To untangle a knot
do not make the thread
tell you where she’s been.
and be gentle
when you pull.
Have patience, and do not hesitate.
When you act, act with certainty. If you are not certain, do not act. Or make yourself certain of this: You will fail. You will fail many times.
Failure does not cost as much as inaction.
Inaction is itself failure.
But even that failure can never be complete. For even in inaction, we have consciousness. And it is the nature of consciousness to try. It is the nature of life to try. To live. To grow.
As long as you are alive, some part of you still knows that it is the energy of potential. Some part of you has caught a whiff of the infinite possibilities beyond your current state of being, and as long as you are alive, that light in you will seek its source.
If you learn to trust the light within you that seeks its source, you will be lead to wisdom. You will find within yourself deep wells of compassion and rich reserves of kindness. In this, you will find joy.
Humble yourself to the inevitability of failure, and resolve to learn your lessons, but come back daily to the spark within you and the well of inner resource. And when right action becomes clear, step forward with the calm certainty of one who has failed before and is not afraid.
In Episode 5, I get to reconnect with one of my favorite creative partners of all time, Ellie Di Julio. Ellie and I were very close in the years that we were both work-from-home writers, but eventually life moved on, she had a baby and I started playing roller derby. It’s crazy how much our lives have changed as we’ve been pursuing our own paths, yet the inspiration I found in this friendship is still there.
Ellie and I have an honest chat about friendships, relationships, balancing work and family, and where faith figures into it all. Ellie shares about finding purpose for her work through her spiritual journey and how that journey continues to shape her. We explore that weird territory of talking faith with a friend who doesn’t share your beliefs, and so much more.
You can find Ellie’s writing and learn how to connect with her at ElliDi.com.
I sat down to write this morning before work, and this is what happened.
The date stops me. I planned on writing about something else.
Someone made up a story about who the enemy was and why bad things happen to us, and we directed all our fear into rage and vindictiveness.
“Tears are bullets when they harden,” a line from a Stanley Kunitz poem, turns out to be true (poets always knew).
We have committed the terrible crime of dehumanization. In our own hearts and minds, we have replaced the faces of our neighbors with the cartoonish masks of enemies. We project our worst fears on them because it’s easier to hate an imaginary enemy than to face ourselves. And we imagine enemies everywhere. And where we imagine them they become real, if only to us, the terrified and deluded.
Let’s pray for our own souls.
Lord save me from my own delusion. Teach me to sit my ego down and look it in the eye. Let me see my neighbor’s true face. I will be brave, and I will act with love. Let us heal this wound.
When I was a child, they told us in Catholic school that the word “amen” meant, “I don’t understand, but I believe.”
I don’t understand how we will heal this wound, but I believe that we can and we must. There are 16-year-old children now who were born after 9/11. They have only known a world in which we are at war and are steeped in a culture that believes enemies are everywhere. How do we teach them not to live in fear? I don’t know, but I still believe in trying.
I’ve decided this podcast is like a beauty pageant, except instead of pitting my friends against each other to see who’s the most photogenic, we just talk about how great they all are in different ways. For example, let me introduce my friend Autumn.
Autumn is an online dominatrix, and in this episode, she very kindly allows me ask her questions about sex work and her journey through it. We talk about how she found her way to the industry, the very real job of online sex work, and how the women in the community support one another. Autumn talks about inequality in her industry, how people can work against it, and how running a business based on sex, attraction and power has shaped her view of herself. It’s a pretty incredible conversation in my opinion, and I really hope you enjoy it.
If you’re interested in finding Autumn online, you can connect with her on Twitter @Misstress_Autumn. Heads up: As her work is sexually explicit in nature, so is her Twitter feed. Please consume adult materials responsibly and respectfully.