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© Sylvia Benito, 2014
17th of January

Vertical Guidance

One of the beautiful things about keeping a blog is that by its very nature, over time, a blog must change. When I first started writing here, I wrote mainly about food and only peripherally about the lives I was feeding. But the sweet tsunami of change came into my life, swiftly rising its tide, cleaning away all the foundation beneath me.

I surrendered. I had no choice.

I watched as my life went from one in which I regularly prepared feasts, beautiful food for large tables of family and friends, to one in which I barely cook at all.

I know one day, I willl cook again. But in the meantime, I can not rush the process of falling apart and coming back together. I can not write here about food, unless I am going to write about all the organic take out places in town. Or that night I gave my sons a can of Campbell Chicken Noodle soup for dinner. That is pretty much ground zero on the journey to culinary hell.

My equipment is dormant on my kitchen shelves, archaeological remnants of a rather privileged and arrogant life; a siphon; nitrogen canister; a sous vide machine; a full set of French cooking pots. My knives.

But there is a delicious vulnerability in life when things dissolve.
In my experience, it is important in a moment like this to not try to fix or repair or hide or pretend that things are fine.

Because the invitation that is present, always, every time life falls apart, is an invitation to deeper self love. If you skip over the chaos too quickly, you miss all those morsels of love waiting for you to chow down.

Last week, I was blessed to spend a few hours in the presence of Kurt Johnson, a friend, a teacher, and an inspirational figure to me on the spiritual path. He and I talked about vertical guidance, which is essentially a term that throws a wider net than the word, “prayer”, but is energetically on par.

Kurt is an extraordinary mirror of love, an awakened man of epic proportion. In his company, my heart deepened immediately into profound silence, which by the way, is not separate from the truest essence of love. We hung out in the bar of the Royalton Hotel, but we could have been on a mountain in India for all the silence that radiated from our hearts.


Kurt reminded me of the importance in the moments when everything falls apart to not turn back towards our familiar habits of mind or ways of being, but to reach deeper into the vertical guidance that is always present. Call it by any name you like, or call it by no name at all- there is a high consciousness that is present everywhere, in all times, in all places, that guides us towards our truest path.

And this brings me back to love, to the love of our selves but also the love with another. I think that lovers are a form of vertical guidance. Some more than others, which is why the term “soulmate” exists. It is ludicrous to say that there is only one soulmate in a lifetime, because that is like saying there is only one opportunity to grow in a lifetime. I have not met many, but certainly a few- people who drew me into the deepest part of myself swiftly and surely, like a fast river carrying a leaf. Some soulmates are friends, some are teachers, some are lovers, and some are all three at once.

I met one such soulmate a few months ago, right when everything in my life was really falling apart. We only met a few times in person, and then we did not meet again. But he has stayed in my heart all this time, like a prayer. I do not know why, but I trust it. It’s absolutely important to trust those big energies that come our way, especially when we don’t understand them. They are the big teachers in life, the really juicy good ones.

Last week he came to me in a dream. In the dream, I was very sparkly. I was fancy, and smart, and elegant and all those lovely things my ego has cultivated over time. I was talking a lot, just chattering away, and he was absolutely still. He was not interested in any of the things I was saying. I was like a magpie with a piece of shiny foil. And then he very simply pointed silently to my heart. I knew right then why he has come as a soulmate at this time, why he has become a sort of vertical guidance.

He is my reminder to be still. And in that stillness is love.

When things fall apart, as they do, as they must- it is not time to clang together the cooking pots and invite over a cluster of friends. It is not time keep busy with chattering things. It is a time to dissolve.

And what a sweet dissolution it is.


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1 Comment
  • thanks for keeping it real dear sylvia. see you soon. xo

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    © Sylvia Benito, 2014
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