No Grief for the Gremlins.


By Amber Shumake. 

Last week I lost my soul. I looked all over—here and there, up and down, throughout the Lost and Found.

“The term ‘gremlin’ as we are most familiar with it comes from Steven Spielberg’s 1984 horror comedy Gremlins. Gremlins are those evil little green tricksters who wreak havoc everywhere they go… 

Shame sends the gremlins to fill our heads with completely different messages of:

Dare not! You’re not good enough!

Don’t you dare get too big for your britches!

I traipsed through strangers’ forgotten undergarments and sweat towels and sunglasses galore, but my spirit, my core, the essence of who I am  eluded me. I donned a few tattered pieces, competitive culottes and a resentful red sweater that I tied together beneath a clingy cloak of insecurity.

“You don’t have to go it rogue all alone,” a friend said. But I wouldn’t listen. Pride wouldn’t let me.
“I’m not sure I can trust you,” and, even in the slim chance that I can—I don’t want to. “I don’t need your help.”

Enter gremlins, stage left:
you’ll never be as successful as x.
who are you to think you can y?
you’re unworthy of z…

There I was, stuck. Gremlins Part III. (They wouldn’t leave me be, so together we slept.)

“Give me some covers,” I wept, shoving the snoring culprit over. “You’re impossible,” I kicked the sideways bastard at my feet. “What about me?”

After midnight, unbeknownst to me, they became ever more incorrigible. Off to the couch I retreated in desperate need of sleep. But down the stairs they came. No refuge for me. For days I wandered lost and disheveled.

“I’ve looked everywhere. Have you seen Joy?” I asked the gremlins. Finally, said friend became as relentless as the gremlins. “I’m sensing something funky off of you. Are you ok?” she texted me.

“Why I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I deflected.
“Do you want to meet?”

I didn’t. But I did. I agreed. And I’m glad.
She shined a mirror upon me.

There. You see?
You’re beautiful, strong, brazen and bold.
Of love, you’re deserving.
Hell, you are love—no matter how unnerving.

Like ants beneath a future sociopath’s magnifying glass, the gremlins scattered, beseeched by my light. And the ones who survived suffocated in a subsequent storm of snot and tears.

“How could I have been so stupid to listen to my shadow?” I thought.

Re-enter self-righteous gremlin, stage right:
You’re about to be 30.
You’re a yoga instructor.
You have a master’s degree.

Hmph, I’m human. Therein lays the answer.
Pow. Poof.
Gremlins gone {wow}!
For the gremlins, I feel no grief.
Their sudden death {sigh} what a relief.

Nobody is exempt. And those moments when we feel stuck and low—those moments are a thing of beauty too. They offer us the opportunity to grow, a forum upon which to champion joy. Like light and water, gremlins hate joy.


{Don’t feed them after midnight.}


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Amber Shumake
lives in a suburb of Ft. Worth, TX -- over 20 miles from the nearest yoga studio. Gallivanting throughout the metroplex in her Jeep, she prefers to drive topless. As she rocks out to spiritual podcasts and audio books, she remains always vigilant of the local owl who occasionally lands on her windshield as a reminder to slow down, to seek only Truth. She calls Karmany Yoga, the donation-based studio where she teaches,“home.” Trading one compulsive addiction for another, she currently prefers backbends to drugs, tea to coffee, and Facebook to Twitter. Having recently completed her Masters in Counseling, she unites yoga and therapy, wiping away sweat and tears, connecting people to their beauty -- one empowering arm balance and inversion at a time. A born writer, she encourages others to revise the life stories that no longer serve them. She dreams -- in no particular order -- of marrying her partner, growing a family to play with her Blue “Healer,” writing a book, and changing the world. She’s pretty easy to find in the virtual world on Facebook, Twitter and blog.
Amber Shumake

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