Monday, March 31, 2014

How Humility Breeds Confidence

In my meditation this weekend, I connected to a very young and tender part of myself needing love: the terrible two-year old who is in a constant bratty fit, never likes what she has and feels entitled to her every whim.

I sat with this girl and, in the midst of deep embarrassment, found compassion for her. I discovered that even if no one in the world likes her, there is always someone out there who loves her: myself.

I noticed how she often resorts to emotional violence and acts "smarter than everyone else" in order to mask the deep insecurity that she isn't "good enough."

Meeting her in this way taught me much about the power of humility.

Humility isn't about self-deprecation or lowering oneself: it's about the willingness to say "yes" to whatever arises and surrender to the great mystery of our lives.

This becomes the breeding ground of true confidence--for when we are living in our deep "yes," we recognize that whoever we are now and whatever we have to offer is exactly perfect in the moment. We no longer need to "fix" or "adjust" ourselves in order to fit some pre-ordained structure of how we "think" we should be.

From here, gratitude and wonder become our natural state of being and the unknown no longer represents where we are "lacking," but where we are abundant with possibility.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I’m Married, But I Don’t Believe in “The One.”

Photo: GettysGirl4260

I’ve never believed in “The One.”

Even as a Disney-obsessed kid, collecting every VHS cartoon I could find, I still didn’t believe in “The One.”
Even today, as I sit in my San Francisco apartment married to a man I convinced is my soul mate, I still don’t believe in “The One.”
I’m not a total cynic nor do I think that love always leads to heartbreak and that relationship is ultimately the death of sex and personal freedom and your own vitality.
I think that the notion of “The One” gets wrapped up in the erroneous belief that as soon as we find someone who loves us, all of our problems get solved and all our needs will always be met and we will never go hungry again.
Dude, if you put that much pressure on anyone, you are destined for disappointment and resentment.
Sometimes, “The One” isn’t just about a romantic relationship. How many times have we said, “If only I had that job/money/workshop/enlightenment/award/fill-in-the-blank-craving, then I would be happy.”
Stop looking for “The One” outside of yourself and recognize that YOU are the one you’ve been waiting for.
When you become the heroine of your own story, you become 100% responsible for your own “happily ever after.” You stop chasing this nebulous thing outside of yourself and being a victim of circumstance.
You also invite freedom, play and growth into your life. We often use “The One” to satisfy some personal insecurity that we aren’t worthy of love unless we have something outside of ourselves to reflect our lovability.
We also search for “The One” because we fear change and view it as a threat to our survival. We hope that “The One” will provide the stability we so desperately crave. Sorry kids, but that’s just not how life works. And thank goodness for that, for it is that static way of living which is the true culprit in the death of sex and personal freedom and your own vitality.
When you realize that “Happily Ever After” can often look like “What the fuck am I doing? Help me! I don’t know. Fuck it,” then you are more willing to accept every moment as an opportunity to enjoy the ride rather than check out of life on the hungry-ghost hunt.
So here’s a poem from my upcoming book dedicated to all the princesses who are slaying their own dragons, saving themselves and choosing to grow up into Warrior-Queens. When you live life as your own “One,” whole and complete, you walk into relationships not looking for Prince Charming, but for a mature man or woman ready to share an adventure yet-to-be written.
Fairy Tales
From your perspective
It must seem as easy as
Drawing the sword from the stone
Or soaring on a magic carpet
Or spinning straw into gold
But I know myself
Princesses only stay pure
Through obstinate abstinence
So you’ll find me in the gutter
Cigarette in one hand
Ice cream in the other
And marvel at how easily angels fall
But if you’re brave enough to climb my tower
(And make friends with the sleeping dragon)
Then don’t try to explain me
(Your tongue has better uses)
Strip off your armor
(Women aren’t won with steel)
And succumb to the tumbling embers
From the beast (no longer tame)
As you rouse beauty from her slumber
With a kiss of fairy flame
After all
(As Rilke says)
Perhaps all the dragons of our lives
Are princesses
Who are only waiting to see us
Beautiful and Brave

View this article on Elephant Journal 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

On a Sultry, Southern Sunday

I’m a Southern girl.

That means I always send thank you notes, order white gravy with my biscuits and often depend on the kindness of strangers.
Oh, and I never touch myself (as Anastasia Steele would call it) “down there.”
OK…maybe that last one is a bit of lie.
You see, in the South, that kind of thing was never talked about—especially with girls. Good girls simply didn’t have those urges. It was sort-of “damning by omission.”
Now boys on the other hand: according to the church, they needed to control themselves.
So imagine my confusion at age 12 when I…well…needed to learn to “control myself.” I felt sort-of like a freak. Why I was afflicted with this “boy issue.” And honestly, why was it such a bad thing?
Years later in college I finally realized the truth about female sexuality. The late night chats about what kind of porn girls liked, TV shows with vibrator jokes and the official angsty college-girl icon, Tori Amos, lifted the veil from an otherwise obscured understanding of my own body and sexual tastes.
But the shame was cemented inside of me.
I was, as many would say, a late bloomer. I was 19 when I gave my first blowjob and 21 when I first had genital intercourse. There was no tangible reason for why I chose to refrain from sexual exploration during my teen years other than to say, “I had better things to do.”
But I think some part of me had tamped down my desire as a pre-teen in order to save myself the secrecy and embarrassment I often felt before, during and after I touched myself.
Now, several years later, as I share pieces of my erotic journey through fiction and poetry in my new book, I am reminded of how very innocent pleasure is and how the archetype of the Virgin is a sovereign being, her body belonging to no one but herself.
Below is the Virgin’s poem, based on my own experiences of erotic awakening, my adolescent faith in Jesus (for whom I still feel deep reverence) and the conflict that often arose between the two.
On A Sultry Southern Sunday
On a sultry southern Sunday
Hazy honeysuckle in the heat
Christians soldiers fan themselves
With folded programs for relief
The preacher, collar stained with sweat,
Says, “Turn to Psalm 23.”
Daddy glances towards the acolytes
But I’m not where I should be
I’m lyin’ down in greener pastures
Inviting a quickening breath
Restoring a sad, scarred soul through
My valley of the shadow of death
Bring those quiet waters
To a rolling, raging boil
Let my fingers do the prayin’
Anoint my head with palm oil
Break your rod, keep your staff
Hungry hands need to feed
And your wafer-scrap holy bite
Leaves me writhing in hollow need
And after the shepherd’s spoken
The flock, freshly blessed,
Head to brunch to gorge their guilt
In feasts of righteousness
They’re born and bled to hide behind
The good book of the past
Tissue thin leaves won’t cut their skin
When they turn the pages too fast
But on a sultry southern Sunday
When I’m upstairs all alone
It ain’t no low-swung chariot
Comin’ for to carry me home

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Join Naomi Wolf, Neil Strauss, Gabrielle Anwar, Nicole Daedone and many more at OMX March 28-30

Hey kids!

Wanna play in San Francisco with some of the most forward-thinking minds on spiritual evolution, social criticism and...ORGASM!?!?

My friends at OneTaste are hosting the OMX conference March 28-30.

Speakers include Naomi Wolf, Neil Strauss, Gabrielle Anwar, Nicole Daedone and many more. It's going to be a dynamic and provocative weekend on sex, desire and relationship.

Click here to find out more!