"it was when i stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself i found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole" ~ rubi kaur
"listen to me, your body is not a temple. temples can be destroyed and desecrated. your body is a forest -- thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. you will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated" ~ beau taplin
We think of our bodies in terms of what they can do for us. Another means to an end. "What can it give me?... what can I take from it?" We USE our bodies rather than honor them. Numbed out to life, conditioned to feel less and do more. Efficiency. Materialism. These are our values. We have been so conditioned to use that we know little else, and unless we're willing to muddy the stagnant larvae-infested waters, we end up ultimately using ourselves.
The ego uses the body for admiration to feel separate and superior, flipping on a dime at the slightest chance, it moves to sickening self-loathing to feel separate, resentful and embittered. Separate. Ego, most closely tied with the body, survival, instinct and thus most closely tied to our many issues. Surely, unless we have the appropriate tools to cope with the vicissitudes of life, we are distant strangers to balance, and are then kept from experiencing the inherent beauty of our everyday existence.
"We have all hurt someone tremendously. whether by intent or accident. we have all loved someone tremendously. whether by intent or accident. it is an intrinsic human trait. and a deep responsibility. i think. to be an organ and a blade. but. learning to forgive ourselves and others because we have not chosen wisely is what makes us most human. we make horrible mistakes. it's how we learn. we breathe love. it's how we learn. and it is inevitable." ~ Nayyirah Waheed
Life is hard, ask anybody, they'll tell you. Anybody. Life is hard and our bodies carry us through it. Our bodies house us, they protect us. They hold the pain that our souls never will. They offer us their loyal service so that we may leave this world, unscathed.
Although, we never really leave. Where is here and where is there? Where is there to go?
Where was I?
They house the hurt that we are eternally free from. The body is a beautiful gift... it is something to be honored and treasured... not used.
We borrow these beautiful bags of bone and blood. We are born of the earth and it is to the earth that we return. Grounded. Often, we become broken on the wheels of life. We forget that our bodies are the vessels that bridge the worlds of earth and spirit. The gateway. We are. Grounded. Give me life and give me death, both, just, and in their timely manner. Give me life and give me death the former full, but not too long, and not too soon with regard to the latter.
Give me life and give me death. Both. In their timely manner.
"There's a cost to become yourself, a price you'll pay, in people trusted once, people who loved who you were but feared who came next, the evolution of you.
Savers, we, holding onto hurt, those who hurt us, saying we're too poor to give them up, saying we will take what we can get. More, they take, more we're left empty but emptying pockets.
This is a cost you can bear, cut off the cord and say goodbye." ~ Tyler Knott Gregson
What we see and experience in our outside world is a great representation of what we’re experiencing internally, whether we acknowledge this or not. What cost will you bear, the cost to cut the cord, and say goodbye, or the cost to hold on? I have a curiosity.
Do tell me. Oh really. Wait. Really? Even if it means your life?
Intersting. Where was I?
Just as it is important to cleanse our physical dwellings it’s important to cleanse our inner mind and inner and outer bodies. The process of cleansing is an offering to the worlds of earth and spirit. We exchange old patterns for new insights. We release what is no longer serving us so that we are free to feel something else. So that we are. Free. When we cleanse things we open up new space for positive energy in our lives. Cleansing our physical space is a representative tool that can be effectively used to signal the opening of space in many aspects of our lives.
Cleansing allows us to choose, to open ourselves intentionally to new opportunities and experiences. Rebirth, from ash. Renewal allows us to remember. We are of the earth, air, fire, water. Our bodies vessels to carry insights from invisible worlds. We are the bridges of life. Cleansing is an honoring, an invitation offered to ourselves. Can we enjoy the process of life and not just the destination? How can we welcome and cultivate a new creative energy, one of expansion, growth, and all things light and dark and twisted, dripping with love?
Please, tell me. I have a curiosity.
"come taste the edges of temptation, lather in the chords of symphony that radiate from the mouths of golden skies, we permeate through destruction, emboldened by scars, brilliant vectors riding unique horses into gleeful nights. love is the house that harbors hurt and hope, share the doorstep, invite all in who share common curiosity.
our plates, filled with experience, come sit at the table and let us talk of everything miraculous." ~ ct lokey
Life is not happening to us, it is happening through us.
Life will always provide because it knows nothing else. Life is being. Life is flow.
Life is illusion and freedom, along the destined path. wait. my thoughts confuse me. They're speaking, too fast. is it illusion of freedom, along the destined path?
Did you think I knew what I was talking about, did I sound like the expert?
I ask because I do not know. but. I have a curiosity. Wait. Where was I?
We are life, dancing for itself. and. in this dance, life ALWAYS provides.
Tell me, how will you honor yourself today? Will you tell me? I have a curiosity.
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." ~ Meister Eckhart
"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." ~ Unknown
Can you hear me? Will you listen? It is of your sweetness that I finally speak. Finally. Forgive me, for it has taken me a lifetime to comprehend the nature of your loveliness and the power of your simple presence in my life.
Dear Beloved. Thank you. My cup runneth over. for. I have finally tasted. freedom.
"do not choose the lesser life. do you hear me. do you hear me. choose the life that is yours. the life that is seducing your lungs. that is dripping down your chin." ~ Nayyirah Waheed
Gratitude finds you, you cannot seek him. You may try and find glimpses of his grace, but the path to gratitude is a gentle fall. A plummet towards the center of the burning earth, only to be caught in the loving arms of grace.
Gratitude, he finds me. My knuckles turn white, hands gripping the edge. I feel him, next to me. He gently cups my face in his strong and gentle hands. "Let go," he whispers, "It's okay, let go." I don't trust him. I don't know him well, I don't call upon him often enough, I haven't asked him to meet me. My knuckles turn white. No time. Time. I've just, been so busy.
Suddenly, I'm lost in the essence of his gentleness. I'm lost. The moment I realize I'm somewhere and I have no idea how I got there, simultaneously, wondering how it took me so long to remember my respect for the properties of water. It has taken me time. So much time. A lifetime, to allow the natural flow of possibilities and the arrangement of atoms to coalesce into their destined symphony.
We make life more complicated than it is. More complicated than it needs to be. Complicated. We blame it on our nature, but that’s not our nature. It’s our conditioning.
"Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim." ~ Tyler Knott Gregson
Conditioning taught me fear. Society stripped my mind of dreams I had of wanting more, of wanting it all, of craving life. Family, school, the entirety of the lost and wandering world at large asked me to question myself, time and time again. It drove me from my center and taught me that I could never be good enough, not without him, her, it, them. Does it really matter?
We've built an economic structure that thrives off of its citizens succumbing to convincing illusions. emptiness. Even the self-help industry itself is built upon the very principles that it tells you not to fall for. One more secret to life, just one more trick, only then, we promise. you'll be happy. We live as if money is the only real thing in this world. Ironic, isn't it? Currency that is no longer backed by anything, nothing more than cloth-like paper, this is what we worship. Even when we choose to hate money and block its energy from entering our lives we worship it. We hate to love money and love to hate it. Is this sounding like your healthiest relationship?
Please, do not misunderstand me. I do not intend to make you think that money isn't important, it is in the world we live in. My point is what does it mean? What's its real value? Money is a beautiful tool, and I'll remind you, so is the ego mind.
Remember, they are there to serve us. We are not here to serve them. Listen, please, this is an important distinction. Remember your power, you did not come here to serve a master with a green face, you came here to learn, to grow, to live. I wonder, do you have any clue of your own magnificence?
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~ Jimi Hendrix
We look outside of ourselves, we crawl, we beg, we plead. We hold on. Knuckles turning white. We disregard the blessing of life. We ignore everything that is right before our eyes. For the love of materialism we shield our eyes from the grace of this world and the abundance of its overwhelming love.
Happiness. Isn't that what we all search for? Isn't this what the world of consumerism promises? One more __________ (fill in the blank) and we'll all be happy. We're drowning in the river while dying of thirst, forgetting how much we truly love the water. When did you choose to shield your face from the beauty of life? When did you decide to numb your cravings for adventure with the newest trend of societal approval. We’ve moved away from the natural order of things because we’re terrified that it is just that easy, that we could let go. We forget the bliss that accompanies the letting go. We've forgotten to enjoy the fall. We've forgotten. Our knuckles are turning white.
"The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves." ~ Alan W. Watts
We've fought ourselves for so long that we've forgotten the power of the original surrender to life, to earth. We've forgotten life before that which is supposed to unite and inspire us turned to manipulate, corrupt, and control us. All we remember is the war we've waged against humanity, against ourselves. Surrender feels like a forfeit, it feels like weakness, but, be careful my dear, that is your mind playing games with you. We've forgotten who we are and thus we walk stumbling blind to our own magnificence, ignorant to the worlds brilliance.
"Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?" ~ Charles Bukowski
Lay on the earth, feel it's gentle support as it cradles your spine, and. Tell me. Does such surrender feel anything but mighty?
Here, gratitude, he finds me. He cups my face and strokes my hair. He whispers in winds of softness. My feet are grounded and I press my shoulders into the grass. As my lungs fill my back presses deep, into the earth. Is this not the meaning of life? This life. This breath. This earth. Here, he finds me.
Can you hear me? Will you listen? It is of your sweetness that I finally speak. Finally. Forgive me, for it has taken me a lifetime to comprehend the nature of your loveliness and the power of your simple presence in my life.
Dear Beloved. Thank you. My cup runneth over. for. I have finally tasted. freedom.
I AM grateful.
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist." ~ Oscar Wilde
Gratitude, soft and loving, accepting and trusting. Where does he find you? When you're knuckles are turning white and your scared of letting go, will you listen? Do you have the courage to surrender to the risky winds of chance? The path to gratitude is a gentle fall. You will plummet towards the center of the burning earth. But, I promise. You will be caught, in the loving arms of grace.
Be soft with yourself. Start small. You need not a thing besides your breath.
My dear, what can you let go of today, to free yourself to all of life? Don't you want to taste your freedom?
"Soft music at night, pulling us into slumber, singing us to sleep." ~ Tyler Knott Gregson
"Music is the space between the notes." ~ Claude Debussy
The space between. The stillness. Why is it that sometimes this is the most uncomfortable place to be? The space where there is nothing to actually do. Why is sitting the hardest? What is it about stillness, that is so terrifying? Why is the surrender to life, the choice I must choose to make each day? The choice. Love or fear. Moment by moment. trust.
We know what to do when there’s something to be done. Our socially constructed and imposed beliefs that we will never be good enough. Unless. More. Consumerism seeps from our veins and in the world of illusion we’ve bought what they’re selling. all. of. it. We know how to struggle. we were born to struggle, right alongside Lady Liberty, for the American Dream we’ve all been promised.
What is Love? My mind is running away with me.
Why is that we only talk about the good parts, the highlight reels of our lives and act as though that’s what’s really happening? Look around you, the world is riddled with pain. Do we care? We should.
It's curious. We want to be known and yet we hide the depths of our soul, our realness, for fear it's unsightly. We run full speed in the opposite direction when faced with something real. Honest. Challenging.
"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." ~ Maya Angelou
I seek refuge in the peace of the stillness of my own soul because I know what’s there. I’ve reached the edge of my own darkness and stumbled in. The dichotomy. The power of being alone and knowing yourself but also knowing you can never truly know yourself without another. It is. In the mirroring between souls that we uncover the dark spots, the spots we so convincingly hide even from ourselves. Human relationship are the most challenging venture and they are also the most rewarding. The fine line between finding yourself in another while refraining from synchronously losing yourself at the same time. Balance. Yin. Yang. It is not accident that this is what people spend their lives mastering, it is a practice I am certain I will spend my life attempting to understand.
The ego is a crazy person that lives in my head. Insidious. Compelling. Brilliant. Completely and utterly insane.
It is because if it’s insidious nature that I require the space. The stillness. The sitting. It’s only when I give myself space that I am able to properly observe the madness that is in full operation just beneath my well composed exterior.
I need time. Silence. Reflection. Patience.
"...The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." ~ Robert Frost
I have no idea what it is that I’m doing and I rarely ever have. The only semblance of difference now is I used to put much more of an effort towards convincing myself. I take my life step by step, moment by moment, and I fail daily in my practice to refrain from attaching to what I find enjoyable and pushing away what I find uncomfortable. But. I’m still trying.
Writing helps. It offers me a medium. It supplies a mirror. A way for me to connect in the solitude of my own soul, a fractal glimpse at the whole of life within my own skin. Flesh. Bone. Blood. When truthful, reflected back to me on paper, in ink. Silver. Gold. Stardust.
When you have the courage to be patient. Tell me about the stillness. What does she softly whisper to you?
Wolf Prayer Spirit of the wolf You who wanders in the wild lands You who stalks in silent shadows You who runs and leaps Between the moss covered trees Lend me your primal strength And the wisdom of your glowing eyes Teach me to relentlessly track my desires And to stand in defense of those I love Show me the hidden paths and the moonlit fields Fierce spirit Walk with me in my solitude Howl with me in my joy Guard me as I move through this world ~ Unknown
Sometimes she brings me to my knees. She rips up the carpets of the floors I’ve spent my life sweeping things under. She unearths that pit in my stomach that I sometimes forget. Like a wolf, she stands tall in the darkest woods of my soul on the blackest of nights.
She waits for me by the well. It’s cold. I can see the wisps of clouds leave my lips, suspended in the air for a moment before vanishing. The only signs of life. This softly dissipating condensation from my shallow breathing. The night is still. By the well, she waits.
I know what she asks of me. She awaits the hero’s journey. The slaying of the dragons of my soul. You would think it would get easier and maybe in a way it does. I’d like to ask you a question. What if you’ve spent your life feeding the dragons that fill your lungs with smoke from the inside out? I’m asking for a friend. What if you wonder if you’ll miss the choking, what if you’re terrified of the burning that will inevitably accompany your first deep breath? Stop it. I told you. Like I said. I’m asking for a friend.
Somehow the scariest parts of life are the decisions that I have the beautiful freedom to make. I crave my freedom and yet when it offers itself to me I am shaken, petrified.
Freedom. Responsibility. Mistakes.
Nobody else to blame. Ugly truth. I have to step off my high horse, stumble from my soap box. The fall to the floor triggering all the places where shame still hides in my gentle frame. On my knees, once again, I am weeping.
Humbled. Curious. Grateful.
You see, this is my fear. When completely free, what then?
The unknown is terrifying, the choosing it is worse. I’m good at reacting. Throw me into something that overwhelms me, don’t give me a choice, capsize me into the violent waters and I promise you I will fight to survive. Survive. But. What if you want to do something more than survive? I’m curious. What then?
Wait. Did I say I? My mistake. Like I said, I’m asking for a friend.
"Abandon hope all ye who enter here." ~ Dante Alighieri
The wolf. She waits for me. I must ask myself what I treasure more, my freedom or my dragons. You can develop a love for the things that make you sick. I think there’s a term for it. Oh. Yeah. Wait. Addiction.
My willingness. I pray for my willingness. I often don’t have the courage, I often lack the strength, the grit. I pray for the willingness to be moved, knowing all too well, that if I can (God allowing) become willing, the whole universe will conspire to move me.
The wolf. She is my willingness. She has come for me. Once again. She always comes for me. It’s then I am met with another decision. I have called. She is here. Do I have the courage to answer, the grace to be led through the fogs that are clouding my vision, the confidence to walk on completely blind?
I sit with her. My wolf. I tell her my fears. I share with her my heartbreak.
She offers me her fur, clenched in my fists.
She does not speak. Yet, she asks. as if her thoughts echo in the whispers from the moon, I hear her. Gentle. Fierce. Echoes.
How much do you trust the dark path where destiny leads?
I close my human eyes. Her fur clenched in my fists. When I have the courage to let go. The willingness to be guided. My wolf of Destiny. She leads me.
"How often Love shoulders the blame for the troubles of Doubt. ~ Chloe Frayne
"Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free." ~ Rumi
It feels like summer, but it is not summer. The winds have changed. I hear crickets outside and a warm cool breeze breathes through my window. I’m feeling a mixture of things. A heaviness. A weight on my chest. Sadness, melancholy, loneliness. My heart breaks, but not for me. Well, partly for me. For the world. Who am I kidding? For me. My heart is breaking. It breaks for all the times I haven’t been met there, on that bridge of vulnerability. That bridge. Where heaviness is always eager to greet me. The times I’ve waited. past. present. I’m still waiting. The feeling not the same, but similar. The faces. so many different faces.
"Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready." ~ Nayyirah Waheed
So many people think they’re being vulnerable, allowing me to peer through the cracks in their well intentioned and cleverly built walls. They give me glimpses, so many glimpses. Do not try to seduce me with your well-planned words. With your false vulnerability. I feel you at your safe distance. I can see what you are doing.
We're all scared. Risk, I get it. Heartbreak. Of course. Memories. So haunting. I'm tired of the indecisiveness. Meet me on the bridge, or don't. I say this lovingly. Do not settle for an unready love. A love that still needs healing. A love that has not let go. A love that is not free. Heaviness will meet me there, heaviness is willing. We spend our time together, we sit, we share. This is real sharing. This is real. The heaviness.
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..." ~ Jack Kerouac
You see, my problem is that I believe people when they tell me who they are. I believe them, why wouldn’t I? It takes time for the incongruence to show itself. Cognitive dissonance. People can talk a lot at first, they share the dreams they hold, upfront, with dreams. So many dreams.
Dreams are built in the sky and have a tendency to fall from the clouds when we don’t risk ourselves falling to jump and meet them.
So many hearts, protecting. So many hearts, brimming with fear. My dear, where has your love gone? Your trust was never taken, it was offered. Trust is a gift, it must always be offered. Do not be scared, my love. Do not be angry. It was a gift. The time has come. Let it go.
"do not choose the lesser life. do you hear me. do you hear me. choose the life that is. yours. the life that is seducing your lungs. that is dripping down your chin." ~ Nayyirah Waheed
What can I do when they haven't the courage to meet me? And I get it. The bridge is not for the weak, and I have spent years of my life. weak. The bridge is not for those who would rather stay safe than to risk their life for love. Love is not safe. It is mad. dangerous. beautiful. What can I do when I see through the veil of cloth they think protects them? What can I do when they deny its very existence? I have no time for your halfhearted love. I dip my toes in the river. I sit on the sun soaked grass. I weep. My heart is breaking.
My heart is heavy with ink. Words. Words needing to be real, to be penned.
"Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." ~ Rumi
People have this way of small talking me with their depth. Sharing certain depths of their life in an attempt to protect their heart, it’s a fascinating thing. This. Adaptation.
Be cautious of those who will not open for you. For it is only those who have truly opened for themselves that have the strength to open for another. Be cautious of the buds. Tightly closed. Beware the addictive nature of hope. Unrealized. Potential.
Ready. Whatever it takes. Utter abandon. This love both electrifies and terrifies me. It is. wild. Incautious. Unapologetic. Curious.
This love. Ready. To meet me on that bridge.
The New Colossus "Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. 'Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she with silent lips. 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door?" ~ Emma Lazarus
Leave me. Take your caution with you. I have no time for a guarded heart. No energy left to convince you. No desire left for the challenge of the cracking. Glimpses. You can only offer me. Glimpses. I swell and rise with the coming of the tides, pulled by unseen forces. Leaving seashells in my wake. Tell me, have you seen the glory of nature, does it play so small? I didn't think so.
You do not scare me. Whatever it is you are fearful of, I can handle it. Closeness. Terrifying. The space, I can hold it. Do not underestimate me. Fragile frame and kind eyes, but do not be fooled. I am half girl. all warrior. I do not run.
Leave me. Take your caution with you.
I want real. If you’re staying, then stay. Give me you. give me real. I crave to be healed. Don't be ridiculous. You can’t heal me. But I can. but. only if we’re real. The magic is in between the mirroring of authenticity. That’s where I find my healing. In truth. The magic. between the mirroring. The addictions take hold in the illusion. the falsity. the manipulation projected as truthfulness. You’re covering your wounds. But. They need the air to breathe. You’re manufacturing your pain and calling it a healthy caution.
I’m skeptical. Don't be ridiculous. I don't believe anything too scientific without checking its sources. but. I'm a fool for love. A fool. The world is riddled with lies. People would sooner manipulate you than share with you their scars. Yet. I'll plunge, again, and again. I'll dip my toes in that river and sit on the bank on that sun soaked grass. I'll weep. My heart will break, again, and again. Still. I will always. be. ready to meet you. on that bridge.
Leave me. Take your caution with you.
True sharing is otherworldly. Transformative. You share and I share and we discover something. I share and you share and we come to know ourselves. in ways. Impossible. alone.
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayins of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." ~ Matthew 7:24-27
You ask me questions. You keep me. answering. I share me. Tell me, my love, when did you close your heart? Is her memory worth it? Living. The rest of your life. Chained. You’ve been hurt. I know. We all have. It was different. I know. They all are.
Do you feel the anxiety as you get ahead of yourself? Do you feel the familiar ache of depression at the memory of how it was? Do you shut down, the truth, to stop from feeling that way again? Do you convince yourself you’re opening up? while. collecting brick and mortar. Are you building a wall just behind the sternum, between rib and heart? I've been there.
Tell me of your fears. Do they involve me? Are you terrified?
Share with me. your truth.
Give me your heart. Offer me. your risk. For only then, it is real. Only then. It is love. An offering, a gift. No guarantees. All heart. All risk. Then I will know you have the courage to love me. You have the same desire to share. To be. Vulnerable. Truthfully.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." ~ William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
"And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that's an evil one because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels." ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass
When we don’t know who we are we are desperate to be anything. We shape shift. Having not built a solid foundation of our self identity we claim to know who we are. We say I am this or I am that. I truly believe that people are always changing, continually evolving. You have the right to be a new person any moment you decide to be. I’ve changed so much sometimes it’s hard for me to recognize my own behavior and trace back the steps on how I got here. I ask myself, who is this person who trusts and loves herself? Who have I become? The fact of the matter is that I’ve changed some of my patterns and repetitive cycles, I’ve rewired my subconscious in certain ways, but I haven’t really changed that much at all. I am both entirely different and completely the same.
"In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost." ~ Dante Alighieri
I was lost, for a long time, I was lost. Yet I remained here, lost in my destructive patterns, lost in my dysfunctional cycles, lost in the layers of personality I had mimicked from those around me that I decided I should try and be like. I’ve betrayed myself more times than I can count, but my point is I always knew it never felt right, I always knew something was wrong, it was never quite right. I couldn’t do it without hardship and I lacked the awareness to realize that it wasn’t because there was something wrong with me, it wasn’t because I was broken. I felt off because I was off, trying to be like people I was never meant to be like, trying to fit a mold I was never meant to fit. My life only shifted once I began to slow down, to take time to figure out what it was that I was actually like, outside of trying to be everything everyone wanted me to be, rather everything I thought everyone wanted me to be. We’re constantly projecting our insecurities onto the world and then paying attention to any behavior we see that confirms our bias. We don’t see ourselves as we are, we don’t even see ourselves as others see us, we see ourselves as who we think others think we are.
"Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of 'I know.' Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas." ~ Eckhart Tolle
I honestly don’t like the term awakened and how it’s been used as another label to separate people. Life is always changing, it is in constant flux, it is never static. We are never simply awake or asleep, we are variations, heterogenous mixtures. We are never just one way, that simple verb fails to describe what's actually happening. I understand using the terminology as a communicative means, a descriptor to convey an understanding of a concept. However, I now hear this slapped on people left and right, a distinction and separation, another ego identification. Those out there and us in here, another clique, another selective club. I don’t know what it means to be awake or asleep. I refuse to label my multidimensional being as something so arbitrary. I mean, what does it even truly mean, to be awake?
I know people who are consciously aware of their carbon footprint, meditate daily, have started amazing nonprofits and appear to be the most generous individuals you will ever meet. Some of these people that I have just described, with a generous helping of neatly stacked labels, are people that I genuinely love to be around, there is something vivacious, something otherworldly in their presence, something grounded. I also know people that can be described with the same stacking of labels, people that I would really rather not be around, there is something disingenuous about them, something lost.I know people who aren’t aware of their carbon footprint, eat meat with every meal and haven’t even heard of a sound bath. Some of these people that I have just placed into finite boxes of existence are kind, generous, loving, and can make me laugh until my ribs ache. Some, that would fit just as well into these finite boxes of existence, are angry, selfish, fearful and could really use a good evening of laughter.
I myself am a mixture of labels, depending on the week, the day, the hour, I think you see the pattern. Are we not all a jumble of labels, albeit some more consistent than others over the illusion of time we have so aptly constructed? I know some days I’m terrified, some days all the walls feel like they’re crumbling, some days I’m drowning in a sea of labels clawing for a breath of life. On these days it’s helpful when I go outside and put my feet on the bare earth, but at times of drowning it can be challenging to remember how much freedom that simple act can offer me.
So I ask you, what does it mean to be awake? Is it not just another label, something malleable? Is that not just another identification with the ego? I ask because I don’t know, but I surmise that it very well may be.
"The danger of labeling someone is the separation it creates between who they actually are and the perception of the person they think they have to be." ~ Jairek Robbins
It’s hard for me to trust the label, it’s challenging to navigate the attachments we all hold to them. It’s easier when you let people be, however it is they are choosing to be, and don’t hold them in a state of continuity. Hmmm. I say it's easier. That's a lie. What I mean is, it's much more challenging, but it's worth it. The labels convolute the simple power of being. It isn’t simple, it’s complicated. Have we made it complicated? We create labels to fast track our judgments, to make the separation easier. Wait. It's harder. No, but wait. It's easier. No. Stop. It's just confused.
Everybody has reasons for why they are the way they are, everybody does the best they can with what they know. Everybody. We’re all just searching for connection that we never really lost. The complicated part is the illusion, the feeling of separation, the longing to go home. I think that’s why we all dream of love so much.
The presence of love gives us a glimpse of the unity our hearts crave.
You see, we never really change, we’re always there underneath the labels and the white noise we’ve grown accustomed to.
We’re always there, witnessing the experience.
Sometimes it’s just hard to remember who we are, souls born to be free, buried in the yard beside the oak tree, 6 feet under all those labels.
"You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens." ~ Rumi
"We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Sometimes something happens that knocks us off our feet. During times of confusion, during times of uncertainty, when you’ve lost all stable ground, how do you respond? Do you fake it, act as if you weren’t shaken, so that everybody thinks you’re fine? Do you use a facade in an effort to fool yourself? Do you react outwardly with impulsivity, making moves you haven’t clearly thought out, reacting to the emotion you are allowing to drive your actions? Do you push it away? Tell me. Do you run? I'm curious. Do you stop? Do you allow yourself to feel the pause and overcome the fear of the thought that you might be giving up? Do you surrender to this and thus flow beyond it? Do you offer yourself moments? Do you allow yourself to reflect?
How do you respond when you’ve lost all stable ground?
"Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul." ~ Thomas Merton
Moments. We deny ourselves so many of them. Joyful moments, so caught up in the fear of them leaving us that we fail to appreciate them for the glimpses they offer us. Glimpses of a feeling so special and real that even words now fail me. Moments. Sorrow filled moments that break our chests wide open, so caught up in the wishing it would end that we miss the gifts they offer us. Gifts. When wrapped in the slightest awareness could break us free from the chains that shackle us to all the lives we live that we fail to turn our backs on. Seeds. Watered with the slightest awareness, festering, sprouting, reaching towards the rising sun. Seeds that have the potential to guide us from our darkest caves and lead us to our highest calling. to be of service. to gather courage. to go back into that cave. to tell the others of the beauty that awaits on the other side of their imaginary monsters and socially conditioned stories.
"It is the task of the enlightened not only to ascend to learning and to see the good but to be willing to descend again to those prisoners and to share their troubles and their honors, whether they are worth having or not. And this they must do, even with the prospect of death." ~ Plato, The Allegory of the Cave
I find myself in a place of reflection. A time of pause, a feeling of softness. It is strange to feel the softness, to feel a strength other than the fight. I have felt the fight so long that it’s all I ever thought made me strong. It’s a different feeling, a grounding strength, a stability. How do I respond when I’ve lost all stable ground? I began writing this answering that question for myself. in the process. as often transpires with heartfelt writing... I discovered something about myself. This feeling is different, it has not been known to me, until now. this softness.
When I’ve lost all stable ground outwardly, it’s the reflection, the pause that allows me to turn inwardly, only then am I able to realize that I’ve never lost my footing. The outward ground that has caved and sunken will always do so, it is illusion, and illusions all fall in time. The stable ground within does not desert me. The stable ground within, will not desert you.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." ~ Psalm 1
In moments of reflection I may return to the meadows of green, I may bathe in the electric blue waters of the stream, and lay beside the white oak tree. It is here, where my soul remembers but my mind so willingly and aptly forgets, that I belong. I must remember that I cannot stay, I am never permitted to stay as the angel that guards the waters will always usher me on, reminding me that this is my home, but homes are meant to be left. My work is of the world, the broken hearts of men need tending and it is this soft and subtle strength that supports healing.
“Wherever you to there you are” ~ Confucius
Have you found your respite? A stable place of rest? Where do you go when this world becomes too much for you? When you feel broken, battered and beaten on the wheels of life. What does home look like for you? A beautiful soul shared something with me as we stood overlooking the rebellious corner of lotus flowers that unhesitatingly began their bloom in mid winter, attesting to their divine resiliency. Subtle. Soft. Inherent. Strength. They need not wait for spring to share with the world their beauty. We stood there and he asked me what does “home” mean to me. I don’t remember what I told him, something along the lines of a place of rest, a haven, a sanctuary of rejuvenation for my tired soul after the long days. Although, I am far less eloquent in conversation, for it is the reflection, the pause, the space filled with aware solitude that gives my mind the words to speak most clearly. So, truthfully, I probably stopped after rejuvenation. He thoughtfully listened and when he spoke, he said he had something he wanted to share with me, after which he playfully stated for fear of butchering it and it losing all its meaning, he’d better look it up. Upon finding what he was looking for he handed me his phone and I read:
“i have built a home with another person a few times now, always expecting it to be a lasting haven. as the storms came and went the homes would show their weakness and eventually come apart. being left with the dread of sadness and the hollow feeling of unwanted new beginnings, it has finally started to dawn on me that if i build a home within myself, a palace of peace created with my own awareness and love, this can be the refuge i have always been seeking." ~ yung pueblo | foundation
I have forgotten what I said after reading it, but I have not forgotten what he shared with me. It's rarely the words that leave the lasting impression, it’s the feeling that accompanies them. There’s magic beyond the mere understanding of words, you can feel words if they are spoken with the essence of heart, if they are written in the ink of truth. It is feeling that pens the lines of life upon our pages of living. It is feeling.
“be softer with you. you are a breathing thing. a memory to someone. a home to a life." ~ Nayyirah Waheed
Where do you go to rest your tired bones? After returning from the grueling life of the modern day. Where does your soul find repose? While your body is still breathing. I am curious. Where do you find comfort for your soul?
"I want to live simply. I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I’ll never be tested on. I want to paint because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove. I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to. I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I just want to be, boundless and infinite." ~ Unknown
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I dream, often, of walking away into a heavily wooded forest and disappearing into the mountains. It’s a deep forest that looks as if it will never end, but the trees speak to me, in hushed tones and gentle whispers. The wind softly blows through the leaves as I walk, the air is mixed with a palpable adventure and a necessary longing. In the middle of these woods there is a secret meadow. The grass is a vibrant green, speckled with wildflowers. To the left of this magical oasis, there is a stream that opens up into a pond filled with electric blue waters. I have never been here before this moment, and yet, I know this place well. I feel a melodic humming in the air, a spontaneous comfort, an instinctual recognition. I am home. I dream of the peaceful walk here, I dream of arriving. I lay myself in the grass beneath the branches of an old white oak tree. I feel the support of the earth below me as the crispness of the air fills my lungs.
When I give I give myself. ~ Walt Whitman
The sun is warm and consoling as I bask in its loving glow. I dream of staying here. Suddenly I am reminded of The Angel That Troubled the Waters and I remember that although I long to stay, I have always been meant to leave. I have been here before, I remember now, but I am never permitted to stay.
“Without your wound where would your power be? It is your very remorse that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men. The very angels themselves can not persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service only the wounded soldiers can serve. Draw back.”
As I hear her speak her fluid and forceful words, I take in one last breath of crisp air, feel the earth cradle my bones as they rest and walk back into the world where there’s more healing to be done. You see, I don’t dream of coming to this place because I hate my life and I need an escape from it. It’s just. the pressure. the illusory constructs. I am not immune to their tugging. I am not free from their manipulative attempts at. bondage. I live between the worlds. Grounded in the earth of a world riddled with confusion, lifted by the spirits of an unchained soul. Suspended in the. limbo.
“O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?” ~ Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy Dante
Tell me, what do you say? Do you believe the stories? Is heaven and hell just a perspective, an illusion we create for ourselves? I do not believe that heaven and hell exist except in the living of our daily lives. We choose. moment. by. moment. A life of true service, a life of utter abandon. Falling on our knees, bowing our heads, offering ourselves to the flow of the Divine. or. a life of fearful grasping. control. We offer our minuscule problems to the gods. that should keep them busy. we say: 'these are real problems, it’s best I handle them myself.' What do gods know of struggle, of life, of the world of mortals. Real problems. I feel like I’m drowning. but. these are big problems. it’s best I handle them alone.
Alone. Our ego will readily have us think. We’re all alone. The most insidious lie that’s ever been told.
Tell me, what will you do with your freedom? It is only a matter of time, my dear. What does it taste like? What does home look like to you, can you feel it? Does it smell of wildflowers, does it wreak of grace?
What will you do with your freedom?
"Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality." ~ Emily Dickinson
Will you sit with me, and tell me of your dreams. or better yet. Your nightmares? Who do you want to be? What does it feel like, when the fear curls around your spine? I want to hear your voice break as you speak of the heaviness. as you speak of your heart. I want you to trust me. I promise I’ve been there. We both know it’ll be okay. It's always, okay. but. that’s not the point. I want to hear the strength in your fragility. I want to see your humanness. Do not tell me of how we are all gods. Do not tell me of things that sound nice, things we already know. Tell me of your humanness. I want to know you haven’t forgotten. humanity. we all forget. too often.
Do you remember? The sound of the meadows? The sight of the melody? Do you still taste the music?
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." ~ Robert Frost
I hope you remember your humanity. I hope you find peace within your shadow. I hope you find your freedom. and. when you do. I hope you remember to go back for the others. remember. I want to know you haven't forgotten. your humanness.