Simplify

To simplify thoughts and emotional responses to things, label experiences as:

a) Pleasurable

b) Unpleasurable

c) Neutral

When the body is free of tension, and the mind is free of fear, peace can fill your heart to overflowing, pour forth from your spirit’s center

Breathe in and release the tension from your body

Can you feel it now?

Swallow

Some poems get swallowed whole by sleep

Like dreams that only my mind’s eye keeps

Some men want to know if I am a virgin

What version of virgin would you like to explore

I tend not to count the non-consensual or the bisexual encounters

I don’t count quantity, I feel out quality

If you feel me, you know

I say yes with silence and with my own lips and with the parting of my hips like the red sea

Amidst it all I hope you see me

I performed ancestral energy healing ceremonies on stage in a dream last night

I blew fluffy airborne dandelion seeds with my mind

A soft breeze blew one seed down my own throat

All the magic in the world is not as powerful as heartfelt truth

Perhaps this is where the next phase of my spiritual growth starts

A continuum of all that has come before

I spent most of my life swallowed by severe anxiety and depression, flung from one extreme of bipolar to the other without ever letting on about my inner experiences to anyone.

I am damn hopeful that I will crack this seed open and blossom because I feel growing pains and I feel the Earth below and the Sky above.

Though I sometimes forget it, I am made of Love

Coping

If I ever have children (if my body can forgive me for a lifetime of multifaceted abuse), I hope to give them a more robust and diverse repertoire of coping skills than the ones my parents left me

Instead of beginning and ending with cheap alcoholism and angst, I hope that my children draw from a complete rainbow of abilities

Mindfulness and movement; may they know the sweet depths of meditation, may they return to the present moment through gentle awareness again and again, and may they bathe in the ecstasy of a daily movement practice such as yoga, qi gong, tai chi, or wild freestyle dance, may they know that peace is always a breath away.

Contact with nature: may they be blessed with the sight of many sunrises and sunsets, may the sky fill their eyes and their lungs; may they have nature in their hearts and in their homes and may they submerge themselves in forests for sanctuary.

Interconnectedness: may my children know that they are loved unconditionally; may they connect with loved ones regularly, may they feel safe and supported in this world. May they draw on ancient wisdom and allow space for new realizations. May they feel both one in a million and a million in one.

Humility: may my children not overburden themselves with pressure; with realistic expectations may they wander more easily through life, may they balance unhelpful thoughts with helpful thoughts, may they rise up for an eagle’s eye view from time to time, especially during trying times.

We are all children at our core. May we know all of these blessings and more.

Medusa

I’ve got that medusa head

Curls on curls, in your bed

Don’t look into my eyes, I’ll turn you to stone

Then you won’t hear me calling on your phone

I don’t mean to be venomous

It’s just how I am I guess

When the radio asks for a donation, I change the station

My cogitation gets agitated, dancing between play and work, dinner and dessert

I try to chop off the head of an anxious thought, for naught-

More troubled rumination sprouts from the wound

I pray inner peace will resurface soon

Always a breath away

Float

I tend to scheme for a way out of struggle, but maybe I’ll try a different approach and settle in for a lifetime of learning

Ever adapting, meeting, greeting, innovating

Constantly changing, growing

This life was perfectly imperfect when we arrived

And will remain so after we leave

Work was waiting for us before our birth, and will remain long after our body’s death

So we can relax and float down the river

We don’t have to fight against the current or feel like we are drowning

Floating is what happens when we stop struggling

The Point

I found a years-old grocery receipt with the following message I’d scribbled on it:

The point of life is to become enlightened, again and again.

For me, the quick and easy way to become enlightened is to suffer beyond words to the point that my ego splits open and divine light pours in.

Every time I arrive, I bow to my suffering in gratitude.

I remember that what I had grappled and struggled with was actually on my side the whole time.

When I arrive at enlightenment, for a moment, I know peace

Then the journey starts again, like bringing my awareness back to my breath, most of the time I am unconscious of the miracle that flows through me.

Perhaps suffering is not necessary, however it seems to be a catalyst; speeding up the process.

I want to hug the whole world, wrap it in a hand-knit sweater

To those who feel sick, I hope you feel better.

I want the glow in my heart to grow and light up the dark.

I’m glad I kept that receipt

I could frequently benefit from a reminder about what the point is

It is most difficult to remember when I am surrounded by those who cling steadfast to their self-centered identities, awash in all sorts of drama, trying at every angle to drag me into their mire

I pray they will know enlightenment, even if for a moment, someday

I pray that I will know enlightenment, even if for a moment, today

Swallowing Fire

My unspoken sadness and madness

Burn like hot coal in my throat
My sore neck holds the tension of another night’s nightmares
Running from persecutors with unknown motives
Even in my waking life, I don’t know why some people get so mad at me
How tempting to cut them off like a gangrenous limb
I hesitate when my persecutors are my family
Stubborn old fashioned tradition of gritty endurance
Ancient dynamics, drama on loop
My sister, abusive and oppressive
My parents either didn’t notice or didn’t care
I used to want to be saved, wanted my parents to protect me, to show my sister that I mattered. That will never happen because it hasn’t happened yet
My rescuing is entirely my responsibility
We are grown as hell
I notice and care about the years of mistreatment and terror
I will protect myself
Though I’m not sure how
Though my throat is scalded with all the fire I’ve swallowed
Fire I’m getting ready spit when I tell you what you are

Carnival

Welcome to the carnival

I offer all manner of novelties to delight you
Are your thoughts as wild as a flying trapeze?
I’ve got pills to set your mind at ease
Does your heart feel like it has been trampled by an elephant?
You don’t need to use booze to get bent
I’ll flood your blood with chemical love and adjust the dose to fit like a glove
I’ve perfected my performance to be your ideal physician despite my perpetual exhaustion, hanger and burn out
Ignoring my own pain as I eliminate yours
Neither one of us is listening to the sacred wisdom of our bodies
I suffer long and hard so that you don’t have to feel a thing
In my side-show alley you’ll see that if you want more than an endless stream of candy refills, if you want me to be your shaman instead of your drug dealer, at any time you can feel your feelings instead of suppress them
Take a plunge from the high dive on the wild horse of your unmedicated body
Hear your healing lion’s roar
Let your self-expression soar
Allow yourself to fall into the safety net of the universe
Trust that you belong, that you are a star just as you are
Juggle fire and meet yourself with humor when gravity makes its presence known
Allow yourself to be shot from the cannon of self-doubt, trusting that you will be ok
If healing is a series of flaming hoops
The transformative way out is through
Show yourself what you can do
Dance to uplifting music every day
Cultivate strength and flexibility in body and brain
Remind yourself it is normal to feel insane
In this seemingly crazy world, only you can take the reins
Be the ringleader of your life
It ain’t me, babe
Though I have the hard-won power to prescribe the goodies you crave
To be in control of ourselves we must give up control of everything else
Welcome to the big time
The show can’t go on without you
I applaud you
My eyes are open to witness your marvels and miracles

Bouncy Ball

Resilient sphere of color

I throw you down but you only bounce back higher

Dancing down the stream
You get caught on rocks and fallen leaves
I free you and follow you down the babbling brook
Your journey is again halted by forest debris
I dislodge you with a stick and you bound onward
Carried effortlessly by the water
I was told that all rivers flow to the ocean
I am determined to travel there with you, to see this through
Then I learn that water sometimes moves underground
Branch still in hand, we are both stuck on land
I didn’t account for this
Years later, I am an adult in a high-pressure profession
Just now pausing after years of running
As if I’ve been chasing a ball down a stream
Bouncing from one goal to the next
I am bewildered by the restless movement which only distanced me from my heart’s desires
In exchange for passing tests, I received more tests
No one ever asked me if I want to be tested
I value serenity and peace, meditation in nature
I was already where I wanted to be
When I was a girl with a rubber ball
Bring me back to that forest stream
I will stand in it
Let the cool water wash over my feet
Bouncy ball by my side
In stillness and simple satisfaction
We will stay

Flame

Your rage strikes my heart like a lightning bolt

Cracking it open and setting it afire
I am at a loss for what to do, so I warm my hands over the embers and wait
To transform, part of me must die
I cannot rush, only trust
How many times can one heart break?
As many times as it takes
To learn the sacred lessons
To consciously unite with the divine
Time and time again
Pain is pain, sensation is sensation
No matter the form or formal education
Lucid dreaming just before waking
I see a sea of broken hearts glowing in the dark
Each a floating lantern offered up
Burning with the same flame