The Wisdom of Life’s Immoveable Objects

How to handle life's immoveable objects via theorganicsister.com

(This was originally shared on another lovely blog which has since been taken down. I’m reposting it here, as a reminder to myself as well.)

We all have our paths to walk down in life. As we walk we experience the things we tend to experience – the valleys, the marshes, the darkness of the woods. Sometimes we travel alone. Sometimes we travel with others for a time, and then our paths diverge again.

As we walk down our life’s path, we get to do some clearing along the way. The brush gets thick and we clear it, some branches have fallen and we move them to the side.

But every so often on our path we come across an immoveable object, a boulder that creates such an obstacle that we can not move. A scary diagnosis. A heavy divorce. A lost job. A project that flops and leaves us broke. An overtired child melting down. A running injury that sidelines us. The engine that couldn’t.

It’s funny when we look at life’s immoveable objects and how we usually respond to them.

We tend to push and push and push against them, insisting we can move them or force them, without so much as a budge on their part. We pound our fists and wail and scream and stomp our feet and shout our injustices and curse this thing in our way and say it must be out to get us (and only us). But of course, the boulder – the immovable object in our path – doesn’t mind. It stays what it is; an immoveable object.

Other times we admit defeat. We sit down in front of this looming barrier, maybe even leaning our whole being against it, and we sink into our despair. We tell ourselves this is just how it is, this is where our journey stops, we’re not allowed, not good enough or deserving enough or loved enough to move forward. And again, that object remains what it is.

We spend a shitload of time with these immoveable objects instead of just doing what the obvious thing would be:

Move on around it.

I don’t go for a hike expecting the mountain to rearrange itself to open up a path for me. I don’t move through the woods insisting the trees adjust their lean to create my perfect clearing. I expect rocks, boulders, the possibility of obstacles. I look forward to them. To the divergence they may inspire, a new view they may reveal.

I don’t fight it. I move through it. I diverge from a path. I climb over a boulder. I seek out the clearing (or the place where the sun peeks through the leaves) without any thought of what should be or shouldn’t be, or what it means or is saying about me. That would be as crazy as it sounds.

I don’t try to move immoveable objects. Without missing a beat, I become the one who moves.


I use to think that meditating meant the absence of thought. I’m coming to understand that’s not true. Thoughts will still come. It’s just my relationship to them that changes.

In Life, immoveable objects will arise in the same way our thoughts arise. No amount of enlightenment will suddenly make the Universe stop being the Universe. It actually doesn’t rearrange itself to support us. Instead, it helps us rearrange our ideas, our perspectives, our patterns, our relationship to the mountains and the boulders they drop in our path, so that we can fall in alignment with the greater awareness of what actually already is and wants to be.

When we fight life, trying to make it our version of Perfect, we miss the very thing Life is trying to offer us…the ability to experience all that shit and not see it as shitty, to come across any immoveable object and take it in stride. To feel grounded and at peace, regardless of the ground we’re walking through.

It’s not a sign of an “enlightened person” that they have no immovable objects. What makes us enlightened is HOW we experience it and if we forget whether it still means nothing.

And this is what I’m always learning. It means nothing. We don’t need to push, force, warp, control, or fight what is happening around us. We only need to become witness to what is happening within us.

Yup, again. Get out of your head. Get into your heart.
 
 

Heeding the Siren and Letting Everything Go (big changes for 2014)

We are not enlightened by what we speak, but rather what speaks to us. Yet we pass Truth around, instead of letting it pass through us. - Tara Wagner, www.theorganicsister.com

We are not enlightened by what we speak, but rather what speaks to us.
Yet we pass truth around, instead of letting it pass through us.

These were the words I wrote over a year ago, words that went ringing in my ears, setting into motion a train that’s only now pulling into station, that last sentence like the line of cars being pulled along, showing itself to me again and again.

I want to try – possibly unsuccessfully – to explain how it’s changed me and what that means for this space. Be patient, please…and be gentle…

——

We watch as wisdom flashes across our screen – a quote, a message, a reminder, a graphic – some ancient knowledge speaking to us, jolting us awake from our day-to-day shuffle, but we fail to let it permeate us, to sink in through muscle and bone, to the marrow of our soul, the space between our cells where transformation and Truth spring forward.

Instead we Share it, Like it, Pin it, and then move on without it. It doesn’t matter how deeply it moved us, doesn’t matter the goosebumps it brought us, or the lurch it spurred in us. The earth can move the seat beneath us, then be forgotten in three instants later as we continue to scroll down the page. I can even come across the same exact words, the same exact graphic, and not remember it had already spoken to me, rattled me, tried to awaken me. (I know this because of that handy little feature on Pinterest that says “Pssst! Looks like you already pinned this.” or when I recognize that what I’m looking at was actually shared from me in the first place.)

This is my sad reminder of a shallow distraction, when the scripture being written on my heart is so easily dropped into the file of no return.

Every day I’m so bombarded with so many of Just the Right Words that all they become are empty words, a passing thought, a glimpse of Truth, a mop passed ’round and around the puddle of Light, pointed out and handed off to one another to show our own enlightenment, but not truly lapped up by our own hands.

We are not enlightened by what we speak.

And so Life is not letting me do that anymore.

It’s not letting me skim across the pixels on a screen, trying to turn intangible into tangible, quickly distracted by the next dinging bell or onslaught of information. It’s not letting me pass around enlightenment without absorption. It’s not letting me speak too quickly, often times leaving me not speaking at all. (I’ve sat quietly in more situations in the past year than I have in a lifetime before.) I’m absorbing, absorbing, absorbing, opening every pore on my body in hopes that more will pervade.

I can hear the siren call. It’s saying to drop out, turn off, tune in. It’s saying things can’t go on the same, and can’t go back without facing certain death.

It’s saying spiritual suicide is committed when we don’t give ourselves completely to the lover gripping us at the waist.

I feel it when I sit down at my computer, like the hands of God being placed on my back, pushing me out of my chair the moment I lose myself to distraction, to the things that strip me of time, rather than strip me of my own Ego. I feel the pressure to go, move, get up, shut it off, step away, be done with, and I can’t ignore it. It’s become that train, first only echoing in the distance, but now rumbling so loudly in my chest that it can’t be disregarded, talked over, brushed aside. Instead it is stampeding through me, rattling my ribcage, demanding I take heed before it barrels me over.

This is what Life is saying to me…

Get up, get offline, get out.

The virtual handshake is no longer satisfying the need for a physical embrace. It’s not enough to see one another in avatars and condensed pixels and 140 character blurbs that have been repeatedly edited to portray just the right image. It’s not enough to know what you had for breakfast but not know the voice that’s sharing it.

I need touch, I need voice, I need face. I need to know what spills out of your mouth before you can backspace and try again. I need to see the flashing in your eyes that tells the rest of the story. I need to hold your hands and see us both get real with one another (and ourselves).

I don’t want to just listen to a woman on the phone; I want to take them in, seeing what Spirit shows and what they show, when we are face-to-face. I don’t want to only talk about essential oils; I want to drip them into hands, rub them into necks, anointing feet and Soul.

I don’t want to just work, lose myself in the paying of bills, or the marketing of products and services, and forget that none of this matters, that my only real job is to realize my own Self, to awaken to my own Consciousness, to see and experience Life with those I love and with that wide-awake presence I can’t find when I’m constantly distracted by the tiny computer in my pocket.

So, I’m taking the jump. I’m plunging off the high dive. Delving into the deepest of deep ends. Marrying my own Self-Realization, prioritizing my own spiritual practice, and allowing it to show me what gets to fall away.

And I can see glimpses of it already.

I’m already leaving my phone in the other room, on silent, at home.
I’m making the shift to a planner that feeds me, not just organizes me.

And now I see my mentoring hitting the pause button.
And I know the Organic Sisterhood is being retired.

I know that my time is being reallocated to make space for meditation every morning, and satsang 3 days out of every week, maybe four. For less Facebook, more dancing. Less marketing, more personal creativity. Less planning, more movement.

And I know that what is left after all this shakes out will be driven by something other than my Ego, other than my business plans and marketing goals, other than my own mind. (I’ve talked so long about “getting out of our head and into our hearts”; it’s only now that I’m seeing the ways in which I resisted doing that.)

Because I can’t anymore. I can’t ignore my own Dharma, the role Life wants me to play, the flow it’s asking me to relax back into, give into, allow. I can’t ignore that inner guidance saying it’s time to do more than pass Truth around, time to truly allow it to pass through me, to embody it, to spend more time living it, than teaching it.

And I don’t want to. (Ignore it, that is.)

Last year I learned how to surrender. Through fear, through trepidation, I gave in reluctantly, hesitantly. I trusted the process, but only through a lot of deep breaths and self-pep talks.

This year I’m not surrendering. I’m devouring. I have a hunger, a gnawing growl in my belly that is ready to rip through me with desire, that’s ready to consume and be consumed, whether it be professional suicide or not.

I know I’ll lose friends, lose some of you lovely readers, make some family uncomfortable, and maybe piss a few people off.

I’m sorry. I love you. And please understand me. There comes a point when you have no choice, when you’re willing to look crazy and disregard reason because you know, you know, you KNOW the Truth that sits at your side, holds your hand, and tells you it’s time. You know it like you know the face looking back from the mirror, because it’s your face, and it’s been looking at you all this time.

And it is time. Time for me to change what I do, or maybe just how I do it.

Dharma (my guiding word for 2014) is said to be a divine order, a natural flow to life, that gives us a role and a path, a job or a duty. I resisted those words, the connotation of force, of unwillingness, of obligation they seemed to smack of. I didn’t want a duty; I wanted only freedom. But that was a lens of fear and misunderstanding I was seeing through, and that lens is being shattered. Now I’m finding freedom in that flow, in the giving in to the path laid before me, into the blessing of it, the way it fits me so perfectly, comes together so easily, feels so right. (How could it not? I helped create it.)

This Dharma thing is speaking to me…

About making a community…
A home here in Florida…
About rooting down…
Spending my free time with my guys…
Helping Zeb prepare for the possibility of high school…
Helping him step out of his box and confront his fears…
About writing on paper – real paper – what’s written on my heart…
It’s speaking of a role, a duty I have to my Self first, and my guys next…
It’s telling me there is a time for everything, and that this time is for the here and now…
For real life friends, and bonfires on the beach, and paint under my fingernails…

I’m trying, I’m really trying to articulate this, but I promise you, no matter how much you think it’s making sense, my words aren’t conveying the deep and powerful message Life is laying down before me about where I need to be and why it’s all part of a perfect plan.

If there is one thing Life has given me this year, it was my own heart, wide open. It laid it’s strong and heavy hand against the marble I had built around me, and it slowly, gently wore it down, until what I thought was impenetrable became porous, became sandstone, became twigs and brush, became a mist of smoke, and it didn’t take a huff or a puff to blow my house of self-preservation to the ground.

With one soft and sweet and sexy breath upon my neck, my walls scattered and my heart was exposed.

I’ve experienced more joy, more laughter, more silliness, more delight, more hilarity, more dancing than I thought my boxed-in soul was capable of. Here I was thinking that “who I am” was embodied only in depth, the kind that manifests as reverence and seriousness, never recognizing that my true Self, once unlocked, extended into the depths of gratitude, magic, perfection, and bliss as well – that I had the capacity to see and enjoy both the revered and the ridiculousness of the Absolute. I’m overcome by emotion at the beauty of life, overwhelmed by the brilliance of the human condition. I’m moved to tears and laughter at this stage performance we all keep losing ourselves in. It’s so much more than I imagined.

(I know I’m not explaining this well. Profound Moves lose much in translation.)

Simply put, I’ve been transformed.

My own son hardly recognizes me anymore, and in the best of ways.

I feel my heart pounding its wild fists against my chest, stomping its wild feet in tune to its own wild dance, a declaration of its existence, a finding of freedom and trumpeting the song written across it, like a tiny Footloose playing out amongst my ribs. It manifests itself as silliness and joy and utter stupidity. And people I’ve known all along, including myself, are marveling at the woman they are only just now meeting.

I’ve sat with this story for months, just trying to hear it. Then more months, listening and relistening, interpreting, absorbing, and making sense of it. A year now of being spoken to of astronaut wisdom and forgetting cell phones

And then my Granny’s hands…her life, her love like the bushel that broke the camel’s back, shattering my illusions of what matters, what’s real, and what we’re here to do.

Life has been talking to me about Life, about living it, about wringing the juices out of it in real and tangible ways, about celebrating with our movements and our hands, about things we can touch, Truth we can’t skim and scroll past.

I thought I had done this as we’ve traveled for the past four years, but in Truth, as we explored the country our lives became less tangible, more online, and lacking in a quality that it needed. A depth and connection that goes missing when you drive by so quickly.

There no doubt in my mind that this year has changed my life. Took me places I never thought I wanted to go, exploding ideas into splinters of inconsequential particles that landed softly and dissolved before I even realized they were gone, and there I was…exposed.

The ship is going by a mighty engine, and you are busy rowing. - Mooji

I’ve thought long and hard about this choice to stop rowing, to let the mighty engine do what I can’t really stop anyway, until thinking no longer made sense and all that was left was the doing, the getting out of one’s own way, the admitting, the owning of not only what this girl’s gotta do, but who this girl has gotta be.

Yes, I could feel scared. I have bills to pay and there is still a habit of mind that asks how the hell it will come together, work out, fall into place. But that’s not a game I want to play with my mind anymore, not a place I have the desire to go any longer, and so I’m not. Just like that, I’m just not. Because I know that when I step into the flow, stop fighting the rapids, and allow Life to rush over me, it may not ever look the same, but it will never drown me, can’t drown me.

How can the ocean drown in itself?

So I don’t feel scared (okay, maybe a wee bit). Mostly, I feel excited. Ready. I feel as though I’m hitting a permission button on my heart, a process that has taken me 10,000 steps over 10 years (or lifetimes), something I thought I had done again and again already (and realize I might end up doing again and again later too).

Before, my heart, my spirituality came only after my practicality. But a wide awake heart has no patience for that. Not when it’s hungry to know itself. To know Life. To realize more and more of what’s beyond the makeup of the mind.

So this is my coming out…

I’m wildly in love with that place beyond. Head-over-heels for the mystical divinity within. I’m putting the “oooooo” in Woo-Woo, people. And I’m owning my joy, not just because it’s bubbling up and making itself impossible to hide anymore; I’m owning it because it’s just that freaking good.

It’s not going to change me; it already has. I’m just finally ready to admit it to all of you. I don’t want to just be “The Organic Sister” anymore, locked into something I feel I must maintain for good looks or sensible business strategies, for competitive edge or God knows what. I’d rather wipe the slate clean with my own admission, paint into it a new image (or no image at all), one guided by Buddhi, that inner wisdom that tells me how to align myself with Dharma, the right path; how to let go, let flow, and watch the magic taking place.

Is all of this making sense? Let me try to say it in simpler terms:

My heart has woken up, my spirit is the captain of this ship, my Ego is below deck, learning to take orders. This boat is heading in a new direction. Some things around here are disappearing, left at the horizon; some are just changing. Some things might just be getting my whole attention, and some may come back later, but some most certainly are not.

I’m closing the Organic Sisterhood, taking a break from mentoring, and allowing the rest to happen naturally.

You may not be a good fit anymore for the direction of this voyage, and I honor that, but not by dishonoring my Self.

I still love what I do, still love my oils and want to talk about them, still love my work and want to practice it, still believe in what I’ve created and want to share it.

But the How has become my Optimus Prime, reconstructing itself into something bigger and more imposing on my soul. It’s accepting no excuses, no distractions, no second chairs. It’s transpiring only as a result of inner guidance from now on. If it doesn’t come from the Universe, from my own heart center, if it doesn’t place my own spiritual practice front and center in my life, it’s just not happening.

I feel vulnerable putting this out there. I know the voices that can crop up, the criticism, the snide remarks, the fear, the judgment, the worry, the frustration. (I know it because I got to move through all of it myself to get to this place of peace.)

Please know I’m not totally abandoning this space. Please know I’m here to answer questions.

Please know I love you.

Please, if this change might affect you in any way, please sit with your questions and emotions for a moment, a day, a week, and then reach out to me with patience and an open heart. I’m here to talk with you.

And please, if you feel the draw, hang around. I don’t know what 2014 will look like around here but I’m excited to find out. ♥

 

Gratitude Is All That’s Left (when we stop trying so hard)

Very last page of my very first #artjournal.

It’s Thanksgiving week. Our little family of three is planning our dinner and a long weekend, disconnected from the ‘puters and connecting with the tangible world.

We have yet to finish building our table. We’ve yet to find a couch we love. So we’ll be eating our meal in a camping chair. And we’re okay with that.

We have new friends offering us furniture, but we’ve happily declined. Vast and empty space is a luxury we’re not willing to give up. But more than that I recognized something in my past that’s no longer there: the urge to “settle”.

We can spend years of our lives settling for things that don’t light us up, don’t make us happy, don’t inspire us. Sometimes we do it “for now” and sometimes we do it forever. And sometimes “for now” turns into “forever”, because that’s how we humans work – firmly within our comfort zone.

I’ve done a shitload of settling in my life. People doesn’t often believe me when I say that. They think I lived some charmed existence where I get everything I want.

But the truth is I’ve had to work hard to overcome my own resistance to the things I want.

(I know a lot of you know what I mean.)

We see something that’s beautiful, that feels so divine, but for one excuse or another we keep it right outside our reach, we never go for it – maybe because it’s “too expensive”, or “too hard to find”, or “too much work”.

But let’s get real. Usually it’s just too much for our tiny sense of self to believe we can have, deserve to have.

I spent a lot of years listening to that tiny sense of self and allowing her to keep me from fully embracing the things I thought were beautiful or wonderful or worth it. I would buy things (like furniture) that were “okay” because I couldn’t imagine having what I really loved. I’d accept hand-me-downs that didn’t light-me-up because “I should be grateful for the offer”…which is often just a hidden way of saying “who are you to say no”.

I would also keep happiness itself – fun and laughter and enjoyment – just beyond my fingertips. If things were going too well, I’d unconsciously screw it up. I can’t count the number of holidays or birthdays when I woke up feeling like a raving bitch, spitting venom at the world, and not knowing why. I’d have this quiet, bewildered voice behind the wall asking me “WTF Chuck?” and I’d bite its ever-loving head clean off.

Some people experience this because they have expectations the holidays be perfect. I experienced this because I was afraid of how good they actually could be, and if I could only bring it down a couple notches, I’d be safe within my comfort zone of Just Okay again.

Pretty tragic, no? Pretty common, too.

I was sitting in satsang last weekend. The topic was “Thanksgiving” and we were discussing our experiences with it when I decided to share this very shift.

It’s a shift of the heart. From barricading behind the brick wall of my own stories in order to protect myself from a perceived threat of heartache, to gently removing those bricks – one at a time – and discovering the expansion of love and trust that fills that space.

I used to want the negativity, because it meant things were safe – not too bad, not too good to be threatening.

I use to keep myself 10 degrees off joyful; settling, settling, settling for Not Great. Just Okay. Then, for awhile, I believed that since I didn’t want the negativity anymore, it was up to me to CREATE the Joy.

But both were wrong.

What I’ve experienced this year is that when I let the wall down, and let go of the expectation that happiness is something I have to work hard for (ahem, another form of postponing our joy, another form of making sure we can’t have what scares us), then the only natural response from Life is to flood my world with Joy.

The spaces I used to fill with my own attempts get overwhelmed with the only thing that’s left.

Love is what is left when you let go of all the things you love. – Swami Jnaneshvara

The ironic part is that by letting go of everything I so tragically loved (i.e. my own thoughts), I stopped settling for what I didn’t. I found that I am perfectly comfortable in an empty house, because it’s not actually empty. I found I have no desire to fill it with temporary things, because it’s already full. I’m finding that I don’t actually want or need anything, but just the right things are finding us in just the right ways.

So this is what Surrender (last year’s Guiding Word) has brought me to…surrendering my fear, my thoughts, and my own will to force into existence some egoic form of Joy…surrender to what was, what is already and always there.

It’s cheesy and wonderful and 6 or 7 years ago I would’ve rolled my eyes and gagged if I had heard anyone say it.

But it’s true. When we let go of our perceptions, our expectations, our sad attempts, the tragic things we love too much, the only thing left is the overriding experience of what’s been waiting here all along.

The only blog post in which I can talk about Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Ego in one breath (okay, maybe two)

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This little piece of fringe culture has been on my Bucket List for like, 87 years. Literally.

Or it was on my Bucket List. Because we went recently and it was beyond epic. We sat out in the cold. We threw rice. We yelled profanities. And Justin even did the Time Warp (happily he has no rhythm, which made it that much better).

This weekend I’m getting my nose re-pierced. Something I’ve been wanting to do for nearly a flipping decade since I took my last one out.

Next spring I’m doing something so beyond epic that it makes me giddy and terror-stricken 4 months in advance. (I’m going to fly a glider plane. Yes, Mom. A GLIDER plane!)

These are just a few of the 31 things I wanted to do in the past 49.5 weeks.

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 (The whole – mostly unfinished lol – list is here.)

Last year I would’ve felt pretty lame and frustrated that so few things have happened, and not at all in my timeline. But so much has changed within me this year, that it just makes sense that it’s all coming to fruition these past few months.

Looking back, I can see quite clearly that Life took my requests and said in reply, “Okay, here’s what we get to do to make these things happen.” And then it set this giant mousetrap contraption into motion that catalyzed a string of events that has lead us all to this place, this time, this state of being. And now it’s all starting to come to fruition. (And who knows, maybe it’ll even be finished by next year.)

I knew I was going to learn how to Surrender when that Guiding Word chose me last year.

I had no idea it would turn out this good. 

I had no idea it would feel this easy. (You know, 9 months later. Cuz it wasn’t easy last January.)

I had no idea Life would bring us to a new home. Bring me to a new community. Bring me a library card. 😉 Show me how to let those last shreds of fear go so that I could so completely love and accept myself, with all the weird and crazy things I want to do. Then introduce me to the people who would help me make them a reality. (Including a flight instructor, yo!)

I was talking over coffee with my local yogis about desires and the things we want, how sometimes our journey is to learn to let those things go, to practice non-attachment and release them in meditation. But how sometimes it’s just easier (and more fun!) to say “hell with it” and make them happen.

I’m doing a lot of that “making them happen” right now. But it’s different than ever before.

My goals and intentions and Guiding Words aren’t one big Ego trip now.

There’s no attachment to the outcome.

There’s no story of what they mean when they happen the way I plan or turn out radically different than I imagined.

They’re just things I’m having fun with. And if they go another way, I’m having fun in that direction too.

Looking back, I can see the practice it took to get to this point (while I remind myself I’m in no way “done”, nor should I resist moving past this point). It wasn’t like I could just have jumped into this (oh, I tried – talk about an Ego trip, just try “positively thinking” your way to enlightenment…no actually, don’t). I had to spend a lot of years in deconstruction mode.

But what I’m finding after all this deconstructing I’ve done in my own thoughts and beliefs is that the next step for me is NOT reconstruction…at least not from my mind. This feels a lot more like things are just doing their thing, building up around me, while I just watch and play. Nice for a change. 🙂

It’s Like Nesting (Without Any Eggs)

Saying hello.  #groundednomad

I have a totally awesome reason for not blogging last week. We moved into a house. 🙂 Yup, yup, 3.5 years on the road are being tucked into the Awesome Things We’ve Done file and we are literally sprawling out on the floors, and marveling that 1) no one has to step over us to get to something and 2) our hands don’t reach the walls.

It’s the little things, people.

Little things like a a full-size oven (homemade pizza and muffins! at the same time!), a backyard for Bear to sniff his little heart out, a full-size water heater so my showers can last a full five minutes without going cold, and a dishwasher that doesn’t complain that we make too many dishes. 😉

It’s still a small house, only 1300 square feet, but it feels like a freaking palace. Zeb has a bedroom (the only room already filled to the brim, I might add), Justin and I have our own bathroom (now we’ll finally settle the debate of which of these two men pee on the toilet seat first thing in the morning), a living room, an office, and…..wait for it……..

I HAVE MY OWN ROOM.

I’m calling it my Sanctuary. It’s currently barren except for a small pile of books, my journal, a candle, and my favorite essential oils.

But that’s not the point.

The point is I HAVE MY OWN ROOM. And it’s not shared with a smelly man. And it’s not double-timing as an office. And I have plans, people. Plans.

I foresee a big cushy chair, a small bookcase for my soul-cuddling books, a yoga mat, a diffuser of its own, my meditation pillow, and a small area just for art journaling. A sacred space. Not to work, or sleep, or eat. Just to Be. And no electronics will be allowed past the doorframe.

It feels…well, it feels odd. Laying in bed the first night, looking up at the ceiling a full 10 feet above our heads (especially with our mattress – our only piece of furniture so far – on the floor until Justin builds me a platform) felt strange. Like looking up as you’re falling down.

Or like a newborn baby, fresh from the womb. The world suddenly feels so big, and also a little more dangerous without the closeness of our cozy tin box. Being home alone at night freaks me out in the same way it freaked me out when we moved into the RV. New sounds, new neighbors, new shadows. Yes, I’m slightly wigged out by the dark, especially when it’s a whole new dark.

But during the day? Oh man! We have floor to ceiling windows and SO MUCH LIGHT. The floors are “wood” 😉 and the dog sounds like a troupe of tiny tap dancers when he follows me around (he’s slightly wigged out too; he stays within 2 feet of us at all times, and preferably in our lap or leaning against our legs). And when we realized the kitchen faucet had a leak, we got to call someone else to take care of it! It’s been a long time since we’ve been tenants, but I could get used to that part. 😀

#gratitudes Lloyd Dobler, homemade soup + paleo biscuits, Egoscue + being pain-free for the first time in 2 weeks, and having no furniture and that much more SPACE.  You?
Everything we own currently sits on the floor, including us

So yes, we’re here. Fort Walton Beach ,FL. About 5 minutes from where my mom lived when she moved away from home at 19. I also live exactly 1.0 miles from the meditation center I retreated to in September, 1.2 miles from the ocean, and 0.0 miles from MY OWN ROOM.

We’ve signed a lease for a year, the longest we’ve committed to anything in a looooong time. And it doesn’t feel like home, but it’s starting to.

We have no furniture except for the mattresses and TV (the only things not nailed down in an RV), but Justin and I found some wicked weathered red oak lumber on Craigslist and my hunky man is designed a rustic platform bed, an office desk and a kitchen table. We won’t have chairs for the last two just yet, but that’s okay. We’re cool going without until we find what we love.

Oh and yes, we are filling this space so mindfully. No crap. Nothing we don’t drool over. If we don’t love it or have a damn good use for it, it ain’t staying. So yes, I don’t have any other photos, because there’s not to show. Yet.

Oh and I have wifi. My own super fast wifi. Do you know how much I can get done with my own wifi? Seriously, my work week has been cut in half. I kid you not. Plus, I HAVE MY OWN ROOM. But there’s no wifi in there. (Well, technically it’s everywhere, but there’s nothing in MY OWN ROOM that will pick it up, so there.)

Our days of free candy are over. He has crossed the threshold from receiving it to passing it out. It's moments like these when I realize I'm parenting a man now. #zeb
The only other photo I have of the house: Zeb giving out candy on Halloween

Apart from the wonder that is Home, yes it’s brought with it its own brand of Paying Attention. I’m noticing how my energy shifts in this new space, to one of almost nesting. The love and enjoyment I’m experiencing in my own kitchen. And the funny way we still sneak our travels into conversations. Like we have to let everyone know we’re not “just your average neighbors”. Oh, ego. You’re a funny thing.

There has been moments of “WTH are we doing”, interlaced with thoughts of “too good to be true”. And because Life tends to serve up our dreams with a side helping of “This-is-only-going-to-be-funny-later”, our truck decided it needed $6,000 in repairs the very next day, which added a lovely “Was-this-a-bad-idea” vibe to the whole process.

But mostly, even despite the BS that likes to surface, it’s all been really, really, really good. We’re making yummy foodstuff without bumping into each other in the kitchen, and making love without Zeb asking us to give it a break. We’re going for walks around our new neighborhood, and talking school possibilities. And we’re bringing our energy and color into this new space with trust that it’s going to really start becoming ours.

Saying goodbye. #groundednomad #ourfinalmove
Our last RV trip, from campground to house

We haven’t given up the RV, or the identity of being nomads just yet. That feels so deeply a part of our files, yet at the same time profoundly different…not like part of the past, but not like our present either. So it’s staying with us. Kinda like a guest quarters. Or our escape route for the next hurricane that blows through town. 😉

But for whatever reason, Life placed us here for awhile, ticking off nearly every box on my Must Have list, and reminding us to just go with it while it works out the rest. Not exactly my default mode, but certainly in alignment with my practice in Trust and spiritual surrender. Plus, it comes with my own room.

There is No Such Thing as Square One

I connected with a sweet, beautiful, wonderful client recently who was feeling overwhelmed and set back by life.

It’s a frustrating feeling, to set your heart and soul on a goal, or even just a new perspective…to feel the shifts happening in your life, the forward movement finally taking place. And then to experience an upheaval, a new challenge, a serious trigger, the whole of your world throwing up in your face.

Then to feel yourself losing all that ground.

If you're gonna fall, you may as well fall with pizzazz. #jazzhands
(If you’re going to fall, fall with pizzazz!)

Three steps forward, two back again…or four back it can seem.

We experience that backward slide in our own inner work and then we couple it with stories about What That Means. And the stories we tell ourselves about it SEEM true.

Our big, desperate, self-deprecating emotions like to tell us it’s real, we’ve just lost out again, Life is against us, this is proof we’re not good enough, and all our deep and meaningful (and hard) work has been thwarted by fate or circumstance or someone who just wants to watch us suffer.

And so we cry that we’re back to Square One, and we suffer for it.

But it’s just nonsense, you know?

There is no such thing as Square One.

You can’t get set back to it. You can’t even really start from it.

It’s like eating.

You go to the store, find the perfect ingredients, spend 30-60 minutes making a meal, 15 minutes eating it, 30 minutes cleaning it up…

5 hours later you don’t shake your fist at the sky and yell, “DAAAAAAAMMIIIIIIT! I’m hungry again! All that work for nothing! I’ll never get ahead! I’m going to be hungry forever!

Instead, what do you do? You just eat again.

Maybe you eat better food this time if you got hungry too soon. Maybe you eat different food if you ended up with cramps and as the lovely, Christie Inge recently said to the Sisterhood, “the roaring shits”. Maybe you ask for support if you need help getting good stuff on the table.

But you don’t give up on eating.

That would be suicide by starvation.

Such is the process of Life.

The cyclical nature of growth, of moving forward and seemingly back again, the leaps and bounds and roadblocks, the coming back around to what we want to think is Square One…it’s just your appetite for Life bringing you back to the table.

Offering you more opportunity to grow.

To fill your belly again.

To realign yourself.

So eat it up.

Get better tools. Get support if you need it. But please don’t go hungry today because you’ve just eaten yesterday. And please don’t hate all over yourself because you think you’ve somehow failed at filling your belly.

Because that job will never ever be complete, so long as you wish to truly live.

Hello Life, My How You’ve Grown

Dappled. My #widn is really more of a #wiwdt since I'm driving now and this photo is cooler than the glove compartment.

June 2nd marked the longest we’ve ever been in one place since we’ve traveled. (I’m totally not counting the months we were in Vegas upgrading rigs.) We’ve now been in this spot for two and half months. In this area for 4 and half months. In this state seven and a half.

No, I don’t consider us off the road yet. Yes, I realize I’m being stubborn. 😉

We’re still in the RV. We’re still not making any real plans.

We’re only looking day-by-day. Today, tomorrow, maybe this week, a little into next month. We’re open. Open to the idea that we have no idea. Open to the experience of Whatever This Is. Open to be directed through it all, just flowing with it, a little Lazy River of Life right now.

The synergy has been tremendous. Tree. Men. Duss.

It’s like planting these seeds in our little RV Garden. We pushed them down in the soil, and then we waited. Hours, then days, even weeks went by. We questioned how we planted them, if we were nurturing them properly, even what it was we had planted. And we kept watering and watching and waiting.

Destined for the smoothie. #green #localfood #rvgarden

I had little idea when we planted ourselves here in FL what the hell we were watering or watching for but it’s just beginning to poke through. At first it looked a little like what we’ve been calling weeds and I had to call about a lot of patience (our monthly Guiding Word in the Sisterhood for June) to not pluck it out of the ground right then and there. But instead, we watered and watched and waited for it to grow, to see what it would become.

And it became clear pretty early on that this space is not really about me (ahoy! what a novel idea!). This space, from what I can see, is Justin’s space. His turn. He’s taking on challenges he only just told me he couldn’t handle 3 months previous, and with an expertise and a hunger and a certainty his quieter nature is not accustomed to. He first took on a job that he knew would be fun and challenging, then received a promotion that would be more challenging than fun. Now he’s got a fancy title, his own business cards, a work van and a voice in a company that is teaching him to embrace his gifts and strengths and sharpen the duller edges of his axe to match. He’s got a roadmap and a stepping stone and bigger things to come.

He was waiting at the door when I got home. #turtle

My role has been to hold space, to support, to ground, to bear witness, to stoke fires, and to send him out into a whole new world with a lunchbox full of affirmations and iced coffee. Life hasn’t ignored me though. It’s sent me spiritual teachers and new friends and the very thing to that will enable me to be patient: community to tend my own fires and reminders of what I get to do myself. His being “at work” has given me more space to do my work here and elsewhere, to delve into creative projects, and tweak and finesse the things that need tweaking and finessing. I’ve had time to do more in less hours (how the hell did that happen?).

It’s not without puzzles. Justin and Zeb still haven’t found their community yet, and that’s something we’re ready for. The dance between home and not home is still resulting in a few bumped toes while we work out the subtler aspects of timing and pace and oh yeah, there’s a grocery store to get to today. And the “stuff” accumulates the longer this RV stays in one spot.

Perhaps the ONLY sane response to a deluge is to go splashing through the puddles it creates. #surrender

But I can’t say there is anything off, anything “bad”, anything that isn’t working. Even the heavy rains…they seem crucial, necessary, a needed part of the operation of whatever this will show itself to be. They seem integral to what is to come. The deluge to infuse the growth. And they keep create these warm puddles of laughter to go stomping through.

It all looks and feels and IS exactly wonderful, even if I’m not quite sure if it’s going to be complete in 2 months or 2 years. I don’t feel like I’ll live here forever, not even for a long time. But the definition of “long time” is slowly morphing in my mind, and my fears are turning into jokes as we laugh about not really living here, even though we kinda do.

How we rock a date night. Wagner style.

We’re just Here for now. And when it’s time for Here to change, we’ll find ourselves in another Here. And until then we’ll keep plucking caterpillars off our tomatoes and having date nights at the water park and surrendering all those ideas that any of this means anything other than All Good. Because it could all change again in an instant, as Life is prone to do, but that doesn’t mean anything more than another Right Here, Right Now.

Don’t get me wrong. All the ingredients are here for a This Sucks recipes. But it’s just not what I’ve been cooking. So it’s good. It’s just all really, really good.

Am I enjoying this ride?

Am I enjoying this ride?, via theorganicsister.com

I dreamt that I was riding a bike. The town was new to me, the road was foreign. And I was faintly aware that I was not familiar with this whole “bike riding” thing.

But I rode anyway.

As the roads went up steep hills, I was only aware of the tension and burning in my thighs. It didn’t hurt, and I didn’t have the thought of walking the bike up the hill instead. I was just aware and steady,  my attention to it like a mindful parent: encouraging, calm, focused, and invested in this uphill-ness.

As the hills went down, I picked up speed and recognized I had no brakes and I quickly realized my expectations of controlling this thing was a joke. But instinctively, I shifted, leaned forward, and found that I could slow things down by leaning heavier, pressing my feet into the pedals themselves. And I marveled at it, just slightly. Like a “Huh. I’m not totally screwed after all.”

The corners were sharp, and often on the downgrade, but I found I flew around them with grace and ease. Aware of the cars or pedestrians or bikers around me, but without paying attention to them.

My mind was only on my body, the feel of my legs, the wind wrapping around me.

Once I got distracted (by a woman with a badass mandala tattoo, I might add) and found myself nearly tangled in the road with a handful of others. But I simply shifted back to myself and found my way easily around the traffic. And once I noticed a middle age man doing some pretty wicked tricks with his own bike. This was about the only time I really connected with another person, as I laughed and admired his Tony Hawk-ness. Celebrating with him, in a way.

What struck me most about this dream was my inattention to the Outside World, and my mindfulness on my own experience. I was fully present in my own body, in my own sensations. My mind wasn’t wandering, wasn’t worrying how I looked as I slowly pedaled up those hills, didn’t feel less awesome than the trickster flipping his ride like a pro, didn’t take it personally or get wrapped up in the traffic jam, but just was simply present in myself.

It came with its “ups and downs, twists and turns”. It challenged me but I didn’t get lost in my ideas of being challenged (“I’m not good enough. This is hard. I’ll never make it.“). I didn’t worry about “the road ahead” either.

I simply stayed present to my body, my movements, without judging them. And I found myself traveling just fine.

In real life?

I would’ve hopped off that bike at the first sign of even a tiny hill, and complained as I walked it the entire way up.

I would’ve panicked on the way down, likely wiping out (or walked it down as well).

I would’ve done everything in my power to slow down, stop, and avoid the sharp turns, including mapping out my entire route ahead of time to ensure nothing out of my control might happen, and quite possibly not even getting on the bike in the first place.

I wouldn’t have even noticed the badass tattoo, too absorbed in my own BS to pay attention.

If I found myself in a traffic jam, I would be frustrated that I didn’t foresee it, embarrassed that I couldn’t avoid it, profusely apologetic for being a part of it (possibly under the assumption that I may have somehow caused it – because it’s always about me right?), and I would’ve been self-conscious as I tried to move on from it.

And I would’ve seen the flips and tricks, then heard my thoughts criticize for not being able to do the same thing (even though I’d likely have done everything in my power to avoid such risky business in the first place).

And I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed the ride.

(Care to continue this thread with me? Join in on the Sisterhood.)

Upside Down Makes More Sense

Epic Storms, art journal, www.theorganicsister.com

their story is a cautionary tale
a monsoon thunderstorm dropping a deluge on the desert
bristling with electricity

most storms move fast
this one crept over whispering,
“Some things you learn best in the calm.
No two storms are the same.
No two skies are either, so watch closely.”

so I let go
and found it all upside down
and suddenly making sense

Have you ever had that sense? That everything is upside and off from the ways in which you thought it should be, and yet – without being able to articulate a damn word of it – you knew it all made sense.

This is the fact of Life.

It all makes sense. Always.

But what throws us around is our ideas of what should be. Our thoughts. Our expectations. Our demands. Swirling and upheaving the whole delicate balance of Nature, of our Nature.

It’s terrifying to let go, to find ourselves “without control”, to consider the idea that Life might carry us away – to what? For how long? And what will that mean? Who will I be? And most damagingly, what will others think?

Our thoughts needs to be turned upside down, shaken up, shaken out.

And if we’re holding so tightly to them, we’ll find ourselves turned upside, shaken up, shaken out right along with them. But that’s only when we’re so damn attached to our thoughts that we can’t tell the difference between them and us.

What happened the last time you let go of the thought being shaken up?

Did you, like most of us searching for it, suddenly find yourself in a state of peace?

I’m shutting some things down (and blaming the White Rabbit)

Don't wait for the world to supply you with some magical elements for stillness. Just get still and you'll experience it within any world. - TW

Surrender sounds like what you do on the battlefield when the enemy has you surrounded – like admitting defeat and accepting some impending doom.

And I can’t say this Guiding Word for ’13 has been completely painless. Step-by-step it has taken me through each and every bloody aspect of my life, shaken the death grip of my ideas and sense of control, and changed damn near everything I thought I knew.

But the pain came only from my fighting it.

When I took a deep breathe and exhaled an admission of trust for the process of Life, I was met with nothing but love and ease and utter, synchronistic perfection.

Things I thought I had to do showed themselves for the nothingness they really were. Things I thought I’d never do revealed their wisdom. Things I couldn’t have imagined took me down a rabbit hole of joy.

Down the rabbit hole….

That’s been my prayerful meditation, “Life, take me down this rabbit hole. I’m ready to go – scared outta my ever-loving pants, but ready. Be gentle please, and let’s fall.”

And I have been falling, little by little. For six months, I’ve been shown depths and aspects of this experience we call Life that I’m still working to understand. But the one thing Life knew I wasn’t ready for stayed still – this website. I knew it was coming. I could feel it, sense it, taste it…but I couldn’t describe it, couldn’t see it, and quite honestly wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready to examine what was no longer a fit here on The Organic Sister, and what needed more light and what it was time to evolve or surrender. (Thankfully Life works at our own best pace, so it took its sweet-ass time with me.)

Now I am ready and Life has met me here.

I’ve (we’ve?) made the decision to begin deconstructing and reconstructing this site and what I do here – Digging Deep and replanting if you will.

To start, I’m going to be removing several things by the end of this week.

I’m sending this email to give you a heads up to grab what you might have been thinking about grabbing before it comes down on Friday. Here’s what’s being removed:

Come Friday you’ll only find these things in the Organic Sisterhood, so if you were planning to grab them individually, you still can for a few more days.

In the coming weeks you’ll also start to see other shifts and changes. These are things that Life is showing me to align and release and bring in. They may not even seem like big shifts to you – it’s quite possible it’s only shifting in my own head instead. 😉

But you also could find these shifts may not be your thing, and so if you feel you’ve outgrown this space we’ve shared together, I completely honor that. You can unsubscribe at any time at the top or bottom of each email and I’ll still have the utmost love for you.

In the meantime, if you were planning to grab those offers above, this will be the last week to do so.

With heart and soul and twinges of excitement,
Tara Wagner

P.S. Big, giant (((hugs))) to you.