Love’s Year

The moon will show herself one last time this year. She begs me to do the same, calling my name in that sweet soul-whisper only she and I can hear. It is a hushed riddle she requires me to answer before opening the door to the unmistakable truth. She only uses it to beckon me when I’ve been hiding too long. She’s quick to remind me it’s been a while.

Don’t worry, sweet one, she murmurs. We’ll wait for you if we need to, and we’ll love you voraciously all the same. But it’s been long enough now.

I can hear the indisputable thump-thump-thumping of my heart… or is it hers? There is no difference, 491ef5df644db602d3142dd48662a3acI feel, but I cannot know for sure. There is an unambiguous anxiety that builds as the clock tick-tocks it’s way to a new calendar. The moon has orchestrated a mesmerizing rhythm of waves crashing over each other like the days of the past year, muddled and messy and powerful; and this cold, salty air pleads me to look back as though it carries all of my secrets, disappointments and revelations. I can feel it right down to my marrow. I’ve been stretched in a way that cannot be unstretched. I’ve learned things impossible to unlearn. I know it is a good thing – it’s been a formidable few months. I’ve taken giant steps only to (momentarily) fall back tenfold. I’ve brushed myself off and seen the ferocious beauty of my universe-sized soul only to hold a mirror up to where I’ve conveniently been hiding a small speck of darkness. More, always more, she urged of me. Each time, managing to force me into deeper knowing, added forgiveness, and continually expanding grace. So now this head of mine begs for some spacious silence, a patch of warm ground to rest on for a while, a few spotless moments to piece together the puzzle of sagacious wisdom gained and not yet fully understood.

I will draw a bath in these last hours of the year. The salts will leach the worries out of my precious bones, one by one. The water will soak away the impossible expectations I’ve come to have of myself. I will replace them all with lists of laugher and smiles and sweetness past. As the hourglass drops her last grains of sand, I will set the unresolution to just be. I will deepen all of my cracks and wrinkles until they become grooves, prayers that hold an infinite capacity for love. I will meet your eyes with unconditional softness and trust that you will do the same for me.
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I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You


There is something I have been meaning to tell you. If I say it out loud, you’ll know. It won’t be a secret anymore. The hear-me-roar of the tiger’s teeth I’ve learned to wear around my neck won’t deceive you any longer. I’ve taught myself how to trick you, you see. I’ve tricked you into thinking I am strong beyond belief. I’ve fooled you into thinking I’ve got it under control, I’m not easily bruised. I am stillness on the lake at dusk, undisturbed beauty and calm, a three hundred year old cedar.

It’s true. Sometimes it’s not an illusion at all. Sometimes I walk in the skin of a panther. I feel my hips sway to the rhythm of my cool, powerful strut. It’s true. Some days I am fragile like dew dropping blossoms in the morning sun.

I know you understand. I can see your thoughts spill out of your sensitive eyes. You don’t always know you are sharing your joys and your pain. You do it all at once in technicolour codes. I’ve learned how to speak that same love language. Some days I am a crow feasting on your leftovers. Don’t turn away. It is still me, I promise. Don’t be fooled. I am the owl, only my wings have been tied down for a while.
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Perhaps, if you and I no longer hide, we will meet by the riverbed and drink the lovetruth serum. We’ll see our intimate fears transformed into the filaments of gold that they are, pulled up into the vastness by the moon of our eyes. We’ll know that we already are our magnificent selves. We’ll understand that our brokenness is a magic carpet ride that leads us back home to the light.

I am preparing to lose a piece of my body. The puss will be drained, the tissue will be cut out. There will be bleeding and pain and scars.

I will be forced to rest.
And I will be reminded I am not these bones.

I will be asked to choose. I could wrestle myself into un-wholeness. Instead I will step fully into my altered casing. I will learn and relearn and learn again. I am not my breasts or my curves or my sex or my organs. I will know, from the depth of my darkness, from the heart of my heart, from the fire of my belly, I am the universe inside this skin. I will see what I already see. My light cannot exist without my shadow.

And I will continue to try, by and by. I will coax myself into letting you see my fragility. I will ask you to let me in to your secret hiding places, to invite me to play and sing and dance by your side.

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Falling In Love in the City of Love

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It all started one morning as I lay on the makeshift bed, trying to plan my day. Metro stops, directions from here to there, frantic notes taken in my book and on my phone, all to ensure I wouldn’t get lost.

photo by Myriam Khouzam

I realized I was wasting precious moments, my mind slowed by the fear of being disoriented. It was enough to move me out of doubt.  I slipped into my favorite jeans, wrapped my heart in my scarf, and headed out the door.

The magic opened up before me. She found me instantly. She guided me through winding streets, reminding me patiently to trust my intuition.

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There I was, lost among the crowds of tourists. They were missing the beauty, their noses so perfectly buried in guide books. There I was, found in the beauty of my surroundings.
For a few days, I learned what it felt like to be truly present, one breath, one step, one bite at a time. The past and the future chose to forget me and I saw myself reflected in windows and flowers and beautiful eyes looking back at me.

I ate croissants and watched lovers kiss. I felt the sun, and later the rain, tickle my cheeks. I navigated the streets of Paris waiting for my heart to be swept away, searching for romance.

And I found it.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the company I kept. We made the most of those few days we had alone together, lost in time for a while.

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We took each other on long walks, talked to locals as though we were one of them, and they believed us. We sat for long, delicious meals, allowing the wine to go to our heads and mesmerize us by our collective beauty. We told each other fairytales and they melded so perfectly with reality that we could no longer separate the two.  We teased each other and laughed. We learned the language of soul-speak and without a single word, absorbed the history around us, communing not only with our own selves but with those who had taken these very same steps before we had even inherited these bodies. We looked at old photographs and tombstones and knew we had been here before, many times.

At night, we shared our discoveries with our beloved and her smile became a reflection of our own.

We were me, and I am all of us.

I know, with the cells of my soul, I am in love with each of you and with the moon reflected in our eyes.

 

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*all photos by me. see more here

Learning to Listen

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I got to bed late last night.
This morning I am up before the sun.
It is bitter and crisp and dark outside, my breath a cloud of smoke.
I feel sorry for myself, tired and irritated and chilled to the marrow of my bones.
As dawn rises, it paints the sky a thousand shades of yellow and pink. Without trying, I look up to see her staring back at me. She is shining in her majestic grace, half of her face cloaked by the growing sun’s shadow, the two so perfectly mismatched and yet unconditionally entwined. She shows her sectioned self, and in an instant I know she is preparing to rest a while. Her wisdom is in the repose that allows her to return again, as she always does, fierce, bold and clairvoyant.

Now that I’ve gotten to know her, she is impossible to forget. She keeps me a (consenting) prisoner of her subtle changes. Inevitably, I find myself riding the waves of her tide. From time to time when I forget to let her in, she knocks me to the ground, a reminder of her strength and her unrelenting vigilance and love. She doesn’t speak much, not in the way you or I do. But she is constantly teaching me, tirelessly (and oh so patiently) waiting for me to get it. Sometimes I do, and other times it takes a few repeat lessons. She faithfully becomes my tutor and through her compassionate command, she shows me again… and again… and again.

tumblr_mzj0ra4IeU1qmjc0fo1_500And so this morning, in one quick, impressive glint, she summons me to rest.
She whispers: “Rest, my sweet child. Wrap yourself in warmth. Be with stillness. Immerse yourself in the ritual of running a bath, making a cup of tea, cuddling with the dogs.” She sings in her moon-shine language: “Be with your irritable, sullen self without judgment. Hold her until she thoroughly understands what love means. Warm yourself by the fire of your own heart. Listen to it’s rhythmic cadence and let it’s tenderness bundle you with unblemished goodness.”

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Half of my face is veiled too, a childish mimicking of hers. Part of me wanting to push and fight and run and do; the other, an undeniable knowing, a fountainhead of wisdom.

This morning, I choose to listen. I choose to let myself be moved by the current. I choose to give in to her stream, the moon’s tempo, and be carried toward a mending, a healing that can only happen in the belly of the quiet, in the place where the dark turns to light.

Rehab for the Soul – A Step by Step Approach.

imgresAbout a month ago, I realized I’d been in the mud. My feet were sinking in just a bit deeper with each passing day. Nothing was wrong as such, but I felt stuck. I’d been there before. We all have. You know the place. Maybe for you it is sitting in front of your computer screen or your sheet of paper or your blank canvas. Maybe you’re facing the monotony of your kitchen cupboards. You’ve strayed from that intuitive creativity and the words and ideas are lost to you – for a while.

I’ve just been so busy. I hear the ridiculousness of the words as I say them. They feel shallow and weightless. I’ve been caught up in work and school and routine. I’ve been caught up in lack of routine too. I’ve walked around like a zombie. Sometimes I’ve tried to make eye contact, sometimes I’ve desperately avoided it. Looking around I’ve caught myself thinking ‘I just don’t get it’. And yet there I was amongst them; lost amongst us all. I’ve been tired. I’ve sat in front of the television knowing full well it was dulling me. If you’re sensitive like me, you can justify it – sometimes you need to be subdued and put to sleep.

And so the cycle went. Or so it goes. Some of the time.

During those few months, I caught myself trying to get off the ride. I stuck my hand out of the window of a moving car and said something brilliant but nobody heard it, not even me. I skimmed my fingers against the soft feathers of the dream catcher hanging by my bedroom window.
I realized my disconnect.
I longed to find the light again. I knew she was there, hiding behind the veil.

And so I went to the source.
I drank the medicine of the earth.
I pulled cards to clear my vision.
I burned sage and cedar and sweetgrass.
I listened to the messages; I heard them in the deepest corners of my heart’s heart.
I’m listening still, and navigating the beautiful cacophony – and the harmony, all at once – of my own song.
The lessons are for me. They are for you. They are for all of us.

First, become the hermit.

wings_in_solitudeIt’s time to incubate. Like a hamster caught in a wheel, you’ve been going nowhere except further away from your light. Take the time to stop. Say no and take a break from external activities for a while. Those who love you will understand and support you. Take a walk in the forest and pick some cedar. Soak in a warm bathtub full of the branches you’ve brought home and sing yourself a love song. Listen to the beauty of your own voice and the wisdom of the silence. Take the time to remember your self. Turn your energy inward and rediscover your magical inner beingness. In order to truly feel good, you must learn to occasionally retreat from everything and let yourself be replenished in solitude. Tune in to the rhythms of your heart, you breath, your life force. Welcome the pause. Renew your strengths.

Be open to what arises.

In your solitude, recognize your individual awareness and its connection to global consciousness. Give yourself permission to face your fears in order to shed them. Trust that you have a rightful place in this world, that your gifts are as bright as your heart. Be open to the inevitability of transformation, like a snake shedding it’s old skin and transmuting into a soft, shiny, new self. Let your inner mountain lion guide you back to your spirit. Listen to the buffalo from your dreams. He will answer your prayers and renew your grace. Reconnect with your inner teachers and embody every stage of relearning yourself.

Let go of your past. Thank it, bless it, but don’t carry it around so much. Trust that what truly belongs to you will always be available. Trust that your past is made up of memories that are meant to give way to an infinitely more fulfilling present. It’s time to wake up to a new direction – one where your fears and doubts no longer hold you back.

Welcome change.

Now that you’ve met yourself again, learn to go with the flow. Attune to your forces and allow the metamorphosis. There is no need to complicate things anymore. Once you are in harmony with your self, change becomes an ally and you can see it for what it is: perfection in action. Trust that every turn, every door that opens or closes, has the potential to make you shine brighter still. Allow each success and each failure to become great teachers. Know deeply that there is immense wisdom in not identifying too strongly with any of your experiences. The river is always flowing back to the sea. All you have to do is let her carry you.

Shine like the bright star that you are.

tumblr_ma3wskfMlB1rps2rbo1_500You’ve tuned in. You’ve listened. You’ve learned a few things. Now it’s time to hold your self in beauty, to walk with grace, to speak with openness, to give with generosity, to live in gratitude. Recognize that to give is a gift from the divine. Allow the life that is now freely pouring out of you to guide you. Let is show you how to pass on what you are constantly receiving. It is in the giving of yourself – back to your self as well as to others – that you will generate profound contentment and kindheartedness. Trust that your source is endless, that the earth is replenishing it, that the circle of giving and taking completes itself. Look up at the night sky and see your reflection as the brightest star. She will show you how brilliantly your heart shines. Let her remind you of your own gifts, whatever they may be. Know that your wealth is immeasurable.

Be the mother of air.

From the earth’s perspective, the air or the wind personifies the divine messenger. Step fully into self-awareness and trust your innate intelligence. Give yourself permission to be in self-respect, in inner strength, in clarity, in creativity, in courage. Be who you truly are, not who you should have been, could have been or are supposed to be. Be naked to the world. Drop your masks and vow to never pick them up again. This is the only way to fully return to your centre. If you listen with honesty, you will find you have the intrinsic courage to express yourself with unmistakable clarity. This does not mean pushing anyone out of your path. Instead, it means being kinder to your own heart. It means shedding those preconceived notions you have bought into. It means recognizing your own worth and acting accordingly. Honour, respect and take care of yourself in order to become an example of how others should treat you.imgres-1

here we are

Variopinto de la Chacruna by Pablo Amaringo
i am a wise man,
a thousand years old.
i am the wise man’s daughter.
i am a tantra sister.
a nun holding a dying boy.
i am a wild little girl
running though the tall grass with you.
i am the buffalo and the birds.
i am you.
i came to visit you in your dreams
i found you in the celestial garden.
i cupped your sweet face
and felt the warmth of your breath on my forehead.
i went into your heart and held
your pain
your sorrow.
you showed me your beauty
you showed me your joy
and the wonderous twinkle
of our child-eyes.
you met me there in the
magic of the magic
and we sparkled together like the
stars and the moon.
and i want you to know.
i see you
and i hear you.
i love you.
i am holding us like the earth
hold our souls.
i promise.
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Forgotten Language

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Sometimes your head gets in the way.
Strong and stubborn,
steering you right when something is clearly tugging left.
Sometimes your body holds you in it’s protective casing.
Just stay seated a little longer, it begs.
But if you listen,
and I mean really truly listen,
your heart speaks a language so clear
even the moon understands.
It’s a sweet whisper.
A language of it’s own.
Unspoken sounds that make up words
your soul knows by heart.
Give in.
Close your eyes and learn how to see.
Listen to silence and learn how to hear.
Your eyes and ears will lead you astray.
But your heart,
your heart will always take you
where you need to go.