What happens on the way back?
I want to live, not exist.
I want to feel my life pulsate, not feel a faint flutter to fit inside someone else’s heart shaped box.
I want to laugh from my core, not a pacifying chuckle grown from habit.
I want to love till it hurts; a love full of awakening and prophecy—not the safety of remaining at a low simmer.
I want to plant seeds that will grow from soil so rich in desire that they nourish my being with blazing light.
I want to illuminate so brightly that my radiance gleams for miles.
I want to bask in the brilliant light of my heart and never feel I’m casting a shadow on another.
I want to be free to shimmer in passion for this life.
I want to be free.
This poured out of me in a moment of restlessness with a hungry heart.
Do our hearts stay hungry even after we’ve found “the one”?
When we fall in love, that journey to the moon is magic. There is an actual chemical reaction that takes place in our bodies. Neurologists have unearthed changes in the brain: our dopamine is at higher levels. Certain parts of the brain are activated, and other parts are actually shut down—the frontal cortex that involves judgment.
This is what happens during our discovery of heaven in another person.
Biologically, this is preservation of the species meant to lead to procreation, but emotionally it provides the effect of an actual drug. Anyone who has experienced their brain on love can attest—it is a high unmatched by any other experience. We can’t get enough once we uncover it, and we’ll turn our back on any friend and make any poor judgment to keep it. During this journey to the moon, every conversation is like a prophecy. The object of our desire becomes the most beautiful person on the planet, and even doing simple tasks together feels profound and life changing. We love the way they fold laundry. We notice their facial expression is cute in that moment.
In my restless moment of writing this poem, I asked myself—will I ever experience that again? Is it over? Is this high a memory never to be felt in real time?
I’ve been married for 12 years, together for 19.
Marriage has its silent moments. Familiarity sets in, and nodding off in front of the television is a common occurrence. We live life together, pay bills… how’s that dopamine doing now?
My restlessness settled down and I went to my heart center, the place inside of me that is pure love, the place of consciousness and inner vision.
Falling in love, getting high off of another person where even their scent produces that rush, experiencing the ridiculous excitement in little things, passionate “let’s do it everywhere” moments… that’s the easy part. Our journey to the moon is easy… and fleeting.
I went into premature labor with my daughter at 23 weeks pregnant. We already knew she was a girl, and we named her. The doctors told me if they didn’t stop the labor, my baby with a name and an identity would die. My husband looked at me with calm, peace, and unwavering hope. I never felt more loved than in that moment. I had an eventful stay at the hospital for 7 weeks, with a two year old son at home. My husband never let on that he was overwhelmed being the sole caretaker of a toddler. When my preemie was in NICU, my husband kept me sane and never let on that he too was terrified.
I have moment, in which I’m petulant and stubborn. I get uneasy, doubtful and I question everything.
I am safe to be my (at times un-pretty) self.
In times of struggle, in illness—to have a partner that provides acceptance, unwavering love without criticism for being imperfect, someone to carry us when we can’t hold ourselves up and someone to see past our ugly moments to who we truly are—that’s where real life happens. That is the journey back from the moon. It’s more level. It’s steady. It’s not always exciting. It is guided by our deep inner wisdom that we are loved and we deserve a consistent experience of oneness.
Some paths are circular; only later does the realization set in that you’ve walked and walked for miles and didn’t get anywhere.
Some paths are steady, uphill, exhausting journeys that leave us lifeless and clinging.
A peaceful hike on a steady trail where one can breathe deeply and feel at peace… that is freedom.
I am, in fact, free.
Nicole Markardt is recovering fear junkie. She is an educator, mother of two, and aspiring yogi. Certified as a leveI II Reiki healer, Nicole is a firm believer in the power of the mind-body connection. Nicole has a blog called Peace, Love & Practice for doyouyoga.com.
Assistant Ed. Caroline Scherer