Saturday, May 24, 2014

“I have hopes for myself”: Becoming a Master Rat Head Eater

Day two of the Black Feminist Breathing Chorus inspires me to write again. I imagine that these meditations will inspire me – and you - in many ways over the next three weeks.

Even if not listened to consistently, the meditations will bring us profound change followed by transformation. Just think of how much we are changed by what we listen to (or not) every day. How powerful and revolutionary to listen to the voices of our Mother Creator Ancestors – their own – and through the voices of other generations.

I don’t know if I will write every day. As the MercuryRetrograde begins on June 7, I may become quieter, more introspective, and embodying what I am experiencing through the words.

This may lead to short silences, moments of nothingness, bliss, watching dragonflies.

But in the mean time, there is reality and the spirit of this morning’s meditation.

In the Yoruba Ifa tradition there is a saying: Bit by bit we eat the head of the rat. In case rat head eating is not your thing, I can only imagine your face at this moment.

While rat head eating is not something to which I aspire (don’t like fish heads either), this is one of my favorite guiding principles (coupled with “A dog has four legs but can only walk in one direction).

Today’s mediation reminds me to begin with the seed and not the forest, all the time knowing the forest will grow in its own time. First and foremost, however, the meditation dares me to name those desires and thoughts. To do so is to acknowledge that they exist and shape my life unconsciously.

Naming them forces me to stop hiding and pretending that “everything is alright” or that “it’s okay”.  It forces me to step out of the denial that things will get better in time. That someone will step up.

Daring to hope and name those hopes makes me admit that I want more: more sunshine, more peace, more love, more people fed, more people with their own gardens, more people with clean water, more children laughing, more children safe, more women safe, more men safe, more people free in their own minds, more people unafraid to live fully in love. More. More. What an endless list of desires.

To place them in the context of more in this manner encourages me to act from a place of abundance, a place of positive collaboration with the Creator, my ancestors, and the Universe to create more out of seeds that will one day grow to be forests.

To place my hopes on the table – the one I keep inside my heart or on my shrines – to do this is to take the first tiny step towards freedom of multiple levels. It means speaking the truth to myself.

Per the meditation’s example, that truth may not be that “I am invincible”. It may mean simply: “I am strong. Today.” Or, as a poet, sometimes it may be enough for me to say: “I will write two lines. Today.” The poem will make itself known. Eventually.

Today. It is what Hope asks us to consider. Only today. This moment. This time. Our breath. Breathing. Now.

As a Reiki Master, the hardest thing I must sometimes do is help my students embody – live fully - the Reiki principles that begin with Just for today. Even in healing, we all want results ASAP.

You should know that I dream of the beach often: sun, salt water, sleep, mangoes, hammocks, fried fish, and a caressing breeze carrying the scent of lime. When I think of retiring, “I have hopes for myself”: Brasil, the Caribbean (almost any island, including my home island, will do), dance, reggae, samba, calypso, the beach.

Perhaps it is because I imagine in the midst of urban life that the beach offers me more opportunities to “just-for-today” being and living.

The truth is, if I don’t start “just-for-todaying” now. I’ll only retire to show up at the beach full of grand ideas and unfinished business, both of which will prevent me from listening to the waves, choosing the fish I want fried, and enjoying both.

As I prepare to lead the second Mercury Retrograde for 2014 with the Arroyo Healing Community during the season of full bloom, during what is the simultaneous birth and death of one of my life cycles, I welcome today’s meditation as the voice of reason and equilibrium: begin with the smallest grain of sand – today - to create the beach I want. Today.

Just for today, however, the Reiki rules I live by are the hopes I have this moment in time.

I begin with an addition of my own: Just for today, I will honor my ancestors.
  • Just for today, I will not be angry.
  • Just for today, I will not worry.
  • Just for today, I will be grateful.
  • Just for today,  I will devote myself to my work.
  • Just for today, I will be kind to others.

 Today. Keeping it real here leads to all sorts of places we could only hope for once.

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