Five years ago I just moved into my apartment in Williamsburg and on the first day I noticed a very, and I mean very, handsome man working on his motorcycle in front of our building. He smiles. I smiled. I walked into the building thinking I should have said hi. I eventually decided to go back down but he was already gone. I boldly left a note on his bike with my number. What I didn't realize was that he lived two floors above me. Over the last five years, he has become a very special light in my life. Whenever I need help with something, Andre is there. I feel safe knowing if I need anything or if I'm in trouble, he is there. He walks around the neighborhood and everyone knows him. He shakes all the old gents hands. He compliments all the grandmami's and makes them flash toothy grins and blush in ways they probably haven't in years. He knows everyone's name and he's the kindest person I've met. Anytime I need something, he's there for me. Whenever I can't reach something, he helps me. Over the last year I made a goal to finally get back in shape, to feel as strong as the athlete I once was. We go for long runs in the park and talk about life and he knows so much for someone I would have judged as knowing so little. At the end of our last run, we did a sprint where I almost fainted. I watched him take off with dust trailing behind in my face and I could barely move my legs after ten laps. I continued anyways, moving as fast as I could. He stood at the finish line smiling, waiting for me to give me a high five. Him standing there, with a huge smile, reminded me I need him. I need friends. I need support. I need great people to remind me to be great. I need allies to show me my blind spots. I need enemies to show me where I have room for growth. The spiritual world enforces this idea that we don't need anyone but ourselves. The reality, I think, is that we need everyone to help us see + mold the best version of ourselves.
I've been thinking a lot about trust lately. Trust within the tension. The friction of change. When we have an experience that gives us anxiety, do we go through that fire and learn something that might catapult us through growth or do we trust our body's signals and walk away? Or both? At MediClub circles tonight I led the opening share and I brought up this topic of trust. Across the board, we're all trying to figure out how to do that. I had dinner with a friend after and he said, "I always thought that trust meant you believed the outcome was going to happen but it's really hoping it will happen without being sure. To trust first and then believe later." I've experienced that the higher I go the more things are thrown at me to challenge my trust. In some areas I am firm. In other areas I feel like I'm losing my mind and can't find my inner compass. @jesseisrael reminded me tonight that the more you sit in the fire of not knowing, the better you get at handling with the heat. @freeandnative always reminds me the Universe is sending us tests to see if we can trust ourselves, love ourselves, and believe in ourselves enough in our ability to come through when we want to give up. As the powerful Nina Turner said, "We can't have testimony without a test, and we are being tested right now for whether or not we've got courage enough, hope enough, fight enough and love enough to do what is necessary." Trust is a muscle. We just have to use it
I don't really want to write this post because it's my weak spot but I figure if even Superman has a weakness, I my as well. Everyone has their kryptonite. Mine is love. My romantic life is perpetually Monica yelling out, "I'M BREEZY." In my relationships and now as a single 20-something in New York City, I've been forced / inspired to look at those...not so breezy parts of myself. The biggest lesson, the biggest reflection, the biggest shadow I've come to realize is my inability to trust : to trust myself, to trust others and that they won't hurt me, to trust that I'll meet my partner-in-crime. I've been thinking about trust all day :: where does it come from, how does one earn it, how do we hone in on it when we would much rather try to control an outcome, whether it be in dating, in work, in healing a health issue. And I realized, we have two choices, only two choices, and nothing but these two choices. One is to trust our neurosis, which haven't gotten us anywhere except to trouble. And two, is to trust the Universe. One takes away our power, one gives us power. The imprint of our memories which create our neurosis can cause us to forget that the Universe wants what's best for us. Trust is just a muscle. Starting any new work out suck royally brut eventually, with enough persistence and steadiness in our discipline, we see results that we didn't imagine possible. So I think trust is like that. We have to do some heavy lifting to learn the art of trusting ourselves, trusting others, and trusting that everything will be okay, more than okay. And if we can't do that, that is why God created chocolate.
I spent the whole day trying to find a picture that could recreate the image I saw in New Mexico in June 2015. I couldn't, so this will do. The desert sky was the brightest blue I had ever seen in my life. I was standing in the Tantric shelter looking towards the tent Harijiwan was about to start teaching in. People were moving sluggish in the heat, carrying their mats, sheepskins, and everything else inside as if they were carrying bricks. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something white flowing in the wind, like a curtain catching a cool summers breeze. I turn to my left and see four women walking to the tent, in head to toe white, high white turbans with a long veil flowing behind them. I was mesmerized. As I walked down as stepped inside, I saw them sitting in the front row, with more women dressed the same. Each of them had their veil attached to their turban by a pin at their forehead which held a massive jewel, each in different colors. It was like something out of a movie about royalty in the East, many, many years ago. @harijiwan sitting on the stage, finally took the microphone and said, "Guru Hans who found the Tantric necklace just passed on so well chant Akal for his to help his soul pass on from the Earth's magnetic field into the blue ethers." I think my jaw was on the floor. I felt like I was in Star Wars. Or Harry Potter. Or both. I feel like I lost touch with magic in life years ago. To believe in something unbelievable. To use my imagination to experience something. To have hope in that there is something more then just the every day hustle we do. This practice has given me that. To learn about the unknown and unseen. To believe in magic in the world, when everything around us seems to be falling apart. To learn about things like the Radiant Body, the metallic psyche, White Tantric, the Blue Ethers, 11th day of the moon, Hansani, Sodarshan, Sobagh, Tershula, Blue Gap, the Quantum Technology of the Shabd Guru, Humanllogy ... all of these have blown my mind open to look for magic in the world, once again. Maybe it's real, maybe it's not. I don't care. All that matters is the world is once again magical and that's enough for me
A couple week ago at MediClud circles, we talked about waves. How live is just a series of waves and you have a choice : to learn to ride them or get taken down by one. I've been in some choppy waters the past few weeks after months and months of smooth sailing. It reminded me that no matter what, storms will come. It's part of nature. It's reminded me that change is not linear but we can keep swimming in the directions towards where we want to be. And it also reminded me that sometimes, the waves seem so big and so terrifying, or maybe you're just learning how to surf and everything is scary, but if you can find the strength to say, "baby, bring it on" you might find you actually catch the wave and ride it out. So these choppy waters have been taking me down but I keep standing up and paddling out and I think that's the point of it all. Today I went to the gym and got on the treadmill and it had a little TV in front of my face. I didn't turn it on. I just looked at myself in the reflection. I stared for a long time. I ran hard. My favorite song came on, 1942 by PND so I cranked up the volume. And I looked at myself, smiled, and said, "baby, bring it on."
(earlier today) it's 7.23 am on a Saturday morning. I'm in head-to-toe white heading to my 4th White Tantric workshop. There's a lot of promises behind the event so as I sat on the A train, which was filled with sleeping men and smelled like rotten egg rolls, I tried to think if my life has changed much since that first course two years ago. Of course, now that I ask myself whether or not I've changed, I'm totally blanking, like when Chris asks me to tell him what a pulse means. Five years of a masters degree in Chinese Medicine, all this inner + outer work, and he takes one look at me with the stern eyes of a Master and my mind becomes a blank as a freshly cleaned chalkboard. Gurujas once said in class, "80% of your life is set for you when you arrive on planet earth so you can't do much about that but you can change how you react to it." I come from a background of addicts, so I tend to think self-destruction runs through my veins. If I can look back, every training I've done, every class I've taken, every cleanse I've tried over the last five years has been to eradicate it, to clean that part of me out. Not much worked, at all, until I found Kundalini Yoga. So when I heard White Tantric was coming to town two years ago, with all of its glorious promises, I was determined. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Ever. I came out with such amazement at what I could do, what this body could do, what this mind could do. That's the reason I keep going back. Most of my life I disliked myself. Yoga + meditation became a way to like myself. White Tantric has been an opportunity for me to utterly amaze myself. To be able to say, "I did it" when my strong dislike for discipline leaves me saying I couldn't more than I would like. While I can't pinpoint that Tantric has done this or has done that, it's an opportunity to put myself through the fire so when the coals of life burn hot, I can say, "remember that time you did it?" and walk across with grace (or something like that).
Since January my life has changed a lot. I let go of a skincare line that brought me much recognition but I wasn't happy. I began teaching more and working with private clients, which was fantastic until I started to feel uninspired. But I'm doing what I love, I thought. It wasn't until this week that I realized that yes I'm doing what I love but I was still molding myself to the expectations of the industry, of others, and ultimately not listening to myself. Things have been fantastic, for sure. I feel better than ever, for sure. I'm happier than I've been in a long time, for sure. But when @jesseisrael sent me a response the other day that said, "We're on the same team, D" it reminded me that we're all in this together. All the time, just trying to figure out how to make this life work. And I forgot that as I subtly positioned myself in a way that didn't reflect that. I just got off the phone with my dad and he's a very successful entrepreneur in Baltimore who's been having a wild week, as is usual when you're running massive operations. When I asked him how he does it, how he faced so many massive challenges on a daily basis, he said, "Baby every morning you still gotta get up. Get out of bed. Do 100 push-ups and face the day." (Yes at 50-something he does 100 push-ups every morning). Some days are good. Some days are bad. But everyday we've got to get out of bed and face the day. And I think if we can remember to connect with others and be vulnerable enough to say, "hey, me too, I'm in it, here's my hand" we can get through a lot, together. A friend of mine gave me their hand the other day and reminded me it's okay to jump off to writing more, something that I love but haven't been doing. With their push, I've decided to do 100 days of writing, sharing, observing. So here goes nothing. Or everything. Who knows what unfolds when we fearlessly commit to our passions but I'm ready to find out.