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Solstice Surrender


It feels like it’s New Year’s eve...that one in the Gregorian calendar that I have celebrated most of my life and used to fee like marked a new beginning. It feels this way in that yesterday and today really feel like a shift-an end and a beginning. A transition. A time to reflect and to call in. And, in a life lived more in tune with Nature, with the Earth and the Cosmos, it is just that. That I feel more aligned...AM more aligned...with the cycles of Ma* rather than with an “account book” (the Latin root of the word calendar) implemented to track tax collection and completely separate from the cycles of Nature is a fitting reflection given my journey this past year. Because this Solstice is just that- a transition, a new beginning. We are coming out of the darkening days and into the lightening ones. We are starting a new cycle. It feels a much more natural time to reflect on the past year than the random 31st day of December.

So, here we go! This past year. Actually, this past decade- phew! This last ten years (and particularly this one) have been the darkest of my life. They have also been the absolute brightest. I have experienced, more than once, the crumbling of my foundation, I have grieved a core relationship I once believed was unshakable, I have grieved nearly every part of who I thought I was, who I was supposed to be. I have come to understand that I will not give birth to my own baby. I have always believed that I would be a mama and I am still grieving this. I have remembered and sat with and accepted that I was sexually assaulted. I have come to understand the deep pits and fortified walls that were built around my heart. I have said goodbye to the old ways I knew to cope. The ways I once knew- the linear, masculine, just carry on ways are not, and never truly were, my ways to be. I honor that they once served me...and I let them go.

I found dance. I let people hold my hand to move across the dance floor and I began to learn how to free my body to move with the music. Then I found yoga. I started to crack open. To both let light in and see the light that has always been within. I found kirtan. I sat in circle on a beach in Mexico, held by the ocean and the brothers and sisters that helped me rediscover my voice and how to love it, to begin to understand forgiveness. I went back to that beach and discovered what I was afraid of...and how to look it in the eyes, invite it along for the ride...but don't touch the maps, radio or steering wheel, as the Elizabeth Gilbert says, and keep moving. I quit my job, started to travel the world around me and, more, within me. I sat for a month and a half on the banks of a holy river and continued to crack open while She held me. I sat in circle with 25 incredible womxn on a platform in the Costa Rican jungle and understood the meaning and beautiful, soft power of sisterhood. I began to embrace the feminine, the Divine Feminine that is my Self. The earthquake exploded all of the little cracks and I was brought, quite literally, to my knees (torn meniscus and all). I prayed “Fuck you” quite often (thank you to my dear Sister Myn for that one). I surrendered and opened because that’s what felt right. I returned to India and two more circles of Sisterhood. I have lived in community with Brothers and Sisters who sing and dance and flow and hold my hand, and sometimes all of me, as I continue to find my way in this glorious play of life.

I understand now that forgiveness, like love, is a state of being. I am rebuilding that core relationship...two actually, if I include the one with myself...and I DEFINITELY am. I know now that when I feel the darkness, propping myself up in a heart-opening, restorative yoga posture lets the tears flow, the feelings be felt and helps me move through it more easefully than contracting and hiding from it.

I have sat again beside that glorious river, Ganga Ma, this time for nearly four months. My tears are as cleansing as her waters are said to be. And I have allowed this forgiveness and love to be shared with myself. I am outrageously open (thank you Tosha Silver) to God, to connection, to flow, and to all of feelings...to feeling them, to healing them, to sharing them, and to creating and holding the space for others to do the same. And I am more clear than ever that this is my path.

I share this here because I hope that you know that in the darkest of darks exists the lightest of lights. That this dark day will not last. That we will cycle again into the light. And yes, the darkness will return also, and when it does, you’ll have wisdom of the last cycle with which to greet it. To allow it its place and to teach you. Surrendering and offering myself to this flow has been the greatest lesson of this decade and year.

All that I am, I offer at the Altar of love.

In sweet surrender.

-Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda

Happy new year, Loves, and stay tuned for some fun new offerings as we flow into this new cycle!

I love you.

#surrender #solstice #newyear #love #healing #yoga #feminine #divine

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