Aurah. I mean, where did this come from? As much as this whole thing was a school project, it just wasn't and isn't. It still lives and breathes; and not just with me. There's a little group of us that's playing with the same plot line I'm playing with which is "I'm authoring my life and it's pretty amazing..." Aurah literally means 'goddess of the dawn wind'. It also means 'intimate parts' and 'emanating glow' and all combined maybe it means I voice what it means to be simultaneously emanating a glow while sharing intimate stories? It's all that, yes, using these surface definitions. But it's way more than that too.
Here's how I can best explain: Aurah is the single word that encapsulates a series of qualities. When I hear others call me Aurah (as some have sortof started to call me - and yes it's awkward sometimes) I am immediately reminded of what state of being Aurah is and specific Christ-like qualities that I seek to cultivate in my life in an active manner. The qualities are: presence, kindness and clarity and Aurah is the name I give the being I AM when I embody those qualities. My Default World name is lovely and I'm delighted to have it, it's served me so well, however Aurah is feeling more and more like who I am and who I want to be. Who I want to move through life as: present, kind and clear. It's really simple.
Audah reminded me on the phone this morning of this same phenomenon all throughout pop culture and beyond. That is, adopting another name to make art with. It's empowering! Samuel Clemons had Mark Twain. Charles Dodgson had Lewis Carroll. Ricardo Basoalto had Pablo Neruda. And Beyoncé has Sasha Fierce! The list is extensive and impressive, which is helpful when I wonder if I'm going mad. This whole Aurah-thing isn't terribly different from those examples and besides I like being transparent (clear) about it. May it be so!
I took a bath this afternoon. A long one. I had the house to myself and so I took advantage. I sang a couple of recent songs that have come to me really loudly and loved how they echoed in the tub. I could see the sound waves in the bathwater and imagined that same reverb in the whole house. I realized a ton of stuff about the desire to cut my hair, the nature of bangs and straight hair, what I'm hiding with the bangs and of course the vanity of having very long hair. Am I like Samson and I'm about to lose all my power when I cut off my hair? Or am I like Siddhartha and sense a way to annihilate my ego once and for all? Am I a paradoxical Both-And? Oh shit...
My bangs need a trim right now, at this moment, and knowing that it's two weeks time until the July full moon and the big chop-off is maddening. I can see how I might start to feel like the proverbial overgrown Buddha statue, deep in the recesses of southeast Asia. In two weeks time, I will be so ready for a haircut, with so much pent-up angst and irritation at hair being in my eyes and no longer merely covering my forehead, that I will run as fast as I possibly can to my hair appointment to excavate what's underneath. Two days later, not randomly, I leave for southeast Asia with my son... To make that excursion with a backpack, my boy and a pixie cut sounds like that makings of an Oz story, to be sure.
I had made a deal with both of my kids many years ago not knowing how I was going to pay for it. The deal was that I would take them anywhere in the world for their coming-of-age-celebration as long as it was a developing country. They had to look up what that meant and then choose to accept my offer or not. With few initiatory rituals in our country to usher children into adulthood, a lot of kids get a car, have a Sweet 16 party or perhaps a quinceanera. I took my girl to India just two summers ago. We backpacked all over Rajastan for almost a month. Long-haul trains, unbelievable heat and staggering poverty were balanced by seeing first-hand the Taj Mahal, experiencing the smells of bodies burning in Varanasi and exploring the deep connection of our mother-daughter bond. My goal with these offers to my children? To plant a seed of actionable compassion in their lives. For them to want to understand for themselves why there's so much inequality in the world. Why gratitude matters in doing their part to make the world a kinder place. My boy chose Myanmar and we leave two days after the next full moon.
My ultimate take away from this hyper-realized salt bath was a reminder of this: the simple freedom to choose is at the Center of what it means to be the Paradox of mySelf. The freedom to cut my hair off, for example. Freedom to choose my clothes.
Freedom to close my eyes.
Freedom to go within.
Freedom to observe real close.
Freedom to extend my exhale.
Freedom to die.
Freedom to generate.
Freedom to extend my inhale.
Freedom to choose love.
Freedom to open my eyes.
Freedom to smile.
Freedom to move about!
Freedom to be kind in all the ways.
Also, Aurah rhymes with 'Tara' and both are one letter off from 'Sarah'. What's my name, again? Point is, Tara feels like a guide. May it be so!
Audah, Aujah and I were talking last night during our Summer Solstice gathering - because of course we had one. Is what we're doing, like, a thing? And by thing I mean - realize and own our goddess-nature, take action around it and sometimes make others uncomfortable because they don't understand? I feel it rising in all three of us at amazing speed. Channeling it with love is the task at hand for me. I see how it's super easy to derail completely into "OMG, what would so-and-so think about all this?" or "Am I nuts?" when the reality is I'm not nuts. And, I kindly don't give a fuck what anyone thinks about all this. I'm centered in a state of love and light emanating out ceaselessly in the darkness of mis-understanding. I know this is True, with everything that I AM.
So we gathered for the solstice. Aujah hosted at her home and had created for us a giant altar with three seats for us to sit, chill and ruminate about how to best serve the planet. I delivered a snake that I had picked up for Audah. I rescued that snake from Ross Dress for Less on Friday night and spent the weekend charging her up at my house. This snake sat on my meditation cushion and guarded my "hippie locker" (my son's name for the cabinet where I keep all my incense and stuff). Audah named her Cleopatra almost immediately. Cleo, for short.
We ritualized the whole experience with a flower meditation and burning off what is no longer serving us. I asked to release the illusion that the ball's not in my court at all times. The ball is always in my court! As a sentient being, I have the power of choice in every breath of my life. Even if my power to choose only allows me to exude kindness and not take physical action. Even as my last breaths are being had on earth, I have a visceral sense that I could still choose who I AM until my last breath is gone...
May it be so.
I'm feeling called to cut my hair. Not in a crazy-ass-traumatic-Britney-Spears way but rather in a it's-time-for-new-antenna way. My hair is ten years old! All those Burning Mans. All those Vipassana retreats. My children's childhoods. Graduate school with my beloved teacher. Tons of travel. There is a lot of information in this hair that grew up and out of my crown chakra. What am I thinking? Well, I'm thinking it's time to wipe the spiritual blackboard clean and grow new antenna. Besides, I've had a pixie cut before. As much as this is a big ole deal, it's just not. It's hair and it'll grow back.
So why now? I'm harnessing the power of a pre-existing set of agreements to travel for work to San Francisco and for adventure with my son to Burma, with consideration of the moon phase to determine the most potent course of action. It seems obvious to me that I work with what is already in motion to be bold, be fearless and to go for it! So much of my identity is wrapped up in this here hair. When it's down, it's stunning. Strangers stop me and tell me so. And when it's up in a knot and held in place with one of my magic wands, I'm uniquely focused on whatever task is in front of me.
I remember back to times when I had super short hair. Previous lives when I was up to other things. The most profound thing I remember is how serendipitous life was with short hair. It's a thing with me, actually. I am inspired to consider that phenomenon might happen again without the distraction of so much information hanging off my head in the form of hair. It's like pruning back the roses. New blooms appear when I cut the overgrowth. Same with the hair, I think. It's nature doin' its thang. I'm just making room for more flowering, that's all. It seems really obvious and lovely.
Also, I have other things to be inspired by - rewards I'm building in to celebrate taking the plunge. I've commissioned three new dresses from a custom pattern I'm having made that is an amalgamation of three different articles of clothing I have: a boat neck shirt that flatters my neckline and covers the chest tattoo, a dress-shape from a garment I bought in India two years ago and finally the length of a third dress. I'm also adding a belt and zippered pockets. And the fabrics? Oh my, let's just say they're high-vibe! I'm thrilled to have a series of Aurah-costumes in the works. I'm also working on a series of ceremonies to punctuate the whole sequence of events. Eyes wide open, complete with a death, a bardo experience, a re-birth and of course a celebration! More soon. So much more.
Two parting comments:
My first big adventure as Aurah was to India last Spring when I traveled with this lovely bunch to Sikkim. They are all retired scientists and professionals and we toured the Himalayas together for a couple of weeks. I spent most of my free time writing my paper Unified Field Theory of Oz as we moved from town to town in Sikkim. At the end of our trip, I went on a solo mission to Calcutta and Belur Math and the home seat of Swami Vivekananda in verify an energetic connection between him and L. Frank Baum and possibly the book that started it all - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As a deep sub-plot character in the fourteenth and final book named Aurah, it seemed obvious to me that this was the perfect experiment. Wild adventures ensued! I promised Team Sikkim that I'd share a copy of the self-published version of Unified Field Theory of Oz just as soon as I get copies in...
It was lovely to connect with them all about a year after our grand adventure and have dinner together last night. We laughed, ate Indian food and re-lived parts of our travels together. An excellent time was had by all!
Periodic updates from Aurah in the Field.