Allowing for Uncertainty (or, Arriving at Myself) …And it’s already another new year, Men Alive!, in an altogether distinct era. A time when we tend to be as hopelessly nostalgic as we are – hopefully – neophilic. And – Resolved to begin anew. Usually all controlling-like. Man. Everything in me just says “Surrender.” So here read more..
…And it’s already another new year, Men Alive!, in an altogether distinct era. A time when we tend to be as hopelessly nostalgic as we are – hopefully – neophilic. And –
Resolved to begin anew. Usually all controlling-like. Man. Everything in me just says “Surrender.” So here are some of the specifics on my personal plunge –
Half a year ago and three-quarters of the way into my four-months-long stint vagabonding South Asia, I found myself going from the heights of happiness to a rapid unraveling in India. It was especially in Varanasi’s Shiva-filled, passion-fueled volatility that I found my emotional pendulum swinging so wide and my access to it seeming so slow. Between jacking off boatmen on the sacred, polluted Ganges River past funeral pyres and greeting new friends in the ancient ghats and avoiding swindlers while stepping over bull shit and strolling past temples… I was on sensory overload and all nerved up about my upcoming re-entry to stateside life, and transition to the “Capital of the World.” Ahh!
One month later – and after five-and-a-half years of nigh non-stop worldwide movement – I discovered myself in my beloved homeland and, specifically, home state of Michigan – overwrought and underwhelmed. My sentiment for those who had stood the test of time took a nosedive given my overall desire to evolve amidst what appeared to be stagnancy. A prominent presence in what feels as though it were a former life was beaten to death in what was believed to be a hate crime, a family member passed away, and – sweepingly – I was suffering an abrupt dissolving of a way of being. I felt an absurd loss and aloofness when I had anticipated encouragement and empathy.
A week-and-a-half after, in my old standby West Village sublet, I observed myself undergoing one of the most tumultuous transformations of my lifetime, as I searched for the perfect place in Midtown West while every aspect of my health – emotional, physical, mental – erupted. It began with my skin inflaming. Then hair fell out of my face. Then there was the cancer scare (on my ass, in what seemed like some tricky karmic joke). I was keeping my head above water – determined to move forward – but felt more like I was falling flat as I had no option but to completely commiserate with clients coming in with everything from terminal illness to a history of sexual abuse to an overflowing of men who had never been with another man. I was honored, and I straddled the professional boundary while loving the continually re-realized reality that I was not in any of this alone.
By October, I unloaded my everything in a startlingly luxurious high-rise apartment in Hell’s Kitchen with an iconic view so few in New York can claim. My eyelids were heavy with grief by day, and I would wake up, fetal-positioned, in the middle of the night with a feverish anxiety. Was I going to lose my good looks – and business? Was I going to deteriorate – and die? Could I cave into the very real sense of being led to something greater than myself, and submit to freedom? It’s as though a voice was whispering in my ear, as I’d look out on lower Manhattan: “Everything is on loan.” From what I now called home to the skin on my bones. Everything!
November came, and the selfdom assault commenced, as I strove for connectivity and a recommitment to receiving who I am and what I hold dear. I turned 32, started “Man Alive!,” and had a vision in a Body Electric workshop of the devil swallowing me whole only to witness doves ascending to the heavens on the other side of hell. Of fear. For this boy who was often the petrified-of-the-dark namby pamby, it was this divining of my demons – this embracing of my shadow – this consciousness that the future is so exceedingly uncertain and our place in the universe so especially unclear – that abdication felt like the only possibility. Then –
Ah! Last month! Sweet surrender! I could recognize the burden of the illusion of control that ego has us all under begin to lift. Little strivings for so-called control aside, I began encountering my own worthiness. Past the flesh and beyond approval. I was well on my way out of the nightmare’s delusory bottomlessness, and I was intact – I had been safeguarded. I had yielded. A slow route out – one I’m still forging through – everything had been swiped (I’ll refrain from sharing every outward deterrent, lest I give power to worries I’m currently working through). Security. Finances. Health. Vanity. The status of my relationships… At any moment, the whole damned thing can slip through a man’s fingers.
So, yeah – I’m just now emerging from one of the most challenging chapters of my life. The destruction of an old identity and the creation of a new intent for honoring what came before while agreeing to what is to come. It’s more than apparent that I am my best when putting all of myself out there in the belief that it’s through vulnerability that I can bring about connectedness – for myself and others. That after years of trying to force things (including myself) to fit I can allow them (and myself) to, basically, belong! Belong to this life. Be a part of my tribe. Be in my own experience of it all.
And I’m healthy and aware and connected. I have welcomed edifying friendships, extraordinary clients, and a gratitude-informed influence (not to mention this fresh investment in whole-person health and a keen wakefulness to how expansive the forthcoming really is). I feel indebted to doubt for the magnificence of the mysterious. To rest here in uneasiness. To exist with the unresolved. To appreciate this unclearness.
There is an undeniable heaviness in the air, and I imagine most of you reading this are thankful to have surfaced from last year unscathed. I aspire to bring some lightness to the current climate.
I choose to be honest and intimate with you. I choose to be revealed and understood. I choose authenticity. I choose community. And I choose for what I do – how I go about the day-to-day – to expose and shape my principles and passions.
To view a near breakdown as a total breakthrough. To love and be loved. To practice compassion with myself and each person I stumble upon. To offer and take without judgment, knowing that I can only be given what I have been receptive to – and I can only give what I have received.
To be with the imperfection in myself, the unpredictability of life, and the openness of what it is I do.
Aha! I surrender to the restorative risk-taking of openness! I am receptive to the wondrousness of the world we inhabit! I bow down before infinite possibility!
Yes – there is this indisputable darkness approaching, and I hope to pierce it with this truth: I am tremendously limited and totally adequate.
And so are you!
As darkness defines light, so death illuminates life. Now that I’ve mastered the excruciating art of “survival,” I accept my mortality so as to fully be in my being-ness. Now.
Whether all composed or completely unhinged, I forfeit the trickery of control.
I refuse to fight, and devote myself to unabashed love-making. I see that activeness and lust are most marvelous when balanced with the strength in surrendering to blissful passivity. More yin to counterbalance this buildup of yang.
I won’t resist.
I refuse to resist!
I believe that to surrender to uncertainty is to summon an outpouring of synchronicity. I am committed to being more concerned with an inward unfolding than external outcomes. I am not what I do or have or represent! I am LOVE itself, and act with overflowing gratitude and deliver myself to infinite JOY!!!
I believe that to surrender to uncertainty is to surrender to love and life itself.
GOOD GOD! I surrender, surrender, surrender to the freedom of becoming who I am and belonging to all that is!
The time to get radical has arrived: Long live the self-love revolution!
(Being so affected by the treasure trove that is Maria Popova’s brainpickings.org, I got turned onto Jonathan Fields’ righteous Good Life Project, which led me to Brené Brown’s cathartic The Gifts of Imperfection. Along with other influences, these fine folks’ work greatly informed this blog entry. Check them out!)
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