choice awakens

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Choice awakens

Choice

awakens

in every

moment

as an invitation

we can accept

over

and over

again.

This poem was most certainly inspired by how I spent the month of February, taking the Real Happiness Challenge with Sharon Salzburg. Now I’m reading through her book, Real Happiness, to reinforce my discoveries. One of the most helpful insights is how we are at choice in each moment and how, because we are human, we get to keep choosing over and over again.

Other related posts:

 

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico with the zoom on my little Canon powershot.

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the power and magic

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The Power and Magic

Do you ever

just pause

and feel

the power

of your heart

beating

and experience

the magic

of being

alive?

Last week I wrote about how poetry has been flowing through me lately. This is another of the short unpublished pieces that came together in my morning quiet time. This piece was inspired not only by Mark Nepo but also Ruth Fishel’s time for joy daily affirmations.

So, do you?

 

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico. What good fortune to catch this beauty in a magical moment of stillness!

back to now

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Back to Now

Repeating

like a heartbeat

the opportunity

opens

to bring

our attention

back

to now.

I’ve had a little burst of creativity lately, stimulated by quiet morning reflection time. This poem and several other short ones moved right through me. That’s how it seems to go. Periods where nothing comes, and periods where I’m like an open channel where words come flooding through. The opening typically arrives after reading something inspiring and sitting in stillness. One of the books that inspires me is Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening, a New York Times Bestseller.

You’ll find more image quotes at Where Possibility Awaits. I post a new one each Monday morning.

 

* I took this photo of the sky from the deck in our backyard in Iowa.

The Simple Everyday

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The Simple Everyday

I Wake
And I See,
Hear, Feel,
Listen, Speak.

I Look
for Peace,
Wonder, Joy.

I Create
Connection,
Sparks, Pauses.

I Find
Contentment
And Meaning
in The Simple
Everyday.

This poem is like a little prayer of intention for me. It helps me open to possibility as each new day unfolds.

* I took this photo in Porto, Portugal.

Flowering to Magnificence

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Flowering to Magnificence

The seed,
seeking nourishment,
finds richness surrounding it and
takes inspiration from the light above.

The seedling,
breaking free,
stretches toward the sky and
shouts its greatness to the world.

The stem,
taking shape,
expands into the openness and
develops powerfully each day.

The blossom,
flowering to magnificence,
touches the world with its vibrancy and
shapes the beauty that is life.

May you see that you are a beautiful blossoming flower. May we see each other as beautiful blossoming flowers.

* I took this photo in the garden at Knappogue Castle in the parish of Quin, County Clare,  Ireland.

Open to the Light

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Open to the Light

Open to the light
so hungry
to wash over you
and fill the dark spaces.

Listen to the inner voice.
Let its wisdom
penetrate your being.

See the truth
buried under the rubble
of hollow stories
built on the foundation
of fear.

Blossom in gentle acceptance
of who you are
so worthy
of the warmth and love
that waits for you.

Awaken and move
toward the vibrantly alive
life that is yours.

As I read this poem today, it is like a motherly hug, reminding me that I matter and that life expects me to by joyful.

* I took this photo of a peony in my backyard in Iowa.

Where the Clouds End

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Where the Clouds End

It starts like the rustling of paper.
As the wind breezes through the leaves,
dust swirls into a gauzy haze.
The skies darken with foreboding.
Gray blackness looms like a blanket.
Ripe round droplets tap, tap, tap.
And crescendo into a deluge.

The storm exhausts herself.
And the rains back away.
Their cleansing work complete.
Silence follows the clamor.

At the line where the clouds end,
the filmy ceiling dissolves into the heavens.
Nourishing waters soak deep into the earth.
Calming light returns anew.
Trees stand steady and tall.
Grasses dance with grace.
Flowers rise to the joyful sun.
Peace lies softly in the air.

This poem was inspired by my hopes for a breast cancer survivor friend of mine. She was in the storm and I so wanted for her to reach a point of calm and peace. The poem came to me one day as I drove through a storm, thinking about her, and saw upon arrival at my destination the line where the clouds ended and the sun shone.

* I took this photo of the day lilies in my backyard in Iowa. I love how they lean toward the light.

The Vortex

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The Vortex

A powerful force
pulls you in.
Swirling
in an endless tunnel.
No bottom
to stand on.
No end
for rest.
Deep.
Dark.
Only flecks
of light
catch your eye
as you spin
around
and around.
Your arms reach
out
grasping
for certainty.
Your hands
grip
tightly
to something.
Unsure what.
Moving
out of control.
So fast
there’s an illusion
of smoothness.
Jagged edges
cut you
as you fall
further in.
You rip
into pieces
Part of you
lost.
Inside
you hear stories.
They are lies.
You try
to cover your ears.
Despite your repetitive
calming mantra,
the hurricane
continues.
Your fear
falls like punches
against steel.
Hard.
Painful.
Trapped.
You can’t break free.

Thankfully, I don’t get sucked into the vortex very often. But, I do. And, when I’m in it, try as I may, I go days unable to get out…rumination, sleepless nights, low self-esteem. The light that I know lives within me has trouble shining through the spinning. What gives me hope is that I know I’ve made it out before. And that whatever sucked me in will lose its grip on me and fade from my memory. The darkness passes. That’s the hope that sits like a seed inside of me when the vortex takes me away.

* I took this photo on Cap Corse, Corsica

 

the struggle

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There are times when life seems really hard. This poem is about that.

The Struggle

feeling the walls
surrounded in darkness
in the cocoon
no light
only tiny fragments
of hope linger
in the air
like smoke
from a fire smoldering
into the unknown
tension thick
like mud
unsure
what’s in here
even more uncertain
what’s out there
fear filling the air
wanting desperately out
struggling against the edges
the barriers
holding things in
spinning circles
dizziness pushing ‘round
falling to get up
only to sit still
in the gray silence

 

Most of the time, when I sit down to write,  I feel something that I don’t quite understand or something that feel I should pay attention to. When the feeling is heavy or dark or uncomfortable, often the process of writing will create a shift – and the shift actually happens in the writing. That didn’t happen with this poem. I ended in the same gray place I started – however, I know that the catharsis of writing it was part of finding my way to something lighter.

 

* I took this photo on a rainy day in County Clare Ireland.

Filling Petals with Sunshine

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I wrote this poem several years ago for a breast cancer survivor friend battling cancer. She needed help and was having trouble asking for it.

I picked it for this week’s post because I needed its reminder.

Filling Petals with Sunshine

Each person you touch
in whatever way
is blessed.
You grace others’ lives
in ways that may be
unseeable.

Like God’s little secret,
the meaning in our lives
is sometimes hidden
below the surface –
or maybe high above
and out of reach,
for now.

Each time you ask for help,
each time you let someone give,
each time you open yourself,
you exercise your power
to create meaning.

Each time you lean into
your vulnerability,
your purpose unfolds,
like a rosebud
hungry to fill its petals
with sunshine.

* I took this photo on the beach in San Agustinillo, in the garden outside of El Pescador.