Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rediscovering My Bliss

Last night I did a Tarot reading for a friend. It was a really good reading. It inspired deep, meaningful conversation for us both and I believe he walked away with an idea of something important that he needs to develop within himself that he wasn't necessarily aware of before.

I felt my intuition kick in at points during the reading, which is a very magical experience for me. It is also a bit unnerving. I still struggle with trusting what I feel or "know." Actually, it's more appropriate to say that I struggle with trusting it will be accepted and honored by others. I trust what I know through intuitive feeling because I've always been right whenever there's been an opportunity to know so. But I have had people deny things I've felt and I've even lost friends from speaking my intuitive truth (I had a very specific premonition of the negative consequences of a choice they were making and they didn't want to hear it -- sadly my premonition came true). I understand the Cassandra Complex quite well. Yet I continue to speak my intuitive truth, at least in the company of friends and when it's specifically requested.

After my friend left my house, I found myself in a really, really good mood. I felt light and joyful. I felt connected to my deepest, truest self. I daresay I felt a bit of bliss.

Fifteen years ago, after I left the Christian church and started exploring a Pagan/Wiccan path, I read the book The Mysts of Avalon. Although it is a work of fiction, the stories of the Priestesses of Avalon deeply touched me and inspired a pivotal moment in my spiritual journey. I decided to initiate myself as a Priestess, committing my heart and my life to the Divine. In the book, the Priestesses were initiated by having a turquoise crescent moon tattooed on their third eye. Since getting a tattoo on the forehead in the modern world is not socially acceptable, I had a turquoise crescent moon tattooed on the back of my head (I was also a punk-goth who shaved part of my head in various eccentric haircuts for several years).

I began intense self study in divination/intuitive practices, various healing practices and herbal medicine. I gained a reputation with my friends and neighbors for being an intuitive and healer. I did hands on healing for physical issues. I could "read" a person's energy body to determine where the pain or symptoms were and I could often feel out the related emotional challenges that needed to be addressed. I could often relieve symptoms through energy work. I made teas, tinctures, oils and incenses for both physical and emotional issues. And I did Tarot readings.

For some reason I stopped all of these things when I graduated from college and started working full time. Having to work a crappy job to support my children did something to "kill my spirit." I've never fully reclaimed my spirit or my gifts since.

Last night's reading reminded me of how it feels when I am in the flow of my gifts and expressing who I am in the world. I am rediscovering my bliss. I am remembering how important magic is to me (magic being my way of describing energetic experiences that transcend material reality). I am remembering the commitment I've made to the Divine over and over again to embody the Priestess archetype and facilitate spiritual connection within my community.

I don't know if I'll return to practicing everything that I did before, but I know that doing intuitive readings is a step in the right direction towards the sort of spiritual counseling/coaching that I'd like to do. I am going to start paying attention for opportunities to practice my intuitive skills. And I'm going to put out an invitation on Facebook to see if anyone I know feels called to receiving a reading. I need and desire the practice...and to experience the sense of bliss that I felt last night.


Image Source: Inner Voice from the Osho Zen Tarot
(High Priestess in traditional decks)

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Power of Vulnerability

I’ve been struggling to write. My heart cries out for me to sit down and pull my feelings out to the written word, but I resist. I’ve started many blog posts in the last couple weeks, but never finish, never go as deep as they promise to take me.

I've had this video of social work researcher Brene Brown sitting on my computer for days. I didn't know exactly what it was. Someone posted it on Facebook and I was drawn to the description:

"...she has spent the past ten years studying a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness, posing the questions: How do we engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to embrace our imperfections and to recognize that we are enough -- that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy?"

I was surprised, as much as she was, by what she learned.

The qualities of a wholehearted person:

Courage - Tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Courage to be imperfect.

Compassion - Be kind to yourself first, which will result in kindness towards others.

Connection - As a result of authenticity. Let go of who you think you should be to be who you are.

Fully Embrace Vulnerability - What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.


It's the last one that really gets to me and it is the quality that she finds to be most important of them all...

Vulnerability - allowing ourselves to be fully seen, exactly as we are.

Two and a half years ago, right before I co-created The Impropriety Society, I made a commitment to myself and the Divine that I would live as open-heartedly as possible. To me this meant that I would choose to risk loving without knowing where it would lead and even if it led directly into heartache. I would express my love openly and I would say yes to every opportunity to love for my self or others.

I had come to this intent by participating in a brief but very intense relationship that also inspired a spiritual awakening. It was a spiritual connection, as much as intellectual and emotional. I chose to be as open as possible, despite my fears and the possibility of rejection. Ultimately she did reject me. But the experience of love that took place inside me made it all worth it. I felt more connected to everything.

I’ve learned that my heart cannot be broken in the traditional sense, it can be bent, beaten, misshapen, lost in the dark and cold, but never broken, never irreparable. And I have learned that the deeper I allow myself to go into love, no matter the outcome, the more love and joy I become capable of experiencing. Risking love in the face of suffering and allowing the heart to break open to deeper experiences of grief, empathy and compassion can lead to an awakened life.

And yet now, after experiencing such a difficult relationship with Knight over the last six months, I find myself afraid and withdrawn, struggling to be vulnerable again. I have new lovers, a married couple and a long-time friend with whom there has been a long unexplored spark, and I am struggling to be vulnerable to them with my feelings and desires.

“I suggest you study the relationship between what you want and what you have to offer.”
From Eric Francis’ Cancer Horoscope for 2010

What do I want? I desire to live an awakened life and I desire to live every moment of my life from the deepest experience of love a human being can know.

What do I have to offer? My vulnerability. My willingness to be seen, to be open, to risk for love. When I write here, it is from a place of vulnerability because I hope that by sharing my experience, my story, someone else may find something valuable for their own story.

What do I want from others, in relationship? Their vulnerability, their willingness to risk opening themselves to love, no matter where it leads.

What keeps us from vulnerability? Shame. Shame is a fear of disconnection and a belief that we are not worthy of connection/belonging/love. We think, "I am not _________ enough to belong." (Fill in the blank -- smart, beautiful, talented, wealthy, outgoing, charismatic, etc.)

I don't know that I have ever been as vulnerable as I was with Knight. We had an intimacy that was rare in my experience of relationships. And I feel that Knight rejected me in a very significant way when he shut down his heart to partnership with me. So vulnerability, being fully seen, is more frightening than ever. Will anyone stick around if they see the worst of me? Am I too emotionally unbalanced to be connect/belong/be loved? Allowing myself to be seen in entirety, especially my shadow and the challenges I have in managing my emotions, scares me very much.

I hope to find inside myself whatever it was that I found before that inspired me to choose open-heartedness. I desire to renew that commitment and to open my heart again, as fully as I'm capable. I desire to be fully seen - raw, wild, french kissing life and bleeding on the page with heart-opening vulnerability.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Invitation to Sex Positive Spiritual Community

"Community, especially a community of like-minded souls, is a blessing like none other." Caroline Myss

I am finally following the call of my heart to create what I long for.

I have talked to several in the community in the last year or so about spiritual community and I have heard that there are many interested in connecting with others around spirituality and conscious evolution.

"One of the riches of the awakening path is that it becomes entirely possible to look beyond the accumulated baggage of the religions and philosophies, beyond notions of atheism, non-theism, pantheism...to feel and experience the presence of the sacred without getting tangled up in doctrine and belief."
Josey Moray

Most of us have only experienced spiritual community within churches, particular religions or traditions that we found confining or lacking in significant ways, especially regarding sexuality and kink. Most of us are also probably jaded about any leadership organization constructed around spirit. All of these are true for me.

However, I miss spiritual community. I miss the rituals of creating sacred space and time in which to share our in-love-ness with the Divine/Universe. I miss having conversations with other people about the spiritual journey -- what is god, the nature of reality, the reason for being, all the big questions, as well as the small ones. How do we make it through each day of work and family and friends and lovers and a world full of suffering with a deep sense of joy, love and connectedness?

What I am proposing is a circle - a gathering of people committed to working together and providing support for one another on the conscious or spiritual journey. Some of you may not resonate as deeply with concepts such as God and spirituality as others of us do, yet you still perceive the Sacred in life or strive to live consciously. I believe we can find enough common ground as well as learn from each other's diverse perspectives, just like we do with sexuality through the Imps community.

The truth is that I don't know exactly what this will look like. We have the wonderful and intimidating opportunity to do something new. We can use our amazing power to create spaces where energetic magic happens in a whole new way. We can create a community where we are not bound by dogma and conformity to an external standard, but are joined by our desire to evolve, to become more conscious, to experience more of the Sacred in our lives, to express our sexual nature, and to deepen relationship.

Relationship is part of my spiritual practice, not just romantic/sexual relationships, but friendships, family, etc. I experience my highest highs (Divine Union) and my lowest lows (the hell of perceived separation) in relationship. I need a spiritual community that recognizes that at every level, including the sexual. I am proposing the idea of sex positive spirituality - a space where sex and kink are part of the spiritual conversation and recognized as important tools on the path to awakening. I have a feeling that many of you would appreciate a space like this.

I have been considering what our gatherings might include and have had the following ideas, knowing that others may have inspirations of their own and the group should decide together what will flow best over the long term:

* Possible structure: an opening prayer/meditation/ritual to establish sacred space both externally and internally (so that we can hold sacred space for one another), a time for any personal sharings--joys or struggles or creative expressions that we may desire to be witnessed, a presentation and facilitated discussion and/or activity around a particular topic (readings distributed in advance), and a closing prayer or meditation to ground the energy.

* We could consider holding rituals around Sacred Holidays of our choosing. My intention is to start with a Winter Solstice gathering on Sunday, December 19th.

* Everyone is a teacher and student. We all have different tools that we use on our journey and different teachings that have transformed us. I envision each person who is willing leading a meeting, choosing the topic of exploration and arranging whatever materials are needed (with assistance if needed). It could also be possible for two or three people to present a topic together. I would like to lead the first couple meetings to give us some momentum and give time to build intimacy within which people are more willing to be bold in their sharing.

* At some point early on we should talk about our spiritual histories and what we are all looking for in spiritual community to discover where we resonate most strongly.

* Possible topics: spiritual and self-work practices (meditation, prayer, ritual, psychological approaches, archetypes, personal honor code, etc.); inspirational teachings from various traditions or modern teachers; intuitive or divination tools (Tarot, Runes, etc.); and creative practices (sharing mystical poetry, making sacred objects, etc.).

* We may find that there are some people interested in exploring Tantra and other sexual-spiritual practices in a group setting and facilitate other events beyond the biweekly meetings. This could be true for diving deeper into any particular topic.

* * *

I am going to open my home every other Sunday evening for the circle beginning December 19th at 6 p.m. If an earlier time ends up working better for the majority of interested people, I am open to adjusting for future meetings.

On the 19th I will be facilitating a Yule or Winter Solstice Ritual...a celebration of the promise of the Light's return in all it's power. I intend to incorporate a celebration of the light we shine for each other in relationship as individuals and community.

I am sending this out as an open invitation because I realized recently that I have no idea who might most be attracted to and benefit from sex positive spiritual community. I am trusting the Universe to bring the right group of people together for the most beautiful opportunities to evolve.

Please RSVP for the event by Facebook messaging me or emailing me at opheliared@yahoo.com, as well as to receive directions if you've never been to The Barn. I'd like to have an idea of how many people to expect.

* * *

Image Source: Mark Springle

Monday, November 15, 2010

15 Writers Who Have Influenced Me

Josie at safetycomfort tagged me with this.

Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen writers who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag at least fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what authors my friends choose.

These are my influential writers and a few words about how they've influenced me...

Susie Bright - Sexual Freedom, Creative Empowerment

Leo Buscaglia - Love

Thomas Moore - The Soul, Loving Our Humanness, Bridging Transcendence and Immanence

Rob Brezny - Pronoia, Creative Generosity (He inspired The Conspiracy of Blessings)

Shiloh McCloud - Feminine Creativity and Spirituality

bell hooks - Love, Social Justice

Mark Nepo - Awakening

John Welwood - Love and Awakening

Eve Ensler - Women's Empowerment, Healing (Author of The Vagina Monologues - She inspired The Yoni Endeavor)

Caroline Myss - My Spiritual Teacher

Andrew Harvey - Mysticism, Queer Spirituality, The Divine Feminine

Lucille Clifton - Feminine Wisdom in Poetry (Huge influence on me in college as I was learning to embrace myself as a woman.)

And four science fiction writers because they deeply inspire me:

Frank Herbert - Incredible Insight into Human Evolution (Philosophy, Religion, Politics)

Octavia Butler - Gave me a Heroine with the Gift of Empathy

Dan Simmons & Orson Scott Card - Beautiful Visions of What Humans Can Become


I am going to tag people I'd love to answer this in Facebook.

(Image Source: Enter the Heart by Shiloh McCloud

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet

From today's entry in Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening (I want to give this book to everyone I know):

Being true to who we are
means carrying our spirit like a candle
in the center of our darkness.

If we are to live without silencing or numbing essential parts of who we are, a vow must be invoked and upheld within oneself. The same commitments we pronounce when embarking on a marriage can be understood internally as a devotion to the care of one's soul: to have and to hold...for better or for worse....in sickness and in health....to love and to cherish, till death do us part.

This means staying committed to your inner path. This means not separating from yourself when things get tough or confusing. This means accepting and embracing your faults and limitations. It means loving yourself no matter how others see you. It means cherishing the unchangeable radiance that lives within you, no matter the cuts and bruises along the way. It means binding your life with a solemn pledge to the truth of your soul.

It is interesting that the nautical definition of marry is "to join two ropes end to end by interweaving their strands." To marry one's soul suggests that we interweave the life of our spirit with the life of our psychology; the life of our faith and truth with the life of our doubts and anxiety. And just as two ropes that are married create a tie that is twice as strong, when we marry our humanness to our spirit, we create a life that is doubly strong in the world.

Yes. This is what is seek, to make myself stronger in the world by marrying my humanness to my spirit. I am withdrawing from Imps leadership - and the pursuit of full-time/partnership relationship - because I need to learn to hold space for humanness, first my own so that I can better hold space for others. I am choosing to dive into my spirit, to strengthen my relationship with the Divine within so that I can better relate to the Divine in the others. I am pulling back and examining every life choice from the perspective of integrity and desire: is this aligned with what I know about myself, what I know about Love, and my Divinely inspired desires for my life?

I need to fall in love with my self and my dreams. I need to learn who April really is and fall madly, deeply in love with all that I find: both my Divine Spark and my imperfect human filled with quirky desires that are spiritual and hedonistic, generous and narcissistic, creative and ordinary, playful and dark.

Letting go of the Impropriety Society is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But over and over God has asked me to turn my heart towards my spiritual longing, and over and over I have only gone so far and then said no, I will go no further. I would entangle myself in relationship or creative projects, and exhaust myself so that solitary time was spent vegging out in recovery rather than in soul-feeding activities (art, writing, reading, spiritual practice, yoga, etc.). I would keep my spirituality subdued, so that the people who know and love me best really have no idea how important God and the spiritual life is to me. And my emotional, physical and spiritual health suffered for it. I am not living in integrity with my faith and my truth.

This is how deep my faith is: I have known every single moment of my life that there is some kind of God/Universal Energy/Sacred Presence, something that binds all of life and feeds the passionate energy of evolution. I believe conscious growth and evolution is the point of everything. We are pieces of God experiencing all of life through evolution. And somehow it's all powered by Love.

I have always, even in my darkest moments, felt held by God and trusted the power of Love. This seems to be a rare life experience, to not have known one moment of doubt or faithlessness. I don't know how to explain my deep abiding faith in God and Love, especially in light of how much trauma and loss I have experienced in my life. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe faith is part of my unique genius.

It is this faith that keeps me choosing open-heartedness as much as I possibly can no matter what happens in my life, no matter the heartache and painful experience that comes from being vulnerable. I trust that I cannot be broken. I trust that God and Love will keep me safe and thriving in life no matter what circumstances come my way. I trust that the only thing that holds me back is my fear, which is why I work so hard to become conscious of my fears and fear based behaviors. I shine the light into my darkness so that I may act in enlightenment and love as often as possible.

And maybe this genius for faith and my desire to contribute to our collective evolution is why I am drawn to this idea of sex positive spiritual guidance (coaching, counseling, whatever), with a creative twist (using art/music/writing projects as part of the coaching process), as the kind of work I desire to be doing in the world. I believe this is my bliss, the vocation I have been looking for since I initiated myself 15 years ago as Priestess/Bodhissatva, surrendering my life in devotion to lightening the suffering of all beings. That has always been the driving motivation of my community service, art, writing, and my flavor of giving friendship and love.

My first step towards this goal is putting out an invitation very soon for spiritual community to gather in my home on a biweekly basis to share ritual, prayer/meditation, study and discussion about the spiritual journey (and whatever else we decide to do together). Through conversations with community members I have found that for some of us there is a hunger for spiritual connection. We believe in some kind of Divine Presence or Universal Energy or Sacred Connection, and we see its importance and expression in our relationships. We don't feel comfortable in churches. We don't know of any spiritual communities for sex positive, bdsm practicing, queer and poly freaky people. Even the ones that embrace freaky folk don't bring discussions of these parts of our lives into the spiritual conversation. And what we get from the sex positive community doesn't fill our longing to share our personal spiritual journey with others who feel a connection to the Sacred in some way. I desire this in my own life and so I am going to try to facilitate the creation of it within our community.

The interesting thing is that I have been thinking and talking about doing this for two years. Truthfully, I've been feeling called to it for many years in various forms and I have kept saying no. I probably have friends who doubt I'll follow through this time because they've been listening to me talk and not act for so long. But I can't ignore the longing in my own heart any longer...or the fact that a week after deciding to resign from the Imps the Universe sent me a friend who specifically asked me to do this because she needs it, too. It doesn't get any more obvious that I am being called than that.

Being true to who I am is bridging transcendent spirituality with immanent earthy human life and sexuality. To marry my own soul is to marry the importance of my spiritual path to the rest of my life, despite the fears of exclusion, rejection, loneliness, etc. I am following God's call to come out of the spiritual closet and am trusting that my tribe and community, who has held all the freakiness and quirky Aprilness I could throw at them, will continue to hold me, support me and connect with me where I am most in integrity with the truth of who I am.

I am trusting Love.

Image Source: Born of Light by Meganne Forbes

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Night Tears

There is a crying
that happens at night
that does not come
while the light is with us.
There are things that cannot
be evaded
once the sun goes down.
Small nocturnal creatures
with sharp white teeth
silently gnaw at the edges of
belly and heart
when the darkness descends
and the void inside
grows larger.

It can split you open.

And bone
in the centre of your chest
like the cracked wishing bone
from the turkey breast.

And if we are strong enough
to be weak enough
we are given a wound
that never heals.

It is the gift
that keeps the heart open.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer © 1995

Monday, November 8, 2010


in the center of my chest,
their constant dwelling:
the persistent yearning
the insistent craving
the unbidden imagining
the desire awakening
the daydream, the nightdream
the reverie unfolding:
the language of longing
drawing me home.

~ Jan Richardson, In Wisdom’s Path

Sometimes it aches, much like grief. Sometimes it feels dark, like emptiness. Sometimes it feels like incredible passion that has no outlet for expression. It comes in waves. It will come when I am alone. It will come when I am surrounded by others. It will even come when I am in another’s embrace.

Longing. A deep reaching for something I can feel, yet mostly remains just out of grasp. It feels like I crave something much bigger than my heart can hold, possibly bigger than life itself.

"Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, suffer the pain. Your desires must be disciplined And what you want to happen in time, sacrificed." ~Rumi

I have been contemplating and reading a lot about longing. Actually, the Universe has been talking to me about longing. I am attempting to truly understand this place I keep returning to. No matter what path I follow, no matter what I do with my life or what relationships I form, I keep coming back to this incessant and deep longing for something more. I can project onto other people or creative projects for awhile, but it never lasts. I return to what feels like the vast space between me and everything, me and God.

Intellectually, I know it is a longing for Oneness and direct experience of the Divine. That is the source of all our longing, a desire to return to where we come from, where there is no separation or isolation. Wearing a skinsuit (as a dear friend puts it), sets us apart from one another. While we can penetrate each others bodies and experience communion through shared energy, we can never truly become one while we are in skinsuits. I cannot join you in yours, you cannot join me in mine.

Oh but we try. I have been first hand witness to a couple hundred people attempting to assuage their longing for a few brief moments as they dance and play and fuck in a room together. I have had rapturous moments with lovers in a union of love and orgasm. We crave sex because it is the closest thing to Oneness most of us know.

And then there are those of us who have tasted Oneness through ritual, altered states induced by substances or body modification or prayer, and energetic experiences with individuals and groups. My empathic experiences certainly feel like Oneness.

No matter how we get there the experience is brief. Few of us have attained enlightenment – which I believe is a full time conscious experience of Oneness with All That Is. The rest of us get brief tastes...and we may likely become addicted to them.

I know all this intellectually, I know to the core of my being that spiritual connection is a vital expression of who I am, and yet I keep turning away from it. I lack discipline and I find distraction in what feels good, especially intimacy (oxytocin, touch, emotional vulnerability) and relationship (validation), which may be addictions, and justify it as conscious experience through which I am evolving. I am evolving in many ways, but I am also stagnating spiritually, returning to the same place over and over again.

"Our longing is the way." Rumi

Here. Where the longing is so great I feel it physically in my chest. It's time to dive in to the mystery, to follow the trail along which longing leads me. No more distractions and avoidance. No more hiding. My longing is the way.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Your Life Is Your Art (said Anais Nin)

I love Fall. I am sitting here with my laptop drinking a cup of tea, warmed by the roaring fire in the woodstove, surrounded on two sides by views of the trees, sun streaming through the windows, and I find myself in a strange place of both deep comfort and unsettledness. I am sitting with a significant decision I've made to near completely change my life over the next 7-9 months.

All of my life I have been making my life from found art. I have taken what the Universe drops in my path and made the most extraordinary beauty I could possibly muster from it. I have transformed tragedy into treasure, at times literally turning it into service, art and poetry that impacted other people's lives in positive ways. I made motherhood my art, attempting creative mastery at holding space for my children's conscious unfolding. I've chosen unsatisfying but secure administrative work that pays well in order to provide for my children, and have learned how to become a good leader and successfully run an organization with a fairly healthy and very loving culture because of my experience.

Whatever life hands me, no matter how dark, dirty or mundane, I will transform it into something remarkable.

All of my life I have also made myself visible by serving the needs of others. I had a revelation through an NLP session with Dave Berman at Manifest Positivity that I believe I earn my visibility to others through my generosity and service. If I was not giving, then I didn't believe I was visible or lovable. I believed that I had to justify or earn my existence and love from others.

I have never taken a significant life dream of my own and brought it into reality. I haven't actually spent much time dreaming, not really. One reason is that I haven't had the time for it because I am so busy serving other people's dreams, whether it's my children's dreams, or my partner's dreams (when I have one), or my employer's dream for their organization and the dreams of the people they serve, or the dreams of the Imps community (or whatever community I'm volunteering for).

Another reason I haven't dreamed much is because I didn't believe dreams could come true for me. In my early 20's, after having to make so many sacrifices of my own desires to meet my children's needs, I stopped believing that I could have anything different. They came first and then I tried to satisfy pieces of myself wherever I could find the space (making sculptures while watching movies with the family, late night writing after everyone was asleep, occasional weekend trips to the city, etc.).

It's not that I don't have dreams, I just haven't spent much time with them. I have dreams that live in the background of my heart. Since I was a teenager I have dreamed of being a writer who touches other people's lives in a positive way by sharing my stories and the insights into being human that they've unfolded in me. I've dreamt of creating community based multi-media art projects that bring healing to groups that are in conflict. I've dreamt of telling other people's stories through art and writing, stories of people who are different and need to be understood for who they are, or people who have survived terrible things that we need to change in the world but are too damn complacent because the realities don't touch us. I used to talk about searching for some kind of grant funding that would allow me to focus on creative work (but never really believed it would happen for me).

I have also dreamed a long time of being a counselor of some kind, helping people make sense of their life stories, offer experiences that facilitate healing, and support them in living consciously. At times I've thought about it through the lens of spiritual guidance. Now maybe I would call it sex positive spiritual guidance.

Two weeks ago I decided it's time to make my dreams come true. I am going to refocus my energy into creating the work of my heart. I am going to put my energy this winter into figuring out how to transition from my current work to the work I desire to be doing with people. Steps toward this will include working through the Fire Starter Sessions (which I purchased months ago but haven't spent any time with), changing my blog home and purpose, promoting my writing, participating in establishing a sex positive peer support group, and creating/facilitating a spiritual community of some kind.

I am also planning to relocate, probably to the Bay Area, next summer. I am dreaming of finding community that meets my needs spiritually and creatively and I've never really found it in Humboldt. There are many amazing people here and I am so incredibly grateful for their presence in my life, but I've never found resonance with other artists or spiritual communities here. I feel an urban area that draws a much wider diversity of creative and spiritual people might be a better fit for me.

Shifting my focus means that I am resigning immediately as a hostess (event coordinator) for the Impropriety Society. I don't know exactly that my relationship to the Imps will look like over the coming months, but it will be changing in significant ways to make space in my life for following my heart. While I love our community and love the impact the parties have on people's lives, I am not getting my needs for personal fulfillment met by big event production. I've been serving a need I see rather than serving in ways that bring me the most joy.

I look foward to witnessing how the Imps will continue to grow and thrive in my absence. I trust my partners and the people who have stepped into leadership to both carry forward the best of who are now and create new visions of who we could be. And perhaps I will carry the Imps into my new home in some way, bringing our vision for inclusive sex positive culture into a place that has allowed diversity to keep people apart.

Whatever role the Imps play in my life from here forward, it's time for me to craft my life into the masterpiece I know it can be and will allow me to serve in ways that bring me the most joy.