I do have to say that I am quite happy to see January go, and with this new month starting, I am feeling a huge shift in energy, especially with writing.
I’m sure part of it has to do with it being my birthday month, and whenever my Solar Return (The Sun moving back to the exact point it was the day I was born) comes around each year…I definitely feel that fiery power of action Sun brings.
The holidays and January I usually feel quite hermit-like, and come Feb-March, I start to emerge from the cave with a new outlook on life, much like the new sprouts are peeking out from the still damp with this weekend’s rain soil within my garden.
I am doing something I have never done before for my birthday, and going completely within to a 4 day silent retreat within the beautiful gardens and hermitage of Yogananda, where he wrote his inspiring life story “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
These gardens are beautiful, peaceful and filled with so much love and Divinity. Yogananda himself planted many of the trees and older plants that are thriving overlooking the Ocean. So beautiful it is to be able to enjoy them in silence without kids running up and down the stairs, people talking on cell phones and “ooh’s and ahh’s” from tourists talking loudly about the beautiful plant life in the peaceful meditation garden.
Once the gardens close for the day to the public…they open for the silent spiritual journeys of any retreatant who wants to enjoy the sound of birds, waves and wind dancing with the whisperings of their soul.
The last time I did a silent retreat here, I had just turned 30, and was barely embarking upon daily meditations, had experienced Amma for my first time and was still in the throes of being the lead singer of a band, in the advertising industry “sales” hell and constantly being “on” in all facets of life.
I spent all 3 days basically unwinding the airtight spring of stress that was wound around my heart and soul. I actually had to take a break from the silence, and walk into town to see a band, hear noise and talk to people.
This weekend…I will be arriving to the same Hermitage a completely different person:
One who is much more silent.
One who is bursting at the seams with a book.
One who is at complete peace with what I do for a living.
One who doesn’t need distractions, and in fact…one who avoids them.
One who has found her voice as a writer.
I suppose it took me quieting my voice as a singer for a while in order for my writer’s voice to emerge.
I used to love that I sang what I wrote…and belted my words out on stage, across the world on the internet and captured forever on CD’s…but I see now that singing what I write is definitely not as vulnerable as writing what I feel in a book and publishing the depth of my story for all to read.
There’s no musical accompaniment. No audience cheering. No bar…no drinks…no dancing.
I suppose that is why the singer had to be silenced, in order for the writer to get silent enough to birth the full vision of what “Baptism By Flame” is supposed to be.
The last silent retreat I was allowed to spend some time alone in the room in which Yogananda literally sat at a desk and wrote with pen and paper “Autobiography of a Yogi”…
I started to cry in that room, and one of the monks told me, “Guruji is speaking to you. Best you sit in the room and listen…”
My early 30’s were filled with turmoil. I was stressed out at my job, stressed out with bullshit lust relationships with bad boy musicians and stressed out about the complications I had to deal with because of a long line of poor choices made in my 20’s. I was ALWAYS busy, and not doing the things that were for my soul’s greatest good…at all.
So to hear that sagely advice from the monk rang true, and listen I did.
I asked Yogananda to inspire me to finish my book, which was then to be called “From Goth To God”…and it was to be about my whole spiritual journey from growing up Catholic to being Atheist, Wiccan, Hindu, Buddhist and studying Kabbala.
My life has pretty much been a living Comparative Religions course from the age of 14 and on.
I immersed myself in any Truth I found, and healed a lot of wounds trying to find my own language to speak to The Divine with.
After decades of study and traveling the world’s religions…I finally came to the conclusion that they are all saying the same thing, and Nature is where I feel the closest connection to God…so I put down all the books, tools and beliefs…and picked up the maps to the womb of Mother Nature. The more hidden from my species, the better.
I was meditating through tears in Yogananda’s writing room, when I heard the guidance to write about the one thing that brought me to my knees…and it was not any religion…no…it was an element. Fire.
At that moment wind rushed into the open windows, and I heard whispered in my soul’s ears, “Baptism By Flame” and I knew without a doubt that this was to be the new book I am writing.
I find it pretty perfect, that a decade later, the highest evolution of Baptism By Flame’s outline has been birthed…without me even pushing once.
It literally fell out of me.
The rose is in full bloom, and the scent of its petals intoxicating to me.
I am finding it hard to NOT write.
The book has shown itself to me as not just a memoir…but more of an interactive workbook. One which shares my story and growth from literally losing my life in 1998…and also gives exercises for the reader to do in order to get them through whatever fires in life they are experiencing.
We all have the capacity to rise like Phoenix.
My book will be a journey for people to take to the depth of their own fire, and rise beautifully through guided meditations, visioning and going deep within their own life and psyche to see what needs to be thrown to the flames….and what needs to be nurtured.
Now the book is ready to come through me because I finally see that it isn’t about me…it is about my journey with Fire, and sharing the tools I collected following the blood and tear stained map I created from age 23 until now.
So I see this birthday silent celebration will be completely different than the last one where I was trying desperately to write From Goth to God.
I will instead be birthing “Baptism By Flame” because she is ready because I am conscious of who she needs to be in the world for others.
No more pushing…only flowing