Joy in Solemnity

Joy in Solemnity December 5, 2014

‘I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil’
Wisdom from U2

Inhale/ Exhale

Last night my loving husband of 22 years spoke truth to my heart. And it hurt like HELL. But apparently was exactly what I needed to hear from the person who loves me most.

“I don’t understand where this self-loathing comes from. You used to be so confident in your intelligence. I think for some reason, you don’t feel worthy of how very smart you are.”


Tears sprang to my eyes because he had hit the nail on the head. And I actually thought I had made so much progress on my healing path, addressing my abandonment wound over the past two years. A memory of the words that sprang from my heart in meditation shouted “There is no EFFIN path! There is only HERE and NOW. Show up in the way that I have taught you. With compassion and LOVE for yourSELF, without judgment. Period.” Yep...God said “EFFIN”.

Lord knows, I don’t curse.
My children had felt their mother’s sense of unfulfilled, unrealized potential, and the emptiness inside that she occasionally tried to fill with wine, shopping, or gossip. Yet I knew that she hadn’t found the truth that she was looking for. All the while looking for attention in the world– the ego dragging her around with its lame attempts at wholeness and healing. But the ego was disconnected from the True Self. How do I know this? None of it worked!

We much prefer joy over sadness and yet they are inextricably related. I have awoken with anxiety each morning for months now. The challenge for me was to trust that a daily crying/meditation practice was necessary to simply BE ME, the natural one. Then one day in the shower, it hit me– the anxiety is a gift. My body’s natural intelligence was relaying a need to release and connect through centering prayer. I have begun each day in the presence of the LIVING GOD.

I used to stuff the negative emotions down, hoping they would disappear. But energy never just evaporates. It settles into the body and for me manifested as infertility, IBS, depression, PMDD, loss of 4 teeth, and insomnia. But, it can  be shifted and transformed, with awareness and mindfulness practices like yoga. I am grateful to share that I have NEVER been healthier and no longer suffer from any of these physical conditions.

I have come to realize that denying my wounds and faults has kept me from being my authentic self; that the quest is full of ‘On my knees in humility’ moments that can turn into days. Just last month I failed my yoga teacher training written exam. Not once, but TWICE!!  Staying with the question, not needing an answer just yet, I waited. After a few days I recognized a disconnect:

For 4 years I had put off yoga teacher training out of fear around failing the exam. All my prior scholastic and career successes- 5th in my HS graduating class, finance degree and 12 years in commercial banking had been erased while I stayed home, raising our now teenagers. I didn’t “feel” smart any longer and my mind convinced me I should play very small. Maybe you can relate?

During the training my most frequent prayer had been for God to create in me a humble teacher. How did I think She was going to accomplish this??

  • Failure
  • Darkness
  • Self-loathing
  • Anxiety

All kindling for the internal fire of transformation. So in the stillness of my practice, I continued to surrender.

The ” I am not good enough” voice in the head is that of a frightened little girl. I acknowledge it simply as resistance to change, a fear of losing my center—— “Authentic competence has arisen” said the deeper, truer voice and so I begin….to dare to be brilliant and wild.

I would like to share this “dark” poem I penned after learning of my failure on 11/1, All Souls Day, after 7 months of hard work and dedication to the practice I love.

Hallowing the Day of the Dead

heart wails
bounce off dingy, urine-scented walls.
spiders scrutinize and hold vigil,
as I lie prone.

bowels twist like fishtail braid.
darkness arriving to shroud and
eclipse my soul.

resolutely, the will
to feel-
shame mostly, demands
anger cloaked in blame
masquerading itself
disguised and unrecognizable.

corner of veil lifts.
anarchy commences

malevolent, restless ones threaten insemination.
barrenness echoes a prayer:
“impregnate from the enchanted souls lying beneath the earth!”

YOU, the Christ!
Enter and shed eternal light.
I choose to carry your salvation
In all its Crowning glory.
I choose resurrection and hope.
I choose love.
I choose

My Truth and Peace lie in the shadows, the interplay between light and dark, joy and solemnity. I heard in my spirt on my mat a few days later, “Meet Grace”. I took that to mean I was being re-birthed with a new name. God sure answers prayers. I think She especially likes to grant the ones that begin with
“Humble Me”.

Anita Grace


Browse Our Archives