Hallelujah 

The final day of Honouring The Darkness invited me to listen to KD Lang’s wonderful rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. 

I have enjoyed this song for many years. I’ve danced to it, sung along to it. A month ago I toyed with the idea of including it in my public Winter Solstice ceremony. I didn’t but I love that it has come back to me in this way.  

Janelle asked me to reflect on several of the lines from the song… This is going to be personal, and also a rambling of thoughts forming and constellating. 
1 – “The minor fall, the major lift”
When I look back over the last few years, I have been on a wonderful and challenging journey to fully inhabit my Self in the world. It’s been about growing up, becoming the adult I need in my life, relishing my quirks and giving myself permission to fully indulge myself. And at the same time it’s been about coming out into the world, more vulnerable, more open, more connected. Some of that journey has been really uncomfortable, painful even. But every hurt has gifted me the chance to learn how to grow, to heal. 
2 – “The baffled king composing hallelujah”
This blog has been an interesting study in humility. I am sharing my thoughts and feelings about my self and the world, knowing that I will have changed my mind at some point in the future. I am always not quite well informed enough, which reminds me of Ken Wilber’s phrase “true, but partial”. Something I learned in Toastmasters is you are never completely ready or fully prepared and it is more important to take a risk, and try something new, than to be completely secure and prepared. Inspiration and creativity comes when I’m trying something potentially silly, foolish, or amateur. Knowing that gives me great freedom. I have more adventure in my life because of it.  
3 – “Your faith was strong but you needed proof”
All the time. And I’m fine with that. I think reality checks are important. We all need support, reassurance about our worth, about our safety. I think this is part of the self care I mentioned earlier. I continue to read inspiring and soul nourishing books even though I’ve heard it all before. They support me and give me “proof” of ideas by showing me them through another’s words and life experience. Just as some days it is perfectly fine and good to occasionally spend all day at home watching funny videos on YouTube, looking for reassurance and proof is fine too. In fact, I would say that proof inspires and supports further faith. 
4 – “And from your lips she drew the hallelujah”
For some reason, I am drawn to the She of this phrase, and to the women who have taught me. In particular, the female 5Rhythms teachers I have had: Barbara, Sarena, Gillian, Caitriona. They held spaces, made magic, and on their dance floors, I have experienced joy, moaned in pleasure and deep sadness, and I have melted, burned, broken open, dissolved, cried in agony and in ecstasy. And I love these women eternally for it. I am the man I am because of their magic.  
5 – “There’s a blaze of light in every word”
I’m a words man. I love words. My teachers are usually authors. When listening to songs it’s the lyrics that fire me. I journal, I blog. I love scripted ceremonies with beautiful words. And yet, the times I have felt the awen burn bright in me have been moments beyond words, before words, when I am fully and wholly embodied. In a deep, erotic dance in 5Rhythms. In the passion of all-shields-down, eyes locked love making. In the simplicity of time with my family. A blaze of light Words so bright and loud I cannot see them, but I burn with love by them. 
6 – “With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah”

Hallelujah.  

As the light returns and the days lengthen and the calendar reads 2017 and onwards, I hope your body is blessed with radiant health, and your heart is blessed with radiant love. 

This post is day ten of my personal responses to ‘Honouring the Darkness’, a ten day reflective period leading up to the winter solstice, facilitated by daily emails from Janelle Hardy at http://www.janellehardy.com/hearthome/ 

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A Work in Progress

Day 63 of #100Daychallenge

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I’ve had an “interesting” week emotionally. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve slept little. I’ve said things I shouldn’t. I learned about my own needs. I’ve asked for things. I’ve learned a lot. These are some of the things I’ve learned, for future reference, about myself and about relating.

1. When I feel hurt, my heart closes, I throw up emotional walls, and I try to find a culprit. That’s not reality. That’s my fear acting out. The feelings are real but it’s not reality I’m seeing.
2. It is very hard for me to feel trust when I’m in shock or fear. I might forget what love is and need reminding.
3. It can take a few days for the shock of feeling hurt to pass. Most of what I will say in those few days is coloured and skewed by fear and anger and I can be unconsciously cruel.
4. When two people withdraw from each other in shock and hurt, almost everything I and they say will be the wrong thing to say. Justifying and fault finding don’t work.
5. It’s very hard for me to be vulnerable over messenger.
6. It’s okay for me to be flawed and weak.
7. It’s good for me to ask for support.
8. It’s okay for me to know where I want to go and it’s okay for me to not be there yet.
9. It is okay for me to know what I have to work on in myself and it is also okay to not be ready to work on it yet.
10. Only I can know and ask for what I need to feel safe, in this moment.
11. I cry easily. When I’m tired, I cry way more easily.
12. If I feel any anxiety, there’s something wrong. When I’m anxious I don’t sleep. I should deal with the anxiety there and then. Trying to rationalise something that hurts when tired is impossible.
13. Writing morning pages and crying all the tears are ways of working out what’s wrong and what I need.
14. Hugs from friends and long walks by the sea are essential.
15. It’s okay for me to be a work in progress and to need more time.