the water bearer

I love pouring my heart out into other people.

I just do. I am over the top. I will sing you songs. Write you letters. Buy you books I think you would like. I will carve out time for you in a place that feels like there’s none. I will listen thoughtfully to your troubles, help you carry them to the river as you trust the water to wash them away. I will ask for the words that lay in the deepest, forgotten back corners of your heart. I will ask for you to speak them aloud, and I will tell you mine. I will build a shelter around you so you feel safe to bare it all—shadow and light. When we lock eyes, you will hear the language only souls speak. The love I pour into you will transcend time, and you’ll know when you feel it still 15 lifetimes from now.

Yes. I love pouring my heart out into other people.

For that fact I’ve had to learn the hardest lessons in boundaries, self-worth and codependency. It was so easy filling everyone’s cup, but when it came to my own it stayed empty. I starved myself of love in the pursuit of love. The road back to myself, to my center, with not just a cup overflowing but a fountain, has been long and arduous. But I cannot doubt that I am here, swimming in a self-love and inner knowing affirmed by my ability to handle the outer chaos around me.

To fill my cup I had to be honest with myself about many things. Most especially about when I’ve given only in expectation to receive. When offerings came not from genuine love, but manipulation born from wounding and fear. To face myself, my fear, disappointment, grief and shame and sit with it, hold it and release it is my most difficult task and greatest teacher. The healing comes in waves. It’s a practice. It’s a road you walk with no tangible destination, but a feeling. I don’t walk it alone. Anytime I lean on a friend, cry on a shoulder or open up my heart to show a place unhealed, I am met with compassion. There are no words to describe the love I’ve found in my friendships. True friends, soul family, are willing to see you in all ways that you are. They put you on no pedestal. There’s no distorted vision of your being. They just see you, and that’s enough. Whoever came to your mind as I was describing this, please text or call them ASAP. Thank them. Tell them you love them too and see their light.

Back to my point—I do not desire to hold back, and I do not have to. If you are like me, a romantic, a lover, a poet, a wordsmith, a mystic, a dreamer; let your nature roam free. Work with the inner leanings of your soul rather than against. It is possible to pour your love into people and have boundaries. If someone cannot receive your love, you must redirect it back to yourself. Don’t let the rejection of your offering become a challenge to offer more, and don’t let it scare you into stopping your love. Like I said, redirect. Redirect! Redirect it back to yourself, to your family, your friends, your neighbors, your mentors, humanity.

Also pro-tip: pouring yourself doesn’t have to be a rushing waterfall. It can be a slow trickle. Until you learn more about someone. Until you build trust. Until you feel safe. Take your time. This is a lesson I learned recently, thankfully. I’ve always known “Love cannot live where there is no trust” (a quote said by Cupid from one of my favorite Greek myths). Yet there I was time and time again pouring my love into strangers who had built no trust with me. I so often let chemistry and the wonderful intoxication of connection lead me down long winding paths of up and down whirlwind romances that only led me back to myself, worn out and wishing for something more.
Things are different now. They’ve been different. It’s easier to say no. To say take it slow. To say this is what I need. To say this is not enough. It’s peaceful, and I didn’t have to sacrifice who I was. I simply became more of it. More love. More strength. More boundaries. More self-worth. More commitment to a clearer vision of what leading a good life means to me.

This world is changing rapidly with no end in sight. It’s surreal, devastating and dizzying. But please, hold onto who you are at your highest self. Hold on to your values. Hold onto what values you. If you don’t know what or who that is, be curious. Remain open to discovery. But also don’t worry about being centered all the damn time. This is not Zen 101. Nothing about the current state of the world is Zen, okay? I talk about centering a lot, but to center is to be in a moment. The action itself is fleeting, but the feeling is eternally within you and always accessible to you. A moment of reconnection while we traverse the complicated and unpredictable landscape of life that lays before us. Negative emotions come and go. Positive emotions come and go. They are not who you are. Every now and then practice reaching your center however you want to do it. Do you paint? Do you run? Do you write? Do you laugh? Do you hold your child? Do you go for a drive? Do you sing? Do you lay in a field watching the clouds slowly pass by, ignoring the ant crawling on your arm because hey, maybe he’s watching them too and you don’t mind the company? There are so many ways throughout your day to touch this part of yourself that is full of maitri (loving-kindness for oneself). The moment before or after it maybe you were crying, screaming, checked out, sulking, grieving. Whatever it was, all are okay. Truth is, you can center yourself and the absurd fact remains that although you have an entire universe inside your head, you’re simultaneously one of many little beings hurtling through space and time at inconceivable speed. So, for the time you’re here, as challenging or delightful it may be, who do you want to be?

Because I already told you about me. I love pouring my heart out into other people, and I’m learning to be more myself in a way that’s healthy. I love holding space for healing. I love seeing all of who people are, even in the darkest and deepest of ways. I love remembering the little things no one notices. I love my solitude and losing myself in my senses. I love green and being surrounded by it. I love new ideas and the buzz of brainstorming the limitless. I love storytelling. I love philosophizing over coffee. I love eating cake with my best friend at two in the afternoon just because we feel like it. I love walking in the rain. I love being vulnerable. I love so, so many things and people on this weird little planet. Finally, I love owning exactly who I am and stepping into the power I have to change my life, in both the smallest and largest of ways.

So, yeah. That’s who I am and going to be. No matter what happens.

from nothing to everything.

“This oracle comes with guidance for you. You are being asked to let go to receive, to become empty to be filled… It is the divine paradox that when we are asked to surrender a story or a fantasy, it is because reality is knocking at our door, more often than not, with the delivery of what we have been fantasizing about–but in the best way for us. The human experience of this paradox is that you may feel you are giving up hope, that your fantasy is dying. It may be very painful and bring you much grief. But all that is dying is your attachment and opinion about how it must be. This needs to happen so you can stop dreaming and start living it… Do not fear any part of your process; embrace it without expectation, with trust in your heart, that the Divine is simply guiding you from fantasy into fulfillment.”

Alana Fairchild, Rumi Oracle

From nothing to everything.

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

Everything.
Everything.
Everything.

When I go to my Rumi Oracle deck, I know I will be given nothing but true and clear guidance. So here I am, surrounded by Christmas lights, a sleeping cat and flickering candles in an apartment that smells of incense and pine, as lightning lights up the sky of a warm southern winter night. I am asking for something–anything–to help me understand this past year. What’s the most important lesson to take away? What should I definitely leave behind? What awaits me? Whenever December hits, I am overtaken by this feeling of overwhelm. It is both exciting and serious. Which I’m sure by no coincidence corresponds with the two Zodiac signs that rule the month–Sagittarius (playful, optimistic, prophetic) and Capricorn (structured, responsible, timely). So I pull this card, From Nothing to Everything. Actually, I don’t pull it at all. It jumps out as soon as I ask my question during shuffle, and I know it is a message that will not be ignored.

This card speaks of the release of a “story” and how our “storytelling” often gets in the way of our ability to receive our blessings and embody who we are meant to be. Our stories are made up of attachments and expectations. They are an amalgamation of how we’ve interpreted our past experiences and others interpretations of us that we’ve accepted as true. Our stories are messy, wonderful, wounded and intricate.

Our stories must be wiped clean.

This energy is already in the collective. The current astrologic aspects (the Saturn Pluto conjunction that culminates in 2020 is one in particular) are all about us finally releasing an old story we’ve been telling ourselves (for years, possibly all of our lives) and choosing a new one. Our new story speaks from our soul and who we are at our core, without the clouded judgment of our ego and outside validation. It is a massive step into personal power that also heals the collective. This is no small task. To choose a new story is to seemingly abandon “who we are” now. This is terrifying, unsettling and also kind of angering. I don’t know about you but I’ve worked pretty hard to become the person I am now. I love the person I am and the last thing I want to do is abandon her. Yet everywhere I turn, it feels as though that is what the Universe is asking of me.

Here’s the thing–it is, and it isn’t. Yes, we are being asked to let go of a narrative we’ve accepted as truth, but it’s only to become MORE of ourselves. This is an uncomfortable paradox of identity. I’ve found some comfort in Jack Kornfield’s words when approaching this process:

“As a Buddhist psychologist, I am aware that sometimes when people hear about the teaching of selflessness, they can become agitated or afraid. This is because focusing on selflessness is not always the right medicine. Speaking of selflessness when a person feels shaky, traumatized and fragile can bring up feelings of disorientation and even terror. At such times, what is needed is safety and a feeling of balance. We can provide this balance through our reassuring presence, through the reminders of compassion and spacious awareness. But even those who are fragile can eventually benefit from the freedom beyond self-image, beyond the illusion of self.”

Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart

You are more than the stories that you’ve collected to make up your self image.
But in the same breath that you are more, you are also less.
You are as expansive as the outmost reaching edges of the cosmos and as minimal as the atom.
Being here,
being this,
being You.
Which, You are.
How can You Be
but also Be Nothing?

How do we reconcile this paradox? Hell if I know.

Seriously, haha. This is something people have dedicated their lives to discovering and teaching. It is something I am still learning to navigate. I am diving in completely, happily bewildered as a student of this life. This post is not about me teaching You, the reader, anything. I am simply sharing my experience of where I am at, and I am checking in with you. How is it that in our Emptiness, our ability to hold that vast undefined space within us, exists while we remain so connected to who we are? It seems to boil down to a balance, to a practice, and to breath. But it is also a much bigger question I think I will be ruminating on for the remainder of this life. On a lighter note, there are some questions I think we all are a bit more equipped to answer.

What parts of your story feel like they don’t fit anymore?
Are you owning how much you’ve stepped into something new?
I beg you to really think about this. I know many of you have being digging into the deepest parts of yourself. You’ve put in so much work. Are you living a life that does said work justice? Or are you still stuck in an old mode/sense of self?

There is no shame in being stuck. We get stuck because something needs our attention, and we loop continuously until we finally face it. This is where compassion comes in. As your friend, as your partner, as your sister, as your fellow human, I can hold you in loving kindness and safety as you move through into what a new story means for you.

I am very aware of how heady this all sounds. But as the 6th principle of Buddhist psychology says, “Our life has universal and personal nature. Both dimensions must be respected if we are to be happy and free.” A release of an old story is NOT spiritual bypassing. What you DON’T get to do is decide, “Well that’s not who I am anymore,” and suddenly be absolved of all responsibility, suffering and pain. What you DO get to do is decide, “Well that’s not who I am anymore,” own your responsibilities and work through your suffering and pain. Then you can release it from your grasp, opening up your hands to receive something new.

As Jack Kornfield writes, 

“We can’t pretend we are too spiritual for any experience. If we are angry, Ajahn Chah said, we must admit it, look at its causes, know its particulars. If we are sad or frightened or ashamed or needy, this is our human condition, the perfect place to practice. Ajahn Chah insisted we could not find freedom and enlightenment somewhere else, only here and now: ‘It is here in the world of form. Only in form can we develop integrity, patience, generosity, truthfulness, dedication, compassion, the great heart of the Buddha.’
If we fear living the life we’re in, Buddhist psychology insists we explore our resistance. If we’re caught in fear of failure, in past trauma or insecurity, engaging the world can be difficult for us. We need to make conscious whatever keeps us from living fully.”

This is what’s been happening for us over the past decade, and most intensely over this past year. As I lean into the energy of the new year approaching, I feel 2020 refuses to let you enter without surfacing your deepest wounds and admitting what’s been holding you back from embracing Your wildest, truest life. You have to cop to the stories you’ve been telling yourself about yourself, and you have to admit how ridiculous they’ve been at times (be they negative or positive).

From Nothing to Everything.
Stripped down bare; we are all the same.
All nothing, all everything.

It is a paradox both confusing & enlightening. Freeing & terrifying. Your identity is completely made up. It can be ever-evolving and fluid, or you can stay stuck looping around ideas of who you ‘should’ be.

But right now beloved, all this is to say: This is an invitation.
Your invitation.
I am inviting you to flow in the Divine Mystery with a sense of self that is not so rigid.
You are malleable and new.
You are childlike and dancing through varying states of wonder.
You are full of past experiences–joyful and traumatic, mesmerizing and forgettable, simple and complex, and they have all made up your sense of Self. But they also do not have to define who you choose to be now.
In that release you do not lose anything.
You find a more expansive way of being.
You are Nothing
and Everything
and Nothing once again.

So let’s play.

And so it is.

nouveau départ

Two fraternal scars decorate my inner ankles now. The left cut went deeper than the other—born at the same time but different. Both there all the same. I never wear those boots, but I wore them that day. As we walked around the lake you asked me if they were comfortable. A light question in a heavy conversation. Between our words the silences lingered markedly. With anyone else I would’ve said it was uncomfortable, but with us the silence is never necessarily unwanted. I’ll admit, my cards were held so close to my chest I wondered if the Queen of Diamonds would imprint onto my heart. Would that make me stronger? In truth, my only real longing was to reveal my hand—in blind faith, in devotion, in one last hope you’d reach out for it.

The material of the boots dug into me. Our feet trekked along the paved path, but where were we really?

I stared straight ahead.

I could barely look at you the entire day.

Did you notice that?

I sighed.

It was beautiful, all of it.

The lake, the birds, the people, the trees.

The way you and I were strewn out in pieces like it mattered; as if we had any chance of making this better, as if there had ever been anything to make better.

We always speak in so many words. I blame our Mercurial moons. There had never been anything to say. From the moment we met, what existed (what exists) between us was never meant to be talked about, it was meant to be felt. To be known.

And now, all we needed to do was hold each other, and then let go.

Hold, and let go.

Hold, and let go.

I wanted to stop walking, it hurt.

I wanted to stop talking, it hurt. I didn’t know it but this wound was still being made. We were picking at scabs that hadn’t even formed yet. So, you asked about my boots and I replied they were fine.

“Comfortable enough.”

All the while I was bleeding, the entire way through.

~~~

Present day

The nonfiction piece above is so different to look back on now. It is an echo of someone who was on the brink of a huge upheaval. This past me wanted so badly to focus all her attention on those around her because then she could avoid what was really happening. There was so much I was still learning, still healing, still struggling to accept. I didn’t want to see how hurt I was. How hurt I had felt my whole life and continued to let myself feel. The pain I felt had a root so much deeper than my present situation. That situation, like so many before it, was a sad symptom of many larger issues I needed to admit. Issues of self worth, self-respect, boundaries. Most of all my issues of expressing my needs/desires/truth and knowing when to leave when they didn’t align with certain people. While I had been diving into this work prior, all of 2019 forced me to realize how much deeper into myself I needed to go.

I needed to see all for what it was, and decide where I would go from there. I needed to realize control isn’t a part of the equation, but acceptance is most certainly the answer. I needed to stop surrendering my personal power and with it responsibility for myself. It had become natural for me to hand my power over to circumstance when what I really needed was to embody it, believe in it, embrace it, celebrate it.

This power. My power.

Power of perspective. Power of choice. Power of forgiveness. Power of acceptance. Power of humility. Power of radical honesty. Power of unconditional love.

Now, I can say I know I am doing my best. I am weaving a life full of equal parts messy and joyful moments. It is both a dream and a sobering reality. I am standing here, in my power, still with two fraternal scars but they have faded, and I am grateful. I am right where I am supposed to be. All of my glorious failures as well as my successes have contributed to this. I am ecstatic to be Here. I am so in love with all of it—the hurt, the ecstasy, the epiphanies, the quiet, the growing pains, the fluidity, the irony, the belonging, the questioning, the inner knowing, the solitude, the confusion, the release, and most of all—the roaring, unending wilderness of possibility.

I’ve held on tightly for all of my life to so many people, places and things. I was desperately reaching. I was trying to get a handle on something not one thing outside of myself could give. I didn’t understand, but I do now. The peace I long for is with me. I experience it in moments. I let the healing wash over and accept the work may never be completely done. But moving in this direction feels right, and I like that.

Hold, and let go.

Hold all in love, all in wonder, all in respect, all in gratitude, all in honor.

Let all go in love, all in wonder, all in respect, all in gratitude, all in honor.

Whatever stays is none of my business, but where I choose to stay is ALL of my business.

And I choose to follow my heart, to be led by my Soul, to trust in the Grander scheme. I must accept the risk that comes with such a choice, and I do, humbly. Don’t get me wrong—I’m far from alone in this. I am surrounded by miraculously supportive, loving beings. And while I know this is my path regardless, that fact makes this choice much easier. So thank you. You all know who you are, Family and Friends. I am lucky to be loved by you and to love you. I do not take you for granted for a second.

So here goes.

To something different. To living in authenticity. To discovering a higher Truth. To pursuing my Personal Legend. To allowing my heart to want what it wants and listening to it—wholly & presently—so I may embrace the untamed, magical life I am creating. To letting go, so I can more fully receive.

And So it is.

a sailor’s prayer.

My intention was to love you. This is my intention with every person, with every connection I make. I love. What differs is the way that love manifests and blooms into existence. It’s different every time. Sometimes it changes with people over time, but it is always love, and it needs no explanation. “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” When we meet someone we have an idea of where our intended love will go. We’ll make choices and decisions based upon steering our love in the direction we desire. We visualize an outcome. This isn’t abnormal or even necessarily a bad thing. Visualization is healthy and helpful. There are some ways that intention can be insidious, but that has everything to do with the person doing the work and where they are in their healing process. Is their intention truly to love unconditionally? Or is it an escape out of loneliness? Is it actually a need for validation? Is it a vain attempt to numb a wound rather than heal it?

With you, I released the need to steer the ship. I decided the waves knew better how to get me to land. To an island with a jungle that’s lush and dense, so green it feels like you never even knew the true meaning of the color. Until now. A never-ending paradise abundant with life and nourishment. Of course, all jungles have dark, dangerous places too. But with love guiding me, I do not fear getting twisted up in the vines. Once I relax, release, the fear releases me too. I slip from the danger into a place of gratitude. The darkest parts of ourselves have a greater need to be seen than the lightest. This is where the deepest healing is. See me, it begs. This tests love, and love withstands.

So, I let go of the wheel of my ship and let it spin. Carried softly by salt and foam to whatever place is meant for me this time, I trust the motion. And while I could look at the night sky and consult the stars for an idea of where I’m going, it is more fun not to know.

Love.

Love.

Love.

My intention is to love you. It can blossom in any way it wants to, and that way will feel right. I stand securely and happily, with an open heart and open eyes. Love is a compass leading me home, “a little lighter, a little brighter.”

illusions undone.

Yesterday I felt an extremely overwhelming energy move through me. I couldn’t name it as positive or negative, it just was. An intensity. But lately, I’ve seen so many synchronicities. I’ve felt so much support and love coming from every corner of my life. I’ve been nurturing a safety within me where the foundation stems from an unshakeable confidence and trust within myself. After ruminating on all of this, I knew the energy was positive. And of course, naturally, my ego wanted me to doubt it all. My ego wants me to be a mistrustful, self-sabotaging, fearful pessimist. It wants me to accept pain as my reality. Where every light shines to remind me that I am worthy of the wonderful things I pray and work for, a voice in the shadow whispers a terror into my heart in efforts to keep it closed.

But it’s not.

I am open.
I am vulnerable.
I am on a path I trust.
I am joy.
I am connection.
I am making a choice.
I choose differently this time.

I choose to hold the wounded girl who’s voice echoes in the shadow. I choose to help her, love her through her sorrows. I am not separate from her. But I will not allow anguish from my past become suffering in my future. When it comes to my sisters and brothers in this life, I refuse to stand in a place of judgment and condemnation, of criticism and control. I choose acceptance. I choose faith. I choose unconditional love.

I am here now, and I trust it. I trust, and then I know. I know suffering is not my natural state of being, it’s simply one way of being. And once acknowledged, I can move through all of the beautifully painful intricacies of the ways my wounds have colored my world. I forgive myself for it. It helps me to see how you all are navigating your own trauma. I support you. I forgive you. I will not carry it for you, but I will hold your hand.

For so long, it was easier to create a “reality” in the shape of my fear. By anticipating pain I thought I was smarter than pain. But really, I was only ensuring that the pain I agonized over would be my only outcome. The more I anticipated disappointment the more comfortable I felt with it. The less comfortable I felt with actually getting what I deserved/wanted. In fear-based, loveless thinking the question, “What if it doesn’t happen?” isn’t the scary one. You are prepared for that because you’ve built up defenses for years to anticipate such a blow. The terrifying question is, “What if it does?” Because that question accepts loss as a possibility and doesn’t fear it. Because truthfully, loss is not separate from love. Once you recognize this its finally possible to accept we have never been separate from love. So often we’ve simply just refused to accept the abundance of it because lack, hurt and disappointment felt more familiar–a desolate illusion so many of us still cling to.

I ask you to release this illusion. It will take time and work, but it will be worth it. There is no real safety in severing yourself from connection, only an illusionary one that keeps you wandering, lost and wanting. I leave you with a passage from one of my favorite books, A Return to Love, to meditate upon. For myself to meditate upon. Because you and I, we are not separate. We are mirrors. Reflecting back and forth to each other, giving and receiving only what we’re willing to.

“Initially, I had chosen the way of anger. Now I choose the way of love. I did not have to be the wounded animal. I could choose to identify with my own strength, which was in fact the more natural role for me to play. I could choose to see others through a generous, trusting nature. My brother was not here to attack me. He was here to love me. It was completely up to me whether to trust that, and love him back.

In accepting the Atonement, the correction of our perceptions, we are returned to who we really are. Our true, purely loving self can never be uncreated. All illusions will be undone. Although experiences can lead us to deviate from our true nature, the truth itself is held in trust for us by the Holy Spirit until we choose to return.”

— Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

gift.

Disposable.

This is a word that summed up how I felt for a little over two years. It seemed continuously I attracted people into my circle who formed intense bonds with me, only to eventually drop me. When it came, it felt as though it happened quickly, swiftly, seemingly without remorse or a second thought. For a long time, I allowed this behavior to bother me. It bothered me because I would make up a narrative in my head about these people—that they didn’t care about me, in fact they never cared, it wasn’t real, they feel/felt no actual emotion for or about me. I chose to internalize the feeling of being expendable, inconsequential, and I let it keep me in the position of a victim.

Victim.

A role where I felt comfortable with my trauma, my anger, my sadness. As long as I was the victim, I could feel bad for myself without questioning my own actions and motives. Thereby stripping away the humanity of the people that hurt me and turning them into caricatures of perpetrators that did me wrong.

I am writing today to say that I know, very well now, that I am far from disposable. I am far from being the victim. I am far from being forgettable or replaceable. Even the thought of it to me now seems laughable.

I believe I’ve written before about the concept of people as mirrors. We attract those in life who have the most to teach us. They are a reflection of something we need to heal within. If we’re lucky enough to awaken, to be open and receptive, we can make the best of even the most awful and dire situations.

I write today to apologize and ask forgiveness. I ask forgiveness from myself for ever believing the hurt I perceived and pain I experienced was somehow deserved. I am sorry for believing someone as beautiful and powerful as myself could be left behind without leaving an incredible impression on those I’ve loved and been true to. But mostly, I am sorry for forcing a false narrative on those who’ve fallen away from me. You too are beautiful and powerful, and you’ve all taught me so much. Be it through your words, your silence, your presence, your absence. You were a Gift to me.

You see, what you think of me is YOUR business. What you do or do not feel for me is YOUR business. What you’ve decided to learn or not learn from me is YOUR business. It is none of my business. It has nothing to do with me, and has no bearing on me or what I feel for any of you. My time on Earth will forever be spent on learning how to authentically exist in and come from a place of love. There are times when my Ego wins & I do feel the negativity, the anger and bitterness—but I refuse to wallow in it. I make the choice to move THROUGH it. I accept it, I feel it, I let it in and let it go. (Mind you, acting from your highest self often feels like an infinite trial and error. It’s a simple concept but not easy. If it was easy, we’d have nothing to discuss.)

I’m writing today to tell you I love you, because everything else is an illusion. The pain, the betrayal, the insecurity, the distrust, the hopelessness, the loneliness—at times, it can feel vast and never-ending. This is untrue. While I wish I could unfold before you the specific path YOU need to take to heal these wounds, process these feelings & traumas on our mutual mission of humanity (to radiate & experience Unconditional Love & only Love), we all have a unique way of getting there. It could be through discovering your own spirituality. It could be through your career. It could be through therapy and professional help. It could be through a different religion. It could be through charity and volunteer work. It could be through meditation. It could be through your art. It could be any combination of things. But, as long as we are striving for this, we are nurturing ourselves, and by way of that, nurturing each other in the best way we know how.

It is Libra season. Libra. The harmonizer, the peacemaker, the conflict resolver. The Venusian sign of partnership & balance. Libra—when evolved—begs you to ask, how do my actions affect those outside of myself? Am I taking responsibility for the effects they’re having on others? Am I doing my best to bring peace to myself and those I love? Where am I imbalanced? Where have I demanded too much? Where have I settled for too little? Coupled with a Venus retrograde in Scorpio this season, take this time to reevaluate and reflect on your relationships. Are you choosing to act from the self you are NOW? Or are you falling back into an old pattern that no longer suits the current you? Naturally, as you change, you will feel aversion to falling into a toxic cycle anyway. But it doesn’t mean we are not susceptible to it. Healing is not a linear process. Be honest with yourself, gentle, but honest. Consciously choose who and what to engage with. Let the rest go in grace.

Know I am here to encourage YOU, whoever you are, that’s taken the time to read this. I don’t care who or what we’ve been to each other in the past. I have made the conscious choice to carry no angst, no resentment. You can make this choice too when you’re ready.

You don’t have to continue to carry the weight of your losses with you. Honor them and choose to be here NOW. Not in your past, not in your future, here. Take a quiet moment today to say, “I am here. I am safe. I am loved. I am supported.” Inhale, exhale. Feel this. Trust this.

And so it is.

pretty spots.

“Just know that all is good and you are a warrior. I have seen you blossom into a wonderful jaguar queen and you are fully capable of dragging some idiot by the neck up a tree, and they are lucky you choose to just show your pretty spots most of the time.”

I remember exactly how I felt when a friend of mine told me that. It made me feel stronger during a time of unexpected heartbreak. I laughed. But now, more than ever, I know this to be true. As we continue on into Leo season, basking in the light the Sun-ruled sign shines upon us, let us remember not only our own strength but the strength of those around us. Do not mistake someone’s kindness for weakness. It is great and important to harness our Alpha energy at times, to be a leader—it is a gift, and not something all people do well. We are all still learning to lead without selfishness. But who can trust a leader that alienates its Pride? Pride has two meanings here—a pack of lions, but also our own personal pride. Pride has a place. We should be proud of ourselves, for our accomplishments, our work, our growth, our ability to persevere. But what’s any of that worth if we’ve burned so many bridges to get there?

In tarot the Strength card is associated with Leo and the number 8. The card depicts a woman holding (either open or closed) a lion’s jaw. She is in alignment with the animal. She radiates a calmness that comes from within, lacking any fear of taking on the beast. There is almost an understanding between them, a type of respect. This is a respect I encourage you to remember as you come head to head with situations and people fired up by eclipse season & our current retrograde planets. We are in the middle of a massive clean out within us and around us. We are being challenged to look inward and break cycles that are endless loops, leaving us feeling empty and taken advantage of. Remove your focus from releasing a person to releasing the cycle. We have no power or control over other people. We only have control over our actions. By refusing to react or participate in their toxicity, we are able to leave behind what does not serve us in the highest. For if we eliminate a toxic cycle, a toxic relationship cannot survive. Either the relationship will evolve or it will naturally disintegrate. Whichever way it goes, this only brings you closer to alignment and your highest good. Once you are able to break a cycle, you can detach, grow and do your best to ensure you do not recreate it with a different person. Let that karmic lesson be learned and move forward. This takes strength of mind, body and spirit.

But my message to you today is less about releasing and more about nourishing. I encourage you to nourish the relationships around you with the people who make you feel strong. The people who align with your spirit and bring your light from the inside out. The ones who recognize your strength where others only see “pretty spots.” The ones who do not mistake your kindness for weakness, and know your warmth, empathy and willingness to forgive is a form of courage. Tell these people you love them, because releasing such heavy energy, as we have been for the past month or so, is isolating. We forget about our pack; our pride; our support system. Remember, you are loved. Leo rules the heart. Reconnect with yours. Sit outside, eyes closed, in the sun. Envision a loving green light radiating from within and around you (green rules the heart chakra). Send this loving light to the people you care for.

I want to link you to an article I read today which resonated with me. It’s about Lionsgate (August 8th) and for me it was eerie how close the message was to my own meditation on the energy I’ve been feeling at the time. Linked here: http://foreverconscious.com/lionsgate-portal-august-2018

I would love to hear more from anyone about what they’ve been feeling lately/where they’re at. This matters. This is important. Let the energy guide you, transform you and lift you.

illuminations.

For two weeks I’ve woke up to the thought: “I need to do a reading and write a post today.” But the days kept passing, I didn’t pull any cards & I didn’t write a word. But this afternoon I thought, “I’m ready to do a reading and I want to write a poem.” Not even a poem, really. Just words. I’ve always hesitated to call anything I do poetry. Real talk? That’s just a personal insecurity. It’s a fear-based thought. I think to myself, “How can anything I write ever be beautiful enough to be considered poetic?” Then, I wake up out of that messy, low-self esteem, self-sabotaging daze and I realize: my entire goddamn existence is poetic. And so is yours. If you’ve forgotten & needed a reminder–this is it.

There are levels to the messages when reading tarot. Some of them we often don’t even realize at the time of a reading. It comes later, when we’re standing in the checkout line or folding laundry. I find we have our most extraordinary revelations doing ordinary things. That’s not by accident. So, my few words here won’t cover as deep as the meanings run with these cards, but maybe it can pull something out of you.

Long story short, I decided to bang out some shitty unedited free verse while meditating on these images.

My advice? Do what you need to do to revive your creativity when you feel it losing its breath. It’ll thank you.

The Sun.

to feel the warmth on my face,

revitalization

you gift me with your energy

all of it, radiating

from my fingertips

outstretched like rays

I reach for us,

glowing,

growing

I feel you underneath my skin,

soaking in, you stay

like the tan lines that still linger

on my body in deep winter

we laugh basking in light

ablaze,

even as we fade

I still feel the heat, eternal

between us

9 of cups.

so tell me,

if the Sun is the closest star to us,

if it’s light gives Earth life

why are we sending our wishes out so far?

I must have asked the Sun for you

not Sirius or Polaris

you came from the Sun

that is the only way this could feel

this good, this fast

I pour myself into you when you come

just like I poured out into the heavens,

waiting for you to arrive

here you are,

there you go

8 of cups.

and there I go,

the Moon comes out to wrap herself

around the Sun,

a crescent of comfort

she shows me parts of myself,

of you, of us

that I couldn’t see in daylight

I do not regret wishing for you

I do not curse the Sun for bringing you

I do not hate the Moon for revealing you

I am grateful for knowing

when to leave and when to stay

like Orpheus leading Eurydice,

I cannot look back

I am honored to love struggle

into stride

but mostly,

I am in love with knowing that if I go,

and you are mine, you will follow

someday, I know

you’ll catch up.

dear self

Dear Self,

I am sorry.

I am sorry for taking you for granted. The way I’ve underestimated your ability to make miracles happen, your hard work and all you’ve done to get us to a place where we could feel like we’re on the right track. I am sorry for constantly doubting you. For nitpicking shallow little things about you, things that I wished were better out of fear and insecurity. I am sorry for the days I’ve wished I was born into a different body, with a different face and a different smile. I am sorry for holding your weaknesses against you instead of forgiving you. I should’ve been loving you into becoming stronger instead of punishing you for not being enough.

I am sorry for constantly putting you in the arms of people who weren’t even reaching out for you to begin with. And then when they had you, they’d run their hands all over your body, into your chest. They’d touch you, but they’d never really feel you.

I am sorry for knowing better, but not doing better by you.

I am sorry for when I’ve told you to run when you should’ve stayed, and all the times I’ve convinced you to stay when you should’ve left.

I take responsibility for all of it. I take ownership of our pain, just as much as I take ownership of our happiness. I am choosing happiness for us. I am sorry it’s taken so long. I’m here now.

Love always,

B.

for you. for me.

There are still so many ways in which I need to be more gentle and honest with myself. As much as I want to be better, to do better, to feel better, I still seek out things I know will hurt me. I’m guilty of buying into the lie that it’s easier confirm my own pain and trauma than to challenge it. This, of course, is an illusion. There is nothing easy about living in a loop of what’s damaged you and broken your trust, your spirit. But there is also nothing easy about breaking out of that loop. 

When we do confront our pain, the most common and intrusive thought is: what if we we’re not strong enough to fight it? But if we let fear paralyze us and we don’t get to the root of it, pain just grows deeper, winding vines around your veins and twisting knots into your stomach. When a wound roots inside of you it radiates out, finding its way into every little thing you do. It becomes a constant hum in the background. You almost forget it’s there—almost. I forgot it, until you ran your fingertips across my skin. Instead of feeling you, wonderful, glowing, magical you, I felt the hands of everyone who has carved out a piece of me and left.

Then again, what if we are strong enough? Let’s say we succeed in facing what digs at us. We embrace it, accept it and release it. We make room for the good things. We even get some of the good things. What if we do all of that only to relapse back into a behavior, a pattern, a place where all of the hurt comes hurdling back at us? The truth is, it might. This is always a possibility because healing isn’t linear. Going backwards isn’t a sign of failure. It’s temporary, and sometimes weirdly enough, it’s necessary.

Pain of all kinds has been on our minds lately. The pain of trauma, violation, violence, betrayal, powerlessness is all exacerbated by isolation. That is why I’m writing this post tonight. It isn’t long. It isn’t special. It’s not super enlightening. It’s definitely not my most poetic work. I just need you to know right now—especially now—that you are not alone, that I love you. I am willing to face your pain with you, and while I face mine, I hope you are with me. I need you with me. I want you with me. These are words you need to hear right now. These are words I need to hear right now. 

I love you, I love you, I love you.

And I am sorry that so many things are broken. But I believe in you and I believe in me.

And of all these broken things, you and I are not one of them. ❤️