During my post-divorce years in Manhattan, I grew close to a band of unusual women ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s. Some were freelancers or regulars at the posh corporate law firm for which I then worked; others I’d bumped into at some cheese-and-wine affair that trendy Manhattanites throw in order to compensate for a crazy work-week; still others I’d encountered through the 12-Step program, whose meetings I attended in order to eradicate the insidious smoking habit slowly but surely draining my life force.
Going to AA to deal with a smoking addiction, you demand incredulously? But AA’s for folks with alcoholic dependency, ain’t it? True, AA was originally designed for the alcoholic, and yet liberal Manhattanites were open to a wider definition of addiction. In those often dark and stuffy spaces where addicts and alcoholics of all ages and backgrounds converged in order to keep each other sober, I found myself welcomed, sponsored and loved—until—as the popular saying goes—I was able to let go of my crutches and begin to love my unique self.
The aftermath of divorce had left me shattered in both material and spiritual terms. Humbly I acknowledged my need for multi-spectrum healing. My new friends advised me to abstain from romantic relationships so I could commit myself fully to the process of re-integrating mind and body with spirit. This advice sat well with me, for the emotional beating I’d been taking on and off for the past fourteen years of marriage had tarnished my once sparkling notions of romance, while delving into eastern philosophy had convinced me that, in the ultimate analysis, it is Spirit alone that counts.
I was immensely reassured to encounter other women who’d also been shoved through their own tunnels of despair and survived; these women too, I soon discovered, had temporarily eschewed romance in order to concentrate on inner work. As we grew to trust each other, we began to take turns organizing fortnightly gatherings in our apartments—gatherings that enhanced the comfort and security of our friendship without all the crap that often goes with man-woman relationships—especially in meat-market Manhattan.
We decided to meet every sixth Saturday as a group; the main event was a sharing circle based on the AA dictum: “that you are only as sick as you are secret”—meaning that emotional suppression is the root cause of all dis-ease. Our hostess for the fortnight would introduce the topic, and each of us in turn would share uninhibitedly on it. The idea was to dissolve all barriers by revealing that which we could not safely disclose to main-streamers—for fear of being ridiculed, attacked or even, in some cases, fired: The Mugginses of the world, as we were all well aware, do not appreciate the maverick and the alien.
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Interesting post Mira…glad you won your battle!!!!
The battle goes on, Ajay, and now it is within the forces of darkness and light within…very interesting indeed!
This is a profound and deep post beautifully written Mira, thank you. Yes, inner work is what it is all about. It is so important to shine a little light on the darkness, but this is very hard work! Even a lifetime or many lifetimes. An opus no less. There is no way to the heights except by way of the depths. Courage, in large amounts is required. Good luck ..
I am glad we connected Susan because I can see that we resonate in the way we view the path to the heart…beautifully written comment — thank you! I hope you are FOLLOWING this blog…as I will follow yours…
Thank you Mira, that’s very kind.
I’ve now successfully found and downloaded yr 1st 3 chapters! And your blogs look too interesting for words! I will have to put my life on hold at some stage to read and absorb; or snatch some time somewhere which I much look forward to doing. Like a thief …
But between you and me – you know that game where you change one letter of the word to make it a different word, sound and meaning? My original (though it may have been said before): ‘Words’ change into ‘worms’ which is what words do – they worm their way into one’s heart and mind. The images formed or evoked from words, worms their way into body and soul.
Maybe I’ll put this up on that ‘favourite words’ link and be further distracted … ‘Word’ also can be changed into ‘work’ …
All these great comments from you Susan…I am blessed! Yes, words can be worms, of the nicest kind…they can be used to heal or to destroy and everything in between – but my guru said: if words are so powerful, can you imagine how much power the silence from which they emerge can be? He was Ramana Maharshi, the great sage of Tiruvannamalai. I am so glad you will take the time to root around in the older posts….
i was look for more…thought u’d delve on the meetings…the outcome
Renu, I was also looking – I am hoping she will say something about The Talking Stick and it’s magic medicine – perhaps in the next one.
Something I’m trying to learn is non attachment to outcome ..
Renu, these are posts, not sagas…the message is limited by the medium — and the theme is unconditional love, not 12-step meetings — and this is post 1 of 6 — but if you are interested in 12 step, I bet you could Google up some amazing stuff…that’s the great thing about today — almost everything can be found on the net. Also, you might find more to interest you in my older posts on this blog.
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By Mira Prabhu, an extremely gifted and insightful yogini and writer.