Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Invitation

I'll begin my own blogging process by sharing a couple of quotes that are really speaking to me right now:

"If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things."
Henry Miller 

"What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their ability to act according to their beliefs."
Henry Miller 

I have gone through a very bizarre, tumultuous year. Actually, this process has been unfolding for more than a year now. I'm just having a hard time remembering the exact start of this phase of Life.

I'll go back through time and explain the variety of experiences I have had, but I'll do so in increments. And I will begin my descriptions on a different day.

What I do need to express now is that I'm yet again awake at 2 in the morning in Toronto in my uncle and aunt's house in Thornhill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, and I'm yet again pondering about what matters most to me and how I want to live out the rest of my life.  I admit that these days I sometimes feel like I'm going a little mad.  My friends would mock me now and tell me that that happened a long, long time ago.

But no, I'm really feeling like I'm going a bit mad, and it's different feeling than any other feeling I've ever had before.

It's similar, but this is definitely something new.

I'm honestly totally confused.

But there's nothing really confusing about what I'm confused about.


But here's the thing:  I want to live a life that contributes to the qualities and values that are most meaningful to me.  I value love, peace, freedom, the equal rights of all human beings, the interconnectedness of all beings and of everything in Life, music, dancing, the rights of human beings to gather and to co-create intentionally and consciously and to celebrate and honor our interconnectedness, the beauty and the sanctity of Nature and of Wilderness and of Wildlife.  I could go on and on, but I think I have made my point clear as day.

What I value most literally is the opposition of the system which I help to perpetuate.

It's always been this way. But I've found ways to deny it. I can easily get caught up in pleasure, in fashion, fancy cars, in comfort, in luxury.  And when that doesn't work, I can easily get distracted or numbed by other means.

However, right at this moment in time I'm confronted with a new existential crisis.

At times I'm crystal clear that what I need is financial security and stability, that that will make me feel safe. And that safety will make me calm.  That calmness will lead to peace and prosperity and a happy family, and on and on it goes.

Now I'm suddenly questioning how I could ever feel safe perpetuating a system of violence and tyranny, a system that benefits the most selfish and unethical people on the planet.  Who is safe in the world if so many of us are starving and lack shelter and safe drinking water? Who is safe in a world where children are being killed or maimed for no reason aside from the fact that they happened to be born in a country where war is being waged?  We are on the brink of something huge, some kind of monumental environmental disaster.

Maybe I'm wrong, but my body senses something big is happening.  And when I think about how much toxic waste is dumped into our oceans, how much pollution is in our groundwater and our air, when I think about how many trees or acres of wilderness or acres of tropical rainforests are being destroyed, this feeling in my body makes sense to me.  We humans are destroying our planet, we are killing each other, and ultimately we are living in disrespect of this beautiful gift we call Life.

And I have totally bought into the lie.  I am as much to blame as anyone else for the perpetuation of this unwholesome system.


So, here I am typing away on my laptop while sitting on a bed inside a fully heated 3-story house in suburban Canada with the latest copy of "The Economist" on one side and a crappy Samsung cellphone to my left.

What is happening to me?  And what do I do about it?

These are not useless or stupid thoughts.  As far as I know, I have one life. This is my moment, and what in the world am I doing with it?

How can I best serve Life?  How can I serve? How can I help?

I believe that we human beings need to shift out of this paradigm.  But I am a human.  When and how can I shift?

On my way here to Toronto, I spent 5 hours on a Virgin America flight.

I don't normally write, but I literally spent the entire flight pouring my heart out into my journal after eating my incredibly large salad and sipping my in-flight bloody mary.

This is what I wrote:

The Earth Shall Be Left for No One

How can I truly and fully live life now while my rational mind is so
shaken, while my heart’s fire has been so dampened?
I have been generating pain & loss despite my will.
I have been creating & manifesting only more damage despite my love.
This moment, this beautiful & precious gift with which I have been
blessed, is a divine expression of cosmos & of unity.
In this moment & within every moment we all contribute to creation
willingly & intentionally or unwillingly & from the depths of our
I have been born into a realm of conflict, yet I yearn for peace.
Nothing seems easy.
I’m trying to flow with the river of Life, but I’m constantly tripped
up or thwarted by a power much, much larger than me.
I’m tired of fighting for what I want.
I’m tired of exerting my will & getting smacked down despite my best
efforts & greatest intentions.
Now, more than any other time since I was born into this realm, I feel
utterly humbled but also shaken & lost.
I have lost all of my material security.
I am struggling with physical strife.
I question love & marriage & if my union is unintentionally
contributing to this chaos.
I am uncomfortable.
I’m unsettled, constantly moving from one physical location on the
planet to another seeking a temporary shelter, a safe haven in which I
can ride out this storm & upheaval.
And now I am experiencing such an intense degree of anguish knowing
that it’s not over.
I will continue to be separated from my husband & will have to
eventually return to a land that doesn’t want to shelter me.
I am supposed to be uncomfortable, & I am supposed to be pushed, & and
I supposed to struggle.
I have so much love in my heart, so much compassion. I had so much to
give…or so I thought.
What is this Life asking of me?
I ask the questions each day.
I bare my soul to this Life & beg for direction.
I am but one tiny human being in a GREAT BIG COSMIC SOUP.
I know that I am a blessed being already, even despite this.
The being which believes that she is Natalie & that she is real does
not want to contribute to the generation of pain & loss & wants to
find freedom.
What is freedom?

“God permeates the whole wide world,
Yet his truth is revealed to none.
You better seek him in yourself,
You and He aren’t apart – you’re one
Come, let us all be friends for once,
Let us make life easy on us,
Let us be lovers and loved ones,
The earth shall be left to no one.”
~Yunus Emre, Sufi Poet

I believe that we are stars.
I know that we are vibrantly shimmering our essence,
shimmering our creation
in this realm.
Yet I seem to be incapable of manifesting my desires.
I’ve tried utilizing my will. I’ve tried utilizing my mind.
I’ve tried to reach out to Life, to the Universe, to my brothers &
sisters in the sky, sparkling & twinkling & batting their stardust
lashes at me.
I continue to reach out for guidance & inspiration.
I want to learn,
and to grow,
and to do whatever
I need to do in order to bring more
peace & love & fairness & goodness to this realm.
I want to shine brightly with my brothers & sisters.
I want to be a vehicle of light & love.
What shall I do & where shall I go so that I may best serve Life?
And how in the midst of so much discomfort, & while I’m so lost in the woods,
shall I find a way to manifest peace, love, gratitude, compassion, & joy?
I’m alive.
This moment is still for me & for us all.
This moment is still precious, & I don’t want to live a wasted life.


I rose early, earlier than the sun & before the raucous flurry of the
birds in the Mendocino hills.
I was wide awake with burning & grief, the loss of physical contact
was too much to bare.
I lay awake all night despite physical fatigue just trying to find
some kind of connection to my beloved.
Could he feel me across the ocean & across the land?
Could his soul feel mine as I was seeking him out?
I rose & let the warm water of the outdoor shower wash over me.
I soaked in the tub & watched the sky change & become filled with color.
I dried off, wrapped myself up in clothing, & fell into a velvety poof
on the edge of a hill.
The birds awakened with a festive intensity, & hummingbirds zipped
overhead between their feedings.
I lay there, curled up in the poof, absorbing the beauty of Life & the
vividness of it all-colors, movement, layers of sound.
I am here.
I see Life.
I feel Life.
I love Life.
Tears stream down my cheeks as I watch & take it all in.
More than anything, I want to share this experience with my beloved.
I want to lay in his arms, my head upon his chest, while we share this
moment of Life together.
I have no idea why I must continue this part of my journey apart from
him, but this separation confuses my mind & my heart.
No matter how hard we try, Life is pulling us apart.
Yet no matter how much pull is exerted upon us, no matter how much
pain we feel,
no matter how much confusion is experienced,
our love for each other remains.
Our souls, our bodies-they know.
I will endure discomfort, & I will struggle through displacement.
I will travel across foreign lands, & I will even go back to the one
place that broke my spirit once before
in the hopes of being with him yet again.
I would do anything for the chance of building a new life with him.
Please, God, just provide us the opportunity to build a beautiful life together.
Everything material has been lost. My identity & purpose are in question.
But my love remains,
& I want him.
I want him.

I wrote those pieces in that exact order.

I think I'm done writing for now.

Let's see if my dreams lead me to any new conclusions.  Hopefully I'll have the capacity to keep writing
through this part of my process.  It's very healthy for me to be able to express my thoughts and my feelings without worrying about a response. I'm just openly expressing, emoting. 


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