Enigma explained . . . sort of

This is difficult for me to explain. Up until quite recently, I never even tried to explain, but in the past couple weeks I’ve found myself with enough words and wherewithal to explain to a couple people (much to my own surprise, as this is quite a struggle), and I realized that the rest of my friends and family would probably really appreciate a better understanding of what goes on in my head. As it is, this post has taken me 3 days to write.

Most people notice that I’m very introverted, despite the fact that I can be very social when I choose to be. Or perhaps I should say when I’m capable of choosing to be. I’m that girl who spends more time on the dance floor than at the bar; I’m the girl that will respond to an entire conversation in nothing but facial expressions and giggling; I’m the girl who wanders off, disappearing to have solo adventures, or just simply vanishing for a few hours/days. And most people accept that is me, that’s how I am. I usually justify my eccentricity with crazy stories of what I’ve been up to, or finished art that I have produced in my alone time, and people just assume that I am a strongly independent and creative type, who maybe experiences some social anxiety, and that’s that.

But there’s more to it than just that.

I’ve never confirmed this, mostly because I don’t trust psych doctors enough to let them get close to me, but I strongly suspect that I have been experiencing episodes of depersonalization disorder (or something like it) for nearly my entire life.

I have always been a people watcher, an observer, even a wall flower – that’s normal. What isn’t normal is that sometimes I forget that I exist. I am a transparent eyeball observing the world but not actually part of it. And when confronted with a reminder that I do exist, I am at a total loss of how to interact with reality. Sometimes reality doesn’t even make sense to me. It’s like living in a bad trip, a semi-permanent k-hole experience, able to see and hear and think, but not even remotely able to figure out how to interact with or even properly acknowledge the reality around me. Like I’m on the other side of a foggy wall, or a great chasm that separates me from reality. It’s really hard to put into words.

And even when I am cognizant of myself as a human being who exists, I don’t always know how to express myself in ways that are understandable. When someone asks me how I’m feeling, telling them that I am filled with glitter in 17 shades of pink and grey doesn’t really translate into something they’re going to understand. And making obscure analogies is what I’m capable of on good days; other times I’ll simply freeze up and have no idea how to express myself. It all makes sense in my head, abstract colors, snippets of music, flashes of different images, memories, associations, but heaven help me if I’m forced to actually verbalize my interior landscape in something that another person can understand.

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments that I am very well written (thank you), and while on the surface I attribute it to being raised in a very literary household, one of the primary reasons I put so much effort to writing is because it allows me to maintain a handle on reality, to express the myriad of emotions I experience, to connect that which I observe back to those around me, to share even just a taste of the phantasmagoria that is my inner landscape. Speak to me, in person, in real-time, and my ability to represent my perspective will often falter. Give me a couple hours to compose a blog post and I can give you more insight than I probably even realized I could express. Allow me the space and time, free from the pressure of immediate interaction, to truly dig into my lexicon and my observer’s insight will reward me with the ability to very deeply empathize and relate. Through my writing, I practice self-expression that people can understand, and I try to carry those skills of self-expression over into my face to face interactions; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

And when it doesn’t work, when I am at loss of how to express, how to interact, how to even just be a human, it’s easier to retreat, fade away into the background, to ignore other’s attempts to connect until I can regain a sense of reality and self. Our modern age of technology makes this so, so very easy. When I don’t know how to acknowledge reality, I simply don’t. I ignore your texts and messages, I stay away from social media, I say “oh, I was in a bad reception area” – which isn’t totally a lie, but the reception I’m referring to has nothing to do with my phone. And in social situations, I find ways to seclude myself in a crowd; I lose myself in dancing, I respond to conversation only in smiles and giggles, sometimes I even lock myself in a bathroom and stare at the stranger in the mirror until I recognize her again. The persona most of you know me as, this enigmatic fairy who thinks it’s hilarious to defy expectations, she’s a character I invented so that I could remember how to interact with reality. She’s still me of course, ever piece of art we create is a self-portrait, but there are moments when I need to be socially “normal” and can’t figure it out, so I fall back on “what does Luna the Fairy do?”.

It’s not always a bad thing, feeling dissociated from reality, there is a lot of peace to be found in forgetting you exist and simply floating through. But sometimes it’s lonely, or leads to misunderstandings. How do you explain feeling disconnected when you can’t establish a connection? This post in itself is not only the product of 3 days of writing, it’s the product of more than 20 years of trying to understand and find the words. And I’m still not convinced I’ve managed to do it well. But I love my friends and family, and I felt like I had to try. It’s what the fairy in me would do.

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I’m asking you . . .

I have a strange way of not experiencing certain things, not encountering certain influences, not witnessing certain art, until it is most relevant to me in my life, when it carries the most impact, and is most appreciated. And yesterday, I discovered the badass that is Amanda Fucking Palmer, and her thoughts on The Art of Asking.

It does seem slightly strange that I wasn’t already familiar with her work; I do recall at least 2 or 3 scenarios some years back in which I was told I should absolutely listen to The Dresden Dolls, I would love their music, I need to check it out asap, etc. However, as I also recall, these moments always happened while riding in the car, exactly one song would be played for me, I would enjoy it, then someone else would commandeer the stereo and I’d forget all about it. Probably because I wasn’t meant to properly discover Amanda Palmer until that moment when she would have maximum impact. As in now, when she is not only known for her role in the dynamic duo of The Dresden Dolls, but also a recognized revolutionary of how we interact with art and support the artists that create it; as in now, when I’m struggling to come into my own as an artist, and a connector of people and emotions and ideas, and could really use a role model who understands the art of putting one’s heart and soul out there, and the art of asking for the support needed to keep putting one’s heart and soul out there.

I’m losing count of how many times I’ve watched this video since yesterday afternoon.

I have been, without realizing it, asking for the wrong things, asking for permission to make my art. I feel like I need to make some kind of business, legitimize my work, start an Etsy, get a day job, do some “real work” to earn the right to make my art. I feel unsettled, and sometimes even guilty, when I create something that is expressly for the sake of making art. But it fills my heart with joy when people respond to my art, when they see me dance, when I gift a pair of wings, when I write something that someone relates to . . . how can I reconcile this joy in creation with the pressing refrain “Is this fair?” . . . the haunting whisper of “Get a job . . .”

Amanda gave me the answer. She says “trust, and ask.”

So I will. I will trust in myself, I will trust in my art, I will trust in my audience, sparse as they might be right now.
I will stop asking for permission to make my art; I will start asking you to trust me.
I’m going to use my art to fall in love with the world, and I’m going to ask you to give a little back if you fall in love too.

I see you . . . thank you.

For my next trick . . .

Today’s word is Tricky. As it pertains to the original 40 Days of Flow, this should be the day to practice technique that is tough, not so easily mastered, but like every day that I have experienced so far in 40 Days of Fae, this word is taking on new meaning deeper than I know what to do with.

There’s been a lot of tears today, and not because it’s a bad day, but a lot of old emotions have resurfaced to say hi.

It’s tricky moving on after losing someone. You think that you’ve finally cried it out and that you’re going to be ok, but then you remember how much it sucks that they are gone and you’re right back where you started, even if it’s months or years after the fact.

It’s tricky learning to live with people who don’t understand you, don’t see the real you, are too caught up in their own personal narrative to even see the real people and situations standing in front of them.

It’s tricky finding the perfect balance between feeling beautiful and empowered, and actually applying that energy in a way that is productive to moving forward in life. Saying I’m magical doesn’t automatically make my bank account magically full (wouldn’t that be simple and convenient).

It’s tricky to keep giving selflessly to others while remembering that you need to spend some of that magic on yourself as well.

But as a magical being, it’s only natural that I need to keep adding new tricks to my arsenal. So I pull up my socks (metaphorically, this is still barefoot season after all), and I keep on keeping on.

The Data is Thus Inconclusive in Regards to the Original Hypothesis

I really don’t know what to make of my 40 Days of Fae project. This weekend my usual practice of selecting a word got a little bit derailed, but I figured I would just pick up today where I left off and draw a new word. Out of curiosity, I decided to pick a handful of numbers and retroactively assign them to the days I missed, just to see what that day’s word might have been. Well I should know better about idly casting spells like that, because each word was eerily apt for the day in retrospect. This has officially moved beyond the original idea of being a “personal boot camp” for reinstalling healthy habits and reinvigorating my flow practices, this has now become a full on experiment in the power of Serendipity and the full extent of my Magical Manifestation.

For my own record keeping, the words of the weekend were thus:

  • Thursday – Overflowing
    This day was marked by feeling like I was overflowing with conflicting needs and desires as I battled suddenly lethagy and brain fog brought on by adjusting my supplements. How to reconcile the overwhelming urge to crawl in bed and nap for 3 days when there is so much magic to be making?
  • Friday – Sweaty
    This one reminded me that my list of words was originally taken from somebody else’s 40 day experiment in improving their flow and hooping practice, but still, the word proved appropriate as I spent most of Friday night dancing my heart out with my tribe, and even shape shifted into a fire fae three different times throughout the evening, and was indeed very sweaty and dusty by the end of it 🙂
  • Saturday – Relaxing
    While the rest of the country was celebrating the 4th with food, beer, and explosives, I spent my day being very mellow, taking care of my sore muscles, and just enjoying a lovely summer evening in my own home.

Today’s word is Powerful, and I’m feeling it. I just went back re-reading through my other entries leading up to this day, and thought about how the first couple of days were a bit of a struggle to really feel the word and embody it for the day. But today I looked at the word Powerful and thought to myself “Yup, I’m feeling it!” The past 2 weeks that I have been working on this experiment has been something else entirely from what I expected when I began, but the results I have been getting have really been blowing my mind, and I find myself asking “Is this what doing Magic is actually like? Was I really only just working with training wheels before this?” I’ve been wearing wings for nearly 5 years now, but I’m finally just learning to fly for real.

The Greatest Gift

Love, the beauty of it, the joy of it, and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being, and we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame, and without compromise.” – Ellen Page

Today’s word was Confident, but what today felt like was a crisis of confidence. I sat down to write about my ideas of love, and relationships, and the journey I am on discovering myself in a whole new light . . . And I choked. I started thinking about the response such a post would get, what people would say, what specific people would say, and I completely choked while writing. Then I found a video clip of Ellen Page’s coming out speech, and it loosened the grip I felt in my chest. Because even though I’m not gay, I knew the words came from the same place of longing that I was feeling too; longing for acceptance, to freely be my truest self, to be understood even though I know there will be many who simply don’t get it.

Because even though I’m not gay, I am coming out. I am polyamorous.

I am polyamorous because love is the greatest gift we can share, and I believe love is infinite. To me, it makes no sense to claim ownership of a person via a relationship and to tell the world they are not allowed to love this person the same way you do because you got there first. I believe that love cannot be cheapened, only strengthened, the more that it’s shared.

And it’s not that I have anything against monogamy, I have seen first hand couples with strong, thriving relationships that are also life-long partnerships. But it’s not for me. I’ve tried it, and I’ve had some incredible relationships. But it’s not for me.

I want to love without compromise; I want each relationship in my life, romantic, platonic, tribal, to be mutually defined by it’s participants, instead of following a prescribed rule-set of “can”s and “cannot”s. I want to strive to make peace with emotions like jealousy and insecurity, and in their place I want to create room for more love and acceptance.

I know a lot of people in my life won’t really get it, nor might they think they need to really “get it” because it isn’t their business. But it’s a part of my identity I have too long questioned and felt unsure about, and it’s a part of my identity I’m ready to seize. Because guess what? I love you.

Off-kilter, but ok with it

Today’s word is “Balance”.  It could also be “Irony” because even though I started the day strong, I just adjusted my supplements and I can feel my system struggling not to swing out of balance as it catches up to the change; I might even be on a detox wave as my body reacts to the vitamins and goes into overdrive pushing out crap.  Not exactly what I call fun, but there isn’t much to do but ride it out.  I’ve been spending a mellow day doing good stuff for my body that will help me feel more balanced out.

Now that I’m back home from the festival, it’s time to resume my dance and flow routines.  Today I’ve been playing with something a little new, but very apropos for a theme of balance: the flow wand!  This is technically my mother’s flow wand she just got, but seriously, there’s no way I’m going to just sit by and watch her and not learn too 🙂  I might not know much yet, but I can already tell this is going to be a fun one to play with.

Unfortunately you do not get any video today.  I kept thinking all day my energy would turn around and I’d want to film, but this is beyond even the apathy I felt the first few days I filmed myself, I’m just flat drained of energy.  But such is life, we can’t maintain that perfect balance every single day, all we can do is flow with it and listen to our body’s needs.

Be careful what you wish for . . .

. . . You might actually get it!

I’ve now been doing 40 Days of Fae for a week, and the results would be knocking my socks off if I weren’t already running around barefoot.  This whole concept of choosing a random theme/intention for the day is getting a little freaky, in a completely awesome, magical way.

Friday’s word was “Brave”.  The first thing I thought when the word was chosen was Merida’s famous line from the movie Brave, “Our fate lives within us, we only have to be brave enough to see it.”  I don’t use the word Fate a lot, but I do believe that if you are living in alignment with your highest self, then there are certain event and twists in life that will unfold so organically it feels like fate.  And that’s exactly what happened this weekend, and thank goodness I was brave enough to follow my intuition.

Once my camp-mates and I had arrived and set up our new temporary home, I wandered back to the production area to find someone in charge, in order to find out what I should be doing as a volunteer.  It was a chaotic hour of the evening, and after being passed back and forth under the care of a few people who said they would assign me a task, but never quite got to it, I found myself accidentally forgotten and left behind with nothing to do and no idea of whom to seek out.  I laughed because I’m familiar with the fabulous organic mess that is event production, so I wandered back up to the front gate where I sensed that I would have the best chance of finding some way to make myself useful, and it worked out perfectly as I was able to take the place of another volunteer when their shift came to an end.  And that’s where Serendipity and Synchronicity said “Hey, we’d like you to meet someone, this person is going to blow your mind and and your weekend out of the water.”

Even now back at home I still don’t want to write too much about the experience because it was so deeply personal and deliciously magical.  And in affirmation to what we were feeling, my festival partner watched as I randomly chose the number for Saturday’s word, the sun not yet over the horizon and the morning feeling full of promise, and we looked in my journal and laughed as the word revealed itself to be “Magical”.

The weekend continued to unfold in one breathtaking magical moment after another, until finally the night faded away and Sunday had arrived, the time to pack everything up and return to the real world.  I chose my word, and it was “Daring” and I knew my task for the day was to be daring enough to return to the real world, to emerge into the hustle and bustle of “Normal”, still baring my magical soul I had unleashed.  I always wish each festival could last forever, that each temporary village we construct could be permanent, that I never have to go back to “real life”, but I am a resident and caretaker in this world that does not really exist, and it is my duty as it’s citizen to hold that world alive in my heart, even when it is time to pack up the tents and say farewell for now.

Today’s word is “Adventurous”, and while I’m not planning any activities more adventurous than doing some very dusty laundry and putting away camp gear, it’s my reminder that I am not the same fairy as before I left for the weekend.  Instead of following my usual modus operandi of unpacking and asking “Now what?” my mind and heart are full of ideas of the adventures to come.  I barely know where to start, but I know that so long as I keep being Brave, and Magical, and Daring, the Adventure will follow, and it will be amazing.

Once Upon a Time . . .

. . . there was a fairy who loved to dance.  Her stage was the forest floors, and dusty deserts, sandy beaches, and moonlit taverns.  One evening, she met a handsome young man, and he followed her onto the dance floor.  Moving together to the music, he knew she was special, he knew he didn’t want to let her go.  And the fairy began to fall in love with him in return.

What she didn’t realize that this was no ordinary man; he was, in fact, a prince.  And he welcomed into his kingdom, into his life, where she found herself utterly swept away, and as if by magic he transformed her into a princess.  They attended balls and feasts together and he indulged her every passing whim.  But it wasn’t all feasts and finery, he also shared with her how he ran his kingdom, and she saw that he was also clever, resourceful, and strong of spirit.

But life at the palace was not everything she thought it would be; he could dress her up as a princess, but she was a fairy, a creature of the wild.  Her prince tried to convince her that she could be both, encouraged her to practice her magic, urged her to stretch her wings.  Instead, she grew listless and her spells grew weak.  She spent her days wandering the palace halls wondering if she could ever truly belong in a place like this.  Her prince watched her fade and tried to do what he could, but a fairy that has forgotten how to use her magic is only a shadow of herself.

Soon, she felt there was no choice left for her.  She packed her things and with an aching heart and tear stained cheeks, she returned to her woodland home.  And her prince let her go, because what could he do?

That night, the fairy curled up with her animal friends and tried to sleep.  She thought of her beautiful prince, and she hoped that he was well.  She closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.  Fairies are used to granting wishes, but rarely do they make any for themselves.  But that night she made two wishes: first, she wished that he would be a wonderful king with the queen he deserved by his side, and second, that she would find the answers she needed to find her magic again.  And above her head, far up in the sky, a star twinkled, as if making a promise.

Be Free, Be Light

40 Days of Fae/Flow

Day 3 – Yesterday’s intention was “Free”. I actually picked this one the night before as I was going to bed so I could start the day with it in mind. And I think it worked but not in the way I expected, because what I experienced was a free flowing release of emotion, and not in a nice euphoric way (I still have to go apologize to my mum 😦 ). It was like all the pent up awfulness just broke the damn and flowed forth, and it was ugly, and it sucked. And what do you know, I felt a lot better when it was over . . . a lot more free.

I called up my bestie, Shiva, to talk things out and we got into one of our marathon conversations, just freely flowing ideas, no holds barred, no topics censored. I spent the afternoon reminiscing about times in my life when I felt the most free, and brainstormed how to emulate that in this new chapter of life. I gave myself permission to step into my own power and stretch these wings to really fly.

But I came to the end of the day and realized that I hadn’t danced or practiced flow arts at all, and I was so drained from this emotional release that I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to bother. But that little voice in the back of my mind said “Hey, be bold, get up and dance to something anyway. Be free, just do it.” So I chose an old favorite that used to be my “personal anthem” at all the parties, until everyone got bored and stopped playing it (booo), and I just got up and danced like I didn’t care.

Day 4 – Today’s intention is “Light”, and like yesterday, the intention kicked in first thing in the morning but it has been a radically different morning. I woke up to an email with a solution for my problem of having a ride to Soultruistic Festival this weekend, and suddenly it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. I felt light, and happy, and like maybe everything wasn’t as much in the toilet as I was making it out to be.

This was spontaneously filmed this morning as I sat at the computer writing and drinking coffee. This really good track started playing, and I just had to get up and dance, so I pushed the desk chair aside, hastily propped up the camera, and just let myself be light and carefree. It wasn’t even until I caught a glimpse of the footage that I realized how silly I looked in my tie-dye tank and leopard pajamas, but you know what, I actually think the look works for me :p

40 Days of Fae/Flow

You ever take on one of those projects where it seems straightforward enough, but then by the time you actually get under way it’s grown into a whole new monster of its own?

Maybe monster isn’t the right word . . .

Long story short(er): I came home from Lightning in a Bottle with an overwhelming sense of “Now what?” (a reoccurring theme in my life). Aside from the obvious clean-up and laundry that needed to be done, I felt like all my projects and routines had been thrown haphazardly in the air. Just in time, I saw that Deanne Love, a brilliant hooper from Australia that I follow, was starting her second annual 40 Days of Flow, 40 days to set intentions and get back into the flow of healthy habits – basically her version of Sparkle and Thrive boot camp, sounds good right? She started her 40 days on June 1, and I had every intention of following along, but in classic depressed fae form, I found reasons/excuses to not start (too busy, too sleepy, too emotional, too inebriated – never mind the fact that flow practices would’ve helped alleviate those excuses).

Fast forward a little bit, and I decided to do the 40 days after all but with a little twist. I’d call it 40 Days of Fae and use the time to work on reinstating good habits, practicing flow arts, and generally rediscovering my fairy magic that I felt had somehow gone missing. For her 40 Days, Deanne chose 40 intentions/themes to follow each day and shared them on her Instagram, and I decided I liked her list but that I was going to randomize it so each day would be a surprise. I decided the Summer Solstice would make a nice kick-off date, and having made the decision, suddenly things started feeling just a little bit better right away.

Let’s fast forward just a bit more and introduce a bunch of upheaval into my life. DandyLion and I are no longer a couple together; yesterday, I packed up all my stuff and moved from his apartment back to my parents’ home. I feel a little bit dead inside writing that. All I’m going to say about the situation is that he is a fantastically amazing guy, there is absolutely no denying that, but in as many ways as we are perfect for each other, our incompatibilities started to outweigh that, and it breaks my heart to face this because it just goes to show that even though fairy tale princes do exist, it won’t mean happily ever after if you aren’t the princess you need to be.

So in all the heartbreak and packing up, I almost said screw it again to my 40 days project, but something inside me said “Nope, be strong, do it anyway.” Yesterday’s random intention was “Bold” and it was an interesting one to try and work into my day. When I think about being bold, the phrase “Boldly go where no one has gone before” comes to mind; it imparts a sense of adventure, curiosity, and bravery. I tried to hold onto the idea that it was time to boldly take this step into a new chapter of my life, no matter how upsetting or unsettling it may feel. I chose the mantra Om Kala Vide Namaha (Salutations to the knower of the right time) to keep with me during the day; it seemed like a good mantra for trying to be bold in the midst of heartache.

Today’s intention is “Magical”. That’s about the last thing I feel right now. Actually I feel kind of sick to my stomach. I think I need Phoenix Magic today, it’s time to burn away everything that doesn’t serve me into pure ash. I kind of wish I could fire dance today but I lack both fuel and competent safety buddy; so I’m going to try to incorporate the burn in a metaphorical way. Today’s mantra is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (I devote myself to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra). To me the lotus symbolizes renewal, the beautiful flower that grows out of the mud, and I always see lotus related geometry when I dance with fire and/or lights. So today’s magic will be about embracing that beauty and purity in the midst of all these muddy emotions and chaotic contexts.

Saying it doesn’t make it feel easier though . . .