North Star


She created each

new morning

by painting her sunrise

in illuminated

colors that bled

one into another

as she greeted

her day…

She prepared herself

in front of a mirror

with no

reflection

choosing to know herself

from the inside,

seeing only the

light within

those around her

no matter how blinding

or dimly flickering

the flame…

She fed her heart well,

allowed it to break

and grow

and learned in time

the fine line between

offering strength

and enabling

weakness…

She bloomed so slowly,

glowed so softly

that only those who

passed closely by

at times

found themselves lingering,

caught in the faint scent

of hope and quiet

laughter

that surrounded her…

And at day’s end

as the sun

slipped into darkness

she would lift her face

to the night sky,

open her arms wide

and place the stars

with loving fingertips

to light the way

for those who travelled

with her.

Advertisements

The Resistance


Who were you yesterday as you fell asleep? Who were you when you woke up this morning? Was it deja vu, an intentional choice or did you just let go and let it flow from your center? I am personally a pro at options one and two. The days I woke up heart-weary I would hit ‘repeat’ and go through the motions. The days I woke up with intention, I would force and wrestle everything inside me like a little self-dictator.

Apparently I couldn’t differentiate between self-evaluation and devaluation.

I fell into option three when I gave up.

Surrendered the results of every freaking thing.

Waved the white flag.

I woke up in my beautiful, cozy bed and before I moved a muscle I pulled everything good into me. Every little thing. I held it to me hand to heart until I knew it would stay. I heard the soft huffs of pup breathing as they popped their heads over the edge of my bed as if to say, ‘good morning’ or ‘we love you’ or ‘hey, we have to pee’. Maybe it was all three rolled into one.

I was still breathing. That meant something.

I stopped wondering what I was doing wrong, because that’s what I was doing wrong. I heard somewhere that when we realize the distance between the life we’re living and who we really are inside we expect the epiphany of it to sound like angels and harps, when it really sounds like rage.

It’s pointless and damaging to hold anger at ourselves when the simple fact is that where we are is simply where we are. It’s just a point from which we can flow forward into just being and enjoying who we are becoming as we unfold it before us.

It’s really that simple if we quit making it complicated.

If we add all the memes together, we are a dramatic chaos of emotional stardust. Please. I submit for pondering that we are to be the truth of our souls shining from these bodies we’ve been given for such a short time. We’re supposed to add who we are to the world, not drive it up the wall.

Does what we offer inspire hand-clapping or re-gifting? Do we justify or adjust frantic living? Do we remain frustrated and overwhelmed, or begin cooperating with ourselves for a change?

Life meets us where we stand, and gives us back who we show ourselves to be.

So…a chaos of emotional stardust, or a soul shining…

Boy, that’s a tough one.

 

 

 

The Dimmer Switch


“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise grows it under his feet.”
James Oppenheim 

I read this morning where we have fallen from #3 to #14 in some kind of world happiness report. Just in the past 10 years. This doesn’t surprise me considering the focus we put on bitching and complaining about every damn thing. We’ve gotten really good at pointing fingers, dwelling on what we don’t have that we think we should and comparing ourselves negatively with those around us. We complain. A lot.

Is it that we’ve forgotten how to be grateful on a daily basis? We are better off than most of the world, even those of us considered “poor” and yet we are angry, depressed and constantly trying to row upstream. Do we have a job, a roof over our head, something to eat, a dollar in our pocket or someone who loves us? All of these things are worthy of our gratitude.

“In ordinary life we hardly realize

that we receive a great deal more than we give,

and that it is only with gratitude

that life becomes rich.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Not very long ago (at all) I realized I was busting my ass to be “happy”. I was taking the high road, by god, overlooking any felonies and misdemeanors inflicted on my well-being and building up a good case of emo. It was ridiculous.

I was listening to a friend caterwaul about the unfairness of life, and I thought to myself, “Holy shit, I sound like that in my own head”. It was quite disturbing.

I came home and my pups were dancing with joy, I looked around the beautiful home I created for myself, in a lovely neighborhood, where my little car was parked that took me to and from the job I have. I thought of the conversation I’d had with my son the day before, the friends who have stood with me and the family always there for me when I reach out for comfort. And yes, I had a dollar in my wallet. I opened the fridge, got out something to eat, poured a glass of wine, toasted the universe and said …

Thank you.

We get all wrapped up in it don’t we? The lack, the suffering, the challenges and the slights? We get on a roll and focus on the shit and dial down the dimmer switch on all that is good and light and loving around us. We become disgruntled, dissatisfied and ungrateful for the lives we have that others pray for. It’s like we step into a room and look for the dark switch, and for the lack of it we dial it down to emphasize just how hard our struggle is.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”
Marcus Aurelius

Have you ever been angry, and the more you think about it the angrier you became? That’s what we’re doing to ourselves here. We get to decide what we become by where we place our focus. Anger, sorrow, less than or lack of is one direction. Gratitude, laughter, growth and giving is another. Pick one. If you need any input, I’ve found the second choice is much more fun, and less exhausting.

Let that shit go.

Life is a wonder isn’t it? We deserve good things and good people around us. We have the power to live with intention instead of in reaction to every damn thing. If something is broken we can mend it, nothing is wrong that we can’t right or live through or learn from. It’s a gift isn’t it, that we open our eyes and get another chance to create?

Life is supposed to be fun.

Practice that.

Dial it up.

Happiness is the new bad-ass.

 

Pillar Of Salt


I’ve learned over a period of time that it’s not bad to look back and judge how far I’ve come, but it is total foolishness to dwell there, do an autopsy on it and beat it (and myself) like a dead horse. The past cannot and should not be changed for me. It was all necessary for me to be able to see the contrast between what I wanted and what I was doing, how I was living.

In a rare Kleenex moment, someone very wise told me that I was mistaken in my belief that I had been betrayed, or abandoned by someone I loved like family. He said very simply that the person was merely showing me who he was and that I should be grateful for the learning of it.

Huh. I really had to think about that one.

I began to accept that any relationships or experiences are a sorting and sifting of what I want in my life and what I don’t. Who I am and am not. What I do and don’t welcome to me now and in the future.

Deceptions, downfalls and disappointments create the evolution of me.

Even (especially?) if I’m the creator of any of these. Have you ever done that to yourself? Explained away poor behavior in yourself or someone else? Accepted it, excused it, perpetuated it? Well, honey, I sure have.

There are a few ways to handle knowing these things. We can do some biblical grieving, go through the whole sackcloth and ashes thing and rend our garments, but the end result is exhaustion, drama and plain old irritation. Not much good comes from it.

But if we just stop and look at the difference in where we stand and where we want to, we end up seeing clearly what we don’t want in our lives and what we do. We can be grateful for the clarity of where we are and what’s ahead of us. We can focus on what we have, who we are and where we’re going that makes us happy.

I believe that when we live the progress of who we are becoming, our genuine alignment with who we are in the heart of us, the “five people we hang around the most” will either elevate or bounce off and away from us. I don’t worry about that anymore, it’s a natural occurrence.

People let us down when we let ourselves down.

When we don’t listen to our intuition, when we don’t set standards for ourselves, when we allow ourselves to remain with people or in situations that are not healthy at all for us. We know when we’re setting ourselves up and we do it anyway with a faint and feeble hope that we’re wrong.

How is that anyone else’s error but our own?

All of us are at different places along the way in life. There has to be some grace granted for that. We aren’t responsible for any path but our own. We get to decide only our own way, our own progress, our own actions. Each of us holds only our own power.

In my thinking of this “dwelling in the past” and remembering the story of Lot’s wife (which I always thought was a bit of overkill) I found that the Hebrew for “looked back” means “to more than glance over one’s shoulder.” It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to”. She was unwilling to leave her old life. The raining sulphur destroying where she had been destroyed her also.

I suggest instead we be the “salt of the earth: a person of great worth”.

Because we are.

 

 

Fool’s Game


I let you

break my heart,

you did not catch me

unaware.

I let you take

what you thought

you needed

while I wondered

if you would

ever see

that you cannot steal

from the willing.

I let you lie

unchallenged,

patiently waiting

and hoping

you would finally

feel safe enough

to accept that

I could see you.

I let you cut at me

when the poison

inside you

was a killing thing

you needed to

release,

and in your fury

and frustration when

I remained

immoveable,

you thought me a fool

and now

we both know.

You were.

Benefit Of The Doubt


The last two nights I have slept the sleep of the forgiven. I am learning to grant myself grace, to allow myself to be softer, gentler, to give myself the benefit of the doubt. I am learning that as I do this thing for me ~ it overflows onto everyone around me.

I am letting go of thinking I have to be and do everything in a red hot minute.

I’ve been hurting for a long time, lost and bewildered, angry and confused. Because of this I’d sent myself into a frenzy of righting all my wrong thinking and doing, seeking books, audios and practices to fill my heart and mind with good and positive things to bring myself to a higher level of living, a better way of being. I thought to resolve all wrongs and balance the scales so that I would never again have to wake up in the morning and wonder why.

What a crock of shit.

I don’t have to have all the answers right now. If it were possible to achieve everything I wanted to in this instant, then what? If I only focused on who I wanted to be, what happens to who I am now? If I am granted every dream immediately, what happens to my journey?

Why shouldn’t I live my life moment by moment and savor the unfolding of it?

When did I allow my life to become a rat race? When did just being alive stop being fun? When did the experience of living quit being satisfying in and of itself? When did teleporting from point A to point B become more important than the leisurely drive with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face?

I. Don’t. Know.

I’m learning that what seems like a delay is actually life’s way of giving me time to experience where I am and who I’m with right now. It seems that everyone and everything has something to teach me if I’ll just slow down and open up to the possibilities offered along the way.

The softer I am with me, the softer I am with others. I am less critical of us all, I enjoy us more, I am kinder to us, I am more accepting of our flaws and I love us in a sweeter way.

I am less of a hard-ass and more comfortable in my own skin.

I see now, that if I allow it, now is enough. I understand that it’s all I’m guaranteed so I might as well get with the program. Those I thought were special are common. Those I thought were common are special. We are all the same in our sameness and uniqueness that we offer up to the world. We all breathe, bleed, hurt and love. We all fall and rise.

We all love and mourn its loss.

I didn’t wake up worrying, I woke up grateful. I slept through the last few nights because I went to bed appreciating what I have and who I am. Right now. No disclaimers or fine print. I have a home, a car, a job, friends and family who love me and a shit ton of dreams to entertain me in the pursuing of them. I’ll balance the scales that need balancing as I go and all will be well. My troubles and challenges are not the boss of me.

I’m the boss of me. Nobody puts Baby in a corner…

Not even me.

 

 

 

The Forest


I will walk with you.

I’ve traveled this path

enough to know

which way curls itself

into darkness.

Careful now,

watch your step.

There’s the root

that caused my stumble

and just ahead

is the hole

that brought me down

for a moment

that hurt like eternity.

Listen.

Not to the white noise

of misery

or the chatter

of blame…

Allow yourself

to hear the fierce

still distant cry of hope

as it soars above.

Easy now.

Can you see the

deep and sliding marks

below?

The distance of that

final fall?

Those are mine.

I found my way back

from that place of

broken faith.

There was no one here

to show me

how.

I came back

for you.

Take my hand,

just hold on.

I know the way

all too well.

There is light ahead.

There is color

bright and lovely.

There are others there

beyond the dark

waiting to welcome you

back home.

Don’t be afraid.

I will walk with you.