Fall. The yang energy of summer descends back into the yin energy of winter, of stillness, pulling us inward with it. Leaves change colors & drop. Trees surrender their way towards contemplative bareness. Fall is telling me, telling us, that it's time to turn inward & let go. In one inspiring act of surrender, Nature releases with detachment the abundance of beauty she spent months pouring her life into. She doesn’t cling to her leaves in fear of never having them again. Rather, she trustingly lets go of her old friends knowing this invites new life. Seeing this, I’m trying to let go of what I no longer need in my life too.
In Chinese 5 elements, Fall is metal (air) corresponding with grief - the cutting open of the heart -crying to let go & let be. Grief is a cleansing response to loss. I’ve been in & out of grief almost all year. As I’ve let myself feel without blockage or indulgence, grief's been sweeping my heart of dust helping me to let go so I can make new again.
I come in & out of surrender. Some nights my jaw clenches from bad dreams & sometimes I'm weak & give into resistance. As I truly surrender (& I am more & more) I wake w/ crisp cool air dancing in my lungs & exciting my spirit. .
This is the other side of Fall. With truly letting go Fall births fresh opportunity reminding us of new life around the corner. The cooling, metal element of Fall also reminds us of our value. Like how metals like gold & silver add value to the earth, the metal energy in us reminds us of our inherent value as resilient spiritual sparks. Trees stand in confident bareness knowing they’re valuable with or without leaves. If we don't let go, we get depressed, we forget who we are. As I release, Fall is teaching me who I am no matter what or who I have or don’t have.
Beyond this human experience, the coming & going of seasons reminds me that I’m not this body. That I am, we are, something more precious than the fleeting passing of this character I call Brielle. We are spiritual beings in human experiences. This is the only vehicle we have to reach our destination so we get to honor these passing experiences while also remembering that we are so much more this✨
Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, “One who leads to the essence of self knowledge.” She’s holding a book (representing the Vedas, Universal eternal knowledge & all learning forms), mala/rosary (devotional service, inward connection), & a veena (expression of knowledge that brings harmony, like music & art). She’s often seen in white (purity) sitting on or near a white lotus (truth) & swan (wisdom). Swans represent the ability to make intelligent distinctions: what’s me/not me, spiritual/material.
She was with me at my desk as I fidgeted with flower petals to calm my usually active nervous system. She’s said to be a living entity like you & me, surrendered to her service to empower people with learning. She’s my muse on my next adventure.
In 2 weeks I leave for India, a year later than planned. I canceled original plans because of conflict. I’m now going alone, but meeting my voice teacher there. We’ll be pilgrimaging together to sacred places as I endeavor to deepen my devotion & personal power through voice. During my last week in Peru, my friend & I were anticipating the end of 4 years of trying hard at our relationship. I needed something to look forward to so I researched programs to study kirtan in India but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I literally asked God, “please help me find a Western woman in India who practices bhakti yoga & teaches voice, harmonium & facilitates vocal healing.” Then I found her @krishangi.lila. We set up a call & she invited me to join her for a month of pilgrimage in India in Dec. I sobbed hearing her invitation & I think she cried hearing me cry, too. I felt magically guided & sheltered in the midst of so much pain. I fly the day after my dad’s belated funeral. While there, I’ll be putting his ashes in a sacred river, closing a chapter of a hard decade of unhealthy relationships with men, initiating myself between one phase & another… From suppressing my light thru relationships to embracing it in graceful solitude, from prematurely giving my heart away to self-revering chastity, from searching to being. Journeying thru new levels of self-love, devotional music & inspiring female association... Jai Sarasvati✨
“Anhelando padre” 🎶 💛 canción para mi papá. 6 months since you left and I can still cry just thinking of how much I miss you, and of how I learned to love you like this a little too late... .
Tweaked cover of Anhelando Iruya by #PerotaChingo . .
“Espero que te recuerden.
Fuiste solo uno de los muchos que se van.
Un viajero agradecido del cobijo del abrigo que recibiste aquella vez.
Casi sin pedirme nada me mostraste tu mirada de un mundo diferente.
Es tu paso tan sereno
Es tu paz y la ausencia que me enseñas a quererte...
Voy cerrando los ojos anhelando verte otra vez.
Voy cerrando los ojos y me parece verte otra vez... “
“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc - is sure to be noticed.” - #Kierkegaard 📷: @narayan.aya
La Dieta // For 6.5 days I lived in a jungle hut by myself with only a journal, my own mind, and jungle creatures as company, eating only brown rice and plantains each day. No technology, salt, or sugar. This was the container of the plant medicine isolation diet that I did with a beloved plant called Bobinsana who opens up the heart. 5 days out of the dieta & I feel something noticeably different inside. Amazing what spending 6 days alone and silent in nature can do for deep introspection, but it makes so much sense, we always have the answers inside of us. I looked at things about myself that were under my nose for a while but maybe I was never ready or willing to acknowledge. Throughout my life I’ve feared the energy of coldness and harshness in others, and ironically I’ve attracted many people with this energy into my life... We manifest what we fear. We also usually have within us what we fear. “Atmavan manyate jagat” is a Sanskrit aphorism for we see others not how they are but according to how we are. This was a lot of what my process was about - opening up my heart to see the many ways in which I’ve been cold and harsh, and to have compassion for that cold energy, particularly in those closest to me. With the full moon and eclipse during this retreat I felt crazy at times, mostly when I was resisting something, and clinging to fear. Fear of surrender. Fear of owning the responsibility of loving myself. Fear of the unknown. Acknowledging my shortcomings in my closest relationships was painful, purifying, and liberating, and it created in me a longing to know, feel, and be compassion. I’m still in my 10-day post diet process (still no sugar 🙈) digesting my transformation and I’m realizing that I’ve discovered what it means to truly love someone, maybe for the first time in my life. I’ve realized that when I love someone, I honor and respect their right to be however they are, especially in the times when they act in ways that hurt or that I don’t like. That’s the hardest time to love, the true test. My heart is softening and suddenly dynamics that once felt so stuck feel more simple... When I feel hurt, I can just love. The real work will be living this.
“Your story isn’t calm. The road has been chaotic at times, Filed with detours, and rains, and loss so sudden, and soon. Sometimes the bliss was so elevated Your heart could hardly hold it. Sometimes it was maddening to have, And then to lose it. You learn soon enough that it is hardly ever goes as planned– gently, easy and smooth. But that my friend, is what makes fascinating You have something to tell. Something you walked through. Something valid. Something courageous, Something true. You’re made of stories Within stories, even more stories. Those quiet depths of you.”
“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories... water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves 📷: @narayan.aya