I saw this gold mask of a dead warrior in a museum in Thessaloniki 18 years ago. His mysterious smile made me startle, then. A few days ago I stumbled upon him again and was deeply touched.

In these days of crisis, when minds are consuming and producing opinions and counter-opinions in order to escape the frightening and exciting dynamics unfolding in the world, when people jump unto each other to defend beliefs of hope or fear, the dead warrior keeps smiling. What did he go through before this blissful smile of surrender came unto his face? We don’t know. It’s probable that he experienced states as hope, confusion, violence, panic, paralysis in his last hours, minutes, seconds. But now there is this smile, that –  thanks to the golden foil – is still visible for us. His armor hasn’t saved him, his weapons haven’t saved him, his ruler and his companions haven’t saved him, yet I feel so much peace when I look at him.

He lets me think, what if I remain on the inner battlefield these days without giving striking and countering too much attention. What if I remain in the dynamics under the surface of the battle, if I feel and go through the struggle in my own body, encountering panic, numbness, wishful thinking, anger, grief and whatever “enemy” comes along. What if I do not participate in the game of finding the right answer, the right action in this moment but let the game play me.

When I allow this possibility, a deep fear that keeps me from letting it unfold, shows itself: I am obsessed by the idea that there is such a thing as the “right opinion and action”, and if I do not find it, I will be guilty of not helping to prevent a global catastrophe. Aha. I have been wrestling with this enemy for days now. And slowly there is peace and clarity returning under this helmet. What if the drive to find the right opinion and action itself is part of the catastrophe? What if there were times when this strategy perhaps was necessary and helpful, but not now? What if now a more encompassing felt sense is wanting to take me?

A sensitivity that has time to listen to the voices of all beings – the voices of the earth, sky, sun, moon, stars, trees and flowers, bees, birds and cows, and of humanity. Why resist life’s inter-relatedness, life’s creativity that is manifesting itself so strongly at this moment of crisis? This creativity lives underneath the surface of how things seem to be. Why not allow changes in myself and around me that are beyond what I can possibly imagine in this moment? Isn’t that what death is? Even if my body may live some more years, some more decades, the death of what has been is knocking at the door right now. And these times of quarantine are helping to not escape my own house, my own body. The mysterious smile of the dead warrior is calling me.

even when the hardest of all sounds
lacerates the organs of the whales,
the oceans turning red
and the widowed earth
draping itself into grey desert,
even then will love give birth
to life anew through me:
my womb is sung into infinity
in this darkness
by the stars.

In times where so much comes to an end, nothing feels more urgent to me than to forgo frantic action and to let myself fall into the mystery of creation life is. Again and again, softening in the relentless pressure of linear time and feeling the power of just this breath. This breath carries all times in it, including the future we have so many fearful and hopeful images of. I practice not following these images but feeling the mystery of what we call “Earth” under my feet, merging with Her warm heartbeat and with Her moist womb and letting my human womb sink into its home. In this one breath I feel that I’m at one with the energy of creation, that I AM the energy of creation. The question is now not any more, will the human species, will my children and their children, stay on this planet or not, will we survive? This question feels as distraction from BEING the Earth, from loving Her and letting all of my passion flow into how She moves me with this breath.

Mystery or machine?

She shows me how to let my energy move in interconnection with other life forms. How to allow life to take me totally, beyond my resistance. The biggest resistance I can trace is in doing too much, going too fast, with the idea it’s still not enough and I should be doing more. In this resistance, stuck by mental images, I am in the prison of linear time, and there I can never be carried by the power of cyclic life but drag my small life ahead in a lonely and exhausting way. This plays even when I do simple things as hanging up laundry or cooking a meal: do I take part in the mystery or am I in the machine realm of repetition? When I am in the automatic realm, I am tricked out. The energy of my heart does not flow through my arms but spills right next to them, letting every chore be strenuous and without joy and leaving me exhausted and cold, never warmed and fulfilled by my day.

Living through the eyes of Mystery

I feel how any haste takes me out of the depth of oneness with Her, how I am literally spilling the mysterious chance to change my ways beyond imagination, beyond recognition. When I slow down, the possibility emerges to reclaim walking and talking on this Earth through the eyes of mystery. Reclaiming asks for a fierceness in standing for what is truly natural and life-giving. It takes readiness to use the sharp sword of discernment so that the unfathomable softness of being can take me home. Saying “no” to answering my e-mails or having the ironing done before I cook for my family, allowing space and letting Her heartbeat flow into the meal, letting Her stillness resound in the hug I give to my child coming home from school.

Aligning with the snowdrops

The mystery unfolds in innumerable small, often even invisible movements. Each of these small movements carries immense power, it cannot be underestimated. Just look at the snowdrops coming up in these weeks. They are tiny, delicate and live only a short life, and yet they make an overwhelming change in the winter garden, bringing the fresh energy of spring. Called by the light, sung into growth by the birds, pushing through the hard, cold soil, rising and then letting their bud bow to the earth, deeply listening in the unfolding of the flower. I like to place a few snowdrops in vases in my kitchen and on my desk and let them take me into their tender presence. As soon as my impulses and actions become too big and too fast, I lose touch with the gentle snowdrop energy, like a candle being blown out by the wind. Then I relapse into repetitive patterns, which check in momentarily with mental programs of fear and lack. The spring energy is gone.

Ending the realm of linear time

I feel that the tender force of everyday actions coming from the eyes of mystery, being the poetry of life, carries the soft, yet explosive energy to end Goliath’s realm of linear time, of survival pressure, of loneliness and lack of belonging, of dwelling in the marketplace of life, of keeping white western privileges though we know they are destroying the world. Leaving the system for what it is and moving with the breath, my body in harmony with my action, is walking on a razor’s edge. I am badly injured when I am not in presence of the next step unfolding. I am gobbled up by Goliath. But there is always a following breath to heal me, to bring me back home. And on the razor’s edge I know without doubt: is my movement weaving the tissue of life, letting it heal, or am cutting this tissue with my movements and my words? The long, gray, cold winter has bestowed me with the quality of sharp discernment of what is really life-giving, of the snowdrop energy that brings freshness, that brings rebirth.

Dear friends,

This fall for me has been a time of turning deeply inwards, of seeing and feeling through layers and layers of old trauma and conditioning. I was shown how the composting of the faded in the fall is as precious and rich as the blossoming in the spring. The awe-inspiring relatedness of the seasons, the wholeness of their inter-being has been sinking into my heart, and deeper, into the womb. And here it is, that the source of all being becomes palpable, the Dark Mother who is always and always there, spreading her love. Here it is, where fall can become winter, where the heart becomes gently, so gently stirred by the light of what wants to become. The seeds of the new spring.

I wish you an wonderful Christmas time, resting in Her peaceful dark and receiving the light seeds of 2020. As a gift you find an inspirational poem below.

 

when the flesh

lets go of the bones,

the earth is round again.

when the flesh

lets go of the bones,

the cosmos is ripped open

and the moons shine.

when the flesh

lets go of the bones,

the water flows

and my heart sings

the flowers sprouting out of me.

all seeds germinate

when the sower becomes sun.

Caring for a garden for me has become an amazing “composting” of addiction to patriarchal programming. Giving my attention to the small green beings in front of my feet takes me home into the wholeness of life. Let me share some thoughts and experiences with you.

One of the crafty mechanisms of the patriarchal system is to keep us trapped in “doing something important”. When we’re caught in its programming, there’s a voice whispering into our ear that what we are doing right now is not enough, and this mental disturbance disrupts our felt connection with reality. It drives us out of our bodies, out of our homes, from our families, friends and surroundings, in order to do “important things”. Of course, we also get into our cars and offices because of economic pressure: having to earn money with a job in order to make a living. But I suspect that the drive to do something “big” and “important”, as well, plays a role in keeping us stuck in these jobs and thwarting the harmonious unfolding of a truly prosperous, fulfilling life for ourselves and all beings around us. We are junkies of production, wanting to become very big in order not to feel how small, isolated and miserable we really are. This means that the addictive system can only be perpetuated as long as we are implanted with deep unworthiness. The system needs us to think that something is wrong with us in order to let us work frantically, hoping to improve. When we feel the sting of worthlessness, we try to do something “important” immediately in order to feel just a bit better. I guess this abyss of unworthiness, which goes together with a feeling of homelessness, of being banished from the body and the earth, is what keeps us down and in the system. But this abyss is also where the healing is.

Composting the programming

Any time I realize myself being trapped in unworthiness and then just stopping, not pursuing the frantic conditioned game that separates me from life, an incredible sweetness moves through my body. It feels like the mechanism is “eaten” by my body, composted and incorporated into wholeness. I don’t have to do anything, just breathe and remain present. I see then that the conditioning of being “fast” and doing “big” things is a tight net thrown over life that keeps it from breathing and naturally unfolding. This is the basis of patriarchal programming, and as long as we function this way, we keep the system in power, even if we work on making the planet a better place.

“Private” means “stolen”

While we are busy doing “big things”, the so-called “private” is reserved for the evenings, when we’re mostly tired, and the weekends, always too short. Have you ever realized that “privare”, the root of “private”, actually means “to steal”? Our lives are stolen by the system in order to make us work for it. What remains as “private” is an empty house you may call “mine”, if you are working to pay for it all your life. If you look at it more closely, this “private” house is also stolen, it is robbed from the earth to become a “possession”. So we rob a place from wholeness in order to work hard to keep it, but mostly have little time left to enjoy and to care for this “private place”. Just look at all the gardens that are suffocated with tiles because there is no time, energy and inspiration to give attention to plants. The craziness of what we’re doing is so obvious.

The healing power of a garden

For me, next to “composting” programmed reactions, caring for a garden has become an unprecedented healing force. On our small plot of land, at first just a lawn with a few hortensia’s (yes, it is “private”, and yes, we have to pay for it, and work for that), we brought a few goats, chicken, cats and some bees. It’s only two years we’re sowing, planting and sustaining a diversity of green beings here, and already so many animals came to the garden to live here: wild bees, many sorts of bumble-bees, butterflies, bugs, frogs, toads and a lot of birds. It’s amazing to see how biodiversity increases immensely in a short time on a piece of land that was just a green desert before. This garden infuses me with the interconnectedness of all living beings, with awe for this web of life, and it has become a place of great empowerment. Not only that it provides a lot of foods, herbs and beautiful flowers for family and friends. In its interconnecting dance it also weaves me into the cycles of the moon, the seasons, the weather. I sense I am a cosmic being in the garden. I feel as part of the immensity of life, and any drive to do something “bigger” or “more important” just gets swallowed by this living reality.

Paradise is not “private”

Lately someone said to me, a bit condescending, “so you’re just creating your private paradise?” No need to tell you it was someone busy with “important things”. This woman triggered shame in me, unworthiness greeted me for a moment, doubt popped up whether what I am doing is too petty or perhaps even too “selfish”. And then I realized that it’s really a paradise I’m co-creating, and all of the shame dropped away instantly. Paradise can never be “private”. On this piece of prosperous land with beauty and foods and diverse life, the very notion of “private” versus “public” dissolves. In paradise, there is no “mine”. A paradise knows no separation. I am breathed by it, my heartbeat becomes one with it. What this garden is doing for me is weaving life together again with all beings around me. A separate “self” is really impossible to trace in this celebration of the inter-being of life. Any need to do some other, more important thing than to be present with this, just falls away.

The revolutionary force of caring for small beings

Every time I see a beautiful garden, I greet it with reverence, as one of the Arches of Noah which can bring the earth and all beings through stormy waters into a world filled with beauty, love and prosperity. What a revolution to allow the so-called “private” to be of such importance in life, to love it and care for it so much. There’s an indescribable sweetness in giving love to the small beings directly in front of your feet. You’re being at one with reality, and there is no need to be seen, to be appreciated by others, because there is no other. There is SEEING, there is KNOWING. In this presence there is no separation. It allows the Big Mother, the Earth, to take back her rightful power. And most wonderful: this change is not just a great idea. It happens breath by breath, and with soil under your fingernails.

Green blessings!

 

there is nothing to do in life
than to swing, day after day,
face dissolved into the blue sky,
dancing curls, drunk with the wind,
belly moves forward
and sinks back
in the flowered dress.
short legs in rubber boots
thrown into the air:
no support
but delight.

Today, I am sharing a place of deep wounding and shame with you, which is, to my great surprise, changing into a place of power. Both, the wounding and the power, are profound, and they are totally interconnected. It feels a bit scary to share these words, and this is precisely why I do it.

In the past, I was reminded quite often that life is hard, that I am dwelling in “pink clouds” and that I should “face reality”. I was ashamed of not being sober enough, and I did my best to be “normal”, coping with the hardness of surviving. Yet, this hardness was just unbearable to me, and I broke again and again when trying to “manage it”. I felt wrong, and full of shame. I did not realize at that time that the people who told me to be “normal” were traumatized, and that their definitions of “real life” and their stress on the struggle for survival were seen from the perspective of trauma. Even less did I understand that I was traumatized myself.

It has taken me many years to breathe through the shame and sense the wisdom of the dissociating child that feels lost in a merciless world. Dissociation has its origin in a profound wounding – when being on earth was unbearable for me, I split from my body, and later sought refuge in the “spiritual” and “artistic”. Beyond shame, I see how precious the impulse is that let me withdraw from the unbearable. My body dismissed me so that my essence would not be destroyed, and let me return when the circumstances for healing and wholeness were given.

When I was a child, I learned that I live in a hard reality where I am separate from everything around me, where love does not exist, unless I deserve it by doing my damned best. And, when I was totally exhausted from doing my best, I discovered that I am still “not good enough” and have to strain every nerve to at least perhaps become a decent human being. The message was: shut up, work and forget about love. There was hardly any calming and nourishing intimacy with other bodies – an abyss of loneliness. The very wisdom of my cells told me to withdraw from this world I could not support to live in. A bodily wisdom so deep and pristine, that it could not be confused by my crucification in hardness and strain.

When I contemplate this now, I am fiercely grateful for my dissociation and the “pink clouds” of my imagination. They protected my intuition for what is true, my passionate desire for love and the explosive power of my despair. And this felt sense of the wisdom of dissociating, this agreement with my soul is what, when time had come, let me take myself from the cross. Let me take care for my wounds, let myself not function and just rest, taking seriously that in a crucified, traumatized state I am severely dysfunctional anyway, though I try so hard to cope with everything. This agreement with my life’s wisdom let rivers of tears flow, let rage do its job and eliminate toxins from my body and surroundings. Saying yes to the dynamics of my soul makes me let go of all tools, let despair circulate and detonate in “not knowing”. It lets me ferociously do nothing, just breathe, slowly letting the body relax. In this relaxation, I am taken by surprise by tenderness that moves through my body, always unexpectedly. It is so subtle and yet so kind and comforting that there are no words to describe it.

It is this indescribable tenderness I missed so much in the crucified state I grew up in. So much, that life didn’t seem worth living and that it let me withdraw. The lacking of this tenderness is the source of dissociation. Feeling its gentle touch now, my body melts, expands and becomes round. The spine is defrosted and begins to dance again, the pelvis is blossoming, and the grid of ice that permeated the body thaws into millions of dew drops which are kissed by the soft morning sun. My hearts bursts in awe, and my arms are lifted in a desire to praise. I sense that I can fly while standing on the earth and surrendering to the gentle pull of its gravity. There are no limits. Embodiment is being the whole earth moving in the endless blue space with the stars and planets. Not less. Anything less is wounding my natural being, my essence.

In this unfathomable tenderness, there is endless space between and in the depth of the atoms. It is this tenderness with her delicate perfume, with her gentle touch and her refreshing breath, that makes me feel that the earth is impregnated with Love. And, o yes, even the “pink clouds” are there! The gentle touch of tenderness at times feels like pink gold.

It is interesting that everything I was ashamed of as “woolly”, everything I thought I have to get rid of in order to become “normal”, reveals itself as totally real and powerful, when embodied. Including the fairy tales, the music, the poems I loved as a child. In the movement of the blood, the dance of the organs and deep in the marrow of my bones, tender whispering tells me that this felt life is Goddess. She changes her form constantly – She is a rose, a drink, a song, a sigh, a tear. Reality is not the fixed thing I was told she was. Reality is so real because she changes her form in every moment. Sometimes she is hard, it’s true, but more often not, and that makes all the difference. Life is saturated with tenderness, and when I feel this, I know without a doubt that Love is real, and that it is immeasurably mighty.

o see the sparkling rejoice
in the sharp sword:
the moment is not plastered,
no instant city rised,
light dances me
without a path to follow,
and lets the secrets of the eons
float through my singing body.

Again and again, I am deeply touched by the fate of women who raise their voice to speak their truth and are been silenced violently. Most of us know how it feels to be ashamed and ridiculed, many are violated sexually, sometimes women are killed for speaking up. Just this week, I read about the cruel murder of Dilma Ferreira Silva, coordinator of the movement against dams in Brazil. She first had to watch her husband and her friend being killed, and then the murderers cut her throat. When I read about this, it felt like this woman was not only murdered physically, but this is an attempt to eradicate her courageous feminine presence even after her death. The violence in this news is so indescribable that something in me splits off in order not to feel. It feels as if my own throat was cut, my voice silenced. Letting me withdraw in anguish, freeze.

I offered my emotional reaction to this news to the Goddess moving me with every breath. The response was immediate: My body felt flooded by Her warmth and tenderness. Fearful contractions were touched gently. I laid my head against Her breasts and let the tears flow.

Her Voice and Touch

She whispered into my ear: Whatever happens to you, daughter, whatever happens to any of you, you can always be caressed back into life. In Her presence I felt deeply that healing is fully possible. Healing happens whenever I let go of any shame about my emotional responses and also of any agenda or pressure of time. Healing takes as long as it takes, sometimes it happens instantaneously, sometimes it takes decennia’s. Yes, She said, no need to hesitate, daughter, and no need to haste towards me. I’m here, always. With Her mighty, vibrant presence she let me feel when I let the healing She offered be interrupted by patriarchal mental patterns of linear time, goal-orientation and doubting or analyzing what presents itself. The Goddess reminds me I don’t need to know anything. Just allow to be held by her.

A Vision in the Desert

And then I saw: I saw an endless procession of women walking through a desert silently. They looked exhausted, their eyes were empty and their heads bent to the ground. Many of them carried traces of violence. Their appearance was deprived of color. But they kept walking, and constantly there were new women showing up on the horizon. As the women kept walking together, their hearts began to be breathed again. What at first seemed to be a mirage fabricated by the heat in the desert, became visible and tangible as a pulsation moving through all of the hearts, and I watched them slowly being restored into their radiance. Once the hearts were moving, a collective contraction let go into the ground. And in this movement their wombs were restored, flowering in their dancing bellies. Now a wave of joy moved through the women, and as their hearts widened the tension in their faces melted and their eyes began to sparkle. They began to talk and sing with unstruck voices, and their spines were recalibrated, dancing with freedom and precision between the heaven and the earth. Their hair was flowing again, and they were walking fiercely upright.

Fertility restored

As this all happened, I saw green grass sprout in the desert. Then flowers opened. Trees began to grow, there were birds, bees and butterflies. The return of the fertility of the earth happened in amazing synchronicity with the return of life and wholeness in the women’s bodies. The parade ended at long tables with beautiful food on a lush meadow, and participating in this feast there also were many men and children.

Rising together

Dear sisters, I feel all of this is happening in each of us and together. When emotional trauma is moving out of the body in a moment of grace and wholeness restores itself, the heart is fully alive and there is absolute trust in what is happening. In such a moment  I feel with certainty that this healing is not only happening to me, but to all of those before me, those to come and to the earth. And I am so full of it that I couldn’t possibly silence myself in that moment. Everything that wants to be felt is felt, what wants to be said is said.

I am so grateful to know that there are many of you, sisters, some closer, some further away. While we see uttermost violence and destruction around us, we are returning. We are letting the Goddess restore our bodies, our hearts. And I bow to you for any moment of healing of your soul that sustains me in my true being, too.

I commit to letting go of more and more shame and doubt.  Whatever has happened to us before and is happening now, the Goddess is ready to caress us, always and as long as it takes to fully feel her loving presence. In her embrace, nothing can stop us to rise again and again.

Rest in peace, Dilma Ferreira Silva. I am ready to feel you rise again, sister.

What is most important in my life is to keep falling back into the heart, and to let the wholeness and holiness of life on earth restore itself. The last months I realized that one of the greatest hindrances in myself and around me, stopping the natural movement of the heart towards wholeness, is cynicism. Cynicism imprisons us in doubt and distrust, maintains the system and keeps us from allowing a life instead of making a living.

Here I share my letter to cynicism with you:

“Dear cynicism

We have now been together for four decennia’s. Your job has been to comment on my actions with scornful negativity in order to warn me that what I am doing might not be in favor of my survival. The effect of your voice was that everything kept falling out of my hands and I was left bereaved of belonging to the world, full of sadness and with a feeling of powerlessness.

Our distrust of my integrity, of any sign of passion and awe, swiped away the force, even the possibility of love with one stroke. You have always been with me, a shadow walking in front of me while I felt lacking and lonely. Yes, with your help I did try to fit into the society, into the system, in order to survive in this cold world. And while I tried, your distrust formed a bumper, a grey zone between “me” and “the world”, constantly stopping me and keeping me in my own frozen form.

You were telling me that I have to spend my time thinking of good strategies how to “make it” in this world, because only as “someone” with a position I would be able to survive. You told me that the “small things” happening in and around this body do not matter, that it is ridiculous to even give attention to what is close. It distracts from the “big lines”, you said. Your advice was totally confusing to my natural functioning, but you had already won when I hesitated. In the glimpse of an eye I had withdrawn from the world and was moving in a grey cloud of duty, struggle and fear. And from time to time I comforted myself with the luxury available in our society in order to keep it functioning – nice clothes, information packed in books and films, luxury food, wellness.

I see now how your mentality was not only constantly killing the light of love in myself, but that it’s the same mentality that kills life on our planet. I see you all around me in people struggling and doubting, not realizing the love in their own hearts, not believing that there is a less destructive way to live, and not giving themselves the space to experiment, to do things that perhaps will work and perhaps not.

Sure, dear cynicism, you may still speak, but with this letter I end our contract. I know that, even if you yourself would not belief this, your voice wanted to protect me in a dangerous, hostile world. I thank you for this. Even if you don’t trust your deepest motifs, I do. This is part of ending our contract.

I now understand that the arising of your hoarse, pressed voice is a good sign for me. Because when you speak loudly I can be sure that I am acting in a way that threatens your authority. You remember, last summer I was foraging wild herbs. I could buy the same herbs quite cheaply in the health store. You told me that what I am doing is absurd: Who am I to think that I have the luxury of so much time? I should better give my time to a job that lets me earn good money, so I could buy the herbs and not get into financial problems. But when I collected herbs, I felt bounty and gratefulness, and I was not afraid of possible financial problems in the future.

When you realized I’m immune to the economic argument, you came with the next blow: You don’t know anything about herbs. You’re just playing, how ridiculous. O yes. I have a strong conviction that I should be an expert in order to have the right to do something. This conviction kills curiosity, playing and spontaneous learning, and the sense of joy coming with it. It’s this very joy that let me laugh, then. The creative force of the cosmos is no expert, I said, it’s also just learning by doing.

When I collect herbs I feel their vibration in my hands, I smell them. I feel the wind, the sunshine, the earth under my feet, the atmosphere of the land. I hear the birds sing. When I dry the herbs, they infuse my home with their perfume. When I drink herbal tea I am becoming the land and the land is becoming me. I’m whole. IT is whole. I’m so sorry you can’t experience this.

When I feel the beauty and bounty of this earth, I simply want to express my devotion to this miracle. I feel that I belong and that there is enough of everything. I have no strategy. Nothing is too small, too trivial to receive love through my heart and hands. I feel the power flowing through me to let the most profane, the most tiny, be of infinite importance, the power of life itself. I feel that I am connected to the heartbeat of life, the heartbeat of the earth, and there’s nothing more precious and powerful than this. All the power I dreamed of in my strategic co-creation with you is nothing against this stream of love flowing through me.

With thanks for your endeavor and with great relief,
Martina”