Redefining She

wild-oneWild One,
I see you
Quivering beneath that old skin
Draped in shoulds and oughts,
Wearing that false smile,
The one that says
‘Yes of course I will..’
Before you set yourself aside
And conform to that safe, known, shape
Of appropriate ‘She’
Wild One
I hear you
Growling in the night,
When your passion wakes you,
Ready to rip his skin or yours
As the truth burning fires of awareness
Blaze their intensity into your mind
Laying bare your compromises
Stripping the lies you tell yourself
Refusing to stay that safe known shape
Of appropriate ‘She’
Wild One
I feel you,
As the dawn breaks
And the false floor and tight smile
Give way to grit, grief and remembering,
That deep, fluid, undulating pulse,
That nectar heart, that moist knowing,
That sweet longing and clarity so bright
They blind you to that safe known shape
And memory,
Of appropriate ‘She’
Wild One
I need you
Ready to shed your fear and thrive,
Ready to feel incandescently alive
Uncensored majesty of womankind
Embodying the grace of the sensually sublime
Receiver of nature’s subtle melodies
Vivid, ageless, honest and free
I stand for you, and you stand for me
The redefined expression
Of appropriate ‘She’

By Clare Dubois, a dear Tree Sister

This poem was generously given permission to be shared here by Clare Dubois who is the founder of TreeSisters. TreeSisters is an organization passionate about the reforestation of the earth’s forests and female empowerment through reclaiming the feminine Self. Tree Sisters just launched their new website on the autumn Equinox, September 22nd. Please be sure and visit this amazing venture at TreeSisters

They are also hosting a powerful series of deeply inspirational speakers that will reach into  the feminine consciousness to plant seeds of change while letting go into a trust of nature’s wisdom. Join them at Feminine Awakening Series

*photo by Anne Brigman, 1918

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Continuation

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I stand in a forest

Amongst other trees

Bearing the cold

I stand with patience

I stand with faith

That the spring

Will come again

I stand in a forest

Amongst other trees

Connecting at the root 

I stand in trust

I stand in acceptance

That my essence

Is nourished 

By the Earth

Season after season

I breath 

through my leaves 

Long after

I can no longer stand

In a forest

Amongst other trees

I will continue

to bring balance

To the cycle 

Of love

Because 

I am 

Love.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

Broken Branches

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In the nakedness

Of barren pain

Roots

Reach out

For inner healing.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” ~Ganga White

*linocut, by Anita Laurence, Winter II

http://anitalaurence.com.au/?page_id=222

Changing Water to Wine

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A brittle leaf

Touched by seasonal patterns

Tenaciously clings

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

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“Blessed. Surrounded by every opportunity in the world.

“Granted to meet in life that which can revitalize and restore and reawaken what was lost, stuck, stopped.

“Given a charge of inner worlds power. A prana of life-giving essence to offer into the most obdurate situations hope and enthusiasm.

“Not put off by coming up against tremendous outward and inward stuff to cut through. Just knowing there is a force, there is a way somehow.

“Bearing a treasure that is priceless. Offered the keys to the kingdom.

“It is simply a matter of calibrating the Living Spirit in all things as supreme. Yet there is something in this worship, in this ritual that is more than the simple basic model would suggest.

“We are here entering upon the mystery of soul remembrance. What does it mean when we can recall in a fragrant fashion all good and essential things and we never can forget them?

“What does it do for us when we immerse ourselves over and again in especially painful and enduring lessons and repetitive experience, yet all throughout we feel and know inside that we can come through and that everybody can come through?

“What this does is to tap a storehouse of spirit spark that is right here available whenever we are ready to surrender to it’s depth of power.

“Usually, we must first exhaust every other way of dealing with what is at hand. Only then do we remember the prayer, the vision, the promise…

“It is a rhythm, a pulse, a knack. Once you get it, you can’t lose it. Then you know the New Birth in all things.”

~Elias Lonsdales

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This new moon in Sagittarius brought up a lot of old wounds and pain for me that still tenaciously cling to the here and now. It happened when I was least expecting it. Thoughts such as, “I have shown up for what I want to grow and expand in my life.” or “I have done the inner work.” placed a perfect fitting mask upon my face that I forgot who I am. Somewhere along the line I got a little lost in some idealistic vision of myself. The intensity of my inner suffering knocked me to the ground like all the fallen leaves and layers of bark upon the forest floor. Though I thought I have been facing reality, I now humbly realize that there are still areas of my life that need the continuation of healing. Instead of thinking negatively about repeating karmic patterns, I choose to mindfully walk through these experiences. I surrender to the mystery of Spirt Essence. My ancestors would call it the Great Spirit. Opening again to the self-love, the experience of I AM. In each breath…being in communion of spirit.

Namaste Beloved.

*the link that inspired this post is from Mysticmama

http://www.mysticmamma.com/new-moon-in-sagittarius-on-december-11th-2015/

Heartspace

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“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” ― Anaïs Nin

Lately, life has brought many changes, blessings, opportunities, and learning experiences, yet all the while it has been stretching and growing me. It has been easy to get caught up in the business of living. I took some time this weekend to slow down. Yesterday, I briefly saw the horror and devastation of what happened in Paris before I went to go spend a day of mindfulness in meditation and silence. A powerful message from life reminding us of the brevity and fragility of the breath within us. Let’s open our minds and hearts with compassion…to this devastation and to all those suffering at this moment…let’s heal one another while letting this darkness teach us something…whatever that may be…in each breath with ourselves and with one another.

This brings me back to the slowing down…taking a pause. It isn’t only about the realization of getting caught up in the business of daily life or even being mindful of what happened in Paris. It’s about letting life touch the heart….opening up to that touch of love. Allowing that touch to happen. Giving ourselves permission to open to our vulnerabilities. As we open and practice opening day after day, we begin to realize just how infinite heartspace is….and that there isn’t necessarily any resolution because it is a huge, vast and limitless space. Heartspace is where the very nature of love resides. There is a lot of darkness and light in that space, but also a sense that goes beyond all of that expanding into continuation of impermanence. It touches what we believe…and how those beliefs manifest into reality. It’s that very freedom of continuation that gives us power to realize the reality of our worst nightmares or the beauty of our dreams.

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“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” ― John Lennon

I have spent a lot of time running from my dreams because of fear of failure or hiding in my dreams because of a lack of belief in myself. I’ve also experienced the reality of my nightmares. It has all served me in that it has brought me to the point where I have allowed life to open my heart and self-compassion to teach me day after day. It is like the forbearance of trees. “Theirs is the forbearance of being true to their inner natures. It is with this power that they withstand both the vicisstudes and adornment of life, for neither bad fortune nor good fortune will alter what they are.” (Deng Ming-Dao) Whatever happens during this lifetime, if we want to manifest the beauty of our dreams we have to find a way to patiently stand and bear our fortune. No matter what, being true to our inner selves. Self-compassion can teach us that.

This morning after my meditation, I looked out the window and saw a doe and a fawn in the rain. It hasn’t been the first time I’ve seen them. In fact, their whole family has been around since the beginning of the year. In animal symbolism, the deer (particularly the doe, females) has the capacity for infinite generosity. (http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-symbolism-deer.html) As we give our hearts permission to open in that infinite space of generosity, we will experience the limitless treasure within ourselves. We will learn to cultivate trust  in our own instincts as well as ourselves to move through life and obstacles with grace. Our heart will begin to beat with the gentleness of kindness and compassion as we find the grace to connect with the quiet simplicities of humility. The grace and gentleness characteristic of this spirit animal echo the qualities brought forth when living from the heart. (http://www.spiritanimal.info/deer-spirit-animal/) Friedrich Schiller once wrote, “Grace is beauty of form under the influence of freedom.” The abundance of freedom exists within our heartspace. That is where we will experience the manifestation of our dreams as we open more and more to love ourselves and life.

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“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.” 

―Walt Disney

The rain has been whispering today. Of cleansing and forgiveness. Thoughts and emotions can become entangled in a chaos of judgement whether we are looking inwardly at ourselves or outwardly towards the world. Because rain diminishes sunlight, it creates human emotions of darkness and depression. (http://www.ask.com/world-view/rain-symbolize-5892bd1c2cb7db83) Pain and suffering can bear down so hard that we become lost to overwhelming forces that roll over us like tidal waves. Naturally, we need to  go into heartspace and allow a time for grieving. Rain can be life-giving as it gently waters the earth or potentially death dealing as torrid downpours lead to flooding. We have to allow our souls to experience the cycles of cleansing and forgiveness if we are to move past the darkness of fear and forward into the light. We can allow the rains to teach us the importance of cleansing and nourishing our hearts through the power of forgiveness and acceptance. Afterall, love resides in heartspace. Rumi wrote, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

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“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…” ― Wilferd Peterson

Walk what you talk. Don’t be afraid to follow the path where your heart leads. Allow the freedom of your heartspace to lead you into the beauty of your dreams. Let them manifest themselves into reality. Be courageous and let love open your heart and touch your vulnerability. In each breath, day after day, give yourself the gift of presence…the gift of love.

Listening to Trees

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The Wind Woman

Awakened tree spirits

Creaking ancient tales

Of bygone days lost to memory

When silence was robed

In the majesty of Mother Earth.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

breathing trees

Nature’s Cathedral

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Young pines

Arch their spines along the hill

Mindful

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015