The Death of the Guru

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We’re all searching for something. We’re all looking for the divine answer that leads to the divine escape from chaos, fear, heartache and loneliness. Whether we look for it in relationship, a bottle or a church we are seeking to be more, to be better, to but understood and accepted. When I was twelve I turned to Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. as my examples of peace. I desperately needed peace in my life, the kind of peace they seemed to embody. At twelve I realized how fully capable I was of violence. At fourteen I became a pacifist in theory if not in reality and I began my slow arduous journey towards a sustainable, compassion based existence. I began identifying and rooting out the evils in my life. First I moved away from home, taking my horse and staying with friends for months on end. At 22 I escaped completely and hardly looked back. By 23 I was married and safe but the hell in my head made a hell of my life. I continued my search for escape until the day I realized that wherever I went…there I was…with all my chaos in tow. I could not escape my problems because I never let them go.

Throughout my many years of searching for truth and forgivness I’ve come to one solid understanding: There is no single person who can fix me. There are thousands of people who insisted that if I just read their books, take their supplements, follow their philosophy or join their ashram I will find the inner peace I am searching for. I’ve had Christians tell me to placed my faith in Jesus and be free of darkness. I’ve had yoga masters promise me that through daily practice with their “Masters” I’ll be liberated, transformed and healed. Doctors have prescribed drugs, supplements and diets to clear my energy body, detox my cells and raise my energy vibrations. Acupuncturists have pocked me with needles, read my auras and told me that with a few more treatments my Chakras would come into balance.

I’ve spent thousands of dollars on healing, thousands of hours drinking bitter health teas, popping pills, stretching, praying, meditating only to rise the next morning the same angry person I’d been the night before. So what was the answer? On the eve of my 38th birthday the only thing I am certain of is that I am the only one who can fix me. My belief in the abilities of sage healers is dead. I will never again look to a “healer” for guidance. I have killed the idea of the guru because the wise man is just another person getting through the day. I recently watched the documentary Kumare’ by Vikram Gandhi which verified everything I have come to believe. Only through daily practice of that which feels good, feels right, and serves my highest good will I ever find peace. The ability to heal is within all of us; it’s just a matter of taking time away from social chaos, duty and convention in order to find the small simplicities that lead us into peace. So I meditate, I walk my dog, I stretch, I self-medicate when hell rains down and I pray to God to remove my anger, to help me forgive and to make me a better person. I practice everyday gratitude and I live and love as if each day were my last. If I tell you I love you I mean it. If I love you it’s because I see the light in you, the sparkle God put there and I’m grateful you’re in my life. We are our own wise men, our own holy men, and we hold the keys to our own salvation through love of God and love of each other, tranquility of sprit and the solemn acceptance that we are human: flawed, beautiful, unique and fragile.

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The Glass Slipper Illusion

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The notion of the perfected woman has terrorized society for time out of mind. How many of us have tried to fit the glass slipper of perfection and then been heart sick to find it just won’t wear? Popular Culture thrives on the fragmentation of woman; it takes everyday girls and fractures their identity with the notion that they are not enough because they don’t look like the Barbie they grew up playing with. It tells them that they are either nice girls or naughty girls, girly girls or a tom boys, each label applied with a helping of judgment.

My friend Dianne told me that, “when we stopped binding woman’s feet we began binding their waists,” but I think this need to reconfigure women goes much deeper. I think it’s a fear based reaction to woman’s innate power, her place in the universal hierarchy and her need to survive a male dominated society. Women have spent several millennia trying to survive on their beauty and their wits. In the age when we had no voice our beauty spoke for us, our virtue was our strength, our husbands and fathers where our benefactors through which we were seen and heard.

Though the past is dead and Woman’s rights have pressed us into a new time we still cling to our ingrained notion that if we just look and act correctly we’ll be safe. Deep down I think woman’s perpetual dissimilation of self is a state of learned helplessness? We starve our bodies and hobble our feet with high heels while we dismantle our individuality in order to hide our human failings thus becoming someone else’s notion of acceptable. All of this striving after the intangible only serves to create a half human, a woman unprepared, unwilling and unable to deal with the rigor of a full and adventurous life.

I’ve spent my life watching the interactions between women. I’ve seen them tease and cajole, caution and command one another into fitting a mold established long before any of them were born. It’s dreadful the way we clip each other’s wings, call each other bitches and whores; siding time and again with our oppressors because we want to stay safe. Thousands of women fought against suffrage, thousands more stoned whores, millions have objectified and sold their daughters, millions more have turned away from their true selves in order to embody the ideal of what they were told a woman should be.

What is a woman? Isn’t she a spirit in form moving in a world teeming with experience? Didn’t God make her and doesn’t that simple fact make her just as worthy and brilliant as all his other worthy and brilliant creations? What is there that needs alteration? Why do we seek to conform what is already perfected when we live in a modern world where we can be more than just mother, whore, daughter or crone. We are as divinely crated as men! We came into this life to live, thrive and celebrate all our innate perfections and imperfections, not just as beautiful individuals but also as a dynamic whole. When we label woman, when we objectify our sisters and daughters we make an assault on our very right to exist. Only through loving and supporting one another will we raise a generation that lives in true equality, without fear or a need to dissimulate everything we naturally are.

Please take a moment to read the below treatise, The War on Men Through the Degradation of Woman, by Jada Pinkett-Smith

How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eyes of an incomplete woman?

The woman who has been stripped of Goddess recognition and diminished to a big ass and full breast for physical comfort only. The woman who has been silenced so she may forget her spiritual essence because her words stir too much thought outside of the pleasure space. The woman who has been diminished to covering all that rots inside of her with weaves and red bottom shoes.

I am sure the men, who restructured our societies from cultures that honored woman, had no idea of the outcome. They had no idea that eventually, even men would render themselves empty and longing for meaning, depth and connection.

There is a deep sadness when I witness a man that can’t recognize the emptiness he feels when he objectifies himself as a bank and truly believes he can buy love with things and status. It is painful to witness the betrayal when a woman takes him up on that offer.

He doesn’t recognize that the [creation] of a half woman has contributed to his repressed anger and frustration of feeling he is not enough. He then may love no woman or keep many half women as his prize.

He doesn’t recognize that it’s his submersion in the imbalanced warrior culture, where violence is the means of getting respect and power, as the reason he can break the face of the woman who bore him 4 four children.

When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul.

Power and control will NEVER outweigh love.

May we all find our way.

~ Jada Pinkett-Smith, Sinuous Magazine (http://www.sinuousmag.com/)

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