living in an ashram

For the past few years, I have been living in an ashram. ashram Or I have kept that mindset anyway.

Let me explain.

A few years ago I decided I didn’t really like my life, and I decided to do something about that. I decided to create a life I really liked and felt good about/in. So I began experimenting with what felt right/good. It took a while, too, b/c it took a while to figure out what worked and what didn’t. From that starting point, nothing really felt right/good.

You know how we get entrenched into the old stuff and even when new, and maybe even better, stuff comes along, we resist change. And how if we dare to try something – anything – new, it just doesn’t feel goodmeditation until we give it some time, until we grow into it, until we feel comfy in that new thing. Well, that was me a few years ago: Determined to change something to feel better, but just not sure what that was or how that would look… or what to do…

After a while, though, I settled into a routine that I began to describe as “living in an ashram.” It went like this: I got up at 5am every morning to the gentle sound of monks chanting themonks chanting Eternal Om as my wake up call. Three days a week I would work out cardio-wise – usually on my rowing machine. It made me feel good – while I was exercising and afterwards too. Twice a week I did yoga. I loved the soft, meditative Hatha flow of the yoga on my mat those mornings. In the warmer months, I did all this on my back deck, taking in the morning splendor. I rode my bike everywhere, loving the freedom, the air, how healthy and ‘green’ it made me feel. I ate healthy foods, and a lot of 100% dark chocolate. I still worked my ‘real’ job, still saw clients. I meditated every day. I looked at it like this: In an ashram, you get up early, you meditate and do devotional prayers/etc., you also have to dark chocdo work to keep the ashram running – wash clothes, clean the floors, prepare food, weed the garden, etc. You also, in an ashram, sometimes have to go out into the ‘real’ world and interact with those not on your same path. All the things I was doing in my life.

It worked marvelously. I was happy. My life felt wonderful – maybe it was just all that chocolate, but life was good. For several years.

And then right around May – June 2013… it wasn’t.

I began to feel, again, that something was wrong. Nearly every morning, upon waking, I felt sad. Many mornings I cried in frustration as I woke up. Or I was angry – so angry that I cried and cursed. I did more of what I had been doing to makeashram2 myself feel better: I meditated to try and come up with why this was; I exercised; I did yoga; I ate healthy foods. I asked the Universe to tell me what this was and how to fix it.

I happen to believe that those first few seconds upon waking are some of the most vulnerable, truthful, Real moments we get about ourselves, our lives. We haven’t had time to put on our social face or our spiritual face or whatever ‘face’ that is gonna keep me from hating life and crying. I tend to respect those few seconds and pay a lot of attention to them – they tell me volumes about me and my life – about my subconscious.wake up

About the same time as things shifted, I began to explore the dfDivine Feminine (DF) energy I knew I had always had access to. I have been doing energy/light work for years. I always taught it the way I lived it – which is: The Divine is the Divine. It doesn’t matter if it’s Masculine or Feminine; it is pure. redhotandholyBut I found I really wanted the Divine Feminine energy; I wanted to explore that, and so I kept searching, kept researching. I read several excellent books on the subject, among them Red Hot and Holy by Sera Beak and Powerful and Feminine by Rachel Jayne Groover.

Everything I encountered about the DF told me the same thing: Your way of connecting powerfulandfemwith the Divine may shift. You may not want to sit quietly and meditate any more – a very masculine way of reaching for the Divine, by the way. I thought I was listening for that call, the call of the Goddess. I thought I was ready to shift as needed. But apparently not, b/c I did not recognize it as that until just today.

Last week I began to think about experimenting again – duh! What took me so long to figure that out?! Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not happy about this experimenting. I didn’t just skip along and laugh merrily and decide to play with my life, happy to be changing everything about me and my life again. No, remember I said this had been going on for months. Months of frustration, anger, depression, anxiety – feeling powerless to figure out what it was and how to fix it, even though I was constantly trying to figure it out.

I think maybe I got to the point of just giving up. The “Oh, fuck it – whatever,” stage – said without any energy behind it.

So last week I didn’t exercise every day. I let the monks begin their chanting every morning at 5am, but I didn’t necessarily get up and do anything. A couple of mornings I reset the monks and went back to sleep – and smiled while doing it. One morning I just stayed in bed, listening to the monks, smiling, wallowing under the lizblankets, talking to the weenie dogs, just spending time languishing.

This morning at my sunny bathroom sink, after, once again, not rising and ‘sticking to the schedule.’ I had an “ah-ha” moment, when I realized I’m tired of living in an ashram. Even Liz Gilbert didn’t do that for more than a few months, for fuck’s sake! And I realized I would much rather live at a spa now.

I am currently changing my mindset to “living in a spa” – you know, spa3the fancy, I-deserve-to-be-here-languishing-in-being-pampered type of spa. The one where you realize you want things to be really easy and fun. Where someone brings you things and you eat some ‘forbidden’ foods and might even gain some weight (gawd forbid!). I realized that I don’t want to be called out anymore by, what now feels like, my innerdrillsargent Drill Sergeant at 5am every morning to hit the road/rowing machine/yoga mat/etc.

I want to rest. I want to be pampered. I want to have fun. Don’t misunderstand: I loved “living in a ashram” for a few years. I was happy and had tons of fun doing that. It felt exactly right.

And I still love riding my bike everywhere – 7 miles a day, or more, on most days. I still work out, and I still love to meditate – to sit in the most excellent silence. But I’m not regimented about it any more. And if I need/want to skip something, I don’t freak out that I’m not adhering to the ashram’s schedule, somehow.

Fun is starting to look different than an ashram now. And for the first time in months, I feel hopeful and the beginning blush of happiness again.

Advertisements

One thought on “living in an ashram

  1. Pingback: I Tried Not to Love You—an Overdue Love Letter. | a wilder grace

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s