Shard’s Edge

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love themselves but tell me, “I love you.” – Maya Angelou. This is a quote I read recently, and it is a set of words that leapt off of the page they were resting on. They rose up and stood in front of me as if they were a living breathing entity. I questioned it. I cursed it. I think I even resented it because I was reading words that were me in different points of time. I felt as though I was getting pelted with shards of ice crystals descending from the sky. It was a combination of the hurt I have felt and any hurt I have caused. At first it felt painful, but then the sensation brought understanding. It brought a sense of clarity as I recognized that I have been there, and I had to own the fact that I have been one who should not have been trusted. I have been the purveyor of these words when in reality they should not have been offered up for consumption.

We do it though. We speak easy and loudly within moments that move us but maybe we’re just not ready for. We want to be. We wish to be. We yearn to be. The gentle humming of vibrational goodness entering our sphere. It is deep and connective. It finds its way in and swims around for a bit. It has this ability to do this thing, and when that happens the ego from all things that feel familiar that lead to harmful things and pain rises from the deep. It grabs onto you like the legs of an octopus wrapping its suctioned cup appendages around you and dragging you down. It drags you down just far enough to remind you that the good feelings won’t sustain because they never have. How could they? There have been so many darkened hallways and hideaway caves in your existence where the shadowy things took hold. They took hold in the form of hands of those you trusted and in the form of those who knew nothing of your existence but harmed you simply because you were there. You were robbed. You had things taken away that could never be returned. It takes a lifetime of existing, and sometimes existing is all that can be done. It is an unfair game that one never signs up for and somehow we continually find ourselves as taking on the shape of playing pieces we never asked to move.

We fluidly move in and out of the existence of our day to day. Working on projects that bring us meaning. Traveling the wooded trails to breathe a sense of relief from the energies that are heavy in weight. We wish to escape them, but how do we run from things that have imprinted themselves into our bones? Things that have carved themselves so deeply into our skin we are convinced others must be able to read our pages even without asking for consent. So, we offer up. We offer up things that feel good and things we want so much. We allow ourselves for brief moments in time to expose ourselves and be brave because we feel the truth of it all. It’s not that it isn’t real, but sometimes the real is what shakes us to our core. And, when the core shakes it makes uncomfortable because it’s not familiar. We allow ourselves to believe in everything it is that we are feeling. We allow for this until the shadows tell us to shut it down. “Shut it down, shut it down!” they scream. They are voices that no one else is privy to. Only you can hear them, and that is just how they like it. If they are loud enough to catch the attention of others then they might get discovered. They might meet their match and slowly be turned down and away. This is not something of which they are willing to do. Instead they keep you captive and eventually wear you down again. They don’t want you to stand. The pain is what we know. The pain is what is familiar. The calm we allowed ourselves to feel is foreign, and we’re unable to allow ourselves to trust it so we fight it. We fight it until it goes away. If it goes away then that is something we know how to manage.

I have been carved down by tools not carried by me, but I work hard to keep my weaponry at bay. I don’t want the scars of my battles to imprison me and not let me remember who I am. A warrior. A human of strength who has fought their way back to know the value of who they are (even though there are days when I can struggle with that as anyone can). Life is a balance, and I know there have been times in my existence where my ability to give was not how I wished it to be (despite the surface showings that others could see) as my inward feelings of self-love did not exist. It is a constant growth plate, but with each increment in my course of living I like to think I have arrived at a place of peace despite the moments that can still rattle my cage when the shadows rise. I will always be in a place of working on me, I believe that is a basis for constantly wanting to go to greater heights of unknown origin(s). My cage is rusty and has broken bits of shard metal pieces. It’s okay though. It’s okay that I am rough around the edges and still have work to do, there are still points of entry where the light can get in.

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Brave(Enough), Humbled(Always)

Brave(Enough), I’d like to think that I am. I’d like to believe that I have worked hard to tap into the inner makings of my core and really see what is buried beneath.

I try hard not to be weighed down by the expectations others cast into my direction. I try to remind myself that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone because living from my truth is a constant (even in my moments of fuckery).

I do my best to always be humble and kind. I don’t need to justify the deep routed work I have done throughout my existence to make others comfortable with theirs. When I engage in the world of spoken language I always strive to only allow truth to fall from my lips (the kind of truth that is dripping with honest intention). When I push myself to give it my all and do my best I want to stand with the conviction that I will not alter my existence, because discovering the depths of who I am has taken me a lifetime and there is still a great deal I have to unravel with that life in the time I have remaining.

I don’t climb mountains from the top down. I embark on the journey from the bottom up, and I invest blood which often pours from the scars that cut deep into my skin leaving more marks than I can count. I have been laughed at, I have been poked at, I have been violated by others who attempted to take my existence away. There are many things I am not, but I know that I am brave(enough).

I bleed, I cry, I scream, I have said things in moments of angst that represent a tarnished piece of me, I have hidden myself in corners of darkness, and yet….I am humbled. I am humbled by the soul parts that continue to rise and shake off the shadows under that big hard sun.

I wish to live a life not free of fear, but I also wish to live a life not controlled by fear’s emotion(s) that I am undeserving. I have a child of trauma who lives in quiet existence with my adult self. A younger version who tries to tell the me of now that its better to stay hidden because no harm can come to those who keep themselves out of the light, but I remind them of my gentle disagreement. In these moments I take the hand of my younger self and remind them they are loved. I remind them that who they are is good enough/worthy enough/smart enough/valued enough. I remind them that they are all these things and that they don’t need to have any validation because they give these gifts of truth and knowing to others while asking for nothing in return. I remind them that there is nothing about them that isn’t enough and that they are no longer solo in the pages of life when they felt so alone where others failed them in their formative years with not giving the truth/love/protection that was needed. I remind them that their life will no longer be swept under a rug and hidden. When I remind them that I have not left them behind I tell them to listen (even though it sounds unbelievable), I tell them they are deserving. I remind them to not simply say that something is hard as that only leads to the justification of doing whatever is the easiest.

Those life pieces that hold the most meaning are supposed to be challenging, they are supposed to make us feel uncomfortable/scared as they are standing against the grain of everything we have ever known which then leads us to only do what we usually would…we must not follow. Everything we have been told up until now does not define who we really are or what we truly wish to be (no matter how many voices have tried to convince you otherwise).

I am not perfect (nor do I ever wish to be), but I am brave (enough) and in order to live wholeheartedly we must be whole ourselves. I am also worthy as I am a human who lives from a truthful existence of striving to be humble and kind even in those moments I fuck up and need to ask for forgiveness.

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Fruited Harvest

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Where am I? Who am I? Have I only just begun? Am I aiming to jump into the darkness to swim towards the lighted cavern(s) on the other end of this abyss?

Sometimes I can feel as though I am drowning. I can be standing in water(s) that are only knee deep and yet find myself struggling to breathe. Is it my wiring? Is this what the internal mechanics of my neurological highway feel like when driving it unaided by light sources of any kind? I am surrounded by familiar spaces and time but feel as though I am still in the process of an unknown birth.

I am often viewed as someone who has it “all together” someone who when they release emotions it comes on as a sudden surprise to those who haven’t witnessed any of my unraveling. It can feel overwhelming at times, to want to allow ourselves to be seen and heard so deeply we leave the lights off to prevent anything from going to far into the core of all that we are. We all want it. We all crave it. We want to show up exactly as we are with all of the dirt on our hands and hopeful aspirations in our souls. We want to show up and know that we are enough.

It isn’t about big time awards or accepting trophies on a podium. It’s about standing so deeply with your truth that others wonder how you possibly do what you do and then stand there right beside you when moments you want to share reveal themselves. Who are you; Are you the next best thing to the world of quantum physics? Are you mapping out a system that will help famers yield growth with their crops that they never imagined? Are you a gentle soul who thinks deeply about navigating this world and all the complicated emotions that entails? Are you a writer who processes things in an enlightening way that allows others to think differently? Are you someone who offers a gentle understanding to those who are struggling? No matter who you are you are you/what you are doing is important. You are beautiful and you have value. We all bring things to this journey of living and no one human brings all the necessities in one vessel. There is value in the wording of “it takes a village”.

The fruits of which each human’s branches possess are of no less value than another. They may look different, they may offer a different taste, but each one brings a serving of importance to the table. I like to think that although my branches carry fruit(s) of different varieties my branches cannot possess all of the things that one needs, but they carry enough to be valued and loved for what they hold. Isn’t that the beauty of an orchard? A vast variety for a delectable yield ready to be harvested to fill our souls with everything that it needs. We can’t survive on eating just one variety alone, we need to be nourished from multiple growths in order to be all of who we are.

We have so many tidbits of expectations drilled into our psyches from the moment we enter this spinning sphere hurtling through the universe at aggressive speeds not felt by our humanness. What is felt are all those puzzling pieces that are etched into our bodies. Your branches and your fruit are bearing witness to all of your greatness, and each piece of fruit has something to offer.

It is time to put aside that part of you that is a doubting Thomas. You are truth in all that you do, and you must live it/breathe it. When it comes to offering your fruit just remember that when there are those who do nothing but deplete your harvest you are not expected to keep feeding them from your orchard. They are welcome to come and take a seat, but even if they don’t like what you’re growing….KEEP GROWING IT ANYWAY. You’re doing amazing things, and the viewpoints from another’s platform should not alter that.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Fit In

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Otherness, it can be a place of immense power and an empty silo of despair. Everyone wants to be loved, seen, valued, and heard. It’s the simplicity of belonging that drives us, but often we find ourselves trying to fit in instead.

With true belonging we are loved and valued wholeheartedly for who we are. True belonging is not about being questioned for the very things that are the composition of our existence, and that feeling of belonging should never be attacked when we continue to shed our exoskeletons into new layers of who we are continually becoming. We should not feel the need to carry heavy weighted weapons of war to defend what makes us….us.

There are times when we allow ourselves to simply fit in because others are not offering a sense of belonging. These are the moments when we no longer feel respected or valued. Instead of being who we are we try to live up to the expectations of how others want us to be.

Over the years I have felt challenged by this. It is a sword that has been carried by me from my childhood into my adulthood; “Sit up straight” , “It’s not proper for girls to dress that way”, “Your hair is too short”, “You could get straight A’s if you wanted to”, pointing to my stomach “I see your belly has gotten bigger”, “Maybe during the next game I’ll take you off the bench and put you in”, not wanting to attend a family function due to those I choose not to be around “You’re expected be here anyway, there are other people who aren’t them. Just brush it under the rug and be there regardless”, “I’ll put you in your place you fucking dyke” “You can’t do that. You need something better to fall back on”. These are moments when no matter what I did to fit in I was still just part of the other. The feelings of needing to do what I was told to get what I needed in love and support were overwhelming, and the pain of feeling as if I didn’t matter cut deeply into never healing wounds. It was not important if none of these perceptions aligned with who I am. I simply needed to fit in and go where I was expected to be despite any toxicity of poisonous injection(s) I was feeling.

Over the years I could feel the gap widening with fears of falling into a canyon without the ability to ascend its walls back to where I wished to be and who I wanted to be….ME. It was challenging, challenging because my lines of guilt and shame had become so blurred I could not differentiate the two. All of my shame made me feel very guilty, and all of my guilt made me feel extremely shameful. I was standing on a precipice of indecisiveness not knowing if shadows or light could ever dance in unison. It’s a spiderweb of many strands with each thread adding to the maze of our deepest truth(s).

It is in the growing that I have come to understand that fitting in is not a space of acceptance and love. It is not a place where who you truly are is welcomed unless you’re willing to adhere to the rules that have been formulated for you from those who choose not to appreciate you in all the beautiful complexity that makes you who you are.

When you belong that belonging is unconditional, it doesn’t have formulated equations. Instead it is based on mutual love, appreciation, and understanding. It is a deeper space of wanting you there just as you are.

We all have our demons that invite us in to dance, but what if those perceived demons were representations of what others convinced us was truth. What if we removed the mask(s) to see that our demons are actually deeper places of what we just kept hidden from those who didn’t let us belong but only fit in? When that happens you’re likely to raise your whiskey filled glasses and share a drink as you realize who you are in your belonging is exactly who you are meant to be. In that case, I invite my demons to join me at the table. We have a lot to talk about.

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Time to Feel Brave

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Standing on the precipice of 2019 I had this strong feeling that the year would hold strong feelings of liberation. In fact, while wandering the streets of my hometown in the deep velvet of night after a freshly fallen snow I wrote that word in the crystalized powder, ‘Liberated’.

I wanted to let the year be filled with intentional letting go. I wanted to dig deeper and remind myself in moments of feeling I needed complete control that making space for the unknown is a level of trust that felt foreign in many ways. I wanted to become more intricately connected to the universe by releasing myself to whatever its power wished to roll in my direction. I wanted to know what it was like to ask for what I wanted and see how it would transpire without the need to direct it one way or the other.

This year has been filled with many moments of all of this and more. Pieces that once felt crippling began to feel as if they had less ownership over me. The skeletons in my attic did not always feel the need to turn the lights off when whispering voices came knocking on the door at the top of the stairs. They began to understand that while its okay to not leave your door open to anyone who shows up it is equally okay to allow space for the light to get in with those who feel different.

I have felt like a chameleon shedding its skin. At first, it felt like it was happening every few weeks and then that transpired into every few months. Each layer that was removed from my external covering felt like a weight being lifted for the first time. It felt surreal in many ways, and each moment in time has a unique place holder in how it helped me to rise into the unexpected.

When I found myself standing in front of a pile of clothing that no longer served purpose to me I couldn’t help but feel the powerful electrical surge of a mental health struggle no longer being a DOMINANT factor, and while it still takes work the clothing no longer represented something that I couldn’t achieve. Instead, the bags of clothes were mere ashes of a ceremonial burning I did in my mind making space for the feathered phoenix to rise once again. I felt so free. I felt as though at least one pair of the weighted cement blocks attached to my feet crumbled away and allowed me to rise and break through the watered surface of my mind.

This was my 2019. Many moments of breaking through and breaking free. Purposeful moments of hiking through rainy mountainsides getting soaked to the skin but feeling it deep into my soul. Watching electrical pulses push down from the darkened skies above only to illuminate everything within their reach as they branched out with illumination. Allowing for a sense of trust in moments that unexpectedly presented themselves. To be liberated is to be free. It is intoxicating.

I now find myself with those layers of freedom searching for new layers of pushing. I now find myself feeling ready to know and appreciate the feeling of being….BRAVE. This hopeful prospect of a new precipice into the land of 2020 does not come without its own fears attached, and I find myself being open to what that will feel like. I want to try. I want to learn. I want to put myself out their with my experiences in the capacity of my own healing and wanting to show others they are not alone. I want the year of 2020 to be my brave. In doing so I will not allow others to dictate what this means or what it should be because comparing ourselves only leads to the death of holding space for each person to get to where they want to be. My journey has been a long one, and it is far from over. I want to continue to remove the coat(s) of shame for I am not a bad person (which is where that word digs from). The idea that who you are and how you are is not okay in the judging eyes of others. I am okay, and I will continue to be so.

2020, this is my year of brave. This is a year to explore and try new things. Maybe I will jump into a mountain lake with my eyes closed. Maybe I will allow my inhibitions to be wildly set free. Maybe my art will grace the walls of galleries and homes. In the end my brave is how I define it, and it is how I choose to open those doors. If you choose to see me you may discover things about me you never knew, but I will certainly feel as though I am conquering mountains no matter how small they may appear to others looking in. Are you feeling brave?

 

 

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Journey Around the Sun

 

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As I watch the circular orange star sink slowly behind the horizon I am ready. I am ready to discover the newest formulations of my 42nd journey around the sun. There are so many potentials, so many unknowns, and so many pieces of hopeful possibilities. I want to embrace them all. I want to open my arms so wide that the moons and their planets fit inside like a complex puzzle where stars burst from my finger tips in excitement.

Within the breathing of my soul I want to feel nature align with the beating in my chest. I want to rise and fall with each air filled lung absorbing the clarity into my existence. I want the threshold of wonder to be an immeasurable source of power.

I want to continue to witness the wind blown sun giving promise to the moon that her time has come. And what a promise that is. There is no expectation, only the quiet understanding that when she is ready the rising will begin. That is the meaning of deeper vulnerability/love/understanding and what a beautiful gift from the sun to the moon. The space of when you need it I will shine in your moments of dark, and when you’re ready I will make way for your light. When it’s time I will shine while you rise in beauty. It is within the throws of nature that we learn our greatest lessons.

On this journey of my 42nd year I want to learn. I want to learn and grow exponentially both in body, mind, and spirit. I want to do. I want to yearn. I want to continue to relinquish myself to the vastness of the universe. I want to keep in my alignment the deeper truth/understanding that nothing is really mine, but I want to live with each moment as if it had no one else to turn to but me. I want to continue to be so present that the humming of a bee’s wings won’t go unnoticed. I want to continue to live so truthfully that those in my presence (including myself) don’t second guess anything.

Every year is my year, and I want this year to be no different yet so different I find myself fumbling towards unexplained ecstasy. I want to continue to embrace the emotions that fluidly travel my neurological highway. I don’t want to mask anything for anyone. I don’t want to live in discomfort so others can be at ease. I will continue to sing loudly and run with Wonder Woman Converse on my feet.

I want to expand my inner self and feel the parts of everywhere. I want to continue to find a way to be that is nothing less than being myself. I want to sleep under the stars and get lost in the pine. I want to search for destinations that leave me wanting more. I want to feel settled without settling. Gravity will not hold me down and the wings of freed cages will send me toward the sky.

I don’t wish for guaranteed, but I will always hope for what could potentially be. I want to swallow the journey whole and dissect its parts for their independent brilliance. When I rest my head in the evening I want to listen to the trees singing and whispering to me. I want to fill my head with questions to find answers in my soul. I want to be at home and find myself wandering roads that disappear into the unmarked trails.

Yes, on this 42nd journey around the sun I want to not be on bended knees. I want to walk into the woods and find myself freeing my soul from anything that weighs me down in unbalanced form. I will lift my empty cup to the spaces/places/energetical souls, and I will fill it with the irrefutable moments of pure goodness and challenge(s) that allow me to live/grow/breathe/smile.

If I come across you on this journey and allow you to stay, welcome. My thread has been connected to you all along and we have finally met. Happy Birthday to me. I will celebrate it all.

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Crossroads

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Crossroads, they are an interesting space of this inability to move forward because choices need to be made. Choices that can alter where/how/who you are. Sometimes it can feel as though you’ve been continually falling from a tower without touching the ground. Falling because you grab onto the life pieces that feel familiar and too challenging to leave. Challenging because despite them having served their purpose to your existence walking away from what you know is a scary thing to do.

Climbing into your vessel and navigating the fluid moving waters is something you talk yourself out of. You talk yourself out of climbing in because what if your boat sinks? What if you survive the tower’s fall only to find there are more stairs to climb and potentially stumble down? But, this is where we get stuck.

We get caught up in these spaces like a tangled web because we are looking for black and white, but it isn’t always about bad and good. Sometimes when that next realm presents itself and opens the doorway we simply choose not to step forward to the next great piece that awaits us. Sometimes we have attached ourselves so deeply to our feelings of deepened responsibilities to others that we have forgotten the self love of growing towards what is calling us in the direction of what we want and what we need.

We stop listening to our higher knowing that there are parts of our lives that present themselves to get us through and on to the next place so that we may then follow the truth of where we really wish to be. And, instead of saying thank you for helping me get there it’s time for me to go, we hold on tighter. We suffocate ourselves with the belief that we cannot gift ourselves the moment of next. Who wants to disappoint others?

But, what if, what if when we come to those crossroads we present an offering? A gift to honor how we arrived here with the gentle encouragement to travel forward. And, what if in that moment despite the experience of fear we feel a lightness? A lightness of something new, something that will add a missing piece to our life quilt that cannot be stitched into place if we don’t allow ourselves to put the thread through the needle.

Towers and falling out of them can feel unsettling, and when you feel like you’ve been falling slowly over time you wonder if you’ll ever reach the ground. Maybe that’s the crossroads; the space of going to where you’ve always gone or stepping into a place you’ve been waiting for.

Stop dividing into bad and good. Stop telling yourself that letting go of a purpose, no matter who or what they are, that has served you well is not okay. It’s scary. It’s challenging, but it’s okay. You’re okay. It’s not about forgetting. It never was. It’s about your next step and where you want/need/wish to be.

 

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