You are called: the intent to heal

The intent of the world to heal and the intent of your soul to heal are One Thing.

You stand still for long moments. You look ahead, yearn, envision, dream. You turn and look back, try to understand what you have learned, what it is time to lay down, what you want to carry forward and why, who you have been. You stand in the gap: who you believe you are and who you want to be.

Let me just speak plainly here. To live each day is to create, create your unique human life all over again: to fulfill the intent of your soul and the intent of the world. In your body, in your neighborhood, in this wacky and whacked-out and still Essentially Good 21st century.

We each start out by picking right up on the instructions that seem to be included – as transmitted by our families, schools, places of worship or culture.

We are assigned identities. By skin color. According to our genitalia, our neighborhood, our accent and religious belief. We are given materials and tools and skills to work with: gifts and limitations. We might not like them. They might not suit us. We may retreat into a small part of ourselves in response to trauma: dissociated, frozen, distant. We may be drawn heartfully by the genuine, desirously by the glitter of the false.

Yet each of us stands drenched beneath an unending waterfall of the formless – call it Spirit, God, Reality, Goodness – that wants nothing more than to come into being through us. 

You will be called by your name,  
you will be seated in your place, 
you will be given what is yours.
No one touches what is meant for another. 
No kingdom touches its neighbor by so much as a hairsbreadth.” 

(Ben Azzai, Yoma 38 a-b) 

Something has been calling you since you were born. Calling you into your reason for being: your name. Drawing you forward against the odds your family or tribe or the wider society laid out for you. With the body and the temperament that you have. Grasping the guidebook of others’ expectations and your own idealizations. Reminding you…through a stranger’s smile, a friend’s nod, a teacher’s acknowledgement, a child’s touch. Gifting you with life experiences both sour and sweet: what is yours.

We are pulled forward by our soul knowledge of the Totality of who we are, a soul knowledge of the Goodness of which we are made, and a soul intent to heal and awaken.

The world itself heals and awakens with our participation, not in spite of us!

The body of the world needs you. It desires, for its own healing, nothing more than that you are seated in your place, in the Totality of who you are. The power of the world to heal and awaken depends on the Totality of each of us and all. Together we are the body of the world.

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Nondual healing can help you find that place that no one else can touch, that place reserved for you alone, where your soul’s intent and the world’s intent for you are One Thing. The winter season is a wonderful time to do this deep listening to yourself. Schedule a 30-minute free consult. Let’s talk.

Set your clocks to Winter Standard Time

Some gifts of Winter Standard Time (WST)

WST is my short-hand for the gifts of cold and dark: conditions that help me to overwinter, to nourish myself at the root in advance of spring, when buds will break open and shoots will begin to grow from a healthy root system.

My relationship to the winter season takes precedence over both the news cycle and the Gregorian calendar and renders me a more vital and useful healer, activist, and human being.

Gifts because the cold and dark invite me to stay snug and cozy, move more slowly, receive and give more openheartedly, invite visions and projects to gestate, make thoughtful choices around socializing – how much and what kind. 

My internal clock is running on Winter Standard Time

I cut back on my activity level.

I slow myself down to take my bearings. 

I pause more often and for perhaps hours rather than minutes.

It’s a trick and a practice to remain aware of what is going on without being swept up in the urgencies of the world, my hometown of Baltimore, my family and friends, or terrorized by the shadows of my inner world.

Australia burning. The earth upheaving itself: tremors in Puerto Rico, volcanic eruptions in New Zealand and The Philippines. Political divisions, corruptions, violence.  A perfect job that may or may not turn from temp to permanent. A trigger finger slow to respond to therapy. A search engine that has been high-jacked by an unwanted provider.

I let this last one high-jack my energy and state of mind for an hour: This fairly inconsequential irritation became its own little black hole, drawing good energy after bad, something whose outcome I was sure I could remedy when everything else seemed beyond the reach of my influence.

At this slower pace, I feel more vividly my grief at losses and my rage at injustices far and near. And others’ kindnesses and acts of courage? It is these that bring me to weeping, a true elixir for nourishing my humanity. 

The season favors my rooting in myself – whether in the boredom of familiarity, the wilderness of seemingly barren terrain, or amidst disrupting changes that break my heart open. 

I’ve chosen these seasonal routines to nourish my stamina and to help remedy the effects of the news cycle and my desire to be in control

Physical comforts

Soups, stews, hot teas; weekly unseasonal and affordable bouquets, thanks to Trader Joes; a fuzzy blue afghan emblazoned with stars hand-knit by one daughter for the school auction her sister ran, and that I snagged with the high bid; a snug and stylish pair of leather boots that keep my feet warm and happy when I am waiting outside for my immanent pick-up, as a good LYFT rider does; an evident appetite for the next episode or two of Season 2 of This is Us.

Marinating the work of my heart, Radical Inclusion: the inner work of race and gender

I listen in each conversation for the stories that divide us from ourselves even before they divide us from one another. I want the Intro Workshop coming up in three weeks to take people deeper and usefully into this difficult territory, so I commit to my own vulnerability, learning, wrestling with myself. So I sort through online and local options where I can do my own work in good company. I delve into Decolonizing Wealth, by Native American philanthropist Edgar Villanueva. I compost whatever I can from my own stories about sameness and difference. This well of inner work never runs dry, only deepens.

And in those precious moments when the heart breaks open, WST yields to timelessness

A sense of Isness pervades. The variety and beauty of forms is evident, in all their uniqueness and connectedness. A deeper reality breaks through. Provocative events and people lose their heat, and my heart-intelligence is freed to discern and choose. Difficulties are not left behind. I am not hiding out in a mountain cave removed from the rough and tumble of life. I must be willing to bear my personal and the world’s heartbreaks and injuries vividly, in my body. This is not comfortable. But it is closer to the heartbeat of the Reality we all share. With this practice my vision clears, I can take in new information, consider new possibilities, receive trustworthy inspiration and guidance.

In other seasons of the year or of life I cross different thresholds into the same timeless realm. In this season the long hours of darkness and chill, and my own shadow side are the threshold.

A toast to our good health in the New Year

According to Ayurveda, to be rooted in oneself, to be established in oneself, is the very meaning of health. It depends on the routines that that we establish and how they express our relationship with time & place. 

May you gather your comforts and use them well.  May you nourish the roots that will sustain you through the challenges. May you reflect on the stories that divide you from yourself. May you find sufficient moments of rest so that when the spring energy rises, you will be able to move with it, and on into your seasons of flowering, fruiting, and harvest. I raise my cup of tea and a gingerbread cookie to you. 

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Banner photo by my daughter, Jennifer Hyrkin

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In 2020 I return to posting bi-monthly.

I’d love to hear from you in return: what are the questions that deeply matter to you, the discoveries you are making about living more humanly?

If you are struggling to find your own rhythm, to gather your comforts, to meet the challenges that WILL NOT WAIT…let’s continue to travel and explore together…and bring your friends along by sharing this link with them.

To explore working 1/1 together, or discuss an in-person or online workshop for your group or organization, schedule a 30-minute free consult.

 

A door opens on the new decade

 

 

Enter here if you too are among the irrationally passionate.

I have stepped across the threshold into the New Year of 2020, leaving the Blue Door ajar behind me.

Threshold of the known world

The Blue Door has beckoned me since one night last spring, when my daughter and I sat down at the diningroom table for some late-evening unwinding and conversation…tea, coloring book, and a variety of magic markers at hand. 

Through the following months, I have propped up this image in several places where my gaze fell naturally on it. The blue door has evoked excitement and trepidation. Mystery and speculation. Dreams and fantasy. Calculations and plans. The edge of my known world.

 

The doorway effect

Now on the other side of this threshold, propelled by the consensual logic of the Gregorian calendar,  I experience some version of “the doorway effect” – how psychologist Gabriel Radvansky first described the science behind that familiar question, “Why did I walk into the kitchen?!”  

A small version of the great Life Meaning Questions: “What was I born to do? And more fundamentally “who am I meant to become?”

 

 

I am meant to be right-sized

Like Alice in Wonderland, I have long sought some magic potion that would right-size me: render me big enough or small enough for the life task at hand. 

I find I no longer have the energy or heart to try and sustain anything but being the size I am, doing the best I can with Life among the vines: twists and turns in my own mind, in the affairs of family and friendships, in the disruptions, chaos, and innumerable kindnesses of the World at Large.

My personal life and struggles and the lives and struggles unfolding across the planet are my one single life to live.

 

 

 

…and irrationally passionate

Who I was born to be is one of the “irrationally passionate.”  My motivation to change, heal, awaken is driven by my lived experience and conviction that my own particular pains and the pains of the brokenness of the world are both personal. And are both impersonal, in the sense of the Jewish teaching: healing this broken world is not mine to complete, neither am I free to desist from it.

 

 

 

A life of practice, in practice

A life of practice: more human, not more perfect.

A life of practice I am now wedded to as activist and elder, as well as healer and herbalist.

A life of practice that includes daily life lived with a widening and deepening inclusion of the varieties of humanity and our cultural struggles.

A life of practice that invites the Radical Inclusion of the inner work of race and gender, deeply nourishing to our souls and our evolution.

No choice but to know, intimately,
my yearnings, aversions, despairs:
instructive, dignifying, and precious,
a true north stretched out over empty space,
an earth suspended over Nothing,
 
the very features of
God’s world
and my way home.

A covenant of birth, by Sara Eisenberg

In 2020 I return to posting bi-monthly.

I’d love to hear from you in return: what are the questions that deeply matter to you, the discoveries you are making about living more humanly?

 

If you too are “irrationally passionate,” if the world matters to you in these ways, let’s continue to travel and explore together…and bring your friends along by sharing this link with them.

To explore working 1/1 together, or to discuss offering an online or in-person workshop for your group or organization, schedule a 30-minute free consult.