Friday, February 24, 2012

When you fear yourself... and there's nowhere else to turn.

Beauty in practice

Turn in.

What's asking to be born?
What part of you, in hiding, is just dying to see the light of day?
Who would you let yourself be, if you knew you'd be loved unconditionally?

Your partner, lover, friends, family--they won't always know how to love you without pause.
But hiding does not make you immune from judgement.
Denying who you are does not free you up to be liked, loved, admired, or praised.

It's a ruthless world of energy and emotion.
Our happiness, our joy, our satisfaction--is because we choose to open.
--Open to all that we are, all that is, all that will be and has been.
We open authentically, with acceptance, tenderness and love blazing the trail.

It's not an easy opening, always. Especially not at first.
New habits take time and practice.
But closing off is no safe bet, either. 

After all, you may know the impulsive rage of constantly fidgeting for the next distraction.
You may know the fatigue that comes when you never stop swimming.
You may know the disappointment that comes when you never dive in at all.

And then, there's opening.
There's learning how to be with every impossibly beautiful and unlikely but loveable part of yourself.
There's learning that there's no real difference between one thing and the next.
We're all made up of love--all of us--every part.

That's why when I coach, I almost always ask my clients to be with this question:

If I loved and accepted every part of who I am, what would I stand to gain?

Journal on this question for 30 days, I tell them. Walk with it. Let it sink into your psyche just as you're about to go back into auto-pilot. See what shifts for you. For me, this tiny question moves mountains--opens me to a resounding truth on a pathway toward my next bold move.

from a cozy couch with quiet rain fall behind me and this song on repeat...
madlove and sweetness,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

when you visit us

Magic on the inside.

for a friend of a friend, who's coming one day, who will learn us his love.

when you visit us, there will be magic, and it may be more than you can stomach. but you don't have to be ready in order to come. we'll give you gifts that get you ready. we'll shower you like you're about to birth a whole new self--young and tiny and full of wonder as you once were, not too long ago.

out back, by the fire, you'll sit, tears tickling down your cheek. we won't say a word, but our silence will not be of shame. it will be of freedom. it will be brotherhood. it will be bearing tears of witness.

when the fire cracks, the last log breaks down, you will take off your shoes and wonder why you waited so long to come undone. up the brick steps you'll walk, into the backyard jungle of overgrown grass. and you will not be afraid. you will not wonder what's beneath your feet. you will not worry that they will get hurt. you will hold your body high, each step a prayer, a leap, leapordly, divine. you will know how much you know the way.

the moon will shine brightly, stars peeking through the clouds--and the glowing rings of light made up of hazy atoms will be your sisters, warm and right. they will know your secrets and they will never speak of them. they will only shine brighter like a game of Marco Polo, when your seeker needs to know if your heart lies close to hers.

love is not only for the lucky. but lucky for you, you've got it all.

inside the shed, glowing bottles await you of every size and shape, candles lit within. their glass, a rainbow of delight, resting atop pillows, fuzzy like white rabbit fur. nobody could explain the way the color breathes--the way an irredecent shimmer exudes in even the darkest of corners.

and by the window there is a desk--an old chestnut desk--and a love letter atop it addressed to you. you--the one who never knew he had magic of his own. you--the one who always wished he could bare a child through his own body. you--the one that in some other life was walked to the top of the mountain for, was cherished for his silent knowing, his heartbreaking smile. you--the one who fathers his daughters like queens and kisses his sad wife like a princess.

heartbreak is the best medicine for learning how to love. we all know now, after that day together round the fire, the truth about giving and taking. and you--your only regret is you didn't know how much you had within to give. your only regret is you thought of yourself too small. you did not see your ancient heart, your timeless tale, your moon and stars and sun.

when you visit us--you will be ready. there will be dancing. and you will not be afraid. you will know what you need to know to cry a witnessed cry, to walk a pilgrim's path, to receive a letter of love, to give, to give, to give, to spin around and fall down laughing, alive--impossibly this alive.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lessons from the Shop of Whole Self Living: A Birthday Poem & Untamed Giveaway

25 today. Sweet release after a morning bike ride to an awesome Bikram practice. So glad to be alive.

The Lessons That Learn You

Just as your birthday
rounds the sun once again
you're reminded
swiftly, lovingly
how young you really are
in your heart,
for better
and...for worse.

We are never wise,
We never evade the
sharp edge of our
We are always with
faulty parts--
always due in for a check-up
at the shop of
Whole Self Living.

There, they kiss our
parts amiss,
They shine our
shamed shadows,
They fuel our
tired tanks.

There, they reset our
barometer back to zero.
They do not judge
that it's been so long
since we visited last.

They know the art of true love,
the craft of untamed kindness.
They have that special touch,
the way to mend
even the biggest messes.

It seems like a secret--
hard to observe.
Maybe it's something in the air?

You ask how they do it--
how they hold all your parts together.
No, no. They answer. And they point up.

They'd tell you if you'd listen.
But that's not the way things work
at the shop of Whole Self Living.
You don't go there
if you can do it all yourself.

Instead they hang a sign above the door.
In crooked handwriting
on a weathered piece of plywood
it reads,

Rule #1: You are here.
Rule #2: Can you feel it?
Rule #3: Nothing is wrong. Nothing is right.

When people like you ask
questions you like to ask,
they point you to the sign, tenderly,
and smile.

You look up. Read. Wonder.
How did I end up here?
Just as you thought
you were beginning to have answers,
you're reminded
swiftly, lovingly
how young you really are.

And all these rules apply.

metro delays; who could stand at this hour?

Impermanence Abound
Everything Eventually Surrenders.
This is the only real truth I can live by.

Here's how I wanna celebrate the fact that I'm alive and kickin' it!~

For the first 25 people who e-mail me their name & mailing address, subject line BLESSING, a pouch of hand-written blessings, and a sweet morsel of delight will be sent your way.

For the first 5 people living in the DC area who e-mail me, subject line SOULFEST, free entry to a forthcoming off-the-charts incredible event is yours. (Suspend the need-to-know right now. Trust.)

For the 3 most committed people who e-mail me, subject line COACHING, a month of coaching (3 sessions) is yours, on the house. 'Cause I love what I do and have time to do more. (Honey--only ask for it if you really want it, please.)

Wild love and smokin' hot appreciation.
Humility abound,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A toast for us all

Stunning, brilliant, impeccably produced.

Hey lovers,

I haven't been dancing a ton. Something in me broke after that last video and I got majorly sick for a whole week. The body responds, right? Letting it all be what it is, not stressing about "finishing" the dance-a-thon, but still open to more dances if the spirit moves me. Instead, I've watched this video at least 20 times in the past few days, drooling over what a beautifully produced and executed vision Kanye had.

Anything brilliant or breathtaking come your way lately? Do share. I'd love to watch.

PS--For the dance-a-thon, I'd really like to donate to an organization doing information-exposure about FOXCONN or other major factories in China. I wouldn't be able to produce my dance movies without those factories. And the conditions within them majorly suck--despite the arguments made about job creation for workers. We can demand better for the people providing us with the chance for such privileged exchange of information. Anyone know of a good org? I've been searching, but so far, little luck beyond Mike Daisey (who is seriously, majorly awesome, by the way... maybe I'll just donate to him?)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Dark Side of Becoming Whole

the first album cover in a long time that gives me pause--delighted, magical pause.

"You must go into the dark in order to bring forth your light. When we suppress any feeling or impulse, we are also suppressing its polar opposite. If we deny our ugliness, we lessen our beauty. If we deny our fear, we minimize our courage. If we deny our greed, we also reduce our generosity. Our full magnitude is more than most of us can ever imagine. If you believe that we have the imprint of all humanity within us, as I do, then you must be capable of being the greatest person you ever admired, and at the same time capable of being the worst person you ever imagined."

"Love is inclusive: it accepts the full range of human emotion--the emotions we hide, the emotions we fear. Jung once said, 'I'd rather be whole than good.' How many of us have sold ourselves out in order to be good, to be liked, to be accepted?"

-The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford


I didn't exactly know it, but I'd been doing a shit-ton of shadow work over the past few months. Then two weeks ago a coach brought it to my attention, so I started reading The Dark Side of the Light Chasers and everything began to click.

Where do I lie to myself? What parts of myself do I avoid? Who am I afraid to be? How am I closeted for the sake of being GOOD, rather than whole? 

In December at a coaching training I proclaimed to one of my classmates that 2012 would be the year for coming OUT. Then I quickly changed my mind and moved on.

But it was too late. Subconsciously, the idea was planted and the movement underway. I began dancing. I began dressing a differently. I began having conversations about radical relationships. I began saying what I was thinking instead of just thinking it. I stopped helping all the time. I fought with friends I'd never fought with before. I made messes!

Here I am, months into the process, still amidst some big messes but with a few bits of heart-felt clarity under my belt. I know now that revealing my whole self, to the best of my ability, feels like a powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, safe thing to do. And I want to highlight the "safe" part by saying this... this thing I'm learning and re-learning practically every day:

The most dangerous thing we could ever do is hide our holy truth.

Most of us can't be happy and hide forever. Eventually, if we want to live truly energizing and fulfilling lives, we have to come out--we have to see and accept all the different parts of ourselves. And then, we've got to speak the truth... we've got to tell the people we love... we've got to forge space to be ourselves and connect.

For that sizzling, sensual, vibration that runs from head to toe when you're really IN IT.
For the way they look at you, the way you capture their attention, because you're so unbelievably yourself.
For that sound sleep at night, even the nights when you're sleeping alone--especially the nights when you're sleeping alone.

Two suggestions for beginners: Start with the ending & Fess up.

What's that deep part of yourself that's just dying to be set free? To see the light of day in this marvelous, unspeakable world? Feel free to send e-mail, hand written letters or schedule an appointment to talk. Sometimes a safe place to start is with one dear soul who will listen with zero judgement.

Wishing us all the chance at inclusive love--at knowing and adoring our full range of humanness.

"By God, when you see your beauty, you'll be the idol of yourself." - Rumi

e-mail --> rachmadlove at gmail dot com
snail mail --> Rachael Maddox 710 Silver Spring Ave Silver Spring, MD 20910