Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground
One of my favorite ecstatic poets whose writing touches my soul, reached out to me a while back at a kirtan with Suzanne Sterling and friends. This was a portion of what turned out to be a beyond belief (literally) weekend in which over and over, I was called on to surrender what no longer served or impeded growth and love and to call in what I most desire in all areas of life.
It began when, along with 12 or so other WWWW (Wise Wild Wonderful Woman), I sat in circle, offering music, drumming, words, fire and intention at our monthly full moon Goddess gathering. I have known many of the participants for several years and some are new to my life. All are powerful in their own right . In their presence, I feel creatively inspired. When we parted company until the next month, having also indulged in decadent delights, including sushi and chocolate (two of my favorite food groups:) I allowed the car to take me home on auto pilot.
The next day, I attended a workshop offered by Dr. Darren Weissman, who is based in the Chicago area, who spoke on one of my favorite subjects….Infinite Love and Gratitude. He came upon the realization of the healing property of those words, along with the sign language symbol for “I Love You” and uses them as mantra and mudra combined.
Darren describes how those three concepts coalesce:
Infinite means “the universe” or “the collective conscious,” which has no beginning or end.
- Love is the universal power that propels life, fueling your will and enabling you to face and overcome challenges.
- Gratitude empowers you to go through life without judgment. You see the value of any experience (even situations you may have once perceived as “bad”) as an opportunity, rather than being a victim of circumstance
Part of the admission price for the workshop included a copy of his book, entitled The Power of Infinite Love & Gratitude. By the time I got there, the copies had been allocated and I was told that I would receive mine in the mail, unless someone didn’t show up who had ordered a copy. At that moment, I had set intention for leaving there with a book and then I set aside the thought and enjoyed the workshop, allowing for doing some compassionate healing work for myself through the use of what Darren calls The Lifeline Technique™ into which he incorporates the I, L & G concept. The idea is offer that energy to yourself, another, the planet…. and also to the parts of ourselves that we may have disenfranchised, such as reciting “infinite love and gratitude to the part of me that fears loving and losing again.”
At the close of the workshop, a drawing was held to win a DVD series that introduces the work, a $500 value. “Pretty cool, I thought…I would love to have that to further my exploration into these ideas that I had begun to use with my patients and myself.” Like the other people in the room, I put my slip into the basket and then walked out into the lobby to talk to someone. A moment, later, Darren asked, “Is Edie still here?” Guess who won?
Another cosmic coincidence…while there, I was talking about my friend Lisa Balter whom I hadn’t seen in months. She lives not far from where I was. A short while later, I stopped at Whole Foods and who should be behind me in the checkout line?
So, back to the kirtan…. what drew me there to enjoy the rockingly angelic voice of yoga teacher, kirtan artist, Suzanne Sterling was my friend Brittany who, along with Seane Corn and Hala Khouri and other devoted volunteers traveled to Cambodia to do Seva (service work) with the organization called Off The Mat Into The World. I had gone to Brittany’s home recently and she mentioned that this spiritual song-bird would be coming to the area. I felt inexorably drawn to hear her, and with 25 or so others, to sing and dance along with her. Talk about ecstasy! She opened with encouraging us on this evening of the full moon to release whatever it was from which we chose to unburden ourselves and welcome in our heart’s desires….sensing a theme here? The Goddesses Kali and Durga are about wiping clean all that no longer serves as well as fierce love and compassion and the first chant honored them. Once the room was sufficiently swept clean of those energies, we invoked the names of Sita and Ram, emanations of the Divine feminine and Divine masculine as means of allowing love in.
The evening ebbed and flowed with soft sweetness and intensely powerful movement. I found myself enraptured, getting lost in the sound and feeling reverberation that seemed to burrow into my chest. Swaying, reaching skyward, undulating, stretching, curling inward, I was danced by the music, such was the call to surrender. At the end, I found myself feeling as if I was, as I have heard it said, “drenched in the nectar of the Divine.’” and then Suzanne sang the words to the poem that began this story. I felt the tears come, without conscious invitation, but arriving even so.
On this weekend of a full moon; “auspicious” is what Suzanne called it, the Gods and Goddesses were properly honored, whether it was in the living room of a friend, a holistic center or yoga studio or under a starry sky as the gusting wind blew me to my car and carried my heart into the heavens.