If ever there was a physical activity that engages the entirety of my body, this is it. I mean, I had no idea the strength involved in doing this.
This is back strength. A lot of back strength. And this is arm strength. And leg and core and glute and hip flexor strength. For everything that I am doing. Whether I am climbing this pole (can you believe I am climbing this pole), turning around this pole, going upside down on this pole, flowing on the floor around this pole, whatever I am doing, my body is engaged.
And what I love about this is that this strengthening of every part of my body is secondary to the act of this movement that I am learning to do. I have reached this place in my life where I don’t want to “work out.” I have no interest in the rote and routine exercise that I once so loved to do. Pushing weight, just not happening. But this, lifting the weight of my body as I flip backwards while my arms hold strong to this pole—while this is movement, this is flow.
And this flow--
This flow is the grounding into the sensuality of this movement practice around this pole. This is the most beautiful part of this dance that I get to do. Pole is a celebration of the movement and the power of the feminine. I have done many kinds of movement before and many types of dance and many journeys into strength and speed and stamina. But nothing taps into this Shakti power.
This is creation energy.
It’s the figure eight sway of my hips, the way I roll my body up and down my spine, the bend and the curve of my legs and my back and my stomach and thighs. It’s primordial cosmic feminine energy. It’s the feminine coming out unapologetically.
It’s occasionally triggering. And it is always enlightening. And it’s why I love this so much.
In this current journey of, dare I say tragic, transformation, I keep getting messages. From the Universe. A quote or a meme. Something in an article I read. In an overheard conversation or something someone says directly to me. Small pieces of information offered up. And while I will often question “am I reading into this message something that is not there?” I do believe there is no coincidence and information is all around us to help us on our way.
And this is doable.
The Universe is also offering up some not so small moments. These are not messages from with-out of me but rather moments from within me that I find myself landing in. These are moments, in each day, where the portal opens and I am in it.
This happens most every early morning. I am awakening each day around 4AM and there is this about two-hour window of wake/sleep where I am in a dimension that is the deepest place of self-discovering.
This transportation into this realm feels like a re-activation of a medicine journey which is really the activation of my higher knowing. That place where the information lives.
When I am being pulled into the portal, there is this here I go again feeling. I am on the roller coaster and we’re at the end of the climb and about to head into the intense part of the ride.
I hate roller coasters.
So, this ride into the portal of my mind. I can always tell when it’s coming. There is an energetic aura that shows up right before. Kind of like that tingling that happens before a hot flash or that aura that happens before a migraine. There is this energetic shift, and then a tightening in my belly and I know, ok, this is happening in like, five, four, three…here we go.
I am exhausted. Awakening to the meaning in each moment means that I am hyper aware that each moment might be the next one. I am riding the roller coaster each morning and then again throughout each day, and I don’t know when I will find myself taking this ride.
While the mornings are constant, the rest of my day are a constant surprise. Will I join the ride while driving my car? Maybe while I’m on a run or in a dance class. Or watching a show that triggers a thought of a feeling that compels the Universe to take the opportunity to connect the dots and connect me back into this alternate reality, which, in reality is the true reality of what happened in my life, as I am learning that what I thought happened in my life is not the reality at all.
And so now there is also a questioning. Of what is real. If I can create all these stories of what was what, and now am discovering that what was what is not what happened after all…well… do I do this all the time?
So, while I am in this place of discovery, what is also swirling through my brain on a daily/constant/reality questioning basis is this—What is the story? What is the truth? Do we write or rewrite what happens because life is but a dream and we are all just living the fiction of this human experience anyway so….
If I didn’t know that I was sane, and I read this, I’d think I was insane.
And I truly want a break. I want to shut this all down. Say to the Universe, you are moving too fast, you are showing too much. I can’t take this all in.
I meet with this amazing practitioner I am working with. And our conversation the other day was about the constant information that the Universe has been offering me. I am getting depleted, I said. (I am losing my mind, I thought) And while I am so hungry to complete the story that is now only unfolding in flashback and snapshots and images and body awareness somatic actions and reactions that have no cognitive story yet, I am feeling that I need a break, too.
And this wise woman asked me, have you thought of creating some boundaries?
This never entered my mind. You mean, I can tell the Universe I can’t talk right now?
You would think I would know that this information we get from other worlds—the spirits and ghosts and angels and guides, and God and the Universe—that I could structure this discourse in the best way for me. It doesn’t have to be that I receive all this information when it is offered. I can say, “Hey Universe, I don’t think I have the capacity to engage in this right now.” You would think I would know this, but truly, it never entered my mind that I am both riding this roller coaster and running this ride at the same time.
The other night/early morning/4AM wakeup, I woke up to that tingling that proceeds the dropping in. I can’t do this right now, I said. And I went back to sleep.
This is my cat. His name is Phoenix and he is 20 years old this month.
Phoenix is really my son's cat but he is our cat because he lives with us. But he is so my son's cat. His personality is my son's. Like just a really chill version of my son who is really chill in his own right so you can imagine how laid back and easy going this cat is.
We got Phoenix when he was just a kitten. We thought he was a girl. A friend of my son's brought him over and said he was a girl so we just assumed that he was. Then my kids went off to camp and while they were gone our sweet girl kitty's balls dropped. I wrote to my son at camp Phoenix has balls! Still, it took a while to remember that he was a boy.
Speaking of balls, we had a pet rat once, too. Well, my daughter did. This daughter who, after we got her the rat said wanting a rat is more fun than having a rat. This rat was one of our last pets. Except for the three other dogs, a snake named Scratch and Phoenix.
Well this rat, he was very sweet. My daughter named him Sweetie. And she would play with him a lot. Then one day his balls dropped, too. For anyone who does not know this, teenage boy rat balls are about the same size as their head. My daughter wouldn't hold him anymore. We had to get him neutered. It costs double the cost of buying him in the first place.
Many of our pets ended up costing us—it was worth every penny but still worth noting.
Scratch, our snake had a respiratory infection. That was a huge vet bill. I didn't realize he had this, I thought he was making noises when I came in to feed him because he was hungry and happy to see me. But then I was told that snakes don't make noise. I left the vet with a ten-day supply of syringes filled with antibiotics that I had to inject in his neck—which looks just like his body but closer to his head. He got better but then escaped from his cage and got lost in the walls of our house. We found him a year later.
As I write this, I am remembering that all of our pets were a bit quirky. Like our first pet, a Standard Poodle named Ruckus. We named him Ruckus because my son, who was just one years old at the time, could say truck—though often it sounded like fuck—and so we knew he could say Ruck-us. Ruckus had a problem with drinking water. He drank incessantly and was really sloppy about it. I brought him to the vet. I was worried he had diabetes as a symptom in dogs was drinking a lot. The vet called me and said he's not diabetic, he's inefficient. Turns out his tongue was not attached correctly and he couldn't lap the water. The vet told us to let him drink out of the toilet so the water would be that much more contained. Which we did, and which all of our other dogs—and our two cats—learned to do, too.
Ruckus also ate socks and underwear and tubes of diaper cream.
Then our second dog, Gabby, she was blind in one eye, which we did not know until she turned a year old. Weimaraner’s have these amazing blue eyes when they are puppies that turn a golden color at around a year. So, this first year both blue eyes looked fine and we just thought we had a goofy puppy who fell off curbs and ran into fences but then her eyes turned gold and one was not right.
We brought her to the vet to get her eyes checked. You may ask, how does a vet check a dog’s eyes? Well, they cover one eye and drop a dog biscuit in front of the other eye. With one eye she looked down as the biscuit fell, with the bad eye, she just sat there. I called her breeder. She's blind in one eye, I said. This very strange woman offered to take her back and give me a new dog. I was like, what the fuck????!! No thank you, I said. I love my dog. Just pay for all the vet bills.
Then we had Ophelia, our Ragdoll kitty who we hoped to breed but she had a flipped uterus. She also almost died when she had her first rabies shot and we learned she was allergic to most vaccinations. More vet bills.
We had birds. We had a bird named Jill. She loved my son. But we wondered if she was lonely so we got her a boyfriend. His name was Buddy. Jill wanted nothing to do with my son after that. Our cat, Ophelia, would sit on their cage and swish her tail back and forth when we weren't home. Jill and Buddy lost their feathers due to stress and we gave them to our babysitter. A much calmer life for them both.
And we had bunnies. First Calm who was this lovely black bunny that was so sweet and clean and well behaved and would hop around our house and never make a mess. Until he hit puberty and we HAD to get him a girlfriend. We named her Whore Bunny but called her Clover. They had babies. She taught him bad habits. They eventually went to live with friends.
We had giant goldfish. This was a miracle really. I never cleaned the fish tank. A massive fish tank. With cats and dogs and bunnies and birds and a rat and, which I haven't even mentioned until now, an aquatic frog and gerbils ...well, those fish just had to make do. They did more than that, they thrived. Their names were Conan and Raphamon. Every now and then we'd see a bit of orange swim by against the glass and then disappear again into the mucky water. When they died, we finally got to see their size. They were basically individual salmon steaks. We kept them in our freezer until we could give them a proper burial. A whole separate writing.
Our first Doberman, his name was Mac and he was huge. His quirky thing was terribly sad, we thought he was just this easy going, didn't care that he was a Doberman kind of Doberman but, in actuality, he had a heart condition and died right before he turned seven. Broke my heart.
When he was one and a half, he dated the girl next door and they had twelve puppies. She lied to him and told him she was spade. Bitch.
We took a puppy, A dog named Tank. I thought she was going to look just like her dad, my Doberman, because she was the biggest puppy. But she ended up looking like her mom—an Australian Cattle Dog. Except a much fatter version. My theory is that she was a Doberman in a cattle dog body. A big, massive Doberman stuffed into a small cattle dog body. You get the idea.
And of course we had Nava, my perfect Doberman—soul of my soul-heart of my heart—dog who, like Mac, had a broken heart that broke my heart.
But back to Phoenix.
He has always been an incredible hunter-who-could-probably-kill-a-wild-boar if-need-be cat. Even at this late age he will still, abet occasionally now, bring in a small meal to eat on our carpet by our bed in the morning.
A few years back, we were feeling really badly because he had been bringing in a lot of birds and we realized that we are kind of helping him with this. You see, we have this fountain outside, a really cool one, very modern looking, square and low to the ground. And our cat, smart cat that he is, he would crouch very quietly right next to the side of the fountain, his body pressed up against the concrete. And wait. And the birds, they would come to drink and play and flap their wings in our fountain because it is hot where we live and so this is so great for them and then my cat... well basically we are setting up these birds for slaughter.
His prey of choice, however, is not just birds. There were mice and rats (HUGE rats) and geckos. He is amazing at it. He always brings them home. I do not consider them gifts, since he would eat them pretty much completely, I am thinking he did not consider them, gifts either. They were meals. My nephew believes he has a trophy room.
Usually, though, what he caught he would bring in live. And then get bored and we were left with a traumatized mouse running around our home while our now not interested at all kitty would be sleeping on the couch or on the table near the salt lamp. He loves being near the salt lamp.
Good chi, I think.
Happy Birthday, Phoenix Pussy-cat. You are a badass kitty!
*Parts of this writing are excerpts from This is about Phoenix, and all the other pets we’ve had, 4.16.2018.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.