Guest Poem by Alyra Rose
Breath breathed into lungs forgotten
mouth wide open
gulping air like it was your last chance
remembering what has always been there
hello old friend
hello wise Witch
You have been sleeping for sometime now
marinating in the blackness
skulking around in the dark
but…something moves in you
ready to embark on the journey
waking from the deep
writhing in rapture
What secrets do you keep?
Return them to me
And wake from your slumber
Hide no more from the light of day
You came to pray
like worship in motion
you drip potions
spells linger upon your lips
finger tips…like wooden spoons
churning the old into something new
You draw out the poison
by the edge of your teeth
as you sink beneath the soil of the earth
Worthy are you
of Her love
So you melt like snow in the sunlight
As she drinks you into Her flesh
At Her feet you rest
Re-united at last
Witnessed in holy matrimony
to your buried beloved.
Stirring in the base of your bosom.
Ready to meet you.
image: Kuan Yin by Zeng Hao
I once heard a story from a friend’s mother who,
whenever her children would act out, whine, or throw a tantrum,
would first make sure her children were fed, bathed and rested
before addressing the problem they were complaining about.
She knew to make sure they were nourished,
to attend to their deeper needs before anything else.
She knew that a problem or obstacle looks different
from a balanced, nourished place.
This story has had such an impact in my life.
Since then, I have vowed never to listen to the seemingly urgent,
highly critical chatter inside my head
when I am depleted or exhausted,
and instead to nourish myself and rest as soon as possible,
for as long as is needed, and only once my body is rested,
to complete the task at hand.
In a Mayan village in Guatemala, Self-Marriage was traditionally part of the ritual initiation of the youth into adulthood. When young men and women first began to feel the stirrings of desire and that hollow place of longing in their hearts, they would be taken from their parents’ homes for up to a year to live together with their peers, elders, and initiating chiefs to undergo a yearlong journey of initiation.
In this initiation, they would learn to speak eloquently from their heart; they would learn to listen and act from that deeper voice of Spirit within them rather than perpetuating the small world of living under their parents’ roof. They learned surrender. They learned true belonging. They journeyed down into the underworld to meet Death and retrieve their soul bride, their Dharma, their being’s spirit connected to the source of all of life, marrying this essence in order to become an adult, ripe for the responsibilities and honors of this world.
Trapped inside ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a bed of nails. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul is confined in this tug of war,
the world is too small to live in.
Isolation, endless seeking, and the phrase “not enough”
can only perpetuate in this distorted sense of reality.
“I’m a failure! I’m a failure!” I repeated, hysterically crying in the public shower on my last day in Germany after six weeks of retreat. The words spun inside me like a prayer wheel. I was determined to unravel them.
“I’m a failure! I’m scum! I’m worthless!” My body collapsed as water poured down me like summer rain, blending with my tears. The shower had become my crying sanctuary, the water coaxing out my own waters. Even inside the cold prison of my triggered mind, I could relax a little in the warm and gentle flow surrounding me. Here I was safe to do my feminine yoga practice: to feel my feelings.
I felt numb, confused, overwhelmed, defensive, ashamed, afraid, angry, and empty. I couldn’t touch upon a single feeling for too long, for failure seemed to encompass them all.
Meanwhile, a knot the size of a polar ice cap lodged itself inside my throat, chest, and belly. I felt as if my skin had turned inside out and I was without any protection; my whole body ached and burned. Every breath I drew deepened the knife-like pain I felt inside my heart and intensified this trembling vulnerability I could no longer turn away from: the feeling that I had failed miserably, and that I was a failure.
Having returned home from 6 weeks of practice and retreat with the Awakening Women yoginis, I find myself home, wanting to let words touch my untouchable experience, wanting to share every moment of opening and closing, growing and composting. And so I share with you these words from my journal, written in Corfu, Greece in the middle of my journey, that seem to capture a spark of what lives inside me now:
My chest sinks as I sit upon morning dew grass fresh between my toes, expressing my longing through the written word, translating mysteries into alphabets. Quietly, I contemplate nothing as the wind kisses my cheek. This is peace.
A lot is happening beneath the surface, beyond my intellectual understanding, as I bathe in this silence. I can sense it. I can trust it. And though the doubt of whether “beneath the surface” is some excuse for nothing actually happening, this nothingness being useless, pointless, and a waste of time, in my bones, I know the truth. Read More
About a week ago, I had a bike accident, hitting my head, scraping the left side of my body, and landing myself a visit to the ER.
In the moments after I fell, I remember not knowing what was going to happen to me, for my vision was blurred. I had a huge bump on my head and saw blood on me, but couldn’t tell what was bleeding. Was I going to be able to see clearly again? Was my body still in tact? I didn’t know if I was going to be okay. I felt a tremendous pain all over. My body was in shock from the trauma of the impact. All of me was trembling. Read More
Last night, I returned home from a 2-month journey to India, Norway, and Germany, going deep into my own practice and commitment to truth, assisting in Awakening Women retreats, and falling on my knees again and again in raw and tender gratitude for this precious, blessed life I am given, breath by breath, moment by moment, tiny opening by tiny opening.
I feel I have been torn apart, loved ferociously, and held through it all.
I feel the realm of possibility expanding within me and around me.
I feel a deep surrender into the unknown. Read More