Setting down the son

I wanted to love you beyond reason

to tuck you under warm blankets

inhale the scent of your freshly bathed skin

pressing my lips to your cool forehead

stroking your hair back from your face

so I could memorize it until dawn.

I wanted to embrace you with hugs

to protect you from the angry, vengeful world

to be your advocate for justice until you spoke

your first words in defense of your right to exist

that I could offer you a vocabulary for peace

that would last throughout your lifetime

I wanted family intimacy to gestate organically

with inside jokes created with one another

stories built upon our common history

beliefs based on a mutual understanding

goals set and met together in blood-line unity

Cherished memories transmogrified into legends

BUT

I stand here holding a bin full of dusty artifacts

every imagining I’d dreamed about abandoned

discarded into a tornadic swipe of desolation

Emptied of sacredness into the seasonal winds

My love, hugs, and hope for a family with you

have perished due to your intentional self-destruction

I mourn for you as if you had passed the veil

I see evidence of you in portraits lying happily

with smiles that don’t eat your eyes with joy

except for mine which shine with implicit trust

passionate encouragement radiates towards you

so brightly that you cringed away, scalded by love

that didn’t hurt but should have flayed your skin

because that’s what you were taught by my blood

I wish you peace.

I wish you love.

I wish you happiness.

I wish you a life worth living.

I wish you to know that I’d do it all again.

I declare, I am

I declare I am

I declare I am

I declare by action

You can not call yourself a dreamer of dreams

Unless you first close your eyes to willingly sleep

To strip away reality that’s solid to your skin

Throwing blankets against the world’s forgetful sin

Standing not in the sands of the shores

But drowning in desires begging knowledge of more

You can not call yourself a writer of poems

Unless you first strip back the skin to know ‘em

Stripping down to muscle, blood, grinding bone

Becoming so grotesque, by default, displayed alone

Repulsing your own belief that you were enmeshed

Engaging your spirit fully until it bleeds through your flesh

You can not call yourself an artist of the arts

Until you’ve ripped shreds of everything you know, torn it apart.

Chopped off arms, legs, noses, fingers, and ears

Assembled them into a shape that disappears

Become a nothing awaiting rebirth to this plane

So you can become a God/dess of your own domain

Change and Progress: Learning to Birth Risks

I am gestating in the womb of change and progress.

I am developing the skills and strength to become reborn in my own image without the yoke of false hope, without the bearing of bloody lies, without the praise for being different tainted with shame. The strings and ropes that moored me to the shore are severed with my clear consent. I am no longer anchored at the pier of someone else’s demands and lack of mercy. What is no longer necessary for my survival is falling away rapidly, some of which is regret.

I Regret that I didn’t realize sooner what was occurring. I Regret that my need to hope that things would improve could not be sated by the harmful actions of others. I Regret that I saw the omens, realized the map, and ignored my compass.

But there will be obvious bouts of discord as there always are when rebirth is occurring. There is always pain, but that is the labor of passion. That is the direction of one’s eyes being opened to a new dawn. That is the sanctity of new life being brought into the world despite the age of its possessor. It is a covenant union between life and the living. It is where, just outside of the comfort zone, new and wild adventures are committed to memories with delight. It is where the spirit remembers why the pain is sometimes deeply necessary. It’s there so we remember not to walk that path any more. That pain is there as a guidepost, a milestone, a mile-marker.

My future destination is still being navigated, charted, and lined into a clearly mapped path. But I fear the end result out of resistance to chaos, upheaval, and the possibility of error. I am petrified that I will be stillborn. I am so frightened that I won’t evolve into something or someone I recognize. I look in the mirror and wonder what’s next, what am I going to do? I play the Wo-Co-Sho (would have, could have, should have) game and the What-if’s because my uncertainty in the future is wrought with cautious ambition.

I know better. I know that I am being guided by the blessings, gifts and goals painted on my dreamy canvas. I know that what is to come is not for me to know, even if I can see glimpses of it. I know that once I’ve arrived in THAT place, it will match my vision and I will weep once again with gratitude.

But, for now, I will gestate in the womb of change while I grow into my new spirit self. While I bloom, blossom, develop, and change. The risks that are involved, while in this state, are negligible.

It’s what comes after the rebirth and during that process that will engage every moment of bravery required of my soul spirit to achieve that which my heart remembers, requires, and desires above all else. My courage will come when it is needed as long as my feet are still moving towards my own evolution and reconstruction of who I am destined to be at this time in my life.

My umbilical chord hums with rejuvenation and possibility. The anticipation of new sprinkled with historical re-validation, and written onto slightly off key musical staffs, create wonder in my spirit. I wonder if this music I hear is loud enough to be heard by others. I wonder if this tune I write will inspire others to seek their symphony, to take the risks that encourage growth into the sonata after the dirge has bilged their spirits clear of the desperate attempt to belong where they don’t.

Some of the music my spirit knows are still empty notes played at random while the steady rhythm of my heartbeat drives me forward. The harmonica plays. The violin strings. The chorus of bass (because it’s all about the bass, ’bout the bass, no trouble) drives the beat forward. I am immaculate but still dusty and bloodied from my last go round. I see the path to walk, nay run, and I lay my foot down against the soft walls of wisdom. I must keep moving forward.

The risk will be worth the reward despite the outcome of the final piece I’ve committed to writing. The outcome, come what may, will be life unfolding in a grand mastery of orchestral parts with some blended so lovingly with beauty that joy is easily found.

I will be reborn. I will shake free of this shell. I’ve become like a chrysalis wrapped tight in swaddling adventure, changing my colors, changing my heart, changing my spirit for the next chapter. I will be reborn because to remain where I am, who I am, doing what I’ve always done is not an option if I hope to experience the life I was destined to meet. I MUST risk everything in order to rise up and meet the challenge of my spirit. This temporary state of rebuilding is my sole opportunity for the path I’ve chosen. But it isn’t my only option or way to get there, it’s just my choice to follow this particular path.

One foot in front of the other. One step forward. One belief that I am more than what I am right now. One wise guide that tells me to bloom, to grow, to breathe, live, act. I follow this inner voice, but I’m truly leading myself on my own spiritual journey.

Lost Sunday

Go away.
He sat in the back seat using his hands as a rosary
praying to holy mother Rosemary his sin not be discovered.
The violation of my air space undetected by his stealth
suddenly had air raid sirens blaring loudly,

“HOW DARE YOU?!” upon my radar screen
while I drove away and prayed the guards were adept.

When I’m Alone

The Clipper Ship Blue Jacket On Choppy SeasAm I Schrodinger’s cat locked in a coffin that I can’t see?

Am I my own imagination come to life or who others want to see?

Am I an earthquake that shakes the foundation of your beliefs?

Am I the whirlwind that’s met with cautious alacrity?

Am I so enigmatic I am hidden even from myself?

Am I a magician’s assistant that performs with infuriating stealth?

Who am I when there’s nobody around to witness me?

Am I just a wanderer piloting my ship on the popped blue collar sea?

These Are My People: Eva May

28414-Fragile_Broken_Soul________by_zophie
She wasn’t as broken as she thought
She was, instead, held together
With ropes, strings, duct tape, and
band-aids stained with false assumptions about herself.
Her worry laden back wilted her
Against her walking stick that was decorated
With badges of survival; proofs of journey.
The winds shifted into the sunshine’s warmth.
She lifted her fatigued eyes towards the light
Surprised that the path was always there
But had been lost in the weeds of history.
With a change of clothes, a bathing of her Spirit
A back brace of hope, personal strength flooding
She stepped onto the ancient path
The Universe sighed relief for the prodigals return.

Box up your crap. Part One: The Spirit Self

happy box

happy box (clipped to polyvore.com)

There are a lot of people doing what they need or have to do to get by in this world. They often sacrifice who they are in order to keep the peace, to meet the status quo, to maintain a balance no matter how precarious that may be in unhealthy emotional, intellectual, spiritual, or even physical realms. The lamentations of their despair become a litany of unresolved, unrecognized, and unheeded personal warnings. They have compromised more than they should have when faced with difficulties that, at the time, seemed insurmountable.

It may seem like one just can’t catch a break. Everything such as family issues, occupational hazards like co-workers or bosses, neighbors that fight at 2AM, they all seem to pile up around the edges of our minds, creep in until they become so daunting that curling up in a ball is the only way to feel protected. But, as an adult, we know that’s not responsible towards fulfilling our own needs, wants, desires, or beliefs.

What is required to stabilize the influx of either permitted or illicit chaos in our lives? It’s your Happy Room.

Imagine standing in the middle of a room. It can be any color with as many or as few of windows as you desire. There is a shifting floor and an infinite ceiling. Each wall of this room has shelves from the floor on up to as high as you can reach and beyond. Each wall represents different aspects of our lives, each shelf dictates the significance we place on those aspects. On the many shelves are boxes made of all types of materials such as wood, cardboard, concrete, tissue paper, etc. In those boxes are everything you’ve ever learned, thought of, forgotten, seen, heard, felt, dealt with, avoided but acknowledged, believed, discarded, been, and done.

The wall to your left is filled with the MUST things like paying bills, feeding yourself, going to work. The basic essentials. (To be expanded later) The wall in front of you is filled with RELATIONSHIPS. Every one you’ve ever had; The good, the bad, and the mediums. The wall to your right is filled with TEMPORARY issues. Nearly running out of gas, having to run to the store, remembering the kid’s field trip money, things that although are important when occurring don’t have a dominant impact because of their transience. Behind you is, of course, your PAST. Anything before this moment is there. The floor is constantly shifting with the emotions that can sometimes bog down the spirit or uplift the Divinity within. Looking up, the ceiling is infinite with possibilities, goals, and dreams.

In the middle of this room stands your Spirit Self. The quintessential you that’s filled with, sometimes, an innate Divinity begging to be discovered and experienced. It is the part of you that begs for you to follow your Personal Best path by embracing everything that you can be. It’s the part of you that sometimes gets neglected because the boxes on the surrounding walls fall off the shelves and distract you from following your path. This is the essence of who YOU actually are and what orchestrates how you deal with and work through situations.

When we live our lives, we have all the information we need to deal with whatever situation we’re currently facing. It could be something as simple as when to go to the store, or as complex as death of a loved one, or as mundane as how to meet that seemingly impossible deadline. Regardless of what issues we are dealing with, our Spirit Self knows what to do if we’d only listen and trust that to be true.

Everything you’ve experienced has shown you how to do THIS. Whatever IT is, you already have the tools to handle it. But, sometimes our tools get broken or we don’t value the lessons we’re learning. It’s easy to throw up the hands while declaring, “I don’t know what to do!” Those are the times, in my personal experience, that we do actually know what to do but it may require confrontation, a difficult decision, or a letting go of the past. Distasteful difficulties that pop onto the radar with a sharp bang that indicates another box falling from the shelves. They could be from any of the walls or a combination of them, but whatever it is, the floor of emotions rises up and our Spirit Self has to figure out how to coordinate efforts.

Think of what makes the floor rise with happiness under and throughout your Spirit Self. If you could do ANYthing right now and get paid to do what you love, what would you do? If that’s too difficult, go with what you wanted to be when you grew up. Start there then expand your ideas like a snowball. Lists are helpful to find the common thread between what you wanted to be and what you became.

I always wanted to be a writer. My mother used to read to my brother and me aloud. No matter if it were the newspaper, her college books or papers, stories, she read. Because of that, I don’t ever remember not being able to read or write (except cursive, I remember learning that.) The places she’d take us when she’d tell us stories fascinated me. When I got old enough to understand fact vs. fiction, the world exploded with possibilities. I decided that I wanted to write stories. I wanted to hold the moniker of Author. But life happened and although I piddled around with this or that, I didn’t do it.

February of 2013, I broke my foot. I was unable to keep the job I’d gotten in December. It was not a good point for me on so many levels. But, as if by a magical force, my Spirit Self said, now you have time to do what you wanted to do all along. Take advantage of it. I had time to get involved in my community, which I love to do. I had time to write articles, stories, and to begin a blog. With each word I put down on paper or here, I’ve found myself filling my Spirit Self with the destiny I dreamed about since I was a young girl.

You remember too. If you listen to your Spirit Self and tune in to your personal happiness, you’ll hear it calling you. It may be just a whisper for having been neglected, but it is there. It is waiting. It is willing to give to you. It wants you to remember your Spirit Self title and discover an entirely wonderful new world exactly where you are right now.

It does sound farfetched. It may seem like there isn’t enough time in the day to devote to “discovering yourself.” But truly, the gifts you hold inside of you, the wonders of your unique perspective, your personal voice expanding into Spiritual practice via acts of happiness changes perspectives, clarifies the muddy waters of emotions, and guides you back to the lighted path of your Spiritual Self’s personal Divinity.

ABC’s of Rebuilding a Relationship

or put that fire out

Lighting the bridge of forgiveness

There’s a person in your life or your ex-life that you just can’t shake. A person that is missed so much that whatever drove you apart sits on your back like a bag of bricks. Perhaps you’ve tried to set that bag down and leave it without unpacking the contents but by some weird irony it’s still attached to your weight slumped shoulders from the burden of things left unsaid.

Is that relationship toxic? If so, then perhaps reading this article will help you set those bricks down and walk away.
http://theanjananetwork.net/2014/03/27/say-goodbye-ending-toxic-friendships/

However, if that relationship is not toxic, but instead requires your attention to make reparations like this article demonstrates:
http://theanjananetwork.net/2014/03/26/persephone-and-demeter/

Then how do you go about making that happen? How do you go from no contact to tentative conversation when time has elapsed and perhaps caused a Grand Canyon sized hole in your heart? It can be done with time, patience, compassion, and forgiveness.

  •  Admit you started the fire to burn the bridge: One of the hardest things is to admit to yourself is when you’ve done somebody wrong. It’s easy to lay the blame at their feet because after all they’re the ones that caused your anger and your release of the relationship in the first place. But sometimes that’s a lie we tell ourselves to keep from being responsible for our own actions. It’s a reflection of our not so shining moments. Try it on. I made a mistake that wrecked a relationship. Take responsibility for your error.
  •  Build a new bridge: Reach out to the person via text, email, phone call, sky-writing, blog post or any other way to let them know you’re willing to speak with them (I asked my brother to mediate). If they are receptive, apologize for what you did or said wrong. Leave expectations on the floor because sometimes the wound you’ve caused can run so deeply that there may be rejection or disbelief of your intentions. Remember to not just speak the words but act appropriately. You’re asking for a new relationship which means you’re approaching them not as the former person, but as you are right now.
  •  Compassion for yourself and the new relationship: The old wounds will be there. They may be scabbed over or even scarred, but they will be there. Realize that when you look at those with compassion in your heart, they fade after time. Think of it as falling in love with that person’s current self and from the point you’ve come to in the realization that this relationship is worth it. History can’t be changed, only the right now is important. Be gentle with yourself and their feelings.
  •  Dissolve anger, pride, and resentment: Holding on to anger is that bag of bricks that weighs your spirit down. Realize that you reacted or acted in a very human manner. Your feelings of resentment about their prompting actions or because of their absence from your life because of your choice have no place in the new relationship you’re attempting to re-establish. The pride that kept you from making the reconnection before needs to find the humbleness of release. Feel the emotions, but don’t hold them. Allow them to dissipate.
  •  Evolve your view of the person you harmed: Are you the same person you were when you cut the relationship from your life? Of course not. They aren’t either. Meet them as if for the first time, because technically, you are. Get to know their current self because what you remember may (or truthfully, may not) be accurate. Anger changes the color of memories to murky depths instead of embracing the current vibrancy of now. This is a new day and a new relationship based on time passing. Let them be who they are now, not how you remember them.
  •  Forgive yourself and the other person: This one can prove difficult depending on the circumstances of the separation. By setting down your feelings from the past and allowing things to be as they are, forgiveness is not far behind. Forgiveness helps us to see things clearly again. It wipes the slate clean even if the faint outline of the transgression can still be seen, it’s no longer the focus of the relationship. The focus shifts to rebuilding instead of rehashing.
  •  Give love willingly: What if the person you’re reaching out to rejects your attempt at reconciliation? What if they don’t want anything to do with you or your efforts to rebuild? Love them anyway. Just because you’re ready to re-establish a relationship doesn’t mean they are or ever will be. Love them anyway. If they are willing, then don’t be afraid to let them get to know you as you are now. Your personal growth has brought you to a point where you realize the value of what you’ve been missing. Let them see that. Allow the vulnerability of love to fill in those parts, whether rejected or accepted. Love them. Love yourself. Let it be organically grown from your heart no matter their response.
  •  Healthy Communication: Be honest with yourself and the person you’re re-establishing a relationship with. Speak from your heart while listening to their spirit. There is nothing more satisfying than accepting one another exactly as you and they are. You don’t have to be a “Yes, ma’am/Yes, sir” kind of person when you disagree with them, but allowing yourself to communicate your own wants and needs, you’re establishing grounds for them to do the same. It builds trust, balance, and reinforces your sincerity.

Great things can take time to build or rebuild. The patience you offer while putting the relationship back in order pays off by giving you what you seek should they be willing. At the very least it will give you closure, understanding, or a clear picture of what could have been. But it can also give you the opportunity to forgive your younger self of the follies of poor choices. Although there is no guarantee that the other person will be receptive to your outreach, discovering that you can set down that bag of bricks is totally worth it.