Like so many self-proclaimed New Agers, I am a self-improvement project. I’m pretty sure I can do better than me.
St. Valentine’s Day ‘06, driving ‘round my home-away-from-home, South Beach, wearing next to nothing; turquoise rayon halter-top, black cotton Indian mini-skirt and black flip flops inside a sun-kissed glow. Closer to the elements. Feeling a native freedom rare in mid-Manhattan, I stop at Wild Oats Market on Alton to do my daily shopping. As much organic fare as possible, especially dark leafy greens! plus one Edgar Cayce Olive Oil Shampoo, a full box of Emergen C Lite with MSM and Desert’s Dew Aloe Vera Gel to soothe inside and out. Returning to my rental car, the dreamy sky’s paintbrush proceeds up from the horizon’s pale blue-gray to a soul-caressing China-blue explosion streaming from heaven’s limitless crown. “What a day! What a winter! It’s a weather orgasm! My blond locks aren’t even frizzy. Surely this is an omen in the good.”
Approaching the white mid-size Chevy Classic with a full shopping cart, I spy a near-Titan god-man preparing his sleek chrome steed for takeoff. His engrossed and fetching presence, which I can only make out from the rear, sports longish rock ‘n roll salt and pepper hair, the bronze taught body of Adonis and a simple grace I don’t connect with bikes wicked as Harleys. He’s loading his organic finds on the back of his black stallion - including a couple of shiny bottles of ruby red - into two perfectly outfitted black leather, silver-strapped, baggage pouches attached left and right to his souped-up modern Fury. “Beach-cowboy. Biker-rebel. Greek-god time-traveler. Rock ‘n roll day-tripper… lend me your…everything!” I muse, as heart-felt sentiments candy from my spontaneous combustion into his, “Wow! That is a grrrrrrrrrrreat bike. I love Harleys! My total all time favorite. It’s baaaad.” “O,” he looks up sweetly, “Hi, pretty shopping lady, yea, it takes me out for wild runs now and then. Guy’s gotta have some magic wheels inside the every day.” As soon as the words are delivered from his full responsive lips, I question, I falter, I cancel myself out. “He’s gay,” I think, re-examining the goods. “Or maybe a sex pervert, here shopping in the middle of the day. In the middle of the week. Not that cute, really. Probably he’s gay. Or married,” I cut myself off, sparing the effort of reality. “I love it! B’ bye. Have a gr8! day.” I say by way of closing windows. He smiles. Tightens the silver straps on his loaded saddle bags. Hops on. Waves. Spins off. ----------
Along with other emotional and spiritual supports, I use flower essences, to help unclog my inner flow, nature’s herbs for the emotions. This month my Flower Essence Apprentice Circle is focusing on “the shadow” – the seeming darkness we judge guilty! in ourselves. With awareness and action, we aspire to de-crystallize unloving thoughts and ways; to enlighten cobweb-corners where little soul-light shines. Thus, in contemplation, I recognize this “lose/lose” pattern I painfully reenact to sabotage myself with men. Chestnut Bud flower essence to master tough soul-lessons, Black-Eyed Susan to floodlight resistant shadows, Iris for enhanced creative self-expression, soul-energy to journal to reflect. Often we require close-ups of how we fuel our demons which make regret more palpable - yet through lenses of awareness, hope arises too… the natural byproduct. No quick-fix, rather an onion-skin unlayering process.
Wishing to see more deeply, the territory of the veils I hide behind, that night I pray for clarity and pray my guardian spirits might bring forth visitations, revelations... a sage-brushing of my inner-mansions. I take essences of Mugwort to understand dream symbols, Chamomile for inside sunniness, Shasta Daisy to overlay mandalic-consciousness on disconnected left/right hemispheres. I generously spray mists of calming Calling All Angels Alaskan essence-blend with lavender, pink carnation and grapefruit essential oils on fluffy goose down pillows. I climb inside the ivory three-hundred-count cotton-sheeted cockpit. Offering up my turmoil, I drift dreary while breathing deep with purpose, til the essences and DNA-shaped dream-spirits lift me into timeless space up up…upon a thousand-winged six-eyed diamond dragonfly. Off to the holy capitol city of Rhet, on the temperate southern coast of Venus. In a Golden Wisdom Temple, with seven star-sapphire spires projecting cosmic-ocean waves, in the fullness of my super-conscious Tantric breathing, I find myself inside a Three-Day Mystery Teaching in an endless row of student-souls in a mammoth library-chamber with no apparent boundaries. While I cannot see the instructor, my secret-eye alights upon a good-looking fellow-traveler just a few steep rows ahead. His scholarly intensity scans me like radar up and down. Etheric shield tightening ‘round my ionic-breastplate, an onslaught of chaos-labored breathing follows throwing me off balance. I force my focus back down toward the center podium so as to isolate and divert sensitive edges of my gut-raw, man-specific feelings. I need Bleeding Heart for emotional independence, so I don’t get hooked!
It seems ages before this first day’s teaching ends; more an impression of being set in halls of higher recognition than a formal instruction so to speak. Archaic Sabian symbols of the lost Lemurian zodiac replace more familiar Copernican-type heavens. Mother-of-pearl Arabian-moons, white-gold crescent-suns, turquoise-splayed Himalayan-crystal asteroid belts spin harmoniously through my inner-pupils. Stick-forms of life-like hieroglyphs play peek-a-boo in musky black and white, filtering day and night, where chanting spirit-chorales weave in and out of ear. Encoded pre-historic phrases dance like votive temple flames. Intangible. Unnamable. Cellularly stirring. Beyond the cavern-classroom, essential to experiencing The Oneness, ever-igniting galaxies of indigo and brilliant midnight-blue flame The Holy Spirit. Through seraphim-embossed gothic stain-glass windows flows an artery of Jesus-light transfusing all dark spaces. A cherry-pink luminous lotus rises in my heart to form… identical twin soul mates, yab-yum, inexorably entwined atop a five-tier cherry-cream lotus wedding cake. So fulfilling. So divine. Lost in romance-reverie, I wrap my belly dancer’s arms around bronze-bound study tomes, taking in the raptured audience - above me, so below - gathering for dinner in pristine Rhea Plaza. Before I can stand, collect myself, flee! he approaches. Sweetness smile, offering eyes, his open hand extended… guileless as a happy child gives sweet dark chocolate. My camouflage-mind searches frantically for unnatural barriers to erect between us.
“Come with me to see the moon this evening, sparkling lady, and after we can swim. Let’s put the work behind us and enjoy the pleasures of balmy Rhet.” The darkly-wheels inside my second chakra wind inverted as dense unloving tape-loops, “He’s younger. Is he good looking enough? A student. No money. What could I become …with someone plain as him?” Sizing him down, his disappointment-heart retreats. “Thanks, no. No thanks,” I say. “I’m hungry. Tired. I need to study. Go to bed early.” For a second’s fraction, he pleads tenderly with wide green soulful eyes. But I stand firm in concrete resolution. Nearly stone, I hobble heavy to the exit, but turn for one brief moment, lost in vacillation. Muscled athlete’s back, bronze pecs like mighty wings, now naked, holding a red swim suit in one hand, he, by nature, rushes downstairs toward Rhet’s healing garden’s matrix. Compassion-beds of fuchsia Love-Lies Bleeding for personal-pain transcendence, the unconditionally accepting faces of lilac-pink Self-Heal, aisles of earthy-green and lavender Sage-entrusted blooms and the wispy violet-rimmed meditation ears of ethereal Star Tulip.
Nauseating waves of guilt wash through me. I can’t eat now! Menacingly, the EXIT sign flashes ambulance-red. Back to my tomb room, now dark and uninviting. Labyrinth books are scrolls of empty pages. No succulent night-jasmine blooms nor hyacinth-oil candles to refresh staleness airs of me. Sleep within sleep. Small gray tv antennas pick up gray anti-matter from distant dead gray stars. When finally morning births herself in powder-blue jays’ singing, I smell baked apples awaft through spicy cinnamon airs. And ouch, a nasty hangover like a too tight battle-helmet I endure from useless thinking and rethinking. Morning Glory, Hornbeam, Cayenne get me up and moving, though the throbbing soul-affliction achingly dawns with me. “I have to find him. At the very least, return the open space between us.”
Breakfast past. Teachings soon resume. He’s on his mark, as I approach with penitent remorse, “We must supper together. Dive florescent sea-pools at sundown when night-flowers’ perfume sings.” Rapt in study, an invisible anti-magnetic charge distinctly cast between us, absently, he shakes his head; intention on Self-Mastery. I try again. But no. What can I do trapped between the knowing and unknown? Slithering back to my hard-oak seat, forlorn in melancholia. Familiar cravings. The other side. Of men. When will this dismal repetition-nightmare end? Again again a gain. Though a deepening loss is all I feel. me - out of sync with ME. Yet… from this downward spiraling interior gloom, (perhaps the Bleeding Heart kicks in) into an emerald deepness-sea of All that’s Me, a silver starfish tingles.
Switch! Signal. Far as I can see, confetti-colored wild flowers dancing gaily in a Mary Poppin’s field reveal a girl-child. She yells to me and waves through soft-pink Cosmos chords. “Is she an angel? My daughter? Is she, perhaps, me with every aspect longing for a chance to integrate?” A delicate raspberry-mouthed girl, three perhaps, with thick blond shiny ringlets and hazel pools of light for eyes. In every action, graceful gesture, she creates more space for loving. “She’s mine to watch over,” I feel it, “Yet there also runs an unseen tight-rope from this flower child to him”, so I imagine. “A divided-soul relationship-test from unbroken karmic lifestreams?” Near ready to release my chains and captured by her innocence, I follow to a fragrant grove of fig and olive trees. Half butterfly, half bumblebee! Arial, impermanent as rainbows, she stands where clearing confronts shadow. My past-heart chakra still fights in vain to have him in our fantasy, like the hazard-rings of Saturn. Scleranthus essence for decisions! Honeysuckle free me! from false nostalgia’s past! Letting go of then and later… Epiphany draws near.
My heart grows even more heart-shaped, as I foresee us bodysurfing bubbly ebb-tides in The South Venutian Sea. I’ll bury myself in sand dunes, like a mummy, to undo all blames and curses and wash ticking grains to the ocean’s floor. We’ll collect goblets full of magic shells to hear Great Mother’s song. Fashion salty strings of pearlescent seashell jewelry. Hold each other close for warmth when Helios departs. But ranting shadow-voices drag me back to haunting battlefields, “What of him? He’ll lose us. Where will I be then?” Conflict twists my pouting-lips, as I manage to choose! a healthy dose of Walnut flower essence (three drops sublingually to unlock frozen frowns) – the link-breaker, releasing old paradigms for good. Simultaneously a quivering-form jets by me and E… half-lives of a Harley-ghost and his right-now-woman fading. I squint, empowering Self-focus as they bite the dust forever. Epiphany merges with me just as I wake up.
7:45am. I feel so lucky. Following the glistening azure shoreline from 24th Street to The Delano Hotel at 17th & Ocean for Ashtanga Yoga at The David Barton Gym. Great-winged morning hawks dive fleeting wisps of cotton-candy clouds. The lingering moon, the new day sun, here, gently co-exist. Inhaling full-bodied breaths of silky ocean-peace, I don’t feel a bit like a rigid type-A New Yorker. Deeply grateful, OM, I wouldn’t have imagined I’d find a new soul-discipline this winter in Miami. Faithfully, since New Year’s, I make my way to class, eager to expand the breadth of interior realms heretofore unknown
Half Krishna, half Houdini, a soft-spoken dove-man with the strength and stealth of Shiva, Javier can wind into a living pretzel in a heartbeat. Just the right alchemical blend of “it’ll come” and “try it, you can do it,” he invites us to breathe navel-deep to the essential core… to flow gracefully through the ancient series of Indian asanas which have mystic Sanskrit names. Elusive body/soul dimensions are activated within time-honored progressions Javier leads us through. Ninety minutes later, I AM different from before this liberating ritual journey. It feels as though every cell of mine’s expanded so consciousness has more open space to travel and explore.
After class, Javier collects our names in pencil on the sign-in sheet. I approach to inquire if he knows a teacher in New York for me when I go back in April. He is answering another classmate in perfect Spanish. “Where are you from?” I ask. “Cuba.” “How romantic.” “Yes. There aren’t too many of us Cubans here in Miami,” he jokes. I sit down next to him to say that come the weekend, I’m offering my final flower essence teaching for the season. He’s read my Goddess Store flyer and is curious. A peaceful warrior shines through jet black saucer-eyes, “When I was a little boy in Cuba, my abuela, grandmother, would gather the garden flowers to prepare healing waters for the children. After our baths, she would splash the flower-water, many different kinds and colors, on us, for healing benefits. Of course there was the flower-water. And also there was her love. I can still feel both. We’d never dry off. Just let the flower-water dry on our skin as we played before bedtime.” I share with him that Cuba’s the only country, today, using flower essences as standard medicine. He says it has always been so in their culture. “ Before learning yoga, I used to get so stressed,” he says, “when things were left undone. Now…if I don’t get to it today, I will tomorrow. This moment now is all there is. Nothing else exists. Your essences intrigue me,” his wisdom rivers into mine.
from the mud of mindfulness.”
cherry linda cohen 3/06