Do not be afraid

As you are an ocean of tears, so are you a world of forgiveness. A haven of justice filtered through human imperfections that allows opportunity for love with each challenge to your comfort.

You possess free will enough to elect whether you embrace change or if you allow fear to petrify your heart into jaded segments. How can you gaze upon a child’s pain with no desire to make the world innocent for them; for yourself?

It is inevitable that your faithful trust in your brethren will be accosted with confusion or anger towards your generosity. But, the price you pay now, will be small compared to the cost of refusal should you deny your righteous compass.

Turn to your true north, even being different than your friends, to find what makes your spirit, your very essence scream with the ecstasy of rapturous delight. Give permission to yourself to be extraordinarily outstanding in a world that only allows what is nurtured to bloom and grow.

If you find yourself in the forest of darkness with bruised, bloodied, or damaged limbs falling from your own family tree, notice where they’re planted. See how shallow or how deeply those roots linger in the earth by releasing your primal self to its care.

Drink from the knowledge of the river bend that granted your ancestors life to flood your own flesh. Sing in the voice of your grandmother, your grandfather, and those back to the beginning of time’s pacing.

Decree your path without word because what you say can be erased, what you do is how you progress through your life unhindered; calling like-minded to your shores. The shores of the ocean of tears that surrounds your world of forgiveness are yours for the sake of personal redemption.

My friend!

My friends

My friends, not my art

I didn’t believe you because I was sure you were a lie.

Nobody ever gave without expecting something of me.

But there you were with shirt sleeves pulled up to your elbows

Stepping into my dance of horrors with a graceful heart

You expertly guided my feet as I stumbled along behind

While I asked guidance, you answered me with elbows deep in the mire.

You didn’t hesitate. You didn’t stop. You gave without askance.

After the dervish had danced, I drove you home in the night

You didn’t turn into a pumpkin. You hugged me, told me you loved me,

vanished into your home with a step lighter than air.

Again you approached our friendship but I was skittish with fear.

How many times have I placed my faith in trust only for it to disappear?

There you were with jovial laughter, warmest hugs from open arms.

“This can’t be right. This doesn’t make sense.” I argue with myself.

You tell me what you like about me, what I do, who I am.

Nobody has done that without wanting something in return.

(Rarely so).

I test a limit. You laugh. I push a button. You show me the right way.

You get pissed but you work through it like I do, using words and humor.

I feel like I’ve been shown a rare jewel in a crown that belongs to the masses.

I feel as if I may be able to trust this friendship, but I won’t lie

It scares me to allow people near to me because they always leave.

But maybe I can give enough to our friendship where I won’t want to

because of what you’ve already promised with your actions

because of what you’ve already given from your heart.

The pocket full of happiness

I keep a pocket full of happiness with me almost always. It contains: two rubber ducks (one yellow with the word Believe on its chest, the other silver), a squishy rubber pig, an alpaca, a scarab beetle, a small handmade book, and a full sized harmonica.

Top Hat Ravioli

Top Hat Ravioli

I use it to bring smiles to children and adults alike. I change it up sometimes so there are different things, but those are typically the staple items. If you want to see someone smile really big, pull something they’d never expect from your own pocket. Fussy kids? No problem, pull out a rubber pig. Cranky adults? No sweat, a rubber duck usually does the trick. Giving them an unexpected surprise from a stranger’s pocket (that isn’t disgusting or ethically challenging) brings joy which is kind of a trademark of mine.

It’s the Monday after payday and our finances have hit as close to nada as they’ve ever been. The ban on overtime (even the measly four hours my husband would get a week) really hurt. Our groceries came out of that overtime and boy are we feeling it.

I felt a tremendous amount of stress when I went to Pet Supplies to get food for the cats and dogs. The bags of food glared hatefully at me, “You don’t have enough money to feed them and you too.” The prices exclaimed disdainfully. I started to cry. I broke down in the middle of the aisle while my frequent companion, six year old (nearly seven) neighbor Nicholas, was off looking at fish, and a guinea pig he insists is a hamster, and scorpions. I just flat out couldn’t keep my cool.

“How can I afford to feed my cats and dogs and my family.” I bemoaned. Despair washed over me as I tried to do math in my overloaded brain. My little dog Piggy needs to have grain free food. She doesn’t do well if there is grains so tack on another 5 bucks just for not having filler. yay.

One of the young women that worked there disappeared as soon as the tears started. I felt really alone. I picked up a 5 pound bag of food for 12 bucks. I went to the cat food and picked up a 20 pound bag for the same price. Here came the young woman who gave me a five pound bag at just over 10 with no grains in the ingredients. She said she was sorry she couldn’t do more.

When I got into the car, Nicholas said, “Are you in a bad mood today, Mare?”

“No, Nicholas. My heart is just sad because I don’t have many dollars.”

“You know what you need, Mare?” He asked while waving out the window absently.

“No, what do I need.” I asked, impatiently waiting for the light to change. I wanted to be home sulking.

“A pocket full of happiness that has $100 dollars in it.” He said just as matter of factly as if he were telling me the weather.

“Indeed, that would be a happy pocket.” I chuckled. Oh, the wisdom of children. Then I remembered, I get to work for some dollars this weekend as a dishwasher. I’ll have enough. I forgot all about it until he reminded me with happiness.

I promised him a Dunkin Donuts (our favorite) when I have dollars again. He was pleased he made me laugh. I was pleased he prodded me to remember to look forward in hope.

PART II

A Pocket Full of Happiness!

A Pocket Full of Happiness!

Thank you to whomever left the pocket full of happiness tacked to my door with a nose magnet. The gratitude I feel for this is just magnified. I will obey the command that Nicholas get his doughnuts. Thank you.

I asked Nicholas as he walked up the hill to his home after getting off the school bus, “Guess what I got on my door today?!’

Nicholas was so overjoyed to declare it before I even said anything, he said, “A pocket full of happiness with dollars in it so I get Dunkin Donuts!”

I laughed. “How did you know?”

“I just knew it!” He grinned while swinging his Spiderman (his favorite super hero) backpack from shoulder to shoulder. Man, I sure do love that little kid.

We went to Dunkin Donuts as the instructions commanded. Nicholas had a raspberry cheesecake doughnut, an Oreo cookie cheesecake doughnut, a milk, AND a cinnamon munchkin. I got a small coffee and a chocolate coconut doughnut. I mooed every time Nicholas lifted his milk up over the bag we place in the middle of the table. He laughs hysterically every time. Then he started doing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” on my arms and hair so I screamed playfully.

“YOU SCARED ME!” He said as he dropped his raspberry doughnut splatted on the floor while he farted. While we both bellowed peppery laughter, he declared, “Excuse me!” We laughed even harder than the cows. It really was a pocket full of happiness. Truly, thank you with all sincerity.

Be Still

OCEAN

Be still.
Think of it.
Remember them.
Allow the trees to educate you in the language they speak.
Be still.
Listen to silence.
Cherish truth.
Allow the ideas to drift like the white wisdom of dandelions on a breeze.
Be still.
A blank slate.
An empty canvas
Allow your ideas to bleed onto every surface with cleansing clarity.
Be still.
Hear your truth
Recognize your voice
Allow yourself to trust your own instinct that begs for recognition
Be still.
You are important.
You are worthy.
Allow yourself to remember your destiny in snapshots of faith.
Mare Trout Martell

The heated battle

I am currently in a heated argument with the Universe. I am being sent omen after omen telling me to trust who I am and my vision for the future. However, trusting that hasn’t paid my bills in the past, although I’ve never wanted for anything and my heart has been happy, my husband has made many sacrifices for me to do that. We can’t afford me to say the words the Universe wants to hear.

How can I trust that what is in my heart is right? How can I let go of the need to pay rent, put food on the table, have internet service, and maintain my lifestyle. I don’t own a lot of stuff (except weird hats and odd eclectic clothes), but I like what I have including the less than stellar accommodations’ location.

I hear the Universe pulsing in my veins like a driving song that makes the foot drop on the accelerator just a little too hard. I feel my heart get excited and feel “right” when I hear, “Thank you, Mare. I always feel better when I talk to you.” I take deepest joy and satisfaction in just hugging people until their pieces are glued enough for their hearts to feel better. I adore sharing laughter, good and bad jokes which makes me feel richer than any pocketbook could hold.

But the Universe begs me to hear. It is constantly prodding me. I hear it whisper over and over, “You don’t belong there. You’re too big for that room. You’re meant for greater things. You need to be out in the world. Go put on your cape and trust me.”

But my practical side says, “I can sacrifice my physical comfort for a paycheck so my husband doesn’t have to worry any more. I can give up a bit of time so that we can get back on our feet as the trail of my medical bills have left us a bit underground.”

“Heed me.” Begs the voice. “You’re missing every first event around because I put them on the weekends you “need” to work. I’m making sure you’re understanding what’s wrong with this picture. Are you getting my message?”

“No. I mean yes. I mean…I know, I get it, but I have things I really want to do and that takes…”

“Yes, but you’re not trusting me. You’re not hearing my words to you. You know, in your spirit, I’m speaking your truth but you doubt me. I’ve never let you down.”

“I’m going to do this. Right now. I’m setting my alarm so I can go back to my job tomorrow and earn my paycheck to ease my family’s burdens.”

“And I’m going to keep dropping boulders on you until you pay attention. This is not your destiny. Go do as I asked you to do.”

“Maybe after pay day. Right now, I’m saving up to pay off some medical bills, some personal loans, and looking for a safer place to live.”

If the Universe were a human, it would be rolling its eyes at me, wondering how obtuse of a human it created could actually be. “Omens, my dear one. Look for the omens that are right in front of your face. I don’t know how much more obvious I can make them. You don’t have to worry, just trust me.”

“Oh, I trust you,” as I push the buttons on my phone setting my alarm for 5:16AM. “I just don’t believe my bills will get paid and I’m not sure you understand how important that is to sentient beings like me.”

Another eyeroll. “When are you going to get it? Really? You’re not a sentient being. You’re a spirit in a meat suit. Your spirit is your destiny. Meet it. Be it. Belong to the realm of the Spirit Walkers.”

“You’re crazy!”

“You’re not crazy enough.”

Tips from people in long term relationships

These are just round about tips from several people who have been in successful relationships for 10 years or longer. If you have words of wisdom to impart to the newlyweds, please feel free to leave comments. This list is in no way inclusive nor exclusive. I wish all couples the love of a lifetime with their best friend.

Be who you are

Do what you do

That’s the reason

They fell for you!

Take them down off the pedestal

Let them walk on the ground

They are human, just like you

I promise, no messing around.

Do little things that bring a smile to their face

Like putting both seats down or hugging them ‘til they feel safe.

Trust is not easy to acquire

But if you cherish and nurture

You’ll find dreams are inspired

And the wings you needed,

Are now ready to mature.

Forgiveness and compassion

Are found within trust

You gave them your heart,

Remember you must. (Yoda moment)

Fight naked, because it’s difficult to stay mad

At someone yelling while they’re in the altogether.

It’s okay to get/be/stay angry at your partner

But there is never any excuse for intentional cruelty.

Do not ever assume that they know why you’re upset or angry.

If you are angry, take time to cool down to figure out WHY you’re upset.

Breathe until you feel calm enough to talk to them like an adult, not a child throwing a tantrum.

Remember, you chose them to be your best friend for life. Friends don’t intentionally harm one another.

Communicate freely. What are you dreaming about? What are your fantasies? What do you wish to accomplish in your life? Do you or do you not want children? Do you or do you not want to own a house or property? Will you have a joint bank account while maintaining your own as well?

Love without expectation. There isn’t one way to love someone. Be flexible because they are human just like you. You can love them through anything but you can’t love them through abuse of any kind or through violence.

Sex is important but it isn’t the end all. Do not be afraid to say no. You’re not obligated if you’re not feeling it. NEITHER of you are. But, do not neglect your basal needs either. It’s okay to masturbate if you want to and your partner doesn’t. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get them revved up.

Have a job or pursue outside interests that are solely yours. That way you have new and interesting things to bring to the conversational table. It maintains the first credo of be who you are and do what you do. You can have hobbies that are shared or interests that are both of yours, but it’s pleasant to have something oddball to bring along.

Divide the chores happily. If you’re better at laundry than your partner, then you do it because they may be better at doing dishes. There are no hard and fast rules, but if they’re divided by what you actually like to do or don’t mind doing, you’ll find a happier partnership across the board. Example, I fix the car, my husband hooks up the electronics. He loads and unloads the dishwasher, I cook and bake for him what he requests. He cleans the cat box, I clean up the dog poop. And if I get sick or he does, we do theirs too because that’s what partners do for each other.

Learn to cook. Both of you. Find your specialty dish. Eating out at restaurants is expensive, limits your interaction with one another, and makes it easy to fall into ruts. Cooking together allows for intimacy, trust, and conversation as you figure out a new recipe or method of cooking. YouTube is your friend for learning new ways to do things in the kitchen.

Your best friend is first, always. When the wedding vows (typical that is) say “Let no man put asunder…” It means that your best friend is your goto chick/fella. Example: Money does not come first even if it is scarce at first. If it costs over 20 bucks, consult with your partner. You’d be surprised how much trouble it can save unless you’ve previously discussed your budget for this or that project. Kids are not the boss either. Your best friend first, you can make sacrifices for your kids together.

Learn how your partner works. That’s part of the joy. My husband, for example has a hard time verbally expressing himself, but he makes coffee for me on Sunday morning. He takes out the trash without being asked. He picks up his clothing and puts them in the laundry. I make sure he has lunch packed and dinner cooked. I make sure his clothes are clean on my laundry day. I leave him love notes and he gives me secret codes to his heart. I have a lifetime to figure out whether or not he likes white socks best new or warm from the dryer (new every time).

Geek out to a minimal of one thing together. Make it YOUR thing. Date night has to be outside the house, even if it’s for a picnic in the yard at least once a month.

Start saving money for a house now because living in an apartment sucks. If you can’t pay for it in a month (other than a car or a house) then save up until you can. Protect your credit so that both of you can enjoy a solid life together instead of worrying about money.

Don’t be afraid to go on vacations alone for a weekend or a week. Sometimes missing them is necessary and recreates that feeling of, “Man, I really wish you were here.” There isn’t a place where anything stays where you were so behave as if you are married and the best part of you is safe at home. Do not jeopardize your marriage for anyone, it’s not worth it.

Please do not ever fall under the assumption that things will always be just as they are right now. Change is the only other sure thing besides death and taxes. Roll with it. Nobody knows what the hell we’re doing. We’re all just winging it. Do the best you can with what you have and remember that your partner is in it with you.

I See You

Kaleidoscope_13I see you. You are not invisible to me. When I look at you, you wear no clothes. You wear no physical form. There is a ball around your body that lights up when you’re around people you like and dims when you’re not fond of them. The ball has colors and patterns that are spectacularly blended to me. I see you.

You’re a kaleidoscope of vivid colors that ebb and flow depending on how you move the liquid essence that you float in unwittingly. Where there is pain, I see the darkness. Where there is love, I see the light. Where you reside is usually a central color that tells me everything I need to know about you. I am a voyeur of sorts but not the creepy kind. I will not jump from your closet unexpectedly one night. I will meet you on the terms you’ve established. Because I can feel your intent.

I’m sorry if you feel I’ve invaded your privacy. I don’t know how to turn it off. I don’t really don’t want to because it’s served me so well. It’s proven invaluable to me to seek others of the light. It’s proven invaluable to me when I know I can’t trust a person because they are too consumed by material things to know they’re spiritual beings. It’s guided me effectively to incredible experiences through people with knowledge so deeply profound that I sometimes weep with gratefulness while others cause me deep caution.

It’s a feeling of authentic appreciation of identity that can only bloom with the watering of confidence when I see people that fit into their spirits; That “get it”. When I see someone working actively to grow into their spirits, I can forgive almost anything they do because I witness the evolution of color as if a perfect painting were in the works and I get to watch the brushstrokes fall on the canvas. It’s glorious to see. My gift allows me the privilege without effort.

There are also people who are not exactly dark and not exactly light. They are in a flux between worlds. The material world grabs their ankles and wrists tugging them away from their destiny. Their spirit self does a watoosie trying to find footing, trying to fill in the blanks. There are some that stand in this disarray and cry out that they don’t know who they are or that they don’t know what they’re doing. Nobody knows for sure what we’re doing. We just come up with a plan and see how it pans out. If we’re lucky, we have guides to show us the way out. I am one of those guides but I don’t know everything.

It is increasingly difficult when I feel as if I am carrying/dragging them towards the light. They start off saying, “Oh yes! I really want to do something different and I really like your ideas. Let’s go on this journey together.” I comply and we have long talks deep into the night. The kind that feels like it is the most important conversation I’ll ever have. For that moment in time that glimpse into the moonlight or the daylight it truly is. The intensity can’t be matched because it is so relevant. It is crucially real. But they fall back asleep and forget that we’d every spoken the conversation. With some, that shine so brightly but fear themselves, I keep trying to wake them up because I believe they need to be; because they said they wanted to be.

I don’t say anything to people who are dark. I don’t squeal with delight when I see them. Their wounds run far too deep for me to do anything other than shine a light at the end of their tunnel and coax them from sleep if they’re ready. There have been times when words came out of my mouth that weren’t mine but were intended for a particular person. Just like that, it’s as if a small miracle, sometimes large, happens but it isn’t mine. That’s when my light can reach into that dark place and help bring them home to the light where they belong. Those are the people that shoot past me like a rocket grinning from ear to ear on the tides of self-discovery and I cherish each one that finds that place. I do not gift them because it’s already theirs as it is yours. I may just nudge the light a tad to the right so they can see they’re really okay.

But I can’t carry them. I can’t wake them up. I can’t do that. I can’t pick someone up and force them to embrace their colors. It is ALWAYS the individual choices that color their spirits. It is ALWAYS their responsibility. I learned this and other rules of engagement when watching the masterpieces I encounter.

I can’t tell people what color they will become but I can tell them what color I see. The colors don’t have traits as much as they have emotions attached to them. When I see the colors and I really like them, I have to wait. I can’t immediately bond with them because rarely, but it does happen, they are wearing someone else’s colors. Like maybe they had a bad interaction with someone so it clouds their spirit or they’ve just received great news and are wearing that instead of their normal vestments. It’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing that causes me to ease my steps.

The physical being, the way you wish people to see you comes second. When I see someone that matches their physical self with their spirit self, it’s a feeling of home. It’s a feeling of such personal integrity, I think, “YOU! You’re there!” Sometimes it surprises me so much to find an authentic person that I actually say that out loud. There are many people who come close to matching but, it’s like they choose the wrong pair of socks or the wrong shade of happy. It’s just enough off for me to recognize that they’re missing parts of themselves or aren’t aware they are. It is my experience that it’s typically the latter.

The physical being does matter. I don’t wish you to have the wrong impression. I do see it, but not until I’ve peered through the spirit. When I tell someone that they are beautiful, I see them as I’ve described to you. I wish I could paint each person so they could see their beauty too. As if, if I could create them on canvas, they might appreciate their own divinity that seems apparent to me. But instead I’ll follow the advice of my kind Uncle Les who said, “Mare, whatever you do, keep doing it. The world needs more of it.” So it is written, so it is done.