Divine Timing (Or, don’t rush your baby’s coming)

There are big things happening under the surface of my being, in my head and heart space. I’m exploring some highly complicated ideas, and considered writing a post about these ruminations – but you know what? I ain’t ready for that yet. This baby is still gestating, and who knows when it will be ready to be born. No pitocin for me, no C-section, not even black and blue cohosh. This one is coming in her own time.

So no, I don’t have any real content for you this week, other than this: even ideas need time to grow before they’re released into the world. If we rush them, we risk their deformation, and we risk our own well-being as well. So here’s to patience, and here’s to knowing when the time has come.

Working with Intuition

Intuition is certainly a buzz-word these days, and for good reason – since so many of us have been divorced from inner and bodily knowing, and we’ve been suffering as a society for it. Only now are we beginning to understand what we’ve lost as we’ve favored worldly knowledge over inner knowing.

To be totally clear, in this post, I’m not speaking of Intuition’s predictive capabilities. While Intuition certainly informs these capabilities, it does not stop there – and if I’m honest, I’m much less interested in the ability to predict the gender of a baby, or one’s cause of death, than I am in cultivating a strong sense of self, and self-knowing.

So that’s what I’m writing about here: self-knowing. It’s a revelatory process, and requires getting out of one’s typical trains of thought to access the information important to any given situation.

This process helps us answer questions such as, “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?” And just as easily – and just as importantly – it can help us to answer the smaller, situational conundrums, such as “What am I going to do next?”

My current favorite way to work with intuition, specifically when answering the question, “What am I going to do next,” or “How will I respond?” is a process of inquiry. I like to put my thoughts down on paper, and I keep a journal for this, because I appreciate having the ability to look back on previous situations so I can reflect on myself over time.

First, I hash out the situation – what is happening externally that I want to work with? What is happening out there that is conjunct with the stirring in me? It can be something specific to my life, such as a relationship struggle, or more global in scope, such as the state of the global economy or climate.

Once I’ve painted the situational picture, I reflect on my emotions – I name each one (there’s very often more than just one) – and I reflect on what thoughts or assumptions are informing each emotion. Maybe I’m feeling angry, which is tied up in the thought that I’m being treated unfairly. Maybe I’m feeling depressed, and every time I think about the idea of climate crisis, I feel even more down.

Often in these moments, I’m feeling pretty confused about everything outside and in – not only is it unclear what is really happening out there, I’m not totally sure what that means for me – I might feel confused about where my feelings are coming from, if they’re valid or based on old wounds, and I may not even know what I really want yet. So I begin asking a LOT of questions, and even if I don’t (or can’t) answer all of them, just the process of asking all of these questions begins to clear things up for me. In this process, I find out what the most important questions are, and then, I attempt to answer them.

After clearing aside everything else – the thoughts, feelings, etc. that I had hashed out previously – this is surprisingly easy to do. Sometimes I come up with multiple responses, and as I do this, I pay attention to what happens in my body, with particular attention on my heart space. If I feel my heart closing down, I know I’ve got the wrong answer. If my heart feels light and open, I know I’m onto something.

Once I’m there, I might come up with concrete ways to enact my chosen solution if that isn’t already plain in the solution itself. Sometimes my decisions require extra support – accountability, comfort, clarity, etc. – so I set plans to see those needs met. Sometimes I still have unanswered questions, so I write those down, and keep my eyes and ears open for the answers to come. These answers have a funny way of arriving, in dreams, upon waking, in the shower or long walks. The key to receiving them is silence and mental stillness.

While this might sound rather systematic, it rarely is. Being willing to get messy – it’s through chaos that we find clarity.

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT

In the past month, my presence here has tapered off pretty significantly. But this has been bittersweet for me. Bitter, because I’ve begun to really enjoy this form of engaging with the word, and sweet, because my writing mind has been otherwise engaged with the ebook I’m working on.

And that’s why I’m here, to announce its impending publication. Re-Rooting: A Landmark Map to the Wild Soul will be available for purchase online starting next Wednesday, after 3 PM CST on Amazon and Smashwords (and look out for the possibility of receiving a free download code in a future blog post).

Re-Rooting: A Landmark Map to the Wild Soul is the recipient of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s art gathering grant via the BeWildReWild fund.

This book includes a six week program of wildness training, complete with essays, meditations, and immersive activities written by myself, as well as 6 gorgeous full-color, imagination-evoking illustrations from Erica Leigh Wilson (find more of her work on Facebook at EriCat and on Instagram @ericat.artist).

Currently, there are only plans for this book in digital format. If you are interested in this book becoming available as a physical item, please let me know, because that is an option I’m seriously considering, given adequate hope for investment return.

Transgression.

Our local public library has a little bookshop outside it’s doors, where patrons can buy books discontinued from the library’s shelves for just a dollar or two a book.

Yesterday, I found myself perusing the selection, looking for something I could turn into a scrapbook. I wanted something with a solid cover and binding, with room for plenty of pictures, pieces of paper and random paraphernalia. I want it to be nice and scrappy, and I want it to last.

I found the perfect fit, in a Good Housekeeping Cookbook from the early 2000s. Hardcover, ring binding, plenty of room to grow. I brought it to the counter and greeted the clerk, ready to pay. As I’m pulling out my $2, she says, half-jokingly, “Now you’ve got to cook.”

Even though moments before, I had been feeling delightfully transgressive for selecting a book without ever using it as it was intended to be used, I tell her. I say, “Actually, it’s going to become a scrapbook.”

To that, she only says, “Oh.” How she feels about my response is indiscernible from my view. Is she crestfallen? Disgusted? Confused? I’m not sure – but she certainly wasn’t delighted, or even curious. She tells me to have a good day.

Today, I find myself thinking about the word “transgression.” It has a heavily negative connotation in common discourse, equated with rule-breaking and crime. But etymologically, to “transgress” simply means to “cross over.” What then, is the true crime of transgression? It’s possessing the gall to step over the boundaries of sanctioned living and enter the realm of the Unknown. It’s reading the instruction manual, passed down through generations, and choosing to do things differently anyways.

Instruction manuals are reliable, but they’re also rather boring. Sometimes, the companion of such a manual is a comfort, but most days, I’d rather toss it in the fire.

Pussy Spark

First, a recent history. A few years back, shortly after giving birth to my eldest daughter, I read Audre Lorde’s article, “The Uses of the Erotic.” Around the same time, or shortly before I had read Vicki Noble’s Shakti Woman and had generally conceived, from these readings and from my own knowing and intuition, that sexuality is not just the practical means for creating new little humans, as I was brought up to believe, but more broadly a creative force. It wasn’t until reading Audre Lorde that I began to understand this force in a way that was consciously experiential.

But suddenly, it opened up for me. I started to pay attention to experiences of arousal outside of explicitly sexual contexts. And thus the pussy spark was born. I noticed that in certain contexts, particularly amidst conversations fantasizing about future ways of living, being, dream systems for small and large society, especially thrilling ones would actually elicit a physical response. The experience is more like a cervical twinge, if I’m to be technical about it – but “cervical twinge” isn’t half as catchy as “pussy spark.”

It came to be a marker system for me, a mind-body-spirit barometer of sorts, complete with many different signifiers, including arousal of the mind, the heart, and the gut. These signals indicate to me how much energy I have to give to a project or an idea.

Ultimately, choosing to explore these signals and what sparks them has begun to carve out a path of rich, creative living. Sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, a tingling heart, pussy sparks and welling tears all indicate to me that I’m following that path. And the further I walk along that path, the richer life becomes.

Currently, I’m finding myself lit up by dark woodland fantasy, romancing the Other, knits with small stitches and unusual color combinations, and exploring vulnerability. What sparks your fire?

Renewing my vows

Hey folx. I’ve been very absent from the blogosphere as of late, the reasons for that being twofold:

First, and most excitingly, I’ve been working on a book. This July, I received a Community Art Gathering Grant from the BeWildReWild Fund at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, which I’ve been incredibly stoked about. I’m presently working towards this project daily and aim to have the finished product (an illustrated ebook – and who knows, maybe some day a physical book as well 🤞🏻) ready early February 2020.

This book project has only been the superficial reason for my absence, and if I’m totally honest with myself, it’s not actually stopping me from engaging here.

Plunge into the depths with me here. I’ve been learning a lot lately that most of the time, when I say I don’t have time for this-or-that thing, I’m bullshitting myself. This “lack of time” has more to do with some sort of psychic inertia I’m feeling around the thing – resistance due to fear or anxiety about what it could mean if I take the risk to explore this new part of myself.

For a number of reasons, this blog has been surfacing in my mind lately, and rather than push it aside this time, I sat with it. And in sitting with it, I realized that when I had first started writing it, there was a bunch of unconscious pressure around what I was putting out. It needed to be just so. I would go through multiple drafts crafting each post and the topic matter needed to be of a certain style. The canal I created for this medium was so narrow that nothing was able to get through, and the content dried up.

So here I am, renewing my vows so to speak, with a fresh resolution to keep things light. I take the risk of rambling, spelling errors, questionable relevancy, and becoming, well, bloggy (but hey, what am I doing here anyways??). I take these risks for the sake of do-ability, freedom, enjoyment and authenticity. A worthy trade-off in my opinion.

Here’s to a future of writing on the fly, covered in squirming babes, or at peace in my studio. Here’s to accepting the imperfections and pushing on with my best effort anyways. Here’s to loving the wild, wabisabi-ness of this richly beautiful life.

See you soon 💋

Be-Attitudes

  • Give deeply to receive deeply.
  • There is no waste, only compost.
  • Play is the building block of nourishing creation.
  • Slow down and smell the flowers. Also, the garbage.
  • When the lake stagnates, open the floodgates. Even if one must use dynamite.
  • With any outcome, feed it back into the cycle.
  • We are bodies of transmutation. Now go process some shit.
  • Do not sacrifice quality for quantity; it matters not if one knits 500 sweaters so long as they do not fit their wearers.
  • Do not sacrifice quantity for quality; it matters not if one can bake the most delicious cake in the world so long as no one ever tastes it.
  • Absolute balance is stillness; stillness is akin to death. Seek balance in motion instead. Dance.
  • Cultivate the practice of broadening perspective as a contortionist cultivates physical flexibility. Always aim to push past one’s limits.