Prose of a Poet

Weed Status 


I would rather just be
And if there wasn’t a system
I would. 
Just be.

I would embrace wonder
In every task
In every breath.

I would appreciate the design of the weed
And not have to pull it
On principle. 
Or be judged.

I am appalled by the number of things
I do every day
To make other people comfortable.

The lengths I go to pay a bill
The bills I choose to have to pay
In order to make money
To pay other bills. 
The bills I pay because I make the money 
To pay the people who provide me with the things.

The things
I wish I did not need 
To participate in the system
I do not want
But cannot avoid entirely
That completely lacks imagination.

And I do the things 
I do not want to do
With the money I don’t 
Want to have to make

I want to make beauty. 

Something sustainable.

I want to love the weeds in public. 
And have you be ok 
With my utter lack of shame for it.

For they are just plants in the “wrong spot”
But what if they are perfectly placed for me
And speak to me in their choice to just 
Come up where they please…

Regardless of judgement. 
Forget birds freedom
I want weed status.

I want to be more useful than you know
And in your life without warning
Being much less needy than everything else. 
Surviving drought or deluge
Because my roots have gotten places 
And found ways to get there
Where no one has gone before. 
Completely void of fear -
My usefulness carefully shielded 
For those with the true desire to know me
And completely lost on those who don’t see.

Consider me unruly. 
But I am still here
And if you break me
I am liable to return in strength
In increased multiples.

That is influence.


Forget the system.

I want weed status.


When Seasons Collide 




I saw Spring and Fall at the end of the same branch today. Such seasonal movement is not often manifest simultaneously. And yet… moving through trauma to healing is just that. New beginnings revealing unresolved endings. There is no Winter with trauma, just Fall and Spring. If this were not so, the pain would dissipate, the trigger lose it’s power to bring what is unfinished to the full strength of its disruptive impact. There is also a very pregnant pause when something new brings it all to the surface again - like a leaf or flower that never gets to move past bud stage - ever in hope - never in bloom. 


This is not what we were designed for. Life isn’t all the wonder of the warmer months, some seasons are cold and dark, or dry and scorching. Things lie dormant in a winter of the soul, perhaps yielding rest, or they come to fruition in the gentle heat of summer, showing the purpose in the growing pains. But when things are cut off, unharvested, or pruned before they leaf out, there is always the question of “what if?” 


So what do we need to do to get ready so that the next time our Fall surfaces in Spring we are ready to help it move to the rest of Winter and invite Summer to have the privilege of following Spring? The answer sounds silly really… we sit with Fall and ask her “Why.”  Why does it hurt, what was stolen, not nurtured, cut off? What part of ourselves was surrendered when we were wounded that should have been guarded? What sudden event knocked the wind out of the dream or vision that was fuelling our life embrace? If we can find out the why, and give perspective to the what, we can help ourselves move things from Fall into Winter so we can embrace Spring and see the Summer fruit. 


Finding the Why lets us know where our boundaries were trespassed, and understanding the what and who helps to bring perspective that truly releases others from holding us hostage. It’s strange really, the others in our scenarios rarely had the desire to wound us. It was usually fear and self preservation that made them behave badly - their wounds made decisions love should have weighed in on. Most of the people who have hurt others are genuinely remorseful when they find out the repercussions of their actions. It can even bring about growth and healing for them to confront the relational mess that was created. 


A recent meeting of Fall and Spring for me arose when I realized I was beginning things, and having ideas, but I wasn’t finishing them. Early childhood trauma for me wasn’t the result of overt abuse, I had a rather peaceful and safe home - it was more the result of cultural and personality mismatch. I was difficult to know and understand and nurture with the frame of reference my family had to work with. Parts of my personality bumped up against my mother’s, and some emotional turbulence ensued. I could feel my own worth and value in the context of prescribed contributive productivity, but not in the area of my own creative pursuits. I had a lot of ideas growing up that weren’t extremely well received, understood, or nurtured. It feels important to mention that this happens in many families. It’s also not an opportunity to blame, but rather to gain perspective. This wasn’t intentional. I was loved. Her trauma, family culture and personality, combined with mine, delivered friction, that usually means that both of us developed insecurities that told us we were not enough. As we both matured, we have been integral in each other’s healing. 


I realized that the reason I am a great starter, but not a stellar finisher, stemmed from this early childhood dynamic, and I need to let the lie go and the experience heal, and I need to tell the little girl that I am ok to proceed - that my voice is beautiful and has so much to contribute. I need to voice the things I think and see, and I need to thank both younger me, and my mother, for the experiences I had, because as a healed grown up, they have yielded unique outlook, intuitive sensitivity, empathy, and productive creativity. However, I need to trust that creativity and value as much as my ability to cook, bake, clean, launder, garden, and “do” a job. I learned to work when I was seeking to be seen and understood as a child. I know what it feels like to produce. This too, is a gift. And, in maturity, I can combine it with my ideas and create fruit. I can manifest Summer. I can accept the restful grace of Winter and use the time to get ready for the productive warmth of summer. 


When your Fall and Spring collide, don’t run. Sit with it. Ask it “why?” Resist the urge to bypass it, to demand of your soul that she manifest what you want in spite of the disruption. You need to heal. If you choose to hit override or run in to addictive or avoidant behaviours, you will continue to have your Springs invaded by unfinished Falls. There will be fruit you never get to see, experiences that will pass you by. Loves that will never be, and friends you will never properly embrace. Invite summer. Learn how to move though things instead of around them. It is always going to be best for you to grow. And the rest of us need you. Imagine that. Growing and healing lets us stay present and be, not just in the realm of inner peace, but creatively productive in our sphere of influence without hindrance. Now, doesn’t that sound like the unmitigated beauty of a wildly blooming Summer? Don’t you want to see what colour your blossom is? 

Grounded in Flow 


Two days ago I stood in a cold river to cool my feet down. And to feel the earth beneath them. It's March. It's cold. It's going to snow tonight. But in that moment, it was warm. The wind and sun felt like spring, and I happily engaged with the taste of the new season. Grounded. I need to remember that feeling because in this day, there were enough moments of emotional roller coasters to distractedly dictate discombobulated activity. At times it felt like too many worlds were colliding with my own. 


Even my fridge demanded my focus, and it usually runs hands free. I thought it was dead. I flipped the breaker - nothing. I forgot we moved the fridge to the other side of the room and the circuit is now not labelled fridge. I thought, it's cold in here, why did the heater quit. Clarity struck, and I checked the right breaker and the old Love flickered to life. I guess the fridge and the heater don't share well. Mama shall have to remember. Relief endorphins are almost like falling in love. You forget you are tired. You clean the floor under the fridge because it was moved in the investigation. You clean the coils because you feel sorry for the fridge. I heard her pain. 


I've had a lot of change too, in the last year. Much has shifted, things I have been along for but not directly in charge of. Support. Scaffolding. I held everyone else up. I forgot what the ground felt like when I feel it for myself. I forgot the feeling of the current of life. I forgot what happens when I am plugged in and I don't have to manage my energy usage because there might not be enough to share if I do the things that feed my soul. Reveal my beautiful depths. 


I made a cognitive choice to look for my own expansion. When I am fulfilled I have so much more to pour into others. It is "just there" instead of me needing to plumb the depths of the Source of All in a moment of desperation. I hear better, commune better, create better. And so, I began simple. I will write when the Sun hits the couch and I want to marinate in the warmth and cheer of her presence. I will look forward to the full schedule of reflexology clients. I will play piano, if only for a song, and not let the dust insulate her from me due to inactivity. I will embrace the minutes at the shoe store because while I don't feel the excitement I once did, every time I go in, I find I am necessary in that moment. 


And I will catch the momentum of collaboration when it moves past me, ride it into the stream of possibility instead of bemoaning the absence of friends or creative partners. These things I said. 


And like the flow of the stream in which I stood and breathed in the tangible perspective, my life, too has begun to pulse and pull and prove that it is an integral part of this participatory universe. 


I am moving forward. Fake dead fridges and friends with dreams in alignment with my own. The promise of doing music and getting to play well with others, of doing feet and meeting more souls along the way, of writing words that will set another free and help them embrace the wonder of their own healing. These things are mine. The lines between coming and present are beginning to blur. I am in the middle of it all, and I happily breathe in inspiration, and exhale the manifestation of it. 






“Sweet embraceable you…”

You were once to me. 

A friend beloved, a space safe. 

That is on interminable hiatus. 


My conundrum

It wasn’t my choice 

I’m not convinced 

It was yours either. 


We all walked in to the same room.

The context had changed, 

But the gist was the same. 

The playing field isn’t level here. 


I have become a stranger

With a shared history. 

An enigma who presents a conundrum. 

Met with silence and an awkward smile. 


You’ve avoided me a while. 

I haven’t come where you are. 

But shared loves

Have drawn us both into the open. 


I know where I am. 

But it’s very clear you don’t

And the self imposed disconnection from me

Hasn’t prepared us for this moment. 


I left. Not you. A place. 

An institution. 

But you can’t make 

The distinction. 


Silence is my companion

Not because I don’t want to talk

But because I don’t want to force

The override of the disconnect.


I’m ready. 

I’m not sure you are. 

It’s a




What happens after you leave the fundamental world and you have to cross paths with those who were close, which for many of us, is the holiday season? Avoidance is often the one tool we have in the kit to deal with the awkward social interactions… but when you can’t and you are forced to coexist, even outside the realm of your previous connection, it is so messy. I left a church I had been involved in for the majority of my life, and stayed in the community. Many of my friendships didn’t survive, and I have endured a rather large number of timid smiles and surface cordiality over the ensuing years. What they don’t know is that I’m not mad. I have actually gleaned insight and wisdom into where they are that has me content to leave them to the security of belief they enjoy in their present. I also don’t want to argue, sway, or justify my present world view. All of that is gone. It has morphed with the healing process, and moved into the history section of my personal library. I am at peace. 


I just want to Love them. To know them. To be the friend I thought I was, once. I don’t want to run from them, but gosh… the bashful response to my presence made me feel as though I should have brought a large number of objects big enough to hide behind for everyone that was avoiding me. Humans are funny with each other when trauma makes their decisions. It makes fear out of the friendly shadows produced by the sun on a clear day. The assumptions we make about someone else’s state of mind, or heart, craft too many preconceptions concerning the perception of judgments they “must be making.” I used to think being misunderstood was the worst rejection that could happen to someone. It isn’t. Being deliberately shut out and feared on the grounds of belief alone supersedes that. Shutting someone out abruptly and without communicating the reason is incredibly wounding for all parties - especially if it is done, not because of survival instinct, but because of an external edict, or loyalty demanded from another entity. This is, to me, proof that we were designed for, by, and as, Love. It is in our DNA to have healthy, knowing, vulnerable, intimate, connection. Imposed separation throws us out of alignment at a deep level. 


Even after you heal from the experiences that lead you to change the way you think, the communication with anyone who was part of the trauma story can be dicey. Aside from the connected emotional mess they have internally accumulated, there are differing ideas concerning what “healed/healing” looks like. There’s so much semantical clutter around understanding forgiveness, that healthy boundaries and a more objective, or even differing  view expressed out loud can be perceived as not really having forgiven. In many circles, forgiveness means a complete moratorium on the the experience. Courts insist you forget abuse when making custody arrangements, churches often expect that you make someone welcome and reinstate their role in your life because they apologize. Families often sweep things under the rug entirely and insist on “kissing and making up.” 


Forgiveness is none of those things. It is largely gaining enough perspective on a situation, event, or person, to allow yourself to heal. It does not result in unconditional reconciliation, however it may yield an open door to a healing conversation. In some instances, trust should never be restored. I think, that happens more frequently with organizations and institutions than with people. Sometimes it is ok to abandon ship in a life boat and find your own island to live on. Well placed boundaries seem like overkill to a person who can’t see the strain or damage they have put on the relationship, either as the result of their own unhealed trauma, or because of an ingrained world view that holds no space for new light. When you have become flexible and open, it feels threatening to someone who finds safety in a rigid system of belief, especially if the only relational context has been within a mutually held ideology. 


Every person has a different journey, but I recall when my anger passed and I began to heal. It sounded very much like this,“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing… and if they do, they are too scared to stop.”  Compassion let me see myself in their responses for just long enough to remember what I looked like when my world was the same size. We all behave like caged abused animals when we find ourselves living completely inauthentically. Being part of a collective is often done at considerable loss to the intrinsic design and uninhibited being of a person. We are forced into roles we are not suited for by beliefs. We let go of dreams, visions, loves, sometimes family, just to be included. This creates grief and internal disconnection. It also births a hyper vigilant, over protective inner child unafraid, and often unaware, of offending someone else when the feel their safety is threatened. I’m convinced this is why few relationships survive theological shifts when they do not occur in tandem. When one can freely embrace all the parts of themselves and love them, healthy emotional and spiritual integration inevitably follows and one matures. Nothing threatens the superimposed template of external behavioural control that utterly contradicts the natural healthy inclination and creates inauthentic existence, like someone who has matured and now spontaneously fruits full bodied self control. Peer friendships can often become more like parent child relationships as one grows and leaves the other behind. Perhaps the most mature act we can do as the one who grows, is to leave someone else behind to discover their own path. No one else can have our Journey into Love. 


Fear, not Love, drives the religious. To live with the cognitive dissonance this creates, I need to allow them to behave like the scared little kids they most likely are. For that is when they became afraid. Trauma hits the first time you get treated like you are unacceptable or unlovely just as you are. Religion holds up a dark mirror and tells you that you are innately sinful and born in a separate state.  You are “other” and need to do something to find yourself fit for inclusion. Unfortunately, both the institution and the family unit can back this in discipline, expectations, and parenting style. It is a lifestyle we don’t choose, and aren’t at liberty to leave until society says we have come of age. The desire to be accepted often makes one table themselves and pick up a role as a pseudo identity, causing an internal divorce from our authentic selves that we spend a lifetime grieving until we begin to deliberately heal and embrace ourselves as uniquely and purposefully put together in our mother’s womb. 


We need to let Love clean the mirror and hold it up again, revealing beauty in the innate design, wholeness in the creature, irrevocable placement in the One Who is Life, and give breath to the dream born of those many pleasant thoughts. A system cannot dictate identity or the expression of it. Trauma should not be given permission to decide behaviour towards ourselves or others. That is the inclusive role of Love in the universe. Fear should not dictate the maturity level of our responses and communication. That should be left to Love as well. Love has the power to dissolve the conundrum. 


It is beautiful and lovely to be me. “…Sweet embraceable you” don’t you see it too? 

The Cost of Peace 


No one enjoys conflict. Confrontation is generally an affront. All of us bristle at someone else taking issue with a behaviour or self expression. These things are normal. But, what if they didn’t have to be a threat? What if we were so mature that our insecurity dissolved and the arguments and tension dissipated into conversations that encouraged growth, and intimate knowledge of each other, fostering love and support, even community? 


The present cultural climate seems to have us abandoning relational ship over misunderstandings or ideological incongruencies. We don’t stick around long enough to work anything out because we assume the intent of the other is to wound. I know many physical experiences that we expect to find painful on the road to healing. Tiny things like releasing the contents of a pimple, extracting a sliver, pulling gravel out of a scraped knee, treating a burn. Larger things like setting a bone, childbirth, or removing a tumour. All of these things have a healing process, and generally, the need for another person to be a part of the journey. Our emotional and spiritual traumas are no different. We often don’t realize there is a wound until someone gets close enough to press on the wound. That requires relationships. Conflict, is, essentially, the operating room of the inner maze that weaves our being together.


I’ve learned, in my own healing journey, too much about trauma, as well as how much influence we have over our own life and healing, for silence to be my norm in conflict. I cannot enrich my relationship if I walk away from awkward interpersonal interactions. I can’t know someone else fully, we can’t be part of each other’s healing experience. Our wounds isolate us when we control our environment to avoid the ones we’ve allowed to fester. If I am going to heal, I am going to have to listen to my own spirit as well as the expression of another. Triggers deserve enough time spent in introspection so that we understand why they are there. Poor responses are not part of our personality. People are not “just like that” because it is their innate design to be either abrasively controlling or insecure. Knowing leads to growing and healing. 


I’ve realized how much we hide behind our “biblical expectations” of God when we grow up evangelical. We wait for him to heal us of things that we have the power to muddle through. We expect other people to coddle us so we don’t have to grow, often asking forgiveness for poor behaviour and following it with a “humble” admission that we have asked God to help us be more loving, and implying that he is still working on us… if only we understood that finding our place in Christ means working out our salvation (healing), not dragging others, fearfully, into an ambiguous heaven for “eternity.”  Living in Love and moving in peace and joy tends to draw others into holy connection and awareness anyway… without the awkward fear of hell. 


We have been given everything we need for physical and spiritual life, on this beautiful planet. All the gifts we need to heal exist in the community we are worked into - including triggers to make us go within and see our own issues. If we are not at peace, it is because we should not be. Either our boundaries have been pushed by someone else’s poor ones, or ours have been in the wrong spot because of a past trauma that went unaddressed, and we are now treading on someone else’s ground to protect ourselves. Sometimes it’s even a physical wound that we didn’t respond to properly - grieve through, or give our body the tools to heal from. We do need to sort through the experiences we have in life. Things happen to us. Family culture influences our view of ourselves, makes us question and manipulate our innate design. Traumatic events have ways of causing us to tailor our future interactions so that we don’t get hurt again. 


I have found it interesting that in taking inventory of one’s gifts, aptitudes, or personality, researchers who have assessed, categorized, and subsequently created “tests” to help us understand ourselves, the questions often use both positive and negative behavioural patterns to reveal one’s placement in the given spectrum. If it wasn’t possible to wound a person at the level of their blue print in a way that predictably and indefinitely alters the way they function in relationships and situations, this wouldn’t be necessary. However the design of a human being is not that they are going to be basically offensive or unkind to anyone. The very necessity of these balanced tools are evidence of the widespread trauma we accumulate as we move through life along with those who either choose not to know us, and prefer to manage those around them to protect themselves, or, just don’t possess the maturity or tools to love others avoiding to their unique bent. Every strata of the original culture one is born into has the power to help or hinder our growth and development. Every person experiences each influence and event differently. I think this is why the happiest people are those who are constantly engaged in connective relationships, perpetually learning, and deliberately healing and fostering deep spirituality. We cannot control the environment we are born into, but as we mature, we can learn to create a personal petri dish in which we are free to thrive on our own terms, according to our needs. 


If you have felt that culture hasn’t shaped you at all, consider this: our western religious system has a, “wait, and beg god to move,” mentality, and our medical system centres around rescue remedies, coping therapies and, in some cases, comfort until death options. Considering we were designed for authentic, abundant, eternal life, a lot of our experience in the current climate should be increasingly unsettling as we awaken into our true, limitless identity. We were created for imitate, unbroken, constant communication with our Source. Every system we have in place at the moment, is asking us to be outsourced rather than insourced. This can make us feel like in order for things to be in alignment internally, circumstances have to be manipulated, and therefore people need to make space for us to remain stagnant until our external climate caters to our inner safety. We can spend a long time waiting for someone else to unlock our inner mysteries, especially with the human tendency to cordon off pain in the dark recess of the heart, creating suffering instead of uninhibited freedom. 


We cannot heal without the messiness of relationships. They are a gift to us. Being at peace with all men doesn’t mean perpetual deferment and abdication from our convictions. That is inauthentic living and it carries consequences for both the one accommodating and the one expecting it. Because we live in the petri dish of our own thoughts… creating our own environment or personal eco system, we leave our body vulnerable to degeneration. The physical state of our being is the mirrored expression of our inner climate. When we struggle to control another’s behaviour in order to avoid dealing with our own trauma, we pollute their environment. Such an endeavour is a bit like overloading an elevator and expecting it to function properly. We are designed to carry things together, yes, but not to place our burdens in the lap of another and continue to do so until they break. Like that elevator groaning and hesitating, the people around us may be showing us their own breaking point in small outburst, tears on the surface, displays of anxiety, or just plain evasive conversation or physical avoidance. Sometimes that is the wounds of one bumping up against the wounds of another and smarting a bit. However, if this happens a lot in your relationships, it’s probably a good plan to sit with that response and learn which of your wounds may be speaking in place of your heart. Courage isn’t displayed in protective offence despite fear, but rather in a vulnerability that owns our insecurities and seeks healing for them. We do not have to gain control of a situation in order to keep control of ourselves. We need to understand why we are afraid of losing control. It’s ok to be scared. It’s not ok to live perpetually afraid. 


Love doesn’t seek control. Love wants to know the depths of a person and heal the wounds, not cover them and let them fester. Love deliberately looks for the beauty in another, and simultaneously seeks to help the other see their inherent capabilities and strengths. It asks one to grow up and into who they truly are. 


Triggered? Don’t run. Embrace it. Sit with it. At least until you understand why. Don’t worry, Love sits with you. And she wants to. She understands healing is the cost of peace. 


No Way Around But Through 


There is no way around, but through. 

There isn’t. 


There is no bypass to the process of healing. 


I grew up in a culture that begged God to heal things that needed counselling to sort out. It asked God to move and change circumstances so we could be comfortable, or even protected from situations we had created. We held meetings to beg for divine intervention in surgical procedures, marriages that were on the rocks, kids who went awry… We begged for revival, behavioural changes, miracles. 


And we never asked people what happened to them. We didn’t address abuse, provide a safe haven for those wounded by people in authority over them. We made the rough feel unwelcome. We created social groups for ourselves and discouraged interaction with the rest of the community unless it was for the specific motivation of evangelism. 


We didn’t even know each other’s struggles. Emotional connection was carefully guarded for the sake of spiritual purity. We didn’t want to be sullied by the world. Considering the depth of connection Jesus revealed in his ministry, I wonder if the religious disconnect isn’t the essence of being sullied. It definitely negates oneness and intrinsic inclusion in the whole, as sustained by the Breath and Being of God. 


I’m not the only person who followed Love out of this structure and began to look at life and scripture from a different perspective. Some have seen God in science, mediation, affirmations, fields the churches they left consider new age, or witchcraft. I’ve heard people preach on the Bible from the perspective of symbolism, quantum science, it’s parallel references to other religious texts. There are so many templates to impose on spirituality, so many external “methods” and view points, lenses through which we can assess not only scripture, but also life itself. So often, rather than learning to listen to our own internal resonance, and choosing connection, we try and find something else that someone else has tried, and then apply it to ourselves, flummoxed when their steps don’t work for us. 


Religious life teaches us that there are prescribed ways. I can remember when I first encountered grace theology, I was in a women’s bible study group that was based on finding our identity in Christ as bible believing Christians. The teacher developed a curriculum that encouraged living out of secure identity, and trusting God, rather than a system, to sustain us. It even went so far as to suggest that for God, resting in being his child was enough “doing” and one might just “be.” It sounded good, but to a room full of women who had been attacking their spirituality with an hour a day of devotions, regular prayer meetings, church on Sunday, and bible study during the week, with the potential augmentation of an accountability partner, this felt like mayhem. One woman even said “But how do I do that? What is the formula?” She, as did many of those in the room, found it disconcerting when the answer was that there is no formula. 


So imagine then, one who grew up in the box, moving outside the box, trauma and difficult experiences in tow as they try and “deconstruct” their “faith” and then build a life in this unsrtuctured world. It is mayhem. They still want to experience spiritual connection, but without church and her peripheral social garments, they look for a practise, a habit, an approach. I think that’s why we gravitate towards gurus, attend conferences, read self help books, and find someone to follow. It is comfortable to adopt an external structure, follow a plan. 


But unless we are looking for something that hums in tandem with our own internal resonance, it might as well be religion. And the difficulty with that? It often leaves us feeling defeated and left out of the group, just like we did at church. Why? Because that person knows how they healed. They know how they came to grips with their spirituality, they know what mended their heart… but they don’t know you. 


I have had people ask me to teach them how to heal. What can I take? What habit can I form? Which emotions can I address? What prayer can I pray? What Affirmations will make the lies go away? Rub my feet and make the pain stop. 




I did not begin to heal on deep level until I learned to have my own internal discourse. Can I point you there? Yes. Jesus did that as well. He let those who wanted to follow him know that the Kingdom of God was within them. He showed them compassion. Asked them to love themselves. He addressed their self destructive behaviour while pointing to the experiences they had gone through as if they mattered. He understood that there is no way but THROUGH. If you think about all the mindsets he addressed in his relatively short ministry… belief that what your parents or culture believed could define your personal wellness, belief that mental illness was borne of something outside you, oppressing you. Belief that they way one person interpreted scripture could define the sanctity of your soul… that where you are born could define your worthiness. The list is actually quite long. One might even say it is exhausting in it’s inclusivity of the human condition under the dictates of religion. 


Reciting Mantras. Looking for good vibes. Controlling breathing. Managing anger, anxiety, diet, thoughts. Adopting strategies for overcoming addiction or insecurity. Understanding cognitively that that there is a relationship between thoughts and manifestation. Systems of self medication, but not, healing. These are, if you will, the way around our individual trauma, but not the way through. Are they tools? Yes. But much the same way in which bloodwork helps a physician make a diagnosis. If these systems fail to bring us into alignment, we feel like we are somehow unhealable. However, if our doctor ran tests and found out our hormones were imbalanced, or we had a nutritional deficiency, or inflammation or disease, would we assess our diagnosis as a reflection on our ability to be well? No. Diagnostic tools allow us to find out where we are unbalanced so that we can work on balancing ourselves out. 


If I am using a tool to cope with my anxiety, and I cannot make it disappear, I have learned that something under the surface is driving it. This is not something to hide in shame. It is the body bringing a wound to the light to be healed. I don’t need to embrace another method of coping, I need to Love the person having the experience — myself. I need to learn to hear her voice at whatever age and stage I was when I lost secure connection and mistook my identity for a role I was expected to play, and give voice to the violation. I need to learn to listen not just to my own voice, but the the voice of my Source in that space, who always remembers what is true. There is no method that I can apply, no matter how religiously I may chase it, to deal with the blocks to my own internal resonance and integration so that I am in perfect control of my life or my contribution to the life of others. However, I can use my reactions, cognitive and visceral, and apply my intuition to help myself through the process of healing. 


The journeys of others are useful to us because they give us tools and diagnostic instruments. We are enlightened and made aware of knowledge that exists in the collective consciousness of the universe because someone put the effort into expressing what they learned. We can make a religion — a formula for life — out of any discipline or system. If it worked for us, we can preach it with confidence and evangelistic fervour. And perhaps, we are right to do so, for our experience is valid and our own. But, if we cannot hear the voice of another who says “why does this not work for me” and approach them with compassion, allowing them to give honest expression to their experience, we cannot claim that our method will heal their disease, strictly because it worked for us. 


There is no way around, but through. Becoming an uninhibited, fully integrated person involves cultivating internal dialogue, listening to our own intuition, and developing harmonious resonance. Spirituality that rests isn’t found in a method or practice, but in communion with our Source, and choosing to love our neighbour as we love ourselves, with honesty and void of judgement. Authentic connection and secure intrinsic identity embraced without fear creates a space in which we can heal. And the path to that? It is as individual as the person walking it. We do not have to leave ourselves behind and abandon our experiences to wholly embrace our spiritual essence. That is not holistic integration, it is spiritual bypass. True spirituality holds space for the person who went through experiences that accompanied us on our journey. It is Love that embraces the person, and understands that the only way around the pain that seems to stymie growth, is through. 


the shadow room 


It’s dark, and you’re little. You have to pee in the middle of the night. You can’t stay in bed, you have to go down the hall past that door and what looms behind it. The moon is shining in the windows, creating shadows, and filtering through the trees outside so that it looks like these ambiguous shapes are moving. Curtains flutter in the breeze. It’s terrifying. And then you turn on the light, and you see blinds, and a chair, a houseplant. Your heart stops pounding long enough for you to hear the wind rustle through the leaves of the trees. You note the breeze flowing through the screen of the open window. The darkness is only terrifying until the lights turn on. 


A few people, lately, have expressed that they have hit a wall in their healing process. This can feel like a lack of courage to face what is behind the door of a memory room in which the mind has suppressed the details of an early childhood experience. It isn’t really a lack of courage. It is more that the part of our being protecting that door is a really young child who remembers only the feeling as it coursed through the body, but couldn’t articulate the event and frame the significance of it. Whatever age you were when the moment took place is the age your inner child is as they guard that door. You don’t lack the courage to open it, look at all of the things you have accomplished in your life — chances are you are better at unobstructed authenticity and connection than your parents were with you, if you have children you are most likely a better parent, you are probably successful at work, and engaged in adult relationships that last. Courage is not your problem. That door is just guarded by someone who doesn’t feel safe and has developed to protect you from the unprocessed experience and resulting trauma. 


So, turn the light on. You are capable of parenting your own inner child. You know what you needed when you were small. You know what would have made you feel safe and connected. You know what you would say to a child in your care if they told you about that experience. You know how to validate the emotions of a person who feels violated, scared, abused, or disconnected. Other parts of you have grown up around this one emotion that seems frozen in time. If it seems far too big and you don’t want to open the door and turn on the lights in the shadow room alone, take someone with you. Find a friend, a therapist, a spouse, who will go down memory lane with you and affirm that you are safe. If you have found that relationship that makes you safe enough to even notice the room exists, chances are they can help you use the courage you already have to illuminate the shadows and process the events. 


Your inner child is not doing this alone. All of the growing you have done, all of the interaction you have had with the world as you have grown up, all of the internal work you have already done, all of these things give you the context you need to see the experience and those involved for what and who they are. If someone hurt you because they were wounded, the same eyes of compassion you are learning to use on yourself will be with you as you look at the event, and it will help you to experience closure. It may feel like cleaning out a wound that has been festering forever, but things tend to stay raw until they are properly cleaned and bandaged so they can heal. 


You don’t lack courage. I also don’t think that we forget our suppressed memories. I don’t remember details of every event, but I have found that the path the emotion took through the tissues of my body can often help me see enough to process both the circumstances, and the resulting feelings and ingrained patterns that have become barriers to my adult growth. Love allows me to embrace little me and hold her hand until she comes into the light and realizes that she can rest -- we have made each other safe. Maturity has replaced the need for the unhealthy reflex. 


Behind that door are shadows. But there are also answers to questions, and opportunities to heal old wounds. Turn on the light. You are safe. 

I Love YOU 


I love you. 


I LOVE you.


I Love YOU.


We just passed Valentine’s day. Which also happens to be the anniversary of my Love and I. Three years have passed. I think I’ve gotten younger. I laugh more, play more, live more, dance more, walk more, embrace the sun more, sleep more, hug more, kiss more…. Life itself has become moreish in it’s timeless quality. 


I used to think that love meant compromise, sacrifice, that it was a bit of a toss up. The feeling is passing. There is no fear in Love, not if I am open to being loved. No loss in Love, only gain. Is there a balance one has to find? Absolutely. But that, I think, is the meaning of life. We worry about losing ourselves, until we find out who we actually are. We worry about losing our connection, until we find the Source of all connects us indelibly. We worry about having to give up a piece of ourselves we are attached to, until we find a person who is as attached to those parts as we are, and truly desires to see us thrive (well, two people, really, ourselves and those external someones). 


True Love is both knowing and growing. If it chooses blindness and stagnancy, it looses it’s lustre quite quickly. It is not afraid of conflict… like a good stretch, it leans into the tension until it finds release. Not because it enjoys suffering, but because it seeks to relieve it. Land mines are only dangerous until they are diffused. So it is with our past experiences, and the rough bits we adopt to cope with the pain of them. I recently had a friend remind me that it wouldn’t matter who we chose to be with, those things would have to be dealt with. Pain is not equatable with being hurt. Does it hurt because of what they said, or because of what already believe about myself? Chances are, if we’ve reached adulthood, its the latter. Good relationships both expose our wounds and provide the safety to heal from them. If your Love behaves out of character, stay open, you may be surprised at what it does for your intimacy levels. 


Anyone can say “I love you.” Words are easy. 


Anyone can claim “I LOVE you.” It is easy to love to love and make it about yourself and what you can give without sacrifice. 


But the one who declares “I love YOU,” is the one to stay with. They have seen you. They have chosen to know you. They have deliberately looked past the parts of your personality that are adaptations and learned behaviours which have bandaged the wounds of trauma. And when things get difficult as their love begins to make you feel safe enough to heal from those wounds, they stay. 


I have the love of one who has said, “I love YOU.” I have returned this love in like kind. And together, we have created a home, not just for our bodies, but also for our deepest being. It is a place to unwrap our experiences and give them air, and time. We are both healing. Even our conflict, like that good stretch is useful. It is a deeper learning, and we come out stronger and more aware. The need we have to be alone from time to time is increasingly less offensive. Introspection is necessary when we unpredictably bubble into anger, because it is generally our past insecurities that need an internal conversation and a reminder that we are safe.  


Love the YOU in your life. Know them well. Embrace them whole heartedly. By your presence in their space, help them desire more living. Happy tends to feed happy. Give your love a steady diet of a you who does the internal work of loving yourself so you can be the safe space for them. It’s a beautiful place to be in, is Love. 


Let your “I love you,” be, an “I love YOU.”

One is Never One 

I got ready for work in an empty house this morning. I drank my coffee and ate my breakfast while it was still hot. I showered and dressed without anyone calling my name. I ordered my moments, chose my music, made my lunch, looked out the window and watched the snow fall, sang harmony to some tunes, and left the house on time. I was so relaxed that the layer of ice on my vehicle didn’t phase me, I just started it and embraced the scraper. I’ve missed myself of late. Have you ever felt that deep longing for only having you in your immediate sphere? Alone. The idyllic impossibility of the life of a hermit seems the very pinnacle of existence when we feel disjointed. The practical reality of it would solve so many things, would it not? 

I didn’t breathe last month. O, there was in and out. But, I didn’t breathe last month. It took four days of being off to find the place where my inhale and my exhale became my own again. Have you had that kind of a month? It was practically necessary, I enjoyed most of it, but I was missing. There is a weariness in that sort of perpetual doing that weighs on the soul. Existence, my friend, is not Life. 

So, what then is the meaning of the breath? Why is “busy” so internally alienating? What causes the disconnect? The “I do” has a way of replacing the “I am” which is detrimental to the intrinsic oneness of the spiritual person. “I do, because I can,” replaces “I express, because I am.” The whole experience leaves one breathless. The wind gets knocked out of us in the process of forgetting that the sum total of our identity is not in the measurable quota of our output, but rather our state of being in the process. 

I’ve been lost in the roles of life much in my journey. Daughter, friend, mother, wife, worshipper, caregiver, housekeeper, cook, gardener, pianist, employee, saleswoman, even my vocation of reflexologist has external expectations attached to it. All of these roles come with rules, written and unwritten, conduct codes, boundaries. I have to keep myself in check, so they are done properly, within the parameters of the relationship I have with the others in the sphere of their influence. I can say some things, but I cannot speak all the things I hear and see. 

I think that’s why I get so lost when I am tangibly perpetually occupied with “the things” I do. The inner discourse that should be free to flow into the realm of creativity or meditation is, instead, told to “hush.” Rather than having my mind and emotions actively listening to Spirit, I am severed, caught in my head space. I arrange rather than feel my way through the day. It is not only disruptive in my inner being, but everyone I touch can feel the chill. Others become people to manage, rather than spirits interacting with mine. My discourse tends to push them away instead of bring them near. Tears are near the surface. Outbursts of emotion coming from others around me feel directed at me. There is an ongoing sense of being overwhelmed. If one looked in and watched, I am sure they would see little things that should not have toppled the tower of strength, obliterate it with a tiny breeze. To me it felt like a monsoon. But I wasn’t breathing… 

Maturity, I think, is realizing this disconnection and changing both mindset and circumstances in favour of connection. We think there is no time. But time can exist in the space of any activity that is mundane or quiet. Connection can happen in any space where another being is in earshot. Depth of conversation is a choice. Making a friend is a choice. Feeling the vibe of a stranger and responding with compassion is a choice. Hugging your children with both arms, kissing your Lover, pausing to pet a dog or a cat. Tasting your food. These things all bring us into the present. Saying “I love you” requires breath control. Awareness. Noticing Colour, Smells, Texture. Feeling the air… is it dry, crisp, icy, warm, wet? 

Possibly, we see the things we cannot grasp in the moment as disciplines, habits we need to form, spiritual practices. Games done entirely alone. It is true. It is easier alone. However, being with people is more pleasant when one is not wishing them away. Conflict doesn’t resolve, miscommunication isn’t solved, peace doesn’t suddenly arrive because one walks away from the tension. Tension tends to follow, if not in the mind, somewhere in the body. There is really only one avenue for resolution of discord… deliberately remain present until it is worked out. If the person won’t do it with you, it has to be done on your own. The internal conversation looks different, because you end up asking yourself questions about why you feel that way, or how that person gets under your skin. You may end up unearthing the source of a trigger, or a place of unrest with that introspection. 

One thing is very true; if you have to escape the people in order to find any peace, you aren’t coping. They are not the reason you are disconnected internally. Goodness, I would have loved to blame my family. It wouldn’t have been me that ignored my breath. I could have validated every emotional outburst, even request for space, or instantaneous cooperation. “Busy” did not bring about the severance of soul expression and replace it with a “doing.” I did that because I believed I had to put myself on the shelf in order to meet the needs of others. And then I resented the others because they kept me from myself. My need for connection is greater than having everyone around me satisfied (they never were). Because I put myself on the shelf, I also put knowing them on the shelf. Practically caring for the physical needs of someone is not the same as cultivating relationships. We cannot be more connected to those around us than we are willing to be with ourselves. 

So breathe. Be intentionally aware. Feel the water when you do the dishes, notice the smell of clean when you scrub a toilet, feel the rhythm when you vacuum. Deliberately listen for the pop and sizzle when you fry an egg. Smell the toast in the toaster. Look at your clients when you go to work. Listen to your kids tell you the story… not for the story, but for the connection. Put the phone down when your spouse opens their mouth - if you get distracted by them, let it be because you saw their eyes, or the curve of their lip when they smiled. Internal connection is not achieved by shutting out the world. Meditation can be a deliberate breath with closed eyes in the middle of a chaotic moment. 

I didn’t breathe for a month. Not because my schedule was busy, but because the list in my mind had the heading “Things I have to do” above it. If I had allowed even a few of them to ground me, everything would have been part of the flow instead of a hindrance to it. If I had allowed the family parts of my day to include even a minute of the pleasure of knowing and being known, I wouldn’t have been so annoyed by the interruptions in my schedule that the needs of my humans caused. The Love and Beauty in Life would have had a chance to speak. But I saw things instead of life. And I forgot that breath is carried with me, it comes from within, and every exhale is a potential expression of endlessly connected motion and creativity, and every inhale a reminder that I am not an island. I am a part of the whole. I always have been. That is the meaning of breath… connection. Breathe in to engage myself in all that is, with deliberate action, and breathe out to exercise the intrinsic manner in which I contribute to all that is. Not alone, even in this solitary action. One is never One. That is the meaning of the breath.

I'll Give You That 

I'll Give You That

If by Sovereign you mean 

All things are woven together 

To form something beautiful 

By the end of the story… 


That Sense will come of Chaos 

And something from nothing 

Invisible made visible 

By the end of the story… 


If by Sovereign you mean 

The end result is more anticipated 

Than dictated and immovable, seen 

By the end of the story… 


Then I’ll give you that. 


But if you’re going to say 

in that fatalistic way 

That the choices are all made 

And there’s no blooming chance 

To choose dance or no dance. 

Then I’ll take it back. 


The Sovereignty of the One 

In whom all breathe and are imagined 

Is the sort that plans on Love and Love Alone. 

The thing is, with that first breath 

Came a place in all creation 

Stamped upon our chest 

Image and Design to Sovereignty incline. 


And so… 

My person 

Island and Communal Flow 

Are both immersed in one 

And on their own. 

Sovereign as I Am - 

I am Sovereign 

At the beginning 

And at the end of the story. 


I’ll give you that. 

Where I live, snow doesn’t stay. It falls wet and heavy and melts. I think my favourite part of spring and fall storms is the the steady “drip, drip, drip” I hear for days after. The forest was alive with this sound last time I was there and I became enamoured with the water drops. Something usually captures my attention, and the phone came out, camera ready. I missed a lot. I caught something, but it took a consistent shot in the dark to catch the light. Why? Because you can’t control a drip. Water always obeys a million invisible factors in her flow. She runs on Nature’s timetable. They dance, I spectate, but I am drawn in to the intimacy of a moment I am invited to share. If I wait until the water drop has formed, I can’t catch it. I have to be present, I have to set the focus, get in position, and take the shot, repeatedly, sometimes catching nothing, or I will get nothing. But I want to catch that moment before Water and Gravity conspire to make the sound of the drip-drop. I want to see the world reflected in that tiny orb, and so, I make myself still. And trigger happy. Participation carries its own reward, and I capture the drop. I was not in control of Nature, she has her own rhythm, however, I owned my part in the process. I exercised Sovereignty. 

I was brought up believing that God was in complete control. I built my life, my sense of safety, my hurt and pain, my joy and triumph under that banner. I was scared. I worshipped anyway. I considered all my trials joy… for were they not of God? Friendships fragmented, work critiqued by insecure people, outlets for contribution based on marital status or gender, roles taken up or put down according to the needs of a group… and that was just me. There was pain, the putting away of my intrinsic being, the god I heard, vs. the god they heard. Then the worldview took on the World, and her unrest. Wars, famine, natural disasters, accidents, disease, things that were clearly broken, and if administered by a sovereign hand, it was a cruel one. But he gives and takes away, not so? 

He does, but not, I think, in the way I was taught to think. He gave his Mind and Spirit to humanity. Not so we would wield great power to our advantage, but, rather that we could see clearly and act wisely. In Love. He gives wisdom. He takes foolishness. Control and manipulation are set aside in favour of the participatory creativity of bringing endless possibility into manifest reality. I think this misunderstanding of sovereignty is actually one of the reasons suffering, pain and trauma are rampant in the history of the Race of Man. We surrender our personal autonomy too easily hoping the compromise will bring about our salvation, or our martyrdom, the salvation of another. 

If God is sovereign as I was raised to believe… I am Rapunzel in a tower, awaiting freedom in the perfect moment: the place where my desire and his timing intersect. I am truly a damsel in perpetual helpless distress. However, should his Sovereignty be a component of that fullness which in me dwells… I am already saved. I am already able. I have the ability to create my own escape route. I have the power of thought. The resource of true imagination. I am divinely sovereign, and consequently, responsible for that in which I choose passivity over assertion. I cannot wait for the entire path to become clear before I use the light I now possess. I cannot wait for morning in all things, some journeys begin at the behest of the moon, rather than the sun. 

I will not capture that which I desire if my waiting is done with the means safely tucked in my pocket. 

Sovereign as I Am - 

I am Sovereign 

At the beginning 

And at the end of the story.