sourcing myself and others

There’s a card in the osho zen tarot deck called ‘the source‘, and I love whenever I pull it because it is so humbling. I sometimes pull it when I am in the midst of doing doing doing things, and it reminds me to just be in connection to source.

I pulled it yesterday and had a glorious day. It says:

When we speak of being “grounded” or “centered” it is this Source we are talking about. When we begin a creative project, it is this Source that we tune in to. This card reminds us that there is a vast reservoir of energy available to us. And that we tap into it not by thinking and planning but by getting grounded, centered, and silent enough to be in contact with the Source. It is within each of us, like a personal, individual sun giving us life and nourishment. Pure energy, pulsating, available, it is ready to give us anything we need to accomplish something, and ready to welcome us back home when we want to rest. So whether you are beginning something new and need inspiration right now, or you’ve just finished something and want to rest, go to the Source. It’s always waiting for you, and you don’t even have to step out of your house to find it.

Zazen means just sitting at the very source, not moving anywhere, a tremendous force arises, a transformation of energy into light and love, into greater life, into compassion, into creativity.
It can take many forms. But first you have to learn how to be at the source. Then the source will decide where your potential is. You can relax at the source, and it will take you to your very potential.

This carnivorous summer has left me feeling like all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and listen. It is only in the past week or two that I have remembered – oh I am a body!

My body is storing all of this feeling so I can keep going with life, but it isn’t like carbon being stored deep in the earth for some next generation to benefit from. It’s like a storage rental with my important life things in it that I need to pay some monthly cost for, and I will pay until I go get those things.

I was saying recently that grief has made me feel like a tree getting chopped into or burned. There are rings – years and experiences of my life, all the way back to the beginning – that I thought were never going to be seen, and now they are meeting with the atmosphere, exposed.

I’ve always been a feeling person, as you may have noticed here, but as I come back into my body, I seem to be having a Neo-in-the-Matrix level experience with emotion. It’s palpable, it’s moving through me with no expectation of words…in fact the opposite, it’s like I’m finally liberated from the realm of words as a container for emotions (she says, scribbling furiously in the dark).

Emotions are not just something to reflect on, they are happening in and around me in real time, quickly, so complex and interconnected. And my whole being is wired to feel them, and to make the most of this human experience I have to grow my capacity to feel, to bear the greatest joy. Because the suffering is coming regardless, but it seems the joy part is the part that is pure potential, and requires my intention and skill to manifest.

I have spent a lot of time with my sister and her family. It’s the only place I’ve wanted to be, really…doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, organizing the toys, playing with the kids. And of course wishing I could get in a fist fight with god for the year they’ve been given, I’ve been given, the relentless pace of loss.

Being around kids having feelings is helpful, I need that obvious direct stuff. It feels like I can’t do enough because I can’t erase the hard parts, but they show me how to make everything generative.

Since their youngest sibling transitioned in the womb, Finn is pouring himself into dragon family art and obsessive gaming, places where he can control the story, where he can win. Siobhan is being very fabulous all the time, giving me a very Rihanna level independence. At first she was carrying around her own ‘dead’ baby doll in a box and singing ‘dead baby, dead baby’ at the top of her lungs. Now she is wearing constant costumes, sashaying everywhere, and overtly figuring out her impact, working rooms until everyone is laughing, oohing and ahhing. Mairead is adorable and inconsolable much of the time, delightfully exploring the realm of language, throwing her whole body into tantrums as she learns to articulate what she wants, and simultaneously learns that saying a wish doesn’t make it come true. I love that she seeks comfort from me after I say no to her, let’s me hold her even though she thinks I am causing her suffering. This reminds me of my relationship with source.

And they teach that my own emotional responses are that clear, even if I’ve been socialized not to express my emotional truth.

My life with family feels like a living meditation – doing the dishes I am serving life, moving the laundry I am serving life, dumping the compost I am serving life.

This awareness expands to other experiences. I went to the hot springs with dear friends and as soon as my skin hit the water I was transported into a realm of sensation, memory and clarity – each of my cells had something to tell me about feelings, had been waiting for me to circle back around and notice. I sat under the stars, steaming and writing notes to my self.

I went from there into generative somatics’ teacher training. Mostly we are there learning and practicing our teaching, but we always do bodywork exchanges, to practice giving and holding it, and to continue opening ourselves, listening to the whole self through the body.

I got on the bodywork table with curiosity, and my partner in the work was so gentle that I thought for a moment it might be an easy, even relaxing session. Then suddenly I felt so much that I thought I was having a heart attack, like grief was carving it’s way up through me, and that if I let it out I would become a scream that would never end. It’s strange to write about the experience of bodywork, but I feel the need to proselytize, because I released more grief in that half hour of gentle attention than I’d been able to move the whole summer.

It took hours to feel like I could be around other humans again, my whole existence was so alert and sensitive. I still have to learn how to feel so alive and be around others.

One of the teachers shared this poem:

For the raindrop, joy is in entering the river-
Unbearable pain becomes its own cure,
Travel far enough into sorrow, tears turn into sighing;
In this way we learn how water can die into air,
When, after heavy rain, the storm clouds disperse,
is it not that they’ve wept themselves clear to the end?
If you want to know the miracle, how wind can polish a mirror,
Look: the shining glass grows green in Spring.
It’s the rose’s unfolding, Ghalib, that creates the desire to see-
In every color and circumstance, may the eyes be open for what comes.
– Ghalib

Since then, my emotional awareness has been turned up. There’s so much happening all the time, in every interaction, in the suffering world, in music, in the passing of hours with loved ones. Beloveds have witnessed me laughing and crying uncontrollably, I can’t contain it, I am feeling so much. The whole history of all living things and all the potential futures are with each of us in each present moment. In talking with a friend, or my mom, or a stranger, I wonder, what are the poles of their life, their joys and sorrows? Does it feel like this inside everyone?

Part of the clarity that came up from my cells is that I have some work to do. I have a novel to write and I have emergent strategy to share. But when I say ‘to do’, that is inaccurate. I have some work to embody. I know again who I am. And to be myself creates such an abundance in my life and relationships and family and movements.

I’ve been taking in all of these experiences, sitting in them. It is time to write, to share, to process, to give.

I am as insignificant as any fragile living thing, but I am not small. I am connected to source as a default. I require only, but no less than, my full attention.

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