Tag Archives: prayer

Its Beauty is Your beauty

Hello Dear Reader

It feels like a lifetime since I’ve last whispered in your ear, dear reader. It’s an odd thing, being a writer. One would think I’d just sit down, on a whim, and write. That’s not the case. At least, it’s not for me. Instead, things have to be just right. If I have my way, the moon must be visible and shining down on me. The music must be flowing through me in such a way that we become one. And, lastly, I have to be seated behind my trusty MacBook Air. Change one thing, and anxiety washes over me and I begin to question if I know how to put anything of substance onto the page. Oh the mind, it can be our greatest ally. And so often, it can be our greatest foe.

You see, dear reader, this MacBook Air of mine that has aided me in writing numerous posts, novels and children’s stories is growing tired. I have to wait as it catches up with a mind that screams along at unsettling speeds. And as for the moon, its been awhile since I’ve had it shining down on me. One day I will have a desk that sits under the glow of its nurturing light again. But the music, it never fails me. And thank God for that. Truly.

Too much time has passed since I’ve written. A lot of life has unfurled beneath me. Too much to write about, but just know this: I am still sailing forward. I am at the helm, looking out at the horizon with wonder and delight. The waves, well, they do what they do. More often than not though, there is calm. And when I do look back and notice the the rough seas, I do so with gratitude knowing that, once again, something kept me upright. My time of having to plunge deep grows less and less.

So, if you are in the midst of underwater discoveries yourself, take heart, one day you will buoy up and with it, not only will you enjoy breathing, but you will breathe knowing who you are. There is mastery in that. Sometimes I wonder if that is why we are here; to discover who we are – and then love ourselves once we know. Love, that’s what it’s all about. But first it starts within. If you can’t love you – loving another is counterfeit. Love moves outward. The Universe rests within you. You are made of the stars. Why would Source do it any other way?

Recently, I went on a trip with my brother. We spread my father’s ashes along a small creek nestled into the side of a mountain. I watched as his physical form was embraced by the water and returned from which it came. And it felt right. Life alteringly difficult, but very, very right. I flew above my brother and I, and watched our star-dust beings return my father into its physical home. Pure. Divine. Transcendent. I hope I have as beautiful an end. In the months since I’ve been thinking a lot about the gap between the soul and the physical. There is a huge gap and yet no gap. The soul is one with everything. All the while being completely separate. I love the awe-inspiring gap. I love having one foot in this world and one foot someplace else. My awareness of this is often overwhelming. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Its just who I am.

I love that ‘someplace else.’ It’s home to me. It is the place best described as being closer to the stars. It is the place where energy runs free. Its exhilarating. Its passionate. Its unbridled. And it is like air to me. It’s in music. Its in laughter. Its in the way our heart fills unexpectedly with emotion. And I know its seen in my eyes.

We are all so much more than we believe ourselves to be. The essence of who we are is there for the taking. If we allow ourselves to tap into it, then become it. And it is love. Love is Source and Love is all there is. It’s from where we came. And it is where we will return. So smile. Dance. Let the music flow through you. Look up and give the stars a nod. Its beauty is your beauty. Love.

Sane

 

Soundtrack:

Mondo Cozmo – Shine

MISSIO – Middle Fingers

Van Morrison – Into The Mystic

The Strumbellas – We Don’t Know

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You Are Magnificent

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1953 Getty Images

Did you know that you’re magnificent? You may not have known that. Instead, you look at yourself and see all the things that don’t measure up. You see the parts within you that are broken and damaged and insecure. Maybe you see your past failures and the times you’ve let yourself down. Step back, dear reader. There is more to you than that. Let me whisper into your mind what I see.

You are like a good bottle of wine. Why? Wine is complicated. And that is precisely why I like it. You can not rush quality wine. You let it sit on your tongue, and you savor it. It’s similar to the human soul in that it’s a mixture of flavors, top notes and undertones. When balanced, each characteristic adds to the other. Out of balance, and its unpalatable. Balance is key. And so it is with you.

Everything that is you, is there for a reason. Everything. You are like that good bottle of wine, nuanced. Not everyone likes the same bottle of wine. We are singular. But there are those that will appreciate you. They will savor all that you have to offer. Trust me.

But first, find your balance. You can’t balance what you don’t know. Look at every little part that makes up you, and do so with eyes of appreciation. No one can look at you in a way that you, yourself, are unable to do.

I used to damn the parts of me that didn’t seem to fit in. I was too this or too that. It took some very dark nights on my knees in surrender before my eyes were opened and I was able to see how all the pieces within myself were purposefully placed; how each added to the other. I couldn’t see that before then. But damming myself had gotten too painful. I finally broke open, and surrendered my desire to be something I wasn’t, and began appreciating who I was. And that is what alignment with Source is – loving yourself – then you can feel the love of All That Is.

Take the time to discover yourself. Sit alone, savor who you are. A great spiritual teacher once said, “You have to love yourself when you are by yourself.”

You are not hear to please anyone. You are here to be you. And the more you settle into that, things will open up to you. Joy. Peace. Love. These are not things one can reach out and grab. They are treasures hidden within you, waiting for you to find. And they sit at the core of who you are. So get to know you. Ask yourself why you do what you do and feel the way you do. What are your fears? What are your dreams? The answers need to be released. Your heart needs to open. Let yourself breathe, dear reader. You are not called to be anything except who you are – your job is to discover who that is. Then live it. Be it. Enjoy it. The rest will follow.

Me? I will forever be a writer. I will forever be a mother. A Harley riding free spirit who loves to tip tables and help people see themselves for all of their God-given breathtaking beauty. I will always be poised, unless busy laughing. I will always be a blend of levity and philosophy; delicate yet strong. I will forever long to be in my church, nature, seated with eyes fixed lovingly on the setting sun or dancing in the moonlight. My hope is that those who know me, have come to experience the many nuances that, balanced together, soothe their soul when I touch their lives. And so it is with you. Now, sit with yourself for a while. Learn from your past, then let it go; holding on keeps you off-balance. Stand tall. Smile. You are magnificent. Now let yourself breathe.

Sane

Written while listening to, Shine by Mondo Cozmo and We Don’t Know by the Strumbellas.

Being Beautiful

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I have never felt beautiful. So yesterday, while walking by a group of people, a man and woman turned to look at me; first at my face, then my shirt. They did what so many do – they sized me up. Then I did what almost all of us do, I joined them. Its an odd thing how our ego is poised and ready to tear us down.

Truthfully, I spent the majority of my life never feeling beautiful. It wasn’t until the last few years of my life that I’ve come to know my beauty. But it isn’t the kind of beauty the media likes to persuade us into believing is most important. The kind of beauty of which I speak is inner beauty, which is what we feel and others see. What we are on the inside is always revealed on the outside. For me, it wasn’t until my dark night of the soul that I came to understand what stood between me and believing in myself. It wasn’t until, out of sheer exhaustion with life that I found myself staring into the eyes of the demon that had plagued me since my earliest days.

The demon of which I speak is the kind we all have. It lives and breathes in the darkness of our shadow. Its voice is often weaved through the voice of ego. Its constant declaration is that we are not good enough. That we will never be what we want to be. We will never have what we want to have. It bounces around. Its target and diatribe ever shifting the blame. But the core of its message remains – you are nobody. And everyone knows. Who do think you are? You will never be as beautiful as others. You will never be smart enough. You’re a failure. Life stinks. You stink.

Depending upon what has happened to you in your life, the shadow side can cast an overwhelming presence. Which explains why so many avoid it at all costs. And, there is a cost. We pay greatly when we turn our back on this side of ourself. Like an untended garden, the weeds of our fears begin to overtake all that is beautiful and healthy. Dear reader, I had reached my end, which is what led to my dark night of the soul. I really had nowhere else to go but to travel deep within myself and confront my fears.

But within this darkness, I discovered, there is Light. And there is a mirror. We get to see Who We Are. Even when surrounded by all the falsehoods I had believed about myself for nearly four decades, I was shown a Light that allowed me to see past the illusion of my fears. And when I shined the light, the darkness became illuminated. There was great beauty there. There was Love. A love that had the ability to strengthen me to stand up against my deepest fears. When I did, the demon went into submission. And my life has never been the same since.

But like with all things, I have to keep a watch on it. There are times, when a side glance from a stranger will bring that demon to life. Once again, it will try to override my thoughts. Its up to me to shine the Light back onto it. I’ve seen it for what it is. It isn’t big. It’s small. That’s why it fought so wildly within me like a small, crazed animal. It didn’t have mass on its size.

As I mulled around with my daughter yesterday, I gave thought to what had occurred. I gave pause to all the thoughts that sprung to life within me. You see, dear reader, I was wearing one of the shirts from my women’s empowerment clothing line. It was the I AM shirt. The design, upon first glance, is simple. Its message, at least to me, profound. Surrounding the words: I AM, are all the words I spent a lifetime believing I wasn’t: I AM beautiful, healthy, radiant, love, peace, abundance, success, joy, enough. And because we can never see in others what we can’t see within ourselves, I never saw any of these things in my life. All I use to see was a shifty world with people, places and things that I couldn’t count on. Life didn’t feel beautiful to me. I didn’t feel beautiful to me.

But life is, and so am I. Not the kind of beauty that ego tries to say is the measure of success. No. In fact, the core of my Being doesn’t give a damn what others think. My ego does. Within myself I finally found my beauty. It was there all along. It is singular to me. It’s kind. It’s nurturing. It’s peaceful. It’s strong when protecting, soft when loving. It is Love. Under all those layers of insecurity and fear, is Love. And love is beauty. Its within us all. So when I wear my I AM tee, its my way of reminding myself that its okay to recognize my beauty. Actually, it’s a hard won victory being able to do so. And it’s a victory that finally allowed me to recognize it in others. I may not be a Covergirl or a super model. I look like me. And within me is someone I’ve come to love greatly. I am the kind of beautiful that means something to me.

Sane

Tending the Soil

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I have great appreciation for gardens, but do not possess of my own a green thumb. By no stretch of the imagination would one call me a gardener. But I am becoming skilled when it comes to weeding through those things that grow within my mind, heart and being.

With deliberateness, I plant seeds in the fertile ground of my soul. And with equal consciousness, I uproot all that grows within me that chokes the life from those things I want to see flourish. Seeds of fear, doubt and mistrust grow with the same remarkable speed as those in a physical garden; sometimes growing next to that of the newly planted seedling one has worked hard to cultivate, making it difficult to tell the two apart.

But a good gardener knows. The trick, is to pluck the new seedling, before it has a chance to pull our focus from the newly developing seeds of love, hope and trust. Sometimes, due to hastiness, misguided eagerness or for the sake of appearances, we glean all visual signs of the weeds from the soils surface. In the process, the roots are left to grow deeper. And before long, a more robust plant takes its place.

It amazes me the weeds that grow within me. Painstakingly, I carefully dig the spade within my self and gently uproot that which no longer serves me. Due to such, I can not look at anyone else’s garden and criticize. The wayward weeds that grow within them are merely the outpouring of an untended soul. We all have weeds.

I’d like to say that my weeds are all of the tender young variety; easily yanked from the ground and done away with. But that isn’t the case. Some have stalks rivaling that of a small tree. And when pulling them from the ground it requires a bit of methodical releasing of the soil that surrounds them; rocking of the plant to loosen them; then finally a mighty pull.

My garden, you see, is far from flawless. But my eye is forever scanning its surface. My intention is forever tilling the soil. And unlike some who turn their back on what rests within, I walk the rows within me as if a form of meditation. I like the way the soil of my soul feels on my bare feet; much like I do in the physical world. I see no flaw in admitting to one’s weeds. And I gladly help others uproot theirs. There are times, when I too need to call in a helping hand or two. Sometimes a pair of fresh, sincere eyes, can spot the weed taking root under one’s flourishing growth of new formed trust. And, like I said, there are times when what is within me requires the metaphysical equivalent of a tractor with chain. I’ve had all of this within me, at one time or another. Because of such, I understand the efforts required when one finally finds the courage to open the gate of their heart, and begins walking amongst the growth of their soul. At times, it’s absolutely startling what has sprouted and awaits our discovery.

It is up to us to decide what grows within us. Nothing is there without our choosing. And please know that doing nothing is still a choice. So, tend to your garden. Once the soil has been released from the burden of nourishing the weeds – you will be amazed at what comes to life.

Sane

First published, January 2013

Good Grief

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I woke today missing my mother so deeply I cried. And the tears seemed to cascade into every piece within me that feels broken, abandoned and utterly exhausted. I’m not sure if a soul can suffer from exhaustion. But there are times when mine feels so tired that I’m convinced it can.

Grief has a funny way of changing one’s life. Just the thought of losing someone can unearth within us things of which we weren’t even aware. Losing someone outright, well dear reader, that offers its own path of discovery. And from what I can tell the only way to get to the other side of grief, is by grieving. I come from a long line of people who hardened themselves against expansive emotions. Either by way of pure stoic strength or numbing themselves with alcohol, we didn’t show much emotion. God forbid we admit such a thing as crying, as it surely meant we were falling apart. When, in the case of what I’m feeling today, perhaps I’m falling together.

Emotion is meant to be felt; to point to an important part within ourselves. Sometimes emotion points to bits and pieces within us that need to be gathered up and mended. Sometimes it points to gifts that were meant to be cultivated and shared with the world. Whether pointing out our fears or pointing out our joys, either way, emotions are very much like our own internal GPS system meant to navigate us along our Divine path.

Its only been four months since losing my mother. And during those months I often found myself wishing life would give me a Get Out Of Jail Free card; something I could pull out and use to remind everyone that within me rests a heart that is hurting; one where a low-level dull ache has taken up residency. And behind every emotion I feel, both the good and the not so good, rests this ache. So tread lightly. But life doesn’t seem to offer such a thing. Instead, I feel like I’m pressed to keep offering my very best, to stand in the line of fire, to tip toe onto the farthest precipices of faith – all while feeling I’m only partially as whole as I use to be.

During the times when I am able to allow grief to do what it needs to do, I’ve taken note of the emotions that have surfaced. Some are more ugly than I’d like. There has been a fair share of the why me’s? Haven’t I endured enough? All the typical self-centered utterances of ego. Then there are the emotions that sit closer to my core. The one’s where I simply feel the emptiness of never being held by my mom, again, or the flash of penetrating loss when I go to send her a text to share a moment I know she’d enjoy – but realize I can’t.

I feel tired, dear reader. I feel as though I’m being pushed beyond my limits as of late. And grieving is only adding to the push. Then the soft voice of Spirit whispers within me. Yes, I know it feels that way, dear child. And, in many ways you are right, you are being pushed. You are growing. You are expanding into a more authentic version of yourself. A version that is ever more closely aligned with me. Stay strong. Don’t give up. It will all make sense in time. But know this, my child, the grieving is allowing you to open spaces within yourself that wouldn’t be opened otherwise. And your mother is helping you to do that.

So I cry some more. Most of all, I allow myself to cry. Why it is we humans get so wrapped up in prohibiting ourselves from feeling all that we need and are intended to feel, I don’t know. But we do. So today, dear reader, if you feel any of these things that I’ve shared with you, know that you are not alone. And what Spirit said to me, it is also saying to you. Don’t resist the emotion that pushes you from deep within. It is there to help you take notice of something. We are here to grow, to expand and express and experience. Emotion is often the very thing that helps us navigate that expansion. There is a teaching voice behind every emotion. What is it saying? Either it points to what has been holding us back, or it points to what will help move us forward. So don’t smother it. Listen and explore it.

Sane

Keeping the Faith

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Waiting is not something many of us are naturally obliged to do. Instead, it grates at us in way like no other. More than that, it can cause us to doubt ourself, and the power behind our ability to shape our future. It can even cause us to doubt that fate is a cooperate force, allowing for our say in anything. Waiting for many of us, is our Achilles heel.

But for a moment, please look at waiting as part of the plan, and not an impediment to the plan. Please do yourself this great favor and look at the making of your desires and future similar to the way one makes a cake. First comes the idea to make something. Usually this is brought on by noticing the absence of this something from one’s life. We damn these moments in time when we feel lack, and yet those moment are the very things that cause us to identify that which we desire. Once identified, we now need to move forward.

Due to knowing what we don’t want, we set off to imagine that which we do. We scan the world around us deciding what ingredients we want and what ingredients we do not. In our mind we begin to put together the recipe for our desire. We aren’t going to add ginger this time around because our experience with ginger in the past has shown us that it was terrible to our tongue. Ginger is out. Nutmeg is in. It’s a process.

The recipe for our desires is much the same. By being married to the wrong partner it was shown to us what we want in the right partner. By working a job that did not feel right it was shown to us the possible avenues that may feel right. By living in the cold we were given the chance to fully understand that we want only to live in the warmth. This happens on a small-scale. This happens on a large-scale. But it never stops happening. Not only do we walk through the contrast, the contrast is all around us. And so the process continues.

We let our desires settle into our being just the same as we place the batter-filled pan in the oven. Our work is done, we feel. But I don’t believe that is the case at all. Waiting is part of the work. We must be faithful while the cake bakes. And each and every time we doubt that its working, we cause a delay. We open the oven door repeatedly causing the oven temperature to plummet. And sometimes when panic sets in we take the cake pan out of the oven completely. We question what we did wrong. We question if the oven is working. We question everything. Our job is to keep the oven temperature steady and strong. We do this by having faith. Keep the door closed, and know that its working.

Faith is the fuel that causes the cake to bake, for dreams to come to fruition. I can’t say exactly why our faith gets tested so often along the way. But perhaps it’s not tested so much as to cause us grief, as it is tested to ensure that the temp is still set at the level necessary. We get sloppy and lazy, along the way. Its human nature. Very easily we forget our job. Our job is to stay on course, and to keep the faith strong – regardless of circumstances, not fluctuating as a result of circumstances. So, don’t give up. keep the faith burning, dear reader.

Sane

Originally posted August 2013. Yet, I’m finding myself so much in need of these words, I thought perhaps you might be in need of reading them, too.

And, Before All Else

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“Faith goes before; understanding follows after.” A great theologian believed this, and so do I. Believing after the fact is simple. Believing before the manifestation has presented itself, is not. And yet, faith requires such.

You are the artist of your own life’s portrait, I believe. I also believe each of us has more power than we know; more power than even Saint Augustine knew 15,000 years ago when he made that statement. To me life is a combination effort. At times I have waited on God. At times God has waited on me. And when I choose not to take an active part in the creation of my life, things become stagnant. I become stagnant. The paint upon my canvas dries, and the picture stays incomplete.

Pick the size of your canvas. Choose the colors. Paint with wild abandon or with careful precision. Just paint. We don’t have to understand the unfolding, just have faith that it will unfold. Don’t give up. Don’t doubt due to a lack of understanding. Faith needs no understanding. Often understanding hinders faith. If we look only to the left, because our understanding knows only that direction, then we will miss what may very well be arriving to the right. The universe utilizes all things, not just those of which we are aware and are familiar.

It isn’t easy painting within yourself an image that lies in bright contrast to one’s reality. And I would be remiss if I did not admit that at times I have had to turn away from my own canvas as it pained me too greatly to see the dissonance between what was wanted and what was. But always, when ready I pick up the brush again, dab it into Cerulean Blue, and move across the canvas with broad strokes. God allows us these moments. And I have faith that during which this benevolent force keeps me afloat.

We must step back from the canvas of our life at times. We owe ourselves as much. Not to scrutinize but to survey. At times we swipe out something that no longer suits us, and start over. Sometimes we add onto what is already in place. Its our canvas, and I believe God is pleased when we do this. My God is not one of dominance. My God is not one of judgment. My God wants to explore this world through the vehicle that is me. No one will experience the world in the same way. And that, in my opinion, is what the soul us up to, what God is up to: Exploration, expression through all of us.

Paint the life for yourself that makes you smile. Don’t sell yourself short. You need not understand how things will come together; just have faith they will. It will not work unless you do. Your job is to keep believing, and to take action when the time is right. Keep the faith. Keep the essence of that which you want held firmly within your mind, your heart, and your inner being. You are energy. And energy fuels the universe. Energy does not require of us to understand its ways. Faith comes first, that’s the mechanics of energy.

Sane

Originally published, July 2013