I went to a Buddhist meditation and talk the other night. One of our new neighbors is turning up quite regularly in our lives. We’ve been at two different grocery stores at the same time this past week. In line, as I chatted with the man behind the counter about meditation and yoga and my 1000 day practice, she mentioned her group meets weekly. I decided to go. Both Steve and I have want to get more involved in our community this year and this was a step in that direction.

I walked in two minutes late for the meditation. Apparently things start on time here in Ventura – unlike Los Angeles where everything (and everyone) is chronically 10 minutes behind. At the end of the half hour we stood for a few minutes, grabbed tea, then talked of suffering. I spoke of my experience with grief. Of how amazed I have been that despite the sadness, and in my worst moments, there has been a profound sense of okayness. There has been grief, but little suffering. I don’t know if that comes across in what I write but it’s there. My mind has stayed surprisingly quiet, even as my heart broke.

It was interesting to notice who in the group I was drawn to, whose energy attracted me. I’ve always been sensitive to this but I no longer question it the way I used to. I trust that if the answers never seem clear, there are reasons that some people draw me in more than others. I know, after years of wondering, that these people are my tribe – that you are my tribe. There are reasons we come together, we read each others’ words at the right moment, we risk writing – or speaking – from the heart when the mind says Shut up! Be afraid! Stay safe!

I watch people drawn into my daughter’s orbit. I notice who pulls me inexorably closer. I think of the butterfly’s wings. I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 when I felt such a deep sense of foreboding, I wondered if an earthquake was coming. We are all energy. We are all connected. Somehow. Some way. I am deeply committed to that belief. The polar bear mama who swam for 9 days to find ice? Who lost her cub in the process? I am connected to her. The child who was just told for the one hundredth time to stop shining so brightly (be quiet, sit down, do as your told, don’t inconvenience me with your needs) – I am connected to him. To you. I am connected to you. If you are here, if this email is in your inbox, if you have no idea I exist. We are fundamentally tied.

And I wish you peace. And love. And I wish for you, with my whole heart, that you feel the undeniably brilliant spark of who you are.

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0 Responses to Connected

  1. Christa says:

    Oh Alana. Yes.

    That I woke up at 3:50 a.m. and read this, after just realizing some pretty big truths about fear and what I can teach about it? No accident at all. Beautifully said and gratefully received.

    We are a tribe, yes. And I am so happy that you are a part of all of this, too.

    Peace and love and thanks to you.

  2. Lindsey says:

    This is so brilliant, Alana … so resonant. The 9/11 foreboding is familiar to me (long story) as is the powerful but beyond-understanding way that I am drawn to some people and not others. I wonder: do you think that energetic attraction occurs in the realm of the ether, this place, too? Do you think it operates even when we don’t know each other in the flesh? I guess what I’m asking is whether our words are a pure distillation of our energy or if they are lacking some fundamental component of it. I don’t know the answer.

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  4. Cheri Masek says:

    I am proud and honored to be one of your tribe.
    Sending blessings and joy

  5. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful post-I have to tell you had I not read your blog and not read into reiki the other night and signed up for the reiki newsletter–I would not have had the conversation I had with my 2 best girlfriends last night about reiki (they brought it up first), we have never in our lives spoke of reiki with one another and then last night we did and I had a few nights prior signed up for a reiki newsletter–yes, we are all connected. I truly believe that.

  6. I started wondering as I read this, “what is suffering?” That line stuck to me, even as your words segued in another direction.
    Even in our moments of connection with other people. When we see that divine light trailing from heart to heart, I wonder, at the differences in the way we look at things. The way our perspective defines us, colors us, leads us.
    What is suffering? I think on grief, but is suffering really grief?
    and do those who have lost a child, a partner, a loved one, suffer? or do they grieve?
    Suffering, I walk into a crowded room, and see no doors, only walls. Suffering I see no children playing, only the empty crib.
    Your words have painted into my mind thoughts that I am unraveling.
    thank you.
    a gift received, a connection made…

  7. I finally got to the Stylish Blogger thing on my blog. Thank you for thinking of me.
    You continue to WoW me with your words.

  8. Every post on your blog brings me to tears. You are so, so aware and awake and I am just humbled by your fortitude and willingness to live forward into these great uncertainties. Thank you so much for writing. I know my day will be incredibly different because of what I read here. Thank you!!!


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