Lessons In Living (From a Dead Woman)


Sometimes the death of who you are is not dramatic. There is no impact of twisting metal, or fist to your flesh. It may not be a heroic effort gone wrong, or a fistful of pills. It may not be due to an unforgivable drive by shooting, a robbery gone wrong or a slash too deep in your wrists. Sometimes you just watch yourself die; bloodlessly, silently, without a single tear.

And yet you’re still breathing.

You didn’t fight the quicksand as it sucked you down in the fine and infinite grains of sand-made of becoming less-one moment at a time. You let it swallow you as a frog lets itself boil to death degree by numbing degree, unaware of it’s impending demise until it’s too late to hop to freedom.

And you’re still boiling.

You lie with your life, with your words, with your smile, as your soul rests at the very bottom of that pit of quicksand. The dreams you had, along with any genuine laughter are lying right there with you, waiting to rot by your side. You fight the feelings of anger that flare with any false thoughts of freedom or happiness that try to stick to you as they pass by.

And you’re raging still.

You went silently into that good night. You didn’t realize you needed to fight, or set boundaries, or keep balance, or let your voice be heard. You just kept looking good, and sounding good, and making good impressions, and doing good for others, without giving a good goddamn shit that you were suffocating in the pretense you didn’t know to call out by name.

And you’re suffocating still.

This is the moment. This has the future of who you are NOT-hanging in the balance. You are lying, paralyzed, at the bottom of this pit of despair, and you have the power to rise. But to do so, you have to give a damn. You have to be willing to sit up, get to  your feet, raise your hands high, spit the sand out of your mouth and say “No. More.”.

You have to fucking mean it.

Go ahead and practice once or twice before you give the Rebel Yell. Before the world hears the Howl of the Wolf that has been hibernating inside of you for WAY TOO LONG.

You give yourself to Life the same way you died. You walk away from that relationship you walked into, you reject the job you deemed acceptable back in the day, you do what your heart says instead of the dumb ass unacceptable shit you thought you were “supposed to do”. You learn to Tango, to speak Italian as well as your mind. You listen to your feelings as you would listen to a beloved child.

You listen. You act. You live.

And you show others the Way.

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The Mirage of She – Hiding a Heart of Thunder


She made an art of her disguise, although her greatest yearning was to be recognized, known, and accepted by those of like and thunderous hearts. She walked in the world, but not of it. She participated, and contributed, but did not belong. She worked, and laughed, and fulfilled her duties so flawlessly that those in her circle accepted the mirage; the illusion of her that would disappear if one were to reach out to touch her.

She remained concealed behind the reflection that allowed those around her to see what they were comfortable with, instead of the truth of her. She gave them their comfort in this, as her heart thundered in her chest, and her downcast eyes hid the flashes of lightning that preceded each rumble of the imminent storm of her.

She began to know, as her self-awareness grew, that the storm could not long be contained without causing irreparable damage. She knew the heart of her needed the wind, earth, fire, and rain that were hidden all around her; she needed them to manifest the reality within her, as much as they each needed her to do the same within themselves.

She knew for certain that there was only one way to tip the world from the false facade of power, into the glory of a world of magic and possibility. It demanded the courage to drop her defenses and let the truth of her call to the truth of the others at the far edges, and dark borders of their own lives. She had to be brave enough to open her eyes and let the lightning be seen, and the overwhelming thunder of her heart be heard as it responded. She had to show them how to create a new world with only the flashes and pounding to lead them through a shallow existence that didn’t welcome change. She needed the winds of change, the nurturing earth, the fire of transformation, and the rain of life’s mysteries to have a prayer of succeeding.

So she began.

There were many who turned from her, mocking her as she dropped her disguises. Those she loved shook their heads and distanced themselves from the discomfort of her self-searching and truth-telling. Although it grieved her, she let them have their comfort of space, and continued to call to those with elemental hearts, wild spirits, and souls of fire.

All that was not the truth of her fell away.

She took her seat, placed her fingers on the keyboard, and began to call to those who would listen, who could hear, who held inside themselves a Heart of Thunder. She called to those who were not afraid to bleed for the wrongs, and were willing to heal them. She called to those whose hearts were weary of carrying the armor of pretense. She called to those who were at last desperate to see, hear, feel, be…to unapologetically live.

She called to them-her heart thundering against the madness of this existence as it is.

Can you hear her?

The Word Sorceress and The Sword of Truth


She watched them prepare to burn her alive. They were in a frenzy to put an end to her softly spoken observations, and the clear-seeing of her gaze as she looked upon them. She had held them spell-bound with her words for so long, it came as a shock when the truth of those words began to cut like the sharpest sword, cutting into ego, and slicing away lies beheld as truth for so long.

Her voice rang out across the clearing, reminding them of how they had searched so hard for the magic of life, only to recoil at its power when they found it within themselves, scrambling frantically to destroy it, or at least cover it up-forever out of sight if not mind. They winced, and hunched into themselves defensively as she asked them what they loved the most about their lives. Was there anything that called to them; gave them joy? Did the heart inside them beat in excitement for anything? What did their eyes behold that left them in awe of the world? What made their souls tremble with ecstasy?

They stacked the wood around her feet as she stood calmly before them, tied roughly to the stake in the center of their world. Nobody would meet her eyes, but she saw their reactions as her words struck home over and over again, and she would not be silent. She would not turn away from them now, even when their every action conspired to send her into the darkness she was safe from, but would be their prison if they refused to listen; if they refused to awaken from their slumber.

“You think to send me into the Abyss, ‘the regions of Hell conceived of as a bottomless pit’. I know that you do this because I am the whisper that screams to your heart, the light of awareness that hurts your eyes, the fire of purpose that causes you discomfort, and the finger that points to the frightening power of your own heart. I know you are afraid of all you are capable of, but to ignore this truth of you is to sentence yourself to the very hell you wish upon me.

I am the Life you look out upon, your fingers pressed enviously upon the glass of the window, seeing freedom, and never touching it with your own hands. I am the Integrity you lost to ‘blend in’ with the crowd, I am the wild, the bold, the fearless, and the joyful part of you that will always remain silent if you do not heed me now. I am the Word Sorceress, the Sword of Truth, the Light of your Soul, the Way to Joy. I am the very best of you, do you really seek to destroy me to blend into the world of today?”

As she spoke, many listened, many held back, some were even brave enough to try to stop the few whose minds were locked into public perceptions, and acceptable behaviors. But the frightened were many, and the torches in hand reached desperately forward to light the lies stacked around her. As the flames fed greedily on the rebuttals, accusations, and denials, she closed her eyes and whispered into the flames that grew in intensity.

“May these words rise on my breath, above the lies that burn.

May every tear that falls from me be just a lesson learned.

And as I dance upon the flames, my spirit turned to smoke,

Let every heart I long to save believe the words I spoke.

At last, when fire lights my heart, as it is wont to do,

May that illumination be the Truth that leads them through.

Remind those who would disregard the Soul they hold inside

That Hell is here on earth disguised as Life they once denied.”

The crowd grew silent as the crackle of the flames grew louder. There was silence and sobbing, sorrow and joy in that clearing as she disintegrated into smoke and flame, the flame of her sparking in the hearts of those hungry, and the smoke choking the perpetually dissatisfied.

As the smoke cleared, all eyes were caught by the figure of a small girl, heart yet untarnished by world or ego. She seemed to shine from within as she walked slowly to the edge of the fire and picked up the Sword of Truth the Sorceress had dropped in her burning. There was total silence, not even a birdsong, as she looked at everyone and smiled sweetly, turning to walk into the forest alone, the heavy sword cutting a path in the dirt as the tip drug behind her.

And those who were not amazed, were envious.

The Power of One – Every. Single. One.


The forest was dark and a little frightening as she moved around the clearing, gathering everything she needed to begin. She knew her purpose now, and it burned in her; her need to share it with the others almost an anguish in her heart. She knew it would be difficult for most, and sadly, impossible for a few to see and accept the truth that lived inside each of them; but she refused to give in to negativity or hopelessness. What if she was their only chance, their last one?

She began to place the things she’d gathered in the center of the clearing. She carefully stacked them one upon the other; her dreams of making a difference, her wishes for the broken hearts she ran with, her hopes for a kinder way of living, her longing for a network of scarred, yet whole warriors of the spirit to link across the world, the prayers and determination that all souls could be spun into gold, no matter their circumstances.

The sisters of the heart she had found on her journey moved around her, adding theirs to hers in the center as the forest seemed to grow even darker. They danced around each other in silence as they worked, not stopping until the stack of everything they had to offer reached their shoulders, almost blocking them from seeing each other. As their eyes met, they lifted their hands to their hearts and drenched everything with the only thing they had left to give.

Love.

The light within each of them leapt out, igniting the huge stack of Everything They Offered, and it began to smoke and hiss, the flames flaring, growing, running from dreams to wishes to hopes, to leap victoriously up into the blackened night sky. They reached their hands out to each other, holding tightly, as they let their eyes, for one glorious moment, be blinded by all they desired written in flames for the whole world to see. When they heard no sound or movement surrounding them, their eyes met again, flickering with a little hesitance, concern, and a tiny bit of sorrow. She slowly turned away, lifted her head, and froze.

They were everywhere.Just at the edge of the clearing, eyes watching, faces flickering in the firelight. There were others behind them holding back, but not running. She held out her hands in welcome and held her breath.

Then came the first one, cautiously, slowly, carefully protecting the small flame in her hands from being extinguished. She stepped to the fire, pulled her own offerings from her heart and added them to the stack before tossing her light in with the others. The fire danced joyfully, and her eyes ran wild as she dropped to all fours, as her real self ,then turned to motion the others with her head.

Do it.

They came forward, one by one, guarding their lights and dreams and loves. They found the courage to step forward and add them to the fire along with the others. With each act of courage, each dream and light offered, each captured One dropping free to all fours, the fire grew…and grew…and grew…until the power of what they had created illuminated the sky as if lit by the sun, the moon, and every star.

We turned as One and gathered around her, around them; the original warriors of light. We bowed to her and her sisters in the face of their joy and tears, and we knew what could be done with the Power of One, because each one matters.

Each one of us was critical to the fire of change.

Every. Single. One.

Zombie Virus-The Seven Levels Of Decay


Shelly Aspenson ~ Living Write

Zombie Virus-The Seven Levels Of Decay
Maybe it’s time to panic. I’m seeing it everywhere now, aren’t you? They’re in the mall, walking side by side, looking away from each other while the noise of pointless chatter hides the horrible silence of their souls. They’re in the restaurants sharing a table while each look somewhere over the other’s shoulder with dull and listless eyes. They are at the movies replicating their at home behavior of staring straight ahead, shoving snacks down their throats and choosing TV over reality… they are texting, or surfing the web, or emailing anyone except for the one they chose to be with at some earlier point in time.

**Zombies: fictional undead creatures, typically depicted as mindless, reanimated human corpses~Wikipedia

First it’s the lovely Cinderella story; he loves her, she loves him, both are wonderful/beautiful/talented/generous/caring individuals.

**We were together, I forget the rest. ~Walt Whitman

2. Then somebody gets careless…

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