• being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    What It Feels Like

    Today I thought I’d try to put words to what a dis-regulated nervous system feels like — or perhaps what it feels like to discover and regulate it. I didn’t know I had a dis-regulated nervous system until a few years ago. And I only began to understand it in the context of holistic health. I had inklings prior to this time, but didn’t have a way to access the deeper parts of myself that were keeping it stuck. Last year, I met with someone who would become a new friend, Tonya, a Vital Herbalist. She did an Astrological Ayurvedic Reading to help me uncover the root of my high blood pressure. Prior to our meeting, I suspicioned that anxiety was/is the cause of my hypertension and I was right; I just didn’t understand the full extent of it at the time. Tonya prepared…

  • being human,  breath,  embodied liturgies,  embodiment,  prayer

    Dust and Salt of the Earth

    Dear Creator God, May we ever remember from whence we came, that we derive from the dust and become the salt of the earth—the mundane and the divine—at once, as one. May we know and live into this truth deep within our bones. May we recognize our grandeur, not by our wittiness, or humor or intellect, but by our inherent dignity as human persons, made in your image. Creator God, help us to re-member ourselves in our wholeness, the all of us, in our feet, gut, heart and knees. May we never again neglect our gorgeous human embodiment, but instead let it shine forth as a light of hope and transformation in a disembodied world. And finally, oh Holy One, make us ever remember—with a deep in our bones remembrance—our connection to all that is in the created world: humans unlike us in all…

  • being human,  breath,  embodied liturgies,  embodiment

    Embodied Liturgies

    For a time now, I have been interested in the ways nature (creation–the natural, non-human world) and our embodiment (our lived bodily experience) intersect with the Divine and our spiritual expression.  Everything of God is infused with power, grace, beauty and wholeness, but our lived experience — in a capitalist, segregated world — fights like hell to conceal these truths from us. Their primary job is to separate us, from ourselves, each other and the larger world.  This body of work I am forming, with the help of the Divine, is an effort to reclaim our birthright. We are already whole. We are already connected. We are already love. We are already free.  I envision this as a space to dream, write and create, and as a humble offering of my heart. Liturgy means ‘work of the people’ and my primary hope is that…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  writing

    Preserving My Words

    I was thinking today about my words, how they are a deep, true part of me, and how for as long as I can remember, I’ve been using them to express myself, especially on paper (or screen). As I write this, I now know why. Verbally expressing myself in various situations has always been (and still is) hard for me. But my writing comes from deep inside … from silence, spaciousness, spirit (most of the time). These words often come out unexpectedly but with vigor and purpose. They come out because they must. I discovered my love of writing well into my college career, probably in my last year. I wasn’t a Journalism major (and I wished I was upon this discovery) but my concentration was loosely related, in Interpersonal Communication. As life and luck would have it, I’ve spent my entire career writing,…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning

    Accidie

    I first encountered the word acedia (accidie in English) a few years ago. The definition: spiritual sloth, apathy, indifference. It gave me pause. I recognized it in myself. To me, it’s a feeling of ‘not quite right.’ Yet nothing is actually wrong either; no major catastrophe, no problem to solve, no daily issue. Just not quite right. I find the feeling a bit suffocating. And yet I know that by pushing it away, it will likely stay longer. ‘What we resist, persists,’ ya know? Here’s a little story from Richard Rohr, the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Daily Meditations: The wisdom of the desert tempers our instinct to avoid boredom and discomfort: Amma Syncletica’s (one of the desert mothers) bird metaphor speaks directly to one of the dilemmas of the spiritual life—that of coming to terms with the plain old ordinariness of spiritual practice…

  • being human,  embodiment

    Choosing Truth Over Ideology

    I can’t with political conversations anymore, and it doesn’t matter what side you’re on. I’m just not interested. Mostly because we are speaking of ideologies, thought systems, non-truth. I’ve been saying this for a while now; I’m seeing through all of these man-made constructs and ideas that got us here, and that continue to keep us stuck. I often choose to bite my lip when I hear people spout off, because we typically can’t change another’s mind about beliefs such as these. The question I’m sitting with is: how do I do activist work in the face of such division? What is my place in it, (because I know I do have a place). How are my gifts best served in this capacity? It’s important (and hard) work. This is the reality I’m living into, the reality that calls me deeper day by day.…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    It All Has Meaning, But It Doesn’t Have to be Hard

    This came to me as a mantra the other day in my discernment process. Anxiety, angst, ‘shoulding myself to death’ and frustration are clues on the spiritual journey, information to assess. And mostly it’s showing me what isn’t helpful instead of what is. While I’ve practiced embodiment for several years now, deeper layers continue to reveal themselves. Practices are how we live into who and how we want to be in the world. And what I see now is that there are many forces that wish to keep us stuck, forces that want us to be ill, disconnected … from each other, ourselves and the natural world. Healing, for me, begins with embodiment, nature, and dismantling the thought patterns that brought me here in the first place. And this paragraph from my training has been echoing in my head for the last few weeks:…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  writing

    What Is Humbling

    Do you want to know what is humbling? Being the least equipped, stumbling, feeling stupid … and letting it be, just as it is. I had this experience this week. I admitted my shortcomings. I wrestled with doubt. I showed up. Uttered dumb stuff. Didn’t make excuses. And I sat with a deep well of pain that continues to show me the way. Ego tries to fix. Spirit flows, and lets things be. Ego hates the angst, tries to control it. Spirit allows it to exist without judgment. Ego makes excuses, justifies our actions. Spirit lets the Divine work it all out. I am humbled by my inadequacy and my deep adequacy at the same time. Not either or. Both and. As perfectly imperfect humans, this is true for all of us. Each of us have many gifts, and areas of life where we…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment

    How Do I Say Thank You

    How do I say thank you, when ‘thank you’ feels inadequate? How do I say thank you when I really mean ‘thank you, but …’ How do I say thank you not only to the people who lift me up, but to all of creation that’s working on my behalf toward my ultimate becoming? ‘Thank you.’ Two simple words that express so much. A verbal expression of gratitude. A way of being in the world. And while the words ‘thank you’ are overused (and sometimes underused) in our culture, their essence can be a prayer of the heart, a deep yes to the goodness of life. I am thankful for those who show me kindness, those who see me in all of my human-ness, those who love me despite my faults. Thank you in French is ‘Merci,’ and the modern use of the word…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning

    Just Keep Swimming

    Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the pivots I’ve made in my life, and the ways society (capitalism, the patriarchy) doesn’t like that. Society prefers the status quo, coloring in the lines, doing what we’ve always done. Society wants to keep us stuck. And perhaps that’s the reason for all of the pivots. I’ve seen through the lies of it for a very long time. But here’s the thing about going against the grain: it’s not easy. A lot of people won’t understand. And it can bring up a lot of fear, mental madness, questions … Am I weird? Am I alone? Am I the only one who sees the BS happening here? Contemplative practice calls us deeper into ourselves, and ultimately deeper into God. While not everything has meaning, it is our job to pay attention, and to keep going to that…