Monday, September 26, 2011

Invite death to the dinner table

The work is self observation. Sounds simple. It is. But there is something about "simple" that we tend to resist. It may have something to do with our tendency to stay distracted. We can, if not checked find ourselves in a perpetual state of "busy" confusing our essenntial self with our outputs. When we stop and look at our essential goodness, our essential god-ness, our essential brightness what we find is it has very little to do with what we do and much more to do with how we show up to what we are doing.

One of the greatest gifts Max gave me was absolute stillness. My world stopped. The gift to get down and dirty with the present moment is what really matters. Max invited death to the dinner table to see what kind of conversations we would have with our people... and not just the ones we love, but also the ones we think are not worthy of our love. Death at the dinner table actually made me take a seat right between them so I was able to see the microscopic line between worthy and unworthy. Invite death out for a walk and watch how beautiful the sun sets. Invite death to go for a swim and taste the salty water. Invite death out for a jog and see how fast you can run. Invite death to the unveiling of your masterpiece and see if you care about what people think. Invite death to your self obeservation session and see if what rubs you the wrong way is just you neglecting your heart's longing. Invite death to your busy day and see what really needs to be done.

When I talk about the simplicity of self observation what I am really talking about is the pretty radical practice of returning to what is truly important. Keeping death on the horizon slices away at the bullshit to keep us perpetually in the ripped open place of our hearts. It is only in the senses of our hearts that we can truly savor the intensity, taste the uncomfortable, see the infinite chances to open, touch the intangible, and really hear our heart's deep longing. If I may, I encourage you to get "busy" with that kind of work.

Keep letting love in

Monday, September 5, 2011

Going off the deep end

I am aware of the abnormality of my grieving. Trust me, it's not normal to refer to your son that left his body after eight days as "your teacher, master of masters, guru of gurus"... who tells you to keep loving. Keep letting love in. Keep your heart open and broken regardless of the outcome. The boats have been burned and there is no going back.  Safe is an illusion.  Technicolor is the new mauve so color the walls of this life big and bright.  You are going to get hurt. You are going to fail so be as graceful as possible.

Trust me It isn't normal that I said "no" to a memorial because Max is very much alive in my heart. While it doesn't phase me, it does freak people out. I can say with quite a bit of certainty that I surround myself with very level-headed, grounded, rooted and located Masterminds who talk to me daily about what Max is doing, what Max is up to, what Max is teaching us, or how Max shows up in very unexpected places. I am grateful I have them. They hold me accountable to keep living in the abnormal. When I get worked by the ocean of this rawness they wrap me up in a warm towel, give me a snack, wax up my board and say "get back out there kid, keep living from that kind of conviction".

Normal says "Heather went off the deep end". People have told me they were worried about me until they saw me at the bank.

The bank? Really?

We get a sample of how radically uncertain all of this being human is but instead of really living from that place of no bullshit and all heart, it's just easier to go the bank. Of course we have to go to the bank. It's expected and necessary, but please do see it for what it is.

Another women shared that she can't believe how open I have been with loosing a baby. That it makes her uncomfortable that I have been public with Max. She shared that she knew a woman who lost her baby and nine months later had another one and that she's totally fine.

I can't argue with that. Fine is a fine place to be. Fine just isn't for me. I prefer the going off the deep end.

I am writing this because many of you have swam out to some pretty big waves with me, another way of saying "off the deep end". You have taken a stand to move deeper and deeper into the layers of your heart where the waves of love are intense and the risks are big. You have bravely shared what that surf continues to feel like for you. Thank you for being brave. But let us be clear, not everone is willing to paddle out into really big waves and it's ok. I am interested in living in the abnormal.  I am NOT interested in being righteous about it. It's enough just to live from that place. What I don't get to do is drag people out there with me. Or worse, come across that I am somehow more awake for choosing to stay open. I have made this mistake and almost drowned a very dear friend of mine. I tried to drag him out here with me when he has been the one supplying the rations for me to stay out in these big waves. Take it from me, don't do that.  It is not up to you who joins you in the line up.  I got tumbled and tossed around and may have done some damage.  It will need some attention and some nurturing before the trust is there again. Note taken.  I'd be in deeper shit if he didn't love me the way he does. I am thankful our friendship survived.

Max says "keep paddling Mom and recognize the incredible amount of support it takes from shore to make sure you stay alive out there". The opportunity for growth is in every fathom. Be grateful for the near drownings. Be grateful for the bank. Be grateful for the normal. Be grateful for going off the deep end and when needed just apologize.

Let Love In