a writer’s dilemma: do we fear balance?

For what feels like centuries, I have been traveling along the healing path.

Healing from what? Who knows.

Healing from every dark stare and all the secondhand smoke that has infiltrated my lungs.

Healing from every whispered shout of Shh! Not now.

Healing from ounces of food withheld from or shoveled through my lips.

Healing from all of this and more. Much of it not mine, originally, but rather absorbed through my empathetic pores, spread through my veins and clogged-up channels. Thousands of muffled cries and dried-up tears and pleas and prayers for protection from all the darkness that exists here on Earth.

Some of you would call this a dramatic interpretation of the current, human state.

I would tell you, those who fear the drama, that there is no reason to run from the rising curtain and that rather, this is merely the gift of sensitivity, bringing to light the energy that lies beneath the rug.

The threads of life binding us all together. The spirits within and without and the ever-fluctuating state of the pieces that make up the whole.

And this sensitivity, this aliveness, it deserves to be felt.

At the same time, though, there are very real things that we can do, here on Earth, as protective mechanisms from certain elements of spirit becoming too much for our fragile frames to handle.

And as I explore these countless healing mechanisms, I continue to learn what works and what does not so much, for me, personally.

Because a lot of what they swear by are simply sugar pills filling bottles of deception.

Be careful of what you adhere to. That is all I will say on that note.

In my opinion, true healing takes account of the whole and brings us to a state of balance.

Thousands of routes, no two alike.

And in my quest for balance, I’ve come face to face with many of the qualms that will prevent me from ever finding such a thing. The latest surfacing of which is something I fear far too many of us artists, deep-feelers and writers alike share. The deep-seeded fear of happiness.

Because happiness is a fickle houseguest. She brings in her bag treasures that we cannot quite put our pinky finger on. We feel the blind taste of sweetness on our lips, or we catch a waft drifting across the shore, without ever quite holding the fruit in our palm.

We can stroke her soft cheek and know everything is right with the world, for that one split second of time. And then we spend years allowing the memory of it to fill us with glimpsing pulses of energy unlike anything else.

Years ago, I gave up the quest for happiness. And then I realized that my heart beats the pulse of a happy home within, telling me everything always is, actually, okay. Even when it’s not.

But still, I fear the unique ring of happiness that I associate, in my mind, with the balanced state of being. I fear that when balanced, I lose the ability to create.

The artistic path is like walking blindly through dripping tunnels, using my hands to feel my way along rocky crevices. Sometimes, fairly often, I fall to my knees, and crawl through a mess of tangled branches. Other times, I stand tall and dance. A weird and wildish dance. The true dance of when no one watching.

But then there are moments when the tunnel falls away, and I find that I am floating in a capsule of space.

In those rare bits of time, Spirit takes over and transcends through my fingertips. And those moments, however few and far between, make the whole journey seem so beautifully perfect.

Yet those moments, for me at least, haven’t always come from being balanced and happy. Rather, they’ve come through feeling. Feeling every last bit of life coursing through my veins. Letting all the feeling swirl around in my cells until my fingers can make form of the nonsense and carve something tangible.

Not thinking about what the words might possibly mean, but rather just writing the waves as they come.

If I become balanced, do I lose this ability?

If I protect my energetic orbs from taking on everything that is happening around me, do I lose the ability to write from a deep place of feeling?

These are all questions I hold, loosely, in my palm, as I decide, once again, that if it does happen, it is okay.

And in the next moment, I will tell myself, again, it is okay.

And again in the next one.

Because as each of these fears arise, they really just shine the light on the roots growing deep in the muck. The fear of not being enough. The desire to be loved. Writing to generate that very love or attention, rather than just for the sake of writing. Every human qualm clouding my soul. Every broken bell sounding out over my voice.

When I asked my Ayurvedic practitioner if, once balanced, I would lose the ability to write, she assured me that, on the contrary, I would uncover a deeper story within, that of my true self emerging.

That sounds nice to me.

But, even if that doesn’t happen, even if I never write another word in my life, it is going to be okay.

We are given so few breaths, so few heartbeats, so few pangs to feel within our chests. All I can do is spend them living. Balanced and happy, or not.

And I would tell you, fellow writers who fear the happiness, that this morning as I write these very words, I feel pretty damn happy, and lucky to be alive. So maybe your voice does not actually ring from the darkness, but rather the life within, screaming to get out…

… the life that contains a unique blend of sprinkles of happiness, despair, indifference, love, and a myriad other emotions.

 

This post was published on Rebelle Society.

you never know where life will take you

A few months ago, I wrote a piece that generated far more attention than I’m used to. Part of the reason I write is because I am introverted, and my thoughts and feelings don’t always translate verbally, but for whatever reason, when put into written words, I can articulate what is inside a bit easier. I tell people I write because I ‘can’t talk’ and while, to give myself the benefit of the doubt, this isn’t necessarily true all of the time, it stems from the reality that physical forms of communicating such as writing and movement come more naturally, to me, than anything else.

Anyway, people I didn’t already know responding to (or even reading) my words was a new experience for me. I felt grateful and overwhelmed and inspired and uncertain, all at the same time.

Some of my responses were certainly far less than graceful. I was caught off guard, surprised by the attention, and truly just didn’t know what to say. For that, I apologize, while giving myself grace and recognizing that I, like everyone else, am only doing the best I can in any given moment. And sometimes that looks clumsy and stupid and confusing.

One person who reached out to me was the editor of Birth Institute, who asked to set up a time for us to connect, because she wanted me to write for their website. At first, I thought it was a mistake. I scanned through the adorable baby photos on their home page, thinking, “This sounds nice, but I know nothing about doulas, babies, pregnancy, birth or any of the above.” I automatically ruled myself out based on the notion in my head that I was not qualified for this, and therefore had nothing of value to contribute. But then I decided to chat with her anyway, because a phone call never hurts.

Fast forward a couple of months and I’m now published on their website here. In the process of writing this piece, I learned a great deal about my own capabilities to research and organize. I had the privilege of having conversations that left me captivated, with birth workers who have tons of valuable insight and wisdom to share. Through interviews, I fell in love with the idea of doula work, even thinking to myself at one point, “Maybe I should become a doula.” But then again, maybe I just want to be a writer. So I can explore and fall in love with each of these people, places, and things. Every moment, and more.

for when you feel crazy: let it all out

for when you feel crazy: let it all out

When you feel like you are going crazy, I just have one word for you: Good. Or rather, two more: Keep going.

When the whole world stares, wide-eyed, at the wreck, and you can’t stop your mouth from running: keep spilling the beans, and let it all out. Just keep moving forward.

When you’re dancing in a room full of zombies and you can’t find the door: keep moving your body to the rhythm of your own internal beat, and don’t doubt that drum for a second, even when no one else joins the sway.

When all you want to do is sit and let the tornado of your thoughts swirl up and away until they disappear amidst stars made of the same exact ether, allow your whole being to float off into the abyss and know that there is nothing wrong nor strange with feeling as though you really must come from a galaxy ten light years away. And that most days you itch to return to a place you can’t even put into words.

When all this happens and more, all I can say that you just may be the only one sane in the room. Because it is in these moments that you are finally living. In these very pinnacles of time, you allow life to happen to, with, and through you.

You cut the cord between puppet and strings, and realize that you never really needed the hand to guide your movements anyway. Finally present, you and the moment become one.

Know that it takes far greater strength to surrender this way. It takes warrior courage and a heart of gold, not steel, to free yourself from the cage. Out in the open, you cease life as a robot, programmed to bend and to break.

You become like the water, instead. Moving in, of, and through. Loosening ties that have gotten as mangled as weeds. Whittling away at the shell till it breaks.

It doesn’t need to make sense.

Nobody else needs to understand your deepest thoughts, fears, and hopes. Nobody needs to be on board with your own brand of crazy.

There is nothing wrong with you, and you don’t need to be fixed.

Remember, darling, the crazy is okay.

Because you know what happened during your meltdown?

Absolutely nothing.

The world kept spinning. Air kept moving. Water kept flowing. Hearts continued to beat.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, stopped living, because you started feeling.

No, in fact, quite the opposite occurred. While you let your own crazy out, ten thousand children learned to walk today. And somewhere, miles, or rather, planets away, a moonbeam smiled down on the Earth. And under that smile, ten more realized that the crazy… well, it doesn’t need to be contained. And from them, ten others. And so on and so forth it goes.

It is in these very moments, of looking your own bouts of crazy straight in the eye, that you come face to face with all you were sent here to change. Closed hearts blocking doors. Dead marches for life.

Because isn’t crazy just relative, anyway? And that buttoned-up, box-checking ladder to climb, to me, looks insane. Built on two prods of wood, only a matter of time till it snaps. And then we’ll all spiral out of control, mad dash to where you’ve been waiting all along. In that very moment, we come alive in the fall.

The rest? Well, they’ll catch on, too, soon enough. I promise, they will. And until that day comes? Just keep dancing your wildish dance. Striking the drum, and howling the rest. Because, if for no other reason, selfishly, I need you to.

My very sanity depends on knowing that you’re insane too. As does the world. And that planet you’re from. You know, the one on which you and I met.

 

This post was published on Rebelle Society.