Living in Exile~The Return of the Queen


I am being called to return from Exile. I don’t even remember the Kingdom that calls to me, only that it does. I’d heard, at first faintly, the call of a world that is not complete without me, a purpose unclaimed, a life not lived to full capacity. The call grows ever louder, the pull in my heart stronger, to abandon my self imposed Exile and step up to the throne I abdicated~the one waiting, empty, in my own soul.

It frightens me, because there are many who do not wish me to reclaim that which is mine. Those who have dragons trained to use fire, and tail, and claws, and terrible teeth to burn, crush, and tear anything that causes them fear or discomfort. If I remain in exile, they retain all the power and benefits that are rightfully mine, those I have never lifted a hand to claim as my own.

I approach the edges of what has become the Kingdom of Misery, and I am haunted by an image super-imposed over all I see; a forgotten dream of such power and beauty that it brings tears to eyes long gone dry. The tears pull a fire up through my heart, a longing so strong and deep that I cry out, unable to deny it.

As I draw closer, I see the dragons rise and circle above me; fear, blame, shame, doubt. They dive, circle and claw at this heart and mind already so heavily scarred. I am relentless in my taking of the next step…and the next. The power in my heart is growing, the closer I get to the center of it all; this land of my destiny. The dragon wounds have only released the poison festering inside me, and it drains drop by drop as I approach The Beginning.

What they thought would stop me has only made me stronger, the fear I face has only made me more courageous.

The Sandpaper people who guard the walls begin to tremble and retreat, unsure of whether to adjust or flee these new circumstances, this new reign brought into power by the Return of the Queen. I will let them do as they will~I cannot let that matter to me now.

As I draw ever closer, I see lights flicker from hidden places disguised as Hopelessness, and the new clarity of my vision allows me to see those who long to run to me, throw their arms around me, and shout their welcome to the Heavens.

Oh my God, I can name them now! I remember them!

They are Joy, and Truth, and the twins Love and Acceptance. Right behind them are Forgiveness, Understanding and Hope.

The dragons above me begin to swoop and dive in a greater frenzy, and all those welcoming me home cringe in fear. I cannot lose them again, I will not. I raise my hands to the darkening sky, and with all the power won from a thousand lifetimes I speak a new world into existence, My World.

And I say…

You Have No Power Here.

And then, I smile.

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Love Thyself


There is Love here…

Covered in the finest dust

Of Neglect~

Buried beneath

The harsh gravel of

Carelessness.

There is Hope here…

Suffocated by the heaviness

Of Indifference~

Held beneath

The surface of Monotony

And Despair.

There is Life here…

Struggling to grow

Within~Without

Refusing

To remain the Same~

Searching.

There is Magic here…

Woven through

The Love, the Hope, the Life~

Waiting for Someone

Brave enough

To lean in and Breathe

Light

Back into the Air

That surrounds my Heart

And Yours.

~Shelly~

Broken Open


Protect yourself, toughen up, live in the real world, don’t be so sensitive. I’ve told myself this so many times. Be the same, blend in, don’t rock the boat, you expect too much, life isn’t a love story, or an adventure, or full of magic or miracles. I’ve heard this from others and replayed it plenty over the years. So I did that thing you never want to do and I listened to all of it, and I did a great job of making myself what I finally became: numb.

The good thing is, when my heart finally hardened enough, nothing hurt me anymore. “I don’t care” was my mantra to myself in a never-ending loop. When faced with negligence, judgment, hostility, hate-spewing, whining, subtle slams of criticism, or being severely under valued~I felt no pain. Moving right along with my “I don’t care” mantra, I breezed through mediocrity and monotony with expressionless grace. I quit writing, because I had to feel to do so, and I had nothing I wanted to say anymore.

Enter the truth. I noticed that I couldn’t feel the good things either. My joy in anything at all was missing. I saw nothing in full color, and felt nothing that truly touched me. I forgot how to love, and how to let myself be loved, with very few exceptions, and it frightened me.

I sat down one day after finding an old MAPP assessment I received, years ago, when I was unsure of what direction I should take, the results of which I disregarded as I tried to turn myself into Super Woman. After page three, I realized to my dismay that I was crying. Silent tears just falling as I read about the young woman I almost remembered being. I also realized with no doubt at all in my mind that I LIKED that girl. I missed her. I wanted to be her, and I should have been.

So here I am. Trying to open this bear trap of a heart with a crowbar. Reading, writing poetry, listening to music that makes me dance, practicing yoga, and meditation. I am working on softening my heart every moment of every day that I can. It’s not easy when the life that I let shut me down is still happening every day. But I am getting somewhere. I’m thinking for myself, and asking questions of myself too long ignored. I’m re-calibrating my soul in a way. I’m leaving my assessment out for frequent reading as a map to the new world, a way of finding joy, adventure, and miracles again.

I want to keep trying, crying, and loving until I’m broken open~and when it happens, my world may not be the same as I thought it should be, but what I am, and what I have will be real. The love I feel, and have, will be worth it. Both for the giver and receiver.

I want to be the open-hearted girl, the lion-hearted girl, the “too much” girl. I want to be that girl who cares too much, cries too much, gives too much, writes too much, and laughs too long and too loud. Come home girl, I miss you.

I Know What Love Is…


This morning, as I was doing the Open Heart Meditation, I had my hands open receptively and was breathing in…out…in…out…and I felt a furry nose land in one hand and a crazy licking dog in the other…and I thought with a smile~ahhh, there’s love right there…my two goldens giving love to momma.

The amazing back story to this is that a few months ago, when I first started meditating, it SO pissed me off to hear a bothersome sound or be “interrupted” by my dogs. I mean, I’m trying to MEDITATE right? HOW ANNOYING!!  lol.

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Like many “going to church” Sundays when parents are yelling for kids to move along, or get ready, or get in the car, or whatever. Who we really are at the moment gets in the way of who we are trying to be. The interesting part of that is~we don’t have to try so hard. All we have to do is relax and let go.

I’ve had a VERY trying couple of days. There were a few times I was looking the old me right in the eyeballs, telling myself mentally to STAND DOWN. There is value, reason, facts and righteousness in that part of me, but no peace. No true north. No lay my head down and feel good about my behavior at night.

When I first started this journey, I PRETENDED to not be angry. Ha!! Ever tried that? It is stroke inducing, I can vouch for that. I looked very successful at what I was trying to do, but on the inside…I was a volcano waiting to erupt at any moment, or maybe an old building ready to implode on itself.

Now is better. Even on my bad days. Even when I see it coming on the horizon, I know it’s not worth it. It doesn’t keep me from feeling the strain, but my decision is made ahead of time, and my reactions~those I can live with as I go along the road I’m travelling now. No pretending. Just me and the real deal.

I know what love is. It’s not pretending and saying I love you while actions say get the hell out of my way. It’s feeling a furry nose in one hand, and a licking dog in the other, and smiling to yourself because “Ahhhh, here’s what love is, right here”. It’s actually BEING the spouse, partner, companion, friend. Actually pulling your weight, and giving support, and being the love someone needs instead of letting them carry your ass too many times. Let’s be who we say we are~no more pretending for the public.

I know what love is. It’s not the words, it’s the living of them.

From Arrogance to Love


I have never really paid much attention to the story of the mythical Narcissus until today. To me, it sounded like a short corny story about a conceited guy. Boring. Until I read a small chapter of The Exquisite Risk by Mark Nepo today, it didn’t strike me how most of us suffer from his same affliction.

Not that we gaze endlessly at our reflections, enthralled by the love of our own beauty~no, it’s more painful, and damaging than that. Especially, but not exclusively, women gaze endlessly and hopelessly at our reflections~judging ourselves less, or fat, or old, or ugly. We are obsessed with how smart we are not, how untalented, and uninteresting we are in comparison to the entire rest of the world. We are full of our superiority in our inferiority. Our troubles are greater, more challenging, dare I say insurmountable?

We are so certain that the entire world is about us and our inability to shine like others. That the skills and gifts and blessings we downplay and degrade are even ours to own. What a load of crap.

In learning to break down my beliefs about myself, somewhere along the line I quit being ate up with myself. I quit judging myself so harshly, quit down-playing gifts and talents that I flat-out know for sure don’t come from me at all! I quit acting and believing as if I am the cause and effect of every dang thing around me.

It has been quite hilarious being me in recent months. I laugh a lot, mostly inside, but sometimes it just busts out. Somebody told me I was beautiful the other day, and instead of immediately being embarrassed and awkward, I just smiled and said “thanks!”~I mean, seriously, I don’t have a thing to do with that, that’s all on my parents and the Creator being creative I guess. Sometimes, when I’m done writing and send my poetry or songs or whatever off into email land, I’ll come back and re-read them and just slap my hands together, laugh and shout out to the Universe “DAMN, you are GOOD!”. I know it’s not coming from me, just through me. Just like beauty, or love, or forgiveness. Through me.

That’s what I want to come through me. Love instead of ego, forgiveness instead of judgement, creativity instead of excuses, gratitude for the more than enough instead of whining about the lack. I want to be excited about the days I’m given, not feel like each one is some kind of punishment.

When did we learn to make life a tragedy starring us? Why not share the stage with the Universe and give the proper credits when due? Why be obsessed with our “less than” or our “lack” that only exists in this ego we are eaten up with.

It’s arrogant, self-absorbed, and ungrateful to live our lives stuck to the mirror of self-judgement. We must get over ourselves. I am certainly trying. And believe it or not, it is a huge relief when you accept it’s not at all about you. It’s about all of us, together, expressing life, as one~in all our different ways.

Let’s put the mirror down, and go live this life.

 

 

Pandora’s Box


Lately, I have moments when I scare myself.

Like that feeling you get when you give something a little push, and it starts a chain reaction that shifts everything in sight, or you open the closet door and everything falls out on you. Yeah, it causes a chaotic mess, but what’s left is clean and open.

When Pandora opened her box, she released all the evils into the world, and realizing what she had done~she slammed that lid down as fast as she could, but it was too late~there was no more containing the bad.

The worst part of the story to me, is the part no one ever tells. When she slammed the lid back on the jar (yes, it was really a jar, not a box) it was too late to keep the evils from the world, but still trapped in the bottom of the jar~the only thing left inside~was the Spirit of Hope.

Seriously, now, that is a bad BAD situation. That is where Pandora and I part company. When I opened my jar, and all the negative, evil, wicked, mean, bad and nasty stuff flew out I was RELIEVED. My whole jar was made of Hope, and I carry it with me everywhere.

The scary part is this~I know things now that I didn’t before. I know what I want. I know who and what I am. I know what I’m supposed to do. The OTHER regular old do the duty and quit your whining and be a Stepford Human  me is like “OMG DON’T YOU EVEN MAKE ONE MOVE. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT”. Me and myself are kind of eyeballing each other right now. You know~nobody move, nobody gets hurt. =)

So I compromise with me. I take a step at a time. I enroll in school, and send in my writing, and meditate. I tell myself the truth every day~I am becoming who I am meant to be. It’s the journey that’s important and exciting. The journey that is the adventure.  There will always be a new destination, because it’s all in the journey. I am JUST now figuring that out.

It is this new knowledge that keeps me sane, and holding on tightly to my jar of Hope. I tell myself that I can take being where I am and doing what I do because it is refining me for what’s next~it is setting me up for flat-out tears of joy gratitude when it’s time to step out. I do understand that who I am goes with me everywhere, so I have to work it out and grow. If I don’t, I’m just carrying the ugly with me in the jar.

Nope. No thank you. I’m collecting only good dreams and schemes for my jar of Hope. No uglies. Done with that.

So here’s to Pandora, and letting out the ugly, and holding onto Hope.