You become the silent watcher, noting the changes and the times of each season in quiet reflection of their reason. Your undirected and unquenchable curiosity questioning; wanting to know what makes the cosmos tick. Questions become annoying to adults who do not have any real answers. Teachers, rewording misconceptions as facts, throw treats to obedient parrots for an acceptable parental report card. The wise child becomes a silent witness, eventually abandoning the world for a life of books and reason, embracing the planes of life where imagination meets creativity and all things become possible.
I thought all these things, and how we are, all of us, these bodies of lived experiences, flesh and unfathomable origins, misunderstanding and remarkable expressions of intelligence and creativity, this gathering of all we have known and seen, all the stories breathing in our DNA and lining the neural pathway in the brain and returning to us like the heat in summer, surprising us with their immediacy and foreign familiarity, even all these years later.
This one is for you
To know as these words are being reflected onto the movie screen of your brain
That you are here for a reason
And you are loved by every particle of stardust that swims through the oceans of galaxies
And that you are cherished by every ray of light
That travels hundreds of thousands of miles
Just to touch
Your lovely face
I stoop down to scoop up these pieces of myself. And as I eat them whole, they add fat and flesh to my love starved ribs. Packing a bag of rations for this new adventure, I step off to explore an entirely new world I had actually always inhabited. This fairytaleless land was here all along; it was simply waiting for my awakened gaze.
I want to get dirty, dirty, dirty.
With the real shit.
Blood. Sweat. Tears.
Because I have a feeling
if I was elbow deep in my own
if I kept it raw and thick
with fluids unnameable,
that I would find what I seek.
It is the dark soil that is rich and fertile. Your despair, your loneliness, your fear is the holy ground upon which you must sit. Don't stomp. Don't panic. Don't try to plant flowers and pull weeds. Just sit. And notice.
I could not pretend that I didn't love him, nor could I ignore it. I couldn't alter my feeling, nor change my emotions to feel something else, no matter how much I had wanted to. Of course I didn't want to love him anymore, but I could not deny the moments when I yearned for his soul.
Behead Ego, Illusion, and Fear; they will fold from the force of your intention, from the ferocity of your love. Use their bodies as food for your worms and let their blood moisten the soil under your feet.
In the face of life's calls to action, do we close ourselves off, or allow them to open us? Do we choose to bloom, or cling tight to our bud? Can we find the courage to unfold and let the elements of life touch us?
I felt the earth
for the first time,
through your eyes.
I felt nature
scraping at skin
as I tried to pull myself towards you.
I am going to help you.
Inching along to the sound of your sobs.
My tears pouring back
to the ground for you.
A rain quenching the desert thirst.
I love being awake while others sleep. It is as though I am living in a world within a world -- one that most folks miss out on, too busy walking briskly within the designated lines and structures of modern society. I like being the first to open the page of a new day. I like staring into its crisp white blankness and wondering what will unfold.
Did she have a little machine in there?
Some metallic cogwork piece
that could empower
that frail deer-like body so?
Did she know how to turn it off?
It had to require a good amount of energy.
A fair amount of courage.
I internalized the repression of women and repressed femininity within myself. I cultivated this repression as my armor. I protected my femininity that was so often attacked, insulted and abused by repressing it and replacing it with a dysfunctional, acquired, masculinized version of myself.
I still vividly remember my last office job. It was about 10 years ago and I still cringe when I think about having to drag my butt out of bed at 6:30 am to drown in the stench of morning breath and cramped quarters during my subway commute to work. After an hour's commute, I was greeted with nine torturous hours of what felt like hell.
People change. What you wanted out of life two years ago or ten may be completely different now, and that's ok. You're evolving. Your soul feeds on change, sometimes it screams for it. You can't be yourself if you're always conforming. You don't honor your soul or your calling by keeping your head down and letting someone else's 'needs' dictate your behavior.
This life can be a beast.
It’s very easy to allow ourselves to get lost in our daily sorrows and frustrations.
Trite as this may sound, one of my favorite ways to navigate is to pull back and look for beauty in the little things.
If by pursuing your story you are inflicting real harm on yourself or others, it is a false value. If you are pursuing a story solely to bring pleasure to yourself or others, it's false. To the contrary, a story that solely avoids pain or protects others from pain is false too. The rest is yours to figure out.
My prose became confused and awkward, peppered with finicky phrases and stilted sentences that didn’t taste quite right on my tongue. It was uncomfortable. They fell out of my mouth before I could catch them. I just sat there and watched as they splattered onto the page...
Life is Sexy. Art is sexy. Relationships are sexy. Friendships are sexy. Food is sexy. Nature is sexy. Big cities are sexy. My cat giving himself a bath is sexy. The examples are infinite. Anything can be sexy, with the right attitude. Sexy is as Sexy does.
As we move forward, we change and live life from different perspectives. It can be helpful to have signposts or indicators of specific changes and know that it is okay to morph into lifestyles that may not be popular with the majority.
Why not refuse to compromise and just stand up for who you are? Or take responsibility for your own well-being and walk away from fights you can't win? What's so difficult about taking ownership of your decisions, owning your contribution to the consequences of them? Hello? If you want respect, you've got to respect yourself -- flaws and all. You want to be loved, you love yourself. You want to know your worth? Prove it, to yourself. Give yourself a purpose. Be your own champion. Be honest.
When it feels like my life is being ripped apart at the seams, the Universe is fast at work tearing my unwanted life to tatters so I can stitch together the life I have always dreamed of. I now know that if I am not listening to the voice that is hollering within and echoing off the chambers of my heart, then the Universe will turn up the heat in my kitchen till I can no longer stand the heat.
You have lost love, and it hurts; but you will find greater love, and it will be worth the wait. Your heart is open, and it scares you to death -- let it. Welcome those feelings, invite them to sit down and stay awhile; look fear in the eyes and tell it that you are going to love anyway. Please love anyway.
The storm knows
that I still need to ask questions,
even though I've had hints
that there are other ways
of reaching truths.
She knows I still have so many,
and they arise often,
so I tell them to the howling wind,
What we think has a profound impact on the way we feel, and the way we feel influences how we behave; conversely, the actions we take, whether conscious or unconscious, have the power to shift the way we feel, thus provoking certain thoughts -- or any which way you want to look at it.
I have learned what I need to do is sing them a lullaby once in a while. Invite them over for dinner. Or even make love to them. Give them a peace offering to keep them sedated enough so that I can go on with my life unperturbed instead of lying awake all night thinking of one hundred and one ways to kill them.
By Paula Swenson
I’m so far from perfect, I can’t even see it from here.
And that’s a good thing.
Perfection, at least the way our human brains try to define it, is an illusion.
On the other hand, everything is perfect exactly as it occurs.
This paradox is at the heart of our human story.
I’m a recovering perfectionist, raised by perfectionist parents. A child born to love weeds, wildflowers, broken shells and fragmented souls, asked to strive for perfection.
I tried, hard. Or a part of me did.
Yet, somehow, the child who sat for hours watching speckled bugs climb the tall grasses and tiny fish schooling in the shallows making random patterns of sun and shadow, the little girl who picked wildflowers, weeds and garden flowers together into messy bouquets, was never far beneath the surface.
My most precious treasures are still bits of sea glass and...
By Tahnee Lazarus
I remember one morning, whilst taking my usual route to work, something started to feel amiss; even the energy around felt different.
I suddenly began to feel a slight melancholy. I was gently alerted to memories of old, which seemed to unsettle me because this time it made me take a second, maybe more, and it caused me to begin to think.
I remembered my late granny, and I felt this huge weight of loss settle. I was bombarded with special memories of her sitting on our couch, in her very specific corner where the sun shone every day. It streamed onto her and warmed her already warm soul.
I would go sit with her and she would tickle my palm, and hand out special pearls of wisdom to me. I sat and listened, but I would always notice how different our hands were. Hers were speckled with sun spots and wrinkles. There was a story etched into these...
"Voodoo is the religion of adaptation," he said. And it was like something stopping me in my tracks. This. Oh yes, this. The way of survival, a capacity to not resist movement, but shapeshift and adapt to change. This.
Crisis can be good. Midlife crisis, personal crisis, or even existential crisis in the middle of the ocean… can be good, if you do something about it. If it forces you to change, to move, to gasp for life.
It seems I have always pushed the boundaries to what I can and can't do and parenting has been no different. The need to strive, to push, to rise, dictates every decision, every act -- until I find myself falling short of a bar that was set way above human capabilities.
I remain passionate and loving, still in the pursuit of all things personally meaningful to me, conscious enough to know not to give up, conscious enough to know that even when I doubt the things I know, I also know enough to go ahead and get started.
The sun is high now, tripping on the bodies lined up along the shore, and the shore is there for those bodies, a shoulder for them to forget about whatever winter brought, and I am there because winter brought me down to the goddamn core, and the core burns even the tannest of souls.
Serve, but serve love as the main course. Serve it to those who are hungry, those who have been flying to and from the hive at the master's beck and call so long they've forgotten that they are the ones creating the riches!
Take a seat. Close your eyes and imagine how much you will regret if you keep living your life exactly the same way you are right now. How do these thoughts make you feel? Is your body tense? Does your mind feel imprisoned? Feel it as clearly as you can. And then ask yourself: is it time to toss your broken record?
So the next man you will love... differently. Perhaps the love you felt with your ex was like bubbly champagne and the next guy will be that deep velvety red with a lovely oak finish. There is no less or more but just... different.
I sit there and hold myself, often literally. I reach out and touch my hand on the mirror, on my reflection, and I tell myself, "You're safe, you're okay, I'm not leaving you, you've got this, I'm with you, I'm here."