Monthly Archive for February, 2010

breathless like a tree

i have these periods of my life where i can barely remember to write, where i feel breathless, but like a tree – grounded way down into the earth, and you can’t see the breath moving through me. these words make me porous and perhaps i can’t afford that.

i just spent a week in ny, with two full days of watching my nephew and feeling adoration, the inside of unconditional love. my favorite thing is observing and experiencing his rage – his comfort with full body rage. i had a recent experience of getting to unleash my full fight self, and feeling the liberation as that release flushed through my body. today i had a good talk with a new friend about his experiences of fighting, how illogical and yet necessary it felt to release that anger. we agreed that martial arts was a must.

being around my nephew is also a must.

i had a very ny week – i wore cute dresses and boots and stayed out late and ate marvelous food and felt glamorous. exhausting/invigorating. exciting news is i did some dancing this past week, and for the first time in a long time it didn’t hurt, during or after. i gave a thoughtful gift, which is the best feeling.

i celebrated an anniversary of grief with dear friends, and all we did was laugh so hard the entire time, because that’s the way we know to hold each other. we have given adult life a decade now, and it nearly took each one of us out at some point – but we could sit with each other and see the essential qualities brighter than ever through all that huge pain. it occurs to me that we live for moments as vibrant as these i am living now.

i am slowly and surely learning to hear what i am being told by all the teachers in my life, by folks who are showing up to teach me in ways i didn’t ask for or expect. they all say – practice.

practice listening and being present. above all, be present. everything i need is presenting itself to me, and i have been too busy looking frantically in the wrong places to see it all just there, precise and perfect.

and when i am present, though the circumstances of my life might be outrageous, i feel rooted in the present, like i am moving with this moment carrying my full history and pulled towards my utmost potential.

i wrote and recorded two songs today – this is a sign that something is waking back up in me. when i am not writing songs, i know nothing else in my life will have rhythm or melody, even if it is logical.

but these songs sound like me, in my life, my documentation. how are you documenting your life? what are you being present for? i really want to know.

somatics and social justice

I just completed a year-long training called Somatics and Social Justice. Somatics is the study of mind and body. Primarily this entails observing survival strategies in your body and mind and moving towards wholeness, power, intentionality. There’s an arc of opening, awareness and practice that leads you from an old body/mind shape to a new one, a deep transformation.

Pairing this with social justice, we explored how bodies of people tend to shape themselves, in organizations and alliances and networks; how is transformation possible and at what scale? It was amazing stuff.

There was a concept called 1-2-3 state, where 1 state is your head space – approaching the world only from your thinking and inner voices; 2 state is approaching the world with all the perception and processes of your mind and body; and then 3 state is the greater cosmic level at which we are all connected. This inspired some thoughts for me…one was the idea of functioning in 6 state, 1 + 2 + 3 states, all thoroughly aligned, with your thoughts always aligned with that deeper sense of interdependence.

I also thought about how strategy would work with 1-2-3 state. To strategize actions and campaigns from 3 state, you can see whatever you do as part of the meta arc of history, not just thru the small lens of immediate outcomes. To strategize from 2 state is also powerful – what wisdom comes from the collective body of a community and how do you listen to that the way you might listen to a headache or chronic pain in the body? Apathy or rage or gossip in community might be weakening the effectiveness of your organizing strategies, so what’s really needed to make it powerful. And after those two levels of strategy, come to 1 state, head strategy…targets and power maps and messages.

Also thinking about how deep it could be to have folks center themselves before direct actions. Aligned breathing, aligned purpose, knowing their ancestors are at their backs. To shift the experience of action from unplanned reaction to deeply strategic response – truly moral obedience instead of civil disobedience…{term stolen from Max Rameau}

the power of practice was brought home to me last night when i found myself suddenly with no luggage, no wallet – no money, no id, no panties, no toothbrush. and i still made it thru airport security and to ny. and the wallet was discovered, and the suitcase is on the way and it’s all going to be fine. i surrendered to being calm, being ok with it, practicing deep breath and centering and letting everyone i spoke to in the airport know i was joyful, and i needed them.

another day of practice.