The Juice of Life

In such great need of control
In fear of his own vulnerability
Enslaved by anger and resentment
And conditioned to mind’s righteousness
Did he squeeze all the juice out of life
Did his inner flame perish
And all beauty fade to grey
Life lost meaning
And he died while living

True life springs from surrender
From embracing our wounds
From walking through darkness
From discovering our inner nobility
From turning towards heart

The juice of life
Is in our brokenness, our kindness
Our tenderness and our beauty
Our sorrow, joy and acceptance
Turn towards it
Again and again and again.
Image by Susanne Jutzeler, suju fotografie from Pixabay

I Returned From the Darkness – It Wasn’t a Spiritual Journey, It Was a Human One

When most people meet me these days, in our events or even socially, they see someone who is bright, active, grounded and (hopefully) full of love. Many are quite shocked to know how dramatic my transformation has been, and how I haven’t been like this always but have wrestled with many demons and overcome a lot to get to this point.
But it is very true. And not a day goes by I don’t give thanks for the grace that allowed me to catch a glimpse of the light far away down the tunnel, and held me as I took a hundred thousand steps through the darkness to find it.

A hundred thousand steps, one at a time, sometimes falling, stumbling, and failing. Going backwards, defeated and lost. And then getting up, dusting myself down, and carrying on. Pulled by some unseen hand, not knowing what I was really aiming for, but knowing I could not stay where I was or who I was. There was an inner me calling to be freed, and I served that one.

Through addiction, through dysfunctional relating, through ten years of illness, through negativity and fear, through the wounds of childhood carried unconsciously like great sacks of sorrow into each intimate experience.

Through catharsis, body work, ceremony, prayer, through endless therapy, meditation, self inquiry, fasting, detoxification, through exercise, through hopelessness and acceptance of death, through meeting the deepest existential hole at the center of everything, on and on. Oh I have been in the darkness. I never stopped seeking what was true for me, what was deeper, what was real and honest. I never stopped until I arrived at love’s open door.

And then I walked in.

And when I walked in through that door, the door disappeared, the past disappeared, separation disappeared and everything that had been so hard, so divided, so troubled, became just one thing, one immense and beautiful dance of agony and ecstasy, of the appearance of duality and the illusion of the dream. There was this remarkable sense of arriving home, where I had always been, but had been so lost in pain and imagination I had not realized it.

And that did not mean that suddenly there was nothing more to do. No. There was the ongoing living of this remarkable awareness, in humility and truth. The darkness is still there, no longer as the dominant force it was, but as a whisper of a fragrance of a ghost. It comes sometimes, when I am at my most vulnerable or stressed, and it taps me on the shoulder and says,’ Remember me, I am your reminder to stay humble and open, to stay here as love’s tenderness.’

I stay with gratitude to the grace that allowed me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you for reading. It is possible, with grit and grace, to walk through the darkness and into the light. It’s not a spiritual journey, it’s a necessary human one. And everyone can do it.

Warrior of Love

Even though I may be knocked down
And everything taken from me
Even if the worst may happen
As it does for some innocent people
And even though they may try and get me to hate
I will not

The journey to get to love
Has been too tough
Has forged me like a blade
And turned me to a warrior
And even though what may happen
Will be terrible
I will not become like that
I will not surrender my love
I will not become hate
It is too painful to bear
And I will never stoop that low

There is a kind of dignity
The warrior carries
An inner flame
An inner voice that says,
‘I will not be ruled
By anyone else
I will serve that which is true
And I will never yield that.’

This is my aspiration
To be bold of heart
And present of mind
And meet all of this hate
Like a warrior of love.
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Come To The Garden

Come with me
My downhearted one
Come into the garden
And meet your innocence
Come and see your joy intact
Your playfulness still alive
Come and smell the sweet fragrance
Of your beauty untarnished by life
Come, we will discover what is not broken,
Yes, we will encounter love,
Love at its finest, its bravest
Its most powerful
It may overwhelm you
But let this overwhelm be a way
Of remembering

And when you have seen the beauty
And tasted the nectar
And imbibed the fragrance
When you have touched the passion

You will be ready to return
But I warn you
Your heart will never close again
You will have to carry the fragrance of the garden
Until you leave this world
And everyone who meets you
Will wonder where you have been.

Photo by eddie howell on Unsplash

Gratitude

Today I decided to be grateful
For what I have, for who I am
And for the life that circles around me
Even if the mind yells ‘It’s not enough!’
I will stand firm in gratitude

For mind does not make the decision
Heart makes this kind of decision
Mind wants to say ‘What about this
And what about that, it’s all a problem.’
But heart says ‘None of this matters
For gratitude is the key to joy
And the path to peace
Gratitude is for love
And has nothing to do
With how much there is of anything

So I sit here in conscious appreciation
Even in the midst of problems
And the idea of less than perfect
Not waiting any longer
To give thanks for this, and this, and this

We leave it too late to love what we have
And it so easily slips through our fingers
Before we have said thank you.

Don’t Give Up on Love

Do not lose your heart
Don’t give it away
Guard it with your life
There are those who would steal your love
And throw it away
Replace it with division and fear
Don’t let that happen
Protect love with your life
Share it as widely as possible
Don’t hoard it
Don’t lock it away
Or keep it safe for another day
That day may not come
Live your love now, today
Not apologetically, nor timidly
But boldly and bravely
Be for love brazenly and proudly
It is a revolutionary gesture
In these hate filled times.

Go to the Source

Poetry is the fragrance of the flower
But not the flower itself
The flower itself
Cannot be described
Flower, fragrance, sweet aroma,
None of these really come close
But they are all we have
Such is the nature of poetry
It is all we have
To point to the indescribable

There is a secret intelligence
Inside all form, thought and deed
The true and persistent seeker
Will discover it
Only in silence and reflection
Will it reveal itself
Once found nothing superficial
Will ever seem the same

Why eat artificial sugar
When you can savor
The sweetest nectar of all

Go straight to the source my friend
If you are thirsty
Drink from the spring
Not the bottled water.

Photo by sgcdesignco on Unsplash