Today’s my 30th Birthday. I want to show you who I am.

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Prologue

We will achieve the brighter world we want only to the extent that our center of gravity shifts from our own ego to our identification with the Whole. Many of us resist this shift unknowingly and for good reason: because our ego is protecting itself—and our identification as a singular, separate person—from dying.

But to truly be in service to the Whole—to embody our sacred capacity and not merely our own belief systems—we must face the heavy truth that a death is in fact mandatory.

Thankfully a lighter truth persists: Our death need not be physical. And to be precise it isn’t so much a death as it is an actual, paradoxical expansion. To die an ego’s death is to make room for larger awareness that in turn continuously makes room for the Whole. To die an ego’s death is to 1.) surrender all willpower in the face of its illusory control; 2.) to reach the bottom of our exiled belonging and allow our grief its rightful and full expression; and 3.) to feel our anger not as proof of our righteousness but as courage toward our own continuous becoming.

THERE. That wave you feel crashing inside you is as painful as its ocean remains ecstatic. That point of profound loss is your entryway to complete freedom. The insignificance you’re feeling means you’re one breath away from feeling your unimaginable significance. This is what’s meant when we hear how heartbreak is our greatest medicine—this is what it means to embody both The Light & The Weight.

And yet without lived experience, these remain mere words.

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The poet David Whyte once said that a good elegy is always a conversation between grief and celebration. Grief over the loss of a person or entity; and Celebration that you were here to experience one another in the first place.

Most of us have experienced those fleeting moments when life’s rug feels pulled-out from beneath us and we are caught floating in a space so real we call it groundless. Obvious examples include when you’re on an airplane with unyielding turbulence; at the funeral of a loved one whose life you could never imagine being severed from yours; and more positively, at a best friend’s wedding. What these experiences have in common is an elegiac quality—moments when our illusions of loss and gain at once magnify and disappear. It’s in the center of this fleeting polarity that we discover how our surrender to life, to heartbreak, isn’t really an option at all, but an inevitability.

I’d like to tell you that I live these moments every day. Often they manifest as a quiet gasp in my chest—a search for cosmic air that might sustain me in my fear of utter ruin. These moments have been my greatest teacher—a life lesson so pure it must be somatically teased over the course of lifetimes or else risk its contamination with words.

In fact one of my earliest memories is being in the backseat of my mom’s 1988 Volvo as she drove me and my two older brothers to school. I was probably 7 years old when I asked her, “Mom, what happens when there is no more Earth?” Poor momma, she obviously thought I was referring to the end of the world in apocalyptic, fearful terms. I didn’t have the language then to speak what I could only intuit: how our life on Earth is indeed but a dream—its total comprehension impossible while here we are together, still dreaming.

Here I recall David Foster Wallace’s brilliant commentary on the limits of contemporary awareness—and the intolerance we too easily inhabit when in denial of our penetrating interconnectedness: “This is Water.”

These felt experiences make clear that it’s not death we’re ultimately afraid of, but of not having offered our whole heart to life—of not embracing every sentient stranger with the vibrational language of unity: “I need you.”

In these moments too we discover that “dependence” is not a dirty word. While patriarchal conditioning has led us to believe in the singular virtue of self-reliance, the reemerging feminine reminds us that our dependence on each other is in fact at the Heart of what we’re fighting for.

I’m speaking of a Knowing that’s deeper than mind and beyond even your mind’s imagining: that we need each other not just because we depend on each other, but because we are each other in the form of lost fragments. We are quite literally points of reference all arguing for our place in the Whole. So I ask only this question: “How may I harmonize?”

In our quietest and most ecstatic moments, we Know. We Know that we ourselves are the Whole. We Know that our ideas of God are put on a pedestal and made separate only by those souls still clinging to their own illusory power. It’s damn obvious. And only by seeing through our power struggles can we realize how there is nothing left to fight for than the revelation of our interconnectivity itself. There’s nothing “to do” in this incarnation but to ask 1.) how we may build bridges to one another’s hearts; 2.) how we may create harmony and wholeness in the face of society’s insistence on separation; and 3.) how we may contribute to societal systems in alignment with natural law where there was once dogma; and in service to Love where there was once false power.

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Yes, we have arrived at a peculiar moment in our evolution where our mind’s wit moves faster than the capacity of our hearts. Our great mistake, of course, was falsely separating matter from spirit in the first place. Nature needs no human evidence to prove its love exists. Yet here we are, having come into the world in a time of breakdown to discover in what fashion we’re able to break-through. If you’re not asking a version of these questions, I wonder in earnest what you’re asking?

The days of blame are over. Not because no one is responsible. Not because you or they won’t be held accountable. Not even because we are finally Remembering how there are more shades to Truth than black or white and right or wrong.

The days of blame are over because we can no longer pretend that our righteousness changes minds or builds bridges. We can no longer ask one another with a straight face, “Who is Right?” And we can no longer pretend that our proof is the Right one. The evidence in support of our varying stances will always be limited to the expanse of our awareness and therefore the quality of our questions. The absurdity of accepting even modern western science as gospel can be seen in its own blind faith in the questions it presupposes — all rooted in philosophical materialism, a dichotomy of flesh and spirit.

Resist being put off by the complex and contradictory moral frameworks of external authorities—these are merely decorated maps that act to help us forget a sobering compass: how, in the end, there is only unity. The reality is we are all guessing at life in the best ways we know how. And you owe it to yourself to guess at yourself as your own author. Because you are.

In a culture obsessed with learned proof, we’ve lost sight of the lived kind: Love cannot be fought for; it can only be surrendered to.

Yet to #LeadWithLove remains an empty axiom for those of us still stuck in our heads and sick with our body’s trauma. This is why the work of bridging our somatic, emotional genius with that of our intellect matters more than anything to me. The process of healing our trauma, no matter our choice of modality, involves a sacred marriage of mind-body-soul-spirit that western science is still laboring to prove. I don’t give a fuck, and neither should you.

All therapies, and all help, and all knowledge are going to be absolutely obsolete. People need immediately self-exalted experience. And that is what the whole essence of human life is.
—  — Yogi Bhajan

In the new paradigm, there’s no proof, there’s only presence. Embodiment. Fraudulence will have no way of disguising itself as function, wholly because we will no longer cut off instinct from intuition, reason from felt sense, mind from body, and spirit from soul. We are on our way now.

I came into this life terrified and am just now learning how not to be. With a dad who didn’t and does not know how to love me, and a mother still learning to find her own love within herself. This is the collective reality in which we were born: a world of generational trauma that has hit its boiling point.

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These last few years in my twenties have been my most emotionally challenging yet as I’ve sought, and sometimes not, to reach a new level of purity in my ego. Boy did I ask for it. The process has meant unwinding my shadow from the depths of my soul and psyche; seeing clearly my profound loneliness often manifesting as desperation in relationships; and experiencing a lack of self-worth and motivation so piercing that the other kind of death at times seemed more desirable. I give gratitude for each and every circumstance for being an integral piece of my journey back Home to Myself. And here I Am.

As we heal our personal and intergenerational traumas we in turn make space to expand our identity to encompass our shared human family. And all the scientific studies on what it will take to heal the world can’t tell us what we don’t already know, intuitively: if how we move forward isn’t founded on love, then we’re merely being salesmen.

Let’s do the real work of Wholeness: To ask what gives life, what gives love, and what creates harmony in our lives, on this Earth. Let’s create intimacy where there are fragments; healing where there is trauma; acceptance where there is sorrow; surrender where there is fear; and elevated anger where there is indignation. Each of us has an entire spectrum of life inside of us. How will you transmute yours?

Step into your heart, and seek out those who want, with teary eyes, for you to shine unwaveringly. It starts with you, and you don’t deserve anything less than a life imbued with pure wonder.