how much did they offer?
how much did you take?
to smile, to persuade,
to entice and quietly break
such a nervous heart
a healing heart
already on the brink
a smooth operator
and how many before mine?
such shimmer and shine
every word, perfectly timed
how well you played your part
such a cunning thief of hearts
into the over-full pack on your back
went my excitement,
my joy, and maybe
what might have been Love
someday, if let alone
a cool manipulator
or a fast mind-changer
in any case
here we are
or there we were
at most, an idea
and not even a good one
but the more i come back into me
the more i think
this is all a design
to remind me about what is
and isn't mine
while i'm here
what's yours won't pass you by
so, you needed to show me
to break my heart, again
so i could see, so clearly
what i was worthy of letting in
and i must concede
that perhaps it was me
that wasn't right, that didn't fit
the one who just...wasn't it
what a gift, is this?
what a gift
over and over
i'm taught how to let go
of what i know
isn't good for me
and this can be a person
or a thing
but, there, in the emptiness
deep down in the hollow
i hear whispers, loving whispers, of the word
and i breathe
into such tomorrows
into those ideas
and i find myself
in this new now
leaning into lighter things like:
and if i got everything i wanted
what a different world it would be
and if i got everything i wanted
how far of course, how far from me
i would be
and if i got everything i wanted
i fear, i might have lost myself
in such madness, such abandon
but oh, to grow, to ascend
to stop pretending
to look around and see
that i'm where i'm supposed to be
alight with new and inspired dreams
and they wait for me
just for me
to breathe life into their wings
to let them shine and sing
for me, for now
I didn't want to write this story.
I've been carrying it around since Thursday night, but when I do that, when I don't write through these things, the world gets uglier, darker, and more twisted...fast. No, I'm not that powerful, I'm talking about perspective. Which is at the root of everything.
I was out to the movies with my brother (the new Ryan Reynolds/Sam Jackson. So good! Yeah, that's a truth. I love my blockbuster-blow-shit-up-eye-candy. Deal.)
So, yeah, we're super weird. My family is still close, we hang and stuff. We like each other. <----- effing psychos.
Anyway. On-line for some contraband: popcorn and I'm NOT TELLING YOU what else. Nunya business. So, there's a man with his little boy, around my son's age, ahead of us. This adorable boy looks over to his Mama and Aunties, who are walking toward the theater. He wants to go with them.
"Mama," he yells over to her, teary-eyed. She smiles and says nothing. He cries a little bit. Big tough Daddy-man looks down at his toddler with a stern face and points at him. "Ah....ah...nope. Not even."
He tries to suck up his tears. He looks back at his Mama and this time tries a different call, "Auntie!" Still, they walked. They disappeared around the corner. Full-on tears. Big Daddy-man gives the boy his Batman mask. And here's where it gets fun:
"Here, go ahead, put it on. That way we don't have to hear you cryin' or, worse, SEE you cryin'. Put that on, maybe Batman will make you feel tough. Pathetic. Huh, feel better? Feel tough? Will ya stop now?" If someone spoke to my son in this way he'd still be recovering from backlash.
Both my brother and I recoiled in silent disgust. Uploading pain and psychosis into innocent child...now. I don't interfere in another's parenting: I don't know the whole story, it could be a different culture and tradition perhaps...so many possibilites. But... he was a baby. A sweet, innocent boy, younger than 5, that wanted some love and attention from his mother. But he was forced to stay behind and learn his "tough act." This is where we learn to start wearing our masks. Literally! Wow!
Can you remember when you were first told to wear a mask? And why? And do you know that all of that isn't yours to carry?
Wow. This is where it starts. All of this that we're seeing. Denied self-expression, acceptance, love, and nurturing at a young age. Leaving young, impressionable children in the dark, to sort out their own powerful emotions as they grow and learn about their world. It's a kind of neglect and abuse, growing up in a cold home. And it turns human beings into monsters, sometimes, as they grow.
The Paradox of it All:
A child can learn self-defense and confidence and still believe in the goodness and tenderness of people.
A child can be strong and raised with moral values and honored family traditions, and still be able to express sadness, loneliness, vulnerability, and fear, in a healthy way.
A child taught not to cry, becomes an adult who never feels safe enough to cry, which creates instability. I myself have only recently learned how to truly cry, and thereby, heal myself. <---big one
A child can be taught self-sufficiency and also be able and willing to offer and accept help.
A child raised to be blindly obedient, without a sense of self, becomes a weakened and confused adult who then, if they're wise, must take a lot of time and effort to understand their past, and to heal. As so many of us do. But not all adults want to heal. Many want to perpetuate a damaging cycle.
Add years and years of stifled pain and emotion, and here we are. Watch the news. Raised in fear, to see the world in fear, to act and react in fear.
When does it stop?
I'm not saying raise your children to be spoiled, self-indulgent, and disconnected. Silver spoon syndrome helps no one. I'm not saying to raise them to be dramatic martyrs, either. Extremes make headlines and get attention but aren't the only page-turners and makers of change. There is a healthy middle, there is a balanced place where the best of strength and compassion and cool heads meet... and that is my goal. To teach from that place. To parent from that place. To live from that place. it's quite a place to strive for. And I'm definitely not there, yet.
I screw it up a lot. I still catch myself reacting in heated and emotional moments, wanting to cast out blame. It't that! it's them! It's her, it's him! Oh, but those moments when I can see it, step back, recalibrate? That's where the lessons fly in. Here's the thing though, if we're not screwing up and making mistakes, we're not learning anything. We're staying still. Safe. Bubble-wrapped. Our world will never change, if we don't.
I am far from perfect, I put my foot in my mouth daily among other incessant mistakes. (Sorry...everyone, ever. Full-on human. Still working on it.)
But I'd be wasting precious time if I stayed there, in the mistake. I learn, I adjust my behavior and thinking about that sort of issue, and I roll on. As does anyone. We hope.
Dear Little Teary-Eyed Boy:
I hope that you grow into a wonderful and happy young man. I hope that your peers and your schooling and the books you read and the places you travel to and the people you meet will broaden your perspective. I hope that you learn how to let your cries out in a healthy way. I hope that you get in touch with what makes you come alive and what grounds you and brings you inner peace. I hope that you know...it's okay to cry, when you feel the need to release powerful emotions.
Grown men who are well-adjusted, successful, and happy...do cry sometimes. When they are vulnerable, when they are moved, when they are saddened, when they grieve, when they are terribly frightened. They just don't stay in it, they don't prolong it and hold onto it. It's a natural and cleansing gift to us, it's a reset, it's a clearing out of stagnant emotion. And when dealt with, head-on, it cycles through quickly. But when ignored, stuffed down, condescended to, forgotten, or worse, punished...those cries get stuck inside. They linger and fester and rot and get absorbed into our flesh and bones and memory.
And this is an aberration. It's a fear that we carry our whole lives, that was never really ours to begin with. And yet, when it becomes us, we inflict it upon others, when it wasn't theirs, either. This is a cycle that must end. This suppressing of human emotion.
Just find the middle. It's where all the best things happen. In harmony, with balance.
can't you feel it?
all this Love
bubbling up between the cracks of
hate and greed and ignorant breeding
and fear, all the fear
but pause and breathe
it's what we do
we gather, combine
we Love hard
so much brighter
when we need to
because it's who we are
underneath, it's been proven
we are Love, you see
it's what we're made to be
each painful blow
helps us grow in Light
just feel it
despite the tragic
the violence, the crying
i do hear the crying
i won't dismiss it
or stop trying to
heal with my world
there is peace, there is unity
there is us
in every way that we can
wanting to rebuild the world in Love
this is what we do
it starts with me and you
in every situation that we are
easily drawn to
we rally, we rise
we Love, we surprise ourselves
millions of us know the power of being kind
millions of us know that these are changing times
it's in the way we show up
it's in the way we care
the way we listen
the way we evolve
it's more about how we behave on-line
at the grocery store
then how loud we can roar on-line
in the comment section
it's moments, it's connection
it's presence, it's reflection
and a refusal to go backward
and we can do this
can't you feel all the Love?
You guys...I just found out that Ana J. Awakens (eBook) is going drop to 99 cents for a week! If you haven’t read it, head on over to Amazon (starting Friday, August 18, link on Page) and download it for under a buck! And if you remember, leave me an honest review. :-)
So far, everyone who reads it really connects to Ana and loves to chat about it, and I hope you do too. Ana is highly relatable and the women connecting most: are going through/have been through divorce; were feeling stuck and depressed about their place in life and wanted a new start; were changing careers; moving across the country; and are beginning a new spiritual path; and light-workers. My light-shining, high-vibing, world-changing divas, I love you. Thank you SO MUCH for the kind words and questions and deep thoughts.
That's it for now, if you love Ana, pass it on. I would love to get the buzz back up, as I get closer to releasing Wild Horses. :) I'd appreciate the word of mouth, more than you know.
The Reluctant Muse
he once asked
and i had no answer
i still don't
it wasn't something i sought
not the result of some lonely-night thought
it started with a look,
a moment, a whisper
a handshake, a glimmer
a hint of
new, yet familiar
an astonishment that
men like him
did exist, in this world
an acceptance of all that i learned to
question, deep, within myself
and i had to save it
again and again and again
and i still do
i knew i couldn't write him into my life
but i could write him into the hearts of so many
and light them up
win their hearts
the way he ignited mine
once upon a time
he lives now in my pen
in my heart
in my head
in all the thoughts
that are still left unsaid
and why wouldn't they be?
to imagine you stepping out of the page
at this point
seems quite surreal
another lingering mystery
i never pretend there's a
you and me
but i'm intrigued by you
and all that you see
to speak, i wouldn't know where to start
but to imagine, to write, to sculpt you into art?
this appeals to my heart
and these stories of you
shiver cold and burn hot
i don't know
perhaps you could ask
i dreamt a film.
Leo was in it. It has to be Leo, he's got to do it.
There were two worlds... the seen, and not.
There was... life. Us. Scurrying about, talking, walking. Swearing, not calling our Moms, eating foods and feeling shitty later. Shooting whiskey, chugging kombucha. Whichever. Us being us, as us as we can be.
Until things began to happen and unexplained phenomena hinted at deeper communication. Telepathy. Souls, minds, connected across time. Thought transferrence.
And the Leo guy woke up. And life wasn't really life. It was all a mindtrap, a loop, an illusion. Our real selves were shackled and working, indentured, in a gray and imprisoned world.
And warehouses full of mentalists spent hours keeping us in our illusions, like air-traffic controllers, as we worked for them.
But once Leo woke up, it was game on. Then, he found a girl. In the illusory world, when he fell back under, into the "Us" world. And things she said reverbed in such a way that he got chills. She knew, she had to. She had that look, she just got it.
They had to work cautiously, covertly, in mind and then in bits and pieces, in the physical gray world... to free themselves. And everyone.
Someone make this movie, I want to watch it. Outside of my head. Otherwise it'll go on my to-write list and I've just got too much. There's too much. I am blessed, muses everywhere and they don't stop whispering, really.
Not enough time in my life for all the creativity that pours through. Good problem to have, not complaining. Just need to get this Leo sci-fi/ dystopia out of my head so I can sleep.
I know you know what I mean.
Don't start putting different actors in, either, it has to be Leo. I feel like the heroine could be Clare Danes, maybe.
Maybe I'll read up on screenwriting. Cuz I've got SO MUCH TIME.
Caps mean sarcasm, in this case.
My eyelids hurt and my body is tired but my brain is doing 5ks.
I feel like Musk should design spacecraft that separates, once past Earth's orbit, into many smaller craft. Because ants. How they carry so much, methodically, slowly, but together... powerful. Building new worlds on the far side of the yard. It might as well be another solar system. Or planet, at least.
My kingdom for an Oreo. Just one.
I think about Olivia, Ana's Mom, a lot. I wrote her with Shirley MacLaine in mind. She was chill. Wise. Quirky. I'd hang out with so many of my characters. I wrote some interesting ones.
I wanna bring a Go, Johnny, Go sign to Jones Beach for The Mayer. But I'm too lazy to make one. But go, dude. A la Chuck Berry. Or Marty McFly, whatever blows your hair back. Please channel us some Jimi, I know you can. He chooses you, you don't have a choice. Just let him wail. He does it for all of us, man.
I miss my little boy and I'm no-joke snuggling with his PawPatrol blanket that I swiped from his bedroom. Smells like his bath-head. He always had blue eyes but I think they're turning hazel. Is that possible? Oh my Goddess, I love him. 😍
I don't know if I could do "the road." Like 24/7. I could do the every other weekend kind of road-life. And be home in between for grounding and things that feel like home.
how do you make hotels in strange places feel like home?
or do you carry home with you?
or is home an illusory concept and maybe you're searching for it... out there?
something about that haunts me. In a kinship, kind of kindred way, inexplicably. Like, I want to start a blog for road warriors to read, so they can connect and feel a taste of peace, home, connectedness.
I know you think you're weirder, but we'll just have to see about that. I want to tell you my cool John Lennon dreams from the early nineties, but they're in my new book. Rad though, really rad. You'd get a kick out of them. You'd be like, what? Shut up. And I'd be like... I swear. And you'd be like.... dude. Chills. Arm hair.
I dance with people in my mind when I go walking to salsa music. Yes, we're both great. Suave. We win competitions.
"Now let the day just drift away and the dark night will wash over you... Nocturne."
Going back to sleep. Thanks for hangin out. I'm sorry I can't listen your thoughts too, but I'm finally tired. Goodnight. Get some rest. Take good care of yourself. We need you. You're pretty special. I hope you know that.
PS tell Leo about the movie. 👌🏻
Magic Lost and Found
you started to believe it wasn't real
because it got quiet
because you couldn't feel
that magic anymore
that shimmer, that glow,
that mysterious knowing
that there was more
beyond all of this
and so in came doubt, puzzlement, despair
"it didn't really happen,
i wasn't really there,
stick to what's real and
not what i feel,"
because it seems so safe there
but this too, is illusion
a moment can make it real again
choosing to believe, lets it back in
but to stop listening, makes it worse
to live disconnected from your Source
from its joy from its Bliss
from its wonder, oh ... and this
this is the true curse
turn around, dearheart, it's not out there
it's not to be found, unearthed
or tracked down
it's You, it's here, it's now
and it's how
it's how you choose to See
and that depends upon what you believe
Always come back to Love
what if there is no Meaning?
what if we are here, simply to Love?
To relish in what was once an abundant paradise?
what if...we had it all:
rivers, streams, wildlife, waterfalls?
conscious thought to appreciate it all
and to see and connect with each other?
and maybe somewhere,
in the realm of conscious thought,
we began to question and seek.
the seek for meaning, we had to assign meaning
great, grand, unquestionable meaning,
to such simple beauty and abundance.
we had to explain it to ourselves,
a prime reason for existence,
for what was once Heaven on earth.
to be sure, such paradise came with perils:
natural disasters and unexpected events;
the very wrath and ferocity of nature, Herself.
let us always remember that to be natural
is to be both beautiful and serene,
while also being savage and unapologetic.
utmost beauty and Light in contrast
with destruction and darkness.
this is Life. at its most simple, without pretense
and the delicious sugarcoating that we love so much.
the glaze that makes our lives so palatable and sweet,
the desire to magnify the beautiful
and look past the broken and raw and ferocious.
but we had to find meaning,
we had to, and we do still.
and so we created belief.
and then there were divergent beliefs.
this caused conflict.
and hell on Earth,
as humans battled with their beliefs
in their attempts to understand and explain what was given
in such simplicity and ease in Being.
we are here to work and to Love,
to care for ourselves and others,
to nourish and replenish,
to celebrate, to dance, to smile.
in our search to create meaning,
we've lost our true purpose.
what Life ought to mean:
Love, effort, abundance, celebration, creation, consolation, connection
what we've created in our time here:
conflict, judgments, illness, imbalance, cruelty, distortion, stagnancy, hatred, greed
we've also created:
progress, growth, art, masterpieces,
bold and unabashed testaments to our collective existence.
we bear witness to our searching hearts,
we provide proof of our existence,
we leave imprints, we plan and calculate memories
in a desperate attempt to scream out that
WE WERE HERE.
but what if there is nothing to fix?
what if this is who we are?
what if... Life... is simply this?
but not just to live
but to dive in deep
and live loudly.
to communicate, freely.
to express, to feel,
to move beyond,
to not conceal,
but to show, to share,
to glow, to be aware
of each other, so gratefully.
and how precious is this?
these strings, these precious things,
these tethers, these threads,
a simple tug, a lonely moment,
travels and connects us
to each other, but really,
back to ourselves.
because to see each other's eyes
and to breathe each other's sighs
above and between the
clenched fists and the cries
is to be Love
to be in connection
to be awakened
to know that we are all in it together
it's not how long Life is,
but it's what we do with it.
perhaps this is the question to ask:
not the why, and wherefore, and how-come
of it all, but the what.
deep into Life.
what are we doing with it?
i once saw you as Other, so far apart
a repeater, regurgitator
a soul-for-sale duplicator
the jagged edge of cold stone
surrounded, loud, yet completely alone
hard. rough. jagged. gruff.
stubborn. heartless. calculating. tough.
time would soften my view of your edges
your oft-hidden heart would lead friends from their ledges
and hidden you stayed for good reason, i've seen
walls so high to protect a heart so bright
behind darker glass, eyes that shined with such Light
seeing much more than you'd ever dreamt
feeling much more than you'd ever said
and where to put it, and where to put it
and to keep it inside would surely tear at your mind
but to lay it all out would surely let them poke you blind
and so what choice was there to make?
silence, it seemed, was the road to take
and there, in that place, could you really see
feel, grow, breathe deeper into Being
balancing wanting with nurturing, needing
healing a heart that wished to keep bleeding
allowing its pulsing, its singing, its beating
that knowing, that ache, of more
allowing its Grace, its acknowledgment of peace
allowing its space, its expanding, its release
of all that is no longer to be kept
in allowing the unseen to loosen its grasp on your heart
you've set yourself free, you've chosen a new start
and this is where all the best stories begin
this is where you finally let the Truth in
I've been in a crazy place, lately.
Crazy good. I've been having breakthrough after breakthrough and while it's dizzying, it's perfect. I wouldn't change it. I've been climbing out of an old skin for two years now and it definitely hasn't been easy. And there were days, there still are, when I lose my cool and want to retreat back into who I was. Throw my hands up. That inner-voice turns judgmental and makes me want to just give in, stop this whole "self-improvement nonsense."
It's tempting. But the problem is, once I began to see my world differently, again, it became impossible to go back. And this work has many names, many labels. Don't let that derail you, either, you can call it whatever you want: spiritual growth, psychoanalysis, self-actualization. Attach religion, attach science. It's really all the same, we just sub in different cues and guideposts and ideas to help us along.
But the work...is ours alone. And that's the biggest realization, and sometimes the hardest.
We go on thanking people, swooning, being inspired, and all the rest, which is nice, but here's the thing: I am...the only one who sees what's in my mind. I have a singular worldview, my own interpretations of stimuli that cross my mind's eye and experience, based on who I am, what I've seen and done, in my Life. It's my choice in how to interpret every event in my Life, from minutiae to the mountains I climb, both literal and figurative. This is mind-blowing. it's me. It's always been me. Wow... all of it. This idea scares people, but it can be crazy-freeing. Being responsible.
That said, I did this work, and I continue to do it. I had friends and well-wishers and so on, when I asked for help, who have been incredible. I had people who I thought meant well, and really didn't. So, I learned to be more discerning and less trusting. And then there were the "intrusive helpers." We all know this type: they mean well, and play devil's advocate, and make your Life and experiences about them. Some people call them haters. And I've been there, not wanting to address my own stuff, so I tried to help others. I get it now, from both angles. I don't judge, because I've been in that mindset, too. So, if it comes from an honest place, I let it be. It's never a mistake to offer kindness, Love, and support.
But here's something valuable that I've learned:
How to Help Someone
1. Ask if they want your help.
2. Ask how best to help them.
3. Give more or pull back, based on their direct feedback.
Anything that's NOT this, isn't help. It's manipulation.
A hard truth, but a necessary one. And the freedom, in letting all of that go, in designing our own lives, our own experiences, our own directions and goals and dreams...is an amazing feeling. It can be scary to rely on our own steam; our own choices. But I'd have it no other way, at this point.
This awakening process, for me, is more about stripping things away and letting go of things, than about accumulating the new. It's maddening, it's liberating, it's life changing. it's feeling as though you're getting closer to something on the "path," only to find you've been hiding up a tree for a month. And getting back out there. In there. Because this is all inner work, really.
Chasing horses. Exhausting, yet thrilling. Will I catch one? I don't know. But to run: free, inspired, wild, unleashed. This is why I do it. "The journey is the gift."