Finding my thing
Most of my friends seem to have a "thing." Something essential to them, a quality or interest, where you could ask the question "who are you?" and one word would tell you a lot, a quality or interest that it's hard to imagine them without: nature, psychology, healing, anti-oppression, animals, whatever. I don't know how others see me, if I have such a "thing." Today I feel like I have such a thing but it's been hidden so long because it's been so inaccessible, and that's alternative education, learning communities, caring for children, creating safe spaces. Okay, that's still too many words. I'll put it into one: children.

I haven't come into my fullness there because society makes education so difficult for those that don't want to get conventional credentials and teach at a conventional school, and society makes it even harder for people who are trans, so the idea of working with the Atlanta Pride School, which is both a democratic free school model and an LGBTQ affirming space, founded by a trans man, pretty much thrills me. Like I found my "thing," and now that it's starting to manifest in my life, maybe others will be able to point to it and say, "That's Lily."

I went to their potluck today and it was one of the scariest things I've done in a long time because I so want this to work out; it was kind of like going for an interview for a dream job. Oh, and they're planning to pay teachers $30,000-$40,000 a year. At first I felt really sensitive to some of the things that were said, by some of the people that were there, but they were not people I'd expect to be involved in the day-to-day school, just... fiscal supporters and such. One cis guy in particular took up a lot of space at the beginning, though in general I think those who were problematic were mostly people who don't plan to be actively involved in the school on the ground, but are just supporters of the concept. Things were said that sort of created a dichotomy between queer and "normal," things that kind of call attention to queerness in a way that makes it an issue (like, the easiest sort of thing that comes to mind, "he wears skirts but.") That kind of subtle language thing that sticks out to me like a sore thumb. This was an informal meeting for supporters and really no indication of what the school will look like (and so so many conversations about safe space and gender and all those things are bound to happen). I have hope (and I'm a little scared, just because it means so much to me) for the school itself being a community I can support and will help fill a hole in me that's been there for such a long time.

I told Christian I had a vision of my purpose, playing violin and speaking languages and teaching in a setting where I could be exactly who I was and the children could be exactly who they were and we could all just be ourselves. And he said excitedly, "You were in my dream!" That's exactly what this is, and he said it's like having a whole new family. There's another aspect of my vision that I forgot about: not only had I started a school, I was wandering around the world, helping to start schools and structures for belonging all over the land, traveling with some of my favourite people. Today Christian talked about Atlanta Pride School as a model that others can use and start schools anywhere, and there's such a need for this kind of school though there are actually pretty close to zero schools like this in the entire country. What if I did travel and helped to start schools like this all over the place? That *would* change the world.

The only other thing I can think to say right now is, in Asheville, I started to remember the AERO conference, and this clove-smoking girl who taught at an alternative school in North Carolina or Florida (I don't remember which though at the time I was thinking for sure it was NC) and who I never talked to, but in the vision, and I can't figure out how much of this actually happened, she was sort of watching me me, observing me, from a distance having this melty effect on me I couldn't explain. I imagined her hiding behind corners of brick buildings, watching me, and in the vision she was goddess seeking me. I remembered Ron Miller telling me, a certain person was looking for me, and I was sure it was her. All I know is that the role she plays in my psyche is powerful; she's that fae teacher who's passion is children and who gets to just be herself. After today, I'm really interested in going to the AERO conference again, representing Atlanta Pride School.

Afterwards I tried to go to Charis Books with Cosma but it was closed. We had some good discussions, processing the potluck, and Cosma talked about wanting to get some mental health stuff taken care of, and not having a diagnosis but thinking that a bipolar diagnosis probably fits. I gave her some of the over the counter lithium orotate I bought, and since it's supposed to be such a great mood stabilizer (I don't know because I started taking it in conjunction with something else), it might be a good tool for self-diagnosis. If the lithium helps a lot, it might be a good idea to think about getting a diagnosis. I'm curious how it affects her.

It's been a long, good weekend. I'm really tired and worn out right now. Christian actually suggested self-care because it is a lot to take in, especially when it's so close to my heart. I think I might feel like watching avatar.

Yeeeeeah, I'm magical like that
OMG I'm so fucking excited right now! Right now I kind of feel like this was one of the best nights in my life, a turning point night, a night where Dar Williams' words: "If we're lucky we feel our lives, know when the next scene arrives, sometimes we start in the middle and work our way out," just fits, like this is the time I've been waiting for, this *is* my nexus. I love how easily I learn things. How I can ask questions about myself and run into internal dilemmas and then somehow just find my way to the answers, to the way out of whatever dilemma I'm in, run into unsolvable problems that I solve in 26 hours flat, that kind of thing. Intrapersonal intelligence. I learn fast. LJ Wooden always appreciated that about me, how they would help me realize something about myself and how unlike so many I'd actually put it into practice and come out a few months later really transformed.

Sometimes I think I have a hell of a lot of it, sometimes I think I don't because certain things really do take years and years to figure out, and I feel like I get consistently stuck in the same patterns. Like the fact that I need a warmup. I really have a capacity to get hella inspired and enthusiastic about things (and that's soooo where I am now) but socially that takes a lot of warming up for me, a lot of the time, and a party with a lot of amazing people is one way to do it. Whitewater rafting is one way to do it. Until *something* warms me up my brain just works slowly, it doesn't get stimulated socially, I don't know if that's an ADD thing, it kind of seems like it. As soon as I start warming up (which summer camp does for me) the part of me that I love starts coming out, and that's what happened to me tonight. Just after I was kind of feeling like it was impossible to reach this true self that I thought was me, but was so hard to reach so maybe it was just an illusion and I was just this flat, dull, uninspired person... I now remember that, yes, I am the kind of person who gets excited, I just haven't had a whole lot to warm me up lately.

Like my interactions with James have almost always come at a time when I haven't had a whole lot of warmup, or time to play and try things out, and last night I felt my inhibitions and blocks in a painful way. So I decided I had to do something about it, I had to let myself warm up, so I let my body move and let myself be more emotionally vulnerable than I usually do. So I haven't been able to be my uninhibited self or broken through the shyness with zir. But now I'm sure that will come with time. We can negotiate those kinds of experiences that will nourish us both. We talked about maybe doing a mini-golf thing sometime which is definitely something that warms me up. :) The more consistent time I spend with somebody, the more I warm up; and I am now confident that this friendship will grow, slowly, in the way I'd like it to, though yesterday that was feeling kind of up in the air for me. Also the more social I allow myself to be, the more my brain stays in that primed kind of state, and that's going to be really important to my healing. James suggested that I do something social twice a week and at first the social anxiety terrified of reaching out for an intentional hangout kind of terrified me me but more and more it's seeming possible.

I love Atlanta. I'm so glad I'm here, and though I've been here four months, it's getting harder and harder to imagine leaving for somewhere else. I'm so grateful right now, and grateful for how this medication is letting me do things with my life that I couldn't have imagined -- like, tonight normally wouldn't have been possible. I left the party around 11:30, so I was there a good four and a half hours, and though I could have stayed longer and have been totally cool, it just felt like the right time to leave. I'd saturated enough and had gotten what I needed to out of the evening so I came back to write and wonder.

I realized this about myself on the drive home: the issue of wearing a mask, I think it's a mental thing, and I try to think my way out of it, or force my way out of it, but it's really more of an energetic issue than I think. The core of it is right in my core, right in through my navel, and I feel that area so strongly now, releasing parts of the mask, which have a lot to do with childhood abuse and trauma and expectation of future trauma; inability to see the world sometimes as but a traumatic place, and a part of my healing is to begin to find hope. To start seeing the incredible patterns in things and the hope for the world, and if I ever need help in that arena, I will remind myself to talk to Cosma.

Cosma is becoming such a closer friend and I'm so glad they're back in Atlanta! Tonight we laughed as we told others the story of how we met. They are just an incredible source of inspiration for me. Cosma asked to give me a hug at one point while we were sitting by the campfire and it was a really gentle sweet hug that I really needed and that really helped balance my energy system. I told them about my goal of making social plans at least twice a week and they told me they were really open and didn't like to make plans usually because sometimes pain will lead them to cancel last minute, and I told them I was okay with last minute changes. They said they want to hang out more. We're planning a trip to Savannah and to the beach in the summer when it's really smoltering.

We started talking about near-future technology, and how information and our capacity to do things with information is growing so exponentially, and how we're kind of at the curvy part of a hockey stick where all of a sudden there's nowhere to go but healing. If I remember my math I think it's called an asymptote. That's basically so much of our fascinating road trip conversations between Detroit and Boston, talking about the world and all the amazing things Cosma knows about how the world is changing way behind the scenes, way under the radar of even those in power. The capacity of virtual reality for healing and the so many things that have been done and are being worked on right now. Cosma just knows so much about so many different aspects of this stuff that I can't help but feel so grateful to be alive right now. While we were talking, I had this knowing, I told them I felt like I'm here on this planet to sit back and watch this transformation happen and fucking enjoy it because it's *gonna* happen. And we just looked at each other with such wonder and awe in our eyes and laughed and ... it was a sacred moment of connection. We're the ones we've been waiting for, did we ever think it would happen? Now I'm listening to Aloha Ke Akua by Nahko Bear which is just this phenomenal song:

"The more I understand about the human race, the less I comprehend about our purpose and place and maybe if there was a clearer line the curiosity would satisfy. Time based prophesies have kept me from living, in the moment I am struggling to trust the divinity. Of all the gods. And what the hell they have planned for us. I cry for the creatures who get left behind. But everything will change in the blink of an eye." AND THAT'S FUCKING IT! I didn't get it before, oh my God. Yeah, maybe we'll lose dolphins, I don't know what we'll lose, and it's tragic but I know it, everything will change in a blink of an eye and we'll be like, whoa, the world has changed, how did that happen? It's so beautiful and I'd lost faith in that beauty." Later in the song -- this is so perfect and I never really understood the song before, but, I just told Cosma, "You give me that clearer line, my friend <3 <3 <3". It's what I've sensed all along but it was so hard to believe in it, but it's becoming easier, becoming more *natural*. Later in the song they sing -- so fucking genius -- "And what is the porpose, what is the porpose. And would you believe it, would you believe it. If you knew what for you were for, and how you became so informed, bodies of info performing such miracles, I am a miracle made up of particles. And n this existence. I'll stay persistent, and I'll make a difference, and I will have lived it."

I think it's how I always imagined it would happen. Information will change the world and in the blink of an eye medicine will be transformed, education will be transformed, the media will be transformed, our political systems will be transformed, we'll finally catch up to the technology and the possibilities that are out there. So much is happening in information and technology that even if there is some core command of this oppressive power structure, even they cannot keep up with all this information, which is light years ahead of the practical applications and the realities we're seeing in our lives, eventually the technology applications *will* catch up and amazing things will be possible that Cosma is really confident are a very good thing, a healing thing, for our planet. And I hope we don't lose dolphins or tigers before it happens. But this song is like, my new faith, it's been so long since I've had faith in anything really and now I feel like I have faith again: "And what is the porpoise, what is the purpose. And would you believe it, would you believe it. If you knew what for you were for, and how you became so informed, bodies of info performing such miracles, I am a miracle made up of particles. And in this existence. I'll stay persistent, and I'll make a difference, and I will have lived it."

Bodies of info, that's what's going to change the world, that's what I believe in. I believe in love and I believe in the goodness of human nature and I believe we all have the capacity for transformation and healing and the world has a capacity for healing and transformation. I believe in redemption. It's been a long time since I've had a grounded faith and I'm finding it. I also, really believe in the Kali Yuga. I believe in Atlantis, I think, and I don't know if it's a place that existed in the past or a remembering of our inevitable future (not the sinking, but the culture and the technology). I believe we all knew we were goddesses and gods and divinities roaming the world and this was once the state of things but we forgot the goddess and we entered into a long age of oppression that Hindus call Kali Yuga. We will cycle out of this painful age and we will remember the goddess and healing society will be possible again and we *will* build Atlantis. I don't know how long it will take, but looking at the arc of history, we are at a nexus, and it's so hard to imagine what the world will look like 500 years because sadly we don't imagine surviving so long. But what if we did?

There is cloud medicine, or I don't know what it's called exactly, where people on one part of the planet can write a program with biological variables asking a question that they're interested in, and send that to a computerized lab half-way around the world will run experiments to answer the question. If that's possible, and even happening now, and it only scratches the surface of what technology now is capable of, it *will* all change in a blink of an eye. I think finally there's such an explosion in information that if we can keep ourselves from destroying the planet and making ourselves extinct first, it's *going* to change society, the practical applications *are* going to catch up, for example, labs and so much is going to be mechanized which will eventually transform the whole concept of work as we know it and... we've already discovered the most destructive technology, but it's information that's going to save us, information will help us do things better and better so that finally we're at a place where the world is beginning to heal from centuries or millennia of trauma.

Healing is inevitable if we can survive, and hopefully with as many species and as much biodiversity intact as possible. Even one tiny piece of that like psychedelic research for trauma and mental illness has the capacity to completely transform the way we do things and experience things. I was talking about feeling like we're in a nexus, I'm in a nexus, which we talked about at the pagan meetup recently, and Cosma said it's interesting I say that because there's actually a series of books called Nexus which is hard science fiction about potential near futures of the world which, I guess, I'm really interested in. It's what's going to give me hope again. I always forget how interested I'm in that because, well, I have a history of being a sort of primitivist and feeling like technology generally is destructive and we use its applications for war and domination. I stopped studying physics because I was so pissed off with how its applications are mostly used by the military (well, that's not the only reason).

But Facebook, it can be used in all sorts of ways but I think it's had an overall huge positive effect on the world which will only continue to mushroom as all these synapses connect. And that's just one tiny piece of this huge new world emerging, like the universe is a brain and all the neural networks are finally coming together and we're about to explode into new consciousness. And yeah, THIS is something I'm excited about, that I wouldn't let myself get excited about because I still have this old paradigm idea of technology as part of the military-industrial-prison complex, which it is, but also more and more with the way everything is exploding, technology is actually healing, it can't help but be, because we're getting to that critical point where this current system just cannot hold. I was kind of disappointed that I lost my interest in technology because when I was really little that used to give me so much hope for the future and when I realized all the bad things science *does* I was kind of heartbroken. Now I think I'm getting back an old piece of me, a part that can be excited about the future of the world again in the way I was when I was a kid.

I'm so excited, about so many things, and I think I know where my passion went. There was a hopelessness about the world, that came out of trauma, but it was a collective trauma. It was the trauma of my past along with the trauma of this collective hopelessness about the future of the world, which I soak up empathically to transmute for healing. As a healer, that's what I do: I feel all the shit so I can transmute it for the wellbeing of everyone. Normally I think I would be excited but up in space in a way that ultimately wouldn't be good for me but I am so grounded in my excitement. I haven't lost my creativity or my passion due to this medication (I was so scared that it would do that to me, especially after talking to James last night). I've just become more grounded in my expression of it. Tonight I realize that I really can be fully alive in the midst of the world. And, if I couldn't be hopeful about the future of the world, it was really hard to heal in certain ways. I just posed the question last night about my capacity for excitement and emotional intensity and passion and I have my answer in a way I never would have expected to find one. I have my answer to so many things tonight. I haven't prayed over the last day, at least not knowingly, but I feel like all the answers to my prayers are coming.

It was a good party. And I have a big weekend ahead of me. Tomorrow is GAY-JU Queer Spa Day, where really low cost spa (steam baths and all that) and massage and everything is available for like, $10, as a fundraiser for the Theater of the Oppressed training that's coming up in June which I've also decided to register for. It's a 5-day training in downtown Atlanta, a complete sliding scale from $0-100 for the whole five day event, and... it's an opportunity to get involved in theatre again! It's a Theatre of the Oppressed facilitator training so not only will I get to immerse myself in TOTO, I'll get to learn to facilitate it -- and to be a facilitator of anything theatre related is something that I never really thought would happen to me! That's in June so that's one really big thing I'm looking forward to.

And then, Sunday. Cosma just told me about a brunch for people interested in volunteering with Pride School Atlanta!!!!!!

So, I heard on the local public radio station an hour long segment about Pride School Atlanta, a free school that's starting up that is open to everyone but it is queer and trans affirming, and will probably be attended by mostly queer and trans kids. There are very few schools like that in the entire country and one of them is starting in Atlanta. It's a free school. I've been really interested in free school philosophy and even helped to start a free school in Worcester but I got so disappointed by the lack of oppression consciousness of these schools. And, with queer and trans kids being the focus of this school, there is at least some oppression awareness in the very makeup. I want to see if I can get involved and to make this school as oppression aware as it can possibly be. Not only that, with my business maybe I can work something out where they share about us and we donate 10% of our profits to helping them succeed. I mean, everything falling together? This is wow. This is what I've always wanted to DO but I've always felt like, I didn't want to move somewhere just because there was an alternative school there and now... exactly what I want is right here. Maybe I'll get to work with kids, with queer and trans kids, as I've always dreamed! Maybe my dreams are coming true!

Also, Kate works at the Atlanta International School and told me that they're open to volunteers in their after school program, and that the people they work with are cool, accepting, to the extent like they'll put in 70% effort into getting pronouns right and everything, and they're open to trans people working there and... my life feels so exciting now, I can't believe it!

Then Clyde told me about a new dog walking job they got and is going to send me the info about how I could maybe get a job, too. I've been wanting to work with animals! Animals, children, getting into Theatre of the Oppressed, I mean, this is so much good. I like Clyde, they remind me a lot of Greta. We spent a good amount of time chatting and they were really easy to get along with. I invited them to the Border Pagans event and they were really interested, happen to be a 4th-generation pagan

Another highlight of the night was meeting L, a trans girl from Mexico who I danced with and had so much fun dancing with I might invite them to come over sometime to dance with me (now that James has told me there is a speaker system in the living room, which I had thought was just a CD player!) She is just, adorable. She moved from Mexico about a year ago for a legal sort of job and then that job ended and now they no longer have a Visa to live in the States but they have a lawyer and are looking for asylum. Because it's impossible to be trans in Mexico, she said, without bad things happening, unless you live in this really rich LGBTQ area of Mexico City which is just like one neighborhood and is too expensive to live anyway. We talked about me maybe getting some Spanish transcription/translation work for her to do because she can no longer legally work in this country, but... I know a way around it. It might not be legal but the chances of anyone finding out about it are pretty much nil. I'll hire them as an independent contractor, and to be safe send the money to their family in Mexico, so that I can say I'm hiring a Mexican independent contractor. There is nothing legally stopping me from hiring a Mexican as an independent contractor as long as they are not illegally living in the US which, since I'm sending their checks to Mexico, first of all, the IRS never has to find out about. I'm excited about using my business potentially in that way. We talked about video games and they're just getting into programming and gah, I have such a crush on her. And I'm really lucky once again that the one I happen to have a crush on is the one who actually did want to spend a lot of time with me through the night, who danced with me while I spoke Spanish with them which was AMAZING I LOVE LANGUAGES OMG YAY.

Just this morning I wrote on Facebook how I tried to dance by myself and felt so self-conscious and the same night I'm dancing with this cute-and-sweet as hell Mexican trans girl who... really doesn't have many friends here or know anybody, and are so open to connecting. I mean, they were really really excited about having driven 2 hours to come to this party and finally getting a chance to socialize and I'm so happy they spent such a good amount of time with me. She talked about how she wasn't that good at French and then she said something about dancing in French about dancing I think and it just made my heart melt unexpectedly like, whooooooa you speaking French is so adorable and sexy and damn caught me totally by surprise in a good way, she almost had me on the floor. Then I asked what her favourite French movie was and she said this is going to sound cliche but... and then came Amelie and it was a squee moment. OMG I love her. She lives about an hour from here, which for me really isn't so far to see a friend, and I really want to make time to hang out with her. She seems to have all the time in the world. When I hugged her goodbye she winked and pointed and said, "Well, I've got your number and you've got mine." Seriously, MELT.

So that's where I am right now. So much hope, finally, of my life going in a direction that absolutely thrills me. Of setting goals for myself. Of being excited about life. I keep thinking about this off and on but I want to write about it because it keeps slipping my mind apparently. As well as facilitating TOTO, I want to facilitate Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects. I'd like to perhaps change things slightly and lead them my way, with more awareness of intersectionality, but I think going through training to facilitate that kind of workshop is like a perfect goal for me. It's not so challenging as to be overwhelming right now (like going through Shalom process training might be) but it's challenging enough and it's got enough juice to it that it feels really right. And it's the kind of healing that I want to do right now. I want to reconnect. I want to rekindle my hope in what she calls the Great Turning, in what Charles Eisenstein calls "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible."

To add to all the synchronicities and all the answered prayers, I got a message from LJ while I was at the party. (It's so weird to have a mentor named LJ and to write on LJ.)

So, this morning I wrote about feeling self conscious about dancing alone, and LJ tells me:

"Hi Lily. Just read your message about dancing. Come to my new retreat in Canada "shadow"- or waking eros! Where the heck r u anyways? And, I thought u wanted to do Skype sessions... Loving you."

LJ hasn't been good at following through with the Skype sessions thing, I didn't think it was going to happen, but LJ is my mentor, LJ is the reason I am who I am and not who I was three years ago, LJ is the reason I'm out as trans, LJ is so much to me. LJ really must stand for Little Jesus because that's the effect they have on me. Anyway, last night James was suggesting that a goal I could set for myself might be to do some kind of therapy work since I'm working through a lot of trauma, and... I've always wanted to do Skype sessions with LJ, and absolutely the PERFECT opportunity for therapy has arisen within 24 hours and I'm kind of...

the universe has given me every fucking thing I've been wanting for ever in just one day.

I really did find my life purpose in Asheville. I was just so devastated afterwards because I had these visions of starting a school and playing world-redeeming songs on violin and of an emerging world where we're finally focusing our collective energy on healing and awe and wonder and creating and... I was really starting to think all of that was a pipe dream. but now it's happening. I started researching education and I couldn't find any opportunities to get involved in a way that worked for me and I felt like the dream I've always had of being a teacher in an alternative anti-oppression school was just never going to happen. I felt like that was sort of my life purpose but it was impossible and I so didn't have the energy to put into it or know where to begin and... now it's falling into my hands. So much of what I dreamed about is actually happening. It's like I saw the future.

I have been wanting to get involved in education again, so badly. This is what I was meant to do. I used to have such big dreams about education but I lost those too. So I'm so excited about this volunteer lunch. I mean, what the fuck is happening to me? This is my passion, this is what I love in so many ways, what I didn't think was possible for me anymore, and the possibility of LIVING that dream is right here in Atlanta! How could I have asked for anything more perfect than that?

What nourishes me in friendship
Spending time alone together. Comfort in silence. Comfort in doing nothing. I really enjoy sharing physical space in silence with people I love, doing my own thing while taking in the presence and energy of others, not feeling pushed to do anything in particular or be anything but what I am, and letting you be exactly what you are, though the suggestion to do something might come up and we might choose to follow through with it. I may be reading a book and you may be sewing or just sitting there, but if we're in the same room, and we occasionally share a few words and a laugh or whatever, and maybe once in a while process our emotions together, that's a really awesome time for me.

Self-care. It's so nourishing for me to be able to trust that you are not going to end up resenting me because you were not taking care of yourself. That's where a lot of my anxiety in relationships comes from -- I get absolutely terrified of that, really. It drains me to be on edge and to have you expect things of me that you're not telling me you're expecting. It's important that you can clearly articulate what your needs and wants are, as far as our relationship is concerned, and that you will *not* do something to yourself and end up resenting me for it. It's important that you can say no when you mean no, and that your yes really means yes.

Initiative. Inviting me. Nudging me. Initiating conversations. Initiating plans. Telling me what you want. Not being afraid to bother me. Choosing to be vulnerable. Taking an active role in the course of our friendship.

Talking about our friendship. Talking about our friendship, what it means to us, where we want to go with it, etc., is really nourishing to me, and also shows initiative.

Emotional/spiritual processing. I love talking about and exploring how we're doing emotionally, what's going on for us internally, sort of just being mindful of our experience and sharing whatever comes up for us, and then offering impressions/feedback, and going with the flow of what comes up for us.

Nourishing others. I love caregiving, taking care of people when they're sick, giving people a safe physical space when they need it, offering my time/attention and whatever gifts I have to offer in a nourishing way. I like being hospitable and sharing a sort of soft mothering quality -- pretty much what Sinead O'Connor sings in This is to Mother You. I also just love seeing that I am nourishing others, in whatever way; that gives my life purpose, and that can bring tears to my eyes.

Play and exploration. I like spontaneous play and exploration, of places, of new things or games or experiences that maybe neither of us has tried, going out into the woods and just fencing with sticks or playing hide and seek, laughing a hell of a lot and being really silly, acting like kids. Being able to be childlike and to be un-self-conscious while being extremely silly in ways that don't even make sense is hugely nourishing.

Cuddling, touching, loving eye contact, affection. I don't think much needs to be said about that.

Surprises and spontaneous adventures. Going to the beach or whitewater rafting or a road trip where we spend significant time together and get to see each other through a lot of different things and getting to help each other through stuck places and generally sharing a whole experience together.

Letting me know how I've influenced you. I love feeling like I have a presence in the lives of people I care about even when I'm not around. I feel nourished when you tell me you've been thinking of me, or that something you did or spent a lot of time thinking about or wrote about was inspired by me, or sharing memories with me that still nourish you, or that I've changed the entire course of your life. That sort of thing.

Creating together. For me this is broadly choosing to do some kind of project, any kind of project, or making a plan to do something together, setting shared goals, and working together as a team. Learning a language together has been a *huge* connecting and nourishing thing for me. It is also creating intentionality: mutually choosing intentions for a relationship and goals and a shared excitement about checking in and offering feedback and processing.

Sharing nature. Another self-explanatory one, I think. Sharing experiences of nature, especially with water involved, really nourishes me.

Being asked questions and being heard. I love being asked questions that take interest in my life and who I am. Sometimes I really adore those really personal, really scary questions that give me butterflies in my stomach like admitting to a middle school crush. I love when people listen to my answers wherever they go and get appreciate those answers. What I don't like and what immediately shuts me down is when I feel a sort of judgment about the way I think or process things.

Sharing my writing and my dreams. I feel nourished by a mutual sharing of writing as on Live Journal and discussions and deeper discussions and reflections of that writing. With friends who I resonate with spiritually, and have a certain level of intimacy with, sharing and exploring and processing my dreams and sharing my insights and process of understanding myself better through them is really meaningful to me. I love sharing the process of mining the psyche and the soul with another.

Telling my story and hearing the story of others. It's important to me to be able to share my life story or parts of it in an emotionally vulnerable way with all the questions and mysteries that come along with it. It's nourishing for me to hear another tell their life story with emotional vulnerability. I especially love telling my story while cuddled up in someone's arms.

Showing gratitude and excitement. This didn't cross my mind at first, but after having some exchanges with my new friend Johan, who I'm pretty much crushing on (don't tell him that, hope he doesn't read because I just mentioned this post to him!), I realized that these are like, things that open my heart the most. When people get excited about little things, it nourishes me deeply. Just this exuberance and OMG sort of excitement. Like, I mentioned a possible whitewater rafting and camping trip I was wanting to organize with awesome local people I know and Johan was like: "!!! First of all thank you for thinking I'm awesome, omg? you're awesome, too? secondly, yeah totally! Let me know when you know more, like, details and it's on!" <---- That. That is the kind of thing that just fucking opens my heart, gah!

(no subject)
Life is intense. It's going in wild directions, I can just feel it. Last night at a pagan meetup we talked about nexus, or those points in your life when it's sort of like a marble is rolling in a straight line and then it hits a bump -- chaos theory, the butterfly effect, that marble could then end up going anywhere, and a new pattern emerges. Something is going on beneath the surface. Something really big is going to change in my life soon, and I don't know what it is, but it feels big. I want to try doing sigil magic to bring in some synchronicity to help me feel this underlying movement more clearly. I've never done it but it feels like an easy and powerful way to create changes in things. I also got a strong impression that I wanted to get another moldavite necklace at Phoenix and Dragon. A year and a half ago I got my first one there, and gave it to Chrissy this summer, and that necklace really brought me through some huge transformation that I didn't notice at the time. I think I'm ready for a little nudge to get over the bump in the surface and to roll in a direction that would be fruitful for me.

So much socializing over the last couple days. Tonight, eating pizza and socializing with Ren and Couv and Savannah, talking about possibly living at Kweer House, which feels a little overwhelming but also like a really good fit that might help me get to that next place in life. I was invited to a potential barbecue birthday party for Sav on Friday. It's scary to go from the solitude I currently enjoy to living in intentional community but I think I may be ready for it. I also learned about a bunch of things: a place called Lost and Found, which apparently has really good clothes and stuff for sale really cheap (Couv connects it to queers having the best taste in things), and proceeds go to supporting LGBTQ youth in Atlanta. Also, the kinky convention Frolicon is coming up, and there's a queer play party; in general it's pretty straight/heteroflexible but Ren talked about feeling safe and welcome as a trans person and that it's at least a queerer space than walking down the street. "More queer than Krogers," he says, though apparently there is one Krogers in particular that's pretty queer. Then there is a Facebook group, called Transit something or other, I don't remember the other word, that's basically Atlanta queer people posting for activity partners. Like, hey, I'm doing this, anyone want to join me? Which I think is brilliant and how did I not know there was such a thing?

I had a little bit of social anxiety but most of it was fear of being so exhausted and not being interesting or whatever. I have not been so exhausted in years (and I'm coming down with a cold) and yet I managed to socialize and be totally fine. Still in awe of how I feel with this medicine.

I've been gaming, playing ArcheAge, which has these amazing graphics and is just like the MUD I used to play except totally visual; I get frustrated with it sometimes, as I get frustrated with violin, but I'm learning to just take things a piece at a time. I get so in the flow with that game and lose track of time which has been good for me lately. I've had two violin lessons which were really basic and I'm kind of way beyond that in some ways but my classically trained teacher wants to start basic and, I feel like it's okay right now, because I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, to want to learn three songs at once rather than just learning a few notes of one song at a time; my teacher going so slow sort of checks this tendency and shows me it's okay to be slow with it.

My parents are going to Galveston, Texas next month for an anniversary trip and my mother invited me to come... which I think would be amazing -- beach! -- but also money is a thing and I feel like it would be so awkward to spend time with my mother after being so vulnerable. But yeah, I was vulnerable about the dysphoria and she offered to help me. I was vulnerable about the anxiety and overwhelm and she offered to help me. I feel more supported by my mother than I've ever felt and for the first time I feel like she's actually got my back. She said that she did and I believe it. I don't know what's changed, but she has gone from her old attitude of, when I expressed concern or fear or anxiety about something, saying "I don't know what to tell you," to a new attitude of, "we'll figure it out somehow." Which feels so much more supportive, I can't even say.

(no subject)
It feels so good to finally feel like myself, maybe in a way I haven't felt since before I met Anna. Right now it feels like this medication is hitting everything, things I've struggled with for years and had no idea how to solve, and now all of a sudden I just feel like, I can do things I couldn't before. I feel so hopeful about life in some ways because it isn't weighing me down for the first time in forever. I can be social and to an extent vulnerable even with strangers and people I don't know so well. I don't need to put on my defenses as much because I'm not in a place where everything and everyone feels threatening and where I can't cope. Things that used to be so scary for me now just kind of, brush past me, I can figure out how to deal with them at least. The extreme loneliness that I'd been feeling for a while is pretty much gone.

I'm thinking a lot about the ADD aspect of it, and how my business just started getting hard out of nowhere but I didn't realize that it was something within me that changed. I procrastinated with it for months and months, but it turns out I wasn't just procrastinating: I was experiencing brain freeze and not knowing what to do or where to even begin and I was understandably getting anxious about being totally lost in a mess of stuff all the time. It wasn't procrastination so much as inability to figure out how to take the steps to get started, and to not have to wrack my brain every second to keep going.

I've asked myself, sometimes, why am I in Atlanta. Georgia has been on my mind. What gift does this place have for me? I just sense that there is something for me here, something perhaps unexpected, some growth or new direction, and I'm curious what will unfold. A few days ago, even before I started actually taking this medication, it occurred to me that, if recognizing the need for help and getting on medication were the only gift Atlanta has for me, that would be really precious all by itself.

I'm just really in awe at how much easier so many things are for me. I feel grateful for a lot of things, but somehow not quite ready to speak that gratitude.

(no subject)
Aloha Ke Akua
by Nahko and Medicine for the People

Lend your ears, lend your hands,

Lend your movement, anything you can.

Come to teach, come to be taught.

Come in the likeness in the image of God.

Because, you can be like that.

With all that humbleness, and all that respect.

All of the power invested in me,

be it hard to love my enemies.

All of the black bags,

over the heads of the dead and dying.

The more I understand about the human race,

the less I comprehend about our purpose and place

and maybe if there was a clearer line the curiosity would satisfy.

Time based prophecies that kept me from living,

in the moment I am struggling

to trust the divinity of all the guides

and what the hell they have planned for us.

I cry for the creatures who get left behind

but everything will change in a blink of an eye

and if you wish to survive,

you will find the guide inside.

I go back and forth every single day,

the clarity that comes to me in a choppy way,

as the feelings

and the places

and the seasons change,

the galaxies remain.

Energy fields cone the body in space.

The angels that are coming from a spiritual waste.

The hate that gets me distant from my spiritual pace.

Ten fold the manna when the planets are in place, in polar alignment.

We're on assignment.

Bodies on consignment.

Return them to the circus,

and what is the purpose?

What is the purpose and would you believe it?

Would you believe it if you knew what you were for,

and how you became so informed.

Bodies of info performing such miracles.

I am a miracle made up of particles

and in this existence,

I'll stay persistent,

and I'll make a difference

and I will have lived it.

Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,

Aloha, Aloha, Kuleana, Kuleana,

Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,

Aloha, Aloha, Kuleana, Kuleana.

I am not a leader, just a creature.

Stick the peaches of my teacher when you follow where they lead.

All mysterious ways of nature and I am in to it.

Changing management.

And there are various ways to conquer this, monotonous, metropolis,

my stubbornness is bottomless,

my fear is this is talking shit

and I am wide awake and I am taking names.Do you speak to me like you speak to God?

All the love and understanding between the father and the son?

Do you believe in the perfectness of where you are?

He's my people he's my children it's the land that I would fight for.

I saw an ebonese telling me to patiently move the music medicine around the planet in a hurry.

Cuz there's no time to waste.

Got to wake up the people time to stand up and say,

we know what we are for

and how we became so informed.

Bodies of info performing such miracles.

I am a miracle.

Made up of particles

and in this existence

I'll stay persistent

and I'll make a difference

and I will have lived it. …….

Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,

Aloha, Aloha, Kuleuna, Kuleana,

Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,

Aloha, Aloha, Kuleana, Kuleana,

Each day that I wake,

I will praise, I will praise.

Each day that I wake,

I give thanks, I give thanks.

Each day that I wake,

I will praise, I will praise.

Each day that I wake,

I give thanks, I give thanks.

And the day that I do wake up and transcend the holy makeup,

I am capable.

I am powerful.

And the day that I do wake up and transcend the holy makeup,

I am on my way to a different place I am powerful.

And the day that I do wake up and transcend the holy makeup,

I am on my way to a different place

(no subject)
"What are some stories of your intuition leading you in a direction that worked out really well for you? What are your thoughts on intuition?" -- belenen

Intuition. Lately I'm sort of thinking about it like a superpower, like my third eye can just power on like one of those trolls with gemstones in their bellies, and all of a sudden I'll just have an instruction book for life and know where to go next. But I find that it usually doesn't work like that. When it does though.... :)

I've used it to help others in ways that really surprised me; I've found myself saying things that were somehow true and having no idea where anything was coming from but somehow knowing things. Right now trust in my intuitive capacity feels pretty crushed. I'm looking for that troll gemstone power and it's not coming. What I learned is that my intuition has everything to do with trusting myself, trusting the messages in the thoughts and feelings and impulses that flow through me, and choosing not to censor myself; choosing to recognize everything that flows through me as valid. The moment I censor or doubt myself, I cut off my intuition. Intuition feels like a natural state of being.

Intuition for me has been connected to really inspired writing. I'll feel this heat in my temples and around my ears and that's often an indication that I'm writing something that's just needing to be said and it flows from somewhere other than my usual filters.

Intuition for me is often very embodied and has a lot to do with allowing myself to move authentically. Once I allow myself to really feel and trust what my body wants, including what wants to come out of my mouth, I feel like I'm in an intuitive flow. It's a feeling of presence, and often comes with a feeling that there are no wrong choices, really, but there is one that seems to pull me more than the others. It's a lot like taking the felix felicis in Harry Potter. Everywhere I go, everything I do, is somehow exactly where I'm supposed to go/be. The more I trust that, the more I find more places I'm supposed to go and do.

I practiced this last time I was at a festival. PDF. I was feeling kind of lonely and unsure of how to connect with anyone and before I stepped back into camp I took a moment to connect with my heart and told myself it was okay to allow myself to be vulnerable and receptive. Pretty much right away I had this amazing experience of connection with Eric. As soon as I allowed myself to be receptive to him in that way, he went through this kind of powerful emotional shift -- I don't know what it was about, but something big was going on inside of him, and I just sought to be totally emotionally present and validating and... it was really a bit scary for him but he acknowledged how present I was and how I was holding him in the experience. It went from, I'm disconnected, to all of a sudden, choosing to be in my body and let it respond how it wants to, and all of a sudden, and I'm a healer! I think that's kind of the way things go for me: disconnection is so easy, being vulnerable and in my body and allowing voice to my authentic responses is hard, but when I remember to do that and trust it, healing happens. That's such hard work for me, like life work: coming back again and again to this authenticity and trust in who I am.

A few months ago I had a vision of my friend Rebecca, who I'd been pretty distant from for quite a few months, tossing and turning in bed and not being able to make up her mind, and I just knew that the snappy judgmental email she sent me that I'd been fretting about was not about me but about some kind of turmoil she had going on inside of herself. I felt like it was time to call her and tell her I had this intuition and offer my support and that led to a rekindling of our friendship in a way that was pretty incredible. We've been following parallel paths the last few months. She started really getting into witchy stuff and owning her magic around the same time that I did, and then I had all these past life insights and openings, and when I called her then she was going through the same thing.

Sometimes, especially with a precious few really close connections, I'll find myself calling to a soulmate in a dream at the same time they've been calling for me. That happened with Missi after we'd lost touch for a few years and... we reconnected... but only so briefly... I really did not allow myself to have that connection, I don't know why. There was too much going on in my life and something about staying connected was hard. There was too much I'd have to then own about myself and my life as it was. I don't think there have been many people I've been so spiritually in tune with, and I love that years later, we were both dreaming about each other and looking for each other at the same time. I think one of my biggest regrets is not keeping up with that connection. I hope we reconnect some day but I don't know if it will happen; how many Missis are there in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne?

I was kind of at a low point in my life in 2011. I'd sort of given up hope and I had no faith in myself. I had pretty much no ability to stand up for myself or to claim what I wanted. I started reading Janet Conner's Writing Down Your Soul and something in me just came alive, knowing this was something that could help me. That night I went online to see if she had a website or something and it turns out the next day she was starting a year-long series of courses on trusting intuition and soul guidance. It was a big investment but I realized I had nothing to lose so I signed up for all the courses. That was when I started connecting to the name Lily and later in the year, still following my intuition when something was off, it's how I found Jon Terrell who introduced me to Shalom Mountain. I had a dream that gave me the intuition that I needed a healer and so I just searched until I found someone who fit -- and I couldn't have done better. And then Shalom probably saved my life. I followed this intuition that I was to go through a period of "sacred preparation" and went to Ireland, which wasn't at all what I wanted or was expecting, but still healed me in a lot of ways and connected me to what matters.

Now, looking back on it, I think the sacred preparation was a period of preparing myself to shift my gendered conception about myself. I felt so uncomfortable in Ireland, especially uncomfortable being perceived as male, but it was all so confusing and I didn't know what was happening. I knew I felt lonely and socially awkward but I didn't connect my experience to gender. Pretty much immediately afterwards, though, that changed. I organized an amazing whitewater rafting campout with some of my best friends; and that's where I had really painful visions of patriarchy and power-over structures emerging; it was heartbreaking, terrifying, visions that I now interpret as the beginning of decolonizing my heart. Of accepting that I am trans. A week later I got my septum pierced. Within a few weeks of that I changed my name to Lily, had a naming ceremony, and went to the Transcending Boundaries conference where I decided I was going to meet people by tuning into the energies that felt right. It happened right away with Adi in a morning workshop. I went to an intimacy workshop led by belenen that I wished could have been longer and then started reading zir LiveJournal and I really felt... not alone... like finally here was someone else expressing longings I've had that I never heard expressed by another soul. And, we "happen" to be housemates right now. :)

So healing has more often than not been confusing and painful, but following my intuition with that whole string of events does seem to have "worked out" for me in the sense of, well, I'm out as trans to everybody which is a pretty major thing that would have been absolutely unthinkable when this all started. I'm more comfortable with more of me. Deciding to follow my intuition at the time more or less saved my life.

About a week ago I decided to scan a list of folks on Facebook who liked a certain post by a healer-type person I follow. I decided to choose someone whose energy I resonated with and then connect with them how I felt led to do so. So, I found someone, browsed through her public posts, and the first thing I saw an expression of the sort of heart connection I'm always seeking. I friended her and she cancelled my request. I wasn't sure if I had actually made a friend request or just imagined it, so I did it again, and it was cancelled within a minute. Oh well. I felt kind of bad about that because my intuition felt good -- but maybe I was just, I don't know, putting my heart on my sleeve too much or something. It brought up all my wounds about no one liking me or understanding me or... I mean, I swear, a lot came up! I end up checking out this person's blog and she's writing about sacred sexuality and shadow work and going to this workshop in Norway that sounds a whole lot like New Culture, so I decided that the unfriend likely meant nothing -- my messages to her went into the "other" folder and she had no idea who I was -- so I commented and shared. She's in her 20s and writing about this stuff, and I mean, no one is in their 20s and writing about this stuff. At least no one I know! I didn't expect to hear anything but I got an apology email thanking me for my thoughtful comment on her blog and saying she'd be thrilled to add me; that because of the nature of what she writes about and some strange requests she's gotten she's had to be cautious. I haven't added her again yet but... I mean, there's a bit of gender essentialism language in her blog which kind of irked me, though that was mostly in the description of tantra workshops she attended which for some reason in the West tend to put the "divine masculine" in men and the "divine feminine" in women and workshops split into two binary groups which to me is bleeeeh cisheteronormative shit, why can't they get that the whole deeper point of tantra is a genderfuck?! Yeah, I love tantra and have so many judgments about this kind of tantra workshop. But oh well, it doesn't seem she's judging me for being trans (if she's figured it out, I don't know), so I'd say it worked out.

A lot of times intuition comes way ahead of understanding what it might mean... so the vision I had of the emerging of power-over patriarchy... that was an intuition that is still being unpacked, as was my intuition that I needed to go to Peru. When I got back from Peru I really doubted my intuition because, how could I have such a strong intuition and then have nothing come of it? I missed my grandfather's funeral even! How was that intuition, sounds more like bad timing! It took almost a year but it became clearer over time that my trip to Peru was necessary and my intuition to go there was right on. The fruits of following intuition aren't always immediate. It's continually choosing to trust the process.

Overall I'd say playing with intuition is one of my favourite games. Where does my intuition want to play today? That was kind of what I imagined Ireland would be like: I went because I wanted to get lost and to play hide and seek and find some treasure. The way it happened, I did find treasure, but not in the form I expected or necessarily wanted. I prefer more fun and playful experiences of getting lost and wandering and letting my intuition guide me and being receptive to whatever might turn out to be a gift. In a way that's kind of my vision for my life: I step into adventures and follow my intuition where it leads.

One of the biggest intuitions I've ever received was that my life would change in unexpected ways when I did three things: 1) come out to my parents, 2) commit to being embodied, 3) write my memoir. The second is still hard for me but I'm hoping it's something I'll be able to commit to at deeper and deeper levels soon. And the memoir, that's really hard since I lost the one piece of writing I felt really reflected me (because my computer just does that apparently), but I'm trying to somehow put it together again, to find some kind of words to reflect this life that has felt so, so much bigger than me. This is an example of getting intuition and then resisting it all the way which I guess happens a lot.

(no subject)
You are not your coyfish fears
swimming away, in a dry river bed,
like aquatic Christs performing mirror-image miracles.

Every stone has the blood of some other choice inside -

Maybe I do want to shatter your Self
And over a hairpin mountain pass, three wheels flying,
hear someone smile and not scream -

Look: patience is not my strong suit.
I'm mostly skinned, and constantly dying,
and nothing and no one feel safe anymore
and the most scary is, I'm saying all this, and
I don't know
if you know
what I mean.

But if I were a fisherman
sitting in your ear,
I'd one-by-one catch your coy flicker fears
And place them, gently, into a rolling gorge
where wild horses are remembered

Then maybe you wouldn't need to break yourself,
or turn away, if I cried
your hands.

Darling: I'm not going to fight.
The back's too old,
the blood's too bright.
So the way you see it, that's the way it's going to be.

But Lord, you'd sure be beautiful
if, some morning, you didn't regret your weaknesses
if you just asked me,

When the ache fades
I bet
you'll still
be you.

My path of devotion
Meditation, energy, goddess, BDSM and surrenderCollapse )

(no subject)

TW: Physical abuseCollapse )

It was goddess that taught my heart to fear, and goddess that fear released.



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