Maybe I should have stayed in the meditation longer. My stomach rises quickly snapping against my snug dress pants as I breathe breath of fire. I pause and take a break. I look for the EASE. I try to be gentle. Maybe today is not my day And that is okay. Can I forgive myself For not being “great,” For losing my momentum, For my perceived act of giving up? I can breathe And offer myself the grace I long to hear. That it is okay. Today is as it’s meant to be. The mundane, gray days Make the inspired days Sparkle with brightness. Can I find my inner light here too? We can’t do everything. One person’s mold or tools Are not a one-size-fit-all. And even though I know this to be true, I find myself at 45 Adjusting and rearranging To make it work for me Unapologetically. That is enough. I show up and Create my days to Conform to me And not compare or judge myself. I let myself off the hook And that is enough.
The world is in dire need For positivity. Not to sugarcoat reality Or spiritually bypass the lessons Inherent therein. But we all need to feel uplifted So we have the inner resources to Create the change, Create the world We want to live in, To play an active role And not that of the innocent bystander Or victim of circumstance. We matter And we are enough Exactly as we are. If we show up for ourselves, Prioritize our own wellbeing, We lift each other up too.
Happiness and confidence Lies in true acceptance. I come alive and feel at peace, No longer adhering to Or following a Well-worn, grooved path. The easy way that is already before me with clear checkpoints and crossing the list off as I go. Is there room for happiness and joy in a path that is not authentically mine? Can I be my true self, Accepting the Beautiful and the ugly? The whole instead of just the Presentable parts? I embody confidence And I don’t waver. I won’t lose myself in the struggle to attain others’ approval or acceptance. It is like Dorothy in Oz. The power to go home (or accept myself) was inside me all along. This path is not always easy: To be a lotus when the world says magnolias are all the rage right now. My joy and My happiness Cannot be swayed to placate And follow the ever-changing Whims of the day.
Obstacles can be my own worst fears, An upward climb Real or perceived. My mind is already made up Affirming that is the case Before I can even take action. My fears are the worst-case scenario Already a done deal And I’m closed off to options, Another path or way, Detoured from inspiration And optimism. The struggle feels real And I’m stuck. How do I make progress to overcome it? Just going through the motions some days My morning routine framework: Getting out my yoga mat Choosing a video and pressing play. Leaving my journal open With a pen at the ready. Lacing up my sneakers to Go outside for a walk. Knowing that there’s always One more thing to do And being okay with what is. Often it’s the first step that Creates the momentum. My focus has shifted. I’m more connected to my body and not so stuck in the mind. I can access that inspiration, inner wisdom and confidence that is always just under the surface. If I look around me, outside in nature or just through the window, I see the world is much bigger than my fears. The big blue spacious sky has more than enough capacity to contain and hold my fears as well as my dreams. I can temporarily give up the struggle and trust that I, too, am held. And that gives me strength to carry on with purpose and intention, to feel the joy, and appreciate the life lessons as gifts to my future self.
My hands cupped around the warm coffee mug. It is full of aroma And I savor the flavor. My fingers hook gently yet firmly on the handle as I bring it in for a sip. The warm liquid gets swallowed down my throat as I promptly go in for another taste. If I get distracted with conversation, with technology, with making future plans or anything that takes me away from the simple pleasure of drinking fresh coffee, the liquid starts to cool and moment by moment, its flavor gets diminished. The joy and pleasure is fleeting. And it is my intention and attention alone that keeps me centered in the here and now and not in autopilot. The warm flavor recedes like the rip current that calls waves back into the sea. I can still feel the faint warmth of my coffee mug cupped gently in my hands. I do not want to squander one bit of this temporary reprieve of the hustle and bustle of what we call modern life.
When I discover my true self revealed naked without a mask without culturally accepted clothing that clings to my curves extenuates my breasts and exposes my arms or legs, I am free from what binds me. Although society will try to make me feel foolish embarrassed to even look upon my naked body in the mirror. The glass is never a true reflection but a juxtaposition. Whoever sees their true reflection except those reflected back in the eyes of another? My lover’s desire My culture’s shame How do I let it go to accept me as he does naked and true to himself? Why do I have all these layers to shed before my true self has seen the light of day? Do I even recognize her? What’s in my mind’s eye and reflected back to me in the mirror are two very different things. Can I love the ideal me and the real me? Can I drop the story to be a certain image at all times regardless of what stage of life I happen to be in? The man does not let outside influences interrupt his burning desire to meld into one. His lust and eyes tell me I’m something more than I see. Do I exist as he sees me naked and swaying to incite his excitement? Is that the true me? Or is it the one who breathes deep sighs as the clean sheets spread out neatly tucked around my body and mind relaxes and succumbs to the much-needed rest? To recharge and feel comfort in one’s bed without interruption or distraction. To feel my bones and breath no one to interpret or criticize. It is mine and only mine to claim. In beauty, in rest, in wholeness fully alive. I can be here for just a moment. A night under the moon. She and I are one and dancing with the stars not ashamed of who we are but embodying our true nature. When the black birds take flight in that early twilight, their beating wings do not make a mark across the darkened sky. Their beating hearts in unison as they soar across the moon only then illuminated before being swallowed back into the darkness.
The blackberries the quintessential fruit of summer. On the brink of harvest in the heat of morning sun. They sit patiently an offering. Do I accept the invitation? There is nothing like fresh fruit the burst of flavor on my tongue. The dark stained hands from the fleshy bells. On my chin and darkened my tongue. The fruit is not forbidden or only for the chosen few. Only to those who happen to look up at the sky and notice that there’s more than meets the ordinary eye. There is some effort. I must confess. Before you can savor the reward of your labors. It takes the body to the edge just beyond reach. With added vigor and strength, I can reach what I desire. It is now in my grasp and my body relaxes and breathes. Sighing as I place the dark bell into my mouth. Yes, I’ll save some for later and share the bounty. But right now this is just for me. This moment. This effort. This delicious reverie is mine to savor. So I do. Not caught up in agendas, past stories or future thinking. Just the blackberries The offering and Me the willing recipient. And I am filled with awe and gratitude for the fresh delectable flesh. Just mine. All mine. I touch the tree’s bark and look up in the branches. There is more than enough for everyone. For the birds, the insects, the squirrels and me. All sharing a Thanksgiving feast. The tree accepts all and turns away none. Is generous and sharing to all who visit her and enjoying her gift in her presence is the true gift.
When I walked through the open door my mind was made up before the scent of lilacs and roses greeted me. They derailed me woke me out of my inner dialogue of likes/dislikes, shoulds and have tos. The inner chatter fell away like drapes falling off a clothesline. The gust made them take flight and swim along the breeze. Oh, how I wished to drop like the drapes to embody and become one with it all. To let go and truly lose myself for just a moment. Naked, exposed Yet safe to eat the papaya with my bare hands. The juice dripping down my arms. Orange sweet streaks and I laughed at the imperfection. So raw, so real, so present that the daisy and the rose, the drapes and the breeze all encompassed me and I felt true peace.
I come from there. Far over the edge where the sky meets the earth. The trees line the horizon With never ending evergreen. I come from there. The warm grass with little crawling insects. A green soft blanket underfoot. I come from there. Where salty air cools my skin and fills my lungs with care. I come from there. Far over the edge where the sea spreads out to a flat horizon whose edges knows no bounds. I come from there Where rain melds and becomes my tears tears of joy tears of sorrow nourishment and sustenance. I feel and appreciate it all. I come from there. Where home greets me at the door. A warm embrace. A quick burst of chatter about the day. We are welcome. We are loved. We belong And call this our forever home. I come from there. The lovers embrace. The calm after the storm. The seed of potential. The green light of love. The sparkling emerald of my heart. I come from there. I just know in my bones. There was no lesson. No guidebook or post to mark my path. The landscape was laid out before me. Welcomed me with a warm embrace. Sunshine on my face. Sustenance to survive. Laughter, joy and connection to make it all worthwhile. Mine all mine. My story. My experience. My joy and sorrow. I come from there. The edge. The sea. The air. The sky. The grass. The rain. And I am welcomed home to mother earth greeted by a new day and embraced by the moon each night I come from there. The loving world and welcomed embrace
Remember the scent of the lilacs. How the air just embodied their aroma and drifted it into the windows into my lungs. Remember when they were teeny tiny buds. How 5-year old Lilly marveled at their small size. Little purple bumps bursting from the green. Remember the Easter lilies and this was the first year I got so low to the ground I could actually smell them for the first time. Remember the towering orange iris. Remember the hearty rosebush. Remember the mimosa tree that once stood proud, colorful and fragrant. Now an empty shell. Bare branches. The weakened trunk sways with a gentle push. Remember the dogwood’s white blossoms and Lilly called the neighbor’s pink blossoms “flower snow” as they fell and covered the ground in small piles of soft pink. Remember the woodpecker, the cardinal, the new birds that decided to stop by for a visit. Remember the bunny rabbit, like Old Faithful, arrives around dinner time looking for her evening meal as well. Remember the hawk perched on top of the playset as a squirrel huddled and hid under the child’s chair unmoving and the hawk ever patient. Remember the blue jays that harassed and chased that hawk away and the squirrel that timidly crawled commando style and lived another day. Remember the sweet breeze from the ocean even reaching here not so close to the shore and how I marveled at the salty refreshing air. Remember the first kiss. The special rock overlooking the bay and our life began together. Remember that tender beginning love is still here under the surface. A beloved memory but always here in my heart.