God, are you confused too?

Times are fucking weird, aren’t they. My response = I quit social media. I needed too. My nervous system needed it. My mental health needed it. My physical body needed it. My faith needed it.

I’ve resisted the break. I thought if I wasn’t connected to all the troubles, not just global troubles but internal struggles that get spoken about at length on social, I thought I’d be even more distant to humanity than I’ve felt over the past few years. I truly believed social media was my connector, my electricity. It was the food my being needed to be a part of something, a part of something bigger and my belonging. I’ve been moaning about social media for years then one morning, during meditation, the day after a total shit show of a mini breakdown I seem to get more regularly than desired, I heard “the world has enough confusion, do the rebellious thing and liberate yourself, stop asking for help when you already know what to do!”

God can be brutal, right? There’s no fluffy language or beating around the bush, the truth is most often laid out in bold capitals. My response is most often “I hear you God, but what else can I do? Give me something, anything other than what you’ve just told me, anything! (But not that)”

And it’s fucking hard work. I wear myself out, and I don’t think this is my lone fight. I think most humans do. If God is in ALL, then surely God is in the confusion too? Is the universe confused, or have us humans created a meaning, a constant way of being that basically equates to a momentary ‘and now what?’ Momentary being the jewel here. That crossroad decision that when we take the road, we take the road. The looking back is the conflict. Is God the conflict too? I presume so as what can exist without the breath of God, God being creation itself. So if humans feel it, if they act on it, it has to be part of creation. And do you ever feel ‘where did it all go wrong?’ I do! Yet God always seems to reply with “you’re not wrong!”

And what the fudge do I with that?

“God, I think I am wrong. I think humans get it wrong all the time! Maybe you’re wrong about this” Of course, I seem to believe I understand more than the force that turns this whole flipping planet.

The arguments with God can become teenage years triggering. Worse actually, as the conflict is with you, in you, about you and how you see things. Not through another humans eyes, which when the news was broken to me that my parents were in fact human beings, not perfect ethereal beings, destroyed a part of my blame stick I so heavily relied on for balance. Balance went, blame had to diminish (a work in progress) and I was left feeling like I was walking on one leg. “God, please be my other leg!” to which God replied, “I’ll be the beat of your heart, the pulse in your veins, your breathe, the lungs to breath, the imagination, the inspiration, your strength which is never gone, even when you feel broken. I’ll be the voice that always lets you know no human is without sadness and suffering, that you’re never alone’.

That’s great God, but I only asked for a leg!

One part God, the other part human struggle, just to really martyr myself. Social media validated that for me. All the struggle, all the pain, the need to be seen and liked to feel truly connected and alive. Oh to have a strong opinion about everything. That is truly satisfying, pushing the debate your way. I AM RIGHT. God giggles “you’re not wrong but you’re not right either!”

The confusion! Faith can feel totally and utterly bonkers sometimes, most times actually. The more I prayed for clarity, the stronger the conflict. Until that morning when I had no energy to argue and quit ALL social media accounts. Then love began a small expedition from one leg to the spine to the arm, maybe, in time.

The confusion continues, I think it may be the addiction to confusion itself I now have to lean into. But hey, at least the social media battle has been extinguished, and I honestly feel softer and more aligned than I have in years.

Do you think God gets confused and conflicted about humanity? According to the Old Testament, yes. I guess in the eyes of love, there is no right nor wrong, just like God’s been endlessly trying to communicate. There’s one legs worth of support should you choose it, there’s also a whole body full of infinite support and guidance waiting to feel acknowledged, one day, when we’re ready. I suppose God does get confused if we want to see things that way, god gets mad and conflicted, if that’s how we want to justify our one leg of Love. There’s no right or wrong way to be in God, I’m beginning to believe that. God meets humans where we’re at.

God, are you confused too? I hope so becuase I’ll meet you there.

Well Here We Are…

Another year. Same me, new set of numbers. 2022.

2022 feels like a positive set of numbers, which maybe means much ‘negative’ will emerge… ya know, polarity and all that jazz. Confusing? Yes. Let’s be totally honest, most beginning of the year stuff is… confusing fluff.

Because we’re the we we were in 2021 and we’re taking that self into another set of 12 months. It’s ALL constructed anyway. I do love the concept of maths. The constructive element of existence, it just confuses the hell outta me. I was always crap at math through school purely because no-one ever explained that maths is art in embryo. Or art is math in embryo. Either way, there really is no separation between the sciences and arts, it’s just different energy waves exploring plausible explanations for perceived realities. If this had been explained at school, I’d have paid more attention. Take geometry, I LOVE it. I don’t get it but I love it.

So no resolutions this year, I stopped that years ago. I feel certain energetics coming through, generally a result of past year experiences. Community, experiential living, joy, deepening my devotion to God and diving deeper into the teachings of Jesus. The last two I know will manifest. The will be a consequence. But really, who knows. Divine Will isn’t mine.

The truth is the more unified I feel, the less excited I get. This sounds weird to me. I thought I’d turn every corner and be filled with excited joy at my love for life. The total opposite?!? Maybe I’m having some dark night of the soul, I’m feeling many things but excited isn’t one of those many.

BUT

Grace and gratitude. I’m full. It’s not as pretty and neat as I thought it would feel. To be honest, the more I meditate, the more lost and distant I feel. I guess that’s all coming with me into 2022.

Happy New Year. Cheers to the confusing and bewildering months ahead 😉

The biggest challenge yet…

I’ve been ‘trying’ for years. Literally, the past 10 years I’ve had in my head ‘I want to write a book’. I’ve tried. Many occasions, many ideas, many notebooks, many drafts, many hours and many word counts later… no book.

Am I approaching this whole book writing malarkey the wrong way? I’ve an ADHD brain and more often than not, that means doing things a little differently to how we’ve been taught, the ‘how to‘ doesn’t always apply to an ADHDer as it’s gotta utterly click. I can’t persevere. I’m not lazy, not all but I can’t just grit my teeth and get through it. I’ve tried that approach also and it sucks the life outta me. Why the fudge am I taking something that I love and making a hard to chew, fibrous meal out of it.

So, a new approach I shall try.

Firstly, word count. I was aiming at 1000 words with every sit down. I’m taking that pressure off the list as I’d not bother to even sit down and try if I felt failure before I began. Let’s take 1000 to 500 and if I manage 100, that’s bloody brilliant too as if those 100 words were 100 pounds, I’d be more than happy to see that accumulate over time.

Secondly, distractions. Im gonna get distracted. There is no way that I can sit for 2 hours and not get the urge to move or do something else quickly to shift attentions. So, let’s celebrate the distractions as part of the process, part of the flow. Maybe that distraction is allowing an idea to marinate. Maybe I need to move in order to allow a newness, a fresh sense of perspective to inspire my writing.

Which flows into thirdly, it needs to feel alive. Something I’m learning about the way I work creatively is that what comes through me has to feel like it’s got a life of it’s own. It’s breathing. A current that wants to move me and others in a very embodied and present way. The writing almost needs to feel like an organism that beats to its own drum. That without me, it still breathes and I’m purely channelling what’s already dancing around the ether. Basically the ideas are not mine but I give them life, in only a way I can, just as each artist has their stroke and each writer has their style, it’s all valid but there’s a uniqueness to explore within divine expression.

And with that, I know I’m to start on something new. I’ve been churning old stories over and over and it’s sat a little flat on the page. I can’t seem to let go of ‘but I wrote 30,000 words on this story’ and it’s been like a fudging chain. I can write 30,000 words again, or maybe I won’t and that’s ok too. Maybe I’ll write 15,000 and that will be enough, maybe.

Leap of faith! Whatever needs to come through, will come through (let’s make it good though 😅). Let’s get honest too, what do I actually want to write about, not what I think would look good on the page. That’s a flipping scary thought. Art is truth and that ain’t always pretty!

If I need to lay bare, I need to lay bare. HUGE respect for all the creatives who live their art and their art breathes life into others. Yes, I think I’m ready to step out of the safety box, I think.

Let’s see what happens….

Circuit breaker

That’s the role meditation is playing in my life right now. Breaking the continuous chatter of ‘holy wow, it’s all going to sh*t’.

And meditation also gives me the space to unpack that phrase I just wrote as ‘going to sh*t’… why is that bad? We all gotta poop and if we didn’t poop we’d die. And pooping is releasing what our bodies don’t need or toxins etc… so technically pooping is ESSENTIAL! So, if everything is ‘going to sh*t’… its being let go.

Letting go is HARD yet not really that hard at the same time. We do it, all day long. Our bodies do it. Our cells do it. Our mind is switching when we find new distractions, letting go of a previous thought – and yea, it may pop back again but in those moments we’re not in that thought, we’re not in that thought.

And we think too much, right? Because it’s a habit, an expression of energy that seems to find an output through thought, because maybe our bodies have forgotten ways to move through it. Or maybe we never had this amount of excess running through our systems because excess wasn’t so much a thing until it became the norm, celebrated even! I mean, I don’t know. I know very little. And when I pray for relief, I hear MEDITATE! And at first I was like ‘nah, that’s a lot of work doing very little’ and ignored, ignored, ignored. Until..

I had no choice.

And that’s what this pandemic has done for me. Given me zero choices other than to go deeper into my meditation practice. Now, it’s my circuit breaker. Instead of reaching for the remote control to switch out of myself by watching something, anything that feeds what I’m feeling, I sit.

Be still and know I Am God

Be still and know I Am

Be still and know

Be still

Be.

And it’s precious. Very precious indeed.

Thy will be done…

Ok, this is the hard stuff.

I’ve been saying the Lord’s Prayer for years. We said it before each class in school (catholic) and it’s kinda ingrained. School was a long time ago and it’s been bouncing around in my head ever since. Lately I’ve incorporated the prayer into my morning sadhana. And when I wanna go deep with Jesus, we join hands over this prayer.

Because it’s become habitual it’s easy to skim over what you’re actually saying. The words become a rhythm and that’s wonderful to soothe and connect BUT I’m now realising… never underestimate the power of words and what you’re actually praying for!

In meditation the other day I was just about to say ‘God, give me the courage to surrender to your will’, but wait… YOUR WILL?? What if it’s not what I want or like? And that’s where the huge question of ‘what does faith actually mean for me? slipped furiously in.

That line ‘Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven’ has been kinda thrown away by me, for years. Heaven has always been depicted as ‘someplace’ perfect and bright and immaculate. So, of course I just visualised perfection on Earth.

Yet, scratch the surface of that and concepts of perfection and how EVERY individual has a different ideal… suddenly that picture begins to muddy and I see Heaven as a projection, not a place you go. A place you are. So, thy will be done, where you are, on earth.

And let’s be honest, another’s will upon us can be scary as anything. I think I may have used God. My will over the bigger picture.

‘God, please can you give me the strength…’

‘God, please can you help with….’

‘God, please help those….’

‘God, please allow whatever feelings I’m feeling to flow through me, without attachment…’

That’s a lot please can you prayers. And God answers! The LOVE is immense… But lately there’s been a shift.

‘God, please allow me to see your will…’ and BOOM. That’s not so easy. Gods will isn’t my will. It’s not what I want or think I need. It’s whats for me, not me for it. That’s a whole new walk of unknown, right? To open your arms and say ‘I’m here, FOR YOU to be led by YOU’. I’m getting scary chills even writing it!

So, what does faith actually mean? It’s evolving everyday. And in that evolution, it gets a little scarier and unknown and leaning in to God gets deeper and deeper… and trust becomes the only constant and that’s scary too. It’s like I fell into the arms of Jesus for safety and comfort but actually there’s no safety or comfort unless you really trust what’s for you, on a soul level. No swings and whistles, no temporary fixes or fixations that may distract for long enough to ease a craving. To trust the release of the root of our cravings and attachments, that takes guts. Faith is a courage walk. It’s saying yes to what doesn’t come easy, to what’s against our conditioning.

It’s a scary walk of fire. But fudging ‘ell, doesn’t it make life rich and beautiful! (Ok, maybe I’ll feel that tomorrow, today is more of a through-clenched-teeth day).

Life is never dull when you walk it with faith.

Deep, surrendered doubt

I feel my posts are taking a rather ‘underworld’ plunge at the moment. But it doesn’t feel like a time to be sidetracking crappy feelings. Life is A LOT right now. Really it’s always been a lot but the overwhelm of information and collective chaos and confusion feels ripe.

And in that confusion comes a lot of doubt. Doubt about doing the ‘right thing’ or doubt about ‘is there anything I can do right now to ease, just ease something’. I dunno. And I’ve never known so what do I do now? I give it to God. It’s all I really know what to do.

And this is why I love the teachings and life of Jesus. The moment on the cross, before he takes his last breath, his doubt in God is vocalised and totally human. His faith punctures, for that split second, in his pain and suffering, he chooses not to beg humans for mercy but to call out to God. ‘My God, why have you forsaken me!’ (something like that anyway)

And Jesus has said of us ‘they know not what they do’

Is this true of humans, do we know not what we do? I think most of the time, we don’t. We’re on a rabbit wheel of habit and programming that we convince ourselves is true until we learn something else and adopt that as our truth. Intellectualising everything. Getting very lost in logic and control.

And I think that’s why the concept of God can be scary, there’s no logic and control – well, there’s a lot of projection onto God about what pleases and doesn’t but often these stem from traditions and human worries and fears. I went to a Catholic school so pleasing God was part and parcel. Pleasing by being ‘good’ but really that equals being easily controlled by other humans. I struggled at being controlled but I really wanted to please. It was a complex mix.

To pray to a God with no judgments, a God who doesn’t need us, but loves us can be a very weird concept. Unconditional love isn’t really in the human vocabulary and often goes ‘if you love me, what can you give me? And what must I give in return?’. But honestly, the sun shines on EVERYONE. And if you get caught in a storm, you get caught in a storm.

I’m going to Jesus and his doubt in that moment on the cross. I’m personally having moments of ‘what’s the fudging point’ but hanging on anyway. That is love isn’t it, feeling into pools of pain and expressing how that makes you feel but also knowing it makes you no less of a human or lovable or capable of love because to feel IS human. And God made us human.

So today my prayer is ‘may I find the courage to surrender more deeply and allow doubt to strengthen my faith’

Accidental monk… kinda.

In the catholic tradition I was raised in, to be a monk meant a man living with other men, praying every day and living rent free in a monastery. Maybe it’s the same now, I’ve not done much research in that department but I’m listening to a podcast about mystics and many male christian mystics were monks.
And… I 100% resonate. (Adding here, I know nuns are traditionally women but I always felt more monk like than nun. Why? Don’t ask me!)

This whole modern monk thing came as a shock to me. How the fudge am I resonating so deeply with these teachings? I don’t see myself as a highly religious person, I certainly don’t align with the whole one role for man, another for woman. But, I’m most happy when I learning about spiritual practices or diving into ancient spiritual philosophies. And there’s a lot to learn, but when I feel a little burnt out by all the information hoarding, I tend to lean into the words of christian mystics for respite.

I am totally adoring and LOVIN’ Jesus. He’s a dude, he’s the dude! I never feel he’s not with me. Ive never felt weird talking to him or acknowledging he’s by my right side, all the freaking time. I don’t tell people, I’ve kept pretty quiet about my depth of love for Jesus but, for sure, it’s gotten stronger over the last 18 months. And it’s never felt like a thing I needed to shout from the roof tops, it’s always felt a part of life, like eating or pooping. Is what it is and kinda necessary.

I didn’t choose it either, this deep love for Jesus. In fact I didn’t want it, for over a decade.

I guess we’re chosen by what will essentially deeply move us, as if we chose it ourselves, maybe it wouldn’t move us so deeply. It would be ‘ego’ driven, and as satisfying as that can be, our ego wants more of it and then more after that and more after that. I never wanted more of Jesus, in fact the less I wanted, the closer I came to resting in christian teachings. The less I wanted to know, the deeper I felt called to meditate and low and behold, there was Jesus, just hanging out, like a serendipity meeting in the subconscious.

It’s not always easy to explain but I never felt called to have a family. I knew, from a very young age there was some spiritual depth that was for exploration, not children or general life happenings that may include a house or marriage or both.

I remember being sat in the back of my dads car when I was younger, we drove past the local church and I heard ‘I’m married to God’. Those words struck me hard. WTF. Nope, how can you marry something that doesn’t physically exist?

But I’m getting it, very very slowly getting it. I can’t explain it, but that’s what mysticism is, isn’t it. The mysterious, the unexplainable. And monk life, I get it, with added luxuries obviously. I think I’m kinda morphing into some modern, punkass monk, but without the monastery and the robe and the penis.

And some days I feel like every single second I’m in prayer, nodding to God. Others I feel like a hot, steaming earthy puddle… and I used to believe these were different states, but they’re totally not. God meets us EVERY WHICH WAY. The more I recognise that, the more contemplative life becomes.

So, accidentally I’m very much living this quiet, prayerful, messy life… like a monk, kinda?! And I hated it at first, and now I’m between hate and love but I’m met by God, wherever I am.


Freedom

The last few months…who am I kidding, the last 18 months, has got me assessing what freedom actually means, to me. I’ve not thought too much about freedom before as I realise the super privilege position I’ve been in. I’ve lived a life, be it not always within mental dynamics, that’s felt on the most part, free.

I could decided upon where to go and with who. Yes, I know we can get woven into relationships that once explored can have us questioning just how free we are around certain people, but without the intensity of that exploration, we can mainly choose our people.

So much has happened during this pandemic to send our nervous systems into a spin. Control has been taken away, we’ve been told how to behave and where to go and with who (or with no-one) and death, we’re exposed to figures and realisations, every day. I know you know this, we’re ALL in this. These experiences are not individual. This trauma has not just been affecting the separate self. It never has but we’ve liked to think it was. For centuries the notion of communicating our struggles and fears was kept ‘secret’. And as the world has begun to open up, due to whatever reason (social media, global connectivity etc) about just how complex and uniting our personal struggles are, we witness many of our anxieties and human responses to environmental stressors are indeed, shared. And now this global pandemic, this shared experience of restrictions and fear and doing things we’d have shook our head to a few years ago. Not only are we all in it, but we’re talking about it, globally, and maybe this is the most exposed we’ve ever been to collective trauma as information is instant now, from all corners of the world.

But…

Within these restrictions and difficulties of feeling personal choices not being so personal anymore, something incredibly expansive has happened, personally (and probably to many others too).

My faith has strengthened, big style! My relationship with God is my favourite. My meditation practice has also lengthened (because there was literally fuck all else to do!) and I’m not sure I would have found out about my ADHD brain if I’d not had such an intense time of reflection. I live with my folks, and as a 39 year old living with both her parents, the struggle has been REAL. It’s also been super healing and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so whole and surrendered as I do now.

I can’t even explain it as I’m under no illusion, I know shit is gonna get tougher . We’re not outta the woods, and maybe we never will be. Maybe humans are supposed to be in the overgrowth. With the trees and ferns and weird bacteria that live on EVERYTHING and because we can’t see it, we forget it’s there.

I know the mystics talk about freedom being within our faith. Within our relationship with God. And boy, does it take a leap of faith to say ‘God, I know NOTHING. You do. Show me.’ And then you’re shown this shit show of ‘difficulty’ because you weren’t flipping listening and you begin to listen and then this incredible thing happens… we get dunked into unexplainable freedom for literally a few moments until it’s gone again. Yet I have more and more faith it’ll be back, when God sees fit.

So freedom, it’s a funny thing. I feel so grateful to live in a time when restrictions from government still includes access to lattes and fresh fruit and chocolate (for now, anyway). I’ve not starved and my home has been a safe haven, which I know for many is not the case. Not even sure I care that I can’t go to many places as my brain doesn’t like too much choice anyway, it’s chaotic enough without adding more decisions! So I’m lucky. I’m privileged to be able to reflect upon freedom as the act of reflection itself and the time to do so is, in my eyes, freedom.

So, maybe my freedom hadn’t been taken away at all. I got to see just how flipping lucky I am to say ‘I can’t so this right now but I will. For now, I meditate’… as I write this, I’m becoming utterly aware of just how free I actually am.