On Being Real

Listening to a program on KGNU public radio, a husband and wife team of wilderness guides spoke on the process of Circle (or Council as I learned it.) Council or Circle is a native way of truth telling where you listen and speak with heart, sincerity and truth. Depending on the lineage of council you get slight variations in the pillars and process.

But the gist is the same.

A group gathers. They take turns in listening to one another, tell honest stories form the heart. A rich ritual. A way of being.

These wilderness guides were talking about this practice and how it can often be rather cursory in the beginning. People sharing honestly but not really truth-telling into the depths. All it takes, they said, is for one brave sole soul to ignite the fire of deep reflective honesty from within. Like dominos all members fall into the depth of their own hearts--seeing our stories are less unique and singular than we once may have believed. We realize we are less alone and sometimes our aloneness sensations may even be mirrored back by others.

I remember studying the way of Council in graduate school and experiencing personally this spiraling nature of vulnerable truth-telling.

You see, truth is catching. It's a total turn on. So is vulnerability. And it's not about finding one singular truth or being in agreement with one another. It's about witnessing and being part of the raw nature of someones heart. Together.

If we want our culture of yoga to be more honest and real, then you be more honest. If you want social media to be less fake and more true then you tell what's in your heart. If you want your classes to be inspiring, there is nothing more inspiring then an integrated and whole human.

Dare to speak honestly. Share sensations and feelings. This is how we build connection. This is how we build understanding. And when we share without the expectation that someone should take care of us—when we share full knowing we can take care of ourselves and be witnessed in our joy and pain—bridges are built without the rickety and unstable mortar of emotional codependence.

Shall we?

Livia ShapiroComment
What is Freedom Anyway?

Is it having the power to do what you will any time you like?
Is it not caring other people think of you?
Is it having enough money to give back to charity and send your kids easily to college?
Is it being out of debt?
Is it owning a boat?
Is it knowing you don't need your spouse but that you choose them every day?
Is it traveling the world, with your possessions pared down to a backpack?
Is it not having kids?
It is it living alone?
Is it being emancipated from your parents?
Is it being off the digital grid and grind?
Is it letting yourself take and claim liberties in your relationship without permission?

Really, I ask, what is our freedom anyway?

Maybe it is the bonds of lineage that tether us to living in a body?
Perhaps it's the awe that comes through expressing ourselves through soma not just words.
Maybe it is the exquisite bondage of our children, our partners, our love?
Maybe it is the accountability of community holding us through the ever expanding web.
Perhaps after all, freedom is the inner knowing that your are deeply okay no matter what. That indeed there is a place inside you that is always radiant, full and free.
Maybe freedom comes through being bound, wound, and placed in your particular place in life's web. Maybe its your responsibilities that allow you to feel the freedom of being only and utterly yourself.

To the bonds the keep us loving and living. The exquisite bondage of this life.
To your beloveds and accounts.


Livia ShapiroComment
Make Room

A call for us to better understand, accept, support, listen to and only then be able to transform female rage.

Rage is wild, unpredictable, oceanic and consuming.

But when it is whole and holy and in the right name of justice or protection or anything good and righteous you better get out of the way.

Female rage is one of the greatest gifts and forces we have within us to set the course right again.

My sisters, your rage is divine and holy to me. I will not look away. And in that reciprocity, the way the ocean meets the land, I will show you mine.

We will carve the rocks and land into more beautiful coastlines.

Do not fear your own power of holy rage. It’s time for a good housecleaning. Move the furniture. Send the kids out to the yard. Let’s let the waves come.


Livia ShapiroComment