By Brandon Alter:
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to sink into myself these last few days. The shock and the drama has abated, the anxiety and fear has begun to give way to something new and glimmering. Not all the time, I still have my moments. We are all human. But I feel as if the fear has been a fertile breeding ground for a beautiful new awakening. Yesterday I lay in my tiny backyard and the sun kissed me in a way I had never let it. I had never let it in like that. I had never simply just allowed myself to be drenched in light. No where to go. No thing to do. Simple presence and light and joy. In that moment, in me, something beautiful awakened. I’m not trying to negate the terror of uncertainty. I’m not trying to magic away the absolute chaos and abject disintegration of old systems. I’m not even suggesting that everyone gets to have sun right now, or even a tiny backyard. But whenever you are, no matter your struggle, in you, too, something beautiful awakens. And you can choose to tend to this new beautiful thing. We are what we pay attention to; it’s as simple as that. And if you have the privilege of time, space, solitude, silence, or light—let yourself luxuriate in it. Soak it in like a sponge. And seek out that seedling in your heart, that beautiful new awakening we can’t even begin to understand. Tend it. Nurture it. Give your attention to it, and you will not just start to notice your inner sparkling, you will become it.
There is no right way to handle this current crisis. There is only your way. You do not have to be productive. You do not have to shove your fear down. You don’t even have to fake positivity if you don’t feel it. I think times like these call for poetry and Mary Oliver is the best, so I’ll let her take it from here.
You Do Not Have To Be Good
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
BRANDON ALTER is a Shamanic healer, Tarot reader, teacher, mystic and writer living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about sharing spiritual tools that have helped him reconnect to the wisdom of his heart. Brandon is a thoroughly trained healer, astrologer and yoga teacher who co-hosts The Spiritual Gayz with his husband, a twice-monthly podcast dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality, without pretending that it all makes sense. Brandon’s mom took him to his very first psychic when he was seven and gave him his first Tarot deck when he was eleven. Since then he has devoted himself to the study of Tarot, Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Astrology and Shamanic Skills.