October172013

grief

Hi Rumi,

Antioch University Seattle is awesome. It feels like home, like a bigger more serious but just as authentic Leapyear, in a way. A lot fewer hugs and a lot fewer tears… but all the feelings are there. One of my classes is the Foundations: The Great Turning. We explore our place in the great turning towards a more conscious society. As part of the process, we must move through, honor and acknowledge the pain of the world, the grief that gets swept up in the dust. Randy (professor) asks, how do we maintain our gaze with the grief of the world? It reminded me of India and how another student of Antioch had said something like, “India will rip your skin off - whatever you do, do not let it grow back.” While reading a powerful retelling of Randy’s experience in Japan in seeing the grief and ever present effects of Hiroshima, I really felt the pain split me down the middle. While watching a video of Joanna Macy walking us through a breathing exercise to “breathe the pain through” I just sat there crying. I cannot even begin to comprehend the grief of the world because it is so immensely deep, and I do not know how not to get lost in it. Joanna Macy says that gratitude will ground us, but I am having a really really hard time getting that bit. 

I’m not really sure what my purpose is in sharing this, but I think I just want to remind people to wake up and see. Just like the 3 day body workshop, I have to let the pain the anger the grief come through me, and me through it. I can’t go around it, above it, under it. No, I haven’t found the balance between finding a way to be cracked open and still protect my heart, but I am sure I’m headed that way. Do you know that 5000 people died of radiation disease from the A bomb over a decade after it had gone off? And more after that. Did you know that for those that experienced it first hand and lived, they experience it again and again every single night as if it had happened all over again? Did you know that the most renoun African shaman visited the Hiroshima memorial center and in feeling the grief, chose to take responsibility for the destruction America caused Japan? I sure as hell didn’t know. And there is so, so, so much more. I’m scared. I’m scared of this process. I’m scared I won’t be able to handle it, not know what to do with the pain and let it destroy me. But maybe more, I’m scared I won’t do anything about it, and just pretend it isn’t there. 
I had originally reached out feeling in need of support, but now, I think I just need to know that people care and are going to really look and do something about the state of the world. For the record, I am in no way minimizing the effect of the good and the healing. It is only by knowing the sure existence of such healing that I feel brave enough to really see the hard stuff. 

Everyone is doing something to contribute to healing the world. What are you doing to help this process along?

With so many questions and a heart cracked open wide,
Tiff
October142013

skeleton poem 3

I am changed.
When I began this journey I was uncertain, even so
I will always be curious, with open eyes
I will never again be sure of what I don’t know
We are all on our own journey of being
Human
Students of the universe, as one
Tribe
Sometimes we become confused and storm
Always someone is reminded of our oneness
We are here.
Days fill us with light and new experiences
Nights give us rest, mystery
Moons pass
Sunrises awaken us to now.
We are in (deep)
India, sacred, holy, raw.
People and 
Places rush in and out of
Our awareness
We give what we can
We take what is graciously offered
Service to others and to ourselves
Solidarity polishes our being as
Charity subtly tarnishes us.
Unity keeps us strong in
This journey we are on.
I wish I wish I wish…
I should stop wishing and go make my wishes happen…
I could,
I would, I will.

4PM

skeleton poem 2

My fortune has evolved into something so much brighter
My priviledges I now reevaluate & appreciate
My gift from my experiences has surpassed man
Boundaries
Diversity shows up everywhere
Kinship makes us the tribe that 
we are.
Children,
Grandfathers,
Grandmothers, walk in and out, forever a part of us
Respect, reach out in every direction to every
Home
I used to think I knew everything
I used to know so little
I can’t ever understand how everything works
When I was a child I saw things so simply
Now I realize how precious perception is
Growing up means ferfecting that child-like wonder (even in the midst of darkness)
Taking ownership is part of being real
My power is what I see and what I hold
My responsibility is however much I own
As I blossom and 
As I gain experience on
This journey,
I want to be exactly where I am each moment,
I want to give whatever I can give each moment,
I want to learn with open eyes and a tender heart
I will be willing
I am becoming
We are travelers, each on our own journey, being and becoming

October22013
“I understand this fall holds many new things for several people in this group. I pray that the god of your understanding grants you all everything you deserve, because you all are deserving of so much.”

Eli


Put so beautifully, Eli. Thank you for your perspective, your words. Much love.

September242013

heart

Hi dear rumians

I left Seattle a few weeks ago with the intention to explore my connection with my heart and with the now. Thus, the whole ‘one way ticket with no idea when I’ll be back or where I’m going next’ thing. And, I still don’t know where I’m going next, or when I’ll be back. And that is perfectly okay. I like this uncertainty - rather, this acceptance that I can never really know anyway (so might as well not worry about it). I’ve found a way to practice the same acceptance in other things in terms of finances, relationships, etc. I’ve been enjoying people while I’m with them without getting caught up in analyzing, judging, and categorizing. So much richness. And, I also found the feeling of being in awe again. It’s such a delicious feeling, to be in awe, in wonder.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Sam and Cassie said about letting yourself truly have yourself. Ever since they had said that first retreat, I had been really worried that I didn’t know how to go about having myself. Up until recently I’ve been thinking it means being truly alone for a while and really deep relationship with myself. I think it’s still something along those lines, but less about the alone part. So far my conclusion is that having myself doesn’t have to mean isolating myself and forcing myself to face and love myself. It means truly having my heart “hizzled” as my counselor would say. (Hsl = heard seen loved). It means I’m open and receptive to my heart, acknowledging its/my needs, and loving it/myself. The best way I’ve heard it so far is from Alyssa, and her intention to inhabit her heart. (inhabit: to live in, to be present in, to fill. To dwell.) I think I have since adopted that intention that, to me, also means having myself. So far, I really like having myself, and I am still enjoying the process of letting.

I feel a lot of love today so I’m gonna fill a bunch of balloons up with some and send them to you guys.

-Tiff

July212013

Hey all!

Miss you!

I’m writing from Maacama and feeling how all of you have touched my life.

Life continually beckons us forward, to trust more, surrender more, and LIVE more!

As I feel into the struggle and the grace of continually rising to be more myself, I have a lot of gratitude for all of you rise within me as well.

You all have touched my heart deeply and I feel more alive, more called, and more myself since y’all have graced me with your Life!

This is an ode to the gratitude that I feel for being transformed by all of you. I feel so grateful to have met each of you and to have gone on a seriously big journey with each of you. For you Seva students, we still got the last leg in front of us and I am so grateful to have more “formal” time.

Thank YOU for having the courage to rise to a new level and transform your lives. I am inspired by all of the ground you’ve all covered, inner and outer.

May we all know we are doing really well, no matter the circumstances, and that we are leaning the lessons life wishes us to embody and carry on to gift to others.

May we all have the best rest and end of summer and may we all LEAP gloriously and powerfully into our next chapter.

The way I feel is there are some giant waves coming in and we all are at the right place at the right time. We are the one’s we’ve been waiting for! Surfs up brothers and sisters. We are IN for the ride of our lives : )

To the possibility of living full out, in total service to the greatest good, and having the best time of our lives being our authentic original selves.

Loving you all and giving you a big Hug from Maacama : )

Ya Fatah!

May the Way OPEN!!

Kyle

: )

Kyle - I love you and respect you and thank you infinitesimally. Surf on, brother. Ya Fattah!
July82013

Post-Rumi Update: The Journey Continues

Hey dear people,

I finally feel sane and settled enough to safely/comfortably express where I’m at. 

Honestly, I’m doing pretty well. I see my counselor every Monday and Wednesday morning. Seeing myself in the many mirrors he provides is like a too-hot-sauna and a river bath combined. A lot of it is rather uncomfortable and scary. And then so much of it is just pure and sweet.

Main challenges have been responding vs reacting and not continuing the same dance of pain and anger (Dance of Anger is a book I’m reading by Harriet Lerner), setting clear boundaries of what I am willing and not willing to do, stating my needs, and not over-functioning (like taking responsibility for how others feel or react). My relationship with my mom and my brother is shifting palpably, and it’s awesome. I’m learning to respect my brother as his own person and not trying to protect him or be responsible for him. Essentially I’m redefining what I want in relationships (starting with myself, of course, and then my family, etc).

The best part? I’m letting me happen. I’m letting Tiffany happen, unfold, come into fullness, whatever. It feels really solid. I feel stronger in myself, and just really…at home in myself. 

I started apprenticing with a woodworker. He’s teaching me how to build tables. I am in love with the magic of wood. My passion for wood was just a little too great to ignore, hehe. Now I’m also considering a 5 quarter cabinet making program at Seattle Central.

Redefining relationships also means a lot of hard decisions, and challenging conversations. I’m struggling in this field with Matti because he clearly can’t give me what I want in a relationship because his greatest want is to become a doctor, not to create something deep with me. I have to respect that, and it’s really hard because I don’t believe it’s an all or nothing kind of thing. (Also, I’m exploring the world of polyamory since I do have more than one romantic relationship.)

I’m still journaling every morning and evening and keeping a dream diary and writing appreciation lists.

So yeah…I feel good and am enjoying things for what they are in this moment. (And, it just feels like I’m continuing my journey that may or may not have began with 30 students standing in the dark staring up at the stars. )

love,
tiff
p.s. I miss fresh baked bread and overly sweet chai.
June42013

I Fell in Love with India

I feel like going to India is like Falling in Love.

You see India for the first time and you can’t forget India.
You are intrigued by India and you find India strange and bizarrely beautiful.
You spend every day with India.
You want to discover everything you possibly can about India.
You want to know where India has been and where India wants to go.
You want to go there too.
You want to uncover India’s deepest darkest secrets.
You want to share yours with India.
You want to be taken places by India and take India places.
You want to help India grow and you want India to help you grow too.
You want India to fill you up and you want to fill up India.
You want to get creative and make change with India.
You get very frustrated and angry at India sometimes.
You blame India sometimes.
Other times you blame yourself.
You don’t always get India.
Maybe you feel India doesn’t get you.
But you can’t help but love India and build a deep set connection with India.
You’re simply crazy about India. There’s no denying it.
Then you have to leave India.
When you’re away from India, you can’t stop thinking about India.
You try to tell your friends all about how India was but sometimes you find the words don’t come.
You miss India deeply.
You may cry for India.
You want to go back to India.
It’s hard to let go of India.
You see things every day that remind you of India which can often bring you deep melancholy.
But once and a while, those little reminders might make you smile softly.
You start to be able to look back at your time with India without feeling like you’re missing something or that there’s a hole somewhere in you.
You come to realize that India is part of you now.
You understand that you will never truly loose India completely.
You know that life in India will continue without you but that part of India will always be waiting for you and willing to accept you back into the fold with open arms.
You realize that even if you forget some things about India, like what color India’s eyes were   or what flowers grew in India’s gardens, the lessons that India taught you or the realizations you had when India was around are stuck to you like glue.
You feel so grateful for the time you had with India.
You can’t imagine what your life would be had you not been with India.
You thank India for India’s many gifts.
You can accept that you can never get that time with India back but that you can walk forward with all that India has taught you.
It’s a fucking love story, I swear. I feel you, Kaya, and I know you and India will see each other again someday.
All my Love and Best Wishes,
Emma.
————————————————————————

Dear Emma,
I fucking love you.
Love,
Tiff
May302013

Love is Our Cross - John Gorka

Sending love to all my brother and sisters.

2AM
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