Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Colors

Tonight my mother asked me to find this poem on google, I believe to read at my father's memorial tomorrow. My sister lost her husband only a few months ago, and so I dedicate this to my own husband-to-be, whom I only hope with all my heart to have as much time as a liftetime with, as my mother and sister had with theirs…

Colours

When your face
appeared over my crumpled life
at first I understood
only the poverty of what I have.
Then its particular light
on woods, on rivers, on the sea,
became my beginning in the coloured world
in which I had not yet had my beginning.
I am so frightened, I am so frightened,
of the unexpected sunrise finishing,
of revelations
and tears and the excitement finishing.
I don't fight it, my love is this fear,
I nourish it who can nourish nothing,
love's slipshod watchman.
Fear hems me in.
I am conscious that these minutes are short
and that the colours in my eyes will vanish
when your face sets.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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Posted by LiYana at 7:21 pm  Comments Off on Colors

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Friendship and Mortality

on thursday, october 23, my father, roland lazarus silver, passed away

he died at 80 years old, after a long, painful struggle with cancer and radiation

although i spent the months up to this time asking myself if there was anything to "resolve" with him and felt loving and completely at peace with our relationship, people told me there would always be something unsaid or that i would wish to know

and there is – i wish to know more about his life: his mistakes, his proudest moments, his passions, his thoughts, his adventures, his loves, his losses; not as a role model or father, but as an intelligent, self-made man, a kindred traveler, a fascinating and perfectly flawed fellow human being

15 years ago, my childhood home caught fire, and along with everything else, all our family photos were incinerated; afterward, friends and family sent us copies of photos, some replacements, some entirely new-to-us or long-forgotten

out of loss came, pieced together, new fragments, even more precious since they came anew, gathered by friends near and far

the following is a letter from my mother's first husband, whom she was with before she met my father

it is beautiful of it's own account, but it also paints a resplendent fragment of my father's life, rescued from his ashes, a detail that would otherwise would have died with him last week

—-

A friend of mine died today. He was not a close friend; indeed, although I knew him for 45 years, I barely knew him at all, and some people would be surprised that I considered him a friend.

Rollo Silver was 80 years old. He died in a hospital in the Boston area where I first knew him, although he spent the last half of his life living in New Mexico. Rollo was married to my first wife, Beverly. Even though Beverly and I were married for ten years, she spent most of her life with Rollo, and he spent half of his life with her. Our children spent more time under Rollo's roof than under mine,

I was in my late 20s, Rollo in his early 30s when we first met. We were both living in Brookline and had some friends in common. I always found him intriguing because he had an uncommonly vast store of knowledge, a widely ranging curiosity, and a penetrating imagination. He and I shared an interest in futurist speculation and in trying to examine experience without preconceptions. Yet he had an aloof stance that often put me off, and so I sometimes judged him to be too "way out" for me, somewhat strange. Nevertheless I liked him a lot.

Unbeknownst to me, he and Beverly fell in love at some point, and eventually she left me to be with him. Friendships usually end when such things happen, but I was surprised – after several years of anger and resentment – to find myself on friendly terms with both Rollo and Beverly. There was always some tension between us. Reflecting on this, I came to think that both of us strove to be non-judgmental and non-competitive in our dealings with others, but that we aroused these traits in each other when we were together. So an uneasy relationship precluded a close friendship. And yet we were friends.

Rollo was something of a "renaissance man". He translated his love of mathematics into beautiful pictures based on the Mandelbrot set, and he played Mozart angelically on the piano. He founded a commune of sorts in New Mexico, and he developed the practical skills needed to get by on very little in that environment. He abandoned a career at MIT but he continued to work as a computer scientist.

He and Beverly with the help of a host of friends built a beautiful house on the Lama mountainside. The bricks were made by hand, rammed earth with cement, dried like adobe in the New Mexico sun. Some of those bricks included my labor, and somehow that helped me "cement" our friendship. The house burned down in a wildfire, but the brick walls are still intact.

In one of our last conversations, Rollo reminisced nostalgically about a cross-country trip he took in his teens, right after WWII. He rode the rails with a friend, like hobos of the 30s, and he told me of the powerful effect of lying on a flatcar and watching the stars overhead in the summer sky. It's an image that has lingered with me, of his heart longing for unity with the rest of nature, while his intellect sought to understand nature deeply. I felt the experience he described — and I felt it was as much about the end of the journey as about its beginning. In some strange way, I rode the rails with him. It's true that over the years Rollo and I hardly ever met or spoke. Even so, there was something we shared, hard to pin down. I'm calling it friendship.

As we age, notions of our mortality become more present in our minds and hearts. Any death will bring these ideas to the surface, but the passing of a friend makes them truly vivid. Not surprisingly, today dying was on my mind.

Reflecting today on Rollo's passing, I thought about how much of our lives are inhabited by our friends; by laughter with friends, by tension between friends, by shared experiences with friends, by simply being friends.

Suddenly, I am overwhelmed by a longing to be with my friends. There are so many friends that I haven't seen recently, that I haven't spoken to for a while, that I haven't corresponded with for some time, that I miss in my life.

If you received this letter from me, it's because you are in that number. You are one of the friends that I miss, even if I saw you yesterday. I wanted to write to you today because even though I expect to live a lot longer, I am reminded that any one of us could die tomorrow.

Posted by LiYana at 7:03 pm  | 1 Comment

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Men are great

All the time I have men showing up as kings, princes, saviors, heros and gods.

This is partly to do with them, and a lot to do with me.
With the eyes I see them with.
With what I've done with my anger toward them (felt it, channeled it, loved it down).
With the language, "ManSpeak" I've learned over many embarrassing years.
With the simple skills needed to at once honor and make receptive any man.

I love, respect and cherish men.
They love, respect and cherish me right back, 10-fold.
It was not always so.

I get all in a lather about this stuff, and want you to have it too.

You can and you will by doing anything and everything I have to offer:

Powerful Women in Partnership & Holding Space for Powerful Women
2-Part Tele-Class Series:

http://www.redefiningmonogamy.com/teleseinar.html

Find Yourself in a Rockin' Relationship
Become More of Yourself Without Settling for Less!
… a workshop intensive for women:

http://www.redefiningmonogamy.com/LSWworkshop.html

Or, you'll figure it out on your own.
Maybe it will take a few years or lifetimes longer – maybe not.
But whenever we can share this great stuff, let's do.
It's so fun, such a relief, so delicious here.
Come join me and the great men.

If you can't find them, conjure them into being by enhancing YOU.

Posted by LiYana at 10:59 pm  Comments Off on Men are great

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

The Experiment

The Experiment

I have to admit to you something I'm kind of sheepish to admit. In fact just yesterday, a girlfriend of mine and I were walking downtown on the streets of the Upper West Side in Manhattan, and she said to me in her respectful (not) way, "I can't believe you're not over that yet."

Thanks, girlfriend.

I was speaking about an experiment I've been doing: taking on full-cloth doing and committing to and putting energy into only those things that I truly love. If it is full of juice and excitement for me, I go for it. If it doesn't, I pass. For example, I know the path to a successful, passive-income rich website that gives great content and products to the world, complete with internet marketing, search-engine optimization, affiliate programs, list-building, etc. I know HOW to do it, I just would rather gnaw off my own leg than do it. I'm not interested, really, although there's part of me that's sure I should be.

This is hard for me because coded deep in the instinctual layers of my cells is the assertion that I need to work hard to get the things I want. I used to live day in and out like this, auditioning in across Europe and in New York City as a dancer, working three jobs and all that. I worked hard, really, really hard. I got some of the things I was working so hard to get, but there's always room to work harder – at least in the nooks and crannies of my mind. I'm sheepish because I'm still "not over" the nagging concern that for things to work out, I've got to do things I hate and work really hard at all of it.

Now, things have really changed. Over the last 10 years, I did enough personal growth on this topic to kill a small horse. And I'm pretty great, remanants, though there may be. I essentially created for myself the 4-Hour Workweek, LiYana style. I'm a "Relationship Whisperer." Relationships tend to flourish around me, much to my delight. I've got a blessed, amazing life, a relationship that is a living, breathing work of art, I don't worry about money, I have extraordinary friends and colleagues that serve the world in amazing life-affirming ways and kick my butt when I need it. I've got a healthy body and mind, I have freedom and I am deeply well person. I don't mind working hard, in fact the racehorse in me loves it and if I don't get out for a run around the track now and again I get antsy. And if I took a long look at it, most of the amazing things I've created did come out of hard work – but only after some letting go, getting out of my way, following my instinct.

It's much better to let go, get out of my own way, follow my instinct – and align with what truly lights me up and turns me on FIRST, and then do some hard work based on that. Hard work for hard work's sake is for the birds. (Sorry, birds).

But every now and again I forget. I think I need a will, and will only. I think I need to take the hard path, the path through the dark, scary windy wood. Like I need to build more character or something. So I am experimenting to see if I can forget less and less.

I think it's my rock-hard will that speaks says nice (not!) things like, "Everything in your life you've ever gotten you've gotten by working harder, longer and with more pain than anyone else. It was me, your iron will that got you anything you ever wanted. You want to stop using me now? Are you crazy? You'll forget all about these things you love, the creative fire in you will go out, and then it will be too late and you'll be too lazy, broken or stupid to ever recover or bounce back! Don't even think about surrendering to the flow and ebb of creativity, to align yourself to the magic and serendipity that really rules the universe. A time to reap, a time to sow? I time to rest, a time to work? Bah! It's only time to work. Anything else is time wasted! Are you crazy? Don't let go!"

As it goes on and on it gets screetchier and more anxious. Sounds a lot like the fear of forgetting.

So, how's the experiment going?

Amazing, my friends, amazing. I got a call the other day from a guy who heard about me from a guy I worked with and asked me to be a featured guest and panelist on his talk show, The Stuart Davis Show (stay tuned for details); I got an email from a publisher in New York who found my website (found my website? How does anyone actually find my website if it's not search-engine optimized????) and asked, "Ever thought about writing a book?" The proposal goes out next week. I got flown out to New York to speak at a conference on Polyamory and be a part of a summit meeting/think tank to help envision the future for conscious, loving, responsible relationships, including non-monogamous ones. I'll be interviewed along with Susan Crain Bakos on a live Cable TV show in three weeks. A friend of mine said, "Hey, I know a guy who knows a guy…. want to write an audio series product with me?" If the products are a go (with that guy who knows a guy), we'll make a shipload of money.

However, internet marketing is a good thing, even though I don't want to do it. I was having dinner with a girlfriend who LOVES it and can't quite understand that I am missing the gene that loves to spend 80 hours a week on the stuff. I told her, "I can't strategize or envision a killer marketing plan like you can in your sleep, but what I am good at is manifesting one-in-a-million things: things that don't exist, shouldn't exist, are so rare and ridiculous, except for one time in one million."

And today I think I found that one-in-a-million guy who's an expert at all the nasty business I mentioned above (internet marketing, search engine optimization, affiliate programs, list-building – pthhhhooooey). The experiment continues; aligning with what I deeply love and care about continues to bear extraordinary fruit, even though, as my girlfriend says, "I'm not over that yet."

Posted by LiYana at 3:02 pm  | 1 Comment

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Violence + Domination = Sex?

In a moment I am going to get erudite on your ass, quoting from the esteemed Riane Eisler's "Sacred Pleasure" which is a dense, remarkable anthropological look at …

What happened to replace partnership-based relating with what we've got now, mostly: a dominator/dominated model of relating?
What happened to goddess-inclusive religions?
And what happened to UNLINK sex/sensuality with pleasure and RELINK sex/sensuality with violence and domination?

To get the whole story, you too will have to plow through this tome as I've been doing (actually, the geek in my thoroughly enjoys it!) – or just stay tuned as I expound on the best parts!

The Roman culture is one of those displaying the patriarchal practices of dominator/dominated relating, slavery of men and women, and a strong link between sex and violence and war. Although it puts men in one camp and women in another, a bit too much for my taste, this is an amazing piece of information:

"But for all their idealization of the power of the phallus, if we look at the compulsive sexual excesses of the Romans, we see that what they reflect is actually a sexual powerlessness: the powerlessness to feel real sexual and emotional fulfillment.

For what we are today learning about sexually obsessive and compulsive behaviors is that they generally stem from an inability to fully experience bodily sensations and a full range of emotions. In other words, behind the seemingly insatiable appetite for sex and cruelty of many Romans lies a dominator psychosexual armoring that effectively blocks the full experiencing of bodily and emotional sensations.

It is this same psychosexual armoring that in our time continues to drive men to ever more sexual conquests, to the "excitement" of warfare, and to all the other frantic compulsions that fuel both war and the war of the sexes. It is this armoring – and the seething frustrations inherent in a dominator/dominated way of structuring human relations – that in our time still find expression in mass media in celluloid violence and cruelty … And it is also this psychosexual armoring that is both expressed and fostered by a modern pornographic industry where men's violent domination and humiliation of women is presented to us as exciting and sexually arousing entertainment.

So it is not only women whose sexuality has been suppressed and distorted in dominator societies, to the degree that many women still today are incapable of expressing themselves sexually, much less reaching orgasm … It is also men's sexuality that has been distorted and stunted, so that for all their obsession with the power of the phallus, many men are still today essentially cut off from the very essence of sexual power: the capacity to freely give and fully experience sexual pleasure."

Why tire my little fingers typing this in for you?

It's what I am most fascinated with: why is the only relationship model available to us a dominator/dominated one? Oppressor/oppressee? War of the sexes? Why do we have to have a war of the sexes at all?

Where's true partnership? Not bland equality, but true partnership where both people are invited to be whole, individual and expressed, to enjoy their strengths and weaknesses, to stand, hand in hand, looking out over the same vistas, allies.

Where's true partnership? Offering the information, skills, practices and tools to have one for yourself, my friend, is what my entire life is about.

Posted by LiYana at 12:02 am  Comments Off on Violence + Domination = Sex?

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