I’ve been having a hard time sitting down to write lately. Not because I lack time, but because I lack empathy for my own process therefore how could I hope to have empathy for anyone else’s. There are a lot of things I could say about depression and creativity and in fact I already have said some here, but I don’t have the strength to go there right now. I am writing to here now to give the smallest of updates and the smallest of motivation to myself to keep going, to keep writing. Because in my experience writing helps put a frame around my experience to be able to look at it from that place in the mind that does not experience pain of living, the essence of being if you will. I promised you two books of poetry exactly a year ago, and truth be told I’m scared to release them. These poems were written in a very dark period of my life, and at the time they gave me a reason to keep on going, to keep on writing, but reading them now is painful. Painful that I hurt so much, and painful that I would wish to share that sort of hurt on the world that is suffering so much already. It’s a hard thing for me to reconcile with myself in my current black disposition. I have made a promise to finish them by the end of this year regardless because people have directly asked me to, people I respect, and people that have paid me money in order that I might keep going, keep writing. If it weren’t for these people that have invested their good faith in me I would probably give up on the project entirely. Which is depressing in itself. There is this idea that the only kind of pure art is art for art’s sake that the artist creates in this vacuum regardless of who will appreciate it, but I also believe that the creative experience is not complete without someone to receive the expression of the soul. It’s like trying to have a conversation while no one is listening. Between these two beliefs I feel a little lost about how to feel about the release of this body of work. It is coming though regardless if only so I can practice having empathy for the parts of myself and my work I do not like.
These are a few of the things I have been considering. The list is heavy as is my mind. October has been a difficult mental health month for many of us struggling to exist online, heal, and move forward. The days are getting shorter and the veil is getting thinner. A good time to turn inwards and take stock of the inner ghouls lurking in the shadows of my mind.
- Take a trip through sonic landscapes with Shirley & The Pyramids via Raz Mataz
- Alan Watts on shadow work
- Love After Life via Brain Pickings
- How to Reach Out to Someone Who is Struggling via On Being
- Wading Through Water: A Guide for Emotional Healing via Hoodwitch
I had the great fortune of staying at the Yasodhara Ashram for a month as a karma yogi in their young adult program. It was a beautiful transition between seasons, and deepening thirsty roots that had been forgotten. During my time there I got take a closer look at the motivating forces in my life, and really hone in on how I would like to focus these energies in my next chapter. Entering this community enriched my personal practice deeply, and reignited a deep desire within me to ~know~ more. I'm currently reading Ram Das's book Be Here Now and he talks about the searching feeling of each of us looking into each other's eyes "do you know?" And the ultimate satisfaction of finding someone who Knows. It was encouraging to be in a community of such earnest seekers. I've spent the last couple weeks transitioning back, and here are a few of the things I have been considering as I do. Enjoy ~
- Oprah Winfrey talks to Thich Nhat Hanh an 20 min excerpt via Super Soul Sunday
- Kardinsky on the Spiritual Element of Art & The Artist's Three Responsibilities via Brain Pickings
- Something About Mary via Ascent Magazine
- Marias: Faith in Womanhood on Netflix
- Music by Sheenah Ko
I am beginning a 30 day yoga commitment as I settle into my new home in Montreal. Fall is decidedly in the air which means letting go, accepting change of pace as days grow shorter, and harvesting for the winter ahead. This is a commitment to dedicating my days to the divine, and surrendering to what is as the seasons change in my heart & home.
October 30 day commitment:
- Reflection on dreams
- Divine Light Invocation in the morning
- 4 sides of sun salutations in the morning
- Karma yoga 1-2 hours minimum
- Reflection on Swami Sivananda's Daily Readings
- 108 Divine Mother prayers/mantras
- Thich Nhat Hanh visualization exercise before bed
- Reflection on days actions before bed
- Media black out before bed & before yoga practice
- Practice single pointed focus, no blame, compassionate listening, and mindful breathing in daily actions.
Hari Om Tat Sat
The events in Charlottesville are still reverberating around the world, and the legacy of white supremacist violence lives on unchallenged by the state. At home I am thinking about the anti racism billboard campaign that managed to enrage local white supremacists and "law abiding" racists alike. At the time of the release every public forum seemed to be flooded with a rage fuelled by fear of self reflection. Neighbours openly argued for racism (and against the campaign) unmasked and unashamed. Often with inconspicuous statements like "the city has better things to spend tax payer money on" moving the financial burden of education, let alone reparations, from the white public benefiting from the system to the individuals affected and their allies. As far as I know no direct violence erupted because of the ideological clash of the billboards, however I may be one of the last to know if there were as a white woman living and working in white neighbourhoods. Without obvious flair ups of violence such as the one in Charlottesville it's easy to fail to adequately comprehend the daily violence of white supremacy and everyday "casual" racism. I know that I have failed when I feel my "shock" in spite of reading daily about the worsening conditions in the U.S. and at home. I know that I have failed when I feel "afraid" for my future because of violence and prejudices that have effected other folks for generations. I know that I have failed when I feel "hopeless" in the face of dismantling 500 odd years of systematic violence from my relative position of power. I know that I have failed when I let my empathy for my fellow human's pain immobilize my body in "sadness" rather than extend a hand in loving service. I know that I have failed many times over, and yet I am here dedicated to the perseverance of love over hate, of knowledge over ignorance, of action over reaction, of peace over suffering. Today I share a few things that I am reading and considering as I face the shadows of myself betwixt the eclipses darkened sight. Rest in power to those fallen in service of compassion, peace, love, and justice.
- The Case for Reparations via The Atlantic
- Dear White People: I Want You to Understand Yourselves Better via The Establishment
- The Similarities Between Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Slavery via Huffington Post
- Indigenous Perspectives of Canada's 150 via APTN
- A Seat At The Table by Solange
- Donate to Support Charlottesville
I have not always been sure of my success, but I am here today to realize it in all my glory.
My goal for the next 6 months is to move to Montreal and secure a sustainable income in order to presue my dreams of building an internationally recognized performance arts career by the age of 35.
The last year has been one year long celebration of life. Finding the joy in the everyday, and relishing being alive in this body, with these experiences, surrounded by so many kind hearts. There has been such doubt, and yet I am still here. Surviving.
Twenty-six is about making bold moves.
I am taking the first baby step towards my nine year goal, and endeavouring to put my best foot forward on this journey. I am (re)committing here to my goals for the year to help me along this path.
First, I honour my highest self through these commitments
1. I commit to 10 minutes of seated meditation in the morning before I start my day
2. I commit to 10 minutes yoga asana, particularly inversions & heart openers, everyday
3. I commit to 10 minutes of silence with my journal everyday
4. I commit to being mindful of how I am nourishing my body on a daily basis
5. I commit to practice the O Divine Mother prayer every morning & every night
In addition to these commitments I seek to begin to release the following obstacles as I seek to know myself more deeply
6. I release patterns of emotional repression & disassociation habits in order to get to know the transformational power of my emotional self
7. I release patterns of negative self talk to practice compassionate truth speaking towards myself & others
8. I release generational fears that keep me small & too shy to know my true expansiveness
9. I release my limiting beliefs around money so that I may value my time & energy appropriately
10. I release the pain that I am holding onto to defend myself with in order to write my next chapter in bold ink
I offer gratitude for all of the blessings already heaped before me, and invite these goals into my life in alignment with my highest good, and the highest good of all involved. I hereby release any dense stale energy that clouds my judgement in reaching my goals, and banish any bonds of failure throughout time & space that would prevent me from realizing my truth & transforming my life in accordance with natural divine order. And so it is.