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Posts Tagged ‘self-love’

Hello all!
Seems it’s been far too long since I posted here, not to worry. I’ve been writing and making merry… just not here.

I wanted to let everyone know that I am participating in the 13 Stories For Halloween again this year and am very thrilled to be a part of the collection over there — I will post the link as soon as the fun… I mean spookiness, begins.

Now… for the fun here. I am thrilled to share an amazing poem by an even more amazing young author that I feel very fortunate to call friend.
Cameron Eileen has been writing since a wee age (she’s all of “almost” 17 now). I read the poem I’m going to share for you and was blown away, and then she told me she wrote it when she was 11. Her words are so pure and honest and powerful. I will be sharing more from her in the future, to be sure.

Show some love for Cameron in the comment section after you breathe in this beautiful poem —

image

The Mirror ~~~

by Cameron Eileen


Look in the mirror.
Do you see what I see,
Looking back at you and me?
That little blemish upon my nose,
And all those freckles!
Where did I get all those?
My tiny little lips and my curveless hips,
That’s all I used to see,
Until this smile finally found me.
Now, smile is all I do,
For I know what I thought was not true.
I know now that no one is perfection,
And all the mirror shows is a reflection.
Look in the mirror.
Do you see what I used to see?
If you do, look deeper,
And you’ll finally see me.

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i am recklessly guiding words on to this page, forcing them to infiltrate the battle lines in my mind, there are bombs bursting and gunfire and screams and taunts and snarls and the worst kind of laughter, i see it coming from you but you’re not even aware of my visions and neither am i, really, the scenes are choppy and scattered and out of sequence, there is no logic and yet i sit here and write them down and assemble this puzzle and look so hard at the words racing through my tired brain for that logic but it’s a blur, all of it, i wish i could will myself to believe the words, to grab them and shove them deep into my pockets so i can pull them out when i need them but they’re so slippery, those logical words are so slippery, so when i reach my hand in to grab hold of the logic the only words that i can pull out are all those words i wish would disappear, all those words cling to my sweating skin and i can’t shake them off, i try so hard, i violently twist like a dog emerging from a muddy lake but they are so sticky, these words,
i tremble
i cry
i toss
i pace
i write
i seek
…clarity, but all that bubbles up is the muck and mire of yesterday’s troubles,
release me
and let me go, walk away and give me room to grow,
stay
oh god please stay and be my friend, please let me be a second chance, please let it be about me, i am wilting
watch
i am fighting to fill my lungs
i am continuing
i am becoming
I am beautifully fucked up, i am breathing in deep and exhaling slow and steady, i am organizing my mind and calming my soul and i am here, sitting, watching, but not waiting, i am releasing these words on to this page and the battles are fading into the back of my thoughts and i can breathe, in and out, i can breathe and calm my thoughts to get these words on this page and walk away triumphantly leaving these pieces of me behind
i can go
i can go
i can go
see me
see me
see me

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So this is what it’s like.
The dark so thick no glimmer of light can get in.
The air so stale my lungs lurch to escape the fumes.
The sign reads, “no train horn”.
My head hurts.
My eyes are blurry.
My heart sings with the questions that only clarity can answer.
So… Many… Questions.
A million ways I’ve asked.
A million ways I’ve tried to be heard.
A million ways I’ve tried to explain a piece of the my soul to you as if there could ever be an explanation that would shed light on the darkened path that we can sometimes travel if we allow ourselves to float freely down the rabbit hole.

So this is what it’s like.
Figuring out who you are through someone else’s eyes.
Their vision is so cloudy they stumble and fall on my mistakes.
The sign reads, “you are here”.
Looking for myself.
My finger scanning the map.
My mind wanders from place to beautiful place.
So… Many… Places.
Not pulling you back to the abyss we’ve already visited.
Never wanting to pull you back.
Pulling you back would mean I’m still there too looking for some dysfunctional company because that’s the only kind of friend who would crawl into the rabbit hole with you, a beautifully fucked up friend.

So this is what it’s like.
The tunnel you’ve been crawling through suddenly opens to a rocky shore.
The rocks are so jagged but on the other side is the sweet ebb and flow of breath.
The sign reads, “always becoming”.
A calm exhale.
Toxic thoughts pushed out by the salty ocean air.
So… Many… Thoughts.
Letting go of all the small things.
Blocking them from ever returning.
The small things grow into big things and those big things can pull you under, so far under that your lungs scream at you because you’re breathing through a straw so you turn away from the rabbit hole and you grasp the hand of that friend and you walk away and dip your toes in the cool ocean not afraid to look back.

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Photo From Kind Over Matter

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I’m not a writer,
nor a poet,
nor a painter.
I’m not a lost soul,
nor a student,
nor a teacher.
I’m not a follower,
nor a leader,
nor a stand-in-liner.
I’m not searching for myself,
nor finding something else,
nor longing to belong.

I am trust,
and I am my truth,
and I am my story.
I am telling,
and I am singing,
and I am my song.

I am this moment.
I am these words,
I am this page.

I am more,
I am enough.

I am becoming.

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dear _____,
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

there will be times that running away… far far away, will seem like the smartest thing to do. but know this, it’s not. running only puts the problem farther out of reach and harder to solve.
it’s not always going to be complicated either — learn to recognize the difference. learn to recognize the difference between someone else’s tragic bullshit and your beautifully complicated story.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

when you’re young… too young to know such things, too young to worry about such things, too young to experience all of that — that complicated soul searching bullshit that you are too young to think about… stop. walk away. retain your childhood, the carefree skipping around in life that we are all entitled to — yes, entitled to.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

when that summer seems to go on forever, lie on the ground and stare up at the stars and know the complete feeling of being so small and alone and yet you will never feel so connected to the world. let the shining of the stars and the chirping of the tree frogs and the swooping of the bats paralyze you with the knowledge that you are small… in the very best possible way, you are small.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

stick around after closing time, that’s when all the best stories will reveal themselves but don’t become a story someone else writes. don’t waste time looking for a perfect apple… they all have bruises and those bruises have something to say — listen. listen to their story. don’t stand still, don’t ever stand still, keep moving forward.
and remember, forward won’t always be the right direction or the best direction or the safest… but you don’t need the safest.
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

when you get to the bottom of your rope, don’t tie a knot in it — let go. yes, let go and soar and be curious about what’s at the bottom. no more directionless, no more drifting, no more worrying, no more wishing — just let go.
never be made useless.
so don’t run away… reach out, reach out as far as you can and keep reaching — the hand you’ve been waiting for will be there.

dear _____,
stay.
stay.
… and stand fearlessly in the midst of it all.

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So, I have to ask, “what’s so wrong with a puffy face?”

If you haven’t had a chance to read the article by Ashley Judd, go ahead and read it now… I’ll wait.
I realize that the nature of the article that Ashley Judd wrote was in defense of the accusations against her regarding plastic surgery. Her thoughts are absolutely on point. The conversation about the way women look is perpetuated by us… women. And why is that? Why have we grown accustomed to being mean to each other, to pointing out the physical flaws in each other with vigor.

We accuse a beautiful woman of being too beautiful and so we don’t like her.
We accuse someone who wears her age on her face of needing to do something about it and so we don’t like her.
If you’re confident in your physical appearance, you’re vain.
If you’re humble in your physical appearance, you’re weak.
And who’s speaking the loudest… our “friends”, our friends are often the worst.

So what if Ashley Judd had plastic surgery? So… what.
She didn’t, however, she had taken steroids for an illness. As my, more than beautiful friend Kelly Bergin points out in her recent article in The Daily Beast… steroids can be a bitch. You never know what someone else is facing.

Plastic surgery, an illness, a life lived hard… so why propagate this maddening conversation revolving around women and their looks. We are affecting the younger versions of ourselves, the girls who are watching it all from the metaphorical sidelines with a nervous anxiety, hoping that this is not what it’s like to be a woman in our world. After all, they are already experiencing this in middle school… at what age do we all just shut up about it?

Why the rush to judge, to critique, to criticize? This misogynistic behavior isn’t just being bolstered by men — we are doing it to each other.

Here’s the thing… Ashley Judd is beautiful, but even more stunning than her physical appearance, as she showed in this conversation she’s leading us in, she is damn intelligent.
Would it have been so bad if she had plastic surgery? Would she have automatically become a fraud? Would it have made us, the rest of us, feel good about ourselves for a brief nanosecond?
What if Ashley Judd would have said, “yes, I’m puffy, I’ve gained weight, I’m 43, let me see your cellulite!” Would that have been the end of the world? Do we need an excuse to explain our outward appearance?

Here’s a truth. I’ve had three c-sections, three. Do you have any idea what having three c-sections does to a woman’s body? There are areas on my abdomen that will never be flat or taut or look anywhere close to a washboard. Quite frankly, I’m waiting anxiously for that day to come when my bladder completely fails me and I can have it tacked back up… because, when they’re in there, I am having them tuck in my tummy and take as much away as medically possible. And I don’t really care who knows, it’s what I want to do… it’s my body.

My body that wakes me up every morning.
My body that goes from plank to chaturanga about 99 times a day.
My body that sends a mesmerizing feeling all the way to my toes when my lips press against another’s.
My body that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when it knows danger is approaching.
My body that gave life to three humans.
My body that bounced back after a miscarriage.
My body that keeps my feet moving forward on all the switchbacks in my favorite hike.
My body that cartwheeled a car off a mountain and walked away.
My body that swims in the ocean.
My body that makes my heart beat quicken when I look in his eyes.
My body that finally allows me to fall asleep.
My body that wraps my arms around someone in a tight hug.
My body that runs that extra mile.
My body that loves me and never gives up on me.

So, is my puffy face unforgivable if it’s because I’ve gained some weight? Do you feel like an ass when you find out my puffy face is because I’m very ill? Will you laugh behind my back because I decided to have plastic surgery on my puffy face? Does my puffy face make you feel better about your puffy face or your puffy stomach or your puffy bum?

I’m not Mother Theresa on this issue, I’ve laughed and snickered and questioned other women’s appearances. But, here’s what I know, I’m tired of being in competition with the rest of the world in regards to my physical appearance, that only puts me in competition with my own body… my body and I are a team, we shouldn’t be competing against one another. The more I get to know my body, the more I realize all the things it does for me everyday. The more I learn to listen to it and trust it… the better care I take of it. I hope, as I’m older now and wiser, that I continue to learn just how magnificent my body is… it does so much for me everyday.
Like right now… my body is desperately wanting me to stop writing this blog post, get off my puffy ass, and go for a jog — so, I will.

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something made you cry and you screamed so loud,
when your tears streamed down and you fell on your knees,
when those last few words came hurling out,
when I stood my ground instead of turning to leave,
… that wasn’t me.

if you see someone facing the oncoming storm,
… that’ll be me.
if you see some toes wiggling deep in the sand,
… that’ll be me.
when the wings of self love fly high through the air,
… that’ll be me.

you got so mad with 10,000 rhymes,
did the words on the page embarrass you,
did someone ask too often for a minute of time,
did she steal your wish because she had so few,
… that wasn’t me.

on a star someone sits with all the wishes come true,
… that’ll be me.
when your page fills with words so easily,
… that’ll be me.
on the day the fog lifts and a hand is reaching for you,
… that’ll be me.

if I said “see me” more often than I should,
if I broke you down beyond repair,
if I tried too hard because I thought I could,
if that poem I wrote was as transparent as air,
… that wasn’t me.

that person still standing when the storm dies down,
… that will be me.
… that will be me.

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these are the things I’m not…
a sea of scattered storms,
thunder and lightning,
swirling winds out of control,
a ship being tossed.

these are the things I’m not…
a wandering child,
shivering from the chill of each forward step,
paralyzed by the unknown monster in the closet,
a fear lurking around a corner.

these are the things I’m not…
a book with too many words,
a pinball thumping from bumper to bumper,
a string of incoherent thoughts,
a poem that doesn’t rhyme.

these are the things I’m not…
a tally of all the wrongs,
the number of people who slipped away,
a mourning of memories,
a road going nowhere.

these are the things I’m not…
a limit on my possibilities,
a crack so small the light can’t get through,
a shadow blurred and distorted,
a broken branch on the forest floor.

these are the things I’m not…
a star that lost its glow,
a speck at the bottom of the world,
a mountain without a view,
a soul who lost all hope.

I’m not…
giving up,
giving in,
playing dead,
rolling over,
glancing back,
sealed tight,
weeping silently,
stuck in the moment,
afraid to hurl myself at the blazing sun.

these are the things I’m not…
a story that moves too slow,
a song in a melancholy pitch,
the world caving in,
a novel that will never be finished.

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This is the air I dare to breathe….

The air I dare to breathe is sweet.
It’s calming, it’s blue….
like the water just past the shore,
leading out to the openness of the ocean.
You can see through it,
the colorful fish darting around.
It’s warm.
It’s inviting me to stay.

The air I dare to breathe is alive.
It’s movement, it’s green….
like the bush that grows out of control,
covering my step with all its wildness.
I don’t dare cut it to shape,
it’s messy.
It’s beautiful.
It tells me to sit down.

The air I dare to breathe is burning.
It’s love, it’s red….
like the quick glance from a stranger,
scanning my body for an invitation.
Looking away so our eyes never meet,
the blush creeping up my neck.
It’s remembering.
It reminds me to never forget.

The air I dare to breathe is filling.
It’s steady, it’s yellow….
like the sturdy hand of a friend,
grasping me so I know I’m not alone.
Letting go at just the right time,
my mind knows what my heart can’t see.
It’s learning.
It keeps hope in a safe place.

The air I dare to breathe is looking.
It’s searching, it’s gray….
like the crevasse in the mountain we climb,
giving me a place to rest.
Revealing my next stronghold,
unleashing the hero in me.
It’s living.
It has possibilities with each step forward.

This is the air I dare to breathe….

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this is that moment,

what are you going to do?

dance around, twirling, swirling,

like the thoughts that won’t leave you alone.

you’re left gasping for air,

but none comes.

you’re breathing through a straw,

don’t you see?

this is that moment,

what are you going to do?

back away from the space between,

see what fills it up,

memories that never happened,

words that never touched your ears,

a warm hug that evaporated from a distant thought,

don’t you see?

this is that moment,

what are you going to do?

let go of that space,

the sand can’t hold you steady,

the water is pulling you away,

just give in and drop your head under,

the silence will comfort you,

don’t you see?

this is that moment,

what are you going to do?

look what you’re already made of,

sugar mixed in with some dirt,

the humanness of caring too much,

the surf spits you back out too,

in that space between,

don’t you see it?

this is that moment,

what are you going to do?

sink

swim

run

hide

smile

cry

laugh

scream

hurl yourself at the space between,

steady yourself on the changing surf,

move forwards,

always move forwards,

don’t you see it?

this is that moment,

what are you going to do?

.

You could begin to notice whenever you find yourself blaming others or justifying yourself. If you spent the rest of your life just noticing that and letting it be a way to uncover the silliness of the human condition—the tragic yet comic drama that we all continually buy into — you could develop a lot of wisdom and a lot of kindness as well as a great sense of humor.


Pema Chödrön

Quote found here, from Kind Over Matter

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