Boundaries

This is such a hard topic for me to discuss because I am not actually sure what my boundaries are. Or maybe, it’s that I do know what they are but I’m not sure how to go about explaining them in words to others that need to hear them so they can understand what I will and will no longer allow.

Instead of creating boundaries, what I have been doing is getting angry and cutting people off if they don’t respect my boundary, even though I’ve never given them a list of my boundaries. So, I haven’t been playing very fair I guess. Not for myself or them.

I cut people off, I yell, I get angry, I shut down, I get annoyed, all because the things that led me to react in this way, I didn’t know were called boundaries and that others weren’t respecting them.

I was not given permission to create boundaries or told that we are allowed to have them.

Let me explain. My life was built on people pleasing and obligations. I was taught that whatever role I have is the role I am “supposed” to be committed to first and then all the things that I like will follow; play, hobbies, relaxing, daydreaming, stillness, quiet.

However, once I accomplished all my “supposed” to roles, I was spent and had no time for my like’s. So anger and resentment and hurt built up which led to anxiety, depression, a breakdown and ultimately spiritual awakening. Which is lucky for me but not so lucky for so many others. I appreciate and am grateful for the mental struggles that have brought me to where I am now but I was also fortunate enough to have a great support of love around me and access to tools that many others may not have access to and chose other means to handle their breakdowns.

However, if topics like boundaries and obligations and roles and self-care and awareness and self-advocacy are spoken about more and shared more without the fear of being shut out, we can avoid so much pain and hurt we impose on ourselves and others.

I know I have a list of things I like and don’t like. Things I don’t mind talking about or sharing and things that are my personal opinion and no amount of conversation will change it.

There are people I bring my energy to that I want to associate myself with. There was a time that I believed I was put on this earth to change certain people or give them a better version of who they could become. However, I’ve learned that it is in fact NOT my job to do this. I am not this prophet that was called to do this work on earth and I do not need to associate with certain people family or not, friends for a lifetime or not, co-workers or not, community members or not, because I thought through my example, they can change. My only obligation is to myself and how I behave and treat others and if it’s in line with my morals and belief code and self-respect and self-love. As long as I am doing no physical or mental harm to others, then I am in line with life. There is a universal moral code and as long as we’re standing by that, then we’re going to be ok. And if you’re reading this and don’t know what the universal moral code is, then please refer back to some other posts I’ve written or just think about ways in which we should be treating others that will cause them no harm.

I was also under the impression that I needed to explain my ‘no’. That if I said ‘yes’, to something yesterday that I wasn’t allowed to change my mind today or that I had to give some long, winded explanation to my mind change. I don’t have to explain a thing. Unless I’ve made a commitment to someone, and a commitment, in my boundary list, means; I said I’d give you a ride somewhere, I am saying ‘no’ to my employer about coming into work, I said yes to my spouse that needs me to help with something, my child requested me to drop her off somewhere or anything that falls under the ‘immediate families commitment list’ and that saying ‘no’ to them would mean I’m just being an ass-hat and I’m leaving them stranded. In cases like this, my ‘no’ should come with an explanation and a solution, not just “nah, I don’t feel like it.”

Because remember, these are my boundaries and I get to create them, so there’s no wrong or right way to set them.

According to an article written in ‘Psychology Today’, titled; What It Means to Create Boundaries in Relationships https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intimacy-path-toward-spirituality/201810/what-it-means-create-boundaries-in-relationships

Having boundaries means honoring ourselves as a separate individual with needs and wants that often differ from others. Without healthy boundaries, we allow others to override our own feelings and desires. The essence of boundaries is differentiating what we want from what others want from us.

John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT

So I am in the process of finally understanding that boundaries are necessary and that I need them in place instead of thinking others will know what they are because they’re mind readers. I also need them in place so that I can operate at a higher frequency and instead of getting angry or shutting people out, I can remind someone of a boundary they may have not respected and warn them what the consequences are for disrespecting my boundary; give them one more chance or be forced to not engage with them any longer. And in giving them the boundaries, they can decide for themselves if they choose to respect it or not but I also have the choice to keep them in my life or not instead of living with this guilt of having shut people out or gotten angry with someone when I could have avoided it all in the 1st place.

While I’m in the process of understanding that boundaries are necessary, I am also writing them down and plan to share them with those around me, so that changes can be made with how I operate with myself and with others and in the hopes to be more understood and at peace.

We all seek to be understood, that doesn’t mean you have to agree with me, it just means if you understand a person more, maybe you can accept them more which is also something we all seek; acceptance. But not acceptance based on your opinion of me but of who I truly am and not what you’re trying to make me be. We should all accept people for their truth and where they are in their journey. Acceptance also does not mean you need to associate with this person/people, it just means that there is a mutual understanding that they are who they are and again it comes down to choosing whether you’d like to associate with them or not.

Ultimately, the choice to associate or not is always ours to make and the choice of what we allow and not allow to enter our space, is also up to us.

Religious vs Spiritual

I’ve cracked the code on the difference between religious and spiritual. Tonight, as I lead my interfaith group into a discussion of the Yamas and Niyamas., a good friend, while referring to a quote in the book ‘The Yamas & Niyamas’ by Deborah Adele on page 173: “The way to have a good day is to open up the door and LET GOD IN!” referring to surrender, she asked, where does the tension rise from, where does it enter when it enters religion? Where it suddenly become ego over love? And my response was ‘expectation and judgment’. For myself that is what has turned me away from religion, from organizations that push a rule book and then frown upon you if you’re not following the rule book. Organizations where questions are sort of ok, as long as they stay in the scope of what they’re changing. However, it is encouraged to find the answers within the books published among said religion.

Instead, I am about philosophy, the exchange of ideas, the questions without judgments, and those without direct answers in a book but maybe by growing your faith through experiences.  That is what spirituality is. Believing in an unknown beyond you and having faith that it has your complete back but being able to doubt and question and go by your feelings and not necessarily judge those feelings. To look for the answers, that lies in you, by searching for things bigger than you out of you. Things that are not easily explained; flowers, animals, the sky, day into evening and evening into the day, the world turning, rain and snow, leaves turning color, a million and one species of animals and bugs, flowers, so many flowers, and plants and grassland and on and on and on. Feelings and emotions and whatever feelings you’re having, to explore them. To sit with them. To feel them. That although they feel so much bigger than you, there’s an answer in them. 

That is the grand difference between religion and spirituality. Well, at least for me it is. I believe that in the end, believing in something greater than you, that it has your back or IT has your back or that he/she has your back, whatever it is identified for you, is enough to live an exploratory life. I believe that when you’re being asked, mostly by organized religion, to live in this box and be identified by a title and a certain way of “doing things right” by their judgment book, that is not unity, that is not peace, that is a standard to live by and we weren’t meant to live one standard.  

I agree the moral compass should be the same for all; no killing, cheating, stealing, jealousy, sneakiness, backstabbing, gossiping, yadda, yadda, all the things that are toxic and you know whether you’re 10 or 100, not to do because it doesn’t bring any peace or have any real value to. But the point of all these greats that have passed through this world; Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius, and others…., have all instilled the same things and have the same common thread, ask questions, be curious and give due to where due should be given, the person/thing that gave you life, that has you breathing without you needing to think about it, that has given us plants and flowers and animals and all species of fish and mountains and sky and trees and oceans and seas. And to give this due, we also need to respect it. We need to live by the moral code of humanity.

Don’t take more than you need to, there is plenty to give around. Be grateful. Be humble. Stop comparing, stop judging, stop worrying. Be mindful of your neighbor. Find love in yourself, even in all the weirdness and quirkiness because we were not, in fact, all made the same and that is the beauty but we were made equal. We are all imperfect humans trying to find ourselves, trying to heal, trying, just trying. And so when you’re trying to fit me into a box and asking me to live by a standard, I can’t believe that a God that has created me and created so many different species of insects and plants and flowers and animals and people and nations and places and seasons and intellects is asking me to choose a label, a box, one way to be for the rest of eternity. 

Instead, I believe He is asking me to live morally and is giving me the choice to choose good or bad, to suffer or find peace, to love or hate, to judge or accept, to understand or stay confused. We are given these choices and they are simple, so very simple, without the ego getting in the way.

And in that, we are being asked to go past the ego, to find our heart center and see who we really are because it is there that all creation is based on. It is our heart centers that hold all our DNA and completes us. It is there, in that very center that tells us who we are, were meant to be, and are meant to become before roads led us elsewhere.

So I am asking you, all of you, myself included, to just sit, hand placed on your heart, and quietly search every day, every second of the day, what lies there. What is that truth? It is there you will find your moral compass and the way to your freedom.

Fear of Trying

Recently my wonderful sister friend and I decided that our podcast needed to be placed on hold. It seems like this was a long time coming but really it was only in the last few episodes that things began to dwindle. When we first began this endeavor our goal, our why, to this podcast was to reach people and help them spiritually get in tune with themselves through our own experiences, so that they could handle their life experiences.

We ran out of the gate hard and stayed consistent with our themes and conversations but somewhere along the way other things came into place. The date of when we were to publish our podcast came and went without publishing, being able to record became hard because we both have other lives to attend to and after we wrapped up discussing the Yamas/Niyamas, which are part of Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga and how to live a more purposeful life, it just seemed that the ‘Joie de Vivre’ of this podcast had just lost its way.

The thing about myself, is I think any and all things can be saved. Instead of just giving up and walking away, I thought that maybe there was a way to save this thing I wanted so badly. I wanted the podcast to succeed so badly because my end goal was to share my life experiences, my spiritual awakening, and to be able to help others cope with their lives. It was a platform to share our story and let others know they are not alone, there’s help, there’s a way.

So in speaking with my sister-friend I suggested that we begin freestyling the podcast. We just record our conversations because most often when she and I speak we are usually talking about life stuff; what’s currently happening with us, our kids, our past, how we’d fix it, what’s worked for us, etc. We thought in recording this way, it would sound more natural, free-flowing. Instead, the point just got lost. We just sounded like two women in their own worlds talking about things but not really including anyone else on it. We didn’t share facts or real tips on how to make things work for others. It wasn’t a podcast, it was a bitchfest and it’s not what either of us wanted.

Sometimes the things that sound great to you, don’t sound so great said out loud. We had many great tips on how to fix lives and how spirituality has helped us and how yoga and meditation play a big role in healing. But none of that was really reiterated into our podcast and it was just a fast-moving train going way off the track and before it crashed, we both decided to jump off.

Something happened though when that happened. I felt a little relieved but also a little hurt. I felt like she and I had this break up and I felt a little empty.  Like I should have picked the phone back up and said, “no, no, let’s try again. We can make this work.”

Instead, I sat there and let the hurt sink in and I sat in the pain and understood that it’s ok. It’s ok to hurt and sit in pain a bit. I was facing the reality of the situation. I was hurt that the thing I wanted most-to help others-didn’t work out and I was hurt that I couldn’t make this goal come to fruition. 

When you put something in your heart that you think is yours and that you think you are meant to do and it doesn’t work out, the first thing that happens is you beat yourself up thinking that you’re no good at listening. Thinking that somehow you didn’t get the message right.

The truth is, there will be things that work and don’t work out and the only way to find that out is by doing them. 

If I had sat around and never tried the podcast, I’d of always thought about it. Instead, I tried the thing that scared me the most, speaking out loud and although it didn’t work out in the way I wanted, it did help me in getting over my fear of public speaking.

From this podcast, I was able to restart my Open Mic nights. Years ago I had begun this spoken word open mic project and it went well for a few months, but I always kept it very low-key and it never went anywhere because I was afraid of my own success.

However, since starting the podcast and putting myself out there on a public platform, I restarted the open mic nights and have publicized it to the point that I have a waiting list of performers. 

And so that is the thing about doing something even when you’re not sure of how it’ll go. To do something scared is beneficial because it gets you out of your head and into your body. It allows you to open up space in you that is closed off to the fear of failing.  So instead of maybe failing, you don’t do it at all but live a life of wonder. Instead, trying the thing that scares you, teaches you about yourself, it helps you grow and expand, and changes the perception you have of yourself. It builds confidence and opens up doors you otherwise have kept closed to stay comfortable and small. 

We all live in fear of things and this fear can be so suffocating. Letting go and accepting things as they are, is living freely. It’s living in your truest form because you are not trying to control an outcome. You’re allowing yourself and life to perform at the same time and neither takes center stage. That is the goal of living a life not trapped in fear.

Aparigraha-Non-Attachment

How to let go by non-attachment.

Aparigraha, one of the Yama’s from Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of yoga.

The yamas are essentially moral guidelines by which to live with regard to our relationship with ourselves, and the world around us. These moral codes can be applied both on and off the yoga mat, helping us to practice not just for the benefit of ourselves, but for the world around us.

Aparigraha translates to non-attachment, non-possessiveness, non-greed.

Yesterday, my wonderful friend Anna directed a sound bowl meditation class over Zoom. The theme of the class was ‘Letting go’.

As I closed my eyes and listened to her guiding us to let go by way of perception; letting go of the past, accept what has occurred and to accept things now as they are. Let go of the future, of things not yet occurred. Place all of these anxieties and thoughts beneath your feet and into the ground. Stay present. It does not mean to not honor these feelings or thoughts that come up in us, but to then not give it a place in where you are now.

It is so difficult for any of us to live 100% in the now. It is a practice that you must practice over and over. At the beginning it is minute by minute, then gradually hour by hour and eventually day by day. However, our human nature is always to revert back to listening to the stories in our heads, instead of the truth in our hearts.

We are taught that the heart only bares our desires, passions and wants and that these things have no right in our lives because if we are not struggling or aching or in some way, sweating to an end goal, we don’t deserve it. However, the heart is much more than that. It is our only truth. What lies in our hearts is who we truly are and if we relied on listening to it more, we’d know that we can live in the present and slowly let go of what is in our heads.

Those desires, passions and wants, are your true self. They are not governed by obligations and shoulds. If we looked closer and built a closer relationship with our heart, we’d see the truth of who we truly are and the potential we have to grow into the person we were meant to be.

Once you get a hint of your heart and the wants it is seeking, you begin to want to know more and more and you become lighter because you are not bogged down by the false feelings your head creates. When something is false or fake, it seems to weigh heavier because you have to hold up a stronger façade of yourself to others. However, when you are living in your truth, there is nothing to hide or lies to keep up with and you live lighter and freely because you are free.

As I fell into the mediation yesterday, I wondered how to explain letting go to some that are so used to thinking if they repeat the stories over and over in their heads, they’ll eventually figure it out. And I thought of this:

Imagine yourself holding bags of groceries. They are plenty and heavy; like your thoughts. Once you reach home, you’ll need to put these groceries away or they’ll spoil. Each grocery has it’s proper place; refrigerator, pantry, bathroom closet, etc. Once the groceries are out of your hands and into their proper place, you immediately feel lighter and no longer see your groceries, they are away, where they belong.

If we looked at this from the prospect of how to put our thoughts away into their proper place, we will feel lighter. Once a thought from the past pops up, place it back in its place by simply saying:” I am here now. That belongs there.” You can even name where it needs to go, example: “This thought belongs to my 7 year old self.” And then tell yourself where/who you are now, the date and time and what you are currently doing: “I am 37 years old, standing in my kitchen on Tuesday at 8:15am, scrambling eggs for breakfast.”

If a thought from the future pops up, the same practice can be taken, however in reverse. State what you are doing, who you are in the now, the date and time & what you are doing and where the future thought belongs: “I am 37 years old and I am standing in my kitchen scrambling eggs for breakfast. The thought that is coming from a future place does not belong here because it is Tuesday, 8:15am and I can’t foresee the future.”

These are things that have helped me tremendously. I am not a doctor or psychologist or anyone with a degree. However, I am a human having gone through some intense traumatic experiences and I can tell you what has worked for me over and over again. I have walked the path of least resistance and the knowledge I have, comes from experience & practice.

Again, this is a practice. Therefore, it must occur often and with practice it becomes easier. The thoughts may come but they will not take residence in your head, eating up every moment of your life or debilitating you. Instead they leave as fast as they arrive or not at all.

So to live a life of non-attachment and letting go, it is about staying present because it is the only time we have.

Eckhart Tolle said: Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.

We have the power within us to live in the present. The tools to stay focused on the now and to be more aware of this very moment lie in letting go by not attaching yourself to the past or the future and accepting the now.

Truths on Losing a Baby

I didn’t want to fail but it wasn’t really up to me. When I was losing him, I swear I thought I was going to get to keep him. They told me they heard his heartbeat every time they put the monitor to my belly. You could hear his beautiful, strong heartbeat. He wanted out of there too. He wanted to see us too and hug us and kiss us and play with us and watch us grow old and be a big brother. He wanted us to watch him smile and laugh and discover everything this world had in store for him. Sadly, that wasn’t up to us. What we most want sometimes, isn’t up to us.

I want to believe he’s better off wherever he is but the truth is, my angry side. The side that took away my belief in becoming a mother tells me differently. It tells me he’d of had the best life with us here.

He’d of been 12 this year.

No one really prepares you for loss. They don’t really talk about the possibility of it happening or how to really cope with it. They tell you, everyone grieves differently. They don’t tell you that losing a child is so very different from losing an adult. Someone that had the chance to live and experience life. Someone that maybe felt love and gave love. They don’t tell you any of this.

No one barely talks about what it feels like to go to a place that you place high hopes on helping you save your child, only to come home with an empty stomach but still protruding where his body used to lay. Or how you’ll go to sleep and wake up the next day having forgotten for a split second, then like an avalanche it all comes rushing back; the scare, the scream, the giving birth to death, the asking if you want to hold him, the no and then the box they give you with pictures of his beautiful face and the knitted hat they placed on him; in case he was cold?

We do such ridiculous things to sweep under the rug such raw moments. Instead, I pictured him yelling out to me, “Mommy, don’t let them do this to me. Help me mommy,” and they just couldn’t see his suffering through the monitor. They assumed his strong heartbeat meant he was going to be able to make it and fight whatever it was and make it to the other side where me and his father waited months to meet him.

Instead, I can still hear the screams of his father as he crouched down in defeat in that hospital hallway yelling, “not my son, no, not my son!”

This, they don’t tell you. They are unable to. We are unable to express how loss is more than a burial in a small box placed underneath the dirt. It’s the pieces we lose of ourselves. It’s the hope and dreams that go lost too and get buried in that box with it. It’s the stories we had made up about him that get buried, that we’ll never, ever get to know if they could have been true or not. If we could have ever pushed him on a swing or let him go when he yelled, “let go, let go” and pedaled himself down the road.

Yes, dreams and hope eventually come in other forms, in other lives, other births. But it doesn’t mean we ever forget the losses and the confusion that came before.

I can tell you, those having lost, losing now, about to lose; stay in your pain, stay there for a while. Stay in the stories you built. Write them down. Stay in your confusion, in your hurt, in your disbelief. Eventually you’ll know when it’s time to catch your breath and then another one and one more. You’ll know when to put it to rest in peace.

Every so often, the moment will hit, that loss will hit, those feelings will hit and you just steady yourself. Ask to be excused if you must and you remember that child, that hope, those dreams and give it the life it didn’t get to have here, on this earth plane. Say its name, picture its voice, its face and give it life, even if only but for a moment, give it life.

Mind Trap

What am I doing it all for if everything I write  remains in the dark?
If the messages I receive I keep to myself? They're doing no good up here and definitely no good on this scrap of paper.
The messages are for now. Not for when my child finds them one day in an old box, tucked away in a closet.
Everyday it seems like the same quest with no actual map
I know where I want to go, just not how
Or how and not why
Or why and not now
It's such a fucked up way this head works sometimes
The constant self-motivation is exhausting
The reminders of doing this first or that first and then this and then that
When I really just want to do this
This very thing I know I was gifted
The gift of placing pen to paper and writing out words meant for you
So in my daily struggle, that is the only solace I hold on to
Knowing that it's for you
The one as broken as me
That needs to hear these words
That finds them randomly one day, while skimming a book and landing right on this page
Knowing that yes, this is your sign
This message is for you
These words are being written for you
And it's in that, I find the strength
To get up from my lazy ways
To get up from the lies I tell myself about being enough 
And I place the pen to paper to tell you these words

Prayer = Express = Freedom

I believe many don’t pray because they simply don’t know how to pray or who to pray to or what to pray about or that it has to be this big, drawn out, theatrical performance with lit candles, in a dark room, on their knees at a particular time of day or all day and all the time.

It’s really much simpler than this. Often we pray when we’re in need, in trouble. So many of us don’t often pray when things are going well because we simply forget to. We are happy and don’t need help, so why pray? We often think of prayer as our last resort. And this is where the trouble lies.

Prayer should become like the glass of water we seek daily to quench us. It should become as easy as breathing and as present in our lives as we are. It should become as easy as it easy to talk to a friend or a mother or sibling.

The word ‘prayer’ gets a bad rap. The minute one thinks of it, they think, religion, God, spirituality. What if we changed it to ‘express’. What if we asked ourselves daily, how can I express my gratitude, my pleas, my needs, my scares, my wishes, my hopes, my thanks? Who can I talk to? Write to?

Grab your cup of tea and sit and just talk. That is prayer. Close your eyes if you’d like to, so as not be so distracted. And whatever comes up, just say it to whomever you want to pray to. Whomever you believe created you and this earth and is not of this earth. Whomever you believe is all powerful and knowing and loving. I pray to God, to me He has a name and a face. To me, although I say, He, it doesn’t necessarily make or break what I pray about. Gender is of no importance to me. For some it is. So be it, make it a she or neutral. Truthfully, He is a Spirit, not of this earth and is so grand and encompassing that whatever you make of who you’re praying to is fine. He has come in many forms but one thing remains-He is One. There is no one like Him. No one that will understand you more, love you more, protect you more and believe in you more. So again, whomever or whatever you pray to, remember that. That’s what makes prayer so powerful and useful, that it’s not just a conversation with a friend. It’s a conversation with someone or thing that has the power to move mountains.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I want to make it understood that prayer is a conversation and should not be a recitation. When we recite, eventually we are not even listening to the words we are reciting. They hold no value. We are merely like robots pushing our mouths open and reciting words we’ve memorized.

In a conversation, you don’t know what will come up. You can talk about what’s happening in your life, what you’d like to happen. You can pray about not understanding things and wishing to. You can ask for strength to complete a task or ask to be uplifted. You can pray for others and their well being. You can ask to be guided and to have your eyes and ears peeled open to see and hear of any signs that are meant for you. For some it may feel like a one sided conversation, but in this way, you are really getting every and anything off your chest that you otherwise don’t know how because of so many reasons we sometimes don’t share our thoughts with others; rejection, judgement, laughed at, confused, ashamed, guilt. Sometimes we just want to be heard and not necessarily spoken to.

Just knowing that you can speak without fear of opposition, is already a great step in prayer. Well, what’s the point then? some of you may ask. I can just talk to myself and figure it out.

Have you guys ever talked to yourselves to try and figure a problem out only to repeat the same story over and over and have it snowball into something else? A scenario so big you don’t even remember how you got there. Then what often happens are the menacing thoughts because you’ve filled your head up so much, there’s no room for anything else. This often causes anxiety and depression.

Praying eases you of these thoughts. Because as you pray and talk about the thoughts in your head, you release them and the more you pray, the more you realize how easy it easy to share those thoughts and soon your thoughts lessen because they’re not getting so crammed up there and you have room to hear the messages. The messages come. Maybe not in the way you think or as soon as you think. Our time is very different than that of God’s or the Universe. We, as humans, want things done and answered now. We seek quick gratification. Instead, we should pray for patience and ask that whatever it is we are seeking, is truly meant for us. If so, to let it find its way. We can ask for patience and we can even ask to be able to see/hear the answers when they arrive.

We’ve got the conversation part down. Now, lets move on to other ways you can pray.

Journaling or letter writing. We’ve all written letters or emailed a friend, right? It’s the same format with prayer writing. You can write it to a “friend”, that friend being the person you believe to be greater than you or you can journal it. Journaling is beautiful because it’s like diary writing. Whatever you write, is between you and those pages and of course, whoever you imagine is listening to your pleas and thank you. (And yes, I meant ‘pleas’ and not ‘please’).

I’ve found methods like these to work for me. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to praying. There can’t be. We are all made differently in the way we think, feel, speak and believe. Therefore, how you approach prayer should equal to how you approach life.

The main point is to not keep it in. Not think you’re alone in anyway. That there is someone or something greater than you that has your back, that wants all the goodness and riches of this world you deserve and more. That you can count on someone/thing other than yourself. That you don’t have to carry the burdens of life on your shoulders. That you have a way to release your feelings and thoughts and not keep them in only to feel heavy and explosive.

What if I don’t believe in God or something grander than me? I believe this is where you need to start expressing and asking questions. Ask yourself, where’d I come from? Who built this body of mine, these cells, these organs, all the things inside of me so intricately that I don’t even have to think about breathing or tell my heart to keep beating? Ask yourself the hard questions first. Consider where you came from, how you were made, how the grass and trees and flowers and animals of all kinds were made. Begin there. Begin at creation. A creation that could not possibly have been made by man. So when you begin there you can begin wondering and coming up for yourself who you think has your back. Who you think is all encompassing, all loving, all knowing. There’s got to be, right? You have an entire life to find these answers and these questions too can be prayed and written.

It does not have to equal God for you. It can be someone or thing entirely different. I am not here to try and convince you or preach to you. I am simply saying; there is a way to let go and let be all your anxiousness, all your burdens and you do not have to get down on your knees for it and look up at the sky. You can sit at a desk, in a park, on a mountain and look around you and say, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you or help me, help me, help me.’ You can even say, “I don’t know what to say. Where to begin. What to ask for. Help me understand.”

And watch how the power of letting it out unfolds a whole new way of looking and appreciating the world around you.

A Note to the Unborn

What if we were able to be exactly what we felt all the time? 

Without fear of judgement;  who’s watching, who’s got something to say?

If we could be our truest selves without boundaries or defaulting to the selves we were told to be.

If we could be allowed to feel all our feelings. 

Our downs and our ups, without fear.

What if we were capable of living without all this fear? 

Why do we live with so much fear? 

Always trying to put on a show. A sort of façade? Why? Just why?

All these things we were told to be, behave like, believe in. 

What if from the time our chests beat freely from the outside of our mothers womb we were immediately able to just be? 

Not instilled or taught default ways of toxic cycles?

What if from the very beginning we were ourselves? 

Taking in only what we liked or what we enjoyed?

Don’t instill in me your views. 

Instead, tell me how to dream. How to listen. How to speak up. How to lean in to my feelings. How to feel them. 

Tell me how fear is a part of exploring what’s meant for me.

Instill in me the values of being human; love without conditions.

Accept all of humanity as they are; learning and still learning. 

Educate me on the foundations of life; we are life meant to experience it in all its ebbs and flows.

The Things that Make You

You are not your outside parts.

You are not your eyes, your ears, the color of your hair or the shape of your brows.

You can’t see loyalty by the length of hair or humor by the shape of brows or honesty by the color of skin or gentleness by the shape of bellies.

Nothing of what you look like on the outside defines you.

The essence, the truth, the root of you, is not a thing, a shape, a length, a color.

It can’t be touched or poked or molded.

Who you are is embedded deep inside of you.

A feeling.

Not tangible.

Your heart, holding all of who you are.

Darling remember, you are not your outsides.

Not what you wear, where you live or what you eat.

Not the home you live in or the family you were raised by.

You may have your mother’s nose, your father’s eyes and your aunt’s sweet ways.

But your outsides; your accent, your scent, your broad shoulders and thick thighs, no my love, those are not you.

You’re weird, you’re unique, you’re different.

You’re the things that make you cry and laugh and giggle and yell.

You’re the secrets that you keep.

The things you find amazing and lovely and whole.

The things that frighten you and keep you awake.

The things that you can’t speak of without your throat going dry and holding up a finger asking, “Just one minute please?”

You’re you.

Beautifully and wonderfully made.

Celebrate it.

Shout it from your rooftop.

Thank you for you.

Thank you for your presence.

Without it, we’d be empty & one less human away from amazing.

And in this life, we need all the amazing we can get.