Eleven days ago, I returned from a week-long trip to Spain. Ibiza, an island off the coast, shot through with a barely hidden magic. The architecture, sweeping swirls of adobe. The plants, outrageously thorned, twisty, and still blooming, tough survivors of hot, dry summers that turn freezing over wet winters.
But I didn't go for the greenery. At least not that kind of greenery. I went for the DMT. The liquid DMT. Orally available, totally pure ayahuasca/pharmahuasca called Akasha, created by two alchemists that call their non-traditional, culturally emancipated adventures Ausadi. The Thai Mage found me on the net during one of his syntax searches for Jed McKenna. Following the hits down one by one, reading. It took him a handful of emails with me to realize I wasn't him. Because would Jed admit he was Jed? Of course she wouldn't. Because there is no Jed.
So May 8-16 was the inaugural offering. Seven participants from around the world gathered at a surreal villa on the northwest coast of the island.
I was the only American amongst folks from Thailand, Australia, Great Britain, Bahrain, Lithuania, Croatia, Ibiza. The only female participant. Three people led the group- the two alchemists who also doubled as healers, teachers, plus a radiant woman who did a lot of things - yoga, energy work - but mostly radiated her tantric brand of "isn't this AMAZING?" no matter what was occurring. An Argentinian chef prepared the cleanest, most delicious, healing food I've ever had the delight to partake of.
I arrived really ill, had a very difficult week. I'm not a traveler. Don't enjoy being away from my home, the land, my fuzzy tribe. But mostly it was the accumulation of the past decade of imbalance, vibrated to critical from the past two and a half years in a cubicle in an anteroom of a hell of our own making. No need to catalogue everything. Suffice it to say that digestive, endocrine and nervous systems were shot.
I did four doses of DMT over five days. With the first two doses, my body did a time lapse series of explosions, a morass exodus of negative emotion, thought and toxic sludge. (This was no dis to the Akasha. The DMT elixir is pure - none of that horrific end to end roto-rooter that is the traditional ayahuasca experience.)
Then a one-day break to give my body-mind-heart a rest. Then the third dose, which brought on twenty four hours of what can only be described as the sweetest, most gentle lifting up/into/through to the space known as enlightenment. It encompassed a tour of some basic high level energy moving skills, a conversation with what we generally call God, a tutorial of dozens of different aspects of how God Awareness moves in the world and how this being over here can flow with it. (I'm laughing as I write this. How small the words. How enormous the concepts. How all-encompassing the experience. How pitiful the attempt to share the unsharable.)
Then the fourth dose of Akasha, the last for the week, that appeared as a sort of tour of the first three doses, but also a kind of shaking loose of more toxicity that had the last couple of days show up as shaky, precarious, difficult to navigate.
I don't imagine that I was much fun to be around. And probably won't be for a while. I'm back in Durham, NC. With my fuzzy loves. And all I'm doing is permaculture gardening. Which in itself is amazing. There is still a lot of imbalance going on, toxicity flowing and likely will for a while. But since Ausadi, my body now has the strength and vibrancy to do four or five hours of strenuous plant and soil work each day, (which hasn't been even close to possible in over a decade). The body is 10 pounds lighter, and getting strong again, muscles building, spine strengthening. Cracks in the mind where the Awareness shines through are still on the move. A baseline stability of mind and heart that often flows right into joy, awe, heart achingly beautiful gratefulness.
Maybe once the farm is at flow level - all the seedlings in the ground, all the new beds designed and in place - maybe I'll begin writing again.
I want to write about DMT. About the experiences of it. Which is impossible of course. But writing about it was also the thread that kept asserting itself all during the Ausadi week, how impossible it is, and also how I must. How it's fine if I don't. Okay to remain consumed with the fear, but such happiness chorusing through the rainbow serpent when an ape breaks through to the angel with the help of a keyboard (or any other method of creation in this world as artist, artisan or conscious movement of energy in any capacity which covers pretty much everything, so yeah, divine expressions of love via the brushing of teeth, a walk to the mailbox, watching the rain sans resistance to the droplets, etc. etc. etc.).
It feels like the past three years has been about jettisoning everything that stands in the way of nutting up to launch and write. To finally face annihilation, death. To put down the sword and let the flow of nature take me. And to write about it as best I can until I can write no more.
But who knows? It's all just story. Just the monkey trying to make sense of things the monkey mind can't fully comprehend. The monkey desire to tell the story of its own death as it makes way for the angel being born out of the top of its head. It whimpers in fear, pain, but shifts its body, surrenders its mind, opens its heart, breathes deep, exhales and is jettisoned into the night sky, eyes bright and wide with awe, wonder at what this place really is, of who and what it really is.
All I know for sure is that Now is about permaculture flow. Of water, borage, vermiculture casting, teeming microbial soil. Of ladybug, nematode, canid, perennial, feline. Of cucurbit, human, tomato, wood chips, bamboo, purposefully placed chunks of downed trees.
I'm all in. The 5K insurance settlement funded the trip to Ibiza. Savings, retirement, health insurance, credit - all cashed in to buy the monkey 10 months of freedom.
I've known for several years that this life was forfeit. How in essence this being is conscious, walking dead. The knowledge of it has been carried with resistance, pain, anger, grief. But now? There is enough of a crack in the monkey mind to experience the stream of light, awareness that pushes it forward onto a different path.
I wake up in the morning covered in snoring kitties, being spooned by a 60-pound pitbull. I lay for a while and just take it all in. The swamp-paste of Woodrow's canine morning smooches. The silky down of Malcolm's belly fur. The birds trilling wake-up in the forest surrounding the land. The easy stretch of a sore yet supple body. Then it's arise, feed everyone, splash some icy water on my face. Sneakers on, grab a quart of iced coffee and crusty work gloves, tie on a bandana and head out to inspect what's gone on overnight with the growing plants and the tribe of nature, discover how I can assist in that day's dance toward apogee.
A ~7 minute video taken at Can Verru. A bit of the essence of the villa, some of the folks that were there:
My house was broken into a few weeks ago. They kicked in the door, stole the jewelry box, and hightailed it out in approximately 2 minutes, or so says the local cops who came to investigate when I called it in. They called it a grab and smash - only easily pawnable jewelry - not computers, tvs or other such traceable, serial numbered stuff.
It took a few days to see the beauty in it all. The retired, constantly home neighbors who texted me that a strange car was in my driveway while I was a work, then that my door was left open. Another neighbor who called a carpenter friend who sent his crew over in less than an hour to nail the door casing back into place so that I wasn't in a house with a front door that wouldn't close. The young hottie beautiful neighbor who called me over that night to hang out and drink and smoke greenery and compare stories past of stolen stuff. A super friendly agent and super efficient insurance company that paid the claim in less than 24 hours of filing. But mostly it was about the deeper permaculture of it all.
One of the aspects of permaculture that I love the most is how it uses everything. There is no such thing as waste. Or rather, if you have waste, you're not doing it right.
Permaculture looks for loops, circles, spirals instead of lines. If something is being carted off your land, out of your life, this is a line, and it's because the stuff is viewed as pollution that needs to be removed. Sure, one person's trash is another's treasure, and there is absolutely value in this (I have a friend who's a freegan who is going to teach me the fine art of dumpster diving and show me this principal in motion, which is awesome). But at the microcosm level, it is likely a signal that a loop needs to be closed.
For example, in my backyard, which is set on a slope, rainwater rushes from the highpoint on the northeast, erodes the soil in a direct path all the way down to the southwest, where overflow then floods my neighbor's yard. Also, my annual beds, planted in the southmost area of the yard - the only area that gets ample sunlight - needed to be watered from the municipal water supply fed hose last year, and because I didn't have the time and energy to put in a drip line, was watered from the top which contributed to the powdery mildew that took over the melons and squash.
So to get water from where it is "pollution" to where it is "yield" I researched and then created a diversionary swale with a ~1 foot berm. It cuts diagonally across the land, using gravity to push it along, until it hits small breaks in the swale with smaller berms directing it into several points along the length of the annual beds, with the far end opening into the woods at the edge of my land so that any big excesses don't flood the annual beds but go into the forest which will happily lap it up.
This is the raw, newly created diversionary swale and berm:
With two days of solid rain coming, it'll soon be easy to see how much water is moving and where so the swales and berms can be tweaked if necessary. Then the berm can be filled with and the swale covered in wood chips to help with the safety of a trench running through the middle of the yard, as well as keeping the water channel open and moving.
So, see? From pollution to yield.
The thing with jewelry is that most everyone sees it as "yield". But in fact, my jewelry had identified itself as "pollution" just a few months ago. All of it except for one necklace and one pair of earrings, both of which I had on when the burglary occurred, so are now the only pieces of jewelry that I have.
So, yeah, the jewelry was taken, along with the big wooden music box it was all stored in. And also, Calhoon and Cassidy's ashes, which were likely taken because they were in a silk jewelry pouch next to the jewelry box, although maybe the last earthly remains of Grandma Booty and The Hoon were snorted that night alongside some shots of Thunderbird, a sort of new age feline cocaine to add weaselly love to the party.
Also gone were the diamond earrings and ring, heirlooms from my great grandmother from when my ancestors had homes and servants and an island. Plus earrings, rings and bracelets from girlfriends and boyfriends and clients long gone past. Crystal pendant and stone stuff I'd bought myself over the years. Random bits of saved metal and crystal. All of it: pollution.
Even the ashes were pollution, because half of them had been sprinkled across the garden beds last year, and the half that remained only served as a focal point for the occasional lament of loved ones gone. And who needs that when the truth is that all stuff - animal, vegetable, mineral, mental, emotional or spiritual - is on its way to somewhere else and we are dang lucky if some love stuff stops and hangs with us for a while?
One of my favorite things to do is smoke greenery, drink homegrown wine coolers (wine, fresh fruit, club soda run through the vitamix, then topped with lime squeezings) and walk around my house and land until some sort of art/permaculture/hijinks occurs. Sometimes I dance in the mostly empty living room, sometimes naked running through the rain in the backyard. Other times I move furniture in a feng shui frenzy. About six months ago, I put dozens of holes in my bathroom walls, inserted decorative nails and hooks, then emptied my jewelry box out onto them.
I thought it would be beautiful, all sorts of sparkly things surrounding me whenever I took another aromatherapy bath or brushed my teeth or peed with the ever present kitty sitting on my lap. But instead, it was just a bunch of memories of folks come and gone, because I never wore any of it anymore, not in years. So a couple months ago, I took it all down, replaced it with some odd twisty branches, some colored headbands, and a fox skull found while out in the forest.
For a few weeks, I made myself wear some of the rings, put on a necklace for a few hours. But it all felt uncomfortable, as if it imprisoned me in some visceral way. And so I shut the jewelry box lid and only kept out the one jade pendent and green glass earrings that I always wore on the few times a week I felt like wearing something.
And a couple of months later the door was kicked in, the stuff was made off with, the cops came, a report was filed, an insurance claim was submitted, and the pollution transformed itself into yield with the arrival of a large claim settlement check, enough to live on for two months. Considering the fact that I just quit my job, to me this was proof that the beauty of pollution to yield was Life saying: hey, girl, I still got your back.
Permaculture is transforming my land, and along with it, my living. Who knows what will bloom this season?
I quit the public health job. Gave a month's notice. Trained a replacement who still has that rosy save-the-world shine. Got the f*ck out.
A decade of study and work in the public field, only to discover what I knew before I did all that moving and grooving and research and yelling and planning and cajoling and presenting and writing and nutting up for one more recommendation to the Board.
This is a prison world. First the walls were built. Then the process began to lock down every single gate (farmers run out of business, don't drink the water, eat the food, breathe the air).
Most of the gates were closed down years ago, but the gates had been painted with images of children laughing, gorgeous bursts of flowers, fecund fields of fruit and veg, people dancing and laughing and f*cking (but tastefully, have to mind the censors). And because we were all so terribly busy, too caught up to look closely, we believed the images mirrored the truth. Then we began to believe that the images were the truth. (It looks like food, smells like food, tastes like food - how can this not be food? and then we eat it and get sick, yet again.)
I spent two and a half years working to increase the health of a population of 38,000. But what I discovered was that the folks in charge didn't actually want the work done, just the image of it. The most important thing was that it look like what we were doing supported increasing health. Lots of noise and wind and the moving about of furniture. But at the end of each day, it was still about keeping people in boxes all day, breathing moldy air, teaching and forcing a life of the mind.
Slavery has come a long way in the past fifteen thousand years. On one side of the cost-benefit analysis is keeping the slaves ill enough to not rebel, so what little available energy is consumed with baseline survival, time and money spent on the prescription meds and surgeries and treatments and distractions needed to stay in forward motion. On the other side are slaves so ill and demented that they can't work, so sick and crazy that they are impacting the slaves who have learned to like their cell. I've spent the last decade watching how money flows in and out to hold that razor balance.
They paid me well to organize the slaves, make them appear more happy, less ill. Sick people are less rebellious (although some folks are required to act out their rebellion through violence and mayhem so that there can be a group to blame for the crawling fear and 3 am dread we feel). But in the end, being paid well for that kind of work is misery money. No real joy comes from that kind of cash.
But underneath the acknowledgement of all of this, is the knowledge that the walls were raised, the gates locked, but that ultimately we all have a key. We've forgotten where we left it, but we do have it. Maybe this too is a belief that will ultimately die, like all of the beliefs before it. But for now, it sits there. The knowledge that there is a way out.
But as I write this, all I can think about it is: who is reading this and what will they do with any info I post here? Who reads my emails and texts, listens to call, follows browser history? How many people are killed each year for telling the truth? How many hunters are there?
I've started following a blogger who knows she is being watched, and yet still crafts these defiant, mysterious posts. Layered with symbolism and clues, the tightly packed one or two paragraphs require reading and rereading to begin to see beneath the surface to what she's saying. It is high art in the information age. I'm grateful to read it.
Likely, I post this because of her. For how far she is out on the limb, sending posts from that edge.
Maybe it's to tell myself what I told her: Make art. Tell the truth. Be free.
Do I remember how to write? Do the stories, anyone's stories matter? Will reading this change a life? Forever? Until the next click through?
Letting go, deepening surrender, yeah fine whatever. Not taking a picture of a moment because I choose not to leave the moment to be the one step outside of it required to take the picture. Not crafting an experience so as to have it be a more exciting, more profound story to write. Not writing a story in order to reorganize it in my brain body heart in a more comfortable arrangement.
And yet the opting out of using the experience of living as fodder for willful creation has had an opposite effect. The living is much more passive. More tv watched. More books read. More surfing the net, relaxing into rabbit holes and weird fringe trails and banal pop culture pot holes. Even the more bourgeois stuff of day to day falls away - dishes hang out in the sink, laundry doesn't get put away, vacuuming is a special occasion - replaced by nothing but a drift through 2012, then 2013, now 2014. And the supposed highlights - birthdays, holidays, vacations - all become no different from any other moment. All just things that occur, but not really, as the sun and moon chase each other, but not really, across the sky.
If I could again have the experience of living be spiritually magical and full of Yes and heart achingly meaningful, would I choose it? I know that I wouldn't. I understand that I can't. Bar a head trauma, the known can't be unknown. Not really. Lots of people pretending. I get that. The why of it. Because the truth ain't fancy or pretty or fun.
Why bother, then? Maybe because on some level, the current understanding of truth doesn't add up. The truth is seen, but the interpretation of what to do with it, how to abide in it, is perceived as off somehow. There is no indication of what to do next on any pervasive scale in this living and so the living goes on based on smaller nudges - Bikram yoga many times a week, unraveling out of workplace dramatics, turning towards a deeper submersion into the earth plant sun water microbe etc etc layer.
When you no longer seek to fix the story, the brokenness appears to take over. Maybe for a while. Maybe for good. Maybe there's something underneath the shards. Maybe not. Maybe there are no shards.
How weird to know that I know more than I have in my entire life, and that the title for that knowing is I Don't Know. And that as I watch, listen, witness the folks who radiate with the experience of their living that they know something, that one thing they've absolutely figured out, how clear it is that they are more lost than ever.
Maybe it's cowardice. Maybe it's truly, finally nutting up after a lifetime of la-la-la. I know that it doesn't matter. I know that I don't know.
And that Baby Wallace is handsome.
Sitting here on this Friday early morn, I look back at my living of six years ago and think of how much has changed. Or a decade ago, and how I'm barely the same person any more.
The radical shift began in 2004, when I walked away from everything and everyone I knew, to go live in a cabin on a mountain, where I began writing posts for this blog most every day. Then going back to school, getting a BA then an MPH. And how that radically altered me. There was no more holistic healer life. It was replaced with the whole scholastic living thing, sitting for three years and reading and researching and typing papers and taking exams. But it was the thing that happened in 2005, at the tail end of the BA that radically altered the landscape. Or rather began the deep internal explosions that began to tear down the house I'd lived in for so long.
It was a book. You know the one. It was a moment of arriving. Of finally finding someone who identified the process I was in. Who left messages on signposts. Signposts that dotted the path behind me, making sense of the rubble of the past. Lots of signposts up ahead, with only the one closest to me in sharp relief.
It was a signpost that allowed a radical kind of seeing. That the things squished up against the edge of an abyss were meant to go over the cliff. And that all I had to do was let them go, let go of all of it, that it was more painful to try and hold onto them, and utterly pointless to try and process any of it. The signpost showed that something would remain after all of the things were gone, gone, not whistling as they fell away, but simply going over the cliff and then, poof, disappearing.
That letting go was hard work, and it took the better part of three years. In that time, the MPH was finished, I moved back to the Carolina coast to stay with my sister for a few months, got an apartment, got a job, quit it within six weeks, began doing shamanic work full-time.
And then the big event happened. The event that changed this living forever, in a way that there was no retuning back from. It cored me, ripping out what felt like viscera, but turned out to be just the essence of who Katherine thought she was. While it was going on, it felt like I was dying. So painful that I prayed for death. And so I died.
Not that I had any real choice. Because it was an event that was a test. One of those places where the rubber meets the road. One of those once in a lifetime opportunities to see what you're really made of, who you really are, what you are willing to do.
You say you love? This is your chance to prove it. You say you're willing to sacrifice anything for this being that you love? Prove it. If you don't do it, you show that you never loved them at all, only used them for the comfort and safety that their love gave you. If you do it, you die.
While I was dying, there were a thousand chances to turn back. And I did. Many times. But each time I'd see the effect it had on the being I loved. He was dying too. And each time I turned back, he descended into a suffering that was truly horrific, much more horrific than dying myself. And so I let go, let the tide of death keep taking me. Because when I let death have me, when I turned my energy away from living and opened instead to the love inside of me, the love for him, the absolute release of anything other than love for him opened some channel for him, and his suffering vanished. In the flow of my love for him, his own dying process became pain free, easy, gentle.
Until the end. The last two days before his physical death, he was disoriented. He became almost unrecognizable. The flow of love between us disappeared. When he was able, he wandered around the apartment as if searching for some place he couldn't find. When he lay down, it was into a quiet place inside of himself that I couldn't go. Nothing I did had any effect on him. Not to comfort him, love him, care for him. And then he died.
The last memory I have of him is of his open eyes, vacant, unseeing. During his death process, the apartment became infested with fleas. And as I lay there with him, his lifeless body, a flea crawled across his open eye, disappearing into his fur. Any belief that this was a death that could be returned from, that he might still yet live, evaporated, replaced by the image of an insect on his unseeing eye.
For a couple of days, there were practicalities to deal with. Cremation. Cleaning the apartment of the things death leaves behind. It was done mechanically, as if I were operating in a vacuum, outside of sensory experience. The only thought was: where has he gone? The only feeling, a kind of mute anguish that he was nowhere to be found.
It was during this time that I began to see that I'd changed. That entire swaths of behaviors, coping mechanisms, scripts for interacting with other people, methods of acquiring money, exchanging them for things, were gone. What it was all replaced with was a clear seeing, an ability to see love from not love. And not love was all around me.
Where the process of the last ten days of his life had been a total opening to loving him, the next ten days was about this clear seeing, with that one thought and one emotion somehow powering me, the ferocity of its sound echoing into all corners of my living. In the wake of his physical death, the only thing left was a flow of love, the love that he'd opened up in me that couldn't be stopped. It poured into the only two things that remained of him: the one thought, the one emotion. The pointed, singular focus of the ten days of loving him turned its beam into my living, beginning to scour it clean of anything not love.
Just as the beam of love had caused me to die when with him those ten days, it began destroying my life, my living. Before those ten days, I would have said that they were two separate things: me, and my life. Who I was, and then the life I was trying to create, always seeking to adjust it into something that was better, more "me". But I began to see that they were the same. There was me, and out of it came the expression of me, me made manifest in the world. They weren't separate things, but a flow between inner and outer. Whatever was in my living was there because of me, and since I had died, the living began to shift to reflect the fact of my death, the fact that there was now no one there to live it.
I'd spent a lifetime, many lifetimes, trying to turn not love into love. In the wake of his physical death, it wasn't that I finally discovered the folly of this, it's that there was nothing left inside of me that even wanted to try. The pointlessness of not love was utterly apparent, like an insect on an eyeball. Horrific to witness, but not a part of the love that flowed in a place out of its reach.
It took two years for the bulk of the scouring that came in the wake of the new seeing. Two years of dealing with lots of very angry people. When you see that the cornerstone of human personality is built on an exchange of resources, and that this exchange is dressed up to make not love appear as love, and you are no longer capable of interacting with not love, your relationships fall away. And not just the big ones - family, friends, clients - but all of the little ones too, the clerk in the store, the other people attending a meeting or party, the people you meet who might become friends.
When people give you things, and you don't give them anything back, even if you didn't ask for it, or want it, they get angry. There's a protocol of energy exchange, in the ways we interact with one another. And if you don't follow it, you're out of the game. And not with a "you have to sit this one out" but with a kick and a shove because they see you as just a loser on the playing field, the asshole who just stands there, refusing to catch the ball, or pass it to another player. It doesn't matter whether the immediate game is called family get together or meditation class or the purchase of an organic onion. It's all the same game and the exact same rules apply.
The tricky part of this, I discovered, is that the playing field is where all of human survival occurs now. Maybe it always has, but in the past, there was the possibility of going off into the woods, the desert, a mountain. All land is now owned by someone else, and if you want to be on their land, you have to pay rent, and to pay rent you have to work, and to work, you must be on the playing field.
I thought for a while about just going out onto the front lawn, laying down, not getting back up. I tried a lot of variations on this. But physical death wasn't appealing, at least not yet, and so I always got back up. Each time I got back up, though, I moved to a further and further corner of the field, away from the main play, into positions less and less essential to the game. People stopped caring that I wasn't doing much, stopped giving me things, and began to leave me alone. It helped that I learned a way to not accept things by pretending I didn't notice they were being offered, or by refusing to accept anything on any level, but complimenting them on their generosity before walking away.
My play pared down to a minimum of exchanges, a few simple tasks that could be exchanged for the things needed for pure survival. And in this tiny space on the field, way off at the very edge of the field, something shifted. Because there was so little energy being expended in the living, there was now enough quiet for a question to finally be heard.
"What do you want?"
And because there was so much energy freed up from not playing much of the game, there was now enough energy present to muster up a coherent answer.
Knowing that not love was no longer an option, and that for whatever reason, I still had to remain on the field, I answered, "Whatever is needed for this next part of the journey, whatever will show me the truth."
"You have to be a little more specific," it said.
I looked around at what was left of my living and said, "Less people. More quiet. A job that provides some basic service of living - something to do with clean food, air, water, connecting people with nature. A living that is supported by a stable base so that this next leap can be taken and the living flows with it."
I would have been happy with a hut in the woods and a job as a trail guide, but what was provided over the course of a few months was an effortless flow of radical changes that was easy, gentle, relaxed. A two bedroom home on a quarter acre in the outskirts of Durham, 90K, no money down, and at closing an extra free quarter acre valued at 18K added as a gift from the seller. A part time job with full benefits and generous salary as a wellness coordinator with tasks that require 95% of my time to be spent completely alone, producing health widgets for a needy population that provides access to clean food and exercise, education about healthy food and nutrition.
Once that was all in place, the new groove stabilized, a Thai shamanic mage found my outpost here on the net. Not a teacher who swoops in to say do this, do that. But some guy halfway around the world who said, hello, I know who you are. And for some reason, I wrote back, even though I hadn't written back to anyone like this in years. We exchanged a few emails before we realized why we were writing. He had a radical shamanic tool he could teach me how to use. And he did.
And so now this is my living. The next leap well underway. Everything that is needed is here. Everything not needed is gone. There is only going to a job for three and a half days a week, making widgets, handing them off, then spending the weekends working the new shamanic tool. Then going into the next week working with the new shifts the tool has created.
This new tool isn't a nice tool. It cuts deep. And because there is so little in the living, the tool saws away at the remnants of not love that are hidden deep inside a human. At the baseline software, sure, and the DNA, but also what lies beyond it.
Baby Wallace and the weaselly twins, Emmaline and Malcolm, roam the fenced in woody, wild half acre. A woolly, free-spirited garden produces herbs and vegetables for vitamixed smoothies. A few other humans, the only ones whose presence survived the culling, interact every few weeks or so via phone and net. A little light back and forth on face*book. Posting the novel I wrote a few years ago chapter by chapter for an online publisher. The occasional client met with in this home's healing room or via skype or phone.
It's very quiet now. So quiet.
And the real journey has just begun.
Yo party peoples - Long time no see :) So much to tell you, so much has happened. A huge shift of stabilizing this living that up until now has never really had any sort of stability. A creation of a landing pad so that big leaps can be taken, and there's a place to land afterward. A long bit of story that will get told soon. But for now, a little celebration is in order, because:
The novel I've been working on for 15 freakin years is finally getting published - as an online serial with JukePop! Chapter 1 is up - did an edit a few weeks ago. Will be posting 3-5 chapters a week as I finalize this final truly final I swear it's final edit.
And yeah, I've got a nom de plume now :)
Happy reading: http://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/930
There comes a time when even the razor's edge becomes pointless. When you understand that the alertness and hyperconnectivity it requires means nothing.
From one angle, it appears as if I am a middle-aged, overweight, middle class public servant. From another, it's a cow that finally stopped running alongside the herd in that small pack called shamanic and just said okay fine i'll go and let the winds and momentum take her over the cliff. From another it's madness. From another it's just a quiet life in a new home with a new garden with over half an acre for kitty hijinks.
It's so weird to stop creating stories. It's so weird to be in this space of whistling air. So weird to care so little, to have released hope so fully, that going with the flow of what "Life" wants becomes the default.
There's still some struggle. Not sure what to do with it except to let itself play out. It's still often scary to see things as they really are/aren't. Because there is nothing to be done. When the truth is seen, it's so complete, so 360, so 24/7, so 100, that it leaves you gobsmacked. Of course it does. It's why most people turn around and try and head back.
The process isn't done over here. And so the only thing to do is release into further.
No clues other than the fact that this body is still alive, the mind still clicks along, the sound of the human heart grows fainter and fainter.
It's true: why folks who don't have to shouldn't. If you can avoid it, defintely go that way. But if the splinter in your mind is driving you crazy, come on out here. It's so wild, so vast, you can't even imagine. I'm here, and I still don't know what to do with what is seen.
Still glad it comes with kitties, though. Kitties are fun to travel through space with.
are you watching the new hbo show The Newsroom? After every single episode, it has me thinking about what news is, how it affects us, what the point is, what it really is when newsmen/women get it right. til this show i abhorred the news. now i'm actively seeking out who is doing it right. i want to know what's really going on. and i know that there are people out there with the balls and heart to tell the truth. who do you listen to, read, watch that you absolutely know in your gut is telling the truth in news?
So much of what I'm doing these days is a kind of un-doing. Like removing wrappers of insulation from what i perceive, how i perceive.
The day to day whole-song process of it isn't something I'm conscious of until somewhere well into whatever is being unwrapped. I only know the note to be played and work toward perfecting that note until it rings with Yes. Once a string of notes has been perfected, the song begins to make itself known, and I get a clearer sense of what the song is about.
Not knowing what the song is forces me to be fluid in the moment, to let go of results, because I have no end game in mind, only the current note. And with the only intention of singing the note to a place of Yes, the freedom to go where the notes lead is allowing the old, tired songs from my past to be removed from the replay lineup.
And again, a huge part of it is not writing or speaking about it because someone looking in from the outside is simply going to be shouting from their own old song, insisting that the notes they hear coming from me are this song or that song. The shouting muddies the tone. Slowly, the songs I'm learning are becoming a part of me, ringing so clear and strong that hearing words spoken against the song from outside of me are less and less important. Keeping right company has been invaluable with this. The ability to walk away from anyone at anytime if it feels true is one of the strongest tools available. The courage and trust it takes is a muscle, built up over time. It brings outrageous clarity around what we want from people, what they want from us, what we're willing to offer, what feels true to accept.
And so I can share a bit of the songs I've learned, even as I still don't know their endgame. They show up as mundane, but the effect in my living has been profound. Profound enough so that dedication to perfecting the current notes is the main focus, and this effort, rather than a discipline that I make myself do, is something that gets done because on the other side lies Yes, and more Yes is so very Yes . . .
One of the most fascinating occurrences to me has been the arc of spending so much time outside. It began with the burning of plants and not wanting the smoke inside the house. The urge to burn plants, to begin understanding what the plant world offers humans, what we have to offer them, kicked in about 9 months ago. For 9 months I've been going outside a dozen times a day, in the cold, in the rain, in the hot sun. I've talked to stars and trees, vines and ants, seen fawns and hawks and foxes and cardinals. I've interacted with deer, wasps, fog, high wind, cicadas, clouds, moss. So many songs still in process of being revealed.
By going outside, a dozen times a day, for months, and then checking the weather app on my phone, I now know what temperature it is, simply by walking outside and feeling it. I can tell by the level of humidity I feel how it's going to impact my thought processes. I can feel rain coming or leaving. I can sense different types of emotional and mental energy that's going to be stimulated by the density of electromagnetic currents in the air. By knowing the temperature coming during the night, I know how to adjust the windows and heat or ac to provide restful sleep. I never knew how deeply the weather effects mind, body, heart. Now I do. The song of weather . . .
The body pain - digestive, back, knee, neck, jaw, shoulder - that's been a constant in my living the past six years nearly made me lose my marbles and go home in a huff. I had all sorts of pharmaceuticals I could turn to, which I did when the pain became unbearable. At the height of coping in this way, I was taking muscle relaxers a few times a month, and ibuprofen 1000mgs at a clip, three or four times a day. I was seeing the Korean acupuncturist regularly. Trying detox after detox. Yoga classes, three times a week for months helped in some ways, but made other things worse. The pain would release for a few hours, sometimes even for a day. But would always return.
And then a few months ago, something clicked. It was a process of un-doing, and with it came releasing from all of the things propping me up - painkillers, forced exercise, detoxes, sessions with the acupuncturist. Just let it all go and let the pain rise.
I began to watch the pain, look at the pain, get very clear exactly what and where was hurting. I stopped pushing to make myself do "good" things, and stopped trying to force myself to quit "bad" things. Instead I followed the trail of what felt true in the moment whatever it was, and then watching the result on the other side. I learned that making decisions, coming up with solutions and plans to do good things and stop bad things came from the logical, male, left part of the brain, but that the impulses came from the asymmetrical, female, ever-flowing and changing right part of the brain.
What I saw was this: the issue isn't about forcing good in or bad out, it's about raising energy, using the lever at the core. This lever at the core demands that we give up what we think we know, and instead follow its directives. This core knows exactly what will work, and it what order the steps need to come, the notes need to be played. Everything that we hunger for, crave, is simply a primal need for more energy, to be so alive, so vibrant, that our lives, every moment, is filled with Yes, singing in cells and neurons, down all of the pathways that make up a human and its connection to the web of Life.
And so I get stronger. The pain unwinds, the strength needed to live the new awarenesses I've discovered the past three months begins thrumming through my consciousness, and I wake up to the song of strength . . .
Or cutting off all of my hair. It felt so true to do it, to keep cutting closer and closer until arriving at the current buzzcut with the curly mass at the top. As I did it, played the notes that required more and more to be cut off, it was surrender to what can only be described as ugliness. It was a willingness to let go of showing up as beautiful, womanly. But when the moment came, as I applied the electric clippers to my head and shaved the hair down to the scalp, all I felt was: Yes.
What blew me away was what happened as I left my home over the next week. People began seeing me again. The buzzcut? It changed everything.
As a heavy-weighted, 46-year old female, I've gotten used to being ignored when out in public. After a couple of decades as an attractive young female, having people stare at me when I walked into rooms or down the street, it was shocking to simply not be seen at all, even when trying to get someone's attention to ask a question or share a conversation. And yet over the years I embraced the invisibility, began to truly enjoy the anonymity. There is great power in the stealth of invisibility :)
And so now, in many ways, it's like being in my twenties again. Except for now, it doesn't matter. There's no need for the energy that people send with their eyes. Only a lighthearted acknowledgment of whatever it is - fear, admiration, confusion, delight, lust - it's all fine. It's not mine. I'm just over here enjoying the song of the hot pink buzzcut whirlwind that lives atop my head . . . It feels so good to sing it . . .
So many other songs in the process of being sung. Drumming and toning as prayer to the beings and teachers that are available to us just on the other side of this reality, those beings and teachers that don't care about our mind's desires, only what our hearts sing out at full shamanic volume . . . Taking all three of the feline weasels out into the yard every day, training them to the ways of cars and hawks and dogs and people, letting them slowly acclimate to the weather that exists outside of the house, being with them as their true nature in relationship with things winged, wiggly and crawly is explored. . .
What song are you in process of singing? What song have you just discovered you're singing, after many months, years of playing the notes? What notes are you playing, over and over to perfect their tone of Yes?
So many songs to sing . . . such a gift to be alive . . . every morning, the day before an open pathway to release the No with a shrug, to cock an ear to the sound of Yes in the nighttime sky . . .
Half-way into the six-month Integral Shamanics Training Program I've come to realize deeply and fully why I waited so very long to launch it. I have an abhorrence of guruship, of being set up as cosmic teacher, of telling people what to do. It's a visceral reaction, an acknowledgement that the only teacher is an internal one, even as it uses outside sources as a mirror to reflect possibilities of growth, awareness, leaps in consciousness.
Early in 2011, I became obsessed with the program's vision. I could see its simplicity, its practical application. It was a stripped down, clarified version of the tools I use to do shamanic and psychic sessions for people, tools I'd honed from some 30 years of study and practice with shamans, energyworkers, psychics, yogic masters. The program structure was taken directly from the architecture of my Master's degree in Public Health with its concentration in Social Behavior and Community Health. The philosophic underpinnings were what I'd come to see as human culture circa the new millennium, what the false belief systems were, how entrenched they were in the human mind, body, heart, spirit, and how painful and arduous the process was likely to be as a person set about freeing themselves from them. And how simple, though not easy, the process to freedom was.
I knew the program wasn't about enlightenment, couldn't be about Waking Up. And not only because I myself wasn't enlightened (whatever the frak that is) but also because I understood so very clearly that enlightenment can't be pursued, much less taught. What the program would be was an introduction to a small but comprehensive set of tools, tools for accessing the energetic data stream that runs underneath, behind this thing we call "world".
The tools would be straightforward - shamanic, psychic, energywork. Participants would learn how to shamanic journey, build a medicine bag, connect with guides and power beings. They'd access the psychic flow of data using the psychic channels present inside of themselves. They'd clear and balance the energybody using sound, movement and repatterning techniques, tune chakras. They'd bring all of these skills into practical applications in their everyday living.
A personal development component was also added to help people navigate the ass-kickings the body-mind-heart-spirit go through as they attempt to peel away the beliefs they hold at a deep level. These false beliefs say that the keys to their freedom lie in another's hands, that anything not observed with the five senses is imagination or mental illness, that the only reality is the one that media, friends, technology, family, government, health practitioners and mainstream educators say is real. And they aren't real, only a mass consensus, layered over and over, a hundred thousand layers deep, until the layers appear as a solid ground. But they're not. Yet the trick is to unpeel the layers, allow them to fall away, even while navigating the fear that arises as what was once believed to be a solid floor to stand on is in fact merely wisps of thought, feeling, projection.
The vision of the program hinged on levels of awareness: Access the data stream while lying down with eyes closed to enter shamanic reality (journeying), then access the stream sitting up with eyes open (psychic reading), then bring it all together while standing and moving the body (energywork). The three levels of access each hold a key to the free and easy access that is inherent in the stream.
Shamanic journeying requires surrender and acceptance of the flow of data - a kind of passive release into the universal energyfield, to interact with the healers and guides and beings that can be met with there. This softens the hold the mind has on controlling and shaping what is allowed into consciousness enough so that the prison walls that are our current culture's human mindstate can be dissolved enough to be seen through.
Psychic reading is acceptance of the fact that we have the ability to know what's going on, and that accessing this knowledge is as easy as pulling a book off the shelf or net, and then reading it. This breaks through the belief that psychic info can only be accessed by people who have "the gift", or that it's something that is mystical or spiritual. It shows that it's simply another way to read, to gather information, like surfing a universal google portal.
Energywork is acknowledgement of the energyfield that flows through body heart and mind, that moves through environments, all of it setting the stage for how human consciousness is experienced. If there is dis-ease in the body, mind or heart, there is also imbalance in the energyfield, and by working with this powerful underpinning of the material world, the body, mind and heart can be healed.
And so it goes.
It's now three months into the inaugural six-month program, and folks are beginning to find their sea legs in the shifting currents of their expanding awareness. There's less fear and more excitement in the exploration. And most of them finally get that I'm not a guru, just a fellow explorer who is passing on identification of the tools, sharing some ways to use them, encouraging them to find their own way, their own method of incorporating them into their own storyline.
Because I'm not a guru. And the past three months have held some very intense moments where some of these nine folks got upset or angry when they came to me for The Recipe To Fix The Unhappy, and I gently or not so gently, handed it back to them. One person quit the program, then a few days later, rejoined, in many ways still wanting to quit, but willing to keep showing up, because the expansions being experienced ultimately surpassed the fear arising. Three people almost quit - I watched them descend into something awful inside of themselves, where they saw that all they wanted was the happy and the joyful and the funk arising was certainly not that. And then each one of them got it: the awful, the funk, was only the barrier, the block, the one they'd been banging their heads against for years. And each one of them faced it straight on, and passed through the wall as if it weren't there, like the collection of layers, of false beliefs that it was.
For over a decade, I set myself up as a spiritual teacher, with the goal to project an image of perfection, of radiant light and sweetness, of Having Arrived At Healed. But I've learned that one of the most valuable things I can show to others is that this swirl of living can be faced and swum in without drowning, no matter how dark or light the waters appear. Transparency is more valuable than the projection of another layer, no matter how shimmery that layer appears. And that until I get my own sea legs with this new way of showing up, I'll be facing my own walls until they dissolve into mist.
We all have walls to walk through. I plan to keep orchestrating this training program reflecting that. Showing my process. Letting them see what goes on behind the curtain, even when someone has mastered all the tools they're just learning to use.
And so I'm not a guru, or even a teacher. Just a guide, a shamanic cartographer. A flicker of their false belief system made manifest, so that they can see through, and then let me go when their hearts, minds, bodies, spirits are clear enough, strong enough to let go of the image projected out of this being called Katherine.
Why? Why Not?
The dirt nap is coming for us all . . . a conscious dance of shiva is a good way to go . . .