Except for a few short term bursts of relationship, I’ve been mostly single for two years after twelve years of marriage ended in divorce, and jeez, things have changed in my dating process since last time I was single. My old list of “What I Want in a Partner” has mostly dissolved. Gone are the “wears boxers,” “likes green,” “great legs,” “enjoys hiking and skiing,” and “financially secure” items on my wish list. I’ve had to add some terms I hadn’t thought it necessary to add when I was younger, like “Not gay, married, living internationally with no chance of a visa, or expecting me to conceive another child.” Having attracted every variety of unavailable man, I’m realizing I need to get specific. “No prison inmates, polygamists, or monks, please!” And living in Marin County, I’m also realizing that I need to qualify that, while I don’t judge anyone who chooses such a lifestyle and I can certainly see the appeal of it, polyamory isn’t my cup ‘o’ tea. Been there. Tried that. It just doesn’t feel safe or stable to me, and it’s a lot of emotional work. Perhaps I’m just not enlightened enough, but my polyamory experiment left me concluding that my heart is just too tender and needs the gentle nest of what I’ll call “open monogamy” in order to open up all the way to the levels of intimacy I desire and am capable of giving.
Time, marriage, and maturity have definitely shifted my priorities. But the most radically paradigm-shifting change is this big fat realization.
I am only interested in a relationship with someone as committed to the spiritual path as I am.
There. I said it out loud, and you can hold me to it.
Those of you who have been following my blog and reading what I post on Facebook know what a profound influence Tosha Silver has had on my life and my work. The way in which we met was magical. Christiane Northrup and I had been teaching a class to the Whole Health Medicine Institute (we're enrolling WHMI now, in case you feel called to join us!) Christiane insisted that all of us go out right that second and buy Tosha's book Outrageous Openness. I bought it instantly and was halfway through reading it the next day, when I was on a plane to LA to film a documentary, when I got online on the airplane, looked up Tosha's website, realized she lived right across the San Francisco Bay from me, and decided to write her a gushing fan letter. It went something like, "OMG, you don't know who I am, but I'm in love with your book, and I live in San Francisco too, and we should . . . um . . . totally be BFF's!" I signed up for her newsletter list because I knew that whatever Tosha was drinking, I wanted a Big Gulp of it.
I travel a lot, and I meet the most well-intentioned, beautiful beings who are fighting against the injustices of the world. They stand for ending sexual violence against women, the destruction of Gaia, climate change, social inequality, and any number of other very good causes. I appreciate that these people are DOING something to heal the world. Their passion seems admirable and their commitment and self-sacrifice command respect.
Yet, I find something about the energy of some forms of activism weighing heavy on my heart.
We’ve all met the angry feminists that lash out at men, the rainforest activists who judge those who drill in the Amazon, and the Occupy activists who hate the 1%. But how can we possibly co-create a more beautiful world if we’re coming from the energy of judgment and hate? As one of my spiritual teachers said, (forgive her language), "Fighting for peace is like f*cking for virginity."
When I was in Australia speaking at the Uplift Festival in December, 70 spiritual self-help leaders, elders from the indigenous tribes of five different nations, and change-the-world activists spent a week before the festival participating in an ongoing conversation about the intersection of spirituality and activism. How do we marry the principles of "Being" that we learn through our spiritual practices with the practices of "Doing" embodied by many activists on the front lines of global change? Are we better off sitting on our meditation pillows, raising the vibration of the planet and emitting frequencies of love into the world? Or do we need to get off our pillows and go DO something? Is there a way to be even more effective by merging the two?
Tuesday was the birthday of my new book The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage As Medicine For The Body, Mind & Soul. To celebrate the book’s birth, Tosha Silver and I hosted a workshop about transforming fear with spiritual surrender for 100 people live in the Bay area and 1000 people streaming in from around the globe. Given how fear-based our culture is and how much unnecessary suffering results from our belief that we have to control life, spiritual surrender is a core part of letting fear cure YOU.
Essentially, the process of spiritual surrender is about taking that thing you're afraid of or that problem you think you have to solve or that unmet longing in your heart for that thing you want but don't yet have—and making it an offering to the Divine. It's about taking all of it—your fears, your desires, your need for control—and turning it over to the arms of Love, trusting that you will be protected and guided to take any inspired action necessary, either by internal intuition, your body's compass, or external Signs from the Universe. Then, having offered this with deep trust, you wait. The part that requires courage is the part that asks you to follow the guidance, even if you don't like it.
So . . . (cue the unofficial theme song of this book, Sara Bareilles “Brave”) my new book The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage As Medicine For The Body, Mind, & Soul comes out today! You can find out more about the book at TheFearCureBook.com. This website also includes a special gift I created for you—the "Prescription for Courage Kit," which includes 5 guided meditations I recorded with my musician friend Karen Drucker—one meditation about getting in touch with the voice of your Inner Pilot Light, one about dealing with uncertainty, one about moving beyond fear of loss, one about how it's a friendly universe, and one about Oneness.
The Prescription for Courage Kit includes almost two hours of guided meditation—as a gift and celebration of today's launch of The Fear Cure. Karen and I had so much fun recording these meditations. The field in the studio was palpable. You could actually feel a pulse in the room, like angels were there with us, helping us serve you. I can't claim credit for any healing, calming goodness you might find in these meditations. I feel like Karen and I just got used as instruments of service, and something Larger Than Me came through us and landed in these meditation mp3's. I hope they help fear cure YOU and bring you peace.