We HAVE to hurt people – we have to speak the truth

2d7de121cec5f347f6f51d19c4283f08

“We HAVE to hurt people – we have to speak the truth”

These words were spoken by a man I respect enormously, a teacher. We don’t have time, he said, to become perfect ourselves before we start taking action in the world, before we can act with complete compassion, complete love, complete selflessness.

We must speak the truth that is in us, even if it hurts someone.

To me, with my desperate desire never to hurt anyone, that’s a radical thought.

And yet somewhere in me, I know this is not only necessary, but a secret possibility for grace. When we allow our truth to come out of us, something a bit mysterious happens – as that energy leaves us, our state changes, and if we are speaking with a pure intention, what is left afterwards is love.

I’ve only experienced this once that I recall – I was so tense, angry, frustrated that I felt like I was going to explode, so I spoke. I spoke my anger and frustration, directed at one person, but as I did so I stayed anchored in my heart – and she heard, was with me as I spoke, allowed herself to be impacted. And as I spoke what was there, it softened, and ebbed, until it was almost completely gone, and all that was left was love and compassion.

Radical Responsibility

Those of us who see – what is wrong, but more importantly, much more importantly, where the path lies for positive change – must act, and empower others to do the same. The urgency of this feeling is getting increasingly hard for me to ignore.

And these things that stop us, or at least which stop me – “Who am I to…” / “What can I possibly hope to change…” / “I’m scared I’ll be rejected…” etc. – are all ego-based fears. But this powerful desire to change things does not come from ego. It is driven by a heart-based desire for a more just, balanced, beautiful world – and allowing ego to stand in the way of that drive is to give in to the most base aspect of human nature; which most of us who hear this call vehemently do battle with in other areas where it holds us back.

So why not here as well?

It feels big, and powerful, and terrifyingly audacious to think about changing the world. And horribly humbling to realise we can only do it one small action at a time. And to take that responsibility, even if it means hurting someone.

Something that massively lessened the load for me a few days ago was realising that when I allow what is in me that comes from this deep desire, to emerge, the consequences are not just on me, on Steph. If I am truly allowing the creative impulse (or Divine impulse) to flow through me, then what happens as a result is not just for me to hold.

This can be seen in certain group settings, where many people are tuned in to a transpersonal/collective truth, and one person speaks it – the impact/effect of that will be held by the whole group (if they are holding a commitment to collective growth rather than individual), and doesn’t have to be borne alone by the individual who put it out there in words.

Power And Vulnerability

Holding the growing urgency of this desire to change things is becoming increasingly interesting. The last few weeks I’ve had intense creative energy washing up in waves from my second chakra, bringing storms of ideas and insight.

It feels immensely powerful (which is intoxicating), and most interestingly, it doesn’t feel like “me”. It’s like a force sweeping through me, and not part of my Self that I’m identified with. This is what helped me tune in to the idea that what comes from that energy is not 100% my ownership – because it’s not “mine.”

This power (I feel it as feminine) is strong and demanding, and she’s pushing me to take these ideas and insights and put them out into the world – which is great, but also terrifying (to my ego, which feels increasingly like it has no say anymore).

And so the flip side of this power is intense, incrementally increasing vulnerability; the more I tune into this power and follow the creative drive and put myself out there (Really? Me? Or just my creativity?), the more vulnerable and naked I feel.

And it feels like a paradox – as my power increases, so does my vulnerability.

It feels like that’s somehow a necessary balance.

And there’s a beautiful lesson in there as well; non-attachment to what comes through me/what I create. To not take things personally, whether ‘positive’ or ‘negative.’ To live, fully expressed, and rest in that, whatever the outcomes of my living, of me.

And…I feel like I have no idea yet really what it’s all about ;)

“Are you really naked?”

I was asked this recently, by a – highly perceptive – man who reads my blog, shortly after meeting him. And I was forced to say “No, not entirely –  I’m working on it.”

Ouch.

This was just one of many integrity checks that have been coming my way (internally and externally) in the last few weeks. Another thing I’m discovering about putting more of yourself out there into the world is that the stakes get higher, people’s expectations get aimed at you more, and being certain that you are walking your talk becomes a knife point of precision.

Thinking about facing that as ‘Steph’ is way too scary.

But tuning in to the feeling I have when I allow the creative force to flow through me, and not being attached to it or identifying with it takes away the fear – or rather, there is simply an absence of fear in that state.

And I don’t want to create anything that doesn’t come from that place anyway.

 

//

 

Photo credit: rifmnet.ru

What sweet torture after all, to stand here in the wind, to fall

7af4131c22b193d19d073e9a85bde56d

My restless mind is running wild,

Beyond the strength of my denial

Mocking words that I abhor -

I want you, I need you, I am yours.

The breadth of your shoulders 

Has made me bolder – 

There is nothing of my desire

That is not fed as fuel to fire

The curve of my back whispers free

Of sinuous movement, of ecstasy

The parting of my lips suggest

That they are yours, and all the rest

Of what I am, pulses fiercely as it can

To call you in, oh wanton man

You who have stripped me of my pride

And left me naked at the wayside

Trembling now with open fear

That you will go and leave me here

My yearning heart a lone wild beat

On this cold and dark and windy street.

How is it you can twist and turn 

And make me weak and melt and burn

How is it you have conjured me

Into a wild raging sea?

But what sweet torture after all

To stand here in the wind, to fall;

To surrender to this ancient call,

To love no matter what befalls -

This call that I can not resist

That woke in me at our first kiss

That asks of me to simply be,

That urges me to wait and see.

//

 

Photo credit: Aneta Ivanova on Behance

Have mercy on me; I am starving and have nothing to eat

b6a2af87f7fa7bc3e617488a47ff38d3

Have mercy on me; I am starving and have nothing to eat. 

It’s 6:30am. I’ve been awake for hours, anxiety-ridden thoughts gnawing at my peace, my gut, my soul, as they have for months. Health issues that leave me with the terrifying fear that if I do not live what is in me very soon, my body might fail and it will be too late.

Finally I decided, Enough – I will read rather than listen to the endless tirade that the lonely hours of early morning leave me helpless to withstand.

I picked up the book I’ve been reading; “Vision Quest” by Steven Foster. A description of his journey and how it led to what is now the Western adaptation of the ancient timeless ritual of going forth alone into the wilderness to seek purpose, answers, and visions for ourselves and our communities.

Throughout the book, these words are present again and again;

Have mercy on me; I am starving and have nothing to eat.

Again I read those words. But this time, I heard them as I had not done before.

This time, they rang in my soul, through my very being, as though a great bell had been stuck deep within and reverberated through me like a massive earthquake, leaving me heaving with huge wracking sobs.

For the first time I saw it so clearly; his understanding mirrored mine, my own experience, my own perspective of the world, and the pity of it washed over me, into me, through me as the full meaning sunk in.

The people are starving and have nothing to eat.

And in their hunger they devour grease, cheap entertainment, horror, images, products. And this desperate urge to fill the starving abyss within is so urgent that they pay no heed to what they devour, to the quality of what it is they fill themselves with.

All they know is that this hunger does not leave; they consume and consume but the raging burning of starvation remains.

Our starving is killing the world. Our mother earth lies dying in protesting contractions as our hunger and ability to feed it with the illusion of satisfaction increases daily.

And in me, the recognition of starvation; my whole life until a few years ago, and even now sometimes, for a few hours here and there, it will take me back. Starving, and no one could tell me why. Starving, hurting myself in my futile attempts to stave off the aching chasm inside, a desperate scream unscreamed pulsing like a deadly poison in my veins.

I am starving and have nothing to eat!

Why does no one feed me? Why am I left alone in my misery to die of this unnamed illness? Why can no one tell me what is wrong with me? Why am I starving in a world where I can have everything?

My people failed me.

Alone.

Starving, with nothing to eat.

Many years of darkness before finally I started to learn where to look for my food. Started to feed myself. And it hurt so much, to finally have this food inside, because it made even more apparent the unspeakable desolation of all those years of starvation.

We are starving; a culture, a world now, starving to death, and the death of all we touch. Starving for our souls, for meaning, for truth, for realness, for life, real life, life that we feel pulsing through us, life that dances us from infant to elder, life that is connected, interconnected, raw, terrifying, passionate.

My people failed me, but I will not fail them.

I will dedicate my life to feeding my people, for they are starving and have nothing to eat.

This is my vow.

//

 

More information

Joseph Campbell – The Monomyth

The School of Lost Borders

 

Photo credit: alexstoddard on Flickr

I am a creature of the forest

10470735_669056259844969_1146548340884275926_n

I am a creature of the forest

I am her winding mossy ways

I am the rain that leaves no shelter

I am the ending of the days

I am the bird that flies above

I am the dead that rots below

I am the raven and the crow

Who know much you do not know.

Listen to my ways;

I will show you all you need to sow

A new world from ancient ken

A dragon’s lair, a lion’s den

Must be the challenge you will face

Before I lead you forth in grace

For nothing in this world is free

Except the marvel that is me.

Listen to my ways;

And do not doubt, what the path is all about

For only he who bests the trial

Can know the fear and the denial

That knowing all would bring about -

Therefore wait, and fight and shout

Offer all you are, brave one

Or be slain, and then be gone.

And when the long night is over

When the morning dawns sober

Cold light on your tattered soul

Bearing forth the gifts of old

All the people will clap their hands 

The new king come to save the land -

But forget not that it was I

That showed you how, that let you fly.

I am a creature of the forest

I am her winding mossy ways

I am the rain that leaves no shelter

I am the ending of the days

I am the bird that flies above

I am the dead that rots below

I am the raven and the crow

Who know much you do not know.

//

Photo credit: Pinterest

I want to open a space for Dark + Messy

b358f334e3ef6c1795b6180e7e602224

I love dark and messy. It’s where I spent most of my life.

I’m good at dark and messy. The chaos, the falling, the desperate unknowing if I’ll ever climb back up into the light..It’s so fucking familiar that it *almost* doesn’t scare me anymore.

And there’s still so little space for it in our culture.

Still this pervasive “keeping up appearances” bullshit. Don’t be messy, you’ll ruin your reputation. Don’t be messy, you’re meant to have it all together. Don’t be messy, it’s self-indulgent. Don’t be messy, you’ll upset people.

The Dark isn’t even acknowledged for the most part.

And so the Dark and Messy gets hidden in the murky rooms of our souls where no light gets in, and festers like darkly growing cancer. It takes up space that could otherwise be filled with light and love. It weighs on us like a dead weight, a burden, a shameful secret.

I want to open a space for Dark and Messy.

A space in which it’s safe to look; in which we feel brave enough to take a first peek, to let in a single beam of light into that musty room….and maybe even to start pulling out bits of mess, offering them as the sacred pieces of our souls that they are, letting them be purified and alchemized into grace.

Because when we share those unspeakable parts of ourselves, those whispers of dread, those raw, pining, aching, ugly, grieving, groaning, screaming bits, and they meet with total acceptance and love; they are transformed.

And it feels like a miracle.

I want to invite us to go there, together. To take each others hands, say a prayer, and jump.

Because secretly, deep, deep down, we all love Dark and Messy.

It’s scary as fuck when we try to pretend it’s not there, but even holding that fear there’s an almost dirty desire to claim it, to tear off the mask and howl, to dive into the dark and revel in the mess.

Dark + Messy: Coming soon.

//

 

Photo credit: polished-to-perfection.tumblr.com

The Passion

8bf8c1a7223051fbd550c99e6b14813d

There is a passion in me,

That is burning,

Burning.

She comes in waves, rising up in me,

Washing over me

And I am left open-mouthed,

Trembling.

She feels powerful –

So powerful that I don’t know

If this one fragile human body 

Can hold all that she is.

She commands devotion, complete surrender,

And I, in my innocence, ask myself

How much can I let her out?

Where are the boundaries

Of where I let her wander?

But the passion doesn’t give a fuck about boundaries.

She wants me to open.

To open and burn.

Burn, burn into nothing

Until I am one with God,

Formless and universal

United with the mystery.

To open and burn in her will, 

Her raging, terrible, bewitching desire

That no one can stand against.

She is all I love, and all I fear

Within me.

I hear her commanding me, louder each day;

Open and burn, Open and burn

And I, entranced, bewitched by her power

Nod, mesmerised, -

Yes, Open and burn,

Open and burn.

But there is terror behind my starry gaze,

Knowing as I know, her wild ways,

Unspeakable, unknowable

Mighty in their mystery

Ferocious and unpitying

Demanding me to Open, Open

Into the dark, the ugly, the vile

Secrets left buried, beneath the shapes

And stories I have grown

To build myself a pretty home

To be called ‘normal’, ‘good’, and ‘pretty’,

When I am wild, and raw, and gritty.

But she doesn’t care about consequences,

And in the centre of my being

She storms and howls

For me to Open and burn,

Open and burn.

//

Photo credit: thesacredlifeofrain.com

A Return To Wild

2150c85d4b02245c091501f1440274fc

I was just remembering my Beltane ritual last year, where I washed myself, naked in the rising sun, surrounded by nature and bird chatter and the whispering trees…

It felt absolutely extraordinarily sacred, and yet in another culture, in another time, it would be a normal daily occurrence.

And this year on my Vision Quest in the Pyrenees, walking naked on my hilltop in the overpowering sun, saluting the stars at night, laughing with horses and listening to the stories carried on the wind…

I didn’t do much; and yet so much happened. Time and space warped into something completely different from the way I experience them in everyday life.

Just being.
Being in nature.

Normal.

I want a return to the wildness, the freedom, the deep ancient connection to land and nature and Self.

I want a rewilding of the human soul, a remembering of our birthright as untamed things.

I want us to listen once more to that unchecked beating in our breasts, to hear its one command:

LIVE

//

 

Photo credit: via pinterest.com