The Art of Being Lost

December 30, 2014
10pm
Mount Shasta, CA

I’m not exactly lost. I have vision; I just can’t see yet what it looks like, exactly. I’m ready to accept that I don’t know.

Ready to pack up my shawl, to my now-former-partner’s chagrin (maybe he would feel differently if he knew it was a gift from my last partner?), I picked each item off the coffee table it shrouded: the plant our friend Nathan brought when we hosted Shabbat, Natan’s typewriter, a glass with one last sip of water from the Sacramento headwaters…and a book I’d never seen before. I flipped it open to a page with the section title: The Art of Being Lost.

The first time I was seriously lost and accepted it began at that moment of dazzling light and shadow on Cascade Peak, the story with which this book commences…At that moment, my geographical position in the Adironack wilderness was the only way I could locate myself in life. I found myself at the beginning of an indefinite period of knowing neither my career, nor with whom I would go through life (if anyone), nor even what my life was about. I was lost, knew it, possessed a few rudimentary skills and knowledge to help me stay lost, and chose to relax into being lost as best as I could, by not pretending any longer to be a research scientist and by setting off alone, wandering into the west.”

-Bill Plotkin, SoulCraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

I woke at 5:30am this morning with a hunger that must have been deeper than my belly. After some journaling and job- and house-searching, I tried in vain to fall back asleep. Accepting that it was time to go on this ride, I broke from my paralysis, grabbed the compost bucket and the water jug, and drove the frost-covered Magic Mobile to the headwaters just outside town. Golden sunlight on the wise redwoods invited me into peace. I didn’t have to engage in the drama, didn’t have to despair this as the “last time I’d go to the headwaters”. Yes, the decision to leave Mount Shasta two months early happened quickly on the surface, and the thought of dismantling my life within a day brought up grief. It also excited something vital within me.

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The previous day had been full of surprises. I found myself on the dark side of a pattern that’s been teeter-tottering for weeks now, getting closer and closer to a surrender to the irrational knowing inside of me that even though I’m capable of being happy here, and have been for the most part, my time here is done. I sat on a street corner in downtown Mount Shasta with a medicine-bag-sized Galena crystal I’d just bought and emailed my mentor, who’s been away on pilgrimage in Turkey all month. Writing helped. It usually does.

Taking my peace into my own hands, a daily practice, I decided to go for a hike. On my way home I stopped and talked to my next door neighbor Chris, a kind and handy man with a great memory for names who spends the warmer months clearing and maintaining the Pacific Crest Trail. When I mentioned that I was going for a hike and opened up for suggestions, he naturally offered “The PCT!” Why not?

Bringing my water, my camera and no expectations, I relished each step of the climb from the trailhead in Castella. The trees spoke. I listened, and sang back to them. I remembered myself. I remembered the beauty of playing games and my desire to co-create an adventure with my partner. I was excited to come back together and connect in a way we hadn’t been so much lately.

Life had a different plan. I’ll spare you the details, but we decided by the end of the night to go our separate ways. We’ve been sharing an apartment he rented before he met me, and so I found myself leaving not just my partner but my house, town, community and physical/financial security. Of course, this is precisely what I signed up for. My soul knows exactly what she’s doing, and I have to applaud her for the brilliant selection of experience.

The day before this sudden shift, I pulled this card in a reading where I asked my Spirit Guides about my current spiritual journey. The card implies that Spirit shakes us out of our illusion and comfort in an often uncomfortable and sudden burst of Truth. Creator does this for our liberation; note the Hebrew "yod"s falling from the sky (the first letter of G!d's name).

The day before this sudden shift, I pulled this card in a reading where I asked my Spirit Guides about my current spiritual journey. The card implies that Spirit shakes us out of our illusion and comfort in an often uncomfortable and sudden burst of Truth. Creator does this for our liberation; note the Hebrew “yod”s falling from the sky (the first letter of G!d’s name).

I feared this…I’ve never experienced quite such a voluntary break-up, my last partnership in Israel ending because I had another year of college left in the States. And to have no escape from the pain and awkwardness of being broken up as I packed and got ready to leave…and go where?, I didn’t know. Thank G!d, baruch hashem, I was ‘forced’ to stay present with the situation. Connecting with such honesty felt so good, I had second thoughts about leaving. Fortunately, I’ve chosen to journey with a deeply loving and wise soul, who reminded me that I was right when I sensed our paths diverged at this point. We’ve done our work together, and love now asks us to part. 

I thought about heading back to the Southwest, and perhaps this originates more from a fear of being homeless in a cold place than a true joyous desire to live there. The things I really want are in the Bay: my mentor, Hebrew Priestess training, Jewish Renewal community, inspiring organizations to work with, friends, and passion! I’m being asked to remember why I left Minnesota in the first place: to start a life in the East Bay and learn and grow in a supportive, inspiring environment with my spirit tribe. As always, I attempted to stay open and allow what Source wanted to emerge. I followed that deeper yearning to Mount Shasta, knowing I had a little more traveling to do before settling down and desiring to grow with this awesome man I’d met in Berkeley under the guidance of the Sacred Mountain.

Well, we got exactly what we wished for. Even as our partnership dissolves, we fulfill our commitment to one another by supporting each other’s highest good and connecting in a pure, loving space. I am blessed.

I am also, in some senses, lost. I don’t know for sure what I’m being called to in the physical realm. I know I’m being called to abandon my attachments to what I’ve built here, and remember that the only thing to cling to is the Truth: that G!d is Love and I’m here to be a vessel for that love. Without realizing it, I accomplished what I came here to do. I had exactly the experience my soul desired, and now it desires to leap once again to the great unknown and trust that Source is already catching me. 

I’m “lost”: I’m unemployed, recently single, houseless and unsure of what the future holds. I know and accept that I’m lost. And I have spiritual tools and some physical resources to support me in staying lost for a while.

I’m also more solidly found than I’ve been in weeks. There is no more room for illusion that any of those things, a job or relationship or home, are ME. I am Presence. I AM that voice within that guides me perfectly if I will only listen. Trusting myself and trusting G!d are one and the same because, as the central Jewish prayer the shema teaches, there is Nothing in this world but G!d. The Creator is so kind, she watches for when I get caught up in my unique array of ego and accomplishments and martyrdom and doing things for the sake of being “enough”, and reminds me I am already Here.

So, tomorrow onward to San Francisco. I embrace the gift of a deeper journey into the Art of Being Lost. I give thanks for a perfect, growth-stimulating partnership ending in mutual respect and love. I welcome the coming blessings with excitement and curiosity! Let’s play!

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What’s your ultimate Truth?

Throughout our travels and our interviews, Marcos and I asked the question

What’s one thing you know to be true?

Though we asked people of different backgrounds, locations, ages, professions, and perspectives, most answers are different expressions of the same thing.

On this first snowy day in Mount Shasta, California, my winter art cave, I’m reviewing footage of our interview with artist and musician Chances R Good. Here’s his reflection of Truth:

Everything that we see is inside the heart of G!d, always has been and forever will be. There’s no outside to it. There is only one illusion: that there are many things and that we’re one more soul within it. That is the only illusion, that is the only source of suffering, and the only cause of fear. So the one thing I hold true is that if one is to surrender all thought of who and what their morsel is, then they merge back into their natural primordial state. They feel that love, that connection, that Oneness, and they know that all of it has always been an illusion, a great Shakespeare, a roller coaster of beautiful colors and emotions, and nothing more.”

Stay tuned for more updates on the forthcoming film that features him and other insightful souls speaking about the transformation and integration we are all contributing to as we come together for tikkun olam, repairing and nurturing the world!

What about the invisible?

Image via cruiserrevolution

“For a long time astronomers pretty much thought that what you saw out there was it; if you could see it, it was there. They were either totally oblivious to the invisible side of Reality, or they didn’t feel it was that important. But the invisible side of our Reality is actually much greater than the visible side, and probably more important. In fact, if the full electromagnetic spectrum were a line about two yards long, then visible light, with which we see objects, would be a band about 1/32 of an inch wide. In other words, the visible part of the Reality is far less than one percent of the total–almost nothing. The invisible universe is really our true home.”

-Drunvalo Melchizedek, The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life Vol. 1

Savlanut–Patience

Many of us are feeling the chaos and unrest of all that’s transforming now. Much falling apart and coming together. Last week I wrote this chant to anchor myself in the stillness of Patience. May it bring you peace and endurance. Blessings!

For an astrological view of what’s happening, check out Kaypacha’s latest Pele Report:

Medicine from Mount Shasta

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The clouds are clearing now
Whether dark or light, all will be revealed somehow
Do not fear what’s in sight
The morning sparrow sings the song of the night

All is One, no I or Thou
Weave your sacred thread into the fabric of the Tao
No more time, space erased
Awakening to find there was only one place

The mountains know how to call your name
Wanderer return to the place from which you came
Walking in the riverbed
The water teaches how to follow where we’re led

Let go, even of what you love
to make room in your heart for the things you are afraid of
Sing a song to soothe the pain
The warmth of the sun brings the season of the rains

The clouds are clearing now
Whether dark or light, all will be revealed somehow
Do not fear what’s in sight
The morning sparrow sings the song of the night

Support a New Generation of Peacemakers

This weekend a bilingual school promoting coexistence of Jews and Arabs experienced an attack of arson and hateful graffiti in Jerusalem. I visited the school, Yad B’Yad/Hand in Hand, while studying environmental peace-building in southern Israel last year. We had come to the school straight from the Holocaust museum, and I remember how inspiring it was to see children learning together in Hebrew and Arabic and proclaiming their dreams of peace. Attacks like this have the potential to scare parents from sending their kids to such schools, enforcing a status quo of separation. Please consider giving your energy (thoughts, prayers, money) in support of this organization as they rebuild and revamp their efforts for a new generation of peace.

If you’d like to brainstorm other ways to help with me, let’s get in dialogue! Please share this!

Houseless Fairy Seeks 1 Night Shelter

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Yesterday’s Torah portion was Vayetze.
Jacob our forefather
teaches me faith.
One dream, one glimpse of the Divine Reality,
and he follows the goddess on a journey to a strange land,
works for 20 years, being tricked and cheated by his employer/father-in-law.
Still trusts G!d.
And asks for what he needs!

Today I woke with a mind full of thoughts.
After two months of nomadic life,
one more day.
one more uncertain night
where will I sleep?
The car wouldn’t be so bad…
So I’ll spend the day embodying goddess
and celebrating the wild ride she’s guided me on.
My kavanah: strength, faith.

One more day
one more opportunity
to live little dreams I dreamt in Minnesota…
like busking!

Thank you MaMuse for “Chico Gospel”–
You brought me my first dollar
and the next
and the next

Thank you Shekhina
You brought Joshua

whose name and deed affirms your grace:
“Yahweh is salvation.”

I am deeply humbled
and joyfully dancing
I asked and you heard me
I laid down my pride and my hat
and you have filled me overflowing
with Love for all creation.

When I left two months ago
I had hopes
fears
dreams
and a trust in the calling I felt in my body,
my soul’s stirring.

I started walking.
I kept going.
I got scared sometimes,
wanted to stop
rest
ground.
You kept me safe
healthy
connected.

Let every breath I take be in praise of the One
May I repay the kindness shown to me tenfold
May my life contribute to the happiness and freedom of all beings everywhere.

In deep love and gratitude,

Rivka