I love this quote by Anaïs Nin:
“We do not see things as they are, but as we are.”
This philosophy is not another way to judge or feel bad about yourself, nor does it imply that the things that are challenging in your life are your fault. It is empowering, because if you have the courage to look inside and sense where the external disturbance lives within you, there is an opportunity for healing.
For all of us on a healing path, you may have noticed that messages come subtly at times, more strongly at others, yet the same messages will come again and again until they are integrated.
For example, I wrote a book! It was easy to write about Qoya and all the movements, rituals, community exercises, and pilgrimages I have been researching and sharing for almost ten years with thousands of people. However, my beloved book editor, Jennifer Gandin Le, asked a really important question: “What is the narrative of the times when you were the furthest from all of your teaching?” Immediately I knew, “My relationships with the masculine.”
While I have thrived traveling all over the world, doing my sacred work, and building soulful relationships with friends, the recurring absence of the authenticity I craved in romantic relationships eluded me. So I started to write these stories down, and story after story, I saw that the common denominator in each foray was not that the other person had a Y chromosome…it was me.
I decided to go on a dating fast while I dove into writing, re-writing, and editing the book in order to purify myself, to detox, and to clarify who I was. Taking this time for myself helped me figure out what I want and then stand for what I want to create. It felt like I was de-programming and re-programming myself.
After going over “my story” hundreds of times and letting the lessons crystallize in clarity, the most alchemical thing happened. All of a sudden, I noticed I didn’t have to hold the old story any more, because the book did. I felt free to live into a new possibility!
So I went out on a date.
And then two.
And then three.
And then four.
And then more.
As I felt my tender heart start to soften again, surrender again, but with more discernment and space to stay true to myself than I had before, I got a sinus infection. I approach my healing process through listening to my body for what it needs, so I asked and heard, “Let your body clear it on its own”. The infection seemed to be getting better until it got way worse, and I woke up barely able to open my eyes. Talking to my dear friend and musician, Luci Butler, she was also experiencing some physical symptoms that felt like a metaphorical message for something she was releasing in her life. All of a sudden, I understood.
Perhaps this gunk coming out of my head, from behind my eyes, is another layer of clearing the old programming that was starting to get gently trigged by my vulnerability in exploring the realm of romantic love again. Marianne Williamson writes in Enchanted Love:
“Can the purpose of a relationship be to trigger our wounds? In a way, yes, because that is how healing happens; darkness must be exposed before it can be transformed. The purpose of an intimate relationship is not that it be a place where we can hide from our weaknesses, but rather where we can safely let them go. It takes strength of character to truly delve into the mystery of an intimate relationship, because it takes the strength to endure a kind of psychic surgery, an emotional and psychological and even spiritual initiation into the higher Self. Only then can we know an enchantment that lasts.”
As soon as I considered that I could be playing a role in this, I slowed way down and felt the discomfort and pain in my body, in my heart, and then I offered myself permission to let it go. You can imagine my delight when my healing was instantaneous.
Similiar to the quote, "We do not see things as they are, but as we are," there is the age old wisdom, "as above, so below." This is what I personally love about astrology. When we look at the patterns, cycles, and energies above in the sky, we can have moments of insight into the intensities, opportunities, and energy flow on earth – if we believe that they are mirror images of one another.
Out of curiosity, I looked to see what was going on in the stars with our resident astrologer Virginia Rosenberg’s report. Unsurprisingly, this is what she shares:
The Full Moon in Virgo on February 22, 2016 (1:20pm EST) invites you to be exactly where you are right now. This moon falls in the axis of devotion and purification. We dance in the balance of order and chaos, work and rest, doing and dreaming, the elevated and the mundane. Now is a time of spiritual and physical harvest. What is the flavor, the music, the essence of seeds sewn in your life? We are extra sensitive today and this week as we connect with longing, old hurts, imaginings, illusions, and dreams not yet manifest. We may feel like we are moving through a fog of uncertainty as the landscape of life morphs around us. Heighten your senses and feel, rather than think, your way through. Resist the temptation to numb emotion or escape your experience. Feel deeply to heal deeply. This, too, shall pass. This moon encourages us to actualize our ideals and release whatever prevents us from living in devotion. When planting corn, pray for rain – but do so with a hoe in your hand. Let your work be your prayer. The divine is in the details. Life is a perpetual process, imperfect and perfect all at once. Embrace every flaw with love, and open yourself to the medicine of being present with exactly what is.
Listen, WE ARE ALL CLEARING, HEALING, RELEASING, DE-PROGRAMMING (and hopefully remembering) in a real way right now. It is incredibly difficult for the ego mind to categorize the immensity of transformation that is taking place individually and collectively at this time. This does not need to be a woo-woo sort of statement; simply look at whatever is going on in your own life right now.
From all of my lived experience, passionate study from thought leaders and spiritual lineages, and the heart-centered conversations with my nearest and dearest, this is not something we think ourselves through. It is something we must let ourselves feel.
Take 20 minutes to go inwards, as deep as you can, to feel what is true in your body and honor it through movement with some intention setting, circling, shadow dance, and dancing your yoga as prayer.
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
May the sorrow be sweet. And more so as we find the courage to dance with it.
May the blessings be sweet. And more so as we find the courage to soften into it.
May the dance be sweet. And more so because we are dancing together.
I'd also love to thank every woman who danced during the Qoya.Love book launch classes in 46 different cities. I have been nothing short of overwhelmed by hearing stories, seeing photos, and feeling the love that comes through when we make time together to gather.
p.s. To dance more with Qoya, check out our upcoming retreats:
Hawaii Retreat, February 28 - March 5 (we still have commuter spots available!)
Collective Retreat in Costa Rica, April 9 - 16 (co-led by 9 Qoya teachers!)
Co-Ed Retreat in Costa Rica, April 16 - 23 (for both couples and singles!)
Guatemala Retreat, May 7 - 14 (reclaim the power to be your own spiritual authority!)
p.p.s. Listen to this new podcast where I chat about fitness and self-love with Alexandra Jamieson on her CraveCast.