some of the most powerful words i’ve ever read came from a book titled ‘The Subtle Knife’. this is actually the second book in the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy i mentioned in my last email about the pendulum. this is the line . . .

“Ruta Skadi lived so brilliantly in her nerves that she set up a responding thrill in the nerves of anyone close by.”

upon reading these words, i tattooed them onto my heart. let me just start with the first part she “lived so brilliantly in her nerves”. nerves are how we sense, they are the system from which we exhibit sensitivity. and important to note, to be a functioning nerve, you have to be connected to the brain—nerves are a necessary part of the whole.

imagine what it’s like, for you personally, to be human. think about all the stuff your brain does, is doing right now, and all that it’s capable of. to be human, you have to be able to juggle everything at once. and with our hyper-convenient, civilized society, there can be A LOT to juggle. how well your nervous system is functioning has probably never even crossed your mind, and if it has, it’s more than likely not something you think about often.

try to wrap your mind around what the nervous system sorta looks like. your spinal cord stems from your brain down your body with branches from the spine reaching out through your limbs. many nerves end at your skin. your nerves also surround your internal organs, sense your muscles and your bones. think about how you can feel just about any touch to your skin, you can feel pain in your belly, a sprained ankle, how you can feel everything across your entire body. your nerves pick up on everything that you experience and send a notification to your brain. your nerves are the internal communication system of your entire body.

Copyright has expired on this artwork. From my own archives, digitally restored.

and ALL of your nerves stem back to your brain—which contains, your mind, the conscious part of your brain. your mind holds so much power if your mind thinks you are sick, your body can become sick via the command of the mind.

therefore, the sensitivity of your nerves is directly connected to your mind as well. therefore, if you don’t think about your nervous system, or challenge it, or activate it, your mind will not be as strongly connected to your nerves as it would be had you a daily practice of challenging, activating, and charging up your nervous system.

pranayama (breathing exercises) and kundalini (which includes many breathing exercises) have given me unforgettable experiences revealing to me the power of the nervous system. going through kundalini teacher training left me uncomfortably raw and sensitive beyond measure.

something i’ve experienced, that cannot be seen or proven, is receptivity beyond my skin. it is absolutely clear to me that this “further reach beyond my skin” is absolutely happening and it seems to communicate through my nervous system. if you’ve ever read or watched spiderman, think “spidey sense”.

coming back to the quote, “Ruta Skadi lived so brilliantly in her nerves that she set up a responding thrill in the nerves of anyone close by.” not only does she live fully into her own nerves, she lives and exists beyond herself, beyond her fingertips. she not only gives to, but receives from, the space around her. she has the power to reach well beyond herself as if her nerves are antenna to extend her own senses—to extend her reach into the air and into the ether.

when i read this for the first time years ago, i knew nothing about my own body, nothing of my nerves, the words just struck me and have never left me since. now however, just now as i was reminded of these words the other day, i see ruta skadi (she’s a good witch by the way) is, and always was, my aim.

— to fully live into my mind & body. feeling, healing, & continuously connecting.
— to live brilliantly within my mind and body via curiosity, compassion & love.
— to insight thrill within myself and therefore within others to live and breathe and bear witness to the magic of being alive.

this fire, this flame, has existed in me for as long as i can remember. makes me wonder if you wonder, or if you know, what burns inside of you? does this? does something else? what’s your heart-fire fueled by? you don’t have to answer unless you want to, I just wanted to make sure you took some time to inquire within you.