Knowing

“Master,” said the student, “I come to you with a troubled mind.”

“Good,” replied the Master, a calm smile on her face.

The student continued. “I am suffering,” she said. “My mind just doesn’t seem to work. I can’t remember things properly. I can’t think things through.”

“Good,” said the Master, nodding her head.

Confused, the student nevertheless continued. “It’s not just my mental performance,” she said. “I can’t seem to think happy thoughts. Or if I do, it requires a lot of effort. Most of the time, I am terribly sad. Sometimes I think about very frightening things.”

“Good,” said the Master, her smile broadening.

The student gave her Master a wounded look. “Master,” she said, “I am opening my heart to you. These things have been troubling me for some time. I am suffering terribly. Why do you only smile and say ‘Good’?”

The Master regarded her student with clear, steady eyes. “Because,” she replied, “Relying on your mind, you have grown weak. It is my hope that with the dysfunction of your mind, you will grow strong again.”

“How can that be possible?” exclaimed the frustrated student.

The Master tapped the center of her chest. Automatically, the student followed suit.

“Here,” said the Master. “Here is the source of strength you have forgotten. Here is what you need to survive.”

“But I can’t think with that! How will I survive?”

“You don’t need to think. You don’t even need to feel. It is beyond thought and emotion. You simply have to Know.”

“And how will I…know?”

“Take a deep breath.” The student did, and her Master nodded. “Feel it. Be still. This is your Knowing. You can’t describe it. There are no words for it. But in your Knowing lies your power. And you will find that with your Knowing, you will move without needing to think at all.”

The student took a deep, still breath, and smiled.

beyond happiness

maybe it’s a relief to be unhappy
because trying to be happy all the time is exhausting.

maybe there’s a place beyond happiness and unhappiness.

not between.

not in the middle.

BEYOND.

BEYOND = accepting both happiness and unhappiness.

they are part of every day.

expect them.

you don’t have to welcome them.

you don’t have to be glad to see your old friend unhappiness.

but if you’re upset, be upset.

if you need to cry, cry.

maybe if you allow them to be there
your tears will dissolve.

remember, your tears won’t dissolve into happiness.

don’t fall into that trap—
doing your spiritual work and still waiting for perfect happiness.

my hope for you is that you come to a place where you’re unhappy—
and THAT’S OKAY.

you haven’t done anything wrong
unless being human is wrong.

do not mistake peace for happiness.

peace is not a utopian state of ecstasy, pleasure or even comfort.

peace “goes beyond understanding.”

i can tell you this much—you know it when you feel it.

your heart settles
and your body is lighter.

gravity is less of a burden.

and even if things aren’t good, they’re still alright.

no matter what, my hope for you
is that you find a place inside yourself
BEYOND yourself
where you can finally rest.

two kinds of fear

there are two kinds of fear:

one tells you to turn on your heel, honey, and walk away.

this type of fear whispers you know better.

the other is a big, fat neon arrow pointing toward your dreams.

with this type of fear, you’re petrified, but you sense something delicious in your soul, something that’s begging to be brought into the world.

trust your heart to know the difference.

one day you will dance.

it is right for the human spirit to have endured something.
this is why we must not shelter ourselves overmuch.
it is something to have been in distress
yet find yourself undeniably alive.
to have fasted
& find yourself still whole.
to have been panic stricken
yet find your legs standing.
but if by chance they give way beneath you
& you don’t get up for an hour
a day
or even a decade
it doesn’t matter
so long as there is a day that comes
that you dance.
my own grandmother
bedridden
danced under the covers.

victory

rejoice
in your heartache’s
resurfacing.
in that moment
long ago
you had not the strength
to bear the pain
meant to be yours alone
so you hid it away
until
today.
accept the confirmation
of your unconscious
for finally
you have passed the test.
feel it throb in every fiber
& know you will not break.
this has always been 
about power—
seize it.
you are the agent
of your own momentum.
the moment you embrace it
& declare “this, i can
abide”—
its hold upon you
will ease.
all this time it has waited
for your surrender.
allow it in every atom
& stand victorious
among the wreckage of what
used to be.

youth

to be young 
is a frightening thing.
it means coming up against 
all the darkest
things of life:
death
loss
grief
loneliness
despair
before you’ve had the chance
to understand what they mean.
it means facing certain facts:
the ones you love most 
you must someday let go;
you will never be the child
you once were;
nor are you likely to become
what you once dreamed of being.
it means staring into your remaining years
as an unfathomable abyss
& fearing what change
what loss of current circumstance
may take place therein.
it means realizing that: 
the words you least want to listen to
are those you most need to hear;
joy and loss
are in fact one and the same;
your tears are the bridge
between your most treasured moments
& the knowledge of their impermanence;
all things of this world will fade
& clinging to them cannot prolong the inevitable;
running away only brings you closer
to the thing from which you run;
& the only way for pain to end
is to feel it as deeply as you can
for as long as it wishes to be felt.

choice

I no longer tolerate poison inside myself.

I no longer tolerate hatred

anxiety

shame

self pity.

This doesn’t mean they won’t overwhelm or attack me.

It means in the middle of the storm, I will hold fast to the Eye that says:

you can do better.

I no longer have patience

for soul-poison.

I am human; it may fool me for a moment.

But it will not claim me.

I will be tested. Again & again.

I don’t know how I will make it.

That’s okay. I’ll start there.

I’ll start with “I don’t know”

& give the rest up to Spirit

so that when something comes along that is not of my Divine nature,

I will recognize it.

People may not understand.

That’s the hardest part.

Keeping my Spirit under lock & key

helps me feel safe around others.

I seek to release the fear

of what they will think–

of my refusal

to settle for less

than the glory we were made for.

Now, instead of approval

I will seek soul-fire.