Self-expression has never been a hang-up for me. But which aspect of Self am I expressing has been a vital and lived question. One part of me seemed to leave out another and I grappled with finding a way to include all of who I am. My given name, Chela, is Sanskrit for disciple. My name has been my compass. I’m a seeker, I long for truth, for depth. I have always searched the canvas of life for meaning and for moments of awakening. I’ve also partied my ass off. I’m irreverent, have been given shit for swearing and like
Love your Humanity
I used to be a personal development junkie. I say junkie because I was after a state change and I was out to fix what was wrong with me. One course led to another program which led to another retreat or coach or book in hopes that the next thing would fill me, alter me, make me adequate. Whenever someone would give me a line about accepting myself or not having to be a particular way in order to be whole and complete it was…well, confusing. Tell me this, why would I put myself through so much self improvement shit if
I used to get told that I was too hard on myself. Like, all the time. One part of me was desperate to believe this, to lighten up on myself. My inner critic was beastly. But most of me knew that they just couldn’t see what I could see. So, out came the whip. Sometimes people would compare me to others- especially in the early days of owning my salon- I’d get those ‘you’re so far ahead of so many people your age- you’re 19! You own a business! You’re doing great.’ Whatever. In some twisted dichotomy, I was both
Sometimes I take myself very seriously. I watch every thought, judge every deed with grave importance. I wonder whether my sense of significance around my own existence is my soul seeking form or my narcissism flaring up again. The urgency burns and time feels slippery. It seems like I’m in a race to make good on the promises I’ve whispered to myself when feeling crushed by the injustices streaming on the news. I saw a quote recently “Mother Teresa never worried about her thighs. She had shit to do.” It inspired me. A fist pump and a hell yeah.
So first of all, this title is supposed to be ironic. You see, I’ve got some beef with the whole ‘5 secrets to this, 10 secrets to that, the-one-big-secret-that’s-so-oh-my-god-you-can’t-believe-it-everything’s-going-to-be-different-now-so-click-here,’ schtick. It’s like secret agent experts all over the webosphere are promising each other unicorns. Selling inadequacy The ‘listed secret meme click bait’ preys off our feelings of inadequacy. It implies that I have something that you don’t, that you need me in order to be beautiful or successful or write a best seller in 4 days or whatever garbage people are trying to get you to buy. Of course it’s
There’s a cruel character, a voice in the dark, stalking around the edges, waiting for the misstep. Call this the inner critic or the drill sergeant or simply the relentless inner dialogue assessing each move. Over the past year, I participated in a women’s practice group called WHIP (women’s house of integral practice.) We gathered for retreat and practiced across countries in our living rooms with the help of the interweb. Daily meditation. Three yoga classes per week, gathering for cloud calls to work intimately on our relationship to our dharmic expression, the deepening of practice and our unfolding and
It took me a while to realize that I had a reputation for saying shit you’re just not supposed to say. Not necessarily offensive stuff (though sometimes,) but more blunt and honest, what some may say should be one’s ‘inside voice’ (like keep that inside your own head,) or simply ‘too much information.’ While I don’t actually recall the conversation, my best friend’s mom loves to remind me of the time in our late teens when she asked how our weekend was and I said, all full of innocent joy and enthusiasm, “Great! I lost my virginity!” Crickets. As a
When I look around at what the beauty industry has done to beauty, it makes me want to throw in the towel. Wanting to be beautiful is suddenly collapsed with all this nasty vigilance and self-violence, comparison and endless inadequacy. But when I approach beauty as something I get to express rather than an ideal to attain, it frees up a lot of energy, I feel far more loving and playful. When I look around at how success is presented in media and valued by our culture, it makes me want to throw in the towel. Wanting to be successful
I recently fell head over heels in love. I’m not going to dish and gush just yet, but he’s pretty rad. Early on, he asked me what intimacy is to me. He was pretty impressed with my answer and I felt all smug and self-congratulatory about it, so I thought I’d share it with you. Intimacy is the sharing, giving and receiving of vulnerability in the moment as it is arising in relationship with the other. It’s a different experience, sharing about something you’ve felt vulnerable about in the past versus giving voice to what feels vulnerable in the moment.
Maybe you don’t need to work so hard. Maybe what you’re striving for isn’t beyond your reach. Maybe settling in is all that’s needed to take the ride. Maybe there’s nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. Maybe the effort that’s weighing heavy on your bones isn’t helping what you assume it is. Maybe your results aren’t a function of your tireless engagement. Maybe your pains are. Maybe what you believe is missing in you is a lie. Could it be that you don’t need better discipline or stronger will, that you don’t need to anchor down