It happened on November 5, 2006. It was not a day I would have picked for my first initiation. I was grumpy. I was feeling overwhelmed. And I was feeling very disconnected from the “work” of my all-of-six-months-old journey.
My hero, dear friend and political mentor had died suddenly. The garden level of our brownstone had flooded due to a fire. And my largest client was mired in controversy after controversy (and I was in charge of PR).
These were the things occupying my scattered mind and heavy heart on November 5, 2006.
Still, I sat down. To do my work.
Immediately, I travelled to my Shadow Door. There, on the curb, were bins of fear, doubt, and the all-time favorite of many a gay man, self-loathing. “I am so not in the mood for this,” I thought to myself.
Raven soon materialized curbside and indicated that I was to empty the bins into white cloth bundles, close each one with a simple knot, and then carry everything up to my 11th chakra (Yes, folks. There indeed are chakras above your crown. Go on, take a look up right now and say “hello” to them. Don’t be surprised if they say “hello” back!).
I liked this bundling idea. No picking through scraps of this emotion or that one. Nope. I just had to dump the bins into bundles and then haul them up to my 11th chakra where I’d be done with them forever!
It took all of about three seconds to empty the bins and maybe two seconds to get up to my 11th chakra. When I got there, there was a beautiful, lush green meadow. A singular dandelion flower stood sentry at the end of a low, three-stone high-wall. To the right of the wall was a simple stone house.
Of course, I didn’t see any of this. All I saw was the psychic landfill for my emotions. Impatiently, dismissively, angrily, I tossed my fear, my doubt, my self-loathing over the wall with a loud “good riddance” and turned to leave.
Raven was waiting for me. And I knew.
“This isn’t right,” I said to my emotions, to the meadow, to the Universe. To me.
I turned back around. Stood next to the dandelion and stared at the stone house. “These bags no longer belong with me," I said, "but I bring them here with wishes of compassion and healing. For them. For me."
With that, I was back at my Target table. Mama Earth sent up a new grounding cord and I did a final sweep of my chakras to release any lingering Shadow dust that was ready to go. Like the bundles before, the dust rose up to the stone house. Next to the stonewall. In the lush meadow. With the singular flower.
I looked up to watch the dust rise, rise, rise away. And, as I did, I saw the face of God (or what I would now simply call Source).
There wasn’t a face, of course. There wasn’t even a light (there wasn’t even, for those of you old enough to remember, George Burns).
There was just a sensation. A filling up and a spilling out. As wave after wave of safety, happiness and bliss washed over me. Simply. For an instant.
Prior to that morning, I had been running around asking what was happening to me. I never asked again. Not because I knew or understood. Because I knew there was no point, no need. Because, what precisely do you ask after a moment like that?
Now, I will stop here because, as Rumi re-minds us, “these words I’m saying so much begin to lose meaning.”
But, before I do, I leave you with this: maybe this moment—yes, this very one—is a moment to look up and see which waves are ready. To wash over you.