Attachment Belonging Boundaries Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Freedom Love Metabolizing Ordinary Joy Relationships Self-Righteousness You Deserve Gentleness

Emergence and Other Plumbing Problems

***Emergence and Other Plumbing Problems***

May was for molting. Shedding every last scrap of paper, every relationship, every object, every place that didn’t belong to my becoming. I did not like this. I did not want this. When I wanted it to be different, I suffered.

So I kept showing up, like the diligent ass I am. I asked for help, which was gratefully received.

Which brought the inevitable realization (again): “Oh shit, life isn’t against me, it’s just teaching me how to edit (again).”

I listened for the next right action and did it, kind of like me writing this now. I should be pulling weeds, but no, this first, then that. Thanks, rain. There is an order to things, and my preferences are irrelevant to it. Weather talks too. Listen.

As Dogen says in the Genjokoan, when you’re out in the open ocean, it looks like a circle. It’s not really: our senses limit. What we can see holds clues to the vast motion of the whole ocean (even enough to navigate!) but what we see is not all of it. It’s enough to realize we are part of it, we are held by it.

When trust in that wavers, suffering slips in between the ripples. This is usually my first clue that I’ve wandered from trust. I feel paralyzed and can no longer listen for the next right action through the clench. Then the freeze deepens, and a stagnant cycle begins.

There is always a next right action. Sometimes it’s stillness. Non-action is sometimes the cleanest expression of our life force–we realize there is nothing to force and lots to notice. Most obstacles disappear in time. The broader system dissolves blockages if we soften the clench. The holy plumber is always on call, especially when there’s a flood about.

When it’s time to mop, mop. Mopping is very simple and we can all do it when not future-f*cking ourselves into catastrophe. Just mop.

It’s not the outer circumstances, it’s my response to them.

Repeat: It’s not the outer circumstances. It’s my response to them.

At least two of you will bring up the holocaust. Noted. Now you don’t need to.

I love that when I say things like this to clients, that it’s not the outer circumstances, and your response is your becoming, life then serves up a hot dish of, “Oh yeah? How about now?”

And at first I’m like, “I don’t wanna.”

And life is like, “That’s why.”

And the roots of my practice grow deeper.

The less I resist, the more ease comes. That seems obvious, no? I would like to add here, that people will often think you’re batshit crazy as you metabolize their deepest fears with aplomb. A lot of people won’t take it as, “Hey what’s your secret?”

But rather, “Holy shit you must be totally out of touch with reality because that’s a nightmare!”

When you’ve alchemized a lot of trauma to the point where it has flattened into biography, it sometimes disturbs people, what you can report from joy. Meh. Boundaries.

When I teach boundaries, my fundamental point is that we move away from what denies life toward what is more fully alive. NOT JUST WHAT FEELS GOOD BUT WHAT IS MORE FULLY ALIVE. Boundaries aren’t a negation, though “No” can be a very good place to start realizing differentiation. Yes, we’re moving away from something, so sure, that’s a loss. Let grief open the cocoon. Not your twitchy hands, but grief itself.

There’s no need to knock on closed doors. There are open doors a little farther down the hall. Always. Even if the hall looks dark. Get down on all fours if you feel wobbly. You’re fine. You’re needed. Keep going.

This is slippery when the closed doors are in my own mind–When I point my head toward loss instead of turning my whole body toward emergence and adjusting my position to where I am enveloped in love again.

When I feel the clench come on, I ask myself: “Where can I stand in relation to this person, place, thing, sensation and feel love?” Stand there. Are you backed up all the way into a stand of birches? Fine. That’s the spot for this moment. Touch them. They love the feel of your cheek.

Where can I stand in this moment to be enveloped in love? That feels very different from “holding a boundary”. The only relationship it’s seeking to shift is the one between me and my life force.

Where’s the hairball in my pipe keeping me from that free flow? If I say, “But that’s my hair, that’s ME! Those are precious hairs from MY HEAD! You can’t touch that hairball!” Well then, the holy plumber is not going to stop by because it’s hard to work with toddlers around.

If I can humble myself enough to say, “Yep, that came from my head. That was mine once. That hair looked all good and shiny and pretty and went ping in the sunlight, but I don’t need it anymore and now it’s just blocking the flow. I’m ready to release it.” Then the holy plumber will get to work, spit spot and there you are, quenched and flowing. When this is my sincere request, the result is often this immediate.

We have all manner of trauma responses/habits/hairballs in the pipe. They share our DNA, but they are no longer us. Can we withstand being engulfed in not knowing quite who we are or who we’re becoming long enough to emerge in good form, without pushing pulling and putting our energy on that emergence? Are we going to require forceps and vacuums, or do we trust our body already knows how to do this? Can we not slash open the chrysalis and righteously declare, “See, I told you there was nothing in there but goo!” Can we remove all distraction and dishonesty and attend with humility to the task at hand? That’s all we have to do. Just this.

Can we?

Can you?

Can I?

If you’d like support in this process, I’m a pretty handy plumber’s assistant. My Pocket Coaching program (it happens mostly via What’s App) is open again for June. DM for details.

Now to the weeds, give beauty room to grow.

Attachment Belonging Boundaries Confidence Ecology Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Eros Freedom Intimacy Love Metabolizing Oracle of Emergence: An Evolutionary I Ching Relationships You Deserve Gentleness


Emergence beyond embodiment. Spacious and permeable skin. Surrender to ease. There’s no need to force anything.

You’re naturally splendid. What you do is as obvious and inevitable as what a plant does. You simply move with the time. You are revealed as it is revealed. You emerge from causes and conditions without friction. Your body knows what to do. Let it lead.

When things move in this way, you know you are with what is yours, doing what is yours to do. You don’t feel confused, do you? No more than the sun and moon are confused about exactly where they belong in this moment and what they are doing. Weather may obscure their light here and there, but sun and moon keep showing up.

Yield to motion like sun and moon, steady and reliable. They make vast and easy progress across the sky, illuminating everything. You are their companion, luminous like this.

You are out of danger of self-abandonment as you feel the ease upon you now. The self of non-self: embedded, embodied, enacting.

You don’t need to wear yourself out going against the way. Continuous ease. Ease brings stability. Relaxation, stability, clarity. Patient, kind, and nourishing. Eternal, intimate, pure, and joyful.

Power flows now, supple as a summer river. Be grateful for this time of ease. Respect what is sufficient. No need to push for more. No need to push at all. Allow the river to run through you. Don’t dam it. Put your feet up and let it carry you. No gushing, just flowing.

Our culture mistrusts ease. I mean, if we embrace ease, can laziness be far behind? Their very different. Only one has self-compassion in it. Don’t confuse them. You will be received how you receive. Receive and be revealed. Only your responsiveness is in your control. Open your system to all available free energy, move with it and order will emerge.

A lot of people confuse slave mentality and work ethic. A good work ethic doesn’t demand extraneous effort. It’s not about showing how hard you can push, but how you can do what needs to be done. Can you feel the difference in your body?

Ease begets confidence. Extra effort limits. When we talk about that je ne said quo or “it factor” that someone has, it’s usually ease.

Ease increases your attractiveness tenfold.

Ease is a metabolic byproduct of Boundaries and Belonging–or is it the other way around?

No matter–it’s all part of the session I’m holding on Saturday Morning. It’s a half-day. It’s 85 dollars. I cap it at 10 people. DM for more.

Belonging Boundaries Confidence Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Eros Freedom Intimacy Love Metabolizing Ordinary Joy Relationships Resentment Self-Compassion The Drama Triangle

Where Do You Belong?

Right where you are. Don’t feel it yet? Drop deeper out of your head and into your feet. What do you smell? That’s in you now, just by smelling it. Every spore in your every pore. You belong to it. We belong to each other.

I’m often struck by how often people feel like they don’t belong and how this story that people tell themselves really cuts them a lot of nasty slack around how they treat themselves and others.

To feel like I don’t belong means turning away from life and then blaming life itself, the world, my parents, the tree that covered my car in pollen again and, how about Russia too–for how terrible I feel. This becomes most poisonous when that separateness becomes specialness. If you saw what I saw…If you went through what I went through…You have no idea…

We spend so much of our lives protecting, rather than metabolizing, our wounds. We build identity like walls around the holes inside us so we don’t fall in. The fortress of victimhood is not a safe place, it just has thick walls. It’s good to build some doors in there. It sucks to have to scale those walls every time we need food. Fortunately, no matter the builder, the fortress of victimhood is not a closed system.

As long as I’m alive, I belong.

I’m embodied in the dynamic stability of where I am right now, whether I like it or not.

I’m impacted and impacting.

The less responsibility I take for this relationship to all my relations, the more I suffer. The more I suffer, the more I want to put it out of me and throw it at someone “out there”. This means I’m only living from a portion of myself, the rest I am deliberately throwing away, hoping someone will love the parts of me that I can’t. Without those parts I lose structural integrity. This brings not connection, but collapse.

Eventually, people grew weary of being pelted with my orphaned shards. I lost so many people in my life behaving this way (and with such self-righteousness!). Did rough things happen? They sure did. Did I believe that was all that could happen? I sure did. I made sure that what happened aligned with my story of what could happen. Until I didn’t.

Individual relationships can be fragile, but the field of belonging is robust. When I refuse my own integrity, when I keep slinging orphaned shards, I have trouble with boundaries, with nervous system regulation, with intimacy. I am out of my own skin and from that dislocated place I have limited access to my life force. It leaks out all over the place, making a mess. I squander the resources given me to do what I’m here to do. I become paralyzed in my expression, holding back, playing small, living scarce. I am robbing the whole ecosystem of the part I am here to play in it. I am lost to myself and the world is absent me. The ripples of those losses add up quick.

Every noticed breath regains.

Just to breathe is to be in relationship. It’s easy to see that the ground is teeming with life, but so is the air. We have such trouble not believing what we won’t see. We create such trouble not believing what we won’t see. We have an impact with the generosity and consumption of our every breath. One less spore hits the ground, one more whiff of carbon dioxide for that maple leaf. We belong to the whole system and remain specific af.

Our specificity is discovered in relationship. We learn who we are and what is ours to do. Through all our relations we learn how we are the same and how we are different. By metabolizing this friction and allowing it to shape us, we fit perfectly. We begin to see our assignment clearly. Our place in the garden. I learn what kind of flower I am and bloom like that. I don’t need a purpose or goals any more than a peony does. I am just this human. A peony is just a peony. I do what is mine to do as only I can. I nap when needed. I am not lazy. I am at ease. Big difference.

I hope it’s clear how simple this is, and how essential it is to first come out from behind the fortress walls and build a healthy compost pile with every rotting thing so that vital nourishment may be restored. Blame goes into the compost. Resentment goes into the compost. Boundaries emerge easy as heat does out of all that deep and mundane alchemy. The difference between what is dead and what is alive becomes clear. What is dead serves new life. Happy Easter.

Exiting the fortress on your own two miraculous feet is always an option. If you would like support in doing this, DM me. There is a half-day Boundaries and Belonging session next Saturday and new F*ck Suffering Group starting next Tuesday. They’re not free but you can be.

Attachment Belonging Blame Boundaries Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Eros Freedom Intimacy Love Metabolizing Resentment Self-Compassion You Deserve Gentleness

After I Was Raped

Three days after I was raped, I called a friend. She had been a volunteer at a rape counseling center and I thought she would be good to call. She didn’t come to give me a hug. I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to put her out. I didn’t want to know what would happen if I was held. I didn’t want to know what would happen if she said no. I needed a rote task. I needed someone to tell me what to do. I could not abide whatever was happening in my body. I did not want it. Nothing fit together. My small sentences sounded like they were coming out of another person’s mouth. I’d been severed from my body and the body of the world.

The friend made me an appointment at the counseling center and told me to go there.

I pulled down my skirt to show the counselor my blackened pelvis and told her how it hurt when I sat down. I gave her some small sentences so that she would give me sense. I expected that transaction from this stranger. I wanted her to hold what I could not. What happened? I don’t remember. I woke up in the next town over and two men were still asleep. Can you tell me what happened to my body? Can you tell me what comes next? Today is the last day you can get a kit done. You will not have to press charges if you choose not to. We will not report this to the police unless you want to. Do this today and you will have time to decide what is right for you.

I was traumatized and ungrounded. I had an urge to feel safe when I didn’t. This urge is the true source of danger.

No one can give me safety when I am out of trust. Turning away from the reality of the moment and throwing it at someone else to hold like a ragged hot potato was very expensive. It took me six years to pay it off.

We drove an hour to a place in her car. The one where these things usually happened was closed today, so we were going to the one where they did rape kits for children. Kit is an imprecise word here. It is a forensic exam. When I left, they gave me a blanket and a small teddy bear wearing a tshirt with the name of the hospital. My dog didn’t want it, even after I took off the tshirt, so it went to Goodwill. The rage about the teddy bear came long after it was gone.

“I’m a state-mandated reporter, I have to report this to the police.”

This is what the forensic nurse said while holding the kind of camera I’d only seen on Law and Order before. She’d been taking pictures of my pelvis, which was too damaged to allow me a choice. My body wasn’t mine now, was what she meant. It was a crime scene. My panties went into an evidence bag and the nurse left the room. I lay on the exam table naked from the waist down, with my legs still in the stirrups and I shattered.

“You were supposed to protect me.” I sobbed. Big sobs. Old sobs. Deep sobs. The rape counselor was on the other side of the curtain, so I said it to the fluorescent lights.

“I’m so sorry.” She said, this stranger I gave my trust to, because of her job.

Because I was severed from my body.

It didn’t even occur to me to get off the table and take my panties back out of the evidence bag and leave.

It didn’t occur to me that I could determine that this was my body again and not a crime scene.

It did not occur to me because I was severed from my body.

I can’t set boundaries when I’m not in my body.

And I was told to think of the others. The possible future victims. It was for the greater good. I felt the lead cloak drop. I stopped crying. I felt nothing. I took the rape counselor out for Pho and made jokes. My treat. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time. People watching would have thought we were pals. Doubling down on this-never-happened. Preserving that murderous self.

I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a trauma response and a real-time no for a very long time.

I didn’t tell anyone else for a year. That didn’t go well. It was beyond the capacity of the person I told. They hung up on me. I deepened into the story of how broken I was: I will never be fixed. I will never be loved. I am barely human. Again I found myself sobbing, “You were supposed to protect me.”

I didn’t talk about it again for two more years. Doubling down on separation. Doubling down on I don’t belong. My mind lapped it right up because it meant we could keep doing what we were doing. Nothing would have to change.

The rape happened in year six of an eight-year dark night of the soul. That’s a lot of nights. That’s a lot of lost years. It precipitated a descent into alcoholism, depression, an extended period of living in my car, and overwhelming urge to be as dead outside as I felt inside.

I had fallen for my mind exclusively. No one else was welcome, not even my body. My mind and I were completely enmeshed. There were no boundaries. It was a self-centered and joyless coupling and the sex was non-existent. My mind was very controlling. Abusive and prone to gaslighting. I needed my body back–but my mind had me drinking to blackout from morning till night to numb the call.

Fresh from a rare shower, bloated and sad, with eyeliner I scrawled across the bathroom mirror that quote from Rumi, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” A part of me knew. A part of all of us always does.

I realized that no one was coming to save me. I realized that no one could save me. I realized that my mind was an abusive asshole.

I could just stop. This could just stop. This could stop right now. None of the things I’m afraid of are happening. Not even one. What if I have everything I want right now? What if this squandering is all I want because it means I never have to be seen again? Never have to be responsible for my life?


I think of these as uh-oh moments rather than ah-ha moments, because let’s face it, do any of us really delight at the thought of all the change and uncertainty that just became totally f*cking inevitable?

I mean, that nude and bloated moment was my uh-oh, but I was on my way into an afternoon blackout, so it was another 5 months before I really let it all the way in and decided I wanted to live. That meant having no idea who I would become because everything I’d already been was dead beyond your wildest necromancy.

That meant uncertainty and her sidekick existential dread and I were about to get real intimate. I was going to have to let myself be loved by others when I couldn’t love myself. I was going to have to let myself be seen. Not just regular seen, but seen by whole rooms full of strangers while in sloppy cycles of rage and grief. I was going to have to get down on my knees and atone for shitting all over life like that. For rejecting my body so violently. For trying to kill it with vodka. For declaring so much war.

I was going to have to belong to my own body and the body of the world again, as was my birthright all along. No one took that from me. I gave it away because I did not want the responsibility for what I’d been given to hold. Until I did. Until I loved those gifts so well it felt like Christmas morning.

I tell you this because metabolization is not complete until what has nourished me comes back out as nourishment for others. When I have fully opened it, it becomes my gift to give. I have fully opened the gifts of that time.

One of the greatest gifts of my lifetime has been restoring my body to full trust, full eros, after rape. I crawled through mud and fire for as long as I needed to, according to my very stubborn nature and for as long as I needed to stay deluded about the relationship between responsibility and freedom. Which was almost exactly eight years. My mind has been through a whole lot of training since then and like a good companion, it shits outside and sits nicely. It’s quite a lot of fun, really. Ever-curious and always up for a caper.

I want to be very clear here that I don’t blame myself in any of this. I don’t blame anyone in any of these events (anymore). This is my path and I feel very tenderly responsible for walking it, even for the times I crawled it. The seeds of compassion were planted in this loam. Somehow, they sprouted.

That’s why I can and feel I should write about it and share it with you.

There was so much shame in me for so long that drew in new relationships that led to new trauma that confirmed and calcified the old. I had to fully embody the whole cycle of trauma and retraumatization by bringing in so much of what confirmed the story I was carrying about myself until it became clear that it was false. I don’t see those years as lost anymore. I see them as training.

“You were supposed to protect me.”

This phrase is the seed of so much trauma and retraumatization. And the slow hissing leak of life force that victim identity brings. When that is lovingly witnessed, first by myself and then by another loving human who does not try to fix what is not broken, my trust is restored. When I move out of trust and expect safety to come from outside first—when I ask to be rescued–I move away from freedom. When my trust in myself and in all-that-is is primary, I know when I am safe. I trust when I am not safe. I trust myself to set and hold a boundary that will move me away from what will harm me and toward being fully alive. I trust others because I trust myself first. I trust my embodied intuition. There is no other kind.

Violence is carried in our own minds and ripples out. It severs us from our bodies and the body of the world.

Peace is carried by our own bodies and ripples out. It grounds us in our own bodies and the body of the world.

Releasing suffering is intimate work, no matter how vast the need for it looks from a distance. Whether it’s war, rape, or the grinding poverty of a working family who has to chose between gas and food now–how we meet and metabolize it matters. How we witness it in our neighbors and around the globe, matters.

We are all in this together, with every breath, every sound, every beat of our very messy human hearts.

Attachment Belonging Boundaries Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Freedom Fuck Suffering Intimacy Love Meditation Metabolizing Ordinary Joy Relationships Self-Compassion You Deserve Gentleness

Belonging is Our Birthright

It’s been a really challenging couple of weeks. Every time I thought I’d opened, I took a deep breath and opened wider. I also learned when to close. I’ve become a better asshole, basically.

It’s been a tender time, where I’ve learned intimately all the places I’m held. I’ve softened into this trust in a way that is new for me. I’m standing in a place I’ve never stood before. It’s scary and it’s not easy, but there is so much ease enveloping it. I hope that makes sense. It’s not for the mind, but a felt sense in my body. There is trust enveloping the fear. And so much love.

I got this message from a client yesterday, that he gave me permission to share with you. It came right on time, as things do.

If you’re looking for this kind of support, DM me for a one-on-one, or the F*ck Suffering group. Or you can go right to my website The start for the group has been pushed back to March 1 while I give myself some space to grieve.

Working with others really does help me realize in my bones that we’re all in this together. We’re never alone. Belonging is our birthright.

Here’s part of Daniel’s message:

“It’s like a seed was planted and something very beautiful has began to grow. I’m sure you speak with many people and don’t remember every detail of our talk but one of the main points you brought up for me was to listen. I have taken that and ran with it. Lately, I find myself wanting to speak only if it improves the silence. I’ve really began to put into practice listening to my partner, loved ones, my manager etc. without that selfish, bad habit of preparing my responses based on my own feelings.

Since I’ve put my meditation first, I find myself relinquishing all control. Life is fucking messy, complicated, constantly evolving, and it will always remain that way.

I feel one follows the same rules for meditation as one would when experiencing psychedelics. A taboo statement I’m sure but it definitely feels that way. I sit with myself as I am allowing all thoughts to flow through me without any control or judgement. I do not resist. I come innocently to the practice not forcing or “trying” to have an experience.

The only difference of course and most rewarding thing is it is teaching a sober, clear mind. Resistance only brings suffering & my god, it’s like a light has turned on. I feel like Dorothy returning from Oz. We all have the power within us. It just takes one particular journey for each individual to believe in it.

While I’m still learning & by all means am no master of this, it has created a yearning to continue to dive deeper and return home to myself. I feel you’ve really helped me shape a very important focus and for that I thank you immensely.”

–Daniel LA, CA

Even though there’s lots of loss around here over the past week, there is also so much to be grateful for, so much to love.

Attachment Belonging Blame Boundaries Confidence Ecology Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Freedom Fuck Suffering Intimacy Love Metabolizing Ordinary Joy Relationships Resentment Self-Compassion You Deserve Gentleness

Blame, Boundaries, and Belonging

When I blame someone, I get curious:

1. Was I asking someone to love a part of me that I don’t?

2. Was I afraid that if I held a boundary and didn’t abandon myself that there would be loss?

3. Am I seeing the situation as “abandon yourself or be abandoned”?

That’s one of the more painful false dichotomies, over time.

If I’m pushing blame around on my plate, I’ve moved out of compassion.

If I’m self-abandoning instead of holding a boundary, I’ve moved out of self-compassion, which is the prerequisite for sincere compassionate action toward others.

If I’m blaming anyone for anything (including in the public sphere—try it!) I’ve left my fundamental trust in all-that-is behind. I’ve forgotten (just for a moment!) that I’m held by life itself, that we all are.

I’ve forgotten that clinging and aversion are the root of suffering. Pain is inevitable and suffering is a choice.

I can return to being held at any time, just like Dorothy only ever had to click her heels.

Eating the blame is not taking the blame. The first metabolizes, it nourishes if I take it all the way in and let it break down into its rich components in my very own belly.

Taking the blame is holding and hoarding and cultivating it, allowing the atonal hum of resentment to reverberate through every part of my field.

That’s not such a great option.

If my field is full of resentment, there’s no place for love to grow. I have to do some weeding. Dandelions too, are nutritious.

Every emptying leads to a filling, even if I can’t see it yet. The tide comes in. The tide goes out. Twice a day. Invisible forces made visible.

The tides teach me to trust what I can’t see. They trust me to metabolize blame, wherever I see it. The less I try to do this, the better. I can stand very still in the sand and listen to what I can’t see, be moved by what I don’t entirely understand.

When the tide goes out, all manner of life is revealed on the shore.

Want to practice this with me? Msg me to join the Fuck Suffering group, next one starts 2/15.

Attachment Belonging Blame Confidence Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Freedom Fuck Suffering Intimacy Metabolizing Self-Compassion

How to be an Asshole

Assholes really get a bad rap. Calling an inconsiderate human an asshole is akin to calling a weak person a pussy. The negative connotations are out of keeping with the organ’s essential power. Agile sphincters sustain life. Assholes are very considerate.

Your asshole navigates brilliantly around your sense of inconvenience. It syncs up with social norms and meal times and aligns your metabolism with the particulars of life–barring any obvious metabolic overload, like poisoning.

What if you let your body’s wisdom guide all of your actions like this, if you allowed your whole body to run your psychospiritual metabolism much in the same way your asshole is a portal for your physical metabolism?

Noticing when the “yes, now” emerges in your body before you take action can be a knowing as deep and clear as when it’s time to poop.

When the action is complete, that is also clear. Your asshole knows. Your asshole lets you know. You are your asshole and it is not you. It knows how to stay out of its own way. That’s its whole purpose. To allow everything to move through without obstruction. How are you doing with that?

You can trust your asshole. You’ve been doing it your whole life, with minimal thought. Thought just interferes. You can also trust life. The preferential mind largely interferes here, too.

Once your mind’s preferences and old patterns are heard for what they are–historical noise, or a little recreational future-fucking–you trade what you wish to be or what used to be for what actually is. Just stay with the moment it takes for this one essential action.

Let go of the big picture, for just this moment, and honor the physical finale of nourishment. Do you really need distraction, even on the throne? How does it feel to let that go and just allow this one simple action? Can you open to the moment long enough to honor the mastery of your asshole?

It’s a deep skill to know when to open and when to close. A fit psychospiritual sphincter is one of the finer fruits of practice.

Sometimes when you are in relationship with someone (yourself?) whose primary impulse is to close when feeling anything, a person with painful psychospiritual constipation and bloating, you might think that if you try to open more–if you force yourself to open wider and refuse to close–they will see this and receive you with a similar aperture. I like where you’re going with that, but forcing isn’t allowing. You’ll probably tear something, hurt yourself. This is at the core of much anxious attachment–this relentless, unreceived opening.

Opening to surrender is not collapse. I think this bears repeating, as I’ve often said that opening when you want to close invites intimacy. Opening to surrender is not collapse. Don’t land like a soft turd in someone’s lap and expect them to sculpt something.

There is an important nuance between opening when you (little you, full of preferences) want to close (out of pattern, habit, old story) and when Big Surrendered You understands it’s time to step back behind a boundary. Not to hide, but to reconfigure your skin. If you continue to hold yourself open where there is no one to receive you, you invite collapse. You make a mess. Can you feel in your body how to close without clenching? This is the kind of thing your asshole knows. This is the pinnacle of asshole wisdom.

A good psychospiritual sphincter is a prerequisite for freedom. We need our collective assholes to be fully elastic. Each of our sphincters are so skillful at knowing when to open and when to close that we only notice them when their wisdom is inconvenient, when we prefer something else–different timing, different place. You can try to force things, but at the end of the day, we’re all on asshole time. This is great, because they’re always making room for what is, right here, right now. All your shit. They don’t even blame you putting it there. They understand that able metabolization is the fruit of practice.

There is so much to learn from assholes.

Confidence Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Eros Freedom Fuck Suffering Intimacy Meditation Metabolizing Self-Compassion You Deserve Gentleness

The Care and Feeding of Anxiety

Care and feeding? Of anxiety?

But this feeling is terrible! I don’t want to care for it, I want to annihilate it. Make it stop.

My heart is pounding and I feel like I’m going to crawl out of my skin. Make. It. Stop.

Energy is blasting thru me like geyser erupting from forces I can’t see or understand! Is this anxiety? Or is it just surging? We surge to meet demand. Even Uber does this. Sometimes the rest of us doesn’t want to come along. Our vital life force energy is waking us up anyway. There is no need to hit snooze. There is a need to notice what’s being demanded.

Energy is fundamentally neutral. Anxiety is what we sometimes call an energetic surge, a turbo boost. It would be a response to danger, if there were danger, but these days it’s more a reaction to an old mental loop. “What fires together, wires together,” goes the old neuropsych saying.

How often do you wire a surge into an anxiety circuit?

The more we choose to adorn a surge with existential dread when no actual, physical danger exists, the more we get to call ourselves “anxious” and the more we allow the misfiring thoughts to wire into identity.

“There’s nothing I can do about it, I’m just an anxious person.”

What if you’re a high-energy person who just doesn’t want the full responsibility for what you’re capable of doing with all that vital force? I mean, that would be a pretty big responsibility, I can see why you’d resist it. As a species though, we kind of need you to paddle onto that wave and stand up. This takes practice. This takes failure. This requires you to let the thoughts be released from the surge.

You can’t outrun the energy you’ve been given. You can expand the capacity of your nervous system until you can receive whatever comes with ease. When we call it a surge, we can soften and expand. When we call it anxiety, we clench and restrict. It’s harder to feel victimized by a surge and a bit easier to feel invigorated by it.

When a surge comes to move you, move. Move toward what is yours to do. Welcome the uncertainty until the next right action becomes clear. Let yourself feel fully overwhelmed. “Overwhelming overwhelms overwhelming…” as Dogen wrote. Which is to say, allow yourself to be engulfed and taste what is engulfing you.

Give it time. Let that all that sensation permeate your stillness. Wait for what it feels like to truly be moved.

If you’re still here, life is holding you. I learned what anxiety was made of by having my existential dread scenarios actually come true. Grief and failure whittled me down. They revealed my true shape, hidden for so long in a block of wood. Everything that fueled my anxiety actually happened. And I was still here. What seemed like a full decade of catastrophes, freed me. There was actually nothing to be afraid of. Surrender really is the most powerful position.

Nothing revives anxiety for me as reliably as procrastination. My body and mind are primed to serve. I’m full of energy. Poised and potentiated for all I am required to do as my essential self in the world. But fuck, what would that mean? What would be required of me after this thing in front of me? Like, another thing? And another thing after that? Wouldn’t that soon be a pile of things? How would I do it all? What if people don’t like it? What if I am not pleasing? What if I am despised? What if I am abandoned? What if I die alone, smelled before I am missed? Does any of it even matter?

I mean, even if we destroy this world, it will rebalance, it’s really just us destroying ourselves. How we treat ourselves ripples out. How we tend our own bodies is how we tend the body of the world. It’s so easy to let one old loop expand into another until I am humming along, alone in my room, tipping over into paralysis, burying myself alive until I am good and dead inside, too numb to move. Anxiety thrives on this black comedy. I’m being devoured by my own self-abandonment. My own reluctance to be responsible for myself and my gifts. I’ve taken the energy given me for the next right action and squandered it. I’ve used it for self-immolation instead of self-compassion. I’ve brought this on myself. I mean, what can I do, I’m just an anxious person, right? How can I dig my way out of this grave grave grave? How can I use the energy given me to show up instead of leaking it all over the place in a squander wander?

I can learn to hold this energy by learning how to regulate my nervous system. I can learn to hold this energy by increasing my nervous system capacity with practice. I can learn to hold this energy by landing in my feet and breathing deep into my belly with very long exhales. By noticing how all that intense sensation is moving through my body without needing anything to be different. What is its texture, temperature, tone? By building my capacity to notice how much energy my system can handle before tipping over into the clench. By committing to expand that capacity. By committing to notice before I react. By noticing the thoughts that encourage the spiral to drill down deeper instead of trying to banish them. By understanding that what I wrestle with, I lend power to. By realizing that I can just let the surge be what it is without the adornment of existential dread.

I invite the surge to dance. As it breathes on my neck, I ask what it wants. The answer is, “Oh, you know.”

Me, all breathless: “Tell me again.”

The Surge: “To help you do your work, dummy. It’s only your resistance that makes it uncomfortable. If you dance with me, we shall delight. If you resist me, you think you’re dying. Because that is what you’re choosing. To deaden yourself against the motion of life. Move with me. Shake that ass. You’re not in charge here, I am. I am here to serve. I’m here to dance. Are you?”

Me: “I want to feel you inside me.”

The Surge: “That’s what I thought.”

Welcome the surge like a lover. I mean, so many underground forces had to gather in the dark for this geyser to erupt inside me. The surge will eventually run its course. It will come, it will go, it will come again. To pathologize the surge is to squander a gift. To welcome the surge and move with it is to open that gift, this present, and all of the potency it is so generously offers. Anxiety by any other name is here to propel you toward what is required. Why are you turning away?

Belonging Buddhism Embodiment Emergence Eros Freedom Fuck Suffering Love Meditation Metabolizing Relationships Self-Righteousness The Feminine You Deserve Gentleness

Buddha Pudding

Before Gautama was officially THE BUDDHA, he was an ascetic. Which is some kind of fruitless exercise in separation, if you ask me.

When he first arrived at the fabled Bodhi tree he was sick and weak and nearly dead from the denial of his body that he was convinced was the path to enlightenment. Such is the way of the immature masculine. He thought he could get there by controlling his mind. He thought there was a “there” there.

So Sujata, a milkmaid, comes to the Bodhi tree to make her devoted offering to the tree sprits for giving her a child and a wonderful husband, as she did on the regs. She sees Gautama there, a bag of bones. She thought maybe he was the tree spirit, somehow exiled from the tree itself. Not far off, really.

She went home and filled a golden bowl with rice pudding, as an additional offering, because how miraculous is it when spirit is made flesh? Even when that flesh has been so diminished. She presented him with the pudding, hoping that it would make all his wishes come true, as hers had. 

He ate it.

He was utterly rejuvenated by this feminine offering. To thank her, he threw her golden bowl into the river as a form of divination to determine his next steps. Apparently he didn’t trust his intuition yet.

Thus fortified, he was shortly thereafter enlightened and became the Buddha that we all know and love.

So the story goes.

In all the celebrations of Buddha’s enlightenment, Sujata is rarely mentioned. And nowhere can I find what happened to her bowl after Gautama threw it in the river. I’m guessing he didn’t return it.

I tell you this story of Gautama and Sujata to emphasize how simple life on the path can be if you’re Sujata and how complicated it can seem if you’re Gautama. And yet Gautama’s story is the one we all hear about. The one who made life difficult and then didn’t and then became a historical figure for telling everyone that it’s easy as pudding without giving credit to the woman who gave him the pudding. 

A classic religious trope. 

Let’s not embody it, okay? 

Sometimes things happen that we most definitely don’t want. We lose people, we lose things, we lose money, we lose our golden bowl—but we don’t have to lose our shit. We don’t have to create loss, create failure, create suffering. We can meet and metabolize everything as it comes, as simply (though not always as easily) as we can eat pudding. We can open wide and take it all the way in. We devour the invisible meat of viruses, spores, pollen, and so much more with every breath. We can’t be separate no matter how much we try. We are always devouring and being devoured. Know this. Taste this. Trust this. 

Belonging Blame Boundaries Ecology Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Eros Freedom Fuck Suffering Metabolizing Oracle of Emergence: An Evolutionary I Ching Ordinary Joy Self-Compassion The Feminine You Deserve Gentleness

Balance is Bullshit

By the time you’re feeling in balance, you’re already ripening into something else. Like the tempered bullshit I spread out all over my garden, both balance and bullshit are always already giving way to new growth.

Balance is of the moment. When it arrives, I love it. When it departs, I love it.

Balance emerges from the reversals, like you.

My capacity to welcome and metabolize whatever comes, to absorb what nourishes and shit out the rest, is my lifetime practice.

Belonging Blame Boundaries Confidence Embodiment Emotional Sobriety Freedom Fuck Suffering Intimacy Love Metabolizing Relationships Resentment Self-Compassion Self-Righteousness The Drama Triangle You Deserve Gentleness

Eat the Blame

I was talking about eating the blame recently and somebody said it’s a disempowering suggestion, and as someone who’s been in abusive relationships amid assorted other traumas, I should know better. That it’s self-gaslighting and victim-blaming and harmful.


Eating the blame is an act of trust, courage, and self-compassion.

The disempowered position is pushing the blame around on your plate like a picky toddler. There’s nothing more powerful than having a metabolism strong enough to devour blame, to trust your system to absorb what nourishes and shit out the rest. No matter what it looks like on the plate.

“It’s my fault. Give it to me. I’ll eat it.”

(You get clear on what you’re confronting if they don’t want to give you the plate. Eat it anyway.)

Eating the blame tastes like potato chips and freedom. Certain bites are burnt and bitter, but once you get just one good taste it’s really hard to not eat the whole bag. Go ahead, it’s good for you!

Once it’s in my mouth, my body, It’s up to me to take it all the way in without resistance so it can become medicine, nourishment. Even if it’s not my preferred flavor. Even if it initially makes me nauseous.

Blame is poison, so eating the blame may cause you to shit your brains out. It may cause you to throw up. It could cause you to die. All the better for your rebirth.

When you freely eat the blame, you might find people who would like to blame you for eating the blame.

“Wait! What did you do? I was saving that for later! You weren’t supposed to eat that! I wasn’t finished with the presentation! I had five other ideas on how to garnish it! Now I have nothing to give you!”

Eat that amuse bouche too.

“Oh shit! I’m sorry I ate your blame. It sounds like you’re already cooking up more! I have to go now, but if you would like me to come over later, I would be happy to eat more of your scrumptious blame. You really took time with it! Is it fermented? It has a fermented tang to it. Good for the guts! Thank you for this delicious meal!”

What is the blame garnisher to do? I mean, you keep eating it before they’ve garnished it better! You’re a terrible guest! Burp vigorously and take your leave. That was some hearty blame!

Are you worried that you’re allergic to eating the blame? Like peanuts or shellfish? Great. Pull up an Epipen and let’s see if that’s true. Let your pulse drop and your skin tingle. Feel the unbearable itch. Have you almost gone into shock? Is your throat closing like a hungry ghost? Breathe. Move through this reaction and let it teach you that nothing is unbearable, even ego death.

“Unbearable” is the sensation of something new displacing the old. Unbearable is your clench on the old. Eating the crusty old blame is very bearable when you unclench your jaw and chew well and let it slide down your gullet. Feel it being broken down by your metabolism. Listen to your symphonic digestion. Devour and be devoured, fearlessly.

If you are sure that it is not your fault and the blame is not yours to eat–that you could take some responsibility, but not eat the blame, consider this:  Are you still coming from a frame where gaslighting and victim-blaming are possible? Does your ego think of them as comfort food? Would you rather eat them than the blame? Then you’re still spinning around on the drama carousel, offering people a ticket to your ride when you could be offering them nourishment. This ride might be thrilling. It might feel safe in its familiarity, but it’s a toxic squandering of your life force. You can’t be gaslit if you trust yourself. You can’t use victimhood as both sword and shield unless you hold the false view of a world separated out into victim hierarchies.

If you eat the blame while riding the drama carousel, it’s guaranteed to make you throw up. Good. Eat it anyway. All that mess is a good signal for someone stop the ride, probably you.

Go ahead and lose your lunch. Go ahead and lose your identity. Go ahead and lose your mind. You thought that was you? No problem. Give it time. You won’t miss it. You don’t know who you are anymore? Does reality seem askew? Are you shuddering when it’s warm? Are you not sure what’s real? Perfect.

Is the blame not sitting well in your tummy? Did it numb you out? Feel like you’re dead inside? Great. Honor your dead and dying, within and without. Give them the ceremony they so deeply deserve. Purge. Grief is your mother. Rage is your father. Mother Being, Father Doing. All life emerges from their interpenetration. They merge and you emerge, pushed out between the world’s wet thighs. You are their offspring.

Now you’re being reborn, emerging from the womb of all that is, all the time. You’re well-fed and ready for some joyful adulting. This is the medicine of eating the blame.

Mother, father, trauma, anxiety, depression, rage, resentment, history, job, genes, fears, stories, joys, lust, pleasure, sloth, envy, gluttony, greed. They’re the ingredients of your life, transformed in the cauldron of your belly. So who are you now? In this moment? What is yours to do today? What’s for dinner? You know this. Do you want to? What do you do to not know this?

How hard to you have to wrench your neck to turn away from what’s inside you?

How does your tuning away ripple out?

Do you understand how powerful it is to have an emotional metabolism that can eat the blame anytime, anywhere, from anyone? Do you realize how powerful it is to get on your knees and open your mouth for the sacrament of one body?  I grew up doing this in the Catholic church, but only now do I embody it. Only now do I understand the transformed body of Christ I fed on as a child is every bite of food I take, including blame.

The soil, the body, the spirit. Specific, but not separate. Many hands, many eyes; one body, no mind. Get on your knees and eat the blame like the sacrament it is.

When you freely eat the blame:

  1.  You acknowledge your role as co-creator of your experience.
  2. You acknowledge that you have everything you need.
  3. You acknowledge that you are shaping this moment, right now and that your metabolism requires no external safety. Your metabolism IS your safety.
  4. You meet suffering like a lover.
  5. You acknowledge your capacity to devour and be devoured.
  6. You acknowledge that you are already always fed.
  7. You are not a hungry ghost.
  8. You are a human being.
  9. You are free.
  10. You embody the full flavorful range of compassion. The bitter and the sweet. The unctuous and the astringent.
  11. You become capable of wholehearted service.

Bon appétit!

Belonging Boundaries Ecology Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Freedom Fuck Suffering Intimacy Love Metabolizing Ordinary Joy Relationships Self-Compassion The Feminine You Deserve Gentleness

Boundaries and Belonging

If separation is a lie, what is skin for?

The permeability of my skin shows me that I’m specific but not separate from the ecology I’m emerging from. I’m part of everything around me, the human and more-than-human.

Boundaries allow me to drop down fully into my skin so that I can notice the space I inhabit beyond my skin. I can notice the radiant heat of my skin going out beyond me like a scent. Never lost, always moving, I leave traces.

Do those traces pollute or clarify?

I’m responsible for noticing this.

Who I am is always emerging, not solid. What remains through the emergence is a note that is sung in multiple songs over time. A note I came into the world with. A hum under my skin. A clear essence that is distinctly mine. Not special, but needed.

Boundaries let me keep that note clear. Boundaries acknowledge my conditioned identity and land me back into my essence. I can feel the tone change when I clench. When I’ve gone out of tune, I know I’ve stepped off the path.

When do I clench? Usually when I’m trying to push myself into a sense of belonging. To attach myself to people or situations despite a lack of resonance. To wedge myself in where I don’t belong.

What’s mine never needs to be forced. When there’s resonance, there’s ease. The song is simply sung. Things flow. Boundaries are needed when ease stops. Boundaries perpetuate ease.

When a push is coming from me rather than through me (this nuance is in the body, not the mind) I know it’s time to pause and pivot.

When my nervous system is beyond capacity, I pause. I can’t set a boundary if I’m spinning out in my head. I can’t set a boundary with a dysregulated nervous system.

I can’t state my skin when I’m not in it.

Boundaries bring me back to my body, the instrument that emits the tone. Where I attune from. When I am unboundaried and in fear or anxiety or people-pleasing or some other form of self-abandonment, I go flat or sharp. I’m in depression or anxiety, if you like the psychological model–but if I chant those diagnostic words long enough, loud enough, I no longer hear the native hum of me.

Those labels keep me separate, broken. Believing there’s something wrong with me that requires eternal, external fixing. There’s nothing to fix. There has never been anything to fix, not even the past.

I give primacy to a spiritual, rather than a psychological, point of view. In that view, I have always been perfectly myself. When I go out of tune, it’s because I’m squandering my spark on things that are not mine. I’ve let my preferences push my note out of tune. I’m using my spark for brushfires when I could be using it for a hearth fire.

This is not pathology. I am being summoned to turn toward truth, despite my comfort and my preferences. Ease is not always comfort. Ease doesn’t stagnate.

When I go out of tune (and this is a felt sense, rather than a thought) it is a call to set a boundary within, around my preferences–and without, on those who would insist I keep attending to what’s not mine.

When I discover that what I wanted doesn’t belong with me it can be painful. That’s when self-compassion is so important. If I let self-compassion fill me, it will spill out. I can release with love. I can’t know compassion until I surrender control.

I can realize grief as an almost unbearably potent expression of love. When our hearts are open, they’re woven together in belonging. When we clench, we cut the threads. Grief is inherently wide and soft. It becomes hard when we resist it.

Only when I allow my own shadow to lie across my lap, can I look it in the eye. Poison can be medicine when I temper the dose. Medicine can be poison when I don’t. When I can trust myself to set and hold boundaries, it’s easier to regulate my nervous system. It’s easier to see that everything is medicine.

How can we know when to hold a boundary when we’re conditioned to mistrust ease? When we’re taught that pushing through to exhaustion and beyond is a virtue? What would happen if when we fell out of ease, we set a boundary?

What if we said:

“I have to pause here.”

“I’m not available for that.”

“This doesn’t feel good to me.”

“I need some time and space to listen for what the next right step is.”

“No thank you.”

Would this require us to dissolve bonds? To change jobs? To dance more? To open our throats and sing our note, even when it chokes out as a sob? Would that be unbearable? Or would abandoning our essence be more unbearable?

When I pause, I can titrate. I taste a little of what knocks me off the path and metabolize it before I can know whether I need to taste it again. I take the space to notice if this is my reaction coming from an old story or fear or if what’s presenting itself is just not mine. I can ask myself in the pause, “Is this my old stuff or is it the truth of this situation?”

Boundaries let me see that I have everything I need, even when I can’t seem to get what I want. When I’m surrounded by what belongs with me, there’s ease. There’s clarity. There’s ordinary joy everywhere I look. I’m exactly where I belong. This keeps me open and boundless in my capacity to receive. It keeps me generous with myself and others.

Boundaries deepen embodiment. When I’m at home in my skin, I can really listen. I lose the whirr of my identity turbine and realize how perpetual its background dissonance is. I can hear the harmonies of entangled life and witness them with delight.

When I know how to set boundaries, I also learn how to let them go. I gain the skill to adjust the transparency of the veil between myself and the ecology I am always emerging from. I trust that what’s mine will hear my note in all its native clarity.

I move through life as life moves through me.

Boundaries lead to belonging, belonging leads to boundlessness and again and again and again.

Attachment Belonging Boundaries Confidence Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Freedom Fuck Suffering Love Metabolizing Oracle of Emergence: An Evolutionary I Ching Resentment Self-Compassion You Deserve Gentleness


Holy shit, I really squandered this day.

There were so many things I could have done, but after a spurt of productivity in the early morn, I just wanted to crawl under the covers.

I didn’t even go for a hike because it was so hot out.

I just went into a sort of suspended state with regular social media dopamine hits.

By 7pm I was fully disgusted with myself.

On the upside, I got to test out my theory of anxiety: that it’s a surge of energy to do what I need to do, and yet I’m refusing to do it. Anxiety ensues.

As I tried to write my way through the toilety spiral of squandering, I wrote AAAAAHHHHHHHH FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKK again and again until it broke itself down and I realized it contained itself. A sort of fractal of self-inflicted hell. A little microcosm of the source of itself, as every tiny thing is.

It morphed into AH, F*CC! and it’s made of:






With this easy, 5 step system—your misery is GUARANTEED!

Using the AH, F*CC! system, you can suffer all alone in your room!

You don’t even have to talk to anyone!

You already have everything you need to procrastinate your way into a balls-deep shame spiral!

With just internet access and a willingness to let your life force slowly seep out of you hour after hour:


Isn’t this a great discovery?!

The AH, F*CC protocol!!!

Is there a book in it?!


I’m so excited about it!

Jk, it kind of sucks.


• Doom scrolling (avoiding).

• Comparing myself to all the other brilliant women in my sphere (comparing, obvs)

• Complaining about the heat (complaining, obvs)

• Taking a nap because lunch (hiding)

• Not leaving the house all day (a twofer: hiding and avoiding)

• Pretending I don’t have to do a live today to finish filling my group that starts on Tuesday (hey, you should DM me to join the F*ck Suffering group that starts on Tuesday)

• Staring into space thinking about how great it will be to lead another fully transformative group for people even when they get all wriggly and uncomfortable and want to leave (fantasizing).

• Imagining I am already having sex on warm granite at Mooselukmeguntic Lake as if it were already Sunday (more fantasizing, obvs, but it went really well with the nap).

Avoiding, Hiding, Fantasizing, Comparing, and Complaining are all such good ways to cultivate separation, to sever connection, to be irresponsible and to really whip up some frothy othering.

The more I devote myself to separation and turn away from responsibility the more suffering I inflict and endure! Yay, me!

Why is it so tempting? Because vulnerability is almost as uncomfortable as responsibility and enacting the AH, F*CC is full of instant cheap thrills.

THE BUMMER: Once I’m aware I’m doing this, the 5 casual addictions lose their erotic thrill. I can’t get off on them anymore. I can go through the motions but I’m so excruciatingly aware that I’m squandering that the anxious buzz kicks up to a screaming pitch like a terrible dog shock collar. I can no longer bring myself to press my own slick heel against my own gagging throat in a fun way.

Once I saw the AH, F*CC, I couldn’t unsee it. All the kinky pleasure was gone from procrastination. There was no charge left in the squandering. Tomorrow I will have to go for a hike, finally do the dishes, and probably even sit down and finally finish writing the I Ching book. AH, F*CC!!!

Belonging Confidence Embodiment Emergence Emotional Sobriety Freedom Fuck Suffering Love Metabolizing Self-Compassion The Drama Triangle You Deserve Gentleness


Economics is the study of how people behave in scarcity.

The imposition of scarcity is the bedrock of our current paradigm.

You have to be zealous for it.

I have to let it all the way in.

We all have get together to embody the gutting fear of that vacancy.

Not enough, never enough, still not enough.

Ooh, just enough!

Now I want more!

That body?

Not enough.

No wait—too much.

Which is also not enough.

Are you anxious yet?

We have a lot of help with this, from cradle to grave.

It’s the only way to semi-rationally frame the idea of limitless growth—inoculate against completeness.

Sever people from the truth of their completeness early and often.

Disembody desire.

Disembodied desire is easy to manipulate.

Disembodied desire is a commodity, like attention.

A human resource.

THE human resource.

Point desire OUT THERE, at the carrot.

There is no carrot.

Want it anyway. 

If we don’t consent to scarcity, the reality of scarcity shifts.

It’s mind-made and can be mind un-made.

No matter the institutional pollution.

Shouting at it only affirms its existence.

I learned this intimately in abusive relationships. I only affirmed what I tried to “help.” What we wrestle with, we fortify. I came to define myself by an external force, fueled by my diminishment. As I became a husk, I felt there was nowhere to lean but on that which devoured me.

Things got pretty bad before I asked myself, “Is that so?”

I asked myself this question again and again until I found my skin. Only then was I able to hold boundaries and save my life.

Shifting socioeconomic and cultural realities are like that. As within, so without. The shift is intimate and terrifying and there’s no telling who we’ll be on the other side. Where will we live? What will we do? Who will love us? Are we just too broken?

Is that so?

Taking America personally might be our only option.

Not in the dumb-ass reactive way we’re mostly doing now, but intimately, tenderly, and with well-boundaried confidence. 

Not confidence in any particular idea or aspect of self, but in our capacity to be at ease in uncertainty. There is so much power in that.

And no force.

We are at a very large and very intimate surprise party and it behooves us to be grateful to its organizers, as they are also us.

Good idea to stay sober at this one.