional love that never leaves. Or I can dream.

Does anyone else feel this way? Has anyone else experienced the short-term fixes, realized they haven’t worked, and decided to just sit with the empty feeling inside?

Or is it just me…Namasté, friends.

P.S. Photo feat. my brother, who got me through a very deep depression.

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