A Virgin State of Mind
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My mind is open, new, and curious to the world around me. I write the thoughts that flit by, in an attempt to solidify, to connect, and to understand all that I perceive.

Spiritual: themoondancing.tumblr.com
A thought on shadow work

    Today in my meditation and mindfulness class, we were told to write our thoughts about a series of poems. This particular poem resonated with me, and speaks to that which I have been avoiding for a few months now: shadow work.

               This being human is a guest house.
               Every morning a new arrival.

               A joy, a depression, a meanness,
               some momentary awareness comes
               as an unexpected visitor.

               Welcome and entertain them all!
               Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
               who violently sweep your house
               empty of its furniture,
               still, treat each guest honorably.
               He may be clearing you out
               for some new delight.

               The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
               meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

               Be grateful for whatever comes.
               because each has been sent
               as a guide from beyond.

                         The Guest House - by Jelaluddin Rumi

    The lines that struck me most were “meet them at the door laughing and invite them in” and “each has been sent as a guide from beyond”. I believe that everything that has or will occur to me, happens for a reason - even if I am not aware of the reason. Each facet of myself, of my personality, exists for a reason. Those parts of myself that I’m afraid to confront, or that I suppress deep inside me (my “shadows”), can help me in my waking life - but only if I acknowledge their presence, and don’t let them take control over me.

    Until now, I’ve been shielded and anxious before these “shadows”: pretty much avoiding anything that could make me think about them or work with them. I’ve been tense and fearful.

    This poem has given me one of the keys to beginning the journey down into the underworld of myself. It has given me the imagery of a fancy tea party, where I open the door, laughing, nonjudgmental, to invite each shadow guest to tell me their tales, to tell me why they reside within me, to tell me how they can be of service.

    So today, I am grateful that I decided to pursue this class in my medical career, because it is arming me to not only help my patients, but also to help myself.

I can finally confront my shadows.

A thought on springtime

    Yesterday was a day of springtime, on a beautiful Shabbat back at home with my family.

    I saw a small female cardinal painstakingly building a nest in our growing etrog tree. It’s a perfect place for such a small bird - it’s low to the ground, so there’s no competition with birds like grackles, and it’s full of foliage for protection. All day this brown-colored, bright orange-beaked bird was gathering twigs from various areas of the yard and neighbor’s yard - disappearing into the tree where she was building the nest. I’m not going to go look at the nest until next week, just so she feels it is a safe place to raise her future babies - which it is!

    On the fence I saw two doves grooming each other for more than half an hour. It was so sweet to see them seemingly “in love” as we humans would call it - showing mutual affection to strengthen their bond, as they will most likely be raising birds of their own soon enough.

    Trees are blooming (my spring allergies attest to this!) and animals all around are mating or having progeny. Life is at its peak.

    And yet.

    Amidst all of this springtime in the air, I found a dove, poor thing, that had died. It had flown into the bathroom window, broken its neck, and fell into the pool. It was surrounded by pink petals, from flowers that had also died to litter the ground with their beauty.

   Beauty in death.

   It was sad to see how this dove’s life ended in an instant, but at the same time, it made a pretty picture…as if the dove had a funeral barge surrounded by flowers into the afterlife. It made me realize that in order for life to continue, for springtime to occur, previous generations must die to make room for new life.

   Typically I don’t like to think about death, to think about losing people or creatures that I love, but yesterday the Universe was showing me that there can be bright sides to such circumstances.

There is beauty in the circle of life.

A thought on insecurity

    This is difficult for me to admit, at least to people that I know, but not know well enough: I am plagued by insecurities.

    When I am with my Love, these do not play much of a factor. As a knight in not-so-shining armor, my Love helps to battle away these insecurities, to prove to me that I am worthy of his love, and the love of my friends. When I am with him, they do not come to the surface anymore - they lurk in the depths of my subconscious, patiently waiting for their turn to strike.

    But he is not here, at least physically. Without his physical presence, I am left completely alone with my thoughts, and with them, my lurking insecurities and anxieties. I welcome silence; I welcome being alone. Many times that I am with him, we are together-and-not-together: within our own thoughts but with each other. With him, my insecurities know not to surface. Without him, they surface slowly, invading my mind until it is too late to realize that they are there. They are ever-so-patient, inundating my thoughts without my being aware of them.

    And then, after a time, I have an insecurity attack, an attack that seemingly comes out of nowhere, yet has been stewing within my mind and the pit of my stomach for weeks. I have been upset, and it comes down to friendships and partnerships lost over time. Was I not worth it to them? All that time and energy and empathy and friendship invested with them - it seems like I gave so much, and didn’t get as much in return. For some, they ended over stupid things, imagined and not imagined, and for others, it ended for unknown. Was I not worth holding on to? Was I not worth keeping?

    My Love comes to the rescue, slashing down a few of those insecurities, reminding me that I am worthy. And that those who do not see or value my worth - my past regrets, the bitter and unsure endings or lulls in friendships, the time invested into projects that had ugly endings - weren’t meant to have me. They didn’t see all of me, he says. They didn’t see my weaknesses and my strengths, they didn’t see the love and time that I poured into those relationships and into those projects. If they didn’t see those, they did not know me, and thus do not realize all that they are missing.

     It is difficult to overcome insecurities borne out of elementary and middle school. It is difficult to shake off years of bullying and the ingraining inside my mind that I am just not enough.

    But I have been overcoming it. I had four wonderful years of high school, in which I befriended real people who saw the real me. Throughout college, particularly these last 3 years with my Love, I have been growing more into the person that I am, the old soul that I have been. I have been sloughing off many of my old insecurities, and I have made so much progress into becoming a confident, happy me.

    But it is nice to know, so wonderful to know, that when the remaining insecurities do surface, that my Love is here to help me. He gives me the axe to cut down the insecurities myself, and fights those that are outside-of-me, that require the love and support of another person to battle away. The axe is heavy and hard to wield, but I keep on swinging. One insecurity down, and not so many left to go.

We are vanquishing them, together.

A thought on introversion

    This comic and this article really hit close to home: http://imgur.com/gallery/Lyl1i and http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts .

    Whenever I would take those introvert-extrovert personality tests, I’d always end up with a 50-50 score. I believe, now, that when I took those tests back then I wasn’t taking them correctly. I would read each statement (like “When engaged in conversations, you are usually the party that does the bulk of the talking”)and think about the different scenarios that apply (yes, when engaged with a close friend or small group of close friends I do most of the talking, but I do not do the bulk of the talking when in a crowd of people I don’t know very well). I would answer based on what I felt best described me (yes I do the bulk of the talking), which would invariably lead to a 50-50 score.

    After having looked at the above comic and article, and having thought deeply about what I prefer most, I have come to the conclusion that I am, by nature, an introvert.

    I don’t like mingling with people I don’t know. I’m not the type to go to parties to meet as many people as I can. I don’t like going out of my home just for the sake of going out to be social and interact with people. I really dislike small talk; it makes me uncomfortable and makes me feel awkward.

    However, I do *love* to talk. My friends know me as a talker and someone who enjoys the center of attention at times - which is completely true. I love teaching and explaining subjects that people do not have a good grasp on; and even more so, I love learning about subjects I do not have a good grasp on. Despite my propensity to talk, I am a great listener: I love to try and help people with their problems and give advice, or even just serve as a listening ear.

   I enjoy being a homebody. I love to sit at home, painting or reading. Or staring at the wall and daydreaming. Or dancing to music while I pretend to clean. I like being by myself. There is a special kind of comfort in not having to talk, in being in my own head.

   I am happy that I have found a kindred soul who enjoys that very same thing - my love, my boyfriend. I found that over the years (almost 3! I can’t believe it) I have come to regard him as an extension of myself, in a way. That is, outside of the time we didn’t/don’t share together (classes, work), I didn’t and don’t feel the need to take extra time away from him; I can be by myself in his presence. We can just be near each other (reading, doing our own thing) and be content. We both recognize that we don’t need to fill up space talking when we don’t have to. Paradoxically, we can both be by ourselves and happy in each other’s company. This is something I truly treasure.

    I also treasure that I don’t have to spend every waking minute with my friends to still regard them and be regarded by them as a close friend. I enjoy texting a close friend to meet up the following week for sushi, and then not seeing that friend for a few weeks. It’s nice to just catch up (normally for 3-6 hours at a time!) but know that if I or they ever needed anything, we would be there for each other.

    But I digress. In short, I classify myself as an introvert.

And I am happy with the way I am.

A thought on strength

    It really hit me hard today.

    I love him - so much. I’ve been trying to help him- so much. I’ve been keeping my anger, my sadness, between him and myself. I have been keeping my anger, sadness, and pain between us, perhaps in an attempt to suppress the reality of the situation. He knows how much it saddens and angers me because he feels that same anger and sadness multiplied tenfold within himself. He is one of the most compassionate and intelligent people I know - and he wasn’t accepted. He has to waste two whole years of his life to try and attempt for his dream again.

    I’ve been putting on a brave face. I’ve been optimistic and goal-driven. I’ve been motivating and helpful. I push and I push and I push him to do what his spontaneous self does not feel like doing - planning for every possible situation. It’s what I am built for, it’s what I do. I plan for essentially every possible consequence, so that when the time comes I’m ready to act. I am a worrier, and I accept this. He is not - he is my steadfast, earthy man - he grounds me when I fly too far. I help him fly when he’s too stuck to the earth.

    I think there’s something to be said about strength - strength is not doing what you’re good at, what you know you are capable of doing. It is having the courage to admit when you are weak. It is recognizing when the problem is out of the scope of your control. It is knowing when to ask for help.

    This is out of my control. All I can do is pray and hope that the steps he takes now will solidify his steps in the future. There is no action I can take in and of itself that will do this - except to be here for him, motivate him, and love him as I have been doing.

    I can’t bear this alone. I can’t even just bear this with him. 

I need to be strong.

A thought on meditation

    I’m getting annoyed with the city. Maybe it’s the healer in me, but lately I’ve been feeling like people don’t care as much as they used to. I feel like I’ve been living in a vortex of apathy, dislike, fake words, needless drama, and just general “anti”. Sadly, not just among the random people but my friends as well. One would think that being as mature as I am, I could avoid the blatant immaturity in others that, for whatever reason, has decided to surface now.

    This all sparks a greater desire to just leave. I want to lay on the cool, sweet grass, watching the clouds drift by. I want to look into the night sky and feel how small I am. I want to lean against a tree, among a forest of trees, hearing the sounds of the lives that live there. I want to sit by the ocean, hearing the consistent beat of the waves slap against the shore.

    I’m just tired of having my spirituality be sucked into that endless void of negativity. I feel like I just can’t concentrate on what matters most. I want to be a healer and live my life in love. Is that so much to ask?

    It’s time that I shake it all off. I’m really going to focus on making my Shabbat a day of meditation and spirituality.

My spirit needs to be free.

A thought on depression

    I understand now.

    I understand that horrible feeling: a dark cloud that hangs over your head, seeping into every pore of your body. A cloud that mars every day, that disrupts all of your thoughts, that colors the way you see the world. The dark cloud of depression.

    I was taking a medication that slowly introduced this cloud into my life. Even though I only suffered for a month-long period, it had a way of snaking in, unnoticed, unseen, until the cloud became who I am. I felt so miserable, so unhappy, when there was truly no reason to be. I would oscillate between feeling completely apathetic and feeling like there was no hope for anything. I felt alienated from my love, my family, and my friends. It was only after a long contemplation that I realized it was the medication that I was taking.

    I was fortunate to have my love stand by my side, despite my pushing him away. I was crying and crying, not understanding why I felt so awful, why I didn’t feel the same. I love him so much, and I thank you, sweetheart, for being there for me, truly, no matter what.

    I feel for those who suffer this every day. I was lucky to have escaped it (by stopping the medication), and I feel the greatest weight off of my shoulders. It’s as if I was given new eyes, new legs, new everything. I feel as if I can spread my wings and fly, or dive down into the deepest parts of the ocean, or hike through the largest forest.

    I wish I could help them. Those that suffer from this all the time. I can’t imagine having those…thoughts…at every moment of every day. So I write this to say that I’m here for them, for you, for anyone who might ever need to talk about their problems. It might not be enough, but it might help a little.

I wish you all a true, deep healing.

A thought on meteors

    We began the pathway towards our love with the Perseid meteor shower, 2 years ago. Its peak is almost invariably on our day: August 13th. I wish I could be watching those heavens with you tonight, as we did so long ago.

    I can’t believe we’ve been together for only 2 years. Sometimes, it feels so much shorter, but I swear it feels like we’ve been together for many lifetimes.

    I am leaving to visit the ocean, something I always long to do. I will scuba dive and immerse myself in those other worlds of beauty. Even though it is just a week, I can’t wait until I’m in your arms again, until I can sleep by your side and sigh happily.

    When I was younger, I’d imagine the best feeling in the world was to sleep in your partner’s arms, and to know that you were loved, safe, protected, and happy. My imaginations were right, because no matter how much I’m laughing with you or crying or making love or dancing or singing or walking with you in the forest, the best feeling in the world is just being with you. It is knowing that at the end of the day, I will curl up into your arms and drift off into unconsciousness knowing that when I wake, you will be there. It is knowing that you will always be there, steadfast in your love, as I will always be there for you.

    Sleep well, lovebug, until I return. Happy 2 years.

I love you.

A Thought on Infinity

    I peer out into the abyss, that never-ending blanket of seemingly empty space. The Ain Sof.

    “The wave of blackness tossed [me] an immeasurable distance, through realms of vacant space where stars rolled in their inscrutable dance, through clouds of blinding colors more vast than [I] could even imagine, where time itself was squeezed and stretched by colossal forces. [I] was lost, lost…but still [I] arced through [my] trajectory, a tiny star.”                     -The Singing, by Alison Croggon

    I flew until I could fly no more. I sank into the very depths of my being, unable to perceive the infinite soul around me. How can I grasp infinity within my mind, when I am a finite being? For this is what true spirit is: clutching the infinite and feeling comfort in its arms. It is feeling the lines blur between my body of flesh, blood, and soul, and feeling the earth around me. It is becoming one with that.

    I want to be held by you, The Universe. I want to be embraced as one with you. I want to feel the fear and the exhilaration, the love and the sadness, the elation and the complete. I want to know and feel and be all of you. I want to know you.

    I have been blessed. I now know what true love is, that which is a gift of myself to another. And yet, as a human, I want more. My happiness is fulfilled with my love. My love for my other soul, my family, my close friends and my future family. My purpose, however, will be fulfilled with healing and spirit. Bless me with that ability to heal - to give others a chance at life and at beauty, to give others a chance to breathe and fulfill their purposes. Bless me with your presence, with knowledge and lack of doubt, with true spirit filling the very fibers of my being.

Please, embrace me.

A thought on futures

    It feels like it has been forever, my Lovebug, of our love freely given.

    We are the forest, ever branching. Each moment we walk hand in hand sprouts a new seed, a new branch, a new tree. Sometimes we stroll, or skip, or run among these interlocking woods, towards our futures.

    Our futures of healing. Our futures of enjoying Nature’s gifts. Our futures of our home and our children and our pets. Our futures of love and friendship and intimacy and compassion, of embarking on new adventures and growing old together, of happiness and success.

    It is so close, yet so far.

    It’s a little daunting, gazing out unto this endless jungle, the ocean of Earth’s beauty. But you guide me, and at times, I guide you. When it is dark, and we do not see the paths, we forge a new one. When it is light, we treasure each other’s faces and dance along our journey. I happily walk our lives, for I am with you.

    I am so thankful to have found you, and so grateful that you have found me. That among all of Earth’s inhabitants, we befriended and loved each other. That I found within you an expanding heart, one that I could heal and continue to heal of its wounds, and an understanding soul. That you found within me a darkness and insecurity that would otherwise crush me, and have pushed almost out of existence. Your soul meets mine in a lifelong song and dance, swirling throughout space and time in a harmony that brings tears to my eyes. Ani l’dodi v’dodi li, and I love you so much.

    I have written this, so that it shall be. I must not fear the world and its people. I must not fear those who won’t believe, or those who turn the eye against us. I believe in us, and you believe in us, and that is what matters.

YHVH li, v’lo ira.

A thought on home

“Man oh man you’re my best friend,
I’ll scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothing that I need…

Laugh until we think we’ll die,
Barefoot on a summer night,
Never could be sweeter than with you.
And in the streets you run a-free,
Like it’s only you and me,
Geez, you’re something to see.

Ah home, let me come home,
Home is wherever I’m with you.
Ah home, yes I am home,
Home is wherever I’m with you.”
            -Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

    Everyday, love, everyday.

    Helium’s two protons.

    Let’s be free.

    You, me.

    Us, together.


A thought on messages

    A venture into the ocean at night.

    I come across her lying on the sand, beneath the sheltering beauty of the corals, peering up at the alien creature gazing upon her.

    I slowly sink onto the sand, observing her: her features, her expressions, her form. She is a Hawksbill sea turtle, one of the seven species of sea turtles in our world. As I regard her, she regards me: both patiently watching, silently determining, the purpose of the other.

    She had a look of eternal timelessness upon her face, of understanding pain, sacrifice, and loneliness. Within her eyes, I saw intelligence, grace, beauty, and serenity. She conveyed a relation, a compassion, a comfort, and an empathy.

    Her eyes bespoke of magic and spirit.

    She pushes off of the sand, swimming towards me. Thoughts flit through my mind: where is she going - should i move - should i stay - will i scare her - is she scared - what does she want - i should move. As her beak nears my stomach, I quickly but carefully move slightly out of the way, to allow her free passage to the ocean beyond. She swims back around, however, and stays by my side.

    It felt so unreal, so dream-like, a mere figment of my imagination. But it was real. It did happen.

    I reach my hand out, tentatively, and caress her shell. I chose not to touch her skin because there was fire coral on my gloves, and I did not want to accidentally hurt her. Seeing that she was still regarding me, allowing me to continue to be this close, to continue to be caressing her, I relaxed, simply enjoying this rare moment of two worlds interacting with one another.

    It was a message of respect and caring, from me to her, and from her to me.

    After too short of a lifetime, she slowly swims away, off into the ocean beyond. Later, as I was leaving her home, she swam by me again, as if to bid me a safe journey, as if to thank me for the time we spent together.

    This was so rare, so unbelievable. I have always loved sea turtles, and so, of course, the being I wanted to see most during this trip was the sea turtle, and she answered my call, my desire. To have been given the opportunity to not only watch her, but to touch her, was a fortune in and of itself.

    I can’t believe this…

I felt a love across worlds.

A thought on wholeness

"And I feel,
All the faint morning light,
Filled with hope ‘cause you’re here in my life,
And we’ve gone,
From the edge of our souls,
Made it back to a place we call home.

You, see me through,
I was alone in the dark and the fear was my truth.

Yeah, all the things that you are,
Beautifully broken, alive in my heart,
And know that you are everything,
Let your heart sing and tonight, we light up the stars,
All that you are.”

                       -All That You Are by Goo Goo Dolls

    A year passes by so fast. A year full of laughter, of mindless bickering, of tears, of joy, of dancing, of sleeping, of truth, of passion, of misunderstandings, of reassured insecurities, of singing, of creating, of happiness, of love.

    There is so much to say, yet nothing at all. Words have no meanings, meanings have no words. You are beautiful, in the deepest sense of the word. All that you are.

    “You engage all parts of me.”

    Take me, love. Take me on this journey, to feelings unknown, to places unheard of. Take me blind with the thrill of having you by my side.

I am yours, true and complete.

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