self-care

Layers

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.
self-care

The Blackberries

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.
self-care

The open door

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.

self-care

I come from there

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
self-care

Remember

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.
self-care

The Unexpected Delight

After morning yoga.
After I’ve rearranged the furniture.
I’ve cleared out space
mental and physical.

I welcome the movement, the sighs, the popping joints, 
the twists, the surprising strength.
The mental games that try to
take me away from the moment.

When I arrive in my mind and body, 
I find soul full awareness.

I am grateful for this body.
For the time carved out just for me.
There is no shame
as my strong thighs hold me upright.

The meanness of cultural norms in
what a pose should look like
what a body should look like.
I honorably greet both ends of the spectrum
and invite a small smile to my lips as I inhale
and clear out the mental clutter once more.

The morning birds are making loud short bursts 
even through the soft rain.
They too must meet their needs
and feed that hunger.

It feeds my soul and theirs 
to find a shared delight at another
glorious day to be on this earth.
To occupy the same space.
Breathe the same air
and each feel free in our own way.

Free from shame.
Free from stiffness and aches.
Feeling strong and in flight as I move my body
just like the little birds outside my window. 
We may not see the sun today
but we each welcome its arrival when it greets us once again.
self-care

A Million Stars

Whether outside for my daily walk by the river or relaxing by the lake, I bask in the light. If I pause long enough, I see the stars floating and shimmering. A sparkle on the water‘s surface. How I marvel that our sun, too, is a star in its own right. And right here on the still water, the sun is broken into a million stars for all those who gaze upon its reflection. A star right in the middle of the day!

What story does each little flying fireball have? Where is it in its journey as it travels through the galaxy through the great expanse?

It has a life force of its own. A lifecycle of birth and death. Even though the end may be many lifetimes away, as I feel my own ending so far away. My mind can’t fathom an end to my existence.

My smile is bright like its own star. I have a light inside that longs to be bright. Yet afraid to lose too much light, as if there’s a limited supply. My life force too is a cycle and I honor it by appreciating each day as a gift. A wonderful opportunity to learn, to be, to connect, to create.

The world is my oyster who sinks and scurries around at a speed unknown and unseen to the naked eye. The scallop and barnacle have a mystery and story of their own too. The light reflects down to the shallow sea and they marvel and delight in its rays as do I with my bare toes scrunched into the smooth cool sand. I am earthing and unearthing myself like the bird scuttering and flipping over each dead shell on the ground looking for completion.

self-care

The wild plum tree

The wild plum tree grew from the earth’s roots 
stretching its branches towards the sky 
towards the sun. 

To taste the fresh ripe flesh was a treasure to behold. 
The branches swayed to and fro like a rocking pirate ship. 
It does not nor can it evade the storms. 
Its very foundation depends on it being rooted. 

So the tree does what the tree does 
and the plum is the perfect expression of the tree. 
Fruit, a gift for you and me. 

I will taste the ripe fruit with unabashed pleasure and joy. 
Revel in its juice and as it drips in my hand 
and through my fingers. 
A pure delight. 

I thank the tree, the sun, the rain as I digest and swallow 
the whole earth in this little plum.
self-care

Why are we here?

Why are we here at this moment in time on this small blue green planet?

They say we too are made up of the stars down to the smallest molecule. It can feel so small when the universe is so vast. How can I affect change as such?

What I know is my life has meaning. The answer is always connection. The root is love. So how did I live the answer? I must have lived the question first.

What I didn’t know is I was being led by invisible forces, situations, people and opportunities which became my challenges, my lessons, my guides.

How to live a life well lived and loved is the question. It took me 40+ years to come to the realization and to accept even if the universe is so vast and my actions seem so small and individual, there is a ripple.

If I too am made up of the stars, I have a light inside. A unique heart like an emerald when the light hits it a certain way. I do not know who put it there or where does the light originate from. I can accept that it’s a part of me and we each have our own illuminated hearts beating in our chest. Not so narrow and individually separate. Our hearts can be in rhythm like the collective breath that illuminates the soul.

self-care

What is but a moment in time?

What is but a moment in time? 
This precise moment to be exact. 
When the child smiles and runs through the grass. 
When the old folks rock on their rockers. 
When the mouths of the hungry, the sad, the oppressed, the joyful all open wide in reply.

It is frozen in time.
For just a moment.
Then it is gone.

It can never return or be what once was. 
The hunger, the anger, the weeping and the joy 
have all moved on too.

Like little rebirths and deaths, we go through the days. 
The events, the thoughts, the feelings are never exactly how they were just a moment ago that’s past.

Can we feel it? 
Can we express and not hide it or smile it away hoping the feeling will once again be buried?

It’s a shallow grave. 
A rug that’s become a mound of unfelt feeling. 
The rawness like a struck a nerve, although hidden, is quite easily stung. 
Sparked to right where the emotion began. 
Yet it may be stronger, expressed and felt differently, it needs to discharge.

Energy back to the earth. 
Back to the grassy edge, the hedges, the puddle, the cloud and the rain.

Then we can be truly free.
Free to be me and free to be you.
Not bogged down by weighty old emotions 
like baggage of lost voyagers that have long passed on 
and whose items have fallen out of fashion. 
Out of use.

We can have a rebirth each and every day 
with each inhale that fills our lungs 
with the fullness of life.