Sadness

Two days ago I woke up feeling sad. I had had a very busy menstrual week that led to an exhausting weekend, and Monday when I didn’t take care of my spiritual needs but rather cleaned the after-party house. I got up, snuggled with Svarun, and went to the bathroom, where I found Her in the mirror.

»What are you doing here?« I asked Her. She didn’t say anything but I knew that she’s here for a reason. Sadness never came without one.

I tried to waltz her out: »Listen, I think you got it wrong. I’m having a great time, you see. And for the first time in history, I can feel that my life is going in the right direction. I can smell it and sense it and nearly touch it. And I can feel it’s good. It’s real good. So you can just leave because I’m doing alright. Besides,  I don’t have time to lay around and cry all day. I mean, why should I if I know everything is fine and I’m just a little tired, that’s all?«

»It’s not me who got it wrong. You did,« said She.

This made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want to hang out with Sadness, I had huge plans for myself that day. So I started again, a little less patient, a little less calm: »Please leave, I’m busy.«

Svarun crawled into the bathroom to pee. We were late, really late, so I told him to hurry up and dress himself: »Nona will be here any minute now and it’s not fair to leave her waiting.«

My mum picks Svarun up every morning and takes him to his daycare because she works a few hundred meters away.

»I won’t be bothering you. I’ll just sit down and wait until you’re not busy anymore, ok?« she said, swinging herself on my red sofa and making herself very comfortable.

My mom came, and because we weren’t ready, I told her – barely sucking it up – that I will take Svarun to kindergarten.

»Look, I’m not going to be not busy anytime soon, so maybe we can agree to meet some other time. I have to take Svarun to kindergarten now and then I have a bunch of things to do because I’m going to be late anyway, this ride is going to take me at least an hour and …«

»I’ll go with you,« she reasoned and sneaked into the car.

I cried. And cried. And cried. And as I escorted Svarun to his daycare, I cried some more.

I cried for the past few years, when I related more with DOING than with BEING. I cried for that. I cried for all of us who got caught up in this patriarchal wound. When did doing become more important than being? When did our achievements become more important than how loving we are towards each other?

The more I cried, the better I felt. Me and Sadness were both very quiet, and yet we knew exactly what the other meant.

She was saying: »You’ve been ignoring me.«

I was saying, »I don’t want to be Sad.«

She was saying: »You’re making me feel like I’m bad or something.«

I was saying: »Well, you make me feel bad.«

She was saying: »That’s yours to deal with, not mine.«

I was saying »What do you mean? I’m not supposed to feel sad if I’m conscious of my path.«

She said: »Whoever told you that, hasn’t got it all figured out.«

I stopped my thoughts. I stopped crying. She was right. Whoever told us Sadness was bad? Whoever told us to stop being sad, because we should have thought before about it, when our favourite toy broke? Whoever told us that we’re not supposed to think about sad things because then sad things will happen?

Well, only Everybody.

And now it’s enough.

Feel your Sadness, she’s here to guide you somewhere.

Accept your Sadness, because she’s a part of your equation.

Rethink your relationship to your Sadness, because she’s not the bad that you need to steer clear of. She part of the story, your story. And it’s a real story, where positive and the negative live together in harmony. She is not here to lure you down into depression; she’s here to remind you of all the reasons that you have to feel good. She’s here with you all the time, to help you be the best you you can be at this point in time. She is you and you are her.  

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Hey, guys, I’m in …

… France.

We arrived last Tuesday to do some seasonal work of grape-picking in Champagne. As soon as I learned about the possibility of it this year, I knew this was something I wanted to pursue. I heard a lot of warnings about it being a really hard work and I didn’t want to be away from Svarun for two weeks, but if I listened closely, I could hear my soul clearly, telling me that this was the experience she wanted. This would be a unique opportunity to earn good money in a short while, to spend some more than 24 hours’ worth quality-time with my boyfriend alone; this is something we haven’t done in eighteen months of knowing each other. And it would be a good time to recalibrate myself within the relationships I have with the people I love the most: my son, my boyfriend, my parents, my friends and my sisters. The Universe agreed, so we took off on Monday night.

Thus far I can’t tell you what the work is like and – maybe even more important – what the payment amounts to, because we start the work tomorrow. But I can tell you about

Being in an intimate relationship that works for me is hardest thing ever. I am certain I have come here to learn how to make it work, while being me, and being happy and whole all the way through. They say that the ego is the price for true love and I have come to think that it might be true, because being here with my loved one is boiling my stubborn self onto the surface big time. My stubborn self tells me I’m the captain of my boat, and I am eternally grateful for being able to hear the echo of these words on the inside. She mostly acts as my cheerleader, who gives me the faith in myself that I need if I want to do things that matter. Sometimes, though, she will make me believe that I should always come up with my own solutions, even though others’ ideas may serve me better. You see, my stubborn self considers taking an advice to be a failure, because it’s not mine enough. My stubborn self is doing everything to protect me from getting hurt she’ll even say things like:

You’ve come this far to get a glimpse of who you are that I’m afraid you might forget what being you is all about if you follow the path of least resistance.”

Come to think about it, that does not serve, but imprisons me into thinking that I should always do it on my own. And “on my own” sometimes feels like a very lonely place. Basically, it is just like saying: “I’ve travelled 1200 kilometers to get a glimpse of what a vreiment croissant beurre (the real deal butter croissant) tastes like that I’m afraid I might forget the taste when I get home. So whenever I want a butter croissant, I should travel 1200 kilometers because purchasing it at a local French bakery doesn’t cut it.” What?!

Aren’t we here to learn to distinguish what works and what doesn’t? Aren’t we here to learn to recognize the path of least resistance and follow the signs onward?

Doing my own thing, even when I recognize is not working, is not the path of least resistance, while dissolving the attachment to “mine” is. While I still believe all of the answers are dug deep inside of us, I have come to accept that I’m not less of myself when I follow an advice. I’m not less of myself if I can admit I’m wrong, or I’m being mean, or I’m being insulting; I’m on the way to more. And expansion is what my soul loves to do.

The path of least resistance is the one we can follow only if we’re done believing what we’ve been told; that live is a struggle, that we ought to fight to do it right, that most of our energy should be used to make a living … not a life.

Life, anyone?

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For Fear of …

* What do you do when you fear you will hurt? When you first sense the ripples of a drama effect inside you, bouncing uncontrollably to the surface of your experience?

* What do you hold on to?

* Which feeling/ story/ role do you play out?

I’ve been having multitudes lately. It’s not that I’m not used to them, I am. In fact, when it comes to relationships, drama turns out to be the only thing that I’m really used to. Multitudes … of one day smiling my arse off at the idea of all of us just playing out our roles for one another’s growth … and the very next day acting out my good old drama when I need an excuse, a justification, grounds to judge. I feel vulnerable. It seems that I only feel comfortable inside a relationship when there’s drama.

I remember vividly when I decided upon that. We were having a family vacation somewhere at the seaside when I was about seven. I don’t recall the event, but I do remember a dark seaside cottage in the best uniform Yugoslavian style. I don’t recall what I was doing, but I do remember my parents snapping at each other. I don’t remember what the tension was about, because they always managed to find something when they were doomed to spend hours on end in the same room, but I do remember what I thought to myself.

“If this is what being married looks like, I don’t want it.”

I used to despise the fighting. I used to know that fighting is the result of someone’s current inability of not being able to relate to a fellow human.

I was right. But then I became the fight. I became it by closing my heart.

Whenever I feel like I might get hurt – I close my heart, I step back, and I shut up. I do all of that although I know that I’m closing up both to the light and the shadows. I close my heart to fear of being hurt, but I close it to love, too. I step back from what my conditioning calls good, and what my conditioning calls bad. I shut up not only to the cry of a harpy, but to angelic healing melodies, too. There is nothing coming in and nothing going out. This basically means I’m stagnating and could really use a flush.

One thing that I really learned at Sara’s Saturday SoulSpa is that us humans need flushing regularly. We need to be open, we really do. That way the world can enter us, our soul can experience it, and then we can flush it back out into the world, but keep the wisdom that we gained along the way.

So, my dearest heart, open up and smile to the world today. All is well. Everything loves and takes care of you.

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A Sense of Worthiness

When was the last time you asked yourself a couple of questions:

*What do I consider worthy?

*What is my worth?

I got to thinking about worth because I’m digging deep into my perception of abundance, and the two appear to be inherently linked, so let’s see.

I was talking to my grandmother the other day, when she suddenly asked me a question: “How worthy am I if your sister didn’t even come and say hi when she went away for her holiday?” My sister lives next door from her, so my grandmother expected her to come and greet before she set off.  She didn’t come, my grandmother felt hurt. Of course you’re not allowed to say out loud that you’re feeling hurt, because that would imply you’re vulnerable, which is totally unacceptable, so she asked me the above question to camouflage it. I told her that she was feeling hurt because she expected Jana to come and say hi and that Jana didn’t have anything to do with her worth; or rather, her sense of worthiness. That is something we decide for ourselves. You get to choose your worth by everything you do or say, every moment of every day.

She didn’t follow my lead. She couldn’t grasp the concept I was trying to feed her: “Me determining my own worth?! Bollocks.” I can understand that. She has after all been taught throughout her whole life that one’s worth is estimated by others given their attitude. External verification of one’s light is a domain that the patriarchal society and church have bestowed upon us.

In an attempt to change the subject, my grandmother went on to say she should have really cut her fingernails, but ran out of time because she prioritized doing everything else for everybody else instead. I exclaimed, eppur-si-muove-dly: “See, this is it! That’s the reason Jana never came to say goodbye! She doesn’t know your worth because you never affirmed it yourself.” Not only did she not affirm her worth, my grandma demeans it on every occasion. Whenever she invites us for lunch, she starts of my belittling herself and her work with: “oh, it’s not salty enough”, or “it’s too watery” and “this is only good to flush your bowels”. One can’t feel worthy when one says that. It’s just not possible. And when we thank her for the meal before leacing, she never says: “You’re welcome”. By that she would acknowledge her service and affirm her worth. Instead she always says: “Thank you? For that poverty?”

It breaks my heart to witness the suffocated feminine. But it’s us, it’s our generation who must change that; on behalf of our mothers, grandmothers and all of the generations of women who came before us. Only after we determine that we are the most important person in our lives, we start feeling worthy. And when we live out of that kind of worthy, others can see it and respect it, cherish it, monitor it, copy it. When we feel worthy, people around us can feel it, too, and therefore give us all the respect we want and need. But it is ourselves who must initiate it!

*What’s my worth?

To answer that, we need to get naked, both physically and spiritually, and ask ourselves: WHAT AM I …

… without my job

… without my flat

… without my family and friends

… without my money

… without my kids

… without the expressions of self, be it writing, singing, dance, macramé, yoga, ceramics, clothes or whatever way you find to bring the essence of self into something you can see and hold in your hands?

Worthiness is a big topic. It’s huge, actually. We’re not nearly done yet, for the more I am willing to open up and unveil the parts of me I didn’t know existed, the more vulnerable I feel. The more vulnerable I feel, the readier I become to shed off the shades. The more shades I disarm myself of, the stronger I stand in what’s remained.

And that is my worth, today.

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On Our True Essence

I held the Universe in my hands.

It was looking back at me, curiously.

I was touched by the Eternity and the Now when I held a newborn in my hands yesterday.

My best friend gave birth to Eon Vitan a week ago and upon losing my wallet, I decided to hitchhike there. I was in that “baby mood” all day yesterday and finally, when I saw him in Nika’s hands, all helpless and profound and breastfeeding, I bursted into tears. The same way I’m bursting into tears now just thinking about it. He made me think of the Universe that I had in my hands almost four years ago; the Universe that’s been in my life ever since, but my vision gets blurred so I sometimes don’t recognize it as such. It made me see how much I’ve grown over the last years. And it made me grateful for it all.

As I was holding Eon and supporting his tiny black-haired head, I remembered the oneness. I remembered we were all once as fragile as he is now. I remembered. I remembered that we were all just these shining examples of pure light and goodness, making this world a better place. We were? Excuse me, we are. Present Tense. But somehow most of us forgot along the way.

“Well, when did it go wrong? What happened?” you might be asking yourself. Life happened. The life we ourselves chose had built layers and layers of conditions upon us. Why? So that we could get to the point where we are now and look back and unlearn and unleash everything that’s not serving us. And go on happily ever after, always aware of our light, always aware of the light of others, and always shining our light into the world.

For example, I had these two guys pull over when I was hitchhiking to Nika’s place. I could see they had probably downed one or two pints and they were heading to a local fair. And I could see the way the driver was looking at me, as though the pints had unleashed the beast. He wanted me to come along to the fair, but all I ever said was: “I’m going to see a baby. Thanks, but no thanks.” We got to talking about the music that they played rather loud in the car, and the co-pilot said: “I really like Rihanna. She’s my favourite.” And I said, for the sake of curiosity: “I see. Well, I think she’s pretty, too.” The driver then said: “I could use her up. And I could use you up, too. ” He looked at me expectantly and all I could think was: “Well, that’s too bad. Whenever did the men forget how to talk to a woman?”

“I’m a lady, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said and we all shared a laugh.

And the air in the car didn’t get thicker.

And the moods didn’t get tenser.

And the road didn’t get longer.

We moved on. The reason we could move on was in my ability not to play his chauvinistic game. That ability I got from yesterday’s “baby mood”. When he said he “could use me up”, I could think to myself “what a bastard, he thinks he has the power over me to do anything” and it could lead me into saying something like: “Oh, yeah? Who do you think you are? I don’t think so”. In that case I would be fighting him and what fighting ever does is exhaust the ones who are fighting. There are much better ways to avoid conflict, but the best way must be to “love your neighbour as thyself”.

Because I love myself I was very well aware who I am, where I stand and who gets closer to me, regardless of his remark. I didn’t have to fight to show the driver that; I just rested in my knowing, while the latter made him realize it, too, the minute I replied. And because I love my neighbour, in this case the driver, I nurtured him with my complete loving understanding of why he said what he said. I didn’t hold the grudge for I knew he didn’t mean any harm – he just ddidn’t have the ability to say things in a nicer, more sensitive, more appealing way. I could see he was a good man, but even more so, I could see the harmless little baby that he was once was, that he still is … although shadowed by layers and layers of conditions.

Thank you, dear Eon, for reminding me of our true essence yesterday.

Thank you, dear Svarun, for teaching me how to cultivate that essence on a daily basis.

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Always Look for the Gift

Some loves go strong, others go long. And there are those who go long and strong, I’m sure.

This one went strong. Our ride was wild, but we drove the final mile today. I can feel there is a lot of things that want my attention, coming up right now. And I have a choice. Observing my overflowing emotional body, I can either sink in or turn my back. I can either do the work now, or leave it for later, but the work must be done. Intimate relationships really require some sort of work on our part, if we don’t want the same old ride every time around.

I decide to sink in. If I left the emotional work for later, it would be much like leaving the dishes for tomorrow, when everything sticks and stinks and there is not a time when I don’t wish I had done that before. I go deep, I feel my feels, cry my cries and scream the words that should have been spoken earlier; the words that I let sit and wait gained my attention and power with each passing day. If I expressed the words before, they would come out as clear as a peaceful lake, emanating the sovereignty of its depths. But because I let them sit, they gained the momentum of attention and are now ready to burst out like the craziest lava from a pissed off volcano. If you let your feelings rest unexpressed, it seems that their easy waters will turn to the destructiveness of fire.

Still, there is this place in me where he resides. It’s his home. But since I’m still the boss of me, I get to choose who gets to stay. The thing is, he’s not renting his home in me. Oh, no. I invited him to be with me, as close as our physical bodies will let our souls come close. And now that there is no more we as in him and me, will I just kick him out?

The greater part of me still wants to be nice and respectful, and really – why shouldn’t I be? But the mind is restless, it just wants things to be over. Now. Asap. Basta, ya. I could evacuate him. I could do that with all my might, and chances are that I might be successful. But using the power that he himself helped me gain against him, feels like betrayal. Fighting his existence until he’s gone would leave scars on me and him. Besides, what I would be left with is a big giant hole the size of his soul. Do I really want that? What’s the other way?

I know! What I will do is let him be until he is good to go.

Every day, I will go down there and say hello. I will wish him a good day, leave him there and go on to live my life. I will not uproot him and try to fill the void. I will heal us both with my loving recognition of his presence. Until the day that he is gone. The winds will come and take him away. The only thing that’s here to stay is a giant gift box with a bow still on. It’s what he came in. My gift.

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