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.

Becoming Real-The Lie vs The Wild-ish Heart


She refused to die. The uncivilized heart of her beat slowly, laboriously, and refused to give up. The wild-ish blood in her veins had been diluted to a mere trace after years and lifetimes of acceptance and settling. She had the good job, the good money, the spouse, the house, the acceptable words, expressions, and behaviors. Day in and day out generic life performances to maintain the status quo had converged into a falseness of epic proportions. She had fallen for The Lie so many years ago, that she perpetuated it herself almost mindlessly every day.

Almost.

More and more lately, her blood seemed to bubble and spark beneath her skin. Her life-deafened ears began to catch whispers from a spirit that wanted to roar. Her eyes would sometimes flare and burn, seeing herself with a clarity that would temporarily freeze her in her tracks. She began to have trouble controlling these freakish moments that would break and then settle inside her. She began to fear for her sanity.

She would catch herself pacing about the house at night, drink in hand, eyes casting to every corner searching for the thing she needed to satisfy the burning hunger she felt. She would sit down and write things she didn’t even know were in her head until she read them later, appalled at the fury of the emotions expressed. She began to dream at night of mad things, precious and untamed things that left her broken hearted upon awakening. She became certain of her insanity.

She tried everything to numb the madness overtaking her. Too much everything; food, smoking, spending, sleeping, reading-anything to take her somewhere out of the reality she allowed to boil her slowly to death, one degree at a time. Nothing stopped the Wild from creeping ever closer to the hidden trip wire of transformation, but she did everything she could to maintain the Normal.

But She is here now. The Wild One. The one who will not be tamed or reduced by circumstances. She holds the trip wire in her hand with lifted chin and burning eyes. It is time to change, to live, to be. She doesn’t care about the consequences, she steps up toe to toe and stares them down until she owns them. She will yank the trip wire of transformation with a snarl, and feral eyes that see a future worth living.

And she will embrace her insanity.

Excavation of a Soul~The magic of Yoga


There are still those countless people who believe that practicing yoga is an “exercise”. They believe that it’s only the movement of limbs and core to tone and tighten their body to appeal to someone else, who honestly, probably isn’t worth that effort. They tell themselves it’s an “easy” way to give physical effort it’s due and carry on with their regularly scheduled program. They think yoga is about the clothes, and the malas, and the Om, and the Zen, and the whatever bullshit they have floating around in that brain so full of misconceptions.

I was one of them, until it brought me back from the dead, opened my heart, and uncovered the Goddess buried inside of me under endless layers of pretense and shitty perceptions.

I taught myself with a DVD at home, craning my neck awkwardly towards the TV screen while I assumed the next asana. I felt ridiculous and incapable at first, but I kept going. In a few weeks I no longer needed to see every move, I knew what to do when I heard her speak. I began to flow from one asana to the next and my heart began to release, and my spirit to glow.

****Silence is not an absence but a presence. Not an emptiness but repletion; A filling up.”
― Anne D. LeClaire

I felt like every morning began with a moving prayer to the Universe; one of gratitude. I was answered by the filling of my heart with peace, and my mind with power over myself. I became alive in a quiet, joyful way that began to clear my vision of all things ridiculous and  unimportant. The frenzy of my world began to calm a little, smooth out here and there, my heart began to recognize moments of peace.

**The practice of yoga itself transforms. Yoga has a magical quality.”

― Ravi Ravindra

There is a magic to the practicing of yoga that defies anything but the word magic. It is miraculous in that it can release something beautiful and rare from a generic societal state of being. It is powerful in that it’s quietness brings a still heart screaming to life in living color. It is the equivalent of the calming of the storm in biblical times, or Lazarus rising from the dead.

It’s truth, I can say that, because it happened to me.

**“When you catch yourself slipping into a pool of negativity, notice how it derives from nothing other than resistance to the current situation.” ― Donna Quesada

Practicing yoga brought me back to life by bringing me into the present.  I learned to be and show gratitude now, for my blessings now. I began to regulate the past where it belonged, and look at the future as a present to be unwrapped when it arrived. I began to look at myself more gently, and with a sense of forgiveness, which allowed me to do the same towards others.

**“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. ~Michelangelo

I didn’t so much reinvent myself, as I began to excavate who I was from beneath a lifetime of expectations, criticisms, and societal rules. Not just those imposed on me by others all the way back to childhood, but those I imposed upon myself. I would uncover some unknown part of me and sit with myself in awe, learning to love it, or at least understand and accept what was. I began to see the beauty and purpose in even the flawed parts of me I would have normally hidden away from view. I had inadvertently fallen into a state of grace via 30 minutes of morning yoga.

**“Courage is often associated with aggression, but instead should be seen as a willingness to act from the heart.”
― Donna Quesada

I began living from my new heart, my new state of being, and it gave me joy and countless challenges. Apparently nobody likes the status quo messed with in any way. But no matter the discomfort suffered by those around me, I had to act and live in the knowledge of my newly awakened state, and although I rocked a few boats, I stayed on course. It’s frightening to step outside of all that you’re accustomed to and expand into more, but I am determined. The magic of all I’ve uncovered so far has made me more alive than ever before, given me the courage to speak and write and be as I feel I must, and to hell with the consequences.

I think of this every time I do a heart opening asana and feel the bands of bullshit release and set my heart and spirit free of fear.

**”Oh, that’s fear. Try the pose again.” Fear. I hadn’t even known it was there.”

― Claire Dederer

Welcome to the magic, to the miracle, to your heart, to the truth of who you are.

Welcome to Yoga.

Pieces of Her


Her scars were calling to us, the odd beauty of the pain she carried drew us closer, whether we willed it or not. In the dim light, we could see her bending down to choose a tattered piece of this, a scrap of that, and periodically sit quietly for a short time and stitch it onto herself. With her own hand. She didn’t make a sound but the occasional tear would slide silently down her cheek to land on the piece she was stitching~and then she would smile to herself and stand, looking for the next torn piece of her that was relevant enough to sew back on.

You could tell she had been a great beauty at one time, by the world’s standards, but every piece of her was from a different heartbreak, and her destruction was evident in the face we saw now. She would look at us from time to time, and give a sweet little half smile, as if she knew something we didn’t. But when we dared to meet her eyes, they were a clear burning flame that left us in awe, and somehow ashamed.

The next time she sat to begin her stitching, with considerable nudging from my tribe I stepped closer to ask her a question. She looked up at me and raised an eyebrow bisected by a thin scar, questioning what I believed was my folly.

I met her eyes, and they broke my heart, but I held her gaze anyway as I spoke. I asked her how she came to be in such a patchwork state when she had obviously been a great beauty. I asked her if it hurt when she stitched those pieces of her back on, and how-I wondered-did she decide from all the torn and broken pieces, which ones were worthy of bringing back into herself.

She started slowly, and her voice was as torn as her appearance, but her eyes never wavered from mine, and the Truth bled through her every word. She told of a fractured foundation, a hopeless grasping of home, her longing to feel safe. She spoke of the slow and insidious death of her joy and spirit, the rejection of her heart, the silencing of her voice. She did not cast blame, saying only that she lost her clarity of soul~and when her fingertips no longer touched the others of the universe, she was lost.

She explained to me, in a voice that filled my heart with tears, how she sorted through every heartbreak to find the one piece, every time, that made her living worth the effort.

I was spellbound by her story of a love given, greater than any I had ever known, her infection of  ‘life-blindness’, and the loss of her power with the loss of her belief in anything that mattered. Every once in awhile, as she told her story, a tear would fall again, and in it I would see the sorrow in every single one of us reflected in its shine.

As she spoke to me, the others drew closer, unable to deny the pull of her soul made audible. She told us of battles won, and lost…the sorrows of love squandered…and her final, agonizing acceptance of her own power.

You could have heard a pin drop in the silence following her last words. She looked at each one of us, cauterizing our foolishness, and stopping our breath.

Then she stood, just as a single beam of light broke through, shining into the heart of her for the first time. She allowed herself to be filled with wonder, and we struggled to take the next breath…she glowed with an inner fire…

And we had never seen anyone more beautiful.

The Magic In You


There is a place inside each of us

Where we hide our silent dreams,

Unspoken hopes and soul wishes…

We guard them so carefully

From ridicule and judgment

to save ourselves pain…

We don’t believe they matter

To anyone but ourselves,

So we hold back…

Cheating ourselves

And the rest of the world

Of the wonder and magic of us.

It is time to shake off

This archaic way of thought

And bring our true selves forward

Into the light of being,

Out of the shadows of doubt,

Creating for us a new reality…

It is not our place,

Nor should we make it so,

To decide our souls don’t belong

Out in the open

With the rest of creation…

You have magic in you~

Share it with the world.

~Shelly~

Eyes Wide Open


You did not save me…

Instead you taught me how

To save myself.

You did not give me strength…

Your hand was simply

Holding mine

As I built my own.

You did not

Take away my sorrows,

You quietly taught me

How to heal myself of them.

You did not give me

Self Respect…

It has grown exponentially

From the esteem

You’ve shown me for merely

Being who I am.

You have taught me

How to love,

You have shown me

How to live

With heart and eyes

Wide Open.

~Shelly~

My Beloved


For the first time in maybe fifteen years, I will have a cleaning lady/person/housekeeper…what ever. She will probably be temporary until she finds her ‘life’ job, but it matters little to me in how I feel about her.

My best friends and I have always said that if WE had wives of our own, we wouldn’t be assholes about it. We would appreciate their hard work, the time given, the effort, the planning, the thoughtfulness, the absolute wonder of having a wonderfully clean home that frees us to enjoy our time off when we are not working. We would not be husbands to our wives per se, we would be grateful wives who had wives.

We would give them their hard earned money with a loving heart. We would show endless and heartfelt appreciation. We would pick up after ourselves and spend time thinking how we could make their efforts easier for them to show our gratitude and respect. We would occasionally leave extra gifts and ‘thank you’s for no apparent reason. We would give them lavish, incomparable presents for their birthdays and Christmas.

We would always speak kindly to and of them. Harsh and inconsiderate words would never pass our lips in regards to them. They would feel so valued and honored by us that they would never consider leaving us to become a ‘wife’ to someone else at our expense.

Yes, I will do my daily duties to not impede her from doing what I ask of her. I will keep up on my personal responsibilities of dishes, laundry, the daily sweeps and wipes that must occur. Her efforts will free me to come home grateful, and enjoy my off time -guilt and aggravation free.

I will no longer spend entire days off and/or weekends cleaning the pit of doom that I had no energy left for after the work day. Therefore, she will be saving me from certain prison time in payment for lighting my spouse on fire and putting him out with an ice pick. Possibly I exaggerate my resentments, but I think not.

OMG, you say? Why not just tell him to pull his weight as a partner, you say? Can you not deal with this like an adult?

Laugh. Out. Loud.

After years of resentment and blame, I spoke as clearly as God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. I spoke like a man-straightforward with no way to be misunderstood. I said I was tired of carrying the whole load, that if he were a roommate I would have evicted him by now, that something was going to change either with his efforts or without. After six weeks of no difference in cleaning/partnership behavior, I was looking for the lighter fluid and realized what I had to do. I texted him immediately as he was out entertaining himself that fine weekend day, to let him know I was going to get estimates and hire a housekeeper to eliminate my anger over this never-ending situation.

So here I am. Anxiously waiting the honeymoon of my first cleaning. I am happy she’s coming, I’m anxious that she not feel overworked. I will guard her with my life-so help me God.

I have to wonder at the ego of a human being expecting these wonderous things from another human being while behaving like  an inconsiderate ass hat. What great thing do you bring to the relationship table, I ask? What is it that you give of yourself that has such value that no real effort or input is required from you at all?

And of myself, I ask this question: why did I decide to marry as opposed to hiring out as a housekeeper?

I misunderstood the path to becoming The Beloved.

My Bad.