Release

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“By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try.
The world is beyond the winning.”
– Lao Tzu

“Forgiveness is not always easy.
At times, it feels more painful
than the wound we suffered,
to forgive the one that inflicted it.
And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.”
– Marianne Williamson

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“We have to let go of all blame, all attacking, all judging,
to free our inner selves to attract what we say we want.”
– Joe Vitale

“Honor your being,
Release each and every struggle,
Gather strength from life’s storms,
Relax into the arms of spirit.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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All I know is that I know nothing. I have to learn to open my heart every morning when I open my eyes. I have to learn to love everyday all over again. I have to learn to let go and forgive over and over. I have to learn to heal and breathe with each new day. I have to learn like this is the first day of my life. I have to learn how to use my wings so I can fly. I have to learn to trust my intuition. I have to learn self-compassion. I have to learn the strength of vulnerability. I have to learn the unbearable lightness of being.  The truth is that each day feels like a butterfly crawling out of it’s cocoon.

A  butterfly

Tenderly folded

It’s airy wings

A book of bones

Unbearable

Lightness of being?

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

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Secret Places of the Heart

deer

In the quiet 

I stand

Open,

Allowing 

New moon

Currents

To take

Me 

To a new

Place

Facing the 

Shadows

With 

Gentleness, 

Patience,

And 

Understanding

Trusting the flow

Of Transformative

And Healing 

Energy

Shifting life from 

The inside out

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

* photo found on http://www.verycoolphotoblog.com/2013/06/22/24179/

 

Signs of Life

winter silence

*artist, Brooks Shane Salzwedel

“Sensitivity is a sign of life. Better hurt than hardened. I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor on any longer than they have to, those who recognize the courage at the heart of vulnerability. After all the malevolent warriors end each other, the open-hearted will inherit the earth.”

~ Jeff Brown, Ascending With Both Feet on the Ground

*artist website: http://www.brookssalzwedel.com/portfolio.html

*author website: http://soulshaping.com

 

Random Bits of Forest Wisdom

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“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”   ~Zen proverb

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“The spiral in a snail’s shell is the same mathematically as the spiral in the Milky Way galaxy, and it’s also the same mathematically as the spirals in our DNA. It’s the same ratio that you’ll find in very basic music that transcends cultures all over the world.”
~Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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shivering leaves in wind and light “…and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.”
~ Audre Lorde

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In nature answers are given quietly, in the details, just waiting for discovery. ~Mike Dolan

“…the winter is kind and leaves red berries on the boughs for hungry sparrows…”
~ John Geddes

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“Let us depart instead for the fields of Dreams and wander those blue, romantic hills where stands the abandoned tower of the Supernatural, where cool mosses clothe the ruins of Idealism. Let us, in short, indulge in a little fantasy!”
~ Eça De Queirós

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

~Confucious

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.

In Faith

softness

“A person who does not have anything to believe in is without energy. When you have the energy of faith in you, your steps become firmer, your look becomes brighter. You are ready to love, to understand, to help, and to work.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

In the softness and tenderness of my soul, I open to the generosity of my essence. With each in breath, I pull into myself the abundance of life. With each out breath, I release my need to control…to feel safe. I trust the process that is before me and though I feel fear of uncertainty and the pain of old familiar wounds I open and let go in the faith that love will sustain me. In gratitude, I dwell in the energy of Oneness.

*photo credits go to Steve Mackay

Holding the Fear

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The weight of words

Rest heavy

On my head

But I don’t have

To be anything

except

who I AM

Because

Love

holds 

the fear

So that

can 

breathe.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015