Today I write to honor the season’s changes. The changes in our lives. The death in preparation of rebirth that is the “fall”. This is a moment to celebrate, a new beginning.
I have been a traveler for many years. I have traveled far and wide, and it was in my travels that I met Grandma Kaarina, on Christmas day a few years back, we were both there soaking up the Mexican sunshine. I had run away from the Canadian winter that year and many before. In fact, it has been 6 years since I’ve done a full winter. 10 since I did it on a regular basis. When I was 21, I did my first full year of summer, traveling to Australia, and when I returned I knew that I would not return to that cold, I had no desire to return to winter.
Yet this year I am choosing to stay. To embrace winter. Why?
The death, that is at at the heart of winter, is something that is a source of renewal, a source of connection, a source of life. This is a necessary part of life. A part of the natural cycles of life. Each plant dies and is reborn, each generation has its time. Yet in my life I have denied this seasonal cycle for many years. I feared the darkness, the cold, the isolation in a basement suite that the winter threatened. I feared seasonal depression, suicidal thoughts unchecked, and the pain of being alone.
It’s not surprising, having been raised in a culture that embraces the youthful face, and rejects the elder. In a culture that isolates in little box houses, and keeps us churning in consumerism. It is not surprising when the media tells me that the new is to be cherished, and the old discarded. If I was not productive in those winter months, I was without value. To be discarded. Of course, I would run away. Of course I would avoid that death. What value would death have to a culture that praises baby faces and the newest fad week after week, after week, after week.
But I have not denied the symbolism of death totally, for I have had some wise teachers, and I have learned to create my own deaths and rebirths, separate from my journey with the seasons. Seeing each country, each city, each moon time as a moment of death and rebirth. A ceremony to celebrate becoming reborn.
So when I returned to Canada in the spring, I knew that I would die. Not physically die, but to metaphorically die. To die as an ego. To die to the part of myself that need to do it ALL ON MY OWN ALL THE TIME. To die as an individual, and be reborn as a collective. The energy these past few weeks has been so strong there were moments when I wondered how would I even know what to do, without the kind voices and faces of those who live and love around me. How I would have survived without a friendly face who I knew was on my side. The collective is strong.
Yet I have spent the better part of the last few years being the embodiment of aloneness. Loneliness. Alone. Not peaceful and alone like the monk on the mount, but fearful. Fearful and alone. Not fun. Isolated. Socially rejected, but by my own choice and habit. Always the outsider. Always the minority. Traveling, with me, myself, and my son.
He and I have known change more than stability in our lives, and in this time of massive change, maybe we are more poised than others to deal with the instability of these times.
Now having returned to Calgary, now it is time to anchor into a community and become WE.
Not me. We. We can save the me. Me is lost now without the We. We are a collective soul, a collective evolution, a collective tribe. Spanning far further and wider than most could imagine. Every country I touched, I found people, young and old, seeking the knowledge that they were not alone in having woken up. Seeking community, a return to the land, and a hope that there is a better way to live. This is not only my journey, or your journey, but the larger journey of the soul of our time.
“The next Buddha will be a Sangha,” said Thich Nhat Hanh. It is time to learn to open up to the tribe. To share the pain, the burdens, as well as the joys and the celebrations, and to rekindle the village. To relearn what the village is and can be for me. Who I can be in it, how I can be of service in it, and how we can share the bounty and the challenges of life together.
The challenge for me now is to love myself so much that I can finally accept into my life, heart, and soul, the friendship which was torn from me at 10 years old when I moved and created the TRAUMA of relocation. To honor the intergenerational nature of this trauma, as see also that I am the one that passed on deeply to my son by bringing him to 11 countries in 5 years. To forgive me in that, and to find peace within. To allow the winter to bring its death, and to let it wash over me, to rest deeply in the darkness. To huddle closer to those around me, also in search of the light. And when the time comes, in its own time, to find ourselves, the tribe, the village, the community, peacefully budding into blossom in the spring.
Have you ever bit your knee until it bleeds?
Or punched yourself in the face?
Have you ever struggled with the vicious thoughts in your mind?
Have you ever wanted to die?
So…. Have you?
I invite you to comment below with your YES or NO now.
Both valid and wanted in this moment.
If you have… Let us know, and Keep reading.
You may find understanding and peace.
You may find tools to help.
If you haven’t.. Let us know and Keep reading.
This topic needs eyes and compassionate hearts,
It needs to be seen in the light.
We would ALL be safer
saner, and more
sober if we
Will you let me
hold your hand?
I’d also like to preface this by saying that I’m probably the least suicidal, and most balanced I’ve ever been in a depressive state, and that talking about it is part of me healing it more fully.
AND.. If you are actively super depressed or suicidal, please ask for help. I wish I had sooner, and there’s a cool exercise at the end that can help you move through and shut those “I want to die” voices up pretty quick.
AND.. I’m collecting stories. If you’d like to share you can do so here. https://joygasm.me/story/
*** Blood Warning: This next paragraph is gory. Maybe skip to the next stars… ****
When I heard he’d died at a festival, my first thought was overdose. Fentanyl. When I heard he’d killed himself, I immediately thought gun. A head splattered around a tent. Gross, terrible, disturbing, but I’ve seen worse on TV.
When I found it he’d slit his throat, the visual filled my mind. The blood gurgling through his neck, a dagger perfectly poised through the heart of his throat. Maybe his head is lolling back, no longer fully connected to his body. I can’t know for sure, but my imagination can give me a hundred different angles, and it did.
*** Safer Here: Just emotional pain… ****
My mind reals with the brutalness of the visuals,
and my emotions cower in a corner.
But as I ponder the brutal scene of suicide,
the overwhelming feeling is surprisingly of admiration.
Admiration is a weird feeling to have over the death of someone you’ve never met.
But I’ve been haunted with suicidal thoughts since I was 15, and never found the courage to take the action, to do it. For him to make that decision, hold the knife to his own throat and take the plunge. What courage it must have taken. To do it that way.
I’d never found that force. I am not one of the ones who has the scars on their wrists. But I have seen them, have yearned to be them, and when I see them I know their pain. I have experienced that silent moment when you see and you just don’t ask.
That is why I am writing.
To lift the “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t speak”
It was a late night, I was up until 4, 5, 7 in the morning as I often was at that age, hunched over my laptop writing poetry. The words were the only way to capture the pain of my heart, and the darkness of my soul in those deep winter nights.
As I get up from my creative despair, I move to the shower. Maybe I will find some reprieve there. As the shockingly hot water touches my body I feel relaxation, relief, I lay on the floor of the shower, the water pouring down onto my belly and breathe the first big breath of the day. But it’s not long though before the thoughts return and I find myself rocking back and forth in the shower, the thoughts pouring through me.
It’s not worth it, you don’t belong here. (Shut up)
No one likes you. (You’re mean)
You’re stupid. (Not fair!)
Everyone thinks you’re a fool. (I hate you)
You’ll never be loved. (You’re right)
I hate you (I hate you more!)
It would be easier to die. (what?)
Click. It would be easier to die. (what?)
Easier to die. (yes)
That stops the voices,
but it doesn’t stop the pain.
I wonder if I could have the courage.
I wonder if I could take that leap.
The sane and wanting to live part of me clings to a few thoughts.
I think of my parents, of the brutalness of finding their daughter dead in the shower downstairs. Who would find me, my mom or my dad? They would be traumatized forever.
I think of the mess, and my mom’s need for order and cleanliness. More Trauma.
I think about how destroyed my best friend was when she had found out that her friend had called her the night before she’d tried to kill herself (at 15), and she’d been too busy with school work to talk to her. Her friend hadn’t had the words or the courage to ask for what she really needed or how deep in she really was. She would be destroyed.
It never occurs to me that I could go upstairs, wake my parents up, and say “hey, I feel like shit can I have a hug?”
It never occurs to me that other people might struggle like this.
Or that this might not be normal or okay.
It never occurs to me that I might struggle with these thoughts for the next decade or two…
There is only the moment,
and the pain inside.
After Alex was born, I thought about how impossible it would be to leave my child without a mother in a foreign country. It’s part of why I traveled. We weren’t safe, didn’t have a support system, so I had to keep it together, to keep us safe. I thought about how much of a hassle it would be for my parents to come and get him from wherever we were, that there would be no one to take care of him.
When Max and I dated and he was being a really supportive as a father figure to Alex those voices flared again. “Now you could do it. Max would take care of him, at least get him back to your parents. Alex is safe now. You could do it now.”
Now I’m settling into home,
Allowing myself to trust people.
Finding a space that feels safe.
Because, all the reasons not to do it,
All the people who care.
None of it stops the thoughts.
None of it stops the incessant whispering.
“It would be easier to die”
“I want to die”
“Kill me now”
“If you got the angle just right you’d skip the guardrail and go right into the river. The chances of survival are so small.”
“There’s no one else in the car. This is your chance.”
“You don’t have anything to offer the world”
“You’re a failure.”
“No one would miss you”
But I wonder most of all if I would have the courage.
The thoughts are debilitating. Cyclical. Brutal. Destructive.
Sitting in the bottom of the shower. Cycling through for hours.
Unable to stop it. At 16, not even knowing there was a choice.
Not even knowing that I could watch it, or stop it if I wanted to.
If I could exert enough will.
“I fucking hate you”
“No one likes you”
“No one would notice if you were gone”
“I hate you”
Finally, it’s too much, and I can’t bear the moment.
I scream, and my fist flies through the air.
Pounding into the side of my face.
Smashing into my temple, over and over again.
“I hate you” “I hate you” “I hate you” “I hate you”
It feels good, to be honest in this moment.
It feels good to use all my strength,
to really give everything I have to it.
No words, no voices, no thoughts.
Only action in alignment with feeling.
And the relief of having finally done “something”
About the voices in my mind.
That was not the last time I did that to myself.
Nor was it the first time I had sat in that despair.
As I moved further into the journey of recovery, I realized that it didn’t serve to punch myself or to hurt my body like that. That the part of me that wanted to die was really a part of me that needed to die. An old aspect of self, a part of me that didn’t like me.
So I started to kill those ego parts off. Ritualistically, symbolically, energetically.
And it has helped.
It hasn’t stopped the thoughts.
But it gave me something to do in response
That was less damaging than punching myself.
And knowing I had something I could do
was a breath of fresh air.
Over the years I realized I’ve learned to deal with it better, had longer and longer stretches of time when things are happy and in a good flow. The voices are quieter, easier to spot early and start in on preventative things. The JoyGasm Core Practices have helped a bunch. Loving myself, sharing the stories with you guys, working on the book, love letters, gratitude, daily self care, letting people love me.
It’s been the most terrifying thing coming back and finally having a support group around me. Realizing that I’ve been living on adrenaline and dopamine high from new places as I traveled for years. Really seeing that the travel was running and that I had kept myself in an evolving state of stasis around certain issues. Realizing how deep and how untapped the pain I thought I’d “mostly healed” really is. Realizing how unwilling I’ve been to have friends or support or people who care about me (who I actually let myself care about back).
You can add JoyGasm alchemy on top of it by noticing which part of yourself wants to die, and using this opportunity to purge it out of your body.
When we listen from the inside out..
When we listen to the heart that beats inside our chest,
when we listen explicitly to the inner wisdom,
the beauty, the knowing, the power of the divine that is inside of us.
We create. As I am doing now, as I have been doing.
As YOU have been doing.
We are 100% responsible for our own lives. We CAN, have and will, find 100% joy for all our creations.
We will find ourselves crying on the bathroom floor, and smile inside or outside, at the passion of it.
Our most beautiful life is created here in each moment.
It rankled at me, and made me frustrated, that he could not see the illusion of tomorrow that was pulling him.
I feel that lots of people, including myself have fallen under this illusion of “work now, for reward later” I am proud to say that I am now successfully living for now, while rewarding myself now, while also creating a beautiful future.
See I don’t believe you can get to a beautiful future by worrying. I know from my experience, it doesn’t work.
People have called me self centered, people have called me hedonistic. I don’t care. My life is more delicious to me than anything anyone else has ever presented to me, and I dig it. 🙂
I love for every single person I meet to feel as inspired by their own life. To realize that every moment they are alive is completely of their choosing and that it’s beautiful in how it serves.
Sometimes it’s “negative” and then serves as a reminder. A reminder to be present, to love, to be at peace with the moment.
And each and every moment is true, is beautiful, is whole and it’s own. And so you too feel true, beautiful and whole.
And what else have I wanted but that. What else do any of us desire but that. (and a new bikini! to show off the hot bod I’m finally proud of!! lol)
I Love you!
With inspiration and Bliss!!
When we let go of WHY we create joy, and simply do. Everything changes. Check out this short video about how to do this.
It’s true, it’s true. Especially when you’re a big ass visionary, who sees things WAY into the future.
Have you had visions of yourself, leading, sharing, communicating, and transforming peoples lives? Have you seen yourself doing things you’ve never done before but always wish you had? I bet you have. And that’s because you are a visionary. I know this, because I’m a visionary, and I know I came here to talk to people who have visions like this. People like me. People like you, and you. And you..
It fucking sucks doesn’t it.
You get all excited, start telling all your friends, get on your social media, and then. Then what happens?
A month goes by, and you’ve still got that muffin top.
Shit. I mean we’ve all done it. I did sit ups for 4 days straight, where’s my freaking 6 pack abs man??!!?!
But all humor aside, it takes time to create things, it takes time for those visions to come into reality, it takes time for you and me to become the people we’ve always imagined ourselves to be.
Take me for example. This is me, almost 4 years to the day. I seem to have.. Forgotten to put pants on when I went to walk my 2.5 year old boy to sleep.. I’m Alone. Again. Still.
A friend of mine snapped this shot one day, I walked there almost every day just like this. But with pants.. Hehe. I didn’t find out he’d taken it until months later, and he showed me, and I cried when I saw it. I cried because it was a true moment. Because I had all kinds of selfies, and videos, of me being excited and talking a good fucking game. But at that time in my life, I was struggling. Look at my face. This is not an accident that my face looks like this in this photo. This is because that’s what I looked like then. I was grumpy, disconnected, and depressed.
At that point in my life, I KNEW clearly what my future life path would be, I knew I would share JoyGasm, I knew I would recover.. on some levels.. But on other levels, life was torturous hell. That resulted in the moment above.
If you’re watching this far, and you’re a visionary, I can bet you $10, nah $100, that you’ve felt the strings of depression pull on your heart at some point in your life. You’ve felt that voice of doubt creep in. That nagging feeling that you were wrong, that your vision was no good, that you’re destined to be a failure, not a success.. and that nothing you EVER do will come to fruition. Do you have voices like that in your head? I know I do. They told me not to make this, and once I made it, they told me not to post it.
One, is the voice of the bright future, calling us forward. The other, despises change, and wants to stay safe. These two voices speak to each other, and more often than not, one of them wins.
Which one wins, depends on you. Depends on your present moment awareness of the fact that this dialog is going on, and which side you decide to play on. And you can change sides.. All you want.. Monday, go team vision… Tuesday.. Fuck this shit.. Wednesday.. This might work… Thursday… we’re gonna rock it.. Friday.. Yes let’s go! Saturday.. I hate my life.. Saturday evening. Okay! Back on target! You know the drill, you’ve done it.. Hundreds, maybe thousands of times.. And that’s just in this life, this body, this business. It’s a part of the human condition. And yet I’m going to tell you something right now that is going to change the way you look at this condition forever..
Do you know what that point is? Malcom Gladwell calls it the tipping point. Now you might be thinking, that’s the point in a speaker’s career where they start getting calls from conference ASKING them to speak… or when they get really comfortable selling 10k packages from stage and their sales quadruple overnight, or when they get signed for their third book deal. You might be tempted to think that THAT’S the tipping point. But it’s not. No… No… The real tipping point. It doesn’t happen out there, not with crowds, or amazon best sellers, or VIP retreats. Those things are a symptom. A really great feeling symptom of the real tipping point.
The real tipping point… It happens… It happens in here. (point to the heart). And when it happens in HERE. Something changes. You see one thing manifest, and something clicks inside of you. OH. I saw that coming, and here it is. It doesn’t even have to be something you like. It could be like loosing your keys, or hitting your head. You saw it coming, and you own it.
In that moment. Epiphany. You own your power as a powerful creator. And that tipping point I was talking about, that’s the moment where you realize that you created it, and that means.. That means.. That MEANS.. That your other vision is about to come true too. Inevitable. Undeniable. Now you might have had this moment in your life, and be saying to me “yeah Elena, I’m a master manifestor and all, but I still doubt myself, I mean that BIG vision, it’s pretty big.. I might be wrong on it.”
If you are, awesome, claim it ALL. Every single moment of it. If you did that little one, can you do the big one. Hell yes! So it’s time to get your daily energy right behind it, like it’s inevitable. When you give meaning to little moments like that, and USE THEM.. To help you remember that you’ve got the universe at your back, and it’s delivering big dreams just like it’s delivering little dreams. Like every time you leave the house, and then come back because you remembered you forgot something on the kitchen table. That’s a miracle, that’s you being intuitive, connected to your source, and a visionary, and it’s a sign of your power, and it’s a sign your dreams are coming true. If you let it be.
So I want you to take a moment now, because I like transformational experiences, and I want to offer you one right now. I want to take a moment right now with you, and close your eyes, and remember a time, when you KNOW you manifested something. You visioned it, you saw it coming, and BOOM.. It happened. Doesn’t matter how long it took to show up, it showed up, and you KNEW to the core of your being it was because YOU asked for it. Let me know when you’ve got that memory by saying a big old YES>> YES>> YES>>
Awesome.. So now that you’ve got it. I want you to think about your big dream. You know what I’m talking about, the scary huge one, the vision for your life, for how we’re all going to live on the planet, for unity and humanity, and for your part in that dazzling game.
And I want you to see, that that little manifestation, as proof of your big one. As the proof, that your big dream is on it’s way.
When you remember that, then you’re golden. Rolling into that future life, like you’re loving life along the way, and having a grand old adventure, with life winking at you every day, for a thousand little things.
From a keynote I gave at Hubud in Bali.
Humans need both chaos and stability. When you CCTV have stability in your routine, you have the ability to feel secure, safe and stable within yourself, so you can travel the world or radically change who you are.
Now that you've powered up! Go spread the love wherever you go!
Thanks for being a part of our family!