All You Have To Do Is Answer

Joseph Campbell taught me that the mythic process always begins with a call to action.  I will often joke that God may call us, but we have to pick up the phone. 

Well, I got this phone call last week, just as I was walking out the door.  I could see that it was not a familiar number but I answered anyway. It was a very nice woman calling from the

Hippocrates Health Institute

 asking me if I was interested in representing my business at their upcoming community health fair and lecture here in Tampa, Jan. 30th. Even though she was essentially trying to sell me something (a table/booth), there was also a genuineness in her, I didn't feel immediately turned off as tends to happen with solicitors.  The more she told me about the lecture the more I felt like it was something I'd like to attend anyway.  I figured by representing Upward Spiral at the event I will be exposing myself to my ideal clients: people with the desire to take their health into their own hands. Plus, Dr. Clement will be talking about not only diet and exercise, but also spiritual practice.  This is totally my event. 

So I will be there (I have six $15 tickets for sale - contact me if you'd like one!) and I feel like the action of making that choice is propelling me forward in many ways.  Whether or not I actually get connections out of this event or not, I see how this project is forcing me to get my act together. 

After the 101 Days of Gratitude Project, I was about computer/internet/social media -ed out. Through December and early January, I had very little activity on Facebook (personal and business page) and Twitter, and I even slacked off on my email or website updates.  In reviewing my journals from the past year, I was reminded that I had about a week "internet fast" during the summer when I was out of town and I remembered it feeling really great. Over the holidays, it was what I needed as well.  I guess we have to detox from technology as much as toxic food. 

It's not that technology is bad, it helps me out a lot. It is how the Hippocrates Institute found me, and how I learn about some really amazing things.  But I know that I just don't feel good when I spend a substantial amount of time at the computer. Moderation, Moderation. Reminds me of one of my FAVORITE Get Fuzzy comics. 

So I am back online updating my website, cleaning up some loose ends, composing new marketing material and just generally getting on top of things. It feels really good. After being a little stagnant, I see that all I needed was a hand to reach out and encourage me to move forward again. 

Basically, I feel right now that I am stepping forward in the answer of my next call to action. I see that as the continuing evolution of Upward Spiral, becoming more of what it really is, which I guess is essentially, me giving my heart to the world. A little scary, but that's why growth tends to happen in moderation. 

Day 59: Sharing my Practice

Last night during my trying-to-be-more-consistent yoga practice, I had this moment of sudden wisdom. Occasionally, a thought comes into my head that feels too weighted to just be a thought. They are thoughts that can't be shook off or easily replaced by a new thought. They are thoughts that linger, steep, find their way into every bit of my body.  These are thoughts not to be ignored. These are more than thoughts, they are truth.

So last night, as I was moving from one pose to the next, it hit me: I chose to be spiritually alone. I don't think I really know the full truth of that statement, but there is something so right and almost comforting about this realization.

Without recounting the entirety of my spiritual life, I will state simply that I've felt alone through the journey. Maybe everyone does. Maybe that is the essence of the spiritual life. Maybe that is the fate of many of us living in a secular world without a secure and solid spiritual community around us. I don't know. But what I do know is that I've always felt out-of-place in some way. I've always longed for the spiritual community that I see others have, but I am unable to commit myself fully to any particular tradition. Usually, I say I am unaffiliated, which is a more neutral way of saying, "I'm spiritual, but just not religious."

In that flash that formed in my mind last night, I saw that so much of my life has been governed by this "


" and I felt in that moment that it was not by chance or because of some wrongness with the world, but because there was a sacred choice I made when I come into this life that I would find my own path. It is amazing the power in recognizing one's choices.

Immediately after having that thought, I felt so thankful for my choice. I feel like I am free to find the divine in my own way, make up my own rituals, my own rites of passage, my own practices. I feel free instead of stranded.


I write this post in the aftermath of our second

Tea + Meditation

event. In all this aloneness, in cultivating the space within me, in my own way, I've found the profound connections this can create. Because I don't have a distinct community, all are my community. Tonight, nine of us shared a pot of tea and a moment together. All in our own space, yet we all affected the space for us all. I found myself saying, "You have a place, and that place is important." Then I hear the grandmother voice of wisdom within me whisper to the curious child beside her, "That means you too."

If I wasn't holding this space for others, those words wouldn't have emerged. They think I am leading the meditation, but I am being led too.


Since it is going to be Mother's day on Sunday, I thought I'd share my poem about the divine mother. Here it is:

She is like an egg
all round and wobbly,
ceaselessly performing 
that silly dance, making 
sense of space surrounding her.
She is rooted in her own navel,
soil pregnant with possibilities. 
Her trunk, with rings infinite,
is proud to see the fruition of time;
when the wind picks up,
she sways smiling. 
Her limbs stretch through creation
so that she may playfully place
crowns on all her children,
with no exception.
And        when        we        fall

whether it be from floor fifteen,
from fascination, or from grace,
she is that perfect      permanent      pillow,
who swallows us whole
into her linen and feathers,
and then gently eases us 
back to the surface
so that we may again take a look 
at this bright, revolving world
that we had somehow forgotten how to see.

-Nyssa Rhiannon


So I missed a day. I thought about it last night right as I was going to sleep, but decided that I was too relaxed and it was already late enough that it was okay.  Good thing this blog is called, "Not So Seriously." It really eases up the need for perfection and makes it more play.

Last night we had our first meal together with the new roommate.  My current roommate and I reflected on our almost 3 years together, how we've learned about each other, ourselves. Before we moved in together, I almost lived by myself but through some divine weaving the universe brought me this roommate who's been a great match for me.  We've both done really well at recognizing the truth beyond general roommate disputes. Through consistent and honest communication, we've turned our disagreements into lessons about who we are.  Personal growth is just a natural by-product of this process.    But it also means recognizing when our actions come out of a need for control and discerning the most compassionate way to express our opinions (or if communication is necessary at all).  Its hard work, but totally worth it.

I was reminded of this idea I had that was on a post-it note on my desk for a long time. It read:

The clash of otherness
creates the possibility
for the transcendence 
of duality. 

Looking back, I can see how this statement informs much of what I offer to the world. To remember actually means to come together (-member), again (re-).  When we come together with others, are able to cross the bridge, we have the opportunity to meet the divine in them and recognize it as ourselves.  But this takes practice. I am thankful to both my roommates for allowing this opportunity for each of us to become more of who we are. 


In Sanskrit, neti neti is a term used to describe God. It means, "Not this, not that." Basically, you can't put God or ultimate reality or whatever you want to call it in words.  Makes sense.

And still, even after thousands of years of knowing that we are still trying. Myself included.

There is also an idea among many religious traditions of  not taking one's self or work too seriously.  When it comes down to it, our individuality dissolves in the oneness that is.  What happens is just play.

It is from this space that I begin, again.