Self-expression has never been a hang-up for me. But which aspect of Self am I expressing has been a vital and lived question. One part of me seemed to leave out another and I grappled with finding a way to include all of who I am.
My given name, Chela, is Sanskrit for disciple. My name has been my compass. I’m a seeker, I long for truth, for depth. I have always searched the canvas of life for meaning and for moments of awakening.
I’ve also partied my ass off.
I’m irreverent, have been given shit for swearing and like to peel away the layers till I’m raw. I break rules and make my own way.
My 20s were filled with strife, trying to tow the line of taking life seriously while being a wild soul, hungry for freedom and adventure, seeking state changes and edges to push.
My ‘throw caution to the wind’ attitude had me question my commitment. Then on a road trip down the Baja with my best friend and a Volkswagen van, I found out that Chela is slang for beer in Spanish. I have a picture of me under a sign that says ‘5 Chelas for 150 pesos.’
Admittedly, it feels both shallow and crass that this moment was significant for me, but it filled out my sense that I’d been living a paradox. Somehow, through the identification with my name’s meaning I came to rest more deeply in all of who I am.
Sacred Party. Irreverent devotion. Magical practicality. Massive heart, sharp sword.
At your service.