Sense and Responsibility

If you listen very carefully

Let yourself feel you

Sink into the layers

Outer, middle, till—

Inside our own bodies

Love is talking to…

The me never witnessed

Curled and clinging to…

A me who’s sore and severed

Years of living

Two

Different lives entirely

Of me without you

There in your own shadow

A being never seen

Touched with lies expression

Of love lost in between

Running from existing

Inside a caving world

Shoulder heavy burdens

To rise above this truth:

Our sensory senses will not

Hush until they’re felt.

Growing Pains

Have you ever felt so terrible about how a relationship ended?  Maybe you find yourself agonizing over it?  You might be sitting with your thoughts thinking, “nothing that I said to this person begins to capture how I’m feeling.”  Maybe you’re feeling empathetic toward them and their circumstances and you wanted to convey that in your interaction. Maybe you wanted them to feel your love for them and believe it.  And yet, in the end, the dissolution was perceived by the other person as you being a cold, heartless, selfish human being.  Even worse is when someone is closed to even hear your post-script thoughts. 

In those instances, feeling is all that’s left.  Unless of course that’s too overwhelming in which case we reach for food or alcohol or some other vice that will aid us in distancing ourselves from the very thing that might free us.

Pain isn’t easy to feel.  It’s uncomfortable, distracting and it hurts.  While feeling pain it can feel as if we’ll never feel joyful again. Then fear starts to creep in and tell us all kinds of lies.  We start to believe the lies fear is telling us…

“I won’t be able to cope without the person.” 

“I’ve made a mistake.”

“I’m an awful person.”

And down we spiral to the point of no return.

Unless…

Instead of resisting pain in favor of pleasure (comfort, safety, acceptance) we make a decision BEFOREHAND to accept our pain in favor of freedom next time.  To make this choice, we must first reach a place where we feel tired of swinging and doubting; where we are sick to death of emotional acrobatics trying to get everyone to approve of us.  

Once we make this decision, we can then ride out pain and call fear’s bluff and with it discover that pain is temporary and love is infinite.  Once we feel this for ourselves, choosing love is the only option we can see in any given circumstance.  The more we choose love, the more we attract like-minded people.

Think about it.  I did and it’s changing my life!  

Much love,

Phoenix

Goodbye, Goodbye Wanderer

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything.  A close friend of mine died about a month ago.  The cause of death is unknown–or at least not released to the public.  I have yet to talk to his parents about it.  My laryngitis has acted as a convenient buffer for me as I develop the nerve.

I recently asked a new friend of mine if it’s possible to kill a person with love?  I remember reading once something about that–that if a person doesn’t understand real love and is caught in its path before they are ready to receive it, that it can kill them.

My friend died on the 22nd of October, which was the day I posted the blog, Riding on Fumes of Faith.  I had written that post because I was feeling this strong dissonance within me until I finally heard the words within me speaking, “Riding on the Fumes of Faith,” and felt impressed to write that post.  At the time, it was nothing more than an idea for a post.  But now, as I begin to look back and connect the dots–nearly three weeks since I learned of his passing–I recognize how synchronistic the world we all reside within is.

As you can imagine, every day since I learned of my friend’s passing, I’ve kicked myself that I didn’t pick up the phone and call to check on him.  He was the one riding on the fumes of faith after all.

He had called me a few days before this on October 17th leaving a voicemail asking me about God and telling me that he didn’t know where to go or what to do.  You see, he’d just been released from a halfway house after serving 9 months in jail.  He had suffered with alcoholism for most of his adult life.  When it came to coping, alcohol was the only way he knew how.

When he first contacted me last July, he had asked me to help him with his addiction.  As I began to help him, he told me that it felt like a “Divine Intervention.”  His passing has been my own spiritual experience making me believe more than ever that something lies on the other side of death.

He and I were estranged when he passed.  I’d withdrawn from our relationship in August.   The writing was already on the wall that he planned to return to drinking and absent an alternate solution, I bid my farewell.

But, it doesn’t make it any easier.  I wanted to help him.  I wanted him to know love and feel love and freedom; I wanted him to get a second shot at life.  It’s why I’d urged him to face the warrants that had been out for his arrest from previous offenses so that he could stop hiding out in his house and finally live.

And I suppose this is what I’m struggling with the most now.  I cannot see how far my love stretches.  Does it reach the other side? I’ve also been plagued by doubting thoughts such as, “maybe I shouldn’t continue to blog?” and “maybe I’m not as developed as I once thought–I couldn’t save him.”

Right now, all I can feel is what his leaving has impressed upon my life and that is that I feel this deep sense of finality.  When something becomes final, there are no more edits or revisions we can do.  How the story ended is in ink. The last thing I said to him was, “Sometimes we try so hard to make something work and it just doesn’t work.  I can’t make you do what you don’t want to do.  I can’t fix you or change you either.  I can only love you and accept your choices and sometimes, accepting a choice means making my own choice.  I made the choice to walk away because I don’t want to be a participant in your self-destruction.  But it doesn’t mean it’s not hard for me, because it is.  It’s hard to watch you be confused and frustrated and not understand.  It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you don’t know love and you are fighting to get what isn’t love and pushing away what is love.  It’s hard to come to terms with the truth that the only way you’ll ever know love; the only shot you’ve got at knowing love is for me to put one foot in front of the other and move farther and farther way.  It’s not easy to love, but it’s right.  And my hope is, one day, you will understand and on that day, you’ll become what I become to you.”

I keep re-reading old texts and emails he and I shared over and over, trying to come to terms with how greatly this experience has changed me.  Only after we give away love can we understand it and feel the overwhelming presence of it in our own lives.

My friend was a musician.  He once wrote a song for me called, Goodbye, Goodbye Kallie Blake.  (In my younger years, I was a model with the stage name, Kallie Blake).  I used to call him the Wanderer.  He once asked me what my favorite word was and I told him, wander.  He asked me why and I told him, ‘because only when we wander can we find what we’re looking for.”  I told him that he was a wanderer now and that in time he’d find what he was looking for and once he did, his whole life would change.

As Christmas approaches, I’m attempting to step out of the shock of this stupor so that I can enjoy the beautiful lights, music and spirit of the season, yet when I consider the truth that the very last day the Wanderer was home before all this began was on Christmas, it’s difficult.  His goodbye to me happened twenty years ago when we were just kids, far too young to know what love was, and he got a second shot. Knowing love, absent a second shot, I’m the one who struggles to say Goodbye, Goodbye, Wanderer.  And I guess today’s post is my first attempt at coming to terms with it.

Much Love,

Phoenix

 

 

A “How to” Guide to Finding Yourself

This morning I was going through my poems in search of something and found this poem.  It’s one I wrote sometime ago, and thought it might be helpful for you in understanding a little about the “how to” of spiritual ascension–of self-discovery.

Mosaic Woman Structure

There’s no way to tell you

What I’m feeling inside

Hard to spread out truth

Where so much error lies

 

We tend to get angry

Distant

Protective

When we only have peeks at

The vast, wide perspective

 

How can I give you

What’s still in slow progress—

Simmering

Stirring

Beneath a steeled surface

 

I’m afraid you can’t see me

Misinterpret my motives

Scared you’re repulsed by

My scarcely lit votives

 

Sometimes I’m impatient

Empty and maxed

Others I’m fearful

Overwhelmed

Even taxed

 

A mixture of emotion

Melting pot of expression

Trying to make it

In the wake of destruction

 

I don’t expect anything

Not words, mercy, soothing

Not seeking adornment

Or a lengthy, long meeting

 

I’m not asking for

Acceptance

Approval

Affection

Just that you feel this

These words I’m attempting

 

Life can be difficult

Confusing

And raw

Our wounds can be triggered

Till there’s no love at all

 

Why I’m now a deep fisher

My line sunk into

The whole of my being

Seeking her, me, she

You—

 

The girl that was shattered

A child black and blue

Adolescent disaster

Reckless teen on the loose

 

With time and attention

I will find all the pieces

Reel them in

Rearranging

With care and adhesive

 

Until the sum total

Of parts melds into

Mosaic Woman Sculpture

The real me that’s true.

You Can’t or You Need More Practice?

I’ve been a teacher for more than twenty years.  I noticed along the way that many of my students’ favorite phrases were, “I can’t…”  Most of the time, what they “couldn’t” do was accomplish a skill they had just been introduced to.

Of course it was going to be awkward, challenging and imperfect.  Isn’t that how learning goes?  Is there another way to learn something new that I’m not aware of?

No matter what I did with the students who stated, “I can’t” I was forever reassuring their capabilities.  My efforts to reassure never ended and with each reassurance, my student’s spirit seemed to deflate.  How on earth was this possible? I thought.

One day, a spirited, outspoken first-grader decided to protest my reassurance, giving up entirely.  She went and sat on a stack of gymnastics mats against the wall, crossed her arms and refused to try anymore.  It was in this instance that I knew it was time to really rethink how I was going about teaching.

I sought assistance from another coach in the gym to take my “still willing to try” students so I could focus on my upset protester.  I went and sat beside Maya.  It was obvious she had already had enough of my “you can do it” cheer so instead I simply sat next to her for a few moments and let Maya decide whether or not she wanted to communicate with me.

“What’s my punishment?” she asked me after a couple minutes.  I half smiled and turned toward her grateful she broke the ice.  “You think you should be punished for not being able to do something?”  I asked.

“That’s what every other teacher does,” she replied.  Hmm.  “I was actually hoping that you’d help me, Maya.  Would you be willing to do that?”

Shocked by my request, she uncrossed her arms and relaxed her shoulders.  “How can I help you?” she asked.

“Maya, tell me something…why is it that not being able to do something frustrates you so much?  So many of my students say they can’t and respond very similarly to you.”

Maya’s answer astounded me and helped me consider my approach to teaching in a whole new way.

“Because doing it right is what’s most important.  I don’t like to do it wrong.  I want the teachers to teach me how to do it right.”

I sat there silent for a few seconds nodding and validating Maya’s feelings while contemplating silently to myself, how can I accommodate this child’s request and teach her to do it right? I think Maya felt a sense of relief that she wasn’t going to be punished and decided to join her classmates after our conversation.

The following week, before we began class, I sat my students down and explained that I’d no longer be encouraging them that they could do it moving forward.  Instead, I’d be expecting them to get a different lesson.  I explained that they could say, “I can’t” as much as they wanted, but I’d be challenging them right back with, “you can’t or you need more practice?”  It was a phrase that took some adjusting to, but after standing by this simple phrase for the last ten years, I’ve found that almost every child that I ask the question, “you can’t or you need more practice” to simply gets the message and continues practicing.

Learning is progressive.  We fail forward.   And often times, there is no “right way” or “right answer.”   It’s from our efforts, commitment, and strong desire to overcome that we find a way.  And more often than not, our successes are earned only after considerable failure first.  Anything that is simple and can be obtained easily is short-lived in its reward.  This was obvious from the empty reassurance I was giving to my students that was clearly ill-received and heightened frustration levels.  I’m grateful for Maya’s willingness to express her freedom of speech.

What do you believe you “can’t” do and why?

What A Spiritual Awakening Feels Like

People often ask me to explain what a spiritual awakening feels like.  Because I’ve been asked this question a lot, I’ve come to discover that most people assume a spiritual awakening is this paranormal experience where one sees God or the spirit world or gains these supernatural abilities.  I wish!  For me, the spiritual awakening experience was quite subtle.  It felt more like a shift in consciousness.

One day, I saw the world as I’d always seen it and the next day, my perception was enhanced and I was able to see things that I hadn’t before such as the motives of others, the facade of others and the collective pain of the world.  It was like seeing with a new set of eyes.

Spiritual Awakening is a Call to Action

The greatest perception that I gained was that of my own emotional condition.  What I was able to deny a day before, I could no longer deny.  I became hyperaware of my inner domain—my desires, my will, my motives, my intentions, my addictions, my attachments, my fears, etc.  As a result of this awareness, I felt an internal call to action to change myself in order to be more loving.

It’s All about Love

For years I studied everything that I could on all things spiritual and emotional including experimenting with a wide variety of spiritual practices and techniques from various religions, new age movements, psychological practices and beyond in order to not only gain a better understanding of what I’d experienced, but to also learn what it was all about.  As I began to apply various practices to my life, I discovered that what bound each of the practices that seemed to work was their rooting in love.

The spiritual journey is all about love. 

A spiritual awakening is the threshold one passes through on the journey to become a conscious and loving being. 

Simply put, a spiritual awakening is an invitation to become loving.   It’s a calling—one that everyone receives an invitation to.

Much Love!

Phoenix

 

 

Wake up Call

Are you ready to feel?

Wake up Call

 I opened my heart

And let you see in it

Stepped out in risk,

Showed you my true self

 

Learned once again

Why I’m always concealing

The who I am deep down

She’s not who you’re seeking

 

For years I’ve accepted

Your frail, grave condition

Hushed up my insides

And fed your addictions

 

Frozen my heartbeat

And spiritual mission

In hopes of the slight chance

You’d change your position

 

But all that I’ve learned

From this single decision

Is I’m the one losing

Idiotic, ass reasoning!

 

Truth’s often spoken

In subtle, faint language

Inviting us close up

To hear what it’s saying…

 

“You were born into arms

Of the weakest perception;

Clinging to lies that will

Never bring happiness.”

 

Why don’t they want me?

Why won’t they listen?

I’m so sick of being

The one who is missing!

 

It’s not till we fail at

Getting the message

That life starts to scream out

And rattle our cages…

 

Walls start to puncture

From raging and fighting

Exposing a new side

Dysfunction recycling

 

Head on I see her

In sparkling, clear glass,

The same woman stares back,

“It’s me!  I’m a part of this!”

 

Rolling it over

I pace with new insight

–inhale and exhale—

Till I’m finally inspired…

 

“I can’t be the person,

They groomed me to be,

I’m not her, she’s not me,

I’m going to feel.”