being away and coming back

I have things to share with you about my adventures in Germany, Austria, England, and New York this summer - delightful, touristy things.

This, however, is not that post.

You may or may not know, that travel is difficult for me. 

There are parts of travel I love - like seeing new places and eating delicious foods and learning about histories and interacting with different sorts of people. 

This trip was particularly special because my mom and I met up with my brother's family in Germany and then my friend Mandy joined us in England - a literal dream come true. 

For these experiences I am deeply grateful.

But I'm not a huge fan of the actual travel part of travel, or the being away from home part.

I am a complex being who requires a lot of personal space and frequent costume changes and cavelike sleeping conditions. Travel rarely meets those requirements.

I don't like being away from home for extended periods.

And when I return from a long trip, I am wrung out. 

I got home last night after three weeks away - which, lets be honest, was basically the entire month of June. 

I write this now from my darkened bedroom, convinced my lymphatic system as completely shut-down and that I am likely dying from something. (I'm not - but I did just put a ton of fruit and juices on my grocery list because I need some vitamins like I can't even tell you.)

I was feeling depleted of hope and energy before I went on this trip and as I traveled, the news of the world - of this country - only got worse and worse -

Heartbreaking on a level that makes breathing difficult.

Terrifying in a way I hoped I wouldn't see in my lifetime, a way that makes me worry about my nieces' lives and what sort of future lies before them.

I find myself wondering if I can move through this - this density.

What do I have to offer here?

Why am I on this planet right now?

How can I post photos of coffee cups when evil has taken such hold of the hearts and minds of those around me?

Turning a blind eye feels deeply unethical, yet screaming on the internet will likely help nothing.

I remind myself that what we are experiencing now is the fire that comes before healing, that it will ultimately lead to our ascension - that already there has been a unification among people, a passion to do something, to act - at least, I hope that's true.

But I'm not sure I'm strong enough for the fight that is before us now. I'm not sure I'm strong enough to witness it and I'm not sure I know what to bring to table.

I will be brutally honest with you:

I went away on this trip feeling spiritually...dead. 

But in Austria, I visited Nonnberg Abbey and experienced a mystical thinning of the veil inside the chapel there.

And I received some pastoral counseling in Oxford.

The priest who delivered it to me didn't realize that's what he was doing. He thought we were having tea (I ate the sweets, he ate the savory), but he said something I desperately needed to hear, so I tucked it in my heart as fuel.

At St. Mary Magdalene, I heard a young woman preach - a new female priest - and she radiated love and kindness and youthful vigor.

In New York, I dipped into St. Vincent Ferrer and found solace with the Mother.

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All four of these moments came with the energy of the sacred feminine, were the sacred feminine.

I felt the current of the sacred feminine moving through me - unmistakable, gentle, and fierce in its strength.

Cosmic and quite real.

(I also did a little purging in the city - on the full moon, no less, finally recognizing that damn it, I just can't grieve for wrong choices and regrets anymore. I don't have the energy for it.)

Every woman I know has been storing anger for years in her body and it’s starting to feel like bees are going to pour out of all of our mouths at the same time.
— Erin Keane

So, maybe I'm not so spiritually dead after all.

Just very, very tired.

And angry.

And frightened.

And also tired of holding back pieces of myself and my story, softening my edges, wishing for change.

Apologies for the cliche, but the only way to change is to be the change. 

I'm so tired of begging for what I need.

I'm going to have to give it to myself.

As a people, we're going to have to give it to ourselves.

We are one another's salvation.

We must be.

 

I found this from Velveteen Rabbi today, and it helped.

 

I came up with this plan for survival:

I'm going to tend to my house. I'm going to continue to clear out what no longer needs to be here, all the stuff that's taking up space. I'm going to clean our home and make it a sanctuary, an oasis.

I'm going to paint - everything that wants to come through me.

I'm going to write - the words that scare me the most.

I'm going to continue to participate in my spiritual practice, even when I feel deadened and disconnected and brimming with doubt, because that is where God and I show up for one another, so that I can show up elsewhere.

I'm going to get back on the yoga mat and get myself to class as much as humanly possible; eat nutritious foods without restricting calories or categorizing foods as good or bad; wear comfortable clothes; possibly dye my hair lavender.

I'm going to love with my heart wide open and meet evil with truth (not civility.)

I'm going to let myself be myself, trusting there's a reason I am who I am, the way I am - trusting I have medicine to bring this moment.

I'm going to let the bees pour out of my mouth.