Those who know me know I have a lot of energy running through me. Sometimes the energy has its way with me. Sometimes the energy makes me its bitch.
The past few years as I’ve been planting and nurturing the seeds that grew into EdibleSpirit, people would ask me “Don’t you get tired?” and I’m all, “Naaaaaahhhhh, I don’t get tired, I love this work, it energizes me, it makes me feel great. Sure I crash if I don’t take care of myself, but it’s cool.” And then I’d get a sidelong glance like “Okay (She crazy).”
I bottomed out once (not long ago), in late 2014, when I had to take some time off to recuperate from all my cosmic excursions. I had been going so hard, offering everything I could, saying yes to everything else, until I was overextended in a way I didn’t even understand. I had no idea what to do but pull the plug on all things mystical.
In this case it wasn’t just because I was exhausted. I had been so deeply invested in my mystical work and studies that I let all these other pieces of my self fall by the wayside. I was settling into a cozy routine of readings, healings, and teaching. I loved it… until I flipped out.
What had happened? Where was I? Where was the Mikey I used to know? So weird that after committing fully to this path I suddenly worried that I had abandoned myself. I was exhausted, but more importantly I was unhappy and uneasy. Certainly not peaceful.
I knew that if I didn’t feel my best, there was no way I could be holding space for others to feel their best. So I shut down for a hot minute. (Trust. I know that I am so dang blessed to have the luxury of shutting down.)
Problem was, I didn’t stop, I diversified. I picked up all the threads I let go of when I became a full-time healer. I pursued creative outlets that I had left by the wayside. I challenged myself. I did as much as I had ever done and added a few new things to the list. I even came up with the idea behind EdibleSpirit - to go hard into the ether, then bring it back to earth... I just didn’t rest.
The trippy thing is, I didn’t even know I wasn’t resting. I didn’t know I wasn’t recuperating. I thought I was going for peace. I was chasing peace. I was running like mad in search of something, anything, that would still my turbulent waters.
And then some extra craziness unfurled - family stuff, relationship stuff, work stuff, health stuff, personal, existential, and spiritual stuff. I am supposed to be the one who understands and can handle this stunning array of stuff. And I did handle it all. I took myself to task on the daily, making sure I was acting, being, and thinking with as much integrity as I could muster. I just didn’t rest. And I certainly didn’t find peace. I didn’t stop.
What stands out to me in this whole narrative (and the thing I have the MOST compassion for in others) is that when you don’t know YOU DON’T KNOW. If it’s unconscious, it’s because you're NOT CONSCIOUS of it. And there’s just so much. The pace is so fast. The news is so sad. So many generational, national, and global promises have been broken. There’s so much pain. How can we know everything we need to know, all the time, and still live our lives? And be happy? And find peace? Gawrsh.
I don’t love New Year resolutions. I think they come at an awful time when we’re all bloated and depressed from the insanity of the holidays. Worst time ever to make big life changes. So much pressure. So little will to stay resolved.
So I tend to focus on the Spring Equinox (which JUST passed) as the astrological new year. It’s the best time for starting new projects, and even making resolutions… but years ago a beloved teacher encouraged me to use it as the time to make a list of desires and intentions and to go through several practices for manifesting them.
I have long been working with making wanting acceptable, allowing free desire in me and around me. So I work on wanting through making that list of intentions and manifestations every spring Equinox. Then I use every practice I have learned to clear the way for them.
This year has been different. When January came I had an urge to make a resolution. I said “I want peace. Now.” I kept it that simple. Peace. Peace. Peace. I was patting myself on the back for what an awesome resolution Peace was. I knew it would be hard. That’s why it was awesome!
Peace is a state of calm, quiet, and stillness… a state of non-violence, no war. And yet the world is still going on. So peace implies a state that occurs DESPITE all the other forces before, after, and around it. It’s peace, despite any and all chaos.
I thought that was a very EdibleSpirit intention - something so lofty and idealistic which also factors in the annoying stimuli of everyday existence. I thought the keyword would give me somewhere to go no matter what got thrown at me. If I could stay peaceful through everything, I would probably grow and get stuff I want also!
It also sounded great: Peace, man. Not wanting. Not criticizing. Not giving anything up. Just peace.
I have to admit - I’ve been so engaged with this intention that I have become a bit testy - a little hermit-like… Baaaahhhh don’t disturb my quest for peace! If you’re not FOR my peace, you're AGAINST IT! Baaaahhhh. I found some peace at first, but then I think I started fighting for my peace. Things started to feel very black and white, super intense, and a little creaky.
And then the equinox came. I went to write my list of desired manifestations… and I had nothing. I really didn’t want anything. Except… wait for it… peace.
So I did my practice. I asked for peace. I begged for peace. Show me peace, help me cultivate peace, help me find peace. Lead me to peace, guide me to peace. I desire to manifest peace.
And then I heard a voice in my head. “I am peace”
Boom. Big Oprah Ugly Cry.
It’s right there? It’s been there all along? How could you find it anywhere else Mikey? Why have you been looking so hard.
Trust, it wasn’t world peace. It felt like a teeny tiny little drop of peace in an ocean of crazy. But it was mine. It was ME. It was a place to start, a place to come from, a place to go back to. A pre-existing and prevailing peace.
I see now that my previous states of crap-out fall-down pull-the-plug I-need-to-rest had come from searching high and low and up and down for this thing, which was already in me…
But I was so amped up by the journey! So damned certain it was going to come from somewhere else that I couldn’t calm down for long enough to let this peace that I am consume me. I probably should have done what my BFF calls “Going Baked Potato”- wrapping yourself in all the blankets and vegetating until you can breathe again - but I didn’t. I kept probing for peace.
And there it was. Here I am. It’s yours too.
Peace is inside of you. Everything you need is inside of you. But we are so turned outward, so dang often, so certain that the answer is out there, that we can’t hear the voice that’s been gently cooing the answer all along.
Shhhhhh! We say. GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO. Until you have no choice but to baked potato.
But who can baked potato these days? Where is the time? Sometimes I think flus and strep and colds and sinus crap is just cosmically enforced baked potato.
I’m offering this practice for you to find peace, now, via baked potato state, without having to crash and/or hit a wall.
Momentary Baked Potato Practice:
1. Pretend your hands are tinfoil. Pretend your face is a potato. Wrap your face in your foil hands. Whisper, "Shhhhh, shhhhh, shhhh. I am peace. I am peace. I am full of peace." Feel your face baking with love, acceptance, and encouragement from your self and your hands.
2. Then move your hands to your heart. Imagine your heart is a potato. Whisper "Shhhhh, shhhhh, shhhhh, I am peace, I am peace, I am full of peace." Feel your heart getting warmer and warmer with love, acceptance and encouragement from yourself.
3. Now move your hands to your belly. Imagine your belly is a potato. Gather your whole potato belly in your hands (or if you don’t have a belly just gently fold the hands over the area just below your navel) and whisper "Shhhhhh, shhhhh, shhhhh. I am peace. I am peace. I am full of peace." Feel your belly get warmer with love, acceptance and encouragement from yourself.
4. Imagine your whole body is a giant potato. Imagine your big potato body wrapped in foil. Feel the love, acceptance and encouragement in there. Feel your whole body baking in it, getting warmer and warmer. Say "Shhhhhh, shhhhh, shhhhh, I am peace, I am peace, I am full of peace."
5. Now imagine a big, beautiful set of cosmic hands opening your foil and digging into the potato of your self. The steam that is released is peace. The potato is peace. The butter and sour cream and chives are peace. Let the pre-existing peace within you emerge. Let it prevail. One more time “I am peace, I am peace, I am peace.”
Love and e-z baked light,