Saturday night should have been a peaceful, perfect night. I was attending a Broadway Under The Stars fundraiser event at Jack London State Park with my husband, my dear friends Dawson and Christine, a delicious picnic and perfect Indian Summer weather. I had never before been to the sweet town of Glen Ellen or to the park, which was once Jack London’s 130 acre Beauty Ranch. Apparently, he is buried on the grounds there.
Like many people, I have wrestled with my relationship with my desires for many years. I’ve gone through the phase of working my patooty off to try to get everything I want, then having an expectation hangover if I didn’t get it. I’ve had phases of getting everything I want and then not actually wanting it when I get it. I’ve used spiritual bypassing tools—like the Buddhist teaching of non-attachment to desire—to pretend I was not attached and didn’t want what I deeply craved, when I was actually deeply attached and couldn’t handle the feeling of unmet longing in the face of the intensity of my desire. All of this left me practicing spiritual surrender and entering into a relationship with desire that led me to claim to have distilled down my desire into one desire—the desire to live in alignment with Divine Will. And while that is true on one hand, it was also another spiritual bypass! I came face to face with that around my desire to be truly met in a spiritual partnership. And I had to quit bypassing in order to feel the pain of my unmet longing in my ceremony to call in my beloved, which I wrote about here.
Physician burnout is all the buzz in hospitals these days. With rates of physician suicide, addiction, depression, divorce, and early death rising uncontrollably, and with physician drop out rates peaking, hospital administrations know that something has to change—or we’ll wind up with no doctors, and with no doctors, there’s no business. Sadly, that’s what it seems to take to get the attention of hospital administrators these days. The well-being of doctors doesn’t seem to matter so much. It’s dollars and cents that drive the system, and if there are no doctors, the business of health care falls apart.
Some of you may remember that back in January, I posted about a sacred ritual I performed on the New Moon to call in my beloved. Well, he came quickly, and things moved fast, as things tend to do when you’re in the flow and aligned with that which wants to become.
I have mastered pain as a spiritual path. Throw conflict, trauma, and drama at me and I can alchemize it into spiritual gold. Sic a pit bull on me and I’ll milk it for all it’s worth, finding the fierce grace in every ounce of agony. Put me in the midst of people with life-threatening or chronic illness and I can help facilitate others through the most brutal physical challenges, supporting patients as they alchemize adversity into awakening. But pleasure as a spiritual path? I am in freakin’ kindergarten, people.