Posts Tagged ‘spiritual experience’

Hello Again

September 4, 2017

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

I have missed my little blog, I have.

I got back from Burning Man last night.

I am back a day early and I cannot be more grateful for it.

I needed to get back, I was missing my world.

I also wasn’t wanting to sit in any kind of exodus line, the last time I had tried to leave on Sunday morning I ended up being in line for almost four hours.

Four hours on playa.

Four hours to go three miles.

No fucking thank you.

And I had to be back by today to give myself enough time to recuperate and unpack and unwind.

And.

Um.

Shower.

Holy Mary, mother of God.

Fuck me.

That shower was something else.

A spiritual experience for sure.

I knew when I heard that the temperature was going to rise and peak out on Sunday that I wanted to come back Saturday.

I didn’t need to see the Man burn.

I have seen it burn ten times.

I wanted to get home without a shit ton of traffic.

I asked the woman who I had traveled with to the event if she would be amenable to leaving a day early and she was quite down for it.

And in given that there was a death last night at the burn I am extraordinarily grateful that one, I did not witness it.  And two, that I had left before the event turned morbid.

Death happens.

But I am relieved that I did not witness it.

I had a very different burn than I have in the past.

First, of course, because I was not working it.

I had to laugh, even when I tried to pick up a volunteer shift at Artica slinging ice, I got turned down, they had more volunteers than they needed.

Every time that I thought I might have worked, it was pushed down and away.

I spent a lot of time sitting in Center Camp Cafe writing.

I sent lots of cards and post cards off and I did a lot of journaling.

I hung out at my camp with the ladies of the Nest, a sweet group of women that I have known for years and witnessed their growth into extraordinary beings.

It was super sweet to have such a girl centric time.

I wasn’t on the prowl for the playa boyfriend.

I didn’t need to look for anything.

I have everything I want.

I went dancing twice.

Once in camp, an amazing dj came and played at our potluck dinner for the camp.

The music was the best I had experienced in years at the event.

I danced hard for two hours.

Happy in my body and light on my feet.

Although, the knees felt a little rough the next day.

I got to know a few folks in my San Francisco fellowship whom I have known for years but not really connected with.

I went on bike rides with the posse.

I got caught in dust storms unlike anything I have experienced before.

Prior years I was always working very close to my accommodations and they included access to trailers.

A dust storm would spring up and I would be hiding out in a trailer.

A huge dust storm came up and I was obliterated in it.fullsizeoutput_ed1

The “clean” spot on my face was where my dust mask was.

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I mean, you can’t even tell I have tattoos for god’s sake.

I had been caught off guard and though I saw the storm coming, it came up too fast for me to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent about an hour of it laying on a bench outside of the Temple.

Completely exposed.

I rested my head on the bench, curled up next to the fencing it was by and held on for what literally felt like dear life.

I kept my eyes closed.

I wasn’t wearing goggles.

My bad.

Stupid too, since I have a pair.

I was, thank god, wearing something, my big aviator sunglasses, but my eyes still got totally coated with dust.

It was an extraordinary experience.

Not exactly pleasant.

But I surrendered to it and rode it out saying prayers inside my head and breathing slow and steady.

There was a break in it and I thought go!

I got my bike, made it five feet and it whipped up again.

I was told later the wind was roaring along at 45 mph.

The dust battered me and I held still straddling my bike for about another hour.

There was a man standing next to me on a trike.

He might have been three feet away, probably less and he was invisible to me.

I could have reached out to him and touched his arm.

I didn’t.

But.

Knowing there was someone else there made it palatable.

The experience was mind-blowing.

No pun intended.

It also lead to an experience that I had never had before.

I got topless at Burning Man.

That has never, ever happened.

I stumbled into camp, with another of my campmates who had gotten blasted by the dust too and we let the women in camp strip us down and clean us up.

She got completely naked.

I couldn’t quite do it and in fact was walking away to wipe myself down solo when I realized what a monumental task it was going to be and I started crying.

I went back and said, “help me.”

And they did.

I dropped all my pretenses, and my clothes, well, I couldn’t step out of my under wear, there really is a limit for me, and just surrendered.

I got sprayed with a vinegar and water mixture and then a baby wipe down.

I got all the dust off my eyes and eyelashes.

I actually left my hair up in the puffs and antlers and let it be the way it was.

I was told it looked pretty spectacular and just let it be.

I had to have help getting dressed and it felt as though I was a priestess being made ready for a ceremony.

We all went out that night in a mutual friend’s, who is staff at the event, car.

I wore a long white dress and fresh makeup.

I had my hair up and added some goggles to the mix, I wasn’t without them the rest of the event.

We rode around the playa, the six of us, sitting regal in the back of the Jaguar convertible, the “Shaguar” which was painted hot pink with black spots on it.

I felt like some sort of playa princess.

And I was happy to be with the women around me.

All of whom I wouldn’t have met outside of recovery.

I am lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

I felt seen and loved.

Really loved and really included.

What more could I ask from Burning Man?

I’m so glad I’m home though.

I missed it more than I had expected.

And my heart is glad to be here.

Despite having a bad tummy today, which happens sometimes after coming back from the event, especially after being smacked so hard by the dust, I am happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So very free.

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You Got Some ‘Splain’in

September 3, 2016

To do.

I have not told you guys something!

I’m off Tinder.

Yup.

It’s official.

I cancelled the app and deleted it off my phone.

Now comes the hard part.

The sit and wait part, the let it happen without looking for it part, the re-integration of lost things and places and experiences, the growing up part.

The.

Oh, dare I say it.

The adulting part.

I did some work at Burning Man and not all of it was fluffing, a lot of it was spiritual work, growth, therapeutic work, allowing myself to look at it like a dusty spa of spirituality and a sort of recovery conference in the desert.

I got my God on.

Heck, I even did a shaman journey.

Yeah, I know, shush.

I have been living in California for 14 years, please, it rubs off.

And I was ready for it.

Especially.

When I ran into my friend who was at the first camp I stayed with ten burns ago.  We hugged and reconnected and talked and I shared my experiences being in graduate school for therapy and psychology and that I want to pursue a doctorate now, I mean, really, it might be time for a new playa name, Dr. Carmen has a nice ring to it you know.

Anyway.

We chatted, he’s a therapist and he also does shaman work and I recalled a time when he had offered to take me on a spirit journey and how I sort of pooh poohed it.

Then.

I found myself wanting to ask when I saw him this past week at the burn.

And.

I found a great big lump of fear on my chest.

Oh.

How interesting.

When I feel that much resistance to something it is rather indicative to me that it’s time to do some work on something.

So.

I asked, and I admitted my fear and then we laughed and he said, of course and then asked me to ponder a question or to sit and be with what it was that I wanted to address.

What popped into my head?

Sober boyfriend.

Yeah, like that.

We met the next day in the heat of the afternoon, in the middle of a white out dust storm.

Things were said, deals were done, navigation of emotions, experiences, lots and lots of therapeutic theory.

He knows his stuff and I recognized a lot of the techniques he used and I wasn’t uncomfortable with the way it went, despite, yes, there being some fear there too, but mostly a curiosity to see what would arrive and an eagerness to address these baffling relationship issues that seem to crop up for me often when I am least expecting or most wanting to have a relationship.

It’s like a wall, glass, that I can feel, that I can see through, but can’t quite figure out how to get to the other side.

We talked and talked and got down to some root things, which when expressed from his perspective was obvious, so obvious, it made me feel a bit baffled then I realized how I am most often unable to see what others see so clearly, I have no perspective on my own life or abilities.

None.

Hearing all the things come out of my friends mouth, with a broader perspective of my history, trauma, and adult male patterning that I did when I was a little girl.

Well.

Fuck.

Of course I tend toward being single.

Hello safety.

I am either chasing after the unavailable boy or I am being the mother to said boy.

I don’t date adult men.

I don’t know how since I hadn’t seen healthy adult relationships growing up as a little girl.

I often tend toward two ways of being in relation to men I want to date.

I have been the mother–my longest lasting relationship was five years and I was definitely the care taker.

And then.

A long series of men, boys, that I chased, who were not often, or ever really interested in dating me romantically.

These paradigms made a lot of sense to me and I think I have been dancing around this knowledge for such a long time that when it was finally revealed it was less a great big aha moment, but more of a softening and relaxing into myself.

I had a lot of compassion for myself and a gentleness that I found so tender that I was in tears just from the relief of that.

So.

My friend made some suggestions.

Stop chasing.

Stop being the mother.

Write it out.

What does an adult man look like, what qualities do I want?

And lastly.

Be patient.

Don’t expect it overnight and stop looking for it.

It won’t be the impetuous passion of a sixteen year old in a romantic crush.

It will probably not be someone I’m crazy wild about at first glance, it will be softer, and I will be pursued and I will be seen and my power, who I am will be my calling card.

He will be strong.

He will not complete me.

I won’t have to mother, and I will not chase.

What a relief.

At first when I deleted Tinder I was pretty ok with it.

Then.

Yes.

I did re-install the app for a half day.

But.

I realized.

Nope.

It doesn’t serve, not after the experience in the dome, in the dust, in the heat, my heart opened, the little girl response to dating laid to rest in the resplendent gold dust light.

My friend said write about it, at least once a day, a paragraph, what my adult man looks like, what I want.

And.

Then.

Heh.

Text him when I start dating.

It won’t be long.

I’m ready.

I am happy, healthy, smart, employed, in graduate school, sober, loving, lovable, funny.

It’s on.

And I’m done with the dating apps and the chase.

I am here and available.

And I don’t need to chase.

I am fucking awesome.

I would date me in a heart beat.

I don’t need fireworks, although passion is lovely, I’m not going to try to make anything happen.

I don’t need to.

It already is.

 

 

As Happy As You Want to Be

January 17, 2015

I got happy today.

I laughed out loud on my bicycle as I was riding past the park on my way to work, just to my left across Lincoln Ave, the sun slanting just perceptively, its golden fingers sliding through the morning fog in the trees.

I felt something swell in my heart.

Happiness.

Aha!

I forgot that’s one of those principles I’m suppose to be practicing.

I did a lot of writing this morning, these last two mornings, actually.

For whatever reason I have had just a few more minutes in the morning for my writing or I am getting faster at writing long hand, which is not inconceivable (I don’t think that means what you think it means) as I have been writing long hand for many years.

A decade in fact.

Longer, but truly on point for the last ten years, daily for the last eight years.

I could very well be writing faster.

I give myself a half hour in the morning and generally get three pages, college rule, no margins, which means, I write in the space that uses the margins–one side to the other, unless indenting to signify a paragraph–top to bottom.

And I have noticed that I am getting in three sometimes four pages as of late.

This is good.

I always can use a little writing.

Some inventory, not yours, is always a handy little tool for helping me out.

I could see what I needed to focus on this weekend and I got excited.

Me.

Why I can focus on me.

I am not waiting on anyone to do the things that I need to do or listen to the music I want to listen to, to eat where I want to eat and sleep when and how I want to.

Three day weekend baby.

New tattoo tomorrow.

Dinner with good friends.

Dancing into the evening.

I realized, shocking sometimes the simplest things that come to me, that I don’t need my boyfriend to love me.

Oh.

I know, it’s a nice thought.

I don’t need him to be happy either.

I am loved.

And I am happy.

I don’t have to rely on anyone to make me happy, I can just be happy.

And I laughed out loud.

I am living inside a hula hoop and keeping to myself my shit.

Which is rather refreshing.

I found myself trying, I say trying because it was not a successful attempt at a wallow, not even half-heartedly, to be weird about tonight.

It’s Friday.

What am I doing?

I mean, I know what I am doing.

But I haven’t made a date with the man, what am I going to do?

Gah.

I am not in high school.

I am 42.

Get on it.

Either communicate with the man who you are seeing that you want to go on a date or take care of the things that you need to do for yourself.

I went back to my question.

What would I do if I was single?

And it all fell into place.

I was going to do exactly what I had planned on doing and probably just come home and do this, blog.

Write.

Put my hands on the key board and let the story of the day out of my head and be happy with it.

I can focus on what I think I should have, dates, amour, love, passion, story book romance, flowers galore, dancing, all the fantasy trappings and movie dialogue or I can focus on the sweet man I do have and not worry about what he’s up to.

I can focus on me.

I can focus on the fact that there are ten lovely folks coming out to dinner with me to celebrate a milestone in my recovery.

I can also focus on the fifteen or so folks that are coming dancing tomorrow night.

I can focus on the love that is all around me and not worry about what I think I don’t have.

Fear of losing something I think I have.

Fear of not getting what I think I deserve.

Fear of not having enough.

Jesus.

I almost smacked my head with my hand when I was on my bike.

I have so very much.

In no particular order and with poor punctuation the spell checker will go mad over I have a vintage 1965 Vespa scooter, 10 years of sobriety, friends, good friends that know me and love me, my mom and my sister in my life, some closure around my relationship or lack thereof with my father, a really good job with little boys who tell me they love me, a paycheck, a shot at graduate school, an Iphone, a one speed sparkle pony of a whip, a beautiful head of hair, I mean really, I do have some nice hair, a case of vanity, hahaha, 10 beautiful pink Gerber daisies in a Mason jar in front of me, a laptop that still works–hey I’m writing this blog aren’t I?

I have so much more than that.

Good coffee in my cupboard.

Music on my stereo.

Hot tea in a mug from Hallowell, Maine.

A glowing bunny night-light from Paris.

A cozy bed to sleep in.

Love.

So much love.

I can focus on the I am not getting what I want or I can see that I have so much that more will never be the answer.

Acceptance and forgiveness.

Love and tolerance.

Happiness.

I don’t need anyone to be happy, I get to be happy.

So that was my choice today.

I was happy.

I dare say perhaps obnoxiously so, but it was such a good feeling to be genuine in all my interactions today.

The day went by quick.

I listened to music that made my feet happy.

I smiled.

A lot.

I saw old friends I haven’t seen in a while.

I made a small but significant announcement, much to my delight, where I had made a similar one nine years ago tonight.

I rode my bicycle home through the park and smelled the trees and clover and prayed and talked to God and realized that riding my bike, I have realized this before, but it was another little layer peeled back, that riding my bike is a spiritual endeavor, one I do alone, but am never alone for.

I got home and had mail from two dear families that both mean so much to me, one here in San Francisco and one in Wisconsin.

I opened my door and said “hello house,” and smiled.

Home and happy.

Happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And then some more happy.

Playa Melt Downs

August 21, 2014

I am just starting to have them.

Already?

I thought to myself, why am I already having this much emotional resonance?

Well, let’s see lady.

You spent the entire week working before you left for the event.

You rode up in cramped quarters and that wasn’t restful.

You stayed over night in Reno and started to freak out about expenses that you weren’t expecting.

You have been on playa five days and haven’t had a shower yet.

That seems reasonable to be a little teary.

Plus, seeing people that I rarely ever see, except out here, supercharges those emotions.

Add to that not quite getting seven hours of sleep, more like six and a half every day and not getting a nap yesterday and though I was given a break today, it wasn’t long enough to nap.

I lay down and I got the knock within a half hour/twenty minutes of excusing myself.

The monkey has been having a hard time as more folks come in and it gets overwhelming.

It’s cute and sweet and amazing to see him engage with so many people, he’s very social, but every once in a while he gets overstimutlated and watch out.

Screaming.

I got an ear full today and it just wore me down.

I was pretty done in.

Pretty done with being a nanny.

Not with being a nanny out here, I am not going to quit, I would never do that, I am a woman of her word and I commited and though I may need to be commited when it is all said and done I am in it for the duration.

I just realized again that it’s so hard to do the nanny job out here not because of the conditions, those are hard, but because of the proximity to the parents and the friends and the folks in camp and beginning to feel like I am on a stage and everyone is watching.

I know exactly how self centered this is, the world is not about me, my petty designs, my schemes, my directions, but I am also, I forget, not used to being around so many people when I work.

I work by myself.

Yeah, the mom or the dad or a grandparent may be around, but I go for walks, to the park, in the neighborhood, I have down time, and then you know what I do?

I go home.

There is not a separate space for me here.

I forget that I have basically become a live in nanny.

Oops.

That.

I want to simultaneously retreat into my space and I get lonely and isolated and I then want to be out in the world and engage, but it can be too much.

Finding that balance.

Trying to figure it out.

Which makes me nuts.

And I need to get myself centered.

It’s Wednesday, pre-event, the damn thing hasn’t even started yet.

So.

I must up my self care a little and that means a shower tomorrow and I don’t care how it happens, but I have to get washed.

That will bring a huge uptick in my quality of well being and I can start with that.

The other is to get to bed a tiny bit earlier tonight.

Which means I am ending my blog early.

It’s a short night for me.

I have to rest more.

I don’t want to be a bucket of tears.

That’s the thing too.

I feel the emotions are overblown a bit, but there’s a lot of truth there too, and I have experienced what I am experiencing before and I have had friends counsel me and I have had epiphanies and spiritual awakenings galore out here, but then.

Well.

I fucking forget.

And I have to relive the experience.

I know that I have lots of amazing things to witness and art to see and friends coming home for the first time and I don’t want to not be present for that.

This is supposed to be fun too.

I know I will get in there and my perspective will change and it will all be good.

And I will have the experience I am supposed to have and I don’t have to judge it.

I just have to have it.

So.

Here’s to a little bit more sleep tonight.

A shower tomorrow.

And finding that still, soft, sweet, serene space in me.

I don’t have to search for it outside of myself.

It is there.

Deep within.


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