It’s About Perspective

IMG_0100

The light, soft and warm

Coos of newness in essence

Continuation 

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

IMG_0102

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. “

~Brené Brown

An Open Heart

chimney

What happens if I open my heart? Will the sky come falling down?

poppy3Darkness grows dense enfolding me deeper into its bosom. Pulling me towards the bowels of the earth. If I can just be brave enough to keep exploring it with an open heart…

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ― Brené Brownpoppy

I allow the wind of my emotions to blow through my soul…through every hidden cavern and crevice of my being. I allow all the gusts, gales and squalls to come. I allow myself to experience them fully and completely. That I might know and recognize each emotion that rises to the surface.

field

By allowing the storm to come, I allow myself the power to detach. To return to the harbor of my soul. I arrive home…with each breath I take…I find my grounding, and I become anchored for awhile before I have to set sail again.

“What it means to be authentic:
– to be more concerned with truth than opinions
– to be sincere and not pretend
– to be free from hypocrisy: “walk your talk”
– to know who you are and to be that person
– to not fear others seeing your vulnerabilities
– being confident to walk away from situations where you can’t be yourself
– being awake to your own feelings
– being free from others’ opinions of you
– accepting and loving yourself”
― Sue Fitzmaurice

Revelation

 

each lily

opened

as a new understanding

Source: Revelation

Humanity Matters!

 

IMG_2821

Its all about connection…a touch, a look, a word, a sense of feeling human in a world that seems confused -a world lost in the process we know as life. Culture has boundaries attached to it as well as identity because of how it links together with our personal beliefs. Nevertheless, they give meaning and purpose to this maze of existence. But I am forced to ask the question, “Is that where the journey ends?” The resounding answer is NO! We just might discover through the people we meet along the way, the places we visit and the experiences we encounter that we are granted a unique privilege. The privilege to come together in a new way. The privilege to rewrite the story.

IMG_2819

No matter what color your skin is, what gender you are, what political views you hold, what your sexual orientation is, what language you speak, what country you come from, what religion you believe or don’t believe, or what culture you have the heritage we all share is feeling and being human in all the tragedy and comedy. Humanity Matters because the bottom line is that no matter how lost this world might be without each other we are nothing. May we all find our humanity. Starting TODAY!

IMG_2818

Maybe its time to shift our borders…our boundaries inside and out. Maybe we might just find a sense of familiarity through the current devastation and darkness. Maybe we might just find the strength and courage to whisper, “I remember you. We come together now with a new identity, but our dignity hasn’t been stripped from us, so I extend my hand to you. Yes, I remember that we are still brothers and sisters. I haven’t forgotten. Let that no longer be our fear for we know each other as we know ourselves… a new identity for the world to see on the outside, but we see each other from the inside. To think of this I shall not water your garden  with tears of sorrows past, but with tears of joy that we can still stand on common ground. Whether our inner demons have been exorcised from within us when we look at ourselves we are seeing each other. Let this be the tie that binds us again with our shifting borders. Let this be the healing for the sickness in our souls.”

IMG_2825

I would like to end with a few thoughts from Deng Ming-Dao, “This world and this society are competitive. Tao uses the metaphor of the warrior to meet that competition. Warriors never yield to their opponents. They may sidestep, but they do not give way. Whether you are a lawyer, police officer, fire fighter, doctor, businessperson, athlete, or any one of numerous professions, you compete against either other people or natural forces. But there is a right way and a wrong way to compete. Avoid anger and greed. Use concentration   and awareness. Coincidentally, concentration and awareness are also necessary for spirituality. That is why the follower of Tao incorporates the way of the warrior into training. The warrior and the sage both seek to transcend emotion and petty thinking, to perfect themselves, and to live lives of the deepest truth. But when outside the arena, do not forget to be kind. Leave behind competitive aggression. You must still have awareness concentration, and reflex, but the expression will be different. Your compassion must not falter. That is why the combination of the way of the warrior with the way of the sage is the ultimate symbol of versatility. Such a follower of Tao commands the extremes of the universe.”

Here is a song that captures the sign of the times:

The Same As It Ever Was

The Chain Bridge

FullSizeRender-2

“Turn your wound into wisdom, then help people to find true freedom.” ~Debasish Mridha

To look within

Deep inside the pain

To face the fear

Holding your heart

Breathing 

Each step of the way.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” ~Sigmund Freud

FullSizeRender-4

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” ~ Thich Nhat Hahn

FullSizeRender-3

“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” ~Aristotle

What Don’t Kill Ya

IMG_0011

Pulling up a heavy heart

IMG_0012

Produces crooked curves

IMG_0015

Hunching low

IMG_0017

For earthbound hugs.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“Spiritual yearning is the homesickness of the soul.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

What Don’t Kill Ya

Alignment

IMG_2725

Above and below

Spanning

Four directions 

Earth and Sky

I AM

Here, now

Home

Where I belong

My ancestors

Greet me

From the stars

Communing

With nature

I open

To the depths

Of inner knowing

With each

Breath.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“…mastery requires we stay the course, stay embodied and show up to do the work.”

~Mysticmama, Mastery

Navigating the Dark

wisdom of bones

What is felt

But not seen

What is so

But not apparent

The rattling voice

Of intuitive nature

 Profound wisdom

Reaching down

To the very bones.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

*photo by Antonio Mora, Dystopia Bella

An Offering to Self

resistance1

“We have all faced moments in our lives when the pressure mounts beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves thinking that we do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes we have just gotten through a major obstacle or illness only to find another one waiting for us the moment we finally catch our breath. Sometimes we endure one loss after another, wondering when we will get a break from life’s travails. It does not seem fair or right that life should demand more of us when we feel we have given all we can, but sometimes this is the way life works.

strength

When we look back on our lives, we see that we have survived many trials and surmounted many obstacles, often to our own amazement. In each of those instances, we had to break through our ideas about how much we can handle and go deeper into our hidden reserves. The thought that we do not have the strength to handle what is before us can be likened to the hard surface of a frozen lake. It appears to be an impenetrable fact, but when we break through it, we find that a deep well of energy and inspiration was trapped beneath that icy barrier the whole time. Sometimes we break through by cutting a hole into our resistance with our willpower, and sometimes we melt the ice with compassion for our predicament and ourselves. Either way, each time we break through, we reach a new understanding of the strength we store within ourselves.

grace1

When we find ourselves up against that frozen barrier of thinking we cannot handle our situation, we may find that the kindest choice is to love ourselves and our resistance too. We can simply accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched, and we can offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion. If we can extend to ourselves the unconditional warmth of a mother’s love, before we know it, the ice will begin to break.”

By Madisyn Taylor, from Finding Deep Strength

First and last photos by Phillip Schumacher, Surreal Self-Portraits

Middle photo found on The Beauty of Ballet

In the Fields

IMG_2447

My blood

Is calling to you

Through

All the chaos

And frightening sound

Of darkness

Giving birth

To love.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

Fields of Gold