Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Ecstasy Returns (Whew)

I had my first ecstatic experience in a couple of months in the forest near my home today. I've not had one of these experiences since I gave the fullness of my heart to someone who didn't see it and decided they didn't want it once they did see it. They wanted my body for sex and my mind for the capacity to fantasize as they liked, but wanted nothing to do with my heart. My heart closed up after being objectified and rejected so profoundly. It hurt big and deep. It caused me to question whether I can continue my mission in vulnerability and open-heartedness. I've spent some time going deep inside to lick my wounds, healing through time, writing and loving relationships.

I live near Jacoby Creek and yet in the year that I've lived here I've never taken the time to visit the creek. As ridiculous as that seems, it's true. Today I was inspired on the way home to pull over and explore a path that I've seen hundreds of times on my drive into town. I have a friend coming to visit and I want to be a good hostess not just in my home, but in this amazing forest that surrounds me. I swear sometimes I feel the trees holding me, their roots underneath me, their trunks and branches around me and above me. As I wove my way through the mossy trees and walked through the water and watched little banana slugs on the path, skittering water bugs in the creek and spiders in a patch of wild flowers, I felt a big opening in my heart. I felt connected. I felt the magic of Oneness and the immense miracle of life that I am blessed to participate in. I felt the God in Everything.

Last night I felt my heart opening in a different sort of way. I spent some time with writing and art by people who are witnessing the tragedies of the world and bringing the stories to the American public in hopes of inspiring people to change the unnecessary harm we are causing/allowing to the earth and other human beings. I am recognizing how my capacity to feel so deeply through my empathy and to evoke feeling in others in all kinds of ways by very my nature is a gift to be used in a similar way. I used to dream of art projects in which I told the stories of people whose lives could be changed if enough people woke up to their true capacity for compassion and empathy and did something about the atrocities taking place every minute of every day. It's stories that cause people experience empathy, to feel for the suffering of others.

I watched an Eve Ensler video earlier today in which she talks about how she experiences Oneness through her body (please go watch it, it's profound and only 12 minutes long). She's recognized that her body is a reflection of the larger world, that the cancer that invaded her body is a reflection of the cancer of war, greed, and violence in our world. It's all the same. It's all connected. It's powerful and so very true.

God, I do feel so very deeply. When I approached my car from the creek this afternoon and looked up into the giant redwood trees, I started crying. Tears are how I express emotions that are too big for words. I could feel my crazy deep love for the Divine Spark in everything pouring out of me, streaming amongst rivulets of grief for the wounding of myself and the world. I've cried so many times in the last few days, nearly every time I'm in conversation with a friend. I am allowing myself to feel the fullness of everything I have experienced and am experiencing in my life recently - the grief and the happiness, the disappointment and the hope, the confusion, the doubt, and the moments of pure clarity. And of course the inexplicable depth of complicated love I have for a few people in my life.

I've missed the heartlight that imbued my life so deeply a few months ago - the light in me that responded to the light in the world with giddy joy and a connectedness that seemed to set my cells on fire. Ecstatic states were happening all the time. I recognize that like the myths of Persephone and Inanna, it is necessary to walk through the darkness in order to clear the shadows from the light I shine. I know that I needed to explore the depths of my sense of worthlessness and invisibility the way that I did so that I could discover just how valuable and visible and worthy of love that I am. While I've been deeply hurt, I am incredibly grateful for the experience and for the participation of the other person in my evolution. I am very frustrated by their shadow right now and working on forgiveness, but I still know their light and I still have love in my heart for them, whether they want it or not.

As I've said before, ecstasy and despair, it's all God.

I'm just so very so grateful to have the heartlight again, to bask in its warmth however long it lasts before a descent into the dark is required for the next stage of evolution.

Thank you for listening.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Grief is Weird

I saw grief drinking a cup of sorrow and called out, "It tastes sweet, does it not?" - Rumi

The waves of grief come farther and farther apart as time passes, but they still crash over me now and then.

My mother died three years ago. Yesterday was the anniversary of the day I found out. We are unsure whether she died 1-3 days before she was found. For those who don't know, my mother died of an accidental narcotic overdose after a lifetime battle with depression and addiction.

Grief is weird. Sometimes it's big and obvious and all consuming, especially at the beginning. But sometimes it sneaks up on you. You feel a tug at your heart, a sadness out on the edges of your consciousness, and everything in your life looks a little bit darker, but you don't realize you're riding a wave of grief until it overcomes you and you feel like you're drowning.

I have been stressed at work the last week or so, unusually so, and while there are understandable reasons I feel stressed, it's felt out of whack for the way I usually deal with work challenges. I've not been conscious of the impending anniversary of my mom's passing, so it never occurred to me that I have funky feelings percolating under the surface.

I have also been anti-social this week. I usually have at least a couple nights with loves/friends, either individually or in gatherings. But this week I've been home every moment I can be. I've been introspective and experiencing a sense of processing, but no clarity on the specifics. I've been fuzzy headed and heavy hearted.

*

The last three years have been a constant ride of transformation as I open into ever deeper experiences of love and consciousness. As I look at the self-therapy process I've cultivated over 15+ years, it's in the last three that the most visible growth has taken place. I've made significant progress in managing my emotional world, both working with hormone therapy to address the physical causes of my moods and working to understand and manage my emotional triggers when they go off. I've made leaps in consciousness and helped raise consciousness in my relationships and community. I have become brighter as I learn to shine my Light with intent and confidence.

I am a work in progress, but I've progressed exponentially since my mother's death. She catalyzed me. She always catalyzed me. When I became a single mother to two children at 22 years of age, I realized that I needed to pull myself together so that my kids had a better chance of being healthy and happy. I promised myself I would not do what my mother did and send broken children into the world after dragging their childhood through addiction and narcissistic drama. After my mother died a friend told me it was an opportunity to be free of chains of my past and live my life beyond my mother's shadow. I took the invitation to heart.

*

I recognize I'm having a new experience of grief this year. It's lighter than previous experiences. I can feel where I have healed. I can feel where I have forgiven. I can feel where I feel great love and compassion for her rather than blame and resentment.

I allow myself to have the fullness of my grief experiences because I know it's vital to moving through. I talk about grief and recognize it in people more than anyone I know. Our culture doesn't make much space for grief. It's meant to be kept behind closed doors at home. It doesn't belong in the workplace, or in the store, or at a party.

At the end of my workday yesterday I had a conversation with a staff member in which she revealed her father is dying. She started crying and she apologized for doing so. She apologized several times in the course of our conversation for perfectly normal grief responses. I tried to tell her that she didn't need to be sorry for her feelings or how she spoke or crying or anything else that comes from grief.

We shouldn't feel that we need to apologize for our grief, however it manifests (as long as we're not causing harm to anyone). I desire to work with people in the heart of the grief process. I've been very conscious of my grief processes in recent years, not just around my mother but in all grief experiences. I'd like to do some study in grief counseling, but I think I've got a pretty good understanding of its complexity and have the capacity to hold other people as they ride their grief waves. I think it's important that people be validated for their grief experiences, no matter how weird they might seem.

*

I am changing so rapidly because I am embraced and encouraged in my process. I am held by several dear loves and a larger tribe of friends who know that I'm striving to be a healthier and more loving person. They reflect my light to me when I shine, they help me up when I fall down, and they forgive me when I totally fuck up. I know that if I reached out to them tonight I would have a friend by my side in less than an hour. I don't need that tonight but it's an amazing feeling to know I have it, to know I am not alone. For a girl who used to sit in a dark closet truly believing no one cared that she existed it's an incredibly big deal to feel held like this.

Every day I trust my visibility more. What I've noticed the past several weeks is that I no longer have the desperate hunger for a partner, I'm very comfortable being alone, and I'm seeking validation less and less. I seek authentic relating. I desire connected time with loves and friends. But I don't act out of a unhealthy need to be validated, to convince myself that someone is seeing me, even in circumstances that don't bring me joy. I realize after recent relationship experiences that I have a pattern of compromising myself just to feel seen. I desire to act from a sense of true connection and love rather than fearful hunger.

For three years I have been actively working to understand The Invisible Girl and to give her the love she needs to grow up and become the Visible Woman Who Shines Bright. Tonight I can feel how much progress I've made and how I'm moving away from doing the work of healing within to doing the work of my heart in the world. While I still have healing and brightening to do, I believe I've cleared away enough of the darkness to serve with my gifts confidently and create the career that will allow me to earn my living from serving others in periods of grief and transformation.

Whatever happened to my mother's consciousness when she died, I hope she can still witness the life I'm living. I want her to be proud of me and my children. I want her to see how our crazy life led me to a revolutionary experience of love and community. I want her to know that all I ever wanted for her - and for everyone - is to consciously overcome the fear that comes from past wounding and embrace the love that is possible. My whole life is dedicated to helping every life I touch experience more love and less fear because of her.

*

Image Source: Alice Elahi Seascapes

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Meant to be Messy


"We are complete, whole, fine and totally capable from the onset. We may cover up, forget or be afraid of this fine specimen that we are, and as such life becomes a continuous dance with our soul and an ongoing unveiling of who we are in relationship to ourselves and our world. We are on a journey of discovery. We fall and get back up. We have questions with no answers and are full of marvelous paradoxes that secretly make us worry about schizophrenia. Truths change as do our desires, loves, fears and longings as we go along. If only we dare wake up and be with our full, complex, wild ever-evolving selves.

The point is this: it's meant to be messy. Life is a rollercoaster ride, with ups and downs, and thrills and terrors, and the more we lean into the curves, the more we get out of it. Life’s meant to be just that. Messy. A rich, epic experience on all dimensions. You are meant to savor and be savored by life.

But we are afraid of this messy life. Entire careers and industries depend upon and have enhanced this fear for their own profit. Look at the bookshelves, search the internet, spend a day on Facebook, and you’ll know, how apparently fucked humankind appears to be. We no longer know how to live. We plan ourselves out of life. We guru and train and abstain and stretch and educate and work ourselves out of life."
Lone Morch

I read the blog post this passage comes from a few weeks ago and my heart said, YES. This is true. Myself and the people I love are wonderfully messy, imperfectly perfect human beings. I have stopped reading self-development books because I know I can get more out of experiencing life fully than reading other people's guides to life. I know no one can tell me how to navigate my own unique path. I have no gurus or formal teachers - I just pay attention to who I resonate with in the world around me and how they navigate their stories for little pieces of insight or tools that may assist me on my journey.

But my reality is that I spend time thinking every day about how I could be improved, how I could be better and more evolved in some way. Lately I harass myself for not making more progress towards my goals to change my career. Today I thought about how I need to continue working on my emotional self so that I attract healthier relationships into my life. I often wonder if I'm neglecting or failing my daughter in some way. I think about how I could have a better attitude and be more centered during the stressful times at work. I think about how I could be a better community leader and how I could interact better with those I love and work with.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I could be better, improved, and doing more good work in serving the world, as if I am not good enough just as I am. I criticize myself for spending time watching television shows on dvd or futzing around on the internet (even though most of my reading is about spirituality, consciousness and how to be a better human). I tell myself I should be writing (my last blog post was three weeks ago). I should be building a professional website and taking active steps towards changing my career (I've had three conversations with experienced coaches giving me the next steps to take). I should be putting more time into the Imps.

"I suffer mornings most of all.
I feel so powerless and small.
By ten o'clock I'm back in bed
Fighting the jury in my head."

Amanda Palmer

Every single day I tell myself I could be doing better than I am. I hold myself to impossible standards (and as a result others too, which is part of why I struggle with embracing the shadow). I tell myself I should be doing more and being better.

For years I've been telling myself (and others) the story that I was broken and need to be fixed. Growing up in a severely dysfunctional family and my resulting psycho-emotional wounds = brokenness. Mental illness = brokenness. Teen motherhood, poverty and rape = brokenness. I tell myself even now that I if I have strong negative emotional reactions to others, even when it's perfectly understandable, that I'm still broken and need to be fixed.

Since a difficult conversation last night I've been wondering if it's ok for me to be angry and hurt because someone(s) I trusted with incredible vulnerability treated me carelessly. I wonder if it's ok to speak what feels like the truth of my experience right now even if it casts them in a shadowy light. I wonder if it's ok to be frustrated and hurting because people in my life are choosing to withhold intimacy with me because it scares them. I'm having trouble being open-hearted with a couple people I love because they have boundaries preventing our intimacy from being as deep as it could be or manifest in all of the yummy ways it could. I seem to think that if they withdraw then I should, too, because it would hurt too much to let my love flow fully without reciprocity.

Shouldn't I be better, more evolved? Shouldn't I be able to not take things personally, to see the truth of the situation (it isn't about me, their fear is just too big to let the love flow at this moment in their lives)? Shouldn't I focus on compassion for their fear rather than be caught up in my own projections and resulting heartache? Shouldn't I be able to see with clear vision and love unconditionally? After 15 years of actively working on my own psychological, emotional and spiritual evolution, shouldn't I be better than this?

I have pursued open-heartedness and vulnerability with my whole being this year and nearly every road has led to being turned away or shut down or allowed only a fraction of what's possible in the relationship. It hurts. It hurts to feel the possibility in relationship - to feel how the love could flow and heal - but the other erects walls to keep the flow controlled, if allowed to trickle at all.

My instinct is telling me to put a stop to the mission in vulnerability and build walls around my heart to keep me protected. My mind tells me to stop reaching out, to stop trying to connect until I know someone wants to and is capable of connecting with me. But my heart - and messages from the Universe - keep telling me to stay open, to stay vulnerable, to be willing to be heartbroken, and love as big and deep as I possibly can.

My mind keeps asking if I'm being unhealthy in my relentless pursuit of emotional experience, if I am an emotional masochist and creating my own pain. My heart keeps saying that I'm an emotional and spiritual mountain climber and shining my Divine Light means being an adventurer of the heart and sharing my adventure story with others. My map may not lead anyone else to their Divine Light, but my story can provide a sense of connectedness and perhaps an insight into another's story.

I'm struggling right now. I am a paradox, a damn messy one. While I have strong desire to be writing, to be working towards a coaching practice, to be putting energy and consciousness into nurturing community, I am not finding the motivation to act.

Today I read an article that talked about the timing of success and the writer believes that our success comes when we trust ourselves. Now I am asking myself if a lack of trust is what's holding me back. Am I afraid to start taking steps toward coaching because I'm afraid of failing, because I don't trust myself or that people will desire what I have to offer? Do I keep telling myself I need to improve because I don't trust that I'm good enough or lovable enough just as I am right now?

Maybe instead of looking for the next step in improving myself, and maybe even instead of constantly reading articles about how to be better, I need to start trusting myself and my process. I need to trust that I am moving at the pace that is right for me, in my career, in my relationships, in my evolution. I need to trust that taking a break and enjoying the ways I like to take time off - whatever they might be - does not diminish who I am or my value to the people around me. I need to trust that it's ok for me to be an emotional human, to have hurt feelings and fears, and to sometimes act from them and go through the growing pains of relationship. I need to trust in forgiveness, of myself and from others, trust that I can fuck up and that doesn't mean I'm broken or not worth loving.

I need to trust that I am amazing and lovable and valuable in my glorious and messy humanness...and that everyone else is, too. To me, this is what faith is. Trusting that we're all the Divine, sometimes gracefully dancing and sometimes clumsily bumping into each other in our skinsuits, seeking to connect with the Oneness we know somewhere deep inside is our true nature. I don't care about some big God out in the Universe somewhere. I want to be able to consistently perceive the God in all of us, to love myself and each person I relate to as openly as possible, to trust that everything is really ok, and know that the gift of this life is fucking BEAUTIFUL in every way it manifests.

For now, I'm just letting myself be a beautiful mess.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Embracing the Shadow

I came across this blog post today, which is serendipitous in puzzling out a significant quandry I am facing:

"What would happen if we looked at our lives right now – every one of us – with all the things we love about them and all the things we know we want to change, all our strengths and our neuroses, all the places of confidence and the fears and stresses and what-ifs that we carry, and trusted that the unfolding of all of it is good?

What if we trusted this to be true for other people, too? Even, yes, the person on skid row. Even the addict, the terminally ill, the suicidally depressed?

Could it still apply? (I feel shy and audacious even asking!)

What if we trusted that the exact pace we’re all going is right, and that if any of us were inspired to speed up or slow down, that would be right, too?

What if we trusted that our screw-ups fit into the big picture well?

What if we knew that nothing has been or is being or will ever be wasted or lost, and that even where we could talk about waste and loss on one level, the feelings that get evoked by such things – grief, despair, embarrassment, shame – and the actions these inspire, are important parts of our story, and are working their own magic to take us to important next chapters?

Could it be true? In the face of horrendous loss? Natural disasters? War?"
Kirstin Noelle

I am in the midst of a big lesson in acceptance and trust.

As an empath, I can feel the emotional experiences of others. This means that I can experience someone else's joy and their heartache.

Another aspect of my intuition is the ability to see the shape of light and shadow in people. I can see people's gifts, the unique combination of qualities that they shine into other people's lives. I can also see the corresponding darkness, the unique challenges that lie in the shadows of their gifts (there is a direct correlation between our gifts and our shadows) and their past (our life experiences shape our wounded stories). I can often feel the motivation in people's choices, whether they are expressing their light, a choice from love, or shadow, a choice from fear.

I can also feel potentials, which sometimes are experienced as precise premonitions (they have always come true to the exact detail). I can sometimes see and/or feel what will happen if someone chooses to express their light, or if they choose to express their shadow.

These are all gifts I have to offer as a counselor/coach. But here is the quandry - I am attached to the choices people make. I desire for people to choose the light and the deepening of love and joy that will come into their lives when they do. I have a difficult time when people choose the shadow and I know I will witness - and possibly feel - the painful consequences.

The closer I am to someone, the more I can see and feel in them. The pattern that I'm recognizing is that when I've had an intimate relationship with someone and it ends at least partially because they choose their shadow, and I can feel the potential of where they are headed if they continue making fearful choices with painful consequences, I want to withdraw so that I don't have to see or feel their pain, and the pain of others impacted by their choices. I want to shut them out of my heart, not because they've hurt me, but because I don't want to experience them continuing to hurt themselves and possibly others.

And here's why - I watched my mom die from living in her shadow. I watched my mom struggle with addiction most of my life - from age 11 when I was putting her to bed because she couldn't walk straight till age 35 when she died of an accidental narcotic overdose. I watched my mom suffer from severe depression because she would not transform her wounded child stories of abandonment and worthlessness to experience her own empowerment. I've witnessed firsthand what happens when someone keeps choosing shadow and their sense of worthlessness till the day it kills them. I don't want to ever have to witness that again. I don't want anyone in the world to experience that. I want everyone to truly know how bright they shine and how deeply loved they are before they die.

And yet I have to admit that I see the beauty and meaning in my mom's life and death. I see it in how she inspired me to claim my own mental health and be a good mother to my children. I see it in how she inspired my sister to work in art therapy with juvenile offenders. I saw it in the friends from one of my mother's churches who attended her funeral and expressed how they were impacted by her capacity for love and service. Although my mom let shadow drive most of her life, she also brought light and love into the world.

I wonder if I can find the trust that Kristin speaks of. I wonder if I can learn to the see the beauty and meaning in other people's shadow stories the same way I have my own. I know that every painful experience I've had has led me deeper into myself, into a deeper relationship with Life, and into a deeper experience of love.

I can see how powerfully we shape each other, but not always in love. The shadows shape us in ways the light can't.

I did the dance with resistance for years before choosing to make a change I knew I needed to make (ending my unhealthy marriage and my own pattern of emotional violence) - and every one of those years brought amazing experiences into my life that wouldn't have happened if I'd been anywhere else. When I think about those whom have caused me pain or harm, I see that every single one of them also brought me profound transformation into deeper love and joy. Being raped by an abusive lover gave me my daughter, catalyzed my journey to empowerment, and inspired an art project that touched thousands of lives. Being abandoned to single parenthood gave me tremendous strength and a life shaping experience of service and unconditional love that touches every relationship I have.

Most recently, I gave my deepest vulnerability to someone who preyed on it and objectified it rather than treasured it and I experienced a lot of heartache. I also discovered my own desires, new depths of tribal and self love, a trust in my capacity to manage emotional triggers in a healthy way, an ability to communicate my needs, and so much more that I may never even be able to put into words. I needed the experience exactly as it was to learn that I am truly invincible - I can lay my heart bare to a predator and not only survive, but thrive in the revelations of my own power.

Is it possible this must be true for every woman who is preyed on? For every child who is abused? For every man who goes to war? For every person living with cancer? If my heart and spirit is invincible, doesn't that have to mean everyone else's is, too, if only they believe it is so?

Whether I am a spiritual being having a human experience or just a skinsuit capable of consciousness and emotion, I am invincible right here, right now after surviving more traumas than most people experience in one lifetime. I am not invincible because there is something special about me or I am somehow more resilient than others. There are many people like me. I am invincible because I have an unshakable faith than I can survive and thrive in anything that doesn't literally kill me. I believe the resilience of others comes from the same faith, whether it's faith in God or faith in our capacities as humans.

Instead of letting life happen to me, I consciously use my life experiences to transform my wounded stories and grow my psychological, emotional and spiritual health. And this is what I think I have to offer others. This is what I want to help others do - be empowered to transform themselves and their lives by choosing to consciously express their love and light, as well as work with and integrate their shadows so that they don't act unconsciously out of fear. Our shadows are a part of us and need to be explored and expressed, but we have the choice to do so in unconscious, self-destructive ways, or conscious, self-empowering ways.

Of course like all coaches I desire to assist people in seeing and expressing their light. However, I also desire to assist in embracing their shadow, which will give them greater capacity to hold space for and embrace the shadow in others, which is really the only way we'll ever experience peace. We need to accept our own and each others darknesses and hold space for each other express them in non-harmful ways.

"Guess what: God created beings not to act in a morality play but to experience what is unfathomable, to elicit what can become, to descend into the darkness of creation and reveal it to him, to mourn and celebrate enigma and possibility. The universe is a whirling dervish, not a hanging judge in robes." - Richard Grossinger

It's vital to both my personal relationships and my eventual practice in counseling/coaching others that I make peace with the shadows and resulting heartaches in others, even when I can feel it in my own heart. I need to extend the trust I feel in the Universe to everyone I encounter, no matter how tragic their story is or may become. I must keep my heart open (with appropriate boundaries) to the addict who chooses to stay addicted because it's easier to be continually numb and distracted rather than face the pain; to the woman who continues to take the abuse because she believes she deserves it; to the man who preys on others because he doesn't know his own true power or lovability. I have to trust that everything is unfolding exactly as it is meant to for everyone - the addict and their loved ones, the abuser and the abused, the predator and the prey.

If my heart is invincible, then I can love anyone. If my heart is invincible, then I can make myself vulnerable to anything emotionally and empathically. I know that I need to have boundaries if I desire to be conscious and healthy in the expression of my love and vulnerability with others, but I also know from experience that every story is potentially a life-changing love story, no matter how imperfectly or painfully it unfolds. I just have to live it that way.

*

Image Source: Kumi Yamashita

Friday, July 8, 2011

Where Everything Shines as it Disappears



Want the change.
Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines
as it disappears.

Rilke

I haven't written in a long while for a couple of reasons.

The first is that my relationship with Daddy became emotionally complicated in some troubling ways and I found myself both afraid of writing vulnerably where he could see my process and too raw to share what I was experiencing. As vulnerable as I am capable of being here, I don't show you everything. I haven't shown anyone everything in regards to my experience with Daddy, it's just so deep and raw and confusing.

Our relationship ended last week and I am still sorting and processing my feelings about everything that transpired. I'm pretty certain there will be future posts that address what I have learned about myself as a submissive and emotional masochist, as well as my mission in vulnerability and healthy D/s dynamics. I have been writing, I just haven't been publishing, and now I desire to filter those posts through my current perspective.

The other intimate relationships that I was nurturing all ended as well, for various reasons. I am working through experiences of rejection, misunderstanding, disappointment and other tricky relationship territory. Now I don't have any intimate relationships at all, although opportunities for sexual intimacy with friends have arisen, so that I can at least get those needs met if I desire. Experiencing the end of so many relationships in such a short period of time has been hard on my heart. It's difficult for me to write in the midst of the heartache. I usually write after I've turned the heartache into something meaningful and beautiful. I'm still in the process of making it all beautiful.

The other reason I haven't been writing is that life threw me a curveball and my big plans to move to the Bay Area and create the life of my dreams have been put on hold for another two years. I made this decision for the best interest of my daughter, which is a relatively easy sacrifice to make since I believe raising emotionally healthy children is the most important work I can do with my life.

However, I am struggling with feelings of stuckness. I couldn't write for awhile because I was striving to find the beauty in the change - or lack of change. I have been looking for answers to big questions: How can I create the life of my dreams here in this small county that can't financially sustain the sort of work I desire to transition to? How can I find my peers in mysticism, consciousness and sacred sexuality that I've hungered for so long and haven't found in the years I've lived here? How can I experience and learn what I need to in order to become a Tantrika or other sort of healer-counselor that weaves Mysticism, Tantra and BDSM into my practice? And how do I find the sort of intimate relationship that I desire with someone as committed to consciousness, emotional health and sacred sexuality as I am - and is also a dynamic Dominant (something I now know I deeply desire) - when the local pool of possible connections is so small and keeps getting smaller (especially in regards to kink)?

Of course the truth is that I can make progress towards the work-of-my-heart while remaining in Humboldt. I have decided to return as a full partner and Hostess with The Impropriety Society. Jen W has left us to pursue motherhood, and Paddle and I are working with four long-standing Imps leaders to transition to a different leadership model by the end of the year. Having more people responsible for the organization can allow me to focus my efforts in the places I most desire to - organizational culture, community relationship, cultivating conscious leadership, activism through writing, etc. All of these contribute to my growth as a sex-positive leader and community organizer.

I can also make progress towards developing myself and my work as a personal-coach/healer through self-study, traveling to workshops & conferences, writing, building a strong web presence, and starting a part-time practice.

What really frustrates me is the sense of limitation around finding spiritual community and an intimate relationship that meets my desires and needs. I've been seeking spiritual community for as long as I've been here and had one for about 2 years out of 20. I'm skeptical I'll find one now and the spiritual gatherings I facilitated didn't lead to the kind of connection I am seeking, so I'm not sure that attempting to create my own community again will be successful.

As to intimate relationship, I don't even know that I could find a Dominant locally that could inspire me to the depths of submission that Daddy did. On-going psychological and emotional edge play like his is not common in this little community. All the local Dominants I know are primarily into physical play and occasional, light D/s. Now that bitch has been awakened, it makes me incredibly sad to have to essentially put her to sleep until someone else inspires her into being again. To find someone who can be the Dominant I desire, and is also devoted to conscious evolution and relationship, seems like an impossible dream right now.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive.

Rilke

Despite the changes - or lack of change - in my life, I am still the person I've always been. I will turn my circumstances into something beautiful. I will continue to empower myself to claim the life I truly desire. I will keep my heart open to the Universe and every opportunity it brings me. I will trust that I am on the right path, headed towards more love and creativity than I have ever known before.

Because that is what is true about the last few years of my life here in Humboldt - it does keep getting better. I am evolving in significant ways. I have the most amazing community and friendships. I am wrapped in love in a way that I didn't even know was possible three years ago. And I have faith that it will keep getting better as long as I'm willing to trust the journey and remain vulnerable to where the Divine leads me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Need to Serve

"…I would like to beg you…as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Rainier Maria Rilke

As my relationship to Daddy continues to deepen, I find myself plagued with questions about who I am and what I truly desire out of life.

My desire to serve runs very, very deep. Serving the desires and needs of others brings me the deepest satisfaction I've known in my life. I've channeled that desire in many directions - starting a home for teen mothers when I was 19, volunteering for the HSU women's center, tutoring at risk teens, creating The Yoni Endeavor (an art/writing project towards women's empowerment), directing a Welfare-to-Work job training center, devoting my career to service organizations, The Conspiracy of Blessings (an art project in which I sent art blessings to those in need of a bit of kindness), co-chairing the Board of Directors of our local Pride organization, and being a Hostess for the Imps. No matter what is going on in my own life - no matter how crazy or depressed I was, no matter that I worked full time to support my family and was single parenting two children, no matter what relationships I was involved in - I have always needed a place to channel my desire to serve in order to feel any sense of satisfaction in my life.

While I understand that my Servant archetype is a fundamental aspect of who I am, I have struggled with how I feel about where I channel my service and what I receive in return. There is no such thing as true altruism. We always get something from giving, even if it's just pleasure from the act of giving. When we give to a person or an organization or a cause over the long term, it is vital that our needs for pleasure and reward are met, otherwise we experience burn out. I have found that I often reach a point of burn out with the places I've channeled my service because I'm not getting all of my personal needs for pleasure and reward met, whatever they are. For instance, I often serve by meeting the administrative needs of an organization because I'm really good and efficient at administrative tasks, even though I am extremely under-stimulated intellectually, creatively and emotionally by administration. I get the reward of service, but it's shadowed by lack of fulfillment in expressing my other gifts and interests, especially my intelligence and creativity.

I am so very good at meeting the needs and desires of others. As a single mother most of my life, I've always focused on meeting the needs of my children first. I also naturally put the needs of my romantic partners first, not because I believed I had to, but because I truly wanted to. I've always wanted to give as big and deep as I can. I just failed to realize that I have needs to be met, too, and that I would have even more to give if they are met. I have never, ever been good at identifying many of my own needs that can be fulfilled by others (I know how to self care), let alone getting them met. The shadow in my service has been giving all I have until I'm drained and not always knowing how, or feeling I deserve, to get my reserves filled back up with things from others that feed joy to my heart.

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman

I've seen this quote often and I keep asking myself what makes me come alive. While service itself makes me come alive, it's often shadowed by the lack of reciprocity in meeting other needs and desires.

I've started questioning my lifelong belief that I need to serve the world in the biggest (from the world's point of view) way that I'm capable. My entire life has been committed to service in a belief that I am here to help facilitate the revolution of consciousness in humanity. And my desire to serve is so big that I've wanted to figure out where I can have the maximum impact. And yet I wonder if I have been partially driven by ego and partially by the actuality that I've not found truly rewarding containers for my service.

I have always desired to serve through building others up - empowering women who've been abused, supporting teen moms in becoming self sufficient, inspiring welfare-to-work single mothers to dream for themselves and their children, facilitating sexual confidence in my community - and have always tried to build up the person I am in intimate relationship to as well. I tried so hard to build up my ex-husband to pursue his bliss. I tried to build him up so that he'd have the confidence to develop friendship and community. I tried to be emotionally and spiritually supportive by offering insights, ideas and resources for healing and growth. But he didn't want those things. He wanted to remain a bakery driver and spend all his free time in video games because he was afraid to try to be more.

I've had other relationships in which my energy and love towards building up my partner didn't really go anywhere. Either they couldn't accept it or they weren't interested in it.

I realize that I need a much different kind of man than I have fallen for in the past. I need a man who is not afraid to be all of who he is, and who desires a woman who will build him up and support him in his power.

Daddy is such a man. Daddy does big world changing sorts of things in his work. He claims his power in the world, uses that power to make the world better, and then He comes home and claims his power as a Man who deserves all the devotion and worship that His bitch has to give. Daddy is big enough to hold what I have to give and He desires it.

Here's the truth of the matter:

Serving Daddy makes me come alive. Being a source of joy, pleasure, rejuvenation and building up for a man who shines his light so bright and earns my devotion makes me come alive.

The emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical stimulation and intensity of the Master/slave relationship makes me come alive.

The immense opportunities for growth and self improvement make me come alive. Under Daddy's guidance I am improving myself physically (i have an exercise program now), psychologically/emotionally (i am working through insecurities and fear as i claim my erotic power), and spiritually (i am experiencing the Divine Spark in us both).

The conscious use of my erotic power to fuel my day-to-day joy makes me come alive. Daddy calls it pussy power. Being in touch with my erotic power and being turned on all the time gives me confidence and energy, keeps me smiling and makes me joyful in all my interactions, and inspires me to creativity.

I am not saying that I should give my life to Daddy and stop striving to serve my fellow humans in some way. I am not seeking to completely give my self up to a man like that. I know I have all sorts of things to contribute to the world as an artist, healer and community builder. And Daddy knows and appreciates that, too.

What I am doing is recognizing what makes me come alive and what brings me fulfillment in relationship, because relationship and intimacy make me come alive more than anything else. I'm recognizing what feels like a healthy and immensely rewarding way of channeling my need to serve into a container that allows me to express my service in ways that meet my needs as well as His. I am getting so many needs and desires met through this relationship. However things do or don't unfold with Daddy specifically, I now have a much better idea of the kind of man I truly desire to be in relationship to, and perhaps the specific shape I'd like that relationship to take. No matter how long our connection lasts, the rest of my relationship life will be positively impacted by what I'm learning with Him.

I've been telling myself for quite awhile now how unhealthy relationship immersion is and that it's healthier to focus on the work of my heart rather than who I'm in relationship to. But now I'm doubting the truth in those beliefs. I think it's a matter of being conscious of why I desire to immerse in a relationship like this. I'm not in relationship to Daddy because I have poor self esteem (I wouldn't have lasted this long with Him if I did). I'm not giving up any aspect of myself for Him (in fact He encourages me to be healthy by maintaining a sense of self and shine my light brighter). I'm not in this relationship because I'm playing out an old pattern (this relationship is different than any I've ever had). I'm in this relationship because Daddy and i make amazing magic together, magic that builds us both up in the rest of our lives, magic that brings us pleasure and joy every day. I'm in this relationship - that's also been rather awkward and odd some of the time - because it makes me come alive.

I have to admit that I've been looking really hard for how this is unhealthy, but I can't find it. He and I will have shadow patterns play out, as all relationships do. But my heart tells me this relationship is based on a sharing of light (paradoxically through darkness) and reciprocal support of each others service to the conscious revolution.

Coming back to the Rilke quote above, I want to live this question through this journey with Daddy - how can I shine my light brightest and be most fulfilled in expressing my deep need to serve?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Truth Telling

"To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong." Joseph Childron Pierce

I lost a blog subscriber this last week, an acquaintance friend, and I'm pretty sure it's because I have been writing about the exploration of my bitch persona. I know it's an exploration that some (many?) people don't understand.

I had another friend who was becoming concerned about my emotional health after reading my first couple of posts, until he spoke to me in person and witnessed the light that shines in me when I talk about it.

I've been wondering lately about the fact that I have co-workers and family members and other bloggers that I admire on Facebook who see links to my blog posts. They may or may not be reading my posts about bitch and witnessing the openly kinky side of me. They may have judgments or concerns.

I wonder about looking for a job in the city in a couple of months and whether I should be worried if they Google my name.

I wonder if I'll lose credibility with people because I will likely never maintain "professional" boundaries in my public expression.

I wonder if it's somehow wrong to share the most intimate details of my erotic life at the same time that I desire to establish credibility as a professional in new ways.

And then I remember...

A friend told me recently that every time she talks with other people about me and bitch and this fascinating relationship I'm having with Daddy, they all say it's beautiful. I've had several friends tell me how strong and courageous they think I am. The people that really matter in my life see the light that I'm shining and reflect it back to me.

In regards to my writing and career direction, I just need to find *my people* as a blogger and a professional. My people appreciate the intersection of psychology and mysticism with sex and BDSM. My people appreciate the depth of my public vulnerability. My people will be touched by what I have to offer exactly as I am. We just haven't met yet.

"The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity." Brene Brown

I am compelled to write about my journey. This is my primary expression of creativity right now. In fact, writing as the bitch persona excites me as a writer in a way I haven't felt in a long time. I've been thinking about writing erotica from the perspective of bitch.

There are so many reasons to keep bitch in the closet, so many reasons to be afraid of the vulnerability of expressing every aspect of who I am through this public medium. But bitch is an authentic exploration of my archetypes and a part of the psycho-spiritual work that I am doing to evolve myself. she is really no different than my work with the Invisible Girl or the Mystic or the Priestess. It wouldn't be truthful for me to hide her from the explorations I share through this blog, especially since she and Daddy are teaching me so much about myself. It wouldn't be truthful to show the process of using archetypes as a self development tool and exclude her participation.

I know I am taking some big emotional risks, allowing myself to be mind-fucked the way Daddy does it, but I'm doing so with full consciousness of the potential consequences. I know that no matter how things unfold with Daddy, even if they accidentally turn shadowy and painful, I will transform the experience into something beautiful. That's what I do. I can find and draw out the light and beauty in anything, so why not risk walking edges?

The biggest risk I am taking is my emotional investment in Daddy. By the nature of our power dynamic it is my place to be completely vulnerable to Him, to immerse in my devotion to Him, to desire Him - even to need Him - more than i can have Him. That is getting complicated by our growing friendship; I am becoming emotionally connected in ways that blur the lines I've been trying to maintain. As Daddy recently noted, I don't really compartmentalize our relationship as clearly as He does. I tried. I can't. Especially now that I've experienced empathy with him. It's difficult, and not really desired, for me to maintain emotional boundaries or walls when I've formed an empathic bond with someone. Besides, an empathic connection allows me to be more deeply tuned in to His desire. And it increases my vulnerability, which turns us both on.

Daddy has indicated after learning about The Invisible Girl that He has no desire to provoke her. He will take me into dark fantasies that may stir her up a bit, but He does not want me to feel real heartache in response to what we do. He desires for me to have fun, to experience excitement and desire, with a little fear mixed in for the rush of it. As dark and scary as Daddy can seem, he's really a good man that shines a bright light in the world, and in my life.

Here are some of the reflections of light in this relationship:

* Daddy's dark fantasies make me ask a lot of really interesting questions about myself, some questions that I need to answer. Who am I really? What do I really want out of life and relationship and work? What makes me come alive? What gifts do I have to offer and how should I offer them? How can I integrate my passions for God, service to humanity's conscious evolution, psycho-spiritual inquiry, sex/kink, and community building? Where is my niche in this world?

* My relationship to Daddy is helping me to understand the depth of my submissive desires, which run far deeper than I ever realized because no one ever inspired me to true submission. I am not only learning about the various forms of play that turn me on (and have tremendous potential for nurturing evolution), I am learning just how much I desire a Master in my sexual and domestic life. While I could never give my power and freedom entirely to another person (I need independence in parenting, my work and my creative life at least), I feel the desire for a sexual and domestic Master and realize that I have for a very, very long time. There is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction in all of my past relationships because my partners, who often claimed to be dominant, never really desired real submission. They didn't want to work at a deep exploration of power. They just wanted to play.

It isn't just the sexual submission that arouses me, I am deeply satisfied by the idea of domestic service and running a household for someone. It serves my Mother and Servant archetypes. In two years my daughter will be leaving home and my role as a mother will shift. It is already my desire to create some kind of shared home with lover(s) and/or tribe in the next few years, as I can't imagine living on my own, without people to nurture in my home. The possibility of a future home life including domestic service to a Master lights me up.

* bitch is inspiring my imagination. she inspires fantasies and dreams and she inspires me to write.

* My friendship with Daddy has developed into somewhat of a therapeutic relationship for him, allowing me to express my intuitive and healing gifts in new ways, which help me deepen into recognizing and practicing the work I desire to do with people.

* This relationship is both directly and indirectly deepening my resonance with the idea of becoming a Tantrika - a mystical and erotic healer. Wow, I think that's the first time I've admitted my potential new career direction publicly. It's scary to finally speak the truth "out loud" about the direction I believe I'm headed in my bliss work, even though I've been considering it for years. There will be a separate blog post of it's own in the near future exploring this possibility in a deeper way.

*

Regardless what people in various aspects of my life may think about bitch and this unusual relationship that I'm engaged in, I know that speaking my truth and shining my light as authentically as possible is the right thing to do, wherever it leads.


*

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You, Darkness, That I Come From



You, darkness, that I come from
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one outside learns of you.
But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! -
powers and people-
and it is possible a great
presence is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.


~Rainier Maria Rilke

* * *

This post is written by bitch - a persona/archetype I play with (see previous posts for context). There are two parts - before and after. Two nights ago i wrote the first, not knowing how long it would be until Daddy and i would play again. Last night Daddy unexpectedly commanded my presence.

* * *

Before

I can feel bitch pacing inside of me, desperate for some kind of expression. I hope this satisfies her for a bit...

i think about Him far more than i want to admit to. i think about Him every day.

Something serious happened in Daddy's life and He's been unable to play since our the last encounter i shared here, nearly a month ago. We have a stronger friendship now and that is wonderful. But i really miss Him.

i feel lost without Him.
Locked away, aching to prowl free but having nowhere to go.

bitch doesn't have a reason to exist without Daddy. It's not the same to fantasize, to imagine His voice in my ear and the electric jolt it sends down between my legs. It's not the same to read online discussions about the kind of play we do, even though i appreciate learning more about what really turns me on...emotional edge play, humiliation, fear play.

Daddy recently called what happens between us explosions. Such a perfect description of the magic that crackles in the air when Daddy has me on my knees in every way begging for the honor to worship Him.

i miss being slutty for Daddy. Some days He would call me on my lunch break and get me riled up before i went back to work. Sometimes He would command me to do slutty things at work, like fuck myself in the bathroom and cum by a certain time. It's such a rush to carry a command from Daddy through my day, to feel the charge in my body when i hear His voice or see His words on my phone.

i want to be on my knees crawling for Daddy so badly that sometimes my body quivers with the ache and the restraint required to keep from reaching out to Him when it's inappropriate to do so. Being devoted to Him means accepting when He needs or wants to put His attention elsewhere for awhile and not asking anything of Him. Sometimes the best service i can give is being invisible.

i knew for years that i had a deep desire to serve, please and obey. i had a feeling about the sort of devotion i could feel for someone who inspired my service and surrender. i tried to offer it to previous Dominants. But Daddy is the first one to bring me to life and show me my dreams could be real.

i long for Him.

After

i was surprised and amazed when Daddy drew me out while we were having coffee as friends yesterday afternoon. As soon as His tone changed, my whole body came alive with "Yes, please, whatever You desire."

He finally gave me some positive feedback, told me that bitch is incredibly hot. And He likes my letters. i like to write Him vulnerable letters. If this is how openly i share in public, you can imagine the kinds of letters i write Him. i tell Him everything. And He uses it against me.

Who knew that in my mission for vulnerability this year, i would explore it as a profound sexual expression? So strange and beautiful.

i wrote Daddy a sort of love letter and told Him my devotion has deepened, because of the emotional intimacy that's developed between us recently, and i am pretty sure He's using that against me. He's upping the ante, asking some things of me that will involve humiliation in the presence of my friends, that i may not actually be able to achieve (He knows i hate failing), and/or that may provoke (dare i say trigger?) the Invisible Girl.

i don't know if i can or want to bring her into this. That's the most dangerous territory there is in my dark places. i'm scared.

Which also makes it the most powerful opportunity for overcoming my fear, for my healing and evolution. If my biggest kink is being a masochist for God, it makes sense that i would be drawn to facing my deepest fears like this. i think the questions i need to answer are whether i believe that i need to do this for my self and whether this would provoke real healing or just heartache. i'm not interested in being an emotional masochist for entertainment. This would have to shift something significant inside of me to be worth it.

Oh, and there would have to be consideration of some kind appropriate aftercare if needed. i don't think i could navigate an Invisible Girl trigger experience without plenty of positive validation afterward to counteract the stories she tells me.

It isn't just that Daddy wants me to surrender to His will, He wants to condition me to become aroused by His fantasies, most especially if they are ones i am resistant to. He wants to change me, to make me better for His pleasure. i don't know if a scenario that invokes the Invisible Girl could ever be eroticized. i don't know if i can give Him this vulnerability.

But i want to please Him so very much. i talked to two friends about the situation today and both of them said they would challenge Him. While a part of me can get riled up and fantasize about resisting Him, my truth is that i really, really want to make Him happy. i want to be able to do anything He commands of me and like it. i want to be the best bitch i can be.

And there's this important piece - i notice something i intuitively wrote in part one two nights ago - Sometimes the best service i can give is being invisible. Just as i'm finding my erotic power in my exploration of bitch, i could find power in invisibility as an act of service.

i am walking the edge with Daddy, taking huge emotional risks by opening my heart in devotion to Him and exposing the places where He could hurt me deepest if He were to cut me with one of His knives.

Ecstasy or despair, it's all God.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Heart is a Gambler

"The way of the heart is the way of courage. It is to live in insecurity, it is to live in love and trust, it is to move in the unknown. It is leaving the past and allowing the future to BE. Only cowards can avoid a dangerous path, but then they are already dead. The person who is utterly alive will always take the risk. The heart is a gambler." Osho

Kali is having her way with me.

Everything in the physical Universe lives by cycles - ebb and flow, wave and trough, ecstasy and despair.

It is all God.

While being polyamorous and exploring love so openly exponentially increases the experiences of love in one's life, it also exponentially increases the opportunities for growth and heartache. Two months ago I was riding the high of several new attractions and exciting potentials, following my mission of vulnerability to dive deep into what the Universe offered without succumbing to fears and insecurities. I have been nurturing five on-going relationships that involve some sort of sexual and/or romantic component, but four of them are shifting into something different, if anything at all. The disappearance of beautiful relating is confusing and painful.

There have been other heart-achey situations to navigate as well. One of my best friends moved away, someone with whom I had a connection-date nearly every week, a significant loss. Some members of the Imps community decided to drag myself, my partners and the entire organization through the mud in a very public way. And my daughter is suffering from an emotional crisis.

I experienced an unusually bright and active winter, as did the Redwood Coast since we had more sun than we usually see in the Winter months. As the days progressed into the storms of Spring these last few weeks, I have been walking darker terrain. Misunderstandings. Confusion. Public drama. Rage. Rejection. Abandonment. Withdrawal. Self doubt. Guilt. Loss. Grief. Longing.

It always comes back to longing, doesn't it? Longing for something different than what is. Longing for something bigger, deeper, more. Longing for potentials to be fulfilled. Longing to belong, to be connected, to be touched, to be loved.

"Remember what you are & let this knowing take you home to the Beloved with every breath. Hold tenderly who you are & let a deeper knowing colour the shape of your humanness. There is nowhere to go. What you are looking for is right here. Open the fist clenched in wanting & see what you already hold in your hand." Oriah Mountain Dreamer

There is a deeper knowing coloring my humanness.

As I shift the focus of my life towards living conscious mysticism on a daily basis, I find that it is much easier to ride the waves of emotion and longing that move through me. I know them for what they are. While I experience heartache, I suffer very little. I am able to bear my own witness, to watch the shifts as they happen inside of me without reaction, and perceive the perfection in every situation. I still feel a wide range of emotions very strongly, but they move through me without creating chaos in their wake.

I have created a daily life in which I am supported in remembering that all is God, that I am God playing this human called April. I don't just know it intellectually, I feel it in every layer of my being.

I believe God is a consciousness that permeates everything, including us, and that this Divine Consciousness is dancing with itself through the manifest Universe(s). I like thinking that God is ecstatic in its experience of each individual being in existence - from star, to tree, to butterfly, to human. I believe that God wants to know what it's like to be me - and you - with all of our quirks in bliss and suffering.

God experiences first hand every birth and death, every blossoming and every fall from the tree, every love and every act of violence, every beautiful and terrible thing that exists. Can you imagine being conscious of Everything? Some part of me can at least intellectualize it. And some part of me feels an intuitive resonance with the idea.

This is why Mysticism and Tantra are becoming my frame for living. I desire to experience myself and you and everything in existence as God - consciously, as often as possible. I desire to awaken to the beauty of the Divine Experience in every shape that it takes.

My Heart is taking the biggest gamble - to be open and vulnerable in love to every experience and person that the Universe brings into my life - trusting that the deeper I go, the more God I will find.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Traveling to the Edge of Myself


"I’ve been taught: to fear this power (of sexuality and creativity), to fear my feral side, my passion, my fire, my ferocity and uncontrollability. I’ve been taught well to fear chaos, yet it is from chaos that anything new is born." Julie Daly

Daddy read my last blog post and He liked it very, very much. My vulnerability aroused Him (anything i share potentially gives Him power to use it against me), as did my invitation to into darker and rougher places. i've been pushing my limits around vulnerability with Daddy, trying to figure out where i'm willing to expose myself and where i need to keep myself protected. i didn't know that my vulnerability arouses Him until now.

i like that there is sexual power in my vulnerability, that it's a place to feel strong.

He commanded that i visit Him for a blowjob at slavequarters that evening. It was the first time He spontaneously commanded my presence; all previous visits had been scheduled through regular conversation as equals. i was happy that i earned Daddy's approval and desire, but more importantly i was excited that i had done something to bring Him pleasure and was being given the opportunity to do more. Pleasing Daddy makes me very, very happy. i already had plans for the evening, but i could carve out an hour for Him. i assumed this would be a mellow encounter, easy to integrate into my night.

i was very wrong,
and will be certain never, ever to visit Daddy right before other plans again.

Daddy sent me a text within minutes of my arrival commanding me to come in, undress to panties, and kneel at the sofa. i did exactly as he asked. i could hear the shower running in the back of the house. i used the time to stretch my body so that i would be in optimal shape to do whatever Daddy wished, for as long as He wished. i breathed deep and let the world fade away as Daddy became my breath and reason for being.

When He came out from the shower, He immediately put in me in handcuffs and a blindfold. Over the course of our time He pinched me with clips and poured candlewax on my exposed flesh. He used discomfort and pain to emphasize my powerlessness.

He pulled out new knives and showed me a whole new depth of darkness. He used my past against me. He nearly brought me to tears in humiliation at some of the things He said about me and how He desires to use me. He did not allow me to touch myself at all, because He desired to enforce that everything is about His pleasure. In less than an hour He took me deeper than i've ever been psychologically and emotionally.

It was dark and scary

...and really quite beautiful.

My panties were soaked when i left.

*

I locked bitch up after leaving slavequarters. I had to in order to function in regular life.

she's been locked up for five days now.
she's pacing in her confinement.

she's feeling the absence of His attention
and the hunger to worship Him.

she wants out real bad.

Daddy says i'm becoming addicted to Him, and to being bitch.
He may be right.

*

Sometimes we have to travel to the edge of ourselves to find our center. - Buck Ghosthorse

Daddy left some marks with his knives that neither of us could see in the moment. I discovered them at the Imps Social on Saturday night, while playing with a lover. I noticed how desperate I felt for validation. I noticed how the old desperation to be seen and desired and touched, a desperation I hadn't felt for months, was driving my party experience. Having that realization opened the floodgates.

I remembered how Daddy told me i'm not worth dating. There was a deep sting in that knife. For one, it brought how other lovers might feel about me into the scene. That's too close to real. Two, it brought how I've perceived myself in the past into the scene. I used to believe that the only way to get affection was through being sexually compliant with men, whether or not I was attracted to them, whether or not I derived pleasure from what they did to my body. I was used for sex often in my early 20's. Too close to real. Three, Daddy and I aren't dating and it's possible he may really feel that way about me. Much too close to real.

Ouch.

I found myself trying to compensate for the potential truth in what he said by seeking as much validation as I could from my friends and lovers at the social. Once I realized what was going on inside of me, my party experience was altered. I became disconnected, half present to my interactions the rest of the night. My heart hurt. I spent 20 minutes crying by myself on the back porch during breakdown. I've been processing ever since, feeling all kinds of emotions, trying to understand what I felt, why I felt it, and if I need or want to ever feel it again.

I do not want to feel that sting again, but I believe I may need to. My initial response to finding my mark was to tell Daddy that we found an edge that I don't want to visit again. However, I talked to a mystic friend last night and he confirmed my sense that the knives I want to run the farthest from are the ones that lead directly into my healing and evolution.

There is a reason that knife felt real when the others didn't.

Humiliation is an expression of our shame. Shame is what keeps us from shining our Divine Light. It is shame that keeps me from being all of who I could be, all of who I desire to be. I must have some shame about feeling undate-able (= unlovable).

I believe this exploration is an opportunity to change my shame stories in a profound way. The last few years with the Imps have been a boot camp in self esteem and shifting my old wounded poverty stories into abundant love stories. But those old stories are still rooted down deep. I feel them regularly, I just rarely show them. This is an opportunity for direct excavation and destruction of those old ways of believing and rebuilding my Self in stories of power, freedom, love and joy.

How much power is there for me in allowing Him to shatter me with the old stories so that I can build myself up with the new ones?

And I won't be building the new stories entirely on my own. I am held by a tribe of loves who will balance my experience as bitch by shining my light back at me, as they did over the weekend. While I had much processing going on in my head and heart, I had friends and lovers who offered whatever I needed to get me through. Kisses and cuddles. A listening ear. Two of my loves told me how strong and brave I am for doing this exploration. They both said I am amazing and powerful.

My tribe reinforces what is real.

A few weeks ago I wrote Daddy a letter in which I stated my belief that I cannot be broken. It's possible I might fall apart, maybe even shatter, for awhile. But I know to the depth of my core that I will put myself back together again, and be stronger and more powerful than before. I've had a lifetime of practice. Resilience is what I do best.

Even this, writing these blog entries, is a way of using my experience as bitch to claim my power as a writer and a sexual explorer. There is something in this for more than me, I can feel it. My willingness to walk into darkness and share the story with you is valuable. I'm finding a significant lack of psychological exploration around humiliation and degradation play online. Most consider it edge play and from what I can tell, most would think what Daddy does is pushing the edge too far.

At the moment, I think his knives may be just sharp enough.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The other thread by thread makes beauty more naked













Penelope and Odysseus as One Person

One wants the world. The wing of dawn
beats in him: More! More!
The other never stirs from the loom.
An ancient rhythm repeats:
“Less—less—
the real traveling is inward.”

One loves storms and clouds,
says death is a skyless country.
The other prefers trees,
says death is a cloud of leaves
where at last we understand
the sayings of the wind.

One asks why rest—
the horrible gallop of minutes
will trample us if we stay.
The other stops to caress
a single plume of grass;
leans to petals glistening with rain.

One craves extravagant words,
says to a love, “Enchant me.”
The other thread by thread
makes beauty more naked;
weighs a shiver of sunlight,
the stream closing around the hand.

One lets the first smudge of light
erase all dreams,
now as useless as daytime stars.
The other gathers dreams
like lost feathers,
the sky a nest of horizons.

A membrane of memory
grows between them,
a tapestry of tides and tales.
The wave and the shore,
they breathe one breath,
a sea, a story of return—

the moon in a fisherman’s net.


Ionna-Veronika Warwick

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dancing in the Darkness: Introducing bitch


Last night I came to see you, my love.
And you said “Worship Me”

Slowly, delicately, I entered the fullness of you,
and smoldered against your flesh,
Touched deeply, I forgot myself,
Your fires burning away what I knew to be me.

~Phillipe and Paget


I have previously written about exploring archetypal pieces of myself: the Invisible Girl, the Victim, the Priestess, theMystic, and the Teacher. And there are others yet to be explored, like the Artist.

I have known for a long time that one of my archetypes is the Servant. Caroline Myss says that "The Servant engages aspects of our psyche that call us to make ourselves available to others for the benefit and enhancement of their lives." I love to serve -- in just about any way you can interpret that word. My whole life is about service -- whether in my work, my parenting, or my community relationships -- which includes being a service submissive within my sexuality. I have explored several forms of submission, but I recently discovered a whole new facet of my submission that I had no idea existed: the Slave.

"The Slave archetype represents a complete absence of the power of choice and self-authority. Yet it is precisely the absence of will power that gives the Slave its potential for personal transformation. The ultimate spiritual task is to surrender one's will to the Divine--in effect, to become a Divine Slave...Regardless of how this archetype manifests, its core learning is to understand the paradoxical truth that you are only truly free when you have surrendered all power of choice to the Divine."Caroline Myss

Over the last six weeks I have given birth to a piece of myself. I believe she's been incubating in me for years, but needed the proper "midwife" to deliver her to me. I am learning all sorts of new things about my sexuality, my psychology and my mysticism through her existence.

she is called bitch.

she exists only to serve, please and obey Daddy.

When i am bitch, i am nothing but a mouth and body to be used as Daddy likes.
i have no power. i have no choice. i am Daddy's slave.

(Sidenote: Daddy is not Sir, the Dominant I have written of in recent posts. This is not about spiritual or emotional connection, Daddy is where I go to play in the dark and find out why being bitch turns me on so damn much. My incredible sexual-physical arousal response to being bitch is blowing my mind and my body wide open.)

About once a week in person, as well as through regular texts and occasional phone calls, bitch crawls for Daddy. When i crawl for Him, nothing exists except Him and i will do anything He commands.

i serve Him primarily through my mouth -- worshiping His body as he directs with my lips and tongue and through speaking/writing to Him in the ways He's trained me to. Daddy really likes to be worshiped through words.

Daddy has very dark desires.
He calls them knives,
and He wants me to tell Him i will do terrible things for Him.
Degrading things.
Humiliating things.

Unethical things.

This is a mind fuck. i had no idea how much i love being mind fucked. Daddy is wicked smart and knows how to get into my head. Our interactions are mostly psychological. Daddy tells stories and has me participate in them. Some of the stories go into the realm of taboo: situations that are not safe, sane or consensual.

(For my literal brain, it's kinda hard not to take the fantasies literally. I have asked myself repeatedly if I truly desire to be playing with a man who explores these kinds of fantasies and manipulates women (although somewhat transparently) in participating with him. But the man that is more than Daddy is very ethical - he lives and breathes social justice. And there is something in this exploration that I am learning about holding space for the darkness in myself and others, as long as it doesn't cause harm. Daddy doesn't cause harm, He desires bitches who get off on where he takes them. Like i do.)

He brings out the knives when i'm vulnerable, when i'm aroused beyond belief, when i'm begging to get off. He makes me get off to his fantasy, his desires, conditioning me to be aroused by what turns him on.

And the amazing (and scary!) thing is, it is changing me. i am finding myself aroused by some of his fantasies, situations i couldn't have ever imagined before, and even i had, they would have turned me off rather than turn me on. i even took one of his fantasies much farther than he did in my mind while getting off one night when we were communicating by text.

i almost didn't tell him about it, even though i knew he would want to know that he's getting to me, that he's penetrating my mind. That would make Daddy very happy. But he asked me the next morning if i was holding anything back and i couldn't lie, so i wrote him the fantasy because i couldn't yet say it out loud.

It is a challenge accepting how much it turns me on to fantasize about degradation and humiliation. The feminist in me rages at this some days.

In my struggle to fully accept bitch, i have occasionally been defiant, which is also new for me as a submissive. i've never been defiant. i take pride in being obedient and don't like how it feels when i disappoint the One i serve. But i've also had an equal and intimate friendship or relationship with every other Dominant i've played with to balance the power dynamic. This is the only relationship Daddy and i have. Sometimes i don't like that He always has the power and that the only desire or need i get satisfied is serving Him.

We don't have sex. He rarely touches me, except to grab my hair, hold me down while i get myself off, slap my face (as punishment that is deserved), pinch my nipples, or once in a while briefly caress me (he does cuddle in aftercare). The only way i get off is if i get myself off when he commands it or allows it when i beg for it. Even when we're apart, i'm not allowed to touch myself while fantasizing about Him unless i ask Him first. At this very moment i am squirming as i wait for His permission to fantasize about Him and cum tonight.

There is no traditional intimacy or validation, which is unnerving for me. i am having to stretch to understand where the intimacy exists and to perceive the ways He does validate me. Because of this, the opportunities to explore vulnerability -- my mission for the year -- are immense.

This whole experience is fantastic! i am stimulated and in deep self discovery at every possible level: intellectual, emotional, spiritual and sexual. The only thing i ever wish for is more physical interaction, especially if it's rough. He told me last night that's He's being somewhat gentle and subtle with me, and i don't know exactly what that means or why (except that He wants to be sensitive to my past trauma, which is great but not something i actually need), but i find myself wishing He wouldn't be gentle with me.

i want to go as deep into my darkness as Daddy can take me.
i hope it will please Him to take me there.

*

It's fascinating how I am relating to and expressing bitch. As I've written in previous posts, I don't really do pretend, role play, acting, game playing, etc. I have a very literal brain and I can't help but be who I am. Yet this interaction is a strange combination of real interaction and imagined scenarios that invoke powerful visceral response.

bitch is a part of who I am, so I'm not actually role-playing. Yet some of what Daddy has me talk about isn't actually true. Within our play, i am to say or repeat anything Daddy tells me to, whether it's true or not. It's taken a bit of time for me to get into the flow, to know what's real and what isn't in Daddy's world.

When I am interacting with Daddy, bitch is the only part of me that I am allowed to be. I cannot be any of the other parts of me that feel powerful, comfortable, strong, bright, creative...all the parts of myself that I know and love and feel confident about. I always feel unsettled with Him because I can't rely on everything I've learned to depend on in attracting or seducing someone.

And because bitch is new to me, I don't know how to be her yet, or how to succeed in serving Daddy. I am insecure and lack eloquence in communication -- Daddy's favorite ways of playing -- and it's frustrating because I am good with words! Yet I struggle in meeting Daddy where He desires to go. Or at least I did.

I seem to have made a breakthrough in that regard the last week or so. Daddy has allowed me a bit of room to find my rhythm through intuition rather than exact direction in worshiping him. He's such a good Daddy because He sets his bitches up to succeed and is willing to coach/train/condition me as much as i need.

What fascinates me so much about my desire for this experience of being nothing-but-a-bitch is how it doesn't seem to provoke the Invisible Girl, at least not yet. And if it eventually does, it's a perfect situation for working with her in a very conscious and emotionally safe way, because I don't have a bond of emotional intimacy with Him.

And where does my mysticism come into this? It's the act of worship. When i am bitch, Daddy is my God. All i see is His Divinity, in both the light and the dark. When i worship Daddy, i am worshiping both the man who deserves my worship because He turns me on so well, and the God in the man, the God in Everything.

I am also worshiping and expressing the Goddess in myself.

Sir, the Dominant I've written about before who gave me spiritually oriented assignments, He serendipitously sent me a reading a few weeks ago that included the following passages:

"...the female is symbolically representative of the negative, dark, and hollow aspect of the world, without which the masculine, positive, light, and solid aspect cannot be manifested or seen. The very word "Tantra" is connected with the art of weaving, and denotes the interdependence of warp and woof in woven cloth: the one cannot hold together without the other...

...Some understanding of Tantra is therefore a marvelous and welcome corrective to certain excesses of Western civilization. We overaccentuate the positive, think of the negative as "bad," and thus live in a frantic terror of death and extinction which renders us incapable of "playing" life with an air of noble and joyous detachment. Failing to understand the musical quality of nature, which fulfills itself in an eternal present, we live for a tomorrow which never comes - like an orchestra racing to attain the finale of a symphony. But through understanding the creative power of the female, of the negative, of empty space, and of death, we may at least become completely alive in the present."
Alan Watts

I am diving into my own darkness and worshiping the feminine by expressing absolute receptivity, submission, and surrender. Just as bitch exists because Daddy inspires her, Daddy exists because bitch holds the dark and empty space for him to. I hold Daddy as who He is, worshiping Him rather than judging or rejecting Him for His darkness. bitches are actually quite special because they can hold the darkness.

I am learning how beautiful this kind of energy exchange can really be. I see it even more deeply in Daddy's relationship to his full time slave. While I only express bitch when I want to, she is his bitch 24 hours a day. That is powerful and awe-inspiring devotion.

I will never be that kind of bitch or submissive. I have too many Masters to serve -- God, community, children, etc. -- I cannot serve only one. While my entire life is about service, I spread my love far and wide rather than devote it to one person or one cause.

But when i am in the present moment with Daddy, He truly is all that exists. i am extremely focused. i have found a whole new capacity for meditation when i'm worshiping Him. i have no April thoughts. my only thoughts, when i have them, are about whether i'm pleasing Him or need to adjust what i'm doing to bring more pleasure. Mostly i have moments of pure worship, being One with the Music of the Universe by dancing with Daddy.

This life and the practice of Tantra is a Dance.
I am dancing with all of my heart, every single day.
I am dancing with the Divine in everyone and everything, including Daddy.
I am loving dancing in the Divine Darkness thanks to bitch.

*

Image Credit: Dancer in the Dark by Klas Smeby

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Each Other

"I have experienced tremendous tragedies in my life, ninety percent of which never happened." ~ Mark Twain

I am thinking a lot about the stories we tell ourselves about each other - the assumptions we make about the other person's words, actions and behaviors - whether our lover, our friend, or the stranger in the grocery store.

More often than not, it seems like we tell ourselves the worst possible fear stories, rather than look for the best possible love stories.

For instance, we might tell ourselves Susie is quiet because she's snobby and judgmental, when really she's just shy and has trouble with small talk (a story people have told themselves about me). Or maybe our boyfriend knows we have a trigger around him talking to that one woman, so he must be hurting us on purpose by talking to her (and she's trying to steal him), when really he's helping her out with a genuine problem. If someone's not answering a text, email or phone call, they must be ignoring us or have a problem with us, when really they're just very busy and maybe haven't even seen what we've sent yet.

We especially tell stories about the misunderstandings and conflicts we have with each other. That's where misunderstandings come from, we tell ourselves a different story than what the other person intended instead of getting clarity from them. When someone lashes out to hurt us, we tell ourselves they are intentionally hurtful, when actually they are acting out of their own pain.

We make these fear-full assumptions about each other all the time, and then we make an emotional investment in the stories we tell, creating our own suffering in the process.

This is important to me because my last broken relationship fell victim to this all too human tendency in irreparable ways. I was heartbroken because someone told themselves the worst possible stories about things I said or did - even accused me of intentional cruelty - and invested so much energy in those stories that the truth couldn't discharge the negative emotion and bring understanding. I will own that I also told myself stories about them that kept intimacy from deepening. When misunderstandings or conflicts arise, everyone involved starts telling themselves blaming and shaming stories about each other, most or all of which are untrue.

This is also important to me because I'm noticing how I'm doing it in some of my new relationships, although I'm mostly catching myself in the process and shifting the story, rather than taking my false stories and suffering to the other person. Sometimes this takes minutes, sometimes it takes hours. But I strive to come back to the love story unfolding between me and the other, rather than let the fear stories take hold and trigger emotional reactions.

The craziest thing about this kind of story-telling is that we do it the most with the people who love us most deeply -- the very people we should be trusting are always acting with the best intention towards us, even when they make a mistake that hurts us. Over the last couple months I've caught myself telling fearful stories about my business partners, now that I've stepped down as hostess and am trying to figure out my role as a founder-but-no-longer-hostess. I even had a nightmare about it. I've feared that they will think I'm acting entitled in an inappropriate way when I tell them how I still desire to be involved. The truth is that they are as confused as I am about my place and they are certainly open to exploring what's comfortable for all of us regarding my new roles. I also tell myself fearful stories about my friends, assuming that if someone doesn't ask me for time that they don't want to connect with me, when really they've got incredibly busy lives but would make time if I asked for it, or maybe even have their own stories that hold them back from reaching out to me.

I also notice that while we know that we are here for each other in any possible way, we still don't always ask for support, a listening ear, a hug or touch, or whatever we might need that would make our struggles a little easier to bear. We call each other family and yet we don't fully trust each other's deep, deep desire to connect. We all desire to experience love as much as we possibly can. And yet we hold ourselves back all the time. And tell ourselves stories to justify keeping our distance.

I am striving to notice my fear stories and stop them before they gain emotional momentum. I am also focusing on the love stories unfolding in my life with deeper awareness than ever before.

I am sure this will be an on-going work for me. What about you? What fear stories can you change into love stories?