Gratitude

What did you notice?

The dew-snail

The low flying sparrow

The bat, on the wind, in the dark

Big chested geese, in the V of sleekest performance

The soft toad, patient in the hot sand

The sweet-hungry ants

The uproar of mice in the empty house

The tin music of the cricket’s body

The blouse of the goldenrod.

What did you hear?

The thrush greeting the morning

The little bluebirds in their hot box

The salty talk of the wren

Then the deep cup of the hour of silence.

When did you admire?

The oaks, letting down their dark and hairy fruit

The carrot, rising in its elongated waist

The onion, sheet after sheet, curved inward to the pale green wand

At the end of summer the brassy dust, the almost liquid beauty of the flowers

Then the ferns scrawled black by the frost.

What astonished you?

The swallows making their dip and turn over the water.

What would you like to see again?

My dog, her energy and exuberance, her willingness, her language beyond all nimbleness of tongue

Her recklessness, her loyalty, her sweetness, her strong legs, her curled black lip, her snap.

What was most tender?

Queen Anne’s lace, with its parsnip root

The everlasting in its bonnets of wool

The kinks and turns of the tupelo’s body

The tall blank banks of sand

The clam, clamped down.

What was most wonderful?

The sea and its wide shoulders

The sea and its triangles

The sea lying back units long athlete’s spine.

What did you think was happening?

The green beast of the hummingbird

The eye of the pond

The wet face of the lily

The bright, puckered knee of the broken oak

The red tulip of the fox’s mouth

The up-swing, the down-pour, the frayed sleeve of the first snow -

So the gods shake us from our sleep.

- Mary Oliver - RIP

(I am so grateful for you)

Our Deepest Fear

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? 
You are a child of God. 

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, 
As children do. 
We were born to make manifest 
The glory of God that is within us. 

It's not just in some of us; 
It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, 
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we're liberated from our own fear, 
Our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

I am a Woman

I am a woman

I have a vagina

I have a womb

My vagina and my womb are a place of power

It is my power

An innate power that belongs to woman

It belongs to me

And I decide how to use it

Pleasure

Children

All creativity

Universes are born out of my sacred vagina

Out of my sacred womb

A place of beauty

Sanctity

Sovereignty

Sensuality

Serenity

How blessed am I to be a woman in all of my glory

I am grateful to you universe for making me a woman

- Elisa Bragg

We Have Come to be Danced

We have come to be danced
not the pretty dance
not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
but the claw our way back into the belly
of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
the holding the precious moment in the palms
of our hands and feet dance

We have come to be danced
not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
the slap the apology from our posture dance

We have come to be danced
not the monkey see, monkey do dance
one, two dance like you
one two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
tearing scabs & scars open dance
the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance

We have come to be danced
not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
the strip us from our casings, return our wings
sharpen our claws & tongues dance
the shed dead cells and slip into
the luminous skin of love dance

We have come to be danced
not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
the mother may I?
yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
the everyone can come to our heaven dance

We have come to be danced
where the kingdom’s collide
in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
WE HAVE COME

 

- Jewel Mathieson

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

And I wake in the night at the least sound

In fear of what my life and my children's lives may be

I go and lie down where the wood drake rests

In his beauty in the water, and the great heron feeds

I come into the peace of wild things

Who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above the the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free

 

 - Wendell Berry

A Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

Some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and attend them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,

Who violently sweep your house

Empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

 

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

A Prayer of Forgiveness

If I have harmed anyone in any way

either knowingly or unknowingly

through my own confusions

I ask their forgiveness.

If anyone has harmed me in any way

either knowingly or unknowingly

through their own confusions 

I forgive them.

And if there is a situation 

I am not yet ready to forgive

I forgive myself for that.

For all the ways that I harm myself,

negate, doubt, belittle myself,

judge or be unkind to myself

through my own confusions

I forgive myself.

 

- Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness

Holy Track

Tracking You,

with growing curiosity and wonder

through brilliant trails l’d never imagined,

l am surprised 

to discover that l am the one being tracked, 

being hunted and,

in the end,

choosing to surrender

wholeheartedly.

 

How can l not, my love,

being taken to the place

only You can 

dream for me,

dream through me

to serve You

in this hungry world.

 

 - Wendy Robertson Fyfe

Your Light, My Light

Your light, my light, world-filling light,

the dancing centre of my life, 

the sky breaks forth,

the wind runs wild,

and laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies have spread their sails to glide up on the seas of light,

the lilies and the jasmine flowers surge on the crest of waves of light.

Now heaven's river drowns its banks,

and floods of joy have run abroad,

now mirth has spread from leaf to leaf,

and gladness without measure comes.

 

- Rabindranath Tagore

Questions for Self-Examination - part 2

6. Do you consider yourself strong or weak? Are you afraid of taking care of yourself?

7. Have you ever allowed yourself to be in a relationship with a person you didn't really love, but it seemed better than being alone?

8. Do you respect yourself? Can you decide to make changes in your lifestyle and then stick to your commitment?

9. Are you afraid of responsibility? Or do you feel responsible for everything and everyone?

10. Are you continually wishing your life were different? If so, are you doing anything to change it or have you resigned yourself to your situation? 

 

- from Anatomy of the Spirit

Questions for Self-Examination - part 1

1. Do you like yourself? If not, what don't you like about yourself, and why? Are you actively working to change the things about yourself that you don't like?

2. Are you honest? Do you sometimes misrepresent the truth? If so, why?

3. Are you critical of others? Do you need to blame others as a way of protecting yourself?

4. Are you able to admit it when you are wrong? Are you open to feedback from other people about yourself.

5. Do you need the approval of others? If so why?

 

- from Anatomy of the Spirit

Landscape

Isn't it plain the sheets of moss, except that

they have no tongues, could lecture

all day if they wanted about

spiritual patience?  Isn't it clear

the black oaks along the path are standing

as though they were the most fragile of flowers?

Every morning I walk like this around

the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart 

ever close, I am as good as dead.

Every morning, so far, I'm alive.  And now

the crows break off from the rest of the darkness

and burst up into the sky - as though

all night they had thought of what they would like

their lives to be, and imagined

their strong, thick wings.

 

- Mary Oliver

Finding Direction

I used to spend so much time reacting and responding

to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other

people's lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life.

Once I realised it was okay for me to think about and identify

what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.

Today, I will pay attention to setting a course of action for my life,

rather than letting others control my life and affairs.

 

- Anonymous and Melody Beattie