You have rekindled this fire inside me
And now I am burning, BURNING!So much so
That if I stepped into a stream,
The waters would carry this fire.
And all the oceans in the world
Would be set
With this mad passion.
You have rekindled this fire inside me
And now I am burning, BURNING!So much so
That if I stepped into a stream,
The waters would carry this fire.
And all the oceans in the world
Would be set
With this mad passion.
The slow passage of time
as I wait for you to appear to me. Deeper into the night I go
For your face o my Beloved.
Then slowly, too slowly for time
Your shadow emerges.
First, a glimpse,
Then clearer and clearer in the darkness.
Oh all this waiting was worth it,
For your flawed perfection.
For the knowledge,
That you were with me all along.
Though it took complete darkness
To know that you were there
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of ‘home’. Now my understanding of this concept is about the same as my understanding of motherhood. It is a mental understanding, but emotionally, there is so much mystery and ambiguity. My mother is so certain of her home. She is certain of where she comes from, where she belongs and where she will end up. Growing up, she used to tell me that I should feel such and such a way towards a place, a country etc., and yet, at 34 although I know my history, culture, where I came from, I am still unsure of what home is.
I’m certain I that I am not the only one who feels this way.
Perhaps this is the plight of children whose homes were broken early on in life or whose parents moved around through the early years. You are barely able to land before being uprooted again, a new adventure, a new journey and new people coming in and out of your life. Comfort zones get shifted so much that when you grow up, you don’t quite know where it is. Connections are built and then shortly thereafter they are lost in the ether. It gets a bit easier but you wonder if it is because you have grown quite desensitised or if it because you just don’t have the courage to let your connections get as deep as they used to.
Perhaps, there is a fear that if you let yourself land, the earth will again be ripped out from under you and you are free falling through nothingness.
But does that mean that you never want to stay?
Does that mean that you have not the desire to ground down and know that you are safe, that you never have to go anywhere else again?
Perhaps to stay is what you want, but you have become so used to not having that comfort zone that it somehow has become your comfort zone. To stay, to trust, to come up against barriers but to wait it out and keep moving in one direction instead of changing course has somehow for you become the uncomfortable.
At some point if you’re lucky, reality hits. Something prompts you to sit down with yourself and look, really look at where you are and what you want in your life. The decision needs to be made to stay or go.
Starting over is always an option but to what end?
But to stay?
To let people into your life again?
To open your home to friends and allow them to become family?
To open your heart to another person and in extension their family, friends, culture, history? Trying to navigate two lives, two personalities.
Oh how terrifying!
In the end though, it comes down to a decision.
You, the rootless wanderer, do you dare put your roots down and let them grow?
Can you commit to your practice knowing that in time your views, your body, your limitations will change and truths will be uncovered that might not be so easy to digest. Could you jump into the ether of meditation knowing that it gets deeper and deeper. Are you brave enough to say ‘yes’ to something two months, six months or a year in advance as a way of saying to someone, ‘I want you to still be in my life in that time.’ Can you stay with a job as the responsibilities increase and you become more of who you were meant to be. Could you possibly be with a person, going forward, hitting a barrier, waiting it out and then going forward a bit more, to hit another barrier again, your patience tested to the limit but your heart given the chance to slowly expand.
Perhaps this is your version of transformation to fire. A situation so scary you just want to close your eyes, your soul, your life again, but you know who you are. The reason it was so hard to commit was because you knew that once you did, you would give it everything that you had.
Through fear, so you committed.
So here you are.
Giving it everything you have, everything you are, risking your heart, your soul and the only life you have ever known.
Open and vulnerable, you just put your feet down finally and let yourself land in the unknown.
And perhaps, that is the only way to know ‘home’.
Last week, a friend and I were chatting and we got into the topic of ‘just knowing’ that the person you were with was the one you were going to significantly be with. Both of us wondered how people ‘just knew.’ Also, how do you know the other person got the memo? There are, after all, two people in a relationship.
And once you both know, can your past or the stuff that happened with your parents influence you into not knowing?
Almost fifteen years ago (was it that long ago?), I thought I knew. I, we, were both so confident in the fact that we would be together that we spoke of marriage, children, where we would live etc. I was so sure that I failed to see how his dreams and mine just didn’t align. In fact, I was so sure that I didn’t even make my own dreams.
We were so young that we didn’t even know ourselves, so how could we possibly know we wanted to be with each other? When I started to explore my dreams, I realised that trying to be the person who fit into his dreams would be the end of me.
Then about seven years ago, it happened again.
This time though, it was more that I really wanted to know. Perhaps we both did in a way. We worked the social scene well, but he never really met any of my friends. Because I was the nomad and wasn’t fully rooted here, I was just sort of absorbed into his social life. There was a lot about the friends and family that I loved, but in a way, I wonder if I distracted myself into this elusive ‘knowing’. At some point, you have to wonder about not being able to have a meal together without the television on or just being able to do simple things together, like go for a walk in the sun, or go to the beach, things that require you to actually be together.
Maybe it is a personality thing.
I’m such a sucker for love stories it’s quite worrying. In my travels I have friends who met their current partners when they were 19 or even younger than that. Somehow, they knew then and they know now. Something about their knowing allowed them the space to explore their dreams with the comfort of having a place to land in the end. Then I’ve met people who know within the first few meetings. Then I’ve also met people who don’t worry about knowing for sure and just go with it. And yet I also know people who might know but will analyse and second-guess themselves into not knowing.
Is it the curse of the thinker to never find this kind of knowing? – The kind that comes from deep wisdom and intuition instead of the head.
Or is it such that when the time comes, your heart will just know and your head will shut the fuck up?
Perhaps you can’t know until you truly know yourself and embrace the parts that you keep hidden from the world. Until then perhaps you will date the job title, the big car, the physically attractive person who will look good together walking hand in hand and at social events. It is perhaps not until you know the loneliness of that of relationship that you understand that perfection might not be perfect.
It is all an exploration isn’t it?
This knowing is such a mystery.
I don’t know how to know but I know that I can’t start to know until we can see each other without the glitz and the glamour (in my world, it includes being sweaty, smelly and occasionally teary and snotty as well). We can’t know until we can laugh with (and at) each other, fall over, make really bad jokes, go through conflict and recover, be in silence together, know how to tease each other, have conversations and walk, just walk without having to do.
We can’t know until we can just be together – you and me. No candles or flowers, no sweeping off feet (definitely no sweeping off the feet), no social spotlight, just us being apart of each others’ unglamourous and sometimes even mundane and uninteresting lives.
Will I ever ‘just know’?
Perhaps I did.
But perhaps really knowing is over rated.
Perhaps it is just knowing enough, letting go of perfection and expectation, and then taking a leap of faith with the rest. Perhaps it is a degree of surrender and a lot of trust. What is life after all without taking some leaps and what value is love if there is no risk involved? And what can we know until we know?
My best friend from high school just got engaged.
It is an amazing thing as they’ve been together for about 15 years now. Suddenly, I am one of the last ones in our group of friends who is single. I suppose, since I am making no active effort to change that situation, I can’t say that I am unhappy. It’s not that I can’t ‘do’ relationships. Like everyone else, I have things that I am particular about and some things that I am really relaxed about, and relationships after all, are learning to adjust with things like that.
The thing I can’t ‘do’ is dating.
It is a treacherous and ridiculous thing. My environment is made out of 80% females. Cut out the gay males and you’ll have about 5% – 7% straight males. Discount the ones who are either taken or in this job for the girls, and you’re left with about 1.7% of the population. Add to that the fact that I’m at work most of the time, I’m not your stereotypical yoga girl and that dating students is a self-imposed no-no (there’s this thing called ethics and I’d rather avoid going down the messy road of studating), it leaves me about a one in a million chance when hell freezes over.
Going out of the circle is even more insane.
The dating world in Sydney, like the corporate world and the rental market is in a word – fucked.
You are either there to fuck or you’re fucked over.
The corporate world ripped me to shreds and the dating world is just as treacherous. There is a certain aggression to things, a certain rush, wanting to ‘seal the deal’ and yet even on the first date, most people already have one foot out the door in case something better comes along. It is bright lights and lots of promise but strip it bare and there is nothing.
According to the newspapers, rent in Sydney is really high because there are more renters than there is good property. The newspapers also say that it is the same about men. There are a limited number of men and a lot of women. Again, exclude gay men, the unemployed men and the men who are under 35, and what’s left? Online you say? I think I’ve addressed that one here: https://azphoenix.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/online-dating-just-not-my-thing/
It could just be my thing. A lot of people like dating but even when I was younger, I never enjoyed it. And I’ve never once in my life been capable of having a few men on the go at the same time until I could decide on the ‘best’ one.
I quite like leading a drama free life. It gives me space to be available for everyone else when they have dramas.
As a teenager, what I really wanted was to fall in love once in my life. It would be someone I knew as a friend and he would know me as a friend, innocently and like the quote by Ann Landers, my love would be friendship caught fire. Oh young innocence.
There were some wee issues here. First, I am straight girl who went to a Catholic all girls’ school and secondly, my best friend was a female. Now she’s engaged so that’s definitely not happening.
So I’ve often ended up dating men I am stupidly attracted to. My nature is that I never get into anything unless I’m going to give it my best shot, so once I’m in, I’m in… When I say stupid, I mean totally brainless. I am often on cloud 9 until three years later when I crash. Often times I don’t even realise that I’m the only one holding the relationship up until I’m exhausted. It’s like a long jump out of a plane, without a parachute into a forest fire.
The problem with going out with someone you’re electrically attracted to is that you are trying to impress, and when you get into a relationship, the initial veneer kind of chips off. On my end, men are often attracted to me because I seem easy going and carefree. Underneath it all, I am a control freak and I quite like quiet nights. They expect me to be this ‘entertaining’ and ‘happy’ little minx all the time and when I’m not, they are highly disappointed. I on the other hand, am attracted to big buff footie player types and end up disillusioned because he’d rather smoke pot and drink than go for a walk.
Things get hard, and with both my long-term relationships, I found that we didn’t have the underlying friendship to help us through when they did. Now I look back and realise that had I not dated them, we would not have even really been friends.
Oh who knows with this stuff really. And who knows what might come. Anything is possible in this world. Maybe by some miracle, without actually having to brave the murky torrents of any dating scene, it’ll just ‘happen’. I don’t know how. Somehow. You’ll just have to believe that magic is possible sometimes. Or perhaps my life will take on a different path. Perhaps I’ll adopt a child or have one on my own.
All I know is that if I don’t want to date, the world won’t end.
There’s a whole full life ahead.
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”
They say the only thing that’s constant is change, and whoever they might be, they are right. Nothing ever stays the same for longer than is necessary and even in the stillness things are moving, gathering, becoming what they should be.
I am supposed to be this person who facilitates change and yet, I still feel myself scared shitless when big things shift.
You think you’ve reached this destination, but then you realise that that is not the case at all, that there really is no ‘destination.’ It is but an illusion, an oasis where you may rest for a bit before things go on again. You’ve done all this fucking work, but life just doesn’t stand still. There’s still more work to be done.
Underneath it all of course, is fear.
You know that feeling. When your stomach does flips at the thought that things could be different. It’s not that this place here is better than what could be. It is just that through familiarity, it has become safe.
It’s like being in your bed when you have all the pillows arranged just so and your spot is perfectly set, comfortable, warm enough but not too warm, soft enough but not too soft. The thought of having to move the setting just seems a bit like too much work. Just a little bit unsettling.
What if you adjust but it doesn’t work out and you have to readjust?
But you’ll have to readjust anyway.
Summer moves into winter, and as it gets colder, you will move things around, thicker blankets, more pillows.
Then when it grows warm again, you adjust again.
It is just the way of the world.
Situations change as they must. Roles change. And scariest of all is the fact that relationships too evolve.
But why, why are these big changes so scary?
Why do we do this thing where we go back and forth?
Why delay the inevitable?
I suppose it is fear and not knowing.
Perfectly valid reasons.
But fear when mixed with a touch of desire turns to excitement, and knowing, well, what do we know anyway? We can only know things when we get there.
You only have three choices.
Try to run in the opposite direction.
Stay the same.
Or surrender and move forward to something that is petrifying but has the potential of being one of the best choices you’ve ever made.
Which will it be?
Some things are meant to happen anyway.
You might fight, deny, bury it under the excuses stemming from your past experiences, but this is here.
This is now.
We think so much about reasons not to… but what if this time, we focused instead of the reason to do it.
A flower will bloom when it should as it should, and trying to keep it as it is will only break the petals. When it is time too, the petals fall off, making room for another incarnation as it should.
The question now is:
Will you let the lotus bloom or will you break the petals by trying to keep it closed?
We sometimes talk about being ‘goddesses’ and ‘standing in our feminine,’ in a way that denotes the inferiority of the masculine, but the truth is, in each human whether they are born female or male, both these energies exist. Not one is superior to the other, and the need for one or the other varies with time. For instance, when I was going through a tough time, I wanted to surround myself with feminine energy, but at some point when there was too much around me, I found it stifling. I love a man who is comfortable with the feminine, but I also find a man who stands just a bit too close in my space with red hot masculinity extremely sexy, especially if I know that he doesn’t do it with everything in a skirt.
I read this piece ages ago about dating a yoga goddess. It’s really great for the self-esteem, but on the other hand, who’s to say that a Yoga Goddess is any different from a Prada Goddess. Sure, if you’re a yoga girl, then dating someone who loves his drink and lives on steaks might just leave a lot to be desired when it comes to finding a place you both enjoy. And if you love being outdoors and he loves his TV, then it might not garner much conversation time. Incompatible bed times make things difficult if you’re asleep by 9:30pm and he’s not up until 11:00am and if one of you feels somehow that the other is not as enlightened/smart/anything will just cause imbalance in the relationship.
My friend Karen-Anne digs deeper into philosophy with her answer to the article mentioned above, and I agree with her: http://flyingdragonyogis.com.au/2013/12/04/self-awareness-for-goddesses/. Just because we use different terms (cleanse instead of diet, divine masculine instead of man), doesn’t make us totally different than the average Jane.
Something about calling myself a ‘goddess’ and sending invitations to the ‘divine masculine’ just doesn’t speak to me. It might work for some. And some people, in relationship want to be adored. It’s great in small doses, but I would rather be loved than put on a pedestal as some great ideal. Why would you want to see yourself as superior to the person you’re dating? Why would you want him to think that he’s not enough? Sure you might be the better planner while he’s the one with more physical strength, and he might be more analytic while you’re more intuitive, but not one trait is better than the other. Then there are some things that you love doing together; cooking, going to the beach, watching movies, whatever. Sometimes you will annoy each other but that’s not because you’re a Goddess while he’s a dud. It’s just because you don’t agree on everything, and that’s a good thing.
At the end of the day, I want to be with someone who I can talk to, laugh with and play with. He could work in the creative field or the technical field, be a martial artist, Crossfitter or Yogi. It is important however, that he finds joy in what he does like I find joy in what I do. He could come from any background, as long as he has a good relationship with his family. Occasionally I will challenge him, and he will challenge me, and we will motivate each other. Our differences will be just as important as the things we have in common. Sometimes things will get tough, but a lasting relationship is when you choose to stay instead of go. Some people use the principal non-attachment as a reason not to commit, and sure, if you don’t get attached, you won’t get hurt, but that bit of attachment can also feed into the effort put into the relationship. More than the job, family background or whatever, is who he is as a person, and in anything of this nature, there is that something that nobody can put a finger on, that from the outside might not make sense, but somehow just feels right.
The practice of yoga is a journey in finding your path. If it feels right for you, then go ahead and be a floating Gypsy but if what sits dear in your heart is finding a place to land and build, then it makes you no less ‘Yoga Goddess,’ or a ‘Divine Masculine’. Some just want to be free, others want to have another someone, and others want to have children. Not one is better than the other.
It took more than two whole years of being completely alone but now I know that I want to land. Casual, fleeting flings might leave a lot of freedom, but it is just not for me. The only time I want to be a Goddess is when he is right there with me being a God. Other than that, I want to be able to take off any masks (because it is only human nature that we wear them sometimes) along with my shoes, not be judged for having pizza if I feel like it, and occasionally not have to do anything but sit on the couch together. I would want that underlying friendship which allows me the freedom to be unabashedly me.
As much as the Goddess energy is within everyone, I would rather not feel like I have to be some semi-fictional ideal.