Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Be a human

"It is a familiar sadness to me both to forget things and to say goodbye."

Impermanence makes me weary.

Sometimes a bit distrustful.

Sometimes it is far too complex to try to explain feelings.

And aren't feelings the most impermanent of all?


Impermanence makes me weary….

On Monday I said goodbye to two women who in less than two weeks have become like two sisters. As I leaned against the dock railing, salt water at my toes and on my cheeks (and everywhere really, its sweatily hot here…) I was in a state so fully indefinable that all I could do was smile through and at the salt, at how much had come from this so very impermanent collision of humans. At how much could be encapsulated in such a small amount of time--how immense of a takeaway I'd been given.








Straight up humanness.

What does it mean to you to be human? That list, for me, is it. It may look familiar, like a standard collection of well regarded traits that are oh so easily lost in the banality of day to day life. To offer the most genuine, expressive, honest bits of yourself with the utmost humility, while graciously accepting the same from others is a daily, no, moment-ly, immediate bit of work. So is letting people see you and seeing them. Having uncalculated interactions that are not following some sort of armoured protocol for instigating stereotypical or respectable formalities, but subjectively fluid responses that are so heighteningly present that you almost see yourself involved in a new way. Founding relationships that burrow under the surface nuances of small talk into the deeper artistry of aliveness. An exchange that isn't about what you can get from someone, but what you can share in. Being human.

Over the most fleeting two weeks of my life (that in their immensity so feel like a lifetime in themselves) we shared laughter, meals, ceremonies, and so much more sweat than was seeping that farewell morning. Every "how are you?" was an invitation to be exactly how you are. Every conversation was invested in. We sang "Lean on Me" walking through the jungle and meant it. We allowed each other to become a significant, vital part of our own personal experiences here. Immense.

It was immense because at some point, each of us decided, whether consciously or not, that we would be here. That we would come as we are and meet each other where they were. That we were not here to tell or teach or lead, but to share. Perhaps it was because time here was so obviously finite--everyone but me has a return ticket home (don't worry Ma, I will book one…)--there just wasn't any bullshit. But really, isn't life just as finite? We all know we are simply walking home, we all have that ticket--so really, we don't ever have time for bullshit.

And it is so fascinating, without the bullshit, with just the take- me- as-I-am-and-let-me-love-you humanness, how you are perceived. How in those moments of being so fully present, you get, as I wrote above, that moment of opportunity to almost take a birds-eye of yourself and be so aware of how you are interacting, on your participation as a human being, and the voice, the very energy you are offering to the experience. You have this opportunity to be a witness to your own light shining through and where you may be dimming yourself, to see whom you are being and recalibrate with your truths outside of your habits, outside of roles and routines and immersed in the ever evolving, immediate self. In that, there is spaciousness, and you feel your whole self filling it entirely, aware of your potential, your essence, your offerings; you feel purposeful. And then, beautifully, from these new relationships you have formed you receive insight into that very person, that self that you are observing--and your perception of you may be so different, sometimes absurdly so, than those in your vibe path. I mean, if I had a dollar (roughly 13 pesos, or 2 mangos--seriously!) for every time that someone told me my energy was zen and I laughed out loud--too loud-- I would be booking a flight to Bali next; in my ever running mind, zen isn't necessarily a choice descriptor…but I will take it. I will see it.

As much as you let people see you, they will filter what is shown through the lens that is their own self, picking up on what attracts them or doesn't, what they are triggered by or reflected in, the lessons they need and the ones they have learned--and so will you them. We are all harmonious blends of so many every things: feminine/masculine, tender/strong, sure/wavering, forward/secretive, faithful/doubting…as complex as feelings can be so can the humans that feel and embody them. And so then, being human is knowing too that your perceptions can become assumptions, and to foremost offer grace, for yourself and others that we are all just discovering ourselves, and to be welcomed into or to offer that up is a sweet gift of humanity.

You see, it is not the memories that may fade with time that saddens me, but diluting how each human in each experience--the sheer oneness-- has made me feel. This is what I do not want the sadness of goodbyes to strangle, these that I do not want to forget:

Perception is everything.

Be present.

Be kind.

Offer joy.

You are a gift, you have gifts--give them.

We are one.

The value in connection is incomparable. There is no exchange rate into pesos or mangos.

Each of my neuva familia was and continues to be on our own exquisite journey, but as I was reminded here: everywhere you go, everyone matters. And so I go, with an immense amount of wonder, self-actualization, unravelled wisdom, prayer, and gratitude to continue connecting, to continue to matter.

Love for you everywhere,

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

To my sisters {poem}

To my sister
whose blood runs the same as mine.
Who has watched me starve
to be more honest
to my fearful heart,
and fed me full,
with your love.

Who has sang 
out of car windows
about believing in love
and danced in kitchens
in homes across our lives.
Whose acceptance
has given me worth
and the freedom to be.

To my sisters
whose souls are made from the same stardust as mine
Who have watched me thrive
as I am
and never competed
but empowered
with their
unwavering love.

Who have sang in angst,
pulled the car over
to chant to the streams
and dance wildly under the moon.
Whose acceptance
has asked me to
be more.

To the sisters
I have not met
who inspire in their work
in their light
and in their truth.
Who love themselves
and so love out--
I see you.

Who holler
out the windows of the world:
here I am!
Who move to the same
pulsing goddess beat.
Whom I pray accept
themselves as they are
and give permission
to be to their sisters

and their sisters
and theirs.
We are one.

To the sisters
that we came from,
the mothers and grandmothers.
To Mother Earth,
lets us revel,
and dance
to the wisdom
and beauty,
the power
and grace,
the wildness in each of us
fertile and free.
Join hands with your men
grow stronger
grow in love.

To all women,
to all kind,
We are one.

As published on Elephant Journal:

Sunday, March 27, 2016

You are my poetry {poem}

I found an old poem
I had written for you/
of you/
as a result of you….

so much of me is a result of you.

I am what exists underneath
the layers that--
lovingly forceful,
at times provocatively, then,
at times so patiently--
you asked me to remove.

Oh how it once felt
you were asking for so much.
Too much.
What did I have to give/
to reveal/
so that you would
know that I was just as terrified as you
to be at love's mercy.

That no matter
how many words
I write,
I cannot define love
anymore than anyone else
who does not need
to understand it
to trust it.

Now I trust that
I have so much more
to give/
to feel/
to know…

That is what love does,
isn't it?
Embeds another within us
and in its immensity,
moves us to
give so much more.

To in some way
transform our feelings
into art,
an exquisite expression
unique to only
the writer and her muse
who know all
that is left unwritten.
All that is
still to be found.

Take my words
as yours and read
my sweet truths,
know that
every poem written
is but a means of
loving you still.

My love, my muse.

I read an old poem
I had written for you….

and found that most of you
still exists/
is felt/
beyond words,
in my heart.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Love--set free {poem}

This ocean is immense,
it disappears into the sky and
in that fading horizon
I know freedom.

Boundaries. You insisted on boundaries
and now I have some tucked into my soul
for the next time my heart begins to sail away.

For now, I harbour here,
wondering at lines drawn and crossed,
at the thunder I hear not only
when it rains,
but when I remember how we crashed
into each other, each time a storm
of a propensity we thought would fade
but never did.

Each time revealing more of the same
mystery that is held by the sea
to be held in our souls.

Each of us becoming,
on a journey
we know not yet what love has to do with,
and so we take ours alone.

Wandering and wondering inwards,
finding love there first
so that we may love out more fully.

Diligently learning.
And though I have never wanted something rational,
I know I could be swallowed whole
again if I swim after you.

So I silently watch the waves
pull in and out,
and look not for words to say
to make you understand,
but love on as the days move easier.

Love on.
Let go and
know, with unwavering trust
that love comes back in its richest integrity
when you first set it free.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wisdom Women

"You are not meant to go where it is safe, where love is--you are meant to go where you are sent, and bring love"

Those words from a most remarkable woman! I met Claudia on my most recent visit to Yelapa--a bit piece of sanctuary a ferry ride away from Puerto Vallarta that became a second home when cooking for a yoga retreat there a year ago. This time around, she was one of the many gorgeous offerings in coming back. Claudia is a stringer of beads into jewellery saturated in spiritual storytellings, weaver of the tiniest details into the most subtly grand expressions, a dreamer who made a home out of visions, time, and nature; she is an offerer of wisdom, space, and laughter, a believer in magic, a woman who's words I wanted to wrap my tongue, pen, and heart around. 

Words like:

"you lose the experience of human evolution when you are lost in routine."
"make things glaringly different"
"decide which of your wants are needs; learn what you can be happy without."

She told too, a particularly resonating tale of eight people, including yourself, together at a well. You are getting water from this well, pulling up buckets of clean, elixir like refreshment. This brings you joy, delight. But none of the other seven is filling their buckets. None of the other seven are celebrating receiving this revival of spirit, this life source. Your joy then, is limited to you. There is no sharing, there is no extension of happiness. The water is God, the divine, actual source--whomever you pray to-- and when you are fuelled by something greater than you, when we all tap into that immensity, our vitality, our happiness extends.

In my interpretation: we are enough on our own, but together, on a soul full level, we are so much more.

And every woman that I have met here has continued to remind me of that.

Reminded me that we all have wisdom, we all have a healing energy, we are all seeds with the propensity to bloom into our uniquely gorgeous selves--abundant in offering and expression. While I was in complete awe of Claudia--truly one of the most generous spirits I have ever gotten to share guacamole with--her wise self listened so easily, so fixedly to each of us, sharing in the enrapture.

We are rapturous Women. Meant for the Sisterhood that I have found here and the one that is my tribe at home. Meant not to compete, judge, or compare ourselves to each other but to join hands and hearts and walk home together. Meant to empower each other, permit one another to show up as we are in movement, voice, full amplitude of self, by embodying our very own majestic sovereignty. A goddess is not some ethereal, unattainable being limited by a convoluted changing definition of beauty, but a woman alive with joy for her fellow femmes, grounded in the wisdom of the mothers before and the one's that are nature herself.

Yelapa, herself, is Woman. Hare Hare. Pachamamma. The ocean is her voluptuous womb, her Earth fertile with cycles of life and possibility. She unravels herself to you in offerings when you accept her nurturing. She is often called a vortex, for you lose all that you created a false sense of necessity out of when you are held in her arms and come to know, sweetly, what truly matters. In every contour, every intimate space that she lovingly receives your searching--knowing--self with is another detail of her feminine beauty: the ginger plants blooming, the side of the mountain painted red as the sun sets, Our lady of Guadalupe hung from beams and tucked into stone crevices, every woman that for however impermanently, calls her sanctuary home--the women whose singing voices echo in the caverns of every soul here, who drum with the power of the sea, and call the hummingbirds home with a harmonica. Yelapa is more raw, more honest, more than any poem I could hope to write. She dances and you dance with her. And, Women, we were meant to dance.

On my first full day here I felt her. Under my feet and in the heat of the sun, in the Women who have welcomed me and the kind men who respect her and hers, in how she pulls my heart to the sea and to home. She calls me to connect to what I know is constant, is God, and extend my happiness. And while I was asked to come and have been shown nothing but love, the love I feel sent to give is not ignorable.

To my Sisters, Mothers, Grandmothers, to the newest extensions of my tribe who offer me their wisdom and allow me to share mine: understand your reverence, fill your soul, extend yourself. I love you.

I imagine us {poem}

I imagine we would have danced.

You would have taken me by the hand
and spun me,
so you could watch me me move
before pulling me into you.

Told me all you needed to say
with the smile of your eyes
and kissed me,
when the sheer love offered
back through mine
took hold of your heart.

Your hands on my hips,
they land there
the same as mine know to kind your neck,
my fingers can dance on their own in your hair.
In awe.

I am in awe of how real
that dream feels.
Of how my imagination
can make an already gorgeous moment
that much more potent with
a simple vision of you.

This way you touch everything
I touch and see all
that I see.
I can collect our words--
repeat them,
create them.
I can still feel your fingers and
smile to mimic
what I remember in your eyes.

Memories of you spin me now,
so sensational I risk
the distortion of my reality,
might miss the beauty of my aloneness.
And yours?

Do I linger in your thoughts.
Do you look out at the sea
and long to wonder out loud to me?
Wish to catch my hand and
run at the waves,
collide with the salt
as we did with each other
in the water
find your wet hands at my waist
and mine, their, where they've always
been, at the subtle scoop of your neck.

Do you scoop me up in your dreams,
in the moments of your day
when you have too much time to
when there is space for your
heart and head to converse
and the love we shared
makes your eyes smile again?

Or am I truly alone in knowing
that you cannot ever unlove
one whom your soul has danced itself
lost in a sea of memories,
and dreams, that still,
with hope,
could be.

As published by Elephant Journal:

You've become a part of me {poem}

Your lips on mine--

Your tongue searched my mouth
for the words that were not there,
answers to what I could
not make clear for you.

Promises you would
not let yourself make--
you left them there,
and still I feel their

Just as I feel your fingers
lingering at the curve
of my elbows,
guiding me closer--

They are at the back of my neck,
cradling my skull
and lacing through my curls
as if trying to find their way
into the thoughts I hold back.

When you took my hand,
you took my entire heart.

And now as I breathe in
I feel you there.
In the swell of my chest with breath
I am still in your arms,
tucked in by your neck,
where I can just barely feel (I swear I can feel them still…)
your soft lips by my cheek.

Parts of you linger
with my eyes closed and my mind wild--
if I open them
perhaps they will meet yours
and find that glint
that admits that you are right here with me now:
so afraid that we cannot
make a future on
our collection of presents,
the insistence of our past.

Breathe out.

I am cavernous.
Yet full,
for every crevice that you have touched,
that your memory has seeped
into lingers in the
Universe of my being.

Your touch has become a part of me.
So familiar
that the contours of body
know the wind
and water
to be your fingers,
the sun to be the heat
of your skin on mine,
the way you have let me feel
is imprinted on my soul,
a song I will never forget.

Sing, sweet lover.
Every word never shared,
and I will for you--
because surely the sweetest
come from hearts
that remember what it was like
to beat together.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

To wake next to you {poem}

Do all lovers lose sleep over each other?

I do not mean in worry,
distrust or fear.

I do not mean to toss and turn
writhing against
a discontented heart.

No, I mean to be held in
love under the stars,
holding on to any amount of awake--
as I do--
just to hear the subtle,
easy lull of your breath.

Drift in and out of dreams
at best,
all to aware of
my arm draped casually
at your side,
just your finger tips on my thigh.

When no dream could be
as sweet as
leaning into the warmth of
your chest
as the watching moon disappears
and the sun spreads out
over our sheets.

I want to wake
but where I ended
the night next to you,
and just barely touch my lips to yours,
watch the lines on your brow
form and soften
and your shoulders sigh
into the pillows,
a smile,
even before you open your eyes
and pull me in.

Good morning.

Kiss me back.
Make me laugh.
Tell me you waited all night
to wake up to me,
the reality for lovers
better than the sweetest of dreams.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Monday, March 21, 2016

This isn't how i wanted to feel {poem}

I didn't want to feel like this,

First I didn't want to fall in love.

I didn't want to feel like if you left I would ache--
and then aching, I didn't want to remember loving you.

But I did. So much so.
Memories of loving so intense
they course electrically up my spine,
lingering at the back of my neck
where your fingers used to rest.

Or are they at my hips?
I still feel them there,
can feel my own fingers trace towards your wrist
to catch yours, and together, it seemed,
pull me in.

I hear your words
as if you are next to me still,
whispering truths and wondering at feels.
I do not want to feel--
still exhaustingly vulnerable--
how I do when I realize you are not:
alone, missing.

Shame, fear--
those were not mine to feel.
Torn into
left to wonder at every answer,
every exquisite detail
revealed for love…

I feel everything,
when I want to feel nothing.

Not attached, not wanting.
Not make-believing
that the sweetest of memories
mean anything about the future,
I want only my present

where I feel joy, gratitude.
Where the breath of your memory
dances with my spirit
for how alive I am for having let you love me
and feeling,
with no need for return
(but oh, hope)
that, even now
I still love you.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Her; the ocean {poem}

Her skin tasted of salt water,
tears that had fallen of a broken
and the most heart filled laughter--
neither more sad, neither happier,
both pouring of honesty.

In her kiss was the whisper of a Siren.
Her hair tangled like waves
cascading down her back,
pooling at her sides as she slept face down--
the gentle rise of her breath
could be seen in her back
like the curve of a ship's sail,
that same ebb and flow
as pulled gracefully by the moon.

She was a force that couldn't be seen or heard
undeniably powerful
yet illusive.

She was a mystery the same
as the depths
of the sea
held dances of lost ships,
tribes of creatures
and tales of drowned loves,
adventures never detailed.

She clung to you like
sand in the crevices of your being,
lasting, but not enough to collect as your own.
She was the dream of escape,
of vastness,
of freedom.
Look into her eyes and you looked to where the sea
disappeared into the sky,
and listen closely enough
and her heart didn't simply beat,
but roared as only water can.

She was the ocean,
a wonder--
and in her mystery
your own desires fell humble,
at her shores.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Writing of our love story {poem}

I mean to write to heal,
letting time pass in the
stringing together of thoughts as words
reasonably emotional,

I mean to write to heal,
but surely I am not mending my heart
but burrowing into the contours
of its wounds.

Each description of each memory
like shards of glass,
fragments of us
that make no more sense on paper
than they do in the vessel
from which I pull them.

It's all there for me to feel,
and until I have I cannot heal.

Until I have sat in those depths
and listened to the pulsating
rhythm of my repressed hurt,

God each word would satisfy so
much more sweetly
if directly to your ears,
if they were to coax out your response--

I'll call out again that I love you.
I'll write again of tangled bodies,
unsealed lips
and the most gentle fingertips.
Of fears.
Of truths.

I'll detail the wisdom
my heart has acquired in
being willing to lose your love
again and again
and write because I know it is not lost at all.
Too potent.

Your love will linger
beneath the scars,
and pulse with my blood,
a part of my being that
there are no words for,
a story that has written itself and
ends exactly as it is supposed to.
In love.
In gratitude.

The greatest love stories are timeless.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Sunday, March 6, 2016

be all you can be {poem}

Live with the potency of your heart.
Hold back nothing
and let nothing be enough.

Your curiosity ought to be
and your passion unnerving.

Create without withholding.
Look fiercely at fear.
Cry for every reason and none at all.

Make space for sweetness.

You are meant to feel
and your feels meant
to touch

Make your skin transparent by your words.
See and be seen.
Love and be loved. 
Just Love.

Let no one doubt that you love them
and love yourself
with unabashed abundance.

Unconfine yourself from the need to define yourself,
for you are new in each moment,
with exquisite details revealed,
new and remembered.

Trust your wisdom
and humble your mind.
Be kind.
Revel in the moon, the stars and the sea

Revel in your heart.
Be free.
Come as you are,
combust with possibility.

Be all you can be.

As published on Elephant Journal: