Patty's Magnificent Divine Chocolate Cake Way of Living
(Trial and Error Recipe)
First off, when you begin this recipe you're not quite sure what you're doing. So in my recipe I threw in three cups of every kind of conflict, and accumulated all kinds of incompetent, unconscious behaviors. I used these ingredients basically to keep myself in limbo. I used all of this stuff to prevent me from making proactive choices, to keeping the attention on my past, future or on outside circumstances. All of this served to keep me from stepping into the present moment - into my NOW. It was good tasteless victim dough. On the ego level it served me well, the flour blinded me and as I kept smacking my body and soul against the kitchen wall. Eventually I had to make a powerful decision: to commit to my spiritual journey of inner sight. It was a difficult way of seeing my life and like most, I was very reluctant to change my recipe, even if all my cakes were hard and lumpy doo doo.
3 cups Responsibility
The attraction to conflict I see now made it very easy to avoid my responsibility to my own divine purpose. The ego flour or the conflict made me ask the same insane question: "why is this happening to me?" It kept me in the corner feeling sorry for myself. Only when I chose to put a little holy water in the batter did things change. Asking the right question always leads one to the right answers. So, I began to ask a different question - a consciousness-raising question "What is this for in my life?" Trusting like A Course in Miracles states "all is in your best interest". All I had to do was ask the right question. What is this for in my life and what can I learn from it. The next part becomes the prayer ... the grace to keep myself open to the divine lesson at hand. A tough passage for me anyway, was to learn how to surrender, give up control and trust that all is here for my good. The recipe gets simpler and paradoxically more difficult as you give up what you think you are.
2 ½ tbsp Willingness
When I am making my cake - my life, like tantric practice, I had to learn to be present with whatever I was touching and breathe into the cake-making. One of my teachers said to me that the most important thing is this: attention, attention, attention. Be present with each step, be a witness to the thoughts ebbing and flowing. Things become very stale when we are not present. The cake doesn't rise to the adventure of the breath. There's no growth, no fun, no risk. As I began to pour myself out of the old box, I noticed a more empowered present woman moving forward, making delicious choices for herself. All I needed was a little bit of faith that I was more than a box of flour skin and bones. You are a soul with a body, not a body with a soul. I like that. It helps me expand and trust. I’m so much bigger that I could ever imagine. A Course in Miracles states ”All you need is a little willingness”.
1 ¼ cup of Gratitude
So, trust is another part of this recipe. Trust in self, like an egg is a fragile ingredient. For many years betrayal of self was more prevalent than trusting myself. Self-esteem is often associated with the third chakra (in the stomach area). For me, when I wasn't allowing my needs to be met, I felt this hollow thud in my stomach. I call that my Tinkerbell and it alerts me that somehow I'm not allowing my needs to be met. Authentic boundaries evolved with a loving pinch of salt.
½ lb. of Forgiveness
Other ingredients intertwined around betrayal of self are guilt and death.
I was five years old when my little brother died of cancer. He was three. I couldn't at the time understand why he was taken away. I felt guilty that I was alive and he was dead. There was so much pain. I also thought that my parents would have been happier with him alive and me dead. God made a mistake. Nothing can be trusted. I'm a mistake. My brother should be alive. My mother would have preferred it. These old issues in my childhood of not being good enough didn’t go away, so I created another opportunity around my daughter’s birth to heal this mistake.
¾ cup raw Surrender
For most of the nine months I had to lie in bed. By the end of my pregnancy, I weighed 220 pounds from a size 6 frame. My physical self changed. I almost lost her in the birthing process and she had a hole in her nose that necessitated her father and me making a decision at age six on whether she should have a lengthy operation. All of these things brought me to my knees. I see now how grateful I am to finally trust the miracle of just learning how to be present. I had to discipline my monkey mind with all its insane thoughts lying in bed for 8 months and become quiet with myself. An old teacher of mine said: “Either you go to your knees gently or resistance cuts you off at the knees”. Needless to say, it took many blows for me to learn to come down on my knees willingly. I had to learn to trust God; to trust the miracle of birth. The vision of what I needed to become was much more illuminated than my small fearful apprehensions of not being good enough. “Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given to him.” A.C.I.M.
½ cup ripe Acceptance
I think the real heat in the oven has been around my past with sexuality and intimacy: lots of power struggles, emotional abuse received and given. For every boyfriend I had I changed, even externally. I changed how they wanted me to dress. I would eat what they ate, thought what they thought. I disappeared as me. It took tremendous courage to learn to say what I needed, wear things that I liked. It was through A Course in Miracles, holotropic breath and tantric practice that a profound shift in my being took place. I had to really understand the concept of win-win. In my old belief structure, there had to be a winner and a loser. Hence, the power struggles. I finally got that each of us in relationship can win-win. There’s an ease that develops. The chocolate oozes on the cake. There’s no fight, no anxiety, but a reverence for each other. You trust he can help you with your cake and you with his. It becomes the real dance of being present with each other. I remember reading what someone’s idea of hell and heaven were. Hell was people eating at an elaborate buffet of incredible food; they had long forks chained to their arms and kept trying to put it in their mouths. But the forks were too long. They were starving with all the abundance of food. Heaven was people feeding each other from across the table with the same forks. Heaven understands. Win-win.
Countless cups of Compassion
So the last and final thought is how we eat the cake? I had for 15 years a perfect cake marriage. I deluded myself. It was like I put on a veil, not wanting to see what really was. The cake was going down my throat with gulps of fear. It was at best a good parent model for our child. Real intimacy had slowly diminished over 9 years as I began to wake up to the quiet desperation in how eroded the relationship had become. My husband had moved on emotionally. I panicked, flailing about, trying desperately to resuscitate the marriage. I read about tantra procedure and asked if he would join me. He felt awkward to go. I made a decision to go anyway. I felt that was a transformational shift. It was a strange journey, being amongst couples while I was on my own, making lame excuses about why he was not with me. It was a difficult lesson not to be met by my husband (an absolute requirement for a good healthy relationship). I got to see how much I over functioned. I tried to get him interested in Argentine tango. My soul was simply moving me. My job was to listen to Tinkerbell and I had to learn to have the courage to walk forward, to put my hand out and trust God was joining me. But I had to have the courage to listen to my soul’s needs. I had hoped all these things would make a difference in my marriage. I don’t think anyone tried as hard as I did. But it really does take two to tango. So the next part of the recipe was a profound lesson ending in the death of my marriage and compassion in letting go and learning this line deeply: “God’s will not mine.” I grew as a woman through these different passages. I learned modalities change because you do. Now I learn to trust optimistically and believe I deserve to be met. All of this brought me into my true self. I met my present best friend, husband and tango tantric partner. I really had not known at 50 my life would have evolved the way it had. All the journeys brought me first of all to teach myself to have a holy and erotic life and on top of it to teach other women how to create their holy and erotic lives. If you would have told me 25 years ago I was going to be a transpersonal therapist, utilizing breath work and tantra, I would have called you crazy. I was pretty content being a housewife who baked perfect little cakes. Who would have known that God was in the mix, is in the mix, will always be in the mix. I see now all these events were sacred seeds to create a kooky, wise, perfectly imperfect woman who loves to teach women how to bake their own holy erotic lives. I know then I would have cried in fear. Now I just laugh out loud and say yes, yes, yes. And I know each woman who comes to my doorstep is guided divinely and she learns to laugh and find delicious joy in her life, as authentically as I have.