“By voicing their commitment to marriage, a couple voices a commitment to spirit, a commitment to the self, to the other person, and to the community at large. The community, by being there and taking their vow, is doing the same, so it’s mutual.”
“The Spirit of Intimacy” Sobonfu Some’
This morning as I rise, I know I must do things differently. I feel this is a time of becoming, being in the prepared moment of being more committed to self, my community in my daily life. In 2016, I received many challenges confronting me and pushing me to grow as a person and a human being, as an artist in modern America and modern man living on this planet. As a sacred artist, I have embraced an art of living based in uplifting the human spirit, upcycling ancient wisdom into a modern context in order to improve the modern quality of life. I seek to achieve emotional and spiritual balance and peaceful coexistence amongst all human beings living on this planet.
I believe in the fruits of the act of people bounded together in unity with a single purpose of answering to peace, finding the love and strength to develop a compassionate and listening ear. We need to find renewed rituals of living to enhance our daily quality of living. I believe in order to jumpstart the energy and power of my new directive to myself, I must start by creating a new internal dialogue within myself. Then in the next step, I can take my internal dialogue for a walk out into the world and prepare myself to listen with open and listening ears, so I can be more connected to my heart center.
I am committed to the marriage contract existing within all of my human relationships, in my art of living in the state of love. I believe in the balance of the unity of the divine feminine and the divine masculine, within each individual and out there in the energy of our everyday world. It is a merging of one’s spirit into a state of wholeness, balance.
I am asking myself to step away from a separated state of being and step into a true state of unifying with my family, community, country and earth. This is true because I am One with it All, being mutual within all, in my every breath.
“Our culture lives in isolation and we are expected to heal individually. Ritual gives us a place to heal together and to create Community (come-unity). True intimacy occurs when we gather and allow ourselves the space to be honest and vulnerable. In that vulnerability comes healing and we are able to see that all of struggle. The hardest struggles are inside our own heads and when shared, we can come from our hearts. Let’s teach each other how to do this together, to create together and to no longer live separately so the separation can end and true intimacy can come back to our community. We think intimacy is sexual, but intimacy is when we gather and share our struggles as a group/community. Experiencing this intimacy makes us whole.”
Even though in my business, I may try not to think about the job, the taxes and the deferred dreams. I have to think about the patterns of rain, the patterns of nature and the universe and the methods of achieving internal and external peace. As a modern man, I feel I must explore deeply the art of intimacy and mindful living. I feel I must learn to go deep in how I can mindfully create acts of unity, develop a deeper intimacy of conversation, in my personal life and public life. I don’t want to be afflicted by the darkness of ignorance, so I may embrace life as an enlightened being. I want to be free to see and accept love at every turn in life. I want to stay away from three poisons, three dangerous states of being in life: attachment, hatred and ignorance. All three aspects keep me in the state of being in lack.
When I live in lack, my behavior is chained to being reactionary and not being live in action or being proactive. I am willing to do the work to embrace the change, live beyond the act of simple survival to step into the state of thriving.
“The planet will thrive; our families will become healthy eco-systems of support. Our communities will become a nurturing cauldron of connection, an inviting field to plant our visions and dreams in order to share our personal gifts. Then our men as men can feel safe and supported to turn within to listen and honor the heart of their emotional needs. Improving the world must be an inside job before it takes root in the outside world, As my dear friend, Susan Hough says, ‘we have to feel to heal,’ But, it takes courage to be vulnerable. This world needs men who are warriors of heart.”
-Larisa Stow of Larisa Stow and Shanti Tribe
The simple things or simple acts of kindness create a beautiful mindful life. Living in community allows us to be within ourselves, to be honored and honoring with the people surrounding you. I found this to be true during and after a New Year Eve ritual given by Susan Hough and Larisa Stow. After spending an entire week in my seven-day ritual/celebration of Kwanzaa, while sharing and mentoring a fellow artist through my Kwanzaa practices and performing a piece about Kwanzaa, I was raw open and ready for change. Then I have the New Year’s Eve ritual to have the final release.
To my surprise, I was not focused like I thought I would be. I felt broken, fragmented. At times, I felt totally voiceless. I sat in a place of being nothing and then everything. I was just being the most intimate and the most afraid I have ever been in my life, yet feeling alone to allow the pain and fear to pass, in its own time. I was with friends who I respected and whose respect I could count on. I wanted them to see my best face, yet I found myself faceless, but not afraid after recognized myself as just being bruised, but not broken. Within the safety of my tribe, I found my true face of acceptance, outside of fear.
I found a deeper voice anchored in the roots of love and compassion, internal honesty.
I felt I had no need for apology. I have no control of what happens to me, but I have choice in how I react. I am mindful of “life on life’s terms” and so it is.
The morning after, it was the last day of Kwanzaa, Imani, Faith. I realized I had awaken to a renewed sense of faith. My deepest fears and pain had been released and I had not just carried them in secret, while wearing my well painted face of courage. I allowed myself to be raw, intimate in public and I survived. I sat down and began to write this article, next contacting my two friends, who agreed to collaborate with me in unity. In this act of exchanging energy, we could create this art of the heart. I found a renewed sense of hope with us working together in unity and purpose. My heart opened wider.
I had a greater sense of trusting myself. I am rising to fully be me and me fully becoming my gift. In turn, I have a greater sense of trusting the world.
May your New Year be one of collaboration and gifts as well.