Wild Women Wisdom
Seven years ago in 2010 before California, before north cubby holes and south green rooms and southwest desert sandstorms, I would stand on the deck waiting tables at the Yacht Club in Ocean Pines, wind blowing (like a million different Pusser’s winds, Naptown holllaaa wudup Chessie and back then) and it blew warm and westerly like Hawaii, through my hair.
By the time second season came on that wind blew every single time a cover band played Ventura Highway. The kind of timing that always makes me giggle, alright alright haha I hear you, mama earth-G0d-Mystery-Baby Jesus, whatever it is. All Love no disrespect. Ventura Highway special wind all that Fall.
Anyway, that’s how I knew I would roll. Or how the Call came when I said yes to it All. Listening to the wind 🙂
Chessie the Bay Monster at Light City last weekend, where the Bay meets the City, Inner Harbor, Bmore
Now that I’m back home, land of birth-home original-soul home, I think all the time about Pirate Life. Haha maybe you have to be a writer to understand this? All love to Erika and our Nous, if so. My own private inside though, my secret place to run, haha since I was a kid! Is a yohohum deep in there that came alive whenever I neared the tide line of beach mud.
It’s been really alive since June 2015, when I arrived back in Maryland after a 10-day on the road cruise, back east from Laguna Beach. California Adventure behind me.
Pirate Life. I can’t help it you guys. Argh y’all, it’s true. I listen to the wind 🙂
Other things Calling. It was CSNY Southern Cross that called me again, back home here. And ohhh for real, oh wow them warm Laguna Canyon winds.
Carl Jung called these synchronicity. Joseph Campbell lined up coincidences in rows and said, this network from inside to outside you that you can follow is Divine, is the Mystery, and when you acknowledge this, you Follow your bliss.
This blog is a sweet outpost for me: A crow’s nest for my soul. A high and wide in the branch somewhere in the home of a Keebler elf. Hobbit style keeping eye lookout on all the kids. Thanks for letting me indulge the Words as a way of saying thanks to the Holy What Is.
Most of this article appeared on Wild Women Wisdom originally on March 4, 2013
Now, it’s important to clarify some ideas.
This work, the women’s work or depth development, lets call it soul work. Soul work can edge up next to concepts that are self-helpy and lots of people, including myself, get eye rolls when it comes to that subject. Yea, it seems to surprise people when they learn that I shrink at New Agey I’m-okay-you’re-okay movements. How can I bulk at New Age stuff and keep a column that educates on the symbolism and influence of cycles in our life!?
Specifically, it’s any philosophy that says it alone is the right way or the only, singular answer that makes me grind my teeth. Finger-wagging judginess immediately shuts me down. This is LIFE! Multiplicitious, infinite, totally quantam. There are sooo many options, so many solutions. A person says spirituality should be this or should look that way and I am the first to counter: the most spiritual thing I’ve done all week was dance sweaty til 3 am then eat a cheese steak dripping full with grease…!!
Soul work, to me, resonates because it is personal. It starts with the premise that the answers are within you. A person like me just affirms the existence of what Carl Jung calls the anima function–the receptive, the dark or normally unseen, the soul. It is my goal to grow an appreciation of how our society has suppressed this aspect, to help see how our thoughts have programmed “tapes” that run in support of this suppression in your own life, and finally to help translate how the soul might be speaking to you. I am, after all, a language teacher! Your connection to your own deep sense of aliveness has nothing to do with how I define mine, likewise I have no business telling you how to experience or define yours. I just help you tap into and follow the communication going on in your interior life.
Soul-work IS NOT self-esteem. Laura San Nicolas, a soul-focused psychotherapist in Laguna Beach, emphasizes this. It’s not about feeling better about ourselves. In the Western world, the generation in which I was raised, as well as the ones beneath mine, have come of age with this stigma: brought-up with unspoken entitlement resulting from having all our security needs easily provided for. Think Maslow here. We live an inherent belief system that life should be easy, and if indeed we are confronted to actually develop and challenge ourselves, we bemoan that life isn’t meant to feel this way because it feels hard or we think we shouldn’t struggle. As Laura says, “Who ever said that life wasn’t meant to scare us? To be difficult or challenging?”
We have on our hands generations of twenty-and thirty-somethings, (I count myself among these numbers here!!) having “quarter-life crisises” or “thrisis-es” because the concept of self-esteem is uniquely tied in to the same soul-suppressing, societal brainwash that equates self-worth to consumer success. I have+so I feel good=I am worth it! So when the soul-life, which is the life that regenerates us from within, that helps us acquire meaningful understanding of our own experience and therefor gives us reason to engage from day to day because it imbues our unique experience with personal meaning, starts to emerge, it almost always starts because we feel bad. Soul work is about transformation. It has no arrival point. It is a way of experiencing the world, one that keeps a steady awareness of the relationship between interior life, and the life going on outside us in the rest of the world.
Soul-work therefor is about feeling alive. Thomas Moore, in his book “Care for the Soul,” says “the soul can be deceptively simple. You take back what has been disowned. You work with what is, rather than what you wish were there.” I understand this to mean what it took twelve steps to teach me (I need things laid out good and simple!): Responsibility, or taking daily action towards what is going on in my life here, how, today, just for today! What is directly in front of me.
Living a life of soul means engaging in the work of my own real life. The relationships, the duties, and the fun parts of what I am expected to show up to in my own life, today. It is my own real life that is the teacher, do I show up today or do I check out? Checking out is what Moore speaks of by disowning.
And if I am disowning, that’s where I start. Not with why, just with a simple, present yes, this is happening. Which takes me back to self-honesty as the way to hear the message, sometimes the siren, that the soul is signaling. We learn to be gentle with this work, tender, yes. Because really being connected in a meaningful, soulful way is a challenge. It’s not the artificiality of well-combed hair and a perfected, smiling sheen. Soul work is not the same as look-good, feel-good self-esteem.
It’s about real life. Which get’s us dirty and at times, is going to knock us to our knees.
The dark is the power of the feminine, as death is the power of life.
The dark moon, before she peaks. This is the feminine in her essence. Without the light of the sun, which is the light we see nocturnally reflected at us via La Luna, she is who she is. NO MASKS. Nothing but herself to feel, to witness, to be with, to see.
Take heart dear friends, tonight’s New Moon will move us finally into a real initiatory feeling of light and movement. Some of this tension–WHICH lS THE TENSION OF BIRTH, WHICH IS THE MEDICINE OF SPRING—birth comes not easy, now! Do not quit!! will be surpassed by the new life bubbling within.
But you must claim it. You must set out for it, you must take up, on your behalf, your own fight.
For your light. Your heart. Your soul. Your LIFE.
Trust the flow. Take quiet time right now, dark moon is the most powerful time to get still, to go within.
Be gentle with what is, with what you see or feel there.
This be my prayer~~
Happy new moon friends!
Any drinker knows how the process works: the first day you get drunk is okay, the morning after means a big head but so you can kill that easy with a few more drinks and a meal, but if you pass up the meal and go on to another night’s drunk, and wake up to keep the toot going, and continue on to the fourth day, there’ll come one day when the drinks wont take effect because you’re chemically overloaded and you’ll have to sleep it off but cant sleep any more because it was alcohol itself that made you sleep those last five nights, so delirium sets in —
I gotta go way back /When I go back/gary snyder and diPrima/ $21 monthly grocery bills/the year i got outta college/37 this week & still nothin/but a poet’s heart~
All but one of the strawberry plants have died
the chamomile is turning brown
it is winter & I don’t know what to do
w all this sun. A moon passes, spotted
opulence, tide rush of spring. Bird cries
in complete ascent, oh her tongue-flicked
breath. Here, there never were bare branches
or earth-freeze, then
Men come across the street
& take a tall tree down. It is March,
my skin already summer brown. Wantonness
got me an empty pack of cigarettes.
A day at a time goes in hours some times
or ten minute increments–so far I avoid
a second pack. It has been one month
since I put down the words.
Every time, despite the understanding
it is harder to make the return.
Grace you’re so funny looking. You taste like salt and a runny nose. You make me queasy in my belly. Funny measure of glints and glimmers, late 6pm sunlight on my hobbit house wall. Life still breaths inside us despite the pressing limitations, the messiness. The barrage of I don’t want to have to deal…
Somehow I fall asleep, I wake and get to work at the exact moment I’m needed. I hear from Brooks and Erika, creative serendipity alive in their own separate lives. Their unspoken message, keep going. I hear from friends. This fucking news it breaks my heart. I look clients in the eye and know they are imperfect and battling themselves, and I love them so wholly I blink back tears that are really fear. I am going to Catalina for my birthday with my mom.
I stay in the fight. Exhausted. There is a creature called an orchid mantis so precise in its imitation of the flower that I stare, raptured, stunned by the image on the internet.
This thing we call, among other names, God? This mystery. It aligns in the most absurd ways. It is awful how far down it can take the heart on some days. I look anyway. Delirious, desirous mystery. I see you. That is all.
Yesterday I was blessed to get to sacred journey with Derynne & Sepi. The purpose was for power symbols for the wisdom work.
The imaginal is so powerful.
We are so powerful.
Today my energy is running totally different.
Feeling grateful, offering thanks~