how does “freedom” feel
breathe in joy
breathe out love
it is transparent
and all the beats of your heart
it is the space before
I took a super fun yoga class by Shari Beard that prompted us to write our own poetry at the end… didn’t share in class, but feel compelled to share somewhere:-)
I AM MEANT FOR THIS WORLD
IS THIS WORLD MEANT FOR ME
IS MY HEART’S QUEST
WHY DOES MY HEAD GET IN THE WAY
TO BE FREE
TO BE ME
WITH THE EARTH BENEATH MY FEET
THE MOUNTAINS THAT I SEE
FRESH AIR TO BREATHE
NOTHING ELSE SHOULD MATTER
THIS IS LOVE
MY HEART BEATS FOR THESE
As long as I can remember, I’ve had an open relationship with myself… what does that look like, you might be wondering? For me, it’s an open conduit to the voice of my heart; not the voice that sounds and feels like defeat… but rather the calm, and often more curious voice that chimes in when I allow it. I spent a lot of time alone growing up, so I would walk out in nature and sit, look around, explore… and spend time thinking about how I thought life should feel and become for me.
The time I spent seeking and looking inward gave me my moral compass; I could never stray off my path for too long or far. Shame and guilt have always played big roles in my life, and I almost let it become debilitating; I let my past choices define me, and I shamed the hell out of myself. It hurt, but I knew that the truth could save me; that and a deep understanding of my worth and footing on my path. That actually is something I hadn’t given much stock until the years proved my experience to be based on THIS VERY SAME TRUTH GUIDING ME BACK.
Call a spade a spade… do not waste your time, and don’t be scared to move on. Listening to your strong subtle voice is your insurance that you will be ok; so have faith in you. The absolute opposite of what we teach our kids.
As I see it, it is now time to cut out the bullshit from our lives, and not only in our personal lives but out of our corporate ideals and consumer driven lives… take charge and breathe your way to the better life you have always been walking towards. It just requires a little remembering to pick up the pace; and allow your breath to do what it does best… renew, and carry out the bad. Breathe in your truth and breathe out the lies. Whether it’s the untruth you berate yourself with on a daily basis, or the bullshit you fell prey to along the way… push eject!
My hope is to start a conversation, allowing people to take a real look at the low rumble that has been getting louder this past decade. What is the true motivation behind your actions? For example, a good friend of mine (who is lovely in every way) told me she was a bit stressed about the list of things to get done before heading out to visit her family for the holidays. On this list was getting her son to the gym more often, and her daughter running more with her. My heart broke just a bit because I remember my experience growing up, being told I’m not good enough. I was told that a lot, and definitely believed it until not too long ago.
I credit my newfound self-worth to trust, I finally trust myself to know what is best for me; my voice guided me places I never dreamed was for me. Maybe age helps a little bit, a secure checking account, strong support, and lots of love around me… I know I am lucky, and I am now walking the walk and talking the talk; making my way to the best me I can be.
I got off track a little bit, but it all comes back to clearing out the rubble and letting the light shine on the beauty around you. The stories we tell ourselves are not beautiful, in fact, they are cruel and hurtful. With our very own thoughts, we are our own worst enemy: if only my hair was two shades lighter, my nose a little shorter, my pants a little looser, my shirt a little lighter, my feet look fat, I wish I had a boyfriend, I wish I had a date, I wish I could laugh better, I am so stupid, and undeserving of anything, it’s all my fault that I am sad.
Instead, take your power back! The voice of lack is not the voice I am speaking about, and not the words to live by… that voice is fear, and it will serve defeat to you every time you listen to it, every time. It may feel comforting to know where you are headed, but you will never find joy there. There is a truth to life that requires you to open up, and be honest about where you want to take a stand, and I think it is time to go for strength and honesty. This requires listening to the calm voice in your head, that stable whisper of a voice that puts your body in alignment, and engages your heart.
How did you feel after the last big decision you made? Ideally, we would want to walk away standing a bit taller and feeling joy radiate warmth from our heart. Sounds a little like a romance novel, but life can be that obvious when we allow ourselves into the subtle body, and can feel the truth of a situation physically.
Now feel how your body responds when you think of the reverse decision; the heart sinks into your stomach and you feel a bit nauseous; your head looks down, shoulders slump and either a nap or a good scream sounds good. Our heads get in the way because we learned at a very young age not to trust ourselves, and that we don’t know what is right and wrong. We have been told so many lies about our history, our very lives, that we have become more comfortable following the rules, and chasing the elusive carrot than wanting to align with the truth.
This same problem is pervasive in our government, our schools, welfare, mental health, prisons, and any other situation involving human lives. The institutions we have built around these lies have become so big, we can’t imagine a new way to govern. We can’t even allow the idea of discounting this Presidential Election due to Russian involvement because it would destroy our lie of democracy being for the people. It has become all too obvious that our government is mostly for the people with money. Now I’ve really gotten off topic, but it makes for a great example of the silly stories we tell ourselves.
Another good example is how Christopher Columbus was among the last to discover America… the Vikings are now considered the first to discover America. But really, why can’t we simply admit we stole America from the Native Americans; they did not need to discover what was already inhabited. Hundreds of years later, and we still can’t tell the truth.
This brings to mind another area of lies that gets me all the time. The propaganda advertising that pervades our culture, telling us what to wear, how much to spend, and how often to trade it all in. This story will knock you down, or it should. Remember the “Keep America Beautiful” crying Indian ad that ran in the 1970’s? It focused on plastic bottles littering our planet, which is a sad reality and should be taken seriously. The problem was that the ad and the whole campaign was created within a secret meeting between top level soda companies (yes, Coca Cola and the other big ones were there). They didn’t want to go back to glass soda bottles and again have to incur the cost of collecting, washing and reusing their bottles; instead, they wanted Americans to be responsible for the littering and garbage creation that using plastic bottles created. So, they made us Americans the bad ones, and not their own greed. Which brings it back to institutions being too big to handle responsible, full-cycle productivity when all they care about are profits.
When we support these gross oversights, we encourage more bad behavior. We cannot overlook the importance of honor and truth in our world any longer. I think it has come time to decide that we have enough, and to take care of those who don’t. This beautiful planet can provide enough for all of us… we just have to decide we are enough. No more self-hate, no more living in lies; stand tall, open your heart and let the light in for all to see.
We are free to be… real, to be loved, to give love, and to live without fear. There is no fear in the truth, it will set us free!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, the kind of pondering that starts out in modest dissolution and winds up shaking your whole being if you’re not resolute in your goals. I have truly been questioning my motives over my new-found spirituality this past year. Seems I found strength in the words of Wayne Dyer and the quantum physics paradigm; the beautiful stylings of living with love, with light and honoring our inner voice as our most mindful guide through our daily lives.
This is not to say that I lacked an intuitive nature or never danced in the moonlight before last year, it’s just I had let that side of me go unnoticed while the details of motherhood swooped in and coated my life in fear and business. I like to call that my “shellackered” time; I still remember the moment I stepped away from my values, from health, from caring and I became focused on just getting through the end of the day with my sanity intact!! When the dot.com bubble burst, we made some big changes, bought our business, moved back from the mountains and into our San Francisco home. Buying a business is expensive and we had to cut some serious corners and went into six-figure debt. Then the economy tanked and we had to cut-back our expenditures even further and I had to work longer hours.
I’m not going to complain about my situation, but I do see how I made the wrong short-cuts and never should’ve stopped shopping at Whole Foods Market and should’ve found organic produce for the dirty-dozen at least. Hindsight being what it is I will always wonder if my cancer would’ve been there had I taken better care of myself?!! Proud to say that I now practice a healthy life-style and am a happier person because of this intentional work on a daily basis.
For the first time since having kids, almost 15 years ago, I have the opportunity to do what I would like for at least 2 hours of every day. That’s AWESOME and exciting, and I am thankful to my husband for not giving me grief for not going into work anymore. I could get massages every month, a facial, lunches, whatever I wanted with this newfound time… yet, what do I choose to do instead? I choose to explore the culinary arts, create my website (socialreview.org) and blog. I spend a lot of time on these projects and I love every minute of it; after working over twenty years at the same job, I am overdue for a little more creativity in my work day.
All this said, I still wonder what I am doing, even with all the beautiful days I have created. I feel the stress when I don’t feel “on track” with my writing; I honestly don’t see much progress in my writing talents and I really don’t understand why I am writing. So, why don’t I stop? Because I made a one-year commitment to this project… even created a commitment necklace (choker) I wear almost every day; only times I have taken it off are when my writing waned, so it will dutifully remain on my neck through August. I am grateful for that commitment I made back in September of 2015; I know I would’ve stopped this project had I not promised myself to “remain calm and carry on.”
So, when stuck… keep digging! Which is what I have done, I am looking back at some of the projects I started long ago to see what I can extract, because my flow needs some mojo!! What I found is quite a full essay trying to answer exactly what I have been searching for this past month.
“To seek one’s passion in life sets the wheels in motion for pursuit of the intangible, and for most… the challenge to satiate their soul’s deepest desires. Life’s gifts unfold as slowly or as completely as one perpetuates their own personal design; the pride and devotion that come from this path will one day become an adornment of sorts.
What naturally follows is a very basic question… without creation, where would we be? Regardless of religion, race, class or gender, we have all found ourselves in awe of this gift of life we are each destined to experience individually. Try as we may, we have yet to define our existence, and even more curious, what came before and what lies ahead? Even our most celebrated thinkers have found only one agreeable truth- the answers are debatable.
When my husband and I sit with our kids in our arms, and feel the love and contentment we are so lucky to share, then turn on the evening news to see destruction and hate just outside our door… how can I deny my responsibility for the pain, and the faith that we are worthy of so much more.
An amazing quote from an anonymous writer seems appropriate now:
‘Our battles within are so strong, it takes an intense external battle to combat it. And isn’t this what we’ve always been fighting for – to remain ignorant.’”
This is best exemplified by the current political campaigns led by Donald Trump. He feeds all headlines with his outrageous and unapologetic behavior; there is no room or time to report on any real issues or agendas when Trump is so damn quotable. “Again confronted with my burning desire to extrapolate all I can from my earthly pursuits, I am made aware of the challenge conspicuously placed in my mind, whether by propaganda or politicians — what game are we playing, what roles do we fulfill, and for whom?” This question seems so interesting as we watch political debates this year and worse, see how divided this nation has become since I wrote this almost ten years ago.
“What is tangible for ME is that my grounding force is found in my value of love. This icon of truth, for me, forgives all before us and all that is now; but in my mind, the challenge lies within our future. When we awaken and finally find ourselves responsible for our own creation… it will be the love in our hearts, minds and foremost, our future, that will overwhelm our planet. Until then, I write…
Two days ago, I was me –
Two months ago, I was me –
Two years ago, I was me –
I am proud, strong and passionate.
Two days from now, who will I be –
Two months from now, who will I be –
Two years from now, who will I be –“
(repeat for YOU)
Cue: Sara Bareilles’, BRAVE… haha, couldn’t resist!!