Sunday, July 24, 2011

I ran out of milk

It's time to return the Breast Pump that I borrowedd/stole from Kapiolani Medical Center. That's a picture of the two of us as I was pumping on the Bozeman Airport bathroom floor travelling two months ago. Yes, boobalicious. I stole that fancy silent breast pump so that I could feed other babies while living below the yoga studio. It's a great story of people being bigger than the institution. I will share the whole story another time.

I ran out of milk on June 30. Exactly one trimeter after Max passed. My ambitious intention of pumping Max's milk to donate to babies in critical care for one year was an arbitrary number. After around 1300 ounces of breast milk later, I had to remind myself numerous times of the ambiguity as the emotional deficit set in. My mind was telling me to act quickly and find nourishment for my baby. It was showing up for me in the constant feeling that I wasn't doing enough for my son. If I could just connect with one more human, or just awaken to one more way Max was communicating with me, or just catch one more piece of magic, or just etc... Of course Max isn't coming back but it didn't stop my body and mind from working endlessly to do so. We want to feed our children even after they are gone. It's beautiful actually.

I have talked to many of mamas who over the course of breast feeding their children had days or weeks where they weren't producing enough milk and were forced to supplement and the stress that coupled their deficiency. Parenting your spirit child has it's own set of complications but making sure they are fed enough isn't one of them.

I am sharing this with you to remind you that we are more than our bodies. This is the gift of grief. You are pulled out of your head and into your heart. You are ripped open. Utilize it. I am able to nourish Max by opening my heart more and more and more. Love is not dependent on time, space or embodiment, and clearly way beyond our capacity to understand it. It's not for understanding. It's for feeling. Max has always only ever spoken the language of the heart. It's his language. It's universal. It's never looking. It's never lacking. It's always present and it's always the same message. Let Love In. The more I open, the more receptive I am to his teaching. It's everywhere. It's not complicated. Love and nourish. Love and nourish.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"It's ok to have a meaningful conversation with your bullshit, but keep it brief"

I got in a fight with TSA at the Kona airport. Max's box is traveling with me to Portland. I requested that they don't put him through the x-ray machine. I had a copy of the death certificate. His box clearly says his name "MAX Love. MAX Wisdom". She met my request with quite a bit of resistance. I met her with less and put Max's Box on this silly little metal basket and put him on the conveyor belt. My eyes got a little watery. The lady touched my shoulder with the same hand she was holding her flashlight to check identification with and said "don't worry, he'll be ok in there". I smiled and said "don't worry he's not in there". If my work is to do my best to meet people where they are at then I had to meet her insanity with mine.

It was my Planetary Marble move a few days ago after saying no thank you to adopting a child. My dear friend Darren Rhodes gave me a copy of "Will I be the hero of my own life" by Swami Chetananananda three weeks after Max passed through. It is a must read for any warrior. I have ordered so many out of print copies from Amazon to give away that I am creating a demand along with a price increase. So I went straight to the source and called the publisher to order more copies. A lovely man named Bob answered the phone and offered me a wholesale price. I took the chance to share with Bob how grateful I am for them doing what they do in the world, putting out the good word in what I am learning to recognize as spiritual weaponry in the current of love. He asked if he could tell Swami about me. ( Pause. All I knew about Swami Chetananananda is that he was a student of Rudi's. To hear that he is still alive was quite shocking.) I responded with deep honor and gratitude. I told Bob that I stay closest to Max in the coincidence awareness. This is one of those moments. Bob then went on to tell me about Swami's birthday and the retreat they have at the ashram here in Portland and that I am invited to come. That was five days ago. I am writing during the in-between space of Swami's teaching and meditation practice. His Plantetary Marble uniform is all orange and no bullshit. He is just as brilliant in person as he is in writing. We are happy to be here for his birthday.

Max, teacher of teachers, guru of gurus, master of masters reminds me and YOU that in the game of Planetary Marbles there are no missed opportunities. Again, there are no missed opportunities. Read the previous blog post and check me on it, but I am pretty certain that as long as you keep playing, you never miss out. You will probably loose your marbles from time to time, it's all part of it.

Pay attention. The invitations to play might be in the obvious. The invitations might be hiding in the immediately following. The invitations may be painless, probably not. There is usually some form of sacrifice of our habitual projections of the way we think think things should turn out. Be gentle with yourself. Here is a hint: if the invitation is something you thought of, it's probably an invitation to play Mind Twister and not Planetary Marbles. Please do try not to get caught up in the tail chasing game of signs. Or if you are seeing signs be brave and wait for three of them. The waiting for three was advice given to me two months ago. This simple act of patience will give your senses a chance to cool down and your heart a chance to be heard.

Remember within every invitation there is an option to Be Bigger and move from your heart.

I jotted this down during Swami's talk today. "it is best to just stay in the space of love, it is also ok to have a meaningful conversation with your bullshit. But keep it brief".

So Warrior of the Heart
Even as you chat it up with your bullshit, let love in.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Two Games

There are two games to play in my world. I would dare to say there are two games to play in your world too, but it's your world and it would be foolish of me to think that I fully understand your super powers. I am mostly here to remind you that you have them. So get out your cape, Grab your espresso and try to keep up with the universe that is here to support you. The wings on these shoes have air to catch.

Game one is the game of Skin Suites and Mind Twister. This is the game that we forget we are playing. The rules originally read: "zip up your skin suit but let your light out into the world, play fully in this beautiful body you have been given, enjoy, connect with each other, feel each other, feel everything it's a skin suit for Christ's sake, try to remember that a large part of its beauty is that it's not going to last, oh yeah the goal of the game is not to get stuck in Mind Twister. Then the rules give a brief description of Mind Twister "endless mental gymnastics from old patterned behavior charged with wrongly believing your own thoughts". HINT: You will know when you're stuck in the Mind Twister when what you are saying to yourself sounds familiar, and/or if the phrase "What if" is part of your speech. Have fun and please do try and remember that it's just a game."

I know. It's tricky. I didn't even know I was playing the game before Max reminded me. As you improve your skill set, the levels change but as long as you have a skin suit an active round of Mind Twister awaits. I just finished a recent game of Twister when a very dear friend of mine found out she is pregnant and having a baby due on or very close to Max's Birthday. From a place of absolute heart she offered me her child. She offered to carry baby full term and give it to me. Mental Twister had a shitload of company for a few days. You can imagine how seductive a newborn baby is for me. You can also imagine how I felt this must be a boon from Max. Baby has the same due date for shit's sake.

Then Max reminded me of the second game we play called Skin Suits and Planetary Marbles. Same rules as game one but the goal in this game is to realize that you are supported by an entire universe conspiring to help you remember your eternal light in your skin suit. To remember that anything is possible. That grace is ever present. To realize this is to realize that the work is never in the decision, it's in the deciding. There are no such things as missed opportunities. They are infinite. You are infinite. You are going to receive everything you want plus some. The trick to this game is in the "plus some". Just because people want to give you things, doesn't mean you have to say yes. Just because you can manifest anything you want doesn't mean you need it. Discern keepers of the Skin Suits, discern. Being given a baby by two dear friends is extraordinary. But my planetary marble move was in the obvious. Max and I play hide and seek along with the rest of creation. Who am I to say if he prefers to hide in the elephants in the rooms or the space in between the molecules of the air I breathe.

Whatever game you are playing at the moment be it Twister or Planetary Marbles continue to brave to ask deeper questions. I am learning that the transformation is never in the answer and always in the asking.

And Of course as you make your move LET LOVE IN

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hiding the baby clothes doesn't work

Many friends have offered to come over and pack away Max's things so I wouldn't have to look at his baby stuff. It's a gesture of love and deeply appreciated. I have amazing friends who have walked to the edge with me. Master P even leapt of the cliff in a blue t-shirt that carried Max back to the nurses after I carried him home. But my way of walking razor edges is to stay open. Packing away will happen once I have unpacked every experience of this loss.

I call it Max's Chamber. I sleep in the bed where Max was born. Someone asked me if I thought this was healthy. I smiled and said "why would it matter what I thought?" His hundreds of love letters piled on a book shelf above his baby books. His water that broke on his seagrass floor has baptized this sacred site. His alter adorned with relics from the battlefield. His ashes guarded by knives. It is glaringly obvious that being Max's Mom is a privilege. I honor my duty with a hand blown glass vase filled with tuberose and sunflowers, a baby boppy turned meditation cushion, a nursery painting of Ickle-Me Tickle Me transformed into an encoded message that Max indeed moves on the wings of shoes. Of course he does. His stuffed animals from his cousins are great Buddhas. The hat he wore in my arms as he passed is the Shroud of Turin. His temple is my footsteps; is my breath behind these words.

There is no boundary between the corner where I sit with him and his stacks of baby clothes, baby slings, cloth diapers, bugaboo strollers, and co-sleepers that he was never going to use. I sit next to his baby things. How thin the line between sacred and mundane. It's invisible. All the lines are thin. I prefer walking steep edges where nothing can hide. There is no room on this type of path for hiding or hoarding. I don't think I have a choice in the matter. God doesn't negotiate our paths. Trust me. I have tried. Still argue. God loves a good debate.

So dear warriors if you are up for it, unpack your pain. Dust it off if you've been storing it. Make a shrine to the most intense moments of your life. Light a candle and begin to burn through it. We are too awake for hoarding. We are too busted open for hiding. Plus we have love to let in. Make some room. Erase any of your man-made boundaries between the sacred and the mundane. Get busy. We have work to do.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Names of God, cat food and toilet paper

One of the 99 names for god in Sufism is "The Bringer of Death". Another is "The Bringer of Life". I get it, but it's nice to be reminded. It's all God. Me and my relentless conditioning tends to compartmentalize. We cross over in our skin suits and take it seriously. At times I weep in my forgetfulness. Max sits down and cries with me. He's that kind of teacher.  "Remember Mom, this being human is just something we sometimes do. You're one of the lucky ones, shaken awake by life's uncertainty. You took your skin suit off and carried me through that very thin veil. But once you take that thing off it never quite fits the same. It's not suppose to. And yet, it is an honor to wear one. Stay disciplined in the alterations and while you are at it please remember to pick up catfood and toilet paper."

I smile when people tell me things like "life is uncertain, that's so exciting". It reminds me of saying "Lila is winning the lottery". Well, that's one way to look at it. Now-a-days I might replace the word "exciting" with "terrifying". If you aren't slightly terrified then I invite you to try it on. That type of Authenticity is magnetic. Only then does Terrifying become Exciting. I think another name for God should be "the one who invites us to Live in our full vulnerability and then asks us to love from that place".

Everything is uncertain.

So line all your people up, especially the ones you are mad at. Tell them all you love um. Tear your own walls down. Dare to be wrong. Kiss their foreheads. Better yet, kiss their feet. This isn't going to last.

And yes, let love in.