I asked my friend Weems a few months ago if I'd ever be done. If I'd ever be good enough, finished learning, if I'd get a break in between growths. I asked this facetiously, somewhat, but my egoic self was tired of all of this becoming.
He smiled at me and granted me a break with a hug and a kiss on my head, I knew that it was my choice to stop or to keep growing. I hid for a few days, and then tackled that tough thing. I am curious about what life might be like if I could be open enough to learn the lessons in front of me. I'm not sure I'm tough enough to strip off the ego that I think protects me and stand in what sometimes feels like gale force winds of scrutiny and judgment.
But there is something so powerful about letting yourself let go of needing to be right, or of having the answers, and being willing to be naked and take the force of that wind as a teacher, embracing it.
I didn't come by the will to do this on my own. I had teachers over the years. My first teacher was Kris, the first boy I ever loved, my first true love, a man who never wanted to take, but at the tender age of 17 was already a patient teacher about compassion.
Over the years there were many, teachers who held space for me when I felt like a very broken version of who I was meant to be. I never understood why they were willing to be hurt and disappointed by me over and over and over again and I struggled to become a reliable, dependable, integritous person. I had no idea the size of the mountain I was trying to climb. I had no idea how much help I already had, I had no idea how many teachers littered the path to the beginning of my understanding. So many of these teachers, as I grew older, were women of all walks of life. Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Jewish, straight, gay, all of these are my teachers.
|Sister Beth, always willing to dance.|
|My teacher, Bodhi, six months old|
Ethan has always felt like a fresh new soul to me, blinkinly confoundedly trusting, in this world without any concept of danger or damage. Everything is beautiful to his immense computing power brain, and everything is new.
|My teacher, Ethan, 3 weeks old and taking it all in|
Nkem held space for me while challenging me to look right in the mirror and own it. The only way to keep Ethan safe, as it felt was insisted by his unborn brother, was to break this cycle. To bring to light all that had been hidden, was blanketed in shame and secrecy.
|Nkem opened the door and helped me walk through it.|
My therapist, Diane made a beautiful nest armored with steel for me to work in, and together with Tom, I found the courage and strength to set off a nuclear bomb in the falseness that was our happy family.
My beautiful, loving, incredible friend Jen was there to catch me in the fall out. We spent hours together holding strong to our beliefs about mothering, she challenged me to wear my child proudly on my breast, to give myself to the body that had made the baby, to embrace the deeper miracle of creating and birthing a person.
|Just some of Jen's beautiful family|
Virginia came bursting into my life like a pistol. Her wild, creative, open loving heart was incredible to see. She pulled our kids into her heart and held them like a precious package while we stumbled through years of confusion and growth. I called her my wife, and it seems we're married in our spirits somehow!
|Virginia and Jesse|
|Megan Harvey. Its hard to get her to stand still long enough to take her picture.|
|Weems explains football to Ethan at the Skier's game|
|Aubrey. Ms. Frizzle of the spiritual world.|
|Tamara. Whose hands stuffed me back into my body daily.|
I left massage school feeling like I'd had a good scrubbing, and the world looked different. Then I moved to Aspen, where I felt like I had found my people. My friends here opened their arms and loved me for who I was. They continued to insist that I grow, become, and even today, they hold me accountable.
|Liat. Who knew it could be this easy to be a grown up!|
|Partners on the path of growth. Like a see saw railroad cart, you push, I push, you push, I push.|
And now, I sit here feeling like I'm at another huge hump, its time for a new shedding, a new becoming, but this one, I think, comes from inside. So many women, so many people, have helped squeeze me through the wormhole in the past. I think they must have been preparing me to do it on my own, to wriggle my own self, my own spirit and energy into a new becoming, a new understanding.
There are so many people along the way who have come and gone, been students, or teachers, or both, for me or for my children. Thank you. Krista, Naomi, Cindy, Georgie...
This summer is stretching out in front of me in a big, blank canvas of the unknown. No one is going to prescribe whats best or possible for me. I'm on my own, now. But for the first time ever, I'm not afraid to be, thanks to the army of teachers who have given so selflessly to me and to everyone else in their lives.