There is No Dark Future! Part 2: A poem & photo series.

A poem continued. An offering of hope. Like so many of you I have been on a spiritual journey the past year and a half. New Wisdom has been given to me. Words of truth our souls are aching to know. Thank you so much for reading these frail words which are spoken through me. May you be uplifted. I love you all!

Lightbringers, grow not you weary! 

Break Powers of Impotence! 

Deny Inequities of Intolerance!

Free your Vibration!

Go to places your Soul Sparks!

Emerald Lake, Colorado w/ Violet.

We are here to ask

the questions

no one else is asking!

There is no Judgment!

There is no Dark Future!

There is only LIGHT

and gradients of its absence!

Emerald Lake, Colorado August 2021.

Revolutionaries,

Ascend

the Cosmic pathways!

Transcend

past the

old Revelations.

Rino Arts District, Denver, Colorado. August 2021.

Your love upends

Egoic Ambitions

Your soul

speaks through 

Religious Cacophonies.

We Burn Walls

built by men and

Systemic Oppression!

Rino Arts District- Denver, Colorado.

Demolishing the Walls

We’ve Built

inside and

surrounding Ourselves!

Rino Arts, Denver, Colorado. August 2021.

Denver, Co- Santa Fe Arts District. August 2021.

In each breaking;

Parallel Promises 

Abound in your

Bright Future!

Mount Adams, Washington. August 2021.

Painter, You are broad strokes. 

You are the hero 

of your own life

You have every right 

to be on this planet.

You are the soul of Earth 

in human form.

Now Crack Your Acrylic Open!

The Future is Female, Violet, & Dara in Denver

Cheetah Power! Rino Arts District. Denver, Colorado.

Lana in an art gallery. August 2021. Denver, CO.

Seeker, come forward

walk out from your solitude!

This has been the year of 

Sirens Singing us 

the Subtle Signs.

Synchronicities are

Silent Directions

Guiding you through to

Your Higher Dimensions!

Me at Mount Adams, Washington. July 2021.

Humming, “Om mani padme hum,

shravanam;

amen” and-then

’round again.

Violet meditating at Rocky Mountain N.P.

There is no Judgment!

There is no Dark Future!

We are all just Stars,

Just Colors breathing.

Just Gradients between 

Momentary Absences 

of Light;

Going back ’round 

and to god Again.

Lana, me, Violet, and Dara. Denver, Colorado.

Shoshone Falls, Idaho; June 2021.

All things are

merging together 

into greater

Perfection!

Humming, “Om mani

padme hum
Kwakwhay,

Tao te

and amen”

The whole world’s

Going back ‘rou

D

Jut

Rino Arts District, Denver, August 2021.

Dara and I at Underground Music Festival Denver, CO. August 2021.

Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Me and Emily, Denver, Colorado’s

Dara and I, Underground Music festival. Denver, Colorado.


Mural, Santa Fe Arts District

Thank you for reading!! Have a great day!!!

Beyond Thunderdome 2

Get out of your thunderdome! You get to create the rules and tools to get you to the next part of your life. Beyond the ideas we’ve been programmed to believe. Past our personal and societal impositions.

Belief in your future before it has happened is the most powerful instrument in your toolbox of creation. When you continue to walk in the direction of what you want and what you are being called to the way presents itself to you. You are always walking on your path.

I’m coming to learn the detours just means you are in the process of creating what you really want, and hopefully finding the fun of it all along your way forward.

So I began to settle into the beauty of the desert. Letting go of the fears of possible outcomes I cannot control. Realizing my brief fear of camping in the desert was also symptomatic of unconscious fears of my upcoming future.

Much of our anxiety comes from previous trauma or unprocessed past events. Once you are able to pinpoint the source of uncertainty you can be guided to a solution.

I am leaving my career soon. Moving from Portland at the end of June. Taking a break before moving to San Francisco. Again the next steps of my journey unclear. Ready for this record of unsure futures to be taken off of repeat.

I reminded myself that are many subtle signs from the Universe I am going in the right direction even if I can’t perceive it all right now. The unsure are new steps to pathways I haven’t crossed yet.

This is true for all of us. The more we learn how to communicate with the Universe and are open to guidance- it will be revealed to you. Our finite understanding says more about us than it does of Universal limitations.

I sat present in a Utah desert canyon. Watching with the land as sunlight fades. Being present & mindful wherever you are guides you to finding beauty in places you would not have dared to go.

I did some grounding work. Deep breaths and opening of the root chakra. Opening of the mind and heart. I was reminded we are part of this planet and we each have a right to here. The anxiety began to fade as I watched the sunset slip beneath the horizon.

Out here you see the Earth for who she is without a facade. Rugged, unyielding, resilient. Life goes to incredible extremes to exist. Without the assurance of trees, water, and trappings of civilization you also see yourself for who you really are in that moment.

The desert teaches anyone who takes time to be present with her. You find love that transcends the physical and material world. A love that one must take time to observe, to appreciate, desire and allow.

The more purposeful you become in your expansion- you can attain most anything you desire or put time into creating. For I found that there were trees, and scrub bushes, and small animals- rabbits, lizards, even deer living out here.

If the smallest of creatures can find a way to survive- how much more prepared for survival we humans must be? There is much brilliance in this world of which we are also a reflection.

The challenges you face may be larger than a desert or more long term and discouraging. Systemic injustice is so prevalent and larger than anyone of us alone. How can we achieve our goals and societal transformation with so much outward oppression?

There is no simple solution or answer to our ceaseless quandaries. But we must know that we are always part of the Earth even if it seems she has forgotten us.

When we feel this way it just means we need to take a breath, let go of the fears, use the tools we have to get us to the next moment, remember our true power, rinse, and repeat as necessary.

When you surrender into the acceptance of your present reality- that’s when true freedom comes. Releasing the resistant thoughts and feelings about your own life and about others will free you in ways you didn’t even know were holding you back.

The journey to our freedoms have all been individually tarried and carried often alone. Those of you who are on difficult journeys remember your light. Be encouraged that life exist everywhere.

The edifice of true beauty will always remain even after the surface is washed away. It is in the crucible, the mortar pestle, you find who you really are. Isn’t that a great place to be?

Once I let go- camping in the desert ended up being my favorite part of this roadtrip from Portland to Texas. A reminder that your whole life is out there waiting to be lived and great possible futures ready to expand into reality.

Rider of Days (Part 1)

This year has led us down the path to becoming unconditional. To acceptance of life’s continual uncertainties. It’s the surest voyage to setting yourself free.

We are all riders on different courses of a mortal journey. This Universe resides nowhere and all at once, forever in the process of becoming.

Maybe it takes the pulling away of the light for leaves & light to matter. There’s no map, no brave stars to tell us the way to go. Would we listen if there were?

This year has led us down the path to becoming unconditional. To acceptance of life’s continual uncertainties. It’s the surest voyage to setting yourself free.


We are all riders on different courses of a mortal journey. This Universe resides nowhere and all at once, forever in the process of becoming.

As the second week of Oregon’s second quarantines begin, it seems easier to calibrate and accept that we must pull back to save future lives now. Along with the global Covid crisis- the Black Lives Protests amplified an already awakening of humanity.

Every action may have an equal and opposite reaction but I intend my countenance will be stable and unchanging in spite of difficulties & ignoble politicians.

Maybe it takes the pulling away of the light for leaves & light to matter. There’s no map, no brave stars to tell us the way to go.

Out in the lonely channels there are great waves being made. Would we listen if there weren’t?

All of the frustrations you feel are valid. The vapid squalor society makes you feel like the one who’s fucked up. We are taught self-care and acceptance, coming together as diverse communities, inclusion and equity aren’t as important than the goals of a dominant culture built upon intimidation and mass production.

The advancement for equity and justice for Black Lives has been a well-spring of knowledge and cooperation, inclusion, and loving your fellow human. The rage has begun to quell- at least for a moment- and opens up a walk to something more.

In becoming unconditional you flip the equations of Newtonian limitations.

We’re coming to a higher awareness of accepting the other. The next challenge we are being called to is giving love to people we would otherwise disagree with & shame. Even when it’s warranted. Especially because it’s hard to do.

Because in becoming unconditional- you accept everything even when you can’t love yourself or forgive another person or country- you choose to love anyway.

The beat of an ocean calls forth your valiant surrender to all you can’t control.

In the process of becoming unconditional you find small brilliance in little moments.

Listen to your heart. Let it thunder in the darkest corners. Let it fill the night which hears your longing.

When the work we do in private begins to manifest in ripples, the surge of abundance must be close behind. A small trickle couldn’t have gotten to you without flowing forth from the momentum that creates worlds. We don’t see all that was on its way coming until blessings begin breaking onto our shores.

In the process of becoming unconditional, you realize that a state of complete acceptance is not a static state of being.

Every day in every moment we are choosing what type of person we want to be. We must collectively come together- even if many of us are kicking and screaming on the way.

Because in the process of becoming unconditional, you believe in the godship within yourself. You find the divine within another person.

Even within the people and situations, systems that are totally broken, offensive, or oppressive. You choose to see the “I” in everyone.

Out here belong generational yearnings of all people calling to be free. We are the nameless thousands speaking in one voice. A multifaceted singular vision that is everything all at once and not at all.

And then

fading back,

into sand

into the drift,

again & begin.

Thunder on the Mountain 2

Every Mountain calls you home in different ways. St. Helen’s is a mountain of contemplation & rebirth. The felled forests enables one to see out in vast distances. The ghostly backdrop enables one to project your thoughts and hopes onto. Engulfed in barren rugged crust of Earth.

In fact the desolation of Mt. St. Helen’s makes it among the most human of mountains on Earth.

Does Nature forgive the Earth for causing destruction to itself? Does Earth require some karmic debt to repay its own soul? What penance can one offer for the cycle between life and rebirth? In nature they are one in the same.

It made me wonder what one would do if stranded on an alien world.

Would we not be so grateful so thankful to see a whisper of life of something reminiscent of home?

Wouldn’t you gasp from the side of your mouth just to marvel at some thing real? A bed of lichen would be a forest. To see a moth flying like small prayers.

It’s because of abundance that we are even able hurt each other & plunder the planet. Even during its explosion the mountain & its forests were living. We live through our own circles of destruction.We are part of the greater whole.

So as Earth forgives itself through homeostasis: parched in some places, flooding, engulfed by fire others- humans have a very real part in healing or destroying the planet we live on- in thought, deed, and action.

Yet existence on Earth is so fragile. We take it for granted. We turn the inner world outside & vice verse. Humanity will come to peace when we each have come to inner peace w/ ourselves.

Perhaps personal catastrophes aren’t as cataclysmic in scope although they often feel like that in the middle of it all. St. Helens is an offering of contemplation & infinite redemption.


A warning tongue to be the guard of your emotions. To remember that life will come again but there our consequences to regrowing. There are scars and places within you which may never be the same but life returns.

The infinite spiral. You’re coming you’re going you go back round again on another rung of the circle. Some part of you will lives on. We’ve all affected our world by the people who are in it.

We are the closest beacon of lights but we often to look the night sky or artifice to fill the very place we should for each other. We are too worthy of so much more than we accept and give to one another.

But for those who take notice and take charge of their minds, emotions, and desires- your life can become a veritable heaven on Earth- even if in your own mind- because that’s where everything had to begin.

Let us take inspiration from nature. Let us become like the Earth’s friction and raze the skyscrape bureaucracies we created and build something better for us all.

Sunshine Laundromat

Columbia Gorge has finally reopened. The river itself a glacier’s million-year pet project eroding earth out to the Pacific. Call it Nature’s version of “will they or won’t they?” (Sorry Sam and Diane.)

The Columbia feels ancient and powerful perhaps because this river wasn’t “supposed” to be here. It was carved into the marrow of Earth as it will continue to do for centuries.

The views alone are stunning. I find myself wanting to capture every moment but also being present. It’s damn near impossible to find ourselves living in the moment without also needing to reflect on what we just experienced.

The 30 mph wind gusts made it hard enough to take a decent photo. I didn’t notice there were bees on the flowers until after the snapped image. And how were these tiny insects still holding onto something as delicate as flowers without Mary Poppins-ing their way on out of here? Life is funny that way.

That’s the hardest part about mindfulness or meditation. Being present is a balancing act, an arbiter between the past and future.

We need “the pause” to process and reflect back to relive that time loop or that mind-blowing fuck, or being haunted by things you cannot change.

And with that reflection you begin deciding what you do and don’t want. You become the idea of who you still yourself you are everyday. It’s like dressing for the job you want not the job you have. The negative statements and beliefs we keep reliving or saying to ourselves will only perpetuate that spiral-down pattern.

The best investment in your future is the time you take out now to plan for it to happen. You are worthy of the life, relationships, career, artistic expressions you want to create, have and will become.

Take 1 second to allow yourself to believe it can happen and then take another one, and another until you feel uncomfortable or doubt it. Then ask yourself where is this fear or frustration coming from?

It’s in those tough patches, the windy stretches of your heart where you must journey. So many of the answers for your life are buried where the questions lie dormant.

Give yourself the power of grace, forgiveness, & love while you are in the “pause.” You don’t have to process or heal alone. But you gotta to do the inner work. It will start taking you to where & who you are becoming.

There’s so many things we miss every moment between IG posts, work, sex, and meditation. Or a gaggle of bees pollinating your fave place along the Gorge.

The only time I can fully flesh out my life is when I am alone. It has been engrained in us to believe that if we are alone then there is something wrong with us.

We’ve been scared into being alone with our own thoughts and selves. What kind of life is that?

Along this recent journey of solitude going against the grain doesn’t scrape so bad as it used to. In fact the solitude has led to me boldly live my truest self more than ever.

I used to party almost every single weekend for years. Now I’m just as comfortable planting flowers or getting baked and staying in, or going on a solo weeknight hike. Welcome to mid 30’s, y’all.

In solitude there is freedom to be totally and authentically who you are. You know pants- off dance-off like nobody’s camming and all that Jazz. We all need an inner-sanctuary. A sacred place to release, to chill the f*** out, and be at peace.

In the absence of external validation of others’ input or need to please we become our authentic self. And that self opens up to higher depths. We can use this time to let our truest self guide us forward. Time is actually the one thing most of us actually have an abundance of these days.

The concept of trusting the process is unnerving but exciting. Like how the fuck you gonna “trust Life” when you know they a crazy mofo who gonna drag your ass through the gutter only to shoot you into the stars. If Selena taught us anything it’s to Trust. No. bitch. And ain’t Life the biggest one of them all? 😂

Partial truths and jokes aside, it’s weird how your life opens up & you become more comfortable putting yourself out there.

Think of how far we have come in two months of rationing our daily pub scenes & hobbies. Ain’t been to the barber shop in a minute but we still out here getting it sis!

And when you think you have done enough work you still find depths within yourself and you keep digging. Life will build the canals around you.

I misjudged someone recently, because of a Republican stereotype I’ve seen played out pretty much my entire life. Without details I felt like an asshole because I hypocritically didn’t give someone a chance. #AndIOop

I’ve realized that all sides have positive and negative things about them. And that is how we should look at all things. The shadow self is the other political party, is the other religion, is the other sexes, the other race, whisky preference, and favorite Curb episode.

For we lie with primordial oppressors pressing up and against each other for validation and degradation. The Earth’s plates rubbed against each other and created mountains.

Every action is in effort to achieve a goal. The hardships and evils in this life must push us to new ways of living. Nature can be volatile, unpredictable, dangerous. Those fears lessen as you discover each one of us is part of this grand creation. You become more mindful in the great outdoors because you have to be attentive. You become more appreciative of living things. you see that plants aren’t static. Trees dance in the wind. Flowers turn towards the sun. Vines stretch their creeping limbs among trees and even buildings. Life is blooming and living all around you, but it is also full of perils and unknowns.

In this sunshine laundromat, you’ll find what and who home is. And it’s never ending. It doesn’t stop even when we arrived to our intended destination.

There will always be something more to want. A new project to undertake, a new orgasm, another birthing of inspiration will come to us. In truth the things and states of being you seek are always there waiting for you to become quiet enough to do the inner-work and allow yourself to begin living the life you dreamed of.

One day the weight you carry won’t be so heavy and you’ll be able to hold enough until the next weight is added. One day you may find yourself surrounded by mountains and snow.

A blue sky stretching out and completely enveloping you. It is what eternity must feel like. This world is magic coming from another room.

The Long Ride Home pt. 1

In 2017 I told myself, “When I move to Portland, I’m going skiing after work.”

I moved here one year ago, and for the past 2 months I’ve been gratefully skiing on the Earth’s mirror, scarcely believing this is home now.

It was one of those dreams we all have like building a house, visiting some far-flung land, getting married, working a great job, wanting to be happy. Often the dreams we most want start from a small place of desire without resistance and without knowing how or if it’s all going to come together.

Initial desires seem far-fetched at first, but the mere possibility that a dream could actually come into being has spurred on almost every piece of music, and war, building of homes and skyscrapers, each knitting together of a family that has ever existed.

When you’re young you must depend on another to provide your needs and desires. What if there’s no one there you can trust or depend on to make this happen? What if you grew up without a suitable parent to trust? And those of us who did have that initial trust wish we grew up with a trust fund. As we get older all of the responsibilities lay on our shoulders.

Doubt in our ability to attain goals, and relationships, our states of being, begin at a young age because certain experiences ended in a bad way for us, or we watched it end badly for others, or were told of it in Bible stories and political propaganda.

Or because of dead-end jobs and life in dead-end states or series of failed dates and families have shown us that we don’t get what we want. That dreaming is wasteful. That it is easier to live that life you were born into and the chip on your shoulder you’ve been given. The kids and parents I work with often feel this way and they’re not wrong for feeling so. They’ve been betrayed by family members and country for generations.

When I moved here a year ago, my life had recently devolved into chaos and loss. A published book and traveling adventures came at a huge cost. Mental health issues that had been wading in darkness were finally brought forth into light. That glaring light shone upon the frayed sutures holding my life together. I discovered they weren’t there at all.

Relationships fell apart at seams that seemed unbreakable. Upon reflection I was trying to keep together a life that had not been fulfilling with some relationships where I was pouring into others without much in return. It felt like I was pouring myself into others whose wells were bottomless and insatiable. The water ran dry within myself until there was nothing left to give and finally snapped.

I came up here not knowing what was going to happen or if I was actually going to make it. “What if none of this works out?” I asked myself. I could not handle another devastating blow in any sense of the word.

There was literally nothing physically left in my physical possession save my car and everything I had taken on my cross-country road trip and to Mexico. The plans made and money saved to make a smooth transition from Texas to Portland were unintentionally torn asunder by my own two hands and addled mind.

The first 2 months of 2019, were spent in Texas taking stock of what was left and what had ended. Most of what was still true of my life actually remained. Family and friends still loved me. I still loved to hike and be amongst open-minded kind people.

With the proper diagnoses you can then utilize the tools which can help you live a vibrant and authentic life. Medication, therapy, being enveloped with nature, starting almost completely from scratch were some of the tools in my new wheelhouse.

The West had been calling me forward for a long time. Years before the recent schism. So I asked myself, “What if moving to Portland actually does work out?” Some callings are greater than our circumstances.

Slowly, the same two hands and a properly medicated mind created the life I now find myself living. Everything brought me to Now, and I am happy. What good is it to curse the former difficulties?

I strive to make decisions for the highest good, maintaining boundaries I had so easily let be taken of advantage of in the past, pouring into others while keeping enough in my own well. Positive friendships and relationships have blossomed and have begun to flourish. And as is the way of life New challenges are always on our horizons. Sometimes the horizon itself has literally shifted due to where we find ourselves geographically in the world.

PNW winters challenge the hardiest of souls. To go weeks with cold rain and without sunlight cause many of to withdraw inward. The respite was welcoming at first. But as the perpetual gloom lingered I went into nature less and less. Being in nature was part of my healing process and I stopped going outdoors because of the wet and weary weather. Then I went skiing for one of my roommate’s birthdays and remembered how much I loved this winter activity.

At the end of January, I took new stock of my situation and realized “this life up here is working out and I like it.” When you have recovered from difficult periods you begin really appreciating the reasons that make you live. The shift happens when you begin to seek them out.

So I bought my first ski season pass, skis and gear, and it’s unexpectedly changed parts of my life. Skiing has become a passion and one I often do on my own. Learning new skills help to imbue oneself with confidence that translates into other areas.

I’ll be speeding 40 mph down a black in exhilaration and wondering how the hell I didn’t crash.

Then I tell myself, “I’ve done this before, I know how to ski on piste, and how to talk to this client, and I know how to get out of bed and out of debt. I’ve done each many times before.” And I get out of my own way.

There are times I do bite it, are not as scary as the first time and it happened and now I know how to more easily correct myself when shredding powder or craving on ice.

Skiing is a fluid conversation with the mountain. It’s a mind-body, seasonal and multi-elemental connection. Finding ourselves upon mountains, to ski upon them, is honors the mountain within.

There is nothing more alive than when you feel the thrill of living. It’s as close to flying as we can come. The closest to breaking the bonds of Earth- of our frailties and also of our courage.

Nothin’ But Time part 1

It’s almost been one year since embarking on the eloquent adventure/disaster that changed the landscape of my life. I keep coming back to Mount St. Helens- a mountain who is no stranger to spewing new effigies upon the land.

It’s the geographically closest and most accessible of the great 5 mountain peaks of I now live by. The gem of the PNW mountain range has now been reduced to 2/3 of its original height and glory. Magma began filling the mountain increasing its mass for a year and eventually reaching 400 yards a day prior to the explosion. How oddly relatable.

Mt. Saint Helens Before & after 1980 eruption

The pressure rose in St. Helens’ until that fateful day in 1980 when this sleeping giant hurled lava, pulverized rock, a side of the mountain outwards, killing 57 people, melting several glaciers and created the largest mudslide ever recorded.  Calamities millions of years in the making only took seconds to raze foundations entire ecosystems and collapse empires.

Yet 40 years later this mountain is now replenishing itself. Life is returning with hundreds of new habitats, ponds, and waterways in this ancient place.  

Which version of Mt. Saint Helens is the real mountain?  A gem reduced to ashes. An antagonistic foe looming in the distance biding time until its next eruption? A ticking-time bomb drowsing until the pressure builds to a crescendo and Saint Helens wildly flings destruction to all in its vicinity? A haven for life, a peak which glacier water flows down providing the source of many rivers? A mother, a place of beauty, a liability a home?

Are you the you who had it all together or are you now the person that is left after blasting your life into fragments? Are you something else altogether?Each perspective is valid but binary conclusions fail us so much of the time. The mountain, the aftermath, the you before and after are all of those things the good, the ugly, and the authentic self.

The volcano where I was unknowingly rapid cycling through a manic-depressive breakdown is also the mountain that has brought me back to life. A cataclysm of eroding glaciers within oneself.

Just as this mountain has done countless times over the centuries. Re-shaping and forging the land through destruction and setting the stage for new creations. Sometimes caused by brutal natural calamities, at the hands of others, at the hands of yourself.

Nature vs. nature is an antiquated paradigm. For It is within nature we find nourishment and true being as we have since time began.

The more we connect to the Earth the more we begin to connect to our truest selves. The false self begins to peel away the false self the egoic nature craving and never at peace.

You realize aspects of your personal identity – the job, the relationships, the home, coping mechanisms, habits, and patterns of self were aspects of the false-self. How many of us cling to externalities to validate and explain who we are?

The egoic nature craves and screeches to satiate desires- to fulfill the idealized version of yourself. Buddha said, suffering is caused by desire. Suffering is also caused by looking for things outside of us to determine our self-worth.

The dizzying thrill of an unrealized manic high was exhilarating. I felt like a rockstar. Everything all my dreams were within reach and anything was possible. Nothing and no one could stop me. Mania is the closest thing to being a superhero and a supervillian at the same time.

Mania mirrors some narcissistic qualities. Writing a book that partially included my life was misinterpreted by some as overly ambitious or egotistical. Those who judged my first book as a vanity affair didn’t even crack the cover.

Yet my personal worth began to be increasingly tied to social media, gaining followers to build a writing platform, and with each gain I began validating myself and experiences with things outside of myself. But mania causes a sort of inner Stockholm Syndrome daring you into climbing stratosphere’s into mountain peaks you would not dare to travel in your right mind.

And when it all stops and you’re left to confront the emptiness and then to build your life the way you really want it. With the first step, the first trickles of snowmelt you begin again. If you’re still alive you still have time to forge the life you want.

When you’ve reached bottom the only way is up from there. We finally start seeking out the people, places, activities & thoughts that are good for us the more we believe in our own worth.

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find who and what is really worth fighting for. And eventually time will reveal the things, the people, the mountains left standing after the dust has settled. You’ll be surprised about how much remains and how much space you have to gain.

Running Up That Hill

She spoke out of the side of her mouth on a sunny Seattle morning,  “I lost 4 kids to the state. I was the one who wasn’t supposed to make it, but I did. It took two decades and finally my fifth child to get it all together, and now I help parents who are in the exact place I was in. I went to rehab and all the classes. I did everything it took to get my son back. I was clean and sober but still toxic inside for a long while.” #relatable

A room full of social workers sat quiet and stunned by this woman’s incredibly powerful story. Her vulnerability was buoyed by the steely strength reflected in the angular ridges of her sharp cheek bones. She was made of true grit, borne with cards stacked against her, and full of personal tragedies scattered throughout her life.

She didn’t talk about many generations of societal oppression, decades of prejudice, inequality, poverty, denial of rights, betrayed promises, lack of resources that are disgustingly common to so many Americans & people around the world.

And If she only could, would she make a deal with god? Would she want to shout profanities to the mountains too? How many of us have done the same only to hear the resounding shrill of well-meaning Christians but not the voice of god. The void of silence is deafening. At least it is quantifiable. As much as it sucks at least silence is real.

The hardest part about social work is that there are just too many underlying factors that have brought families to their lowest points. There is often a lack of knowledge of the resources available not to mention the Manila and brown folder bureaucracies sidestepping the way to freedom.

Parents and caregivers are often depicted and treated as villains– when in truth they are often using substances to self-medicate, to just get through the day, to function in a world that sees their disabilities and mistakes as another reason they are unsafe, unfit, worthless, unsalvageable. There are those who have committed unspeakable acts against vulnerable children and who should have no access to their children.

Washington has a ton of resources available to aid parents and children- related to housing, mental health, medical care, counseling, dietary needs, summer camps, and programs that work to strengthen parental skills and personal development. The strengthening of our most vulnerable populations should never be seen as a handout. There are millions of people who have not been afforded opportunities that so many of us have taken for granted because we lived in two-parent households and graduated from school districts that reflected a certain tax bracket- or those of us who barely made that echelon and have been trying to keep up with the Joneses and the Richers, who often live a very guarded and gilded lifestyle- putting the blinders on to the plights of people living across town and sometimes just across the street.

But now I have felt the harsh judgement from people who used to be closer than family. The darkness enclosed like a coffin, like an abusive lover holding you down along with your shame. And then I held myself in the lair of guilt and self-recriminations. I will make sure my clients don’t go it totally alone.

I’m the one who made concessions and apologies but have not gotten any in return. I didn’t hold certain people accountable for being there for me when I needed them. I let them off the hook now. This bitterness does not serve me. The reminiscing over the wounding only infuriates the healing. It takes a while to get your life back on track. Especially when you’re the one responsible for the fuck up.

Part 2: A deal with God

Not gonna lie, this transition has been amazing, but quite solitary; it’s not terrible it’s just different than I imagined. It’s also just the beginning.

I had been living in patterns of devolution for months. A persona unrecognizable to others who knew me well. I hit upon a rage that had never been expressed and a volatility of shockwaves that rippled beyond the bounds or intentions of my person. It all had to burn away before I would have accepted a bipolar diagnosis and that I needed help- that I needed to change some ways of living.

Moving is an inherently solo journey- one I’m so fortunate to be complaining about. Things could be seriously so much worse. I’m very thankful they are not. I’ve been lucky to have a lot of amazing people & friends physically present in daily life.

I wish could take back and redo a lot of last summer. I wish I was over it all. Most days I am. For awhile it was all I could think about. Now I’ve accepted that it’s all part of the ebb & flow of healing.

Sometimes you wonder if you’re alone because you want to be or b/c you’re the problem. Maybe it’s your time to “work on things,” but when does the working cease? When is someone finally worthy enough?

The annoyingly spot-on answer- You’re the only 1 who can determine that for yourself. And in case you want to argue spoiler alert- the fact that humans and this Earth even exists is a 1 in a quadrillion chance miracle. *don’t @ me on that math. 😂

A client told me if he had known what would have happened he’d have done it differently. Wouldn’t we all? He strangely didn’t seem completely remorseful couldn’t figure out why at the time. Then it hit me- he’s accepted the reality of awful circumstances that led him here and apart from his family. I’m grateful the stakes have never been that high for me.

This current journey into social work is much different than it was in Texas for many reasons. I now know what it’s like to feel out of control, embarrassed, regretful, alone, sober, forgiven, in treatment, and finally becoming the best version of oneself.

The ones who have seen the error and changed course- those are the ones who are worth fighting for, and deserve the resources to get their life on track, to get their children back.

How many times have you regretted an action and let it play out over and over in your mind? You remember the events that led up to certain actions and thoughts. Your body revs with anxiety as you relive the event in your mind. When recounting or thinking about a trauma the human body cannot qualify whether that action occurred in the past or present.

Whatever you focus upon will also reflect in your body as your neck tenses, heartbeat increases, etc. In essence we are reliving that past trauma every time we talk about it which often causes involuntary physical reactions. It feels like a haunting at first but distance from a problem or a helps one to see things w/ perspective. Never underestimate the power of your breath in a chaotic situation & therapy to address everything else.

It’s true you can’t win every time. You can’t save everyone and there are some relationships not worth saving (which is tough b/c I’m a life long friender.) My sister gave me the gift of being present while I confronted the personal beasts raging in my head and heart. She gave me the gift of family. My dad gave the gift being there without me even knowing it. So many friends have done the same.

All we really need is someone who will stand with us between the raucous & silent phase of darkness. Western skies are filled to the brim with nights made of stranger diamonds.

There is a beauty in new beginnings- wildflowers blooming in wind. Fragile miracles embedded in the tomb of dirt and earth. We are plants bursting through soil. That initial thrust must have been initially painful, but so worth it now that everything has bloomed. Trust the process for if you are trying- the harvest will eventually bring its bounty.

 

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

Waterfalls offer a perfect metaphor for the continual impermanence of existing. Still they perpetuate the illusion that this beauty, this earth, that life will last forever.

The technological achievements of the modern era have allowed humans to live in inhospitable regions in deserts, remote space, Antarctica, inner-city neighborhoods and rural get-aways. A flipped switch sends electricity coursing through miles of cables enabling us to conquer darkness, boredom, reheated meals.

Yet there are consequences to our immediately gratifying lifestyles and Amazon Prime conveniences. We don’t want to wait or work through things. Swiping right and on to the next one is so much easier. I do it too.

The facades are compounded by the small deceptions of perfectly manicured social media presences. It’s easy to get caught up in the wrapping and maintain the illusion of prosperity and of having it all. Making it seem like you have it all together when you don’t takes an exorbitant effort of its own. In the end you realize you’re only competing against and with yourself.

In a weird way I’m more free since I’ve dropped the trappings and need to seem like I got my shit together. It’s created a space of honesty, even more authenticity, and a willingness to face the shadow than I’ve ever expressed before.

We forget it’s okay to wait. That there is a beauty within silence and not getting your way. We don’t mean to get caught up in the material excesses; which have become so ubiquitous we view some privileges as inherent rights. Yet human rights are still negotiable because humans are a commodity to be sold as a commodity and mined for votes.

Follow Nature’s lead and embrace the silence. Move past the pain and you will come to acceptance.

You will eventually begin thriving in your secluded forests for resiliency is the building block of Nature.

How many things I’ve taken for granted because I got used to having all of my needs met and more for most of my life. Within the stripping of people, of material goods, of social statuses, of broken dreams you can find yourself broken as well. But in that desolation is a calling to go farther inside of yourself to find the source of your struggle and to find out who you really are.

Truthfully, nothing stays the same. These temporal trappings are not forever. No matter how good, bad, ugly your present is- it is not forever. All we have is the current moments which began building your future. We are taught to look away from suffering, ignoring the houseless human beings scraping just to get by.

We often ignore and repress our own inner turmoils and often we can survive even thrive without ever having to do any deep self-work. The unexamined life begins to feel hollow for everyone whether they know it or not.

There is nothing wrong with having or wanting to have nice things. But when we assign our worth and identity to the acquisition of Name-brand bags, shoes, relationships, anything outside of ourselves it is then we are doomed.

How beautifully strange and confounding that all of the things which truly matter- connection, laughter, bonding, boning, love are things you can’t see, can’t like on IG, can’t hold tangibly. I am striving to be the best version of myself daily. I think that most of us desire and are making progress to do exactly the same.

Each drop of water seems paltry and insignificant on their own. A waterfall is just another cliff without a collection of trillions of water molecules coming together in cascading torrents. Each step on our journeys add up.

We have to stop judging ourselves for not being immediately radically successful and enjoy each embrace, each pound lost, each morning we awake to begin another day until the next one comes. Cause baby, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til it’s Over.”