October is at its end and here I am still trying to put my celebratory 30th birthday post together. You probably don’t care, but I do; because it’s been almost a decade long tradition for me to write on the day of my birthday. #dramaqueenisgrowingolder
However, the culmination of this dance around the sun has not led to a mere birthday; but – queue the flare- a Rebirth day.
Everything changes my friends, even TRADITION. And when we try to keep a tradition alive, it requires a certain amount of resistance and pretend to keep it up. Unless, your heart is still into it; then it just flows.
That is the heart of the matter, wherever your heart is; energy and life will flow. Block your heart, and everything literally EVERYTHING will feel numb.
I thought I would hate this transition from twenties to thirties. Truth is, I don’t. I don’t think I HATE anything in life anymore. I am humbled beyond my capacity at how much life has taken from me, and GIVEN ME, and continues to offer me.
I believe you deserve to know, if you’ve been reading my weird and lovely posts for a few years now, that I actually held myself a ritualistic funeral few days before my actual birthday. Too Much? It’s ok, you can stop reading here. Curious? Keep going. I promise it was quite therapeutic. You could do it too.
The Birthday Funeral
I believe that natural joy floods me; it floods you too, I promise! However, at many points in our lives, that joy feels sucked out, consumed, unsafe, and/or lost. The good news is that joy is always there, it just gets trumped by heavier feelings and thoughts. Sometimes, in order to move on, and reclaim our joy of life, we must mourn, grieve and truly look at what’s dead straight in the eyes.
I remember texting my most trusted best friend a couple weeks before the birthday and I asked her: “Would it be morbid to hold myself a funeral? I feel like I need to let go of dead things inside/outside of me, before I celebrate my current life.” In her usual incredibly open minded manner, she writes back: “That’s a wonderful idea, go for it, and I can help you through it.”
So, for the next few days I wrote down everything, everybody and every place I was grieving. The list included people (living), animals (living and dead), places (some still intact, others destroyed) and me (the me who had thought all those dead things were her real joy).
I took myself to Amed, a beach town in Bali, for a personal retreat of 3 days. The last day, I woke up knowing that it was time for me to ritualize my grief. I went by the water, to my left the humungous mount Agung (the biggest active volcano of Bali) and there I started the ceremony. Half naked, drenched in salt water, by the volcano, I started naming my dead, one after one and releasing them into the ocean. Some made me cry, some seemed to roll right off my tongue to never be mentioned again, and some felt like they will take their sweet time leaving my body. Grief is a special reality, and it NEEDS TO BE acknowledged.
After that experience, my entire being felt lighter; I recognized myself again. I recognized my true joy again as what she is, eternal and never ever linked to anything external; no matter how attached.
An intention to Express
The intention for this year, and those to come is expression. I have marveled at the world and the people in it, and I continue to be fascinated by those who express. Expression does not only need to be in words (as I had taught myself) but through movement, dance, voicing sounds, art, style, the manner in which we relate to ourselves and others, and generally how we carry ourselves upon this earth. That is Expression.
So, as I continue to grow and gain momentum I consciously emote and alchemize my thoughts, hopes and fears into my brightest self. My senses keep on getting softer, and gentler as I allow my natural state of being outwards. No more hiding, when afraid find the courage, when happy spread the joy and when in grief, cry and explore the immense teacher that is loss.
Life is fleeting, and she is beautiful in her creation and her utter destruction; and in her every state in between. So here I am; here for it. I end this post wondering how I could be the luckiest girl I know.
Until next time!