Love Letter

In the midst of all turmoil
I find love folding over us
like a love letter
sealed with a kiss
and fragrance with
the sweetest smell of lust.

I find your words wrapped
around my skin
in continuous poetic phrases
savoring my very essence.

I find your tongue licking
my paragraphs and whispering
sweet and dirty nothings
before signing your name
on my back
and folding me in tiny pieces
to carry in your pocket.

A Date

I would like to make a date

to kiss you,

to inhale your smile,

and swallow your laughter.

I want an invitation

to travel from your head

down to your feet

in some utter delight

using you as

the vehicle

to come and go.

 

I wish for a rendezvous

to whisper

in the darkness

and the light

in those moments

when I stare into your eyes

as they flutter to my knowing.

 

I want a date to give

and take

and be again

in the euphoria

of our union

because true love stories

never end.

Knots of Humanity

knots-of-humanity

 

 

 

I.
You.
They.
We all.

There’s no mistake
in color, shape,
geography, religion,
preferences, belief….
The same spec of dust
from the beginning of time
runs through
veins, heart, consciousness,
lifeline and lifetimes
in each of us.

I love YOU
in loving me.
There’s no accident,
only the synchronicity
of our union
through the nothingness
and the knowing —
Or the never meeting
except within
the same air passing
through our lungs,
the same moon
guiding our nights,
And
the same sun witnessing
the birth of a new day.

Life is the thread
that keeps us tied
in the perfect knot
to the All of divinity.

Thank you,
Thank YOU,
THANK YOU!

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Truly Listen to Another

listen

For the major part of my adult life I have rarely heard when someone has told me who they are.  If you really listen to a stranger, a new person in your life, the beginning of a romantic relationship, you will find that they DO tell you who they are…for the most part (some folks are mentally ill and cannot decipher personality traits from their disorder).  Sometimes it isn’t verbal but through events and actions that leave you flabbergasted with questioning, “WTF?”  The fixer in me was always trying to take them by the hand and shake all those negative ideas of themselves.  I wanted to show them what I was seeing.  I wanted them to live to their highest potential of what I THOUGHT was correct.  This is complete and utter b.s. and arrogance.

A few years ago I dated a wonderful man, very briefly, for a few weeks.  On our first hike he kept stopping as we were trekking up this steep mountain terrain and laying down everything that was him.  He basically gave me a rundown of the things that were acceptable, who he was, what he would put up with, and so many other small fragments of his personality.  When we reached the summit I was truly exhausted but so relieved.  He showed me that hour the person he was and I truly listened.  I am so glad I did, because a few days later, in my need to bring out the best in another to my convenience, he stopped me again and reminded me how he laid it all on the line.  He was right.  He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in a relationship.  And, although our time together was brief, it was a powerful lesson in listening to another when they tell you who they are.  They know themselves better than anyone.

This relationship taught me about the art of setting boundaries and not getting lost in another person.   It allowed me to step back and watch the past pattern of behavior in wanting to bring another human being into my life to fit perfectly.  In my oblivious state of mind, which is a trait I cannot change, I saw the beauty and perfection of him.  But, relationships take time to evolve, and he fought me from the beginning.  He wasn’t going to change in his early fifties.  He was and is the best version of himself.  Together we would have been the ultimate disaster.  And…knowing this from early on saved us both a lot of grief.

I am aware that people have a diverse multitude of personalities.  They will show different sides to their convenience.  Some people cannot reach the emotional state early on, or ever. I understand that it takes time to learn the truth in another.  Hopefully they know their truth because some folks are just clueless!  This beautiful person showed me to look at myself and be honest with another from the very beginning.  I have taken it upon myself to do just that.  What you see is what you get.  There’s no hidden agenda.  I learned to be upfront in future relationships.  I learned to share my abilities, faults, flaws, and the things I will not tolerate.

Listening with my head rather than my heart, for a little while, allowed me to detach the desire to have a man in my life and see who he really was from the beginning.  I loved that about him.  And, throughout the years in our friendship we have always been to the point with one another.  It’s beautiful to be among a person who knows his truth.

Do yourself a favor and never ignore the words and actions from another when beginning any kind of relationship or friendship.  When someone tells you who they are listen with your mind and an open heart.  Divine guidance is there in those moments that speak truth.  And…always be honest with your feelings.  If it doesn’t feel right…drop it quickly.  You come first and foremost.  Have a blessed day.

Life Surrounded by Hope

hope

Long ago in the midst of a horrible separation I wrote my ex a letter in Spanglish expressing how I felt during the many years of our union.  In those days I took very little responsibility for what I brought into that relationship.  It was easier to blame him for most of it. It was comforting to tell the stories of victimization and believe I had no handle in things.  I am embarrassed to say that my ego was huge.  It was arrogance and an unwillingness to take participation in the choices I had made.  In this letter I expressed that Hope was a thing of the past.  I, in full blown sarcasm, told him that Esperanza (which is Hope in Spanish) was an old woman living in Peru on some mountain, and that she didn’t live in our relationship anymore.  Hope was not available. The blame from both of us was atrocious.  It was disturbing how at one time we might have gotten the magic and then 18 years later it was nowhere to be found.  Infidelities and other distrusting behaviors had sent “Esperanza” somewhere back to South America.  Whether he got the sarcasm or read between the lines of so much hurt, is beyond me.  I wrote the letter in Spanish and in parts that had no translation I stuck with English.  At this point I could have used a billboard to express how I was feeling and it would not have mattered.  We were past the point of reconciliation and respect.  The he-said-she-said game was well-past due.  The hurt was astronomical.

These days, years later, I try desperately to find grace and hope living in my heart.  When I make a mistake I step back and try to take accountability for it.  I am still human and ego is still very present.   The only difference now is that I am grateful for the lessons that come my way.  Esperanza has returned to my life.  She lives deeply in the corners of my home, heart, and relationships.  Esperanza had to disappear in order for me to learn those things that needed to be ingrained.  The universe whispered a lot in those days.  Then it would speak louder.  Finally, when it would scream I was physically in danger.  It took a lot of physical power to get me to listen.  My tenacious and stubborn ways have been the biggest personality downfall.  I am gentler with my spirit now.

The truth is that Hope never left my side.  Hope was there when I signed over my half of the company to him; when I sold everything to leave my home; when I abandoned our beautiful house that took years to short sell and make zero on it; when I began living a life of authentic truth.  Hope knew I would survive.  Grace joined in and pushed me to strengthen my dignity and integrity.   Hope didn’t disappear. It was actually there quietly waiting to be acknowledged. I began to forgive myself, and in the process forgave him for all that was done…because he did what he could under his capacity. He has his own stories.  And, now we can talk and feel nothing but respect for one another.

Happiness and misery live simultaneously inside.  They are a matter of choice and perception. Do you see hope in the distance? Do you see darkness around you all the time?  To lose hope is to lose everything. And, in those moments it is when hope is truly present.  It is an oxymoron.  I thought I had lost my dear Esperanza, sending her off to some remote place.  Hope was merely sitting and waiting for my presence.  Once I was aware of the lessons, experiences, choices and journey everything fell back into alignment.  I moved to North Carolina to live on top of a mountain which was always my dream.  I have been able to strip self-worth issues, and live with the absence of blame on others.  I am responsible only for me.  My life has brought me here while Hope held my hand.

Where is Hope taking you? Who is holding all of your dreams and desires waiting on you to align with them?  Be aware of your thoughts, illusions and reality.  Feel the presence of love, compassion, forgiveness and truth.  You are always in the care of the Divine!

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

Embrace your Fabulousness

forgive

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”~ Marianne Williamson

Matt, my husband, rolls his eyes and laughs most of the time when I compliment him.  It bothers me that he doesn’t see his fabulousness.  I find this man not only physically attractive but highly intelligent and stimulating.  He brings out the best in me as I am always in awed of him.  When I ask him, “Do you know how amazing you are?”  He asks me to “please stop.”  I tell him to take it and own it.  When the tables reverse and he compliments me I ask him to “please stop with the nonsense and go check his eye sight.”  Imagine that!  I have come to realize that we are the sums of those traumas from the past and all the peeps we handed our worth on platters.  It is time we take it back and stop fearing our greatness, fabulousness, and awesomeness!

I have never had a healthy acceptance of compliments, especially about my body or talents.  We can spend hours analyzing the root of this issue.  If hundreds of hours in therapy did not correct it I doubt that this post will.  But here is the thing I have learned about compliments and self-worth:  we truly fear them.  For the most part we hide behind what society expects from us. An older woman who was my neighbor at 18 (she was 94) said to me, “My sweet young woman, when someone hands you a flower what do you say?  You say ‘thank you.’ So, when a person compliments you look at them in the eyes (even if you don’t believe it) and accept the gift.”  Almost thirty years later I get the reason why.  If you are forced to share the moment and look at that person (stopping everything else in your head) you may see that they are genuine. We have been accustomed to disregard our worth, the natural beauty in our existence, and beat ourselves up because we can’t fit in some kind of social acceptance or perfection.

Body images change with fashion and fads.  Decades determine if size 10 is a healthy average woman’s size or size 2 is the new size 6.  Should your collar bones stick out so you can use them as soap holders? Should you plump up your lips like a bee stung them?  Is it healthy now to let your eyebrows grow out or should we still be plucking them into an arch that puts the shock factor on your face along with botox?  I can’t keep up, can you?  I stay away from those fashion magazines. I have never been good at following directions.

When I look in the mirror lately I don’t see myself.  It isn’t that I sit there examining.  I stare at the reflection brushing my teeth, often times in la-la land but catch a glimpse of a middle age woman who has come into her own.  I feel sexier now than I did in my twenties when I had a breast reduction, liposuction and the insane habit of dieting until I would faint.  I have many more laugh lines, wrinkles, freckles, and age spots. Each one of them maps out some incredible lessons.  I have a flabby but healthier body that climbs mountains, drinks wine, loves lattes, and at times indulges in some delicious dessert that I can’t pronounce.  And, yes, a few times a year I give everything a break and detox the middle age part of me giving up everything for a month or two or four until my friends beg that I go back to carbs, “please” because I am nicer when I eat junk.

I love watching the love of my life move.  I love studying his strong middle age body.  He might not like it but I find that each scar, dimple, and extra space is what allows more of him to love me.  Each time I embrace him I feel like I am with the sexiest man alive and I can’t understand why a magazine hasn’t posted this on their front page.  To me it is headline news.

As Marianne Williamson writes, “who are you not to” see yourself as beautiful?  Don’t let society determine what is beautiful. At what age do we stop worrying about body image, and what needs to be done, tucked, fastened, or covered up?  You are beautiful: curves, flab, scars, more or less.  It is the body given to you to journey on this life.  I don’t want to be perfect.  Hell no!  That’s a lot of pressure.  I want to be loved by those around me because of how I reflect parts of them.  If I can make you smile then I have done my part for the day.  These days when you hand me a compliment I will take it as a flower, put it in a vase, and relish that someone thinks I am special, beautiful or whatever else your spirit sees in me.  The returned words, “thank you” are magical in so many ways connecting us to each other.  Now go flaunt your spectacular-ness into the world.

 

I’ve Spent a Life

I have ran around

the truth

of ever knowing what I knew

while denying my intuition

the right to decide

and adhere to its validity.

 

I’ve spent years,

time and energy,

avoiding this truth

and here it is

directly in my face  —

I can’t disregard its motion any longer;

I can’t avoid its existence

with its ugliness and rawness…

I can finally let go and fly free.

 

It’s been years,

but it feels like yesterday,

for the depth,

the ache,

the humiliation

has arrived with

a surprising force

allowing ego to take the driver’s seat.

 

I will not wallow

in self-pity,

self preservation,

as I know Karma

has no expiration date.

 

You were always so eager

to point out to the world

my flaws,

my human traits,

in every situation that

arrived

that was not in accordance

with your universe.

 

I have no use to continue

this confirmation

that breezed into my life

with today’s rain,

rattling leaves,

breaking branches,

causing a mild flood

so I can finally terminate

the need to soften our memories

to our children,

our friends,

and specially to myself

while making excuses for

our failures.

 

I’ve spent a life

running from those thoughts,

the traumas created by dictatorship,

and I finally feel the breath

of divinity guiding me through

any dark moments.

 

Benefit of doubt

is only good for those

who can truly change.

I forgave you long ago,

even when I didn’t know,

even when you twisted and turned

all truth.

Forgiveness wasn’t for you…

it was for me.

 

I spent a life

falling in and out of love

with myself

because of you…

but tonight

I finally know the truth:

you never deserved me

and my whole-hearted trust.

Believe in you and love will follow

believe

“It is not my place to doubt the sincere beliefs of others. My job is to question my own beliefs.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I have been blessed to witness true love between two people.  It’s one of the great quirks of owning our retreat center. But, it’s rare that I find an authentic connection when one soul has met another and whispers, “There you are. I’ve been looking for you all of my life.” I know a couple who have exceeded my relationship paradigms. These two men, after nearly 30 years, still have a mutual respect, profound love, trust, compassion, and appreciation for one another. This is something most of us crave to find in a lifetime. We are born from love, searching for love, and hopefully finding that one person who can understand us.

They are opposites in so many ways. Watching them interact I am reminded of a wave. One takes while the other pulls, and together they fall into one. Even in their differences, there is this depth of accepting and knowing that although they may not agree on something they don’t question or judge the other. This is the most precise to my idea of love. They are the inspiration to what relationships should look like. It doesn’t matter if it is between a man and a woman; a man and a man; or a woman and a woman.

I am always fascinated by how people meet, how long they’ve been together, and what is the secret of their union. I don’t need to ask those questions to either of them. I can see it in a slight touch, a humorous comment, a glance across the table. I can hear it in their explanations and stories. There is no faking such sentiments. There is no denying that whatever belief one of them has, the other might not experience it, but doesn’t belittle the other because of it.

One of the most difficult issues in a relationship is that we want to “convert” our significant other to share our beliefs. Until I met my fiance I had always been with men (recently pointed out by a friend who is a therapist) whose political and religious beliefs are completely different from mine. As open minded as I think I am, these men have all been the opposite and all of them have desperately (and with much frustration) tried to force me to acquire their beliefs. When I would clam up and go numb they would start the insults about how I don’t know anything about politics or religion. I laugh now, as I type this, but while in these destructive and imbalance relationships I was totally stressed out. The difference in belief systems seems quite evident now that I look back.  So when I met my current love I made sure to clarify these things.  After over two years it has stuck.  We can agree on many things and also agree to disagree in others.

I have had a fascination with world religions and have studied them. This caused a huge stir in past relationships. Any political view, different from my own, was also insulting. I became aware of this issue and made it a rule not to discuss religion or political views with any man until I was fully comfortable to stand my ground.  I wasn’t willing to pick another who dictated or bull-dozed their way through my beliefs.

As I have observe my new friends interacting, I realize that part of who I am is based on “my beliefs.” I will no longer compromise my ideas, disposition, beliefs, and truth. They compose the person I am today. I will not allow another to try and morph me into what they believe I should be.

Few times in this path of my life do I get to stand back and admire another relationship. Perfection doesn’t exist. Perfection within our intimate imperfections does. When you find a person whom you can be all of yourself and have no judgment…well, that’s your soul mate. I don’t use the term, “soul mate” lightly. I believe a parent, child, friend, or anyone can be a soul mate. When I say it in this context I mean it as a twin soul; that other person who is part of your ocean and together you create a wave.  I have been fortunate to have found someone who will surf the rocky and calmed waters with me.

Every person who enters our life teaches us something. I am humbly grateful for eafirst-and-last-lovech person who leaves a little piece of hope in my life. I pray that people can actually let go of this aggression when it comes to beliefs and learn to love one another. It really isn’t my business what you think of me, anymore than what I think of you. My only concern is that I am truthful with me and those who love me for who I am.  In the end our authentic spirit is what reflects from our hearts.  You must love you first and foremost. May you move through love so you can find the love that compliments your soul.  You are worth it!

You Must Continue to Love

heart chakra

Yesterday afternoon Matt, baby and I ventured for a late lunch in Downtown Asheville.  The sun was out, the places were packed and we enjoyed sitting outdoors to eat a delicious Mexican cuisine.  Afterwards we decided to walk the streets.  With him maneuvering the stroller I was free to daze out.  This man knows me that well.  He knows that I can’t be among so many people without putting some kind of bubble around me.  As he walked ahead looking at the sky, the buildings, whatever else was around I heard,  “Hey, Captain Oblivious, look where you are going!” His voice always brings me back to the present as I was crossing the street with cars flying by.  But, this is the thing: I truly have to keep myself out of focus with so many people at times.  If I become aware of each person I begin to see the heaviness that others carry in their hearts.  People piggy back everything in their spiritual bodies.  I begin to witness fractured hearts everywhere.

A friend recently told me that there was no way to ever get into another relationship.  This thing of falling in love is dangerous and painful. It’s better to be alone.  You can’t get hurt if you stay alone.  I listened.  I know what it is to feel the destitution and betrayal of another.  I know the hopelessness, shame, rejection that arrives from being vulnerable in an intimate relationship.  But, those relationships were great…yes, even the shitty ones.  They were amazingly powerful.  Some taught me things about me that I never saw before.  Others forced me to change those things I didn’t like in them while projecting in me.  I love each one of those past lovers.  Each one!  Even the most detrimental experience showed me something powerful about darkness.  So to shut it out completely is like stopping the flow of breath and life.

It takes time to heal from this brokenness of love.  Often times it isn’t the love that needs healing but the idea that it was love and not lust.  Love is wonderful and magical.  It can leave us depleted and ruined when it departs.  But, we can’t blame the other person completely.  We took part in the journey.  I always ask myself, “What was I suppose to learn from this?  What the hell did this person bring up that has left me feeling like the worst possible person in the world?”  Oh, I have tons of questions when this happens and then, when I least expect it, I find the remains of something beautiful.  Sometimes it wasn’t about teaching me anything.  It was a soul connection that needed mending from another time and space.  I’m no expert.  I have had my shares of anger, depression and disgrace because of past relationships, but I have given myself the time to heal and have gotten up again to get back on the horse.  My tenacious ways don’t allow for another to take my power anymore.

Had I not put myself out there I would have done myself a great injustice.  I enjoy being in a relationship.  I enjoy loving someone.  I love laughter, intimacy, and craziness.  Part of my journey is to love unconditionally.  If I get hurt I will return to the starting line and begin the race again.  I don’t hold resentments.  I forgive rather easily.  I let go even quicker than before.  I take my losses, fold the winnings and continue with on the path.  Perhaps I am a sucker for punishment.  I don’t know!

Love is not meant to be kept and guarded inside our bodies.  The damage is astronomical.  If you see the bitterness, anger, and sadness that others carry around you just want to stop, grab their hand and hug them.  But, our society is not programmed like this…yet!  So, I walk around in oblivion once I know I am only responsible for me.  You were given love to share.  You must give it away.  It isn’t yours to keep only for yourself.  The heart breaks often, not just from relationships but from so many other situations and events.

You must forgive those souls who taught you the pain.  You must forgive yourself for participating in the stories. This is part of our human evolution. It’s okay and it will be alright.  It’s more than normal.  We are here together.  You can’t be an island on your own…even Tom Hanks began to talk to a volley ball and give it love.  You must be willing to stretch your spiritual heart and provide the world with your best. We are all interconnected by this one vibration. And guess what?  Most likely someone will hurt you again and again.  And, guess what?  You will continue to get yourself right back up and continue to forgive and love.  This is what we came here to do.  It’s our human responsibility to let go and continue to love again.  Now go sprinkle some love and kindness out there.  Have a blessed day!