Self-expression combined with creativity in all its forms is one of the most wonderful ways we can nourish ourselves and our energies; a recharge of our minds, bodies, and emotions. It is also a fabulous way to come into alignment with ourselves – out of inner conflict about whatever is troubling us.
Meditative creativity is key to my own inner well being. I regularly engage in it to fill up my cup as it were or to just allow myself to let go of thoughts, distractions, worries and go deep within to find what’s buried in my subconscious that wants to come to light. It’s freeing and often leads to healing and great joy. Everything from designing my garden, to painting, to writing, or just making something feels good. Intuition is my guide.
By slow degrees healing came. It sealed and healed, gaping wounds left by tragedy. The parts of myself that fled, leaving behind holes that I instinctively surrounded with a carapace of titanium and steel so that never again would I feel the shock of such horrific pain and betrayal. The part of my soul that held purity, trust, innocence, and wonder flew free and hid itself away. Over time, parts of me locked up more and more as betrayals and hurts continued on in an unceasing litany. The carapace became thicker and thicker and what was left inside was self disgust and revulsion, fear and rage, resentment and shame, and hate and grief. A slow descent began an internal debate: to be or not to be. That was the question.
The greatest courage was to allow a tiny opening and to offer that oh, so fragile trust in other human beings – to allow them to see all of me: beauty, pain, and ugliness and let them hold me through what felt like endless grief as I undertook the long journey of recovery of my whole self.
Soul retrievals, energy healing, and a lot of therapy, confronting myself and the difficult journey to change until I arrived at last the to the time and place I could answer that question: to be or not to be.
I finally embraced all of myself and now am able to say, I love, honor, accept, and respect myself, and feel that I would not change my life because it is what went into making me who I am today. My journey isn’t done, but it fills me with wonder, awe and gratitude. To live a life of meaning and purpose is to discover within value, strength, connection, and a deep joy.
Purpose motivates me.
Meaning connects me.
Both are a huge part of what makes my life worth living and increases my positivity even on dark days.
I write in part as a record: changes from what once was to what is now, but I also write for all of us who have suffered unaccountably painful childhoods that left us bloody, bruised, and battered – parts of us sheared away. We have had to put ourselves back together through perseverance and with an iron-will while still being willing to be completely and totally vulnerable and compassionate even in the face of everything that we underwent.
I write also to provide hope to others who have yet to take those first steps on the road to healing to show that it is possible, and I create art and poetry because I have finally found my voice and feel such overwhelming gratitude for all of the gifts and blessings that I have received along the way. To know myself so profoundly and to have discovered the enormous capacity we as human beings have to heal, evolve, and forgive are perhaps the greatest gifts.
A Truth So Bold
When all’s lost and comfort cold
When memory’s feelings a scold,
And when logic can’t bring into the fold,
A reason to stay, nothing present to hold,
Your thoughts contain a truth so bold:
When you truly choose you and leave a bad situation,
No exceptions, no excuses, no more disinformation.
When you finally find courage and your heart infuse
With spirit and a depth of determination, nothing to loose,
You discover hidden parts of you that are weak with disuse.
But with time and through healing, you begin to see less bruise
Of eyes and feelings. Tears dry, spirit strengthens; an infuse
Of might and comprehension of self compassion, no more abuse.
Look close, heal, truth reveals. Seek and redeem
Your strengths: inner Warrior, Goddess, and Queen.
No More Shame
Painful memories and emotional dissonance given form,
The body disembowels that which makes the soul deform.
On minds, bodies, and emotions unconscionable acts performed.
Innocence riven, driven to hide atrocities in defense: conformed.
Traumatic suffering – perpetrators ensure unending silence
With poisonous words and sibilant threats that bespeak violence.
Years go by and memories so deeply buried – spirit’s defeat
Until a new situation gives rise and buried emotions beat.
Rage, righteous anger, hatred, fear, and shame
Vented as we dare to remember and to name
The acts and the ones who perpetrated
Violations so abhorred that we shattered.
Speaking up and out, an enormous act of courage
Facing our own inner shame, feeling discouraged
By dismissiveness and disbelief – our character blamed –
Or worse the lascivious savor of gossips’ gain
As others take pleasure; our pain for their fame.
No empathy, no compassion, only shame reframed.
But know this:
The day comes when we ourselves embrace,
And realize shame is the perpetrators’ disgrace.
Mind, body, and emotions fully recovered,
Love, faith, and trust in ourselves discovered.
Our own inner might and power uncovered,
We join others, lend our voices, break silence
And together we decry an end to the violence.
Rainbow states of healing the body through Divine Grace
Mental and energetic blocks dissolve, creating space.
Feelings of bliss arise as heaviness falls by the wayside.
Sitting in stillness, the experience enough that I decide:
No matter the weight of shadowed pain, I will venture on.
Feeling of release beyond all as I let go the fear within bone
It can’t hold back my determination as I choose to surrender
As yielding fully, I release what force couldn’t sunder.
No more fighting myself and no more do I apply force of will.
Allow the feelings to arise and accept what they reveal.
Revelations are the self discernments of inner transfiguration.
Changes made in blood and bone as old beliefs reach termination.
Ending of one thing opens space for another. Joy flows in. It fills up.
New understandings rush in. Mind, body, and emotions adjust
To the rainbow energies of the soul as self moves up and up. Rise,
Fly higher and higher while delving ever deeper. Then, surmise
The beauty that now surrounds comes not from circumstance,
But from flowing and surrender – the grace of my soul’s dance.
Rainbow Moon Goddess Dreams
A rainbow fills my heart and lights inward sky
As with stillness I sit and observe with inner eye
The release of old energies and unfound notions.
I welcome new energy and gentler emotions.
Integration and transcendence – harmonic surround
As aura fills with soul-aligned action most profound.
Sink into peace and love: enter deeper into a creative state
Where rainbows and moonbeams intertwine with fate.
Today, I see more possibilities of me.
An array of untapped potential.
It sits in my energy:
A portal, a gate, a doorway of unlimited creativity.
Arising from within the confines of me,
It blossoms outward on unfurling leaves.
A spiraling growth to be born –
A manifest desire, a passion full bore.
It pours out of me in waves and then curves
Inward, refreshing me.
A cleansing bath for my energy,
Pouring up and over the crown of my head.
It interrupts and clears away monotony and drudgery.
Mind & emotions apprehensive
New people, new situations
Nervous, belly frustrations
Chest tight, diaphragm trenched
Butt clenched, and teeth cinched
Wide-eyed, wordless, mind wanderer
Social interactions, verbal blunderer
Introverted, mind deserter
Quick and witty non-responder
Mind fog, ear clog
Pulse jog, eyes agog
Words spoken, mouth broken
Throat hum – verbal token
Finally, mind and mouth connect
No longer feel like a social reject.
The World Tree
Ash, the word tree, roots strong and deep,.
Branches tall and far reaching,
Connecting Above to Below,
Standing witness to Being,
It is an ancient wisdom of growth and destiny.
It shelters me amidst the storms.
Sitting at its base, I sometimes dream, forgetting.
In forgetfulness, I fret until I am reminded:
Awake and look around.
The tree, a silent sentinel, remember –
Each day the sun will dawn and set.
Each night the moon will wax and wane.
Aways we are in between,
Nothing stays the same,
be it heaven or hell, bliss or bane.
The pulse of the heart isn’t a solid thump, but a gentle rise and fall of life’s blood, a gathering and release of life force. It nourishes and sustains as it carries us through.
The pulse of the heart is the center of all. It is the energy of love, the connection to all, and a gentle embrace.
Our joyful center, our inner dance – the rhythm of our soul – the pulse moves us along. Its tender connection within and without: the balance of energy and matter.
Easily touched by poet’s song, a child’s laugh, and the warmth of the sun’s rays, it captures drops of feelings and keeps the essence.
Sadness and grief may overwhelm, but only briefly when we allow the pulse of the heart to gently heal with openness – to stir the essences of purity, compassion, and love.
So, I touch my heart and allow its rhythms to sweep away the arid barrenness of life’s pain, anguish, and anger until only that purist essence remains.
Sitting in stillness, open hands, open heart, open mind, I wait.
The figurative language we all use is but a part of a much deeper truth. The meaning behind the words the emotional resonance that attracts and repels.
The archetype of magnets.
The shadowy depths a metaphor that we all know to our core:
its stillness or turbulence echoing our thoughts.
We avoid the shadows and the depths because we cannot see.
We fear what the absence of light hides in the darkness of our mind, body, and soul.
A confrontation to be avoided at all costs because what might we become if we dwell in that shadowy depth: a leviathan, a beast, an unrecognizable form?
We tread water above the depths where light rays glimmer and all is familiar,
but we forget – the depths hold untold treasure to grow the self.
Awakenings and rebirths.
Trauma-informed intuition is that fruitless inner fear
That leads us astray from soul-aligned decisions. So beware.
My soul laid bare was the price of sipping deeply of the LIGHT
And forward motion into decisions that felt truly right.
Missteps and sideways bumbling came first as I uncovered
Layers and layers of programs: my true sight undiscovered.
With deep healing I found my soul light.
It guides my inner eye as I traverse
The path meant for me and my life.
The energy that I conserve
Put to the use that I deserve:
Mind, body, emotions, and spirit aligned.
Discerning eye and intuitive feelings combined.
Something More Empowering
An opening was all it took – a long cycle into flowering, love’s fight.
Wishes and dreams fallen: something more empowering, inner might.
A deep knowledge of me: a space made in body for my soul to alight.
Free-form thinking, emotional resonance – beautiful harmony and delight.
Newfound strength and inner resiliency the gifts for all adversity, insight.
When I allow an inner surrendering to the difficult feelings, they take flight.
What’s left is a denser feeling within my core while I bask in the light
Of finer emotions and embrace the aligned intuition, third eye’s sight.
Unfettered delight when the soul flies free.
A long awaited destiny.
Mind superseded and pain defeated
Through consciousness in flight.
Angel wings beating and heart singing,
I transcend to upper planes.
With rising tides of imaginative sights
Fulsome beauty alights.
Expressive joy the truth of Love
In heady creativity.
No self at home, but on a journey.
One with divinity.
Creative expression, whether with a paintbrush or a pen, allows for the release of inner helplessness and even pain. Rage and fear fall away, as does grief and resentment. Writing from the heart isn’t always an exercise in joy and lightness of being. Sometimes it’s a cathartic release of my darker emotions: the shadows of me brought forward into the light.
I have discovered that when I ask my inner shadow to stand and face me and look into her eyes, I find she is ready to shed some inner layers of darkness and most usually pain. When I truly embrace all of myself, not just the socially acceptable outward bits, but the darker, inner components – judgement, anger, rage, hate, fear, shame, helplessness, and doubt, I find myself heartened because they are small things that simply feel big within me sometimes. By giving them a creative outlet, I veer into the territory of freedom; freedom of expression, freedom from painful feelings, and freedom to share and make connections.
Fanning Heart’s Embers
Grief is slowly burning everything down to stone
Just like forests and people’s and animals’ homes.
Sadness and fear reflected in so many faces.
All our homeless forced to retreat to new places.
No home, no return, feel the loss of hope
Devastated tears open to reality’s new scope
Through which we see only what touches the heart.
Hundreds of thousands must face a scary, new start
Into a gloomy-filled landscape; no course to chart.
As human fear eradicates compassion’s part.
They who have lost everything; ripped away.
Nothing to show and nothing to sway
Any comfort or favor, falling between cracks,
Filling out forms that become paper stacks.
Government norms: cold-eyed bureaucrats
Too lost in government machinery to chat:
No human beings – just numbers assigned –
No feelings. You are all a dozen a dime.
Homeless, useless, less than none to some.
Wives, fathers, sisters, and children – all numb
However, there are those of us, who see.
We hear your plea and know your humanity.
We are all part of this greater community.
We believe each life, each person a sanctity.
Succor deserved to the same degree
As society’s self-proclaimed pedigrees.
Social status bought through criminal stealth and wealth
Immoral use: political abuse, the end of democracy’s health.
Give us your sick and your poor – a beacon of hope’s fulfillment
Those in power who benefitted now lay waste to the sentiment.
There is no we the people, for, or by the people.
No, just corrupt politicians hiding behind steeples,
Justifying their nasty maxim: might makes right:
Preaching with forked tongues their special sight
Into the forming of American society: never free.
No voice, vote, justice or peace, nothing will we be.
Democracy made a joke. Political fire set to stoke
Flames that burn people. Dead eyes watch them choke.
For my part though, I know, all is not lost.
Nor are hope and compassion tossed
From the hearts and minds of so many of us
When we share from the heart and trust
Not in our politicians, but us: true democracy’s source
For we are the people and change’s driving force.
Inner child, come out and play
Let’s dress up and make believe.
We’ll imagine, paint, and draw
Landscapes not found in this reality.
We’ll taste the sweetest victory
As we engage in feats of mystery:
We’ll ride feathered Griffins in cloud jousts,
And race sun chariots and dragons about.
We’ll swim by scale and fin the crystal seas,
Seeking out pearls and treasures aplenty.
On silvery wings that pierce night skies
With light that burns the darkness, we’ll fly.
Amidst the stars with glorious beasts,
We’ll play games of hide and seek.
We’ll laugh in glee as we slide on moonbeams,
And lovely nightingales serenade our reveries.
To sprites, goddesses, and queens,
We’ll whisper giggly truths of the heart
Knowing from the start our part –
Makers of magic and dreams.
Magics and Myths
A hidden truth surrounds us.
It even flows through and over us.
Hidden realms in which spirits dwell.
Fae, they are called, fairies, sprites, and even devas.
They reside where wildness grows and water flows.
Hollows and dales, within moss covered vales,
They are nature’s.
Sometimes, when humans know just how to look,
They can perceive their wild features.
Faeries burst in surprised, silvery delight
With heart love aplenty and joyous flight.
Nagas splash and play and with jeweled eye
Communicate their blessings. Hear their watery sigh.
Ancient trees gravely confer in passing
A soft reminder of cycles everlasting.
The spirited discourse of Zephyrs
Mistook for the rustling breeze through trees.
Secret places closes guarded by the ungently keepers;
Powerful beings of myth – magic-makers.
Trespassers beware lest you tread upon
Sacred sites of magic bearers not gone.
They speak not your tongue, but curse if you trample,
Making their magics undone; your energy they’ll sample.
Sipping delicately of your strength as they devour,
Your will no match for their unseen power.
However, those who know how to look can see
They steer clear the places these devas oversee.
Much thanks are awarded by the gentle folk
Though they do not bear society’s civil yolk.
Thus, their gratitude is instinctually given
To those who observe the richness undriven
By humankind’s need to seek false enrichment
And bear little to recommend favored treatment.
Magical dwellers of far lands do sometimes visit
Spirit bears, owls, wrens, and horses exhibit
Their beautiful freedom and come calling at night
During moon dreams and by stars’ magical light.
With the intertwining of these different realities
Souls in communion sing universal harmonies.
Dirt, moss, and lichen – nature’s glazing
The passing of society’s strict civilizing.
Becoming more and more one with nature
Til no trace can be found, a new forest creature.
Bodies slow down, hearts and minds sink deeper
Into Divine will, the disappearance profound.
No outer forces control or demand,
No man’s time, only nature, unrefined.
No rush, nor hurry, no hesitation and worries.
To be one with nature, a primal pass –
Allowed free reign, our spirits uncontained,
We become agents of change.
Provocateurs, words our frame.
We, who see the truths, speak from hearts unconfined
For heart truth lies within the spirits of humankind;
Our potential unknown and undefined.
Side by side, hand in hand, working with the land
All creatures sharing parts in the plan
We will one day know true abundance.
No prosperity for some and dearth for others
Because we all benefit:
I am because we are: infinite.
Enlightened knowledge shows the way,
Trammeling the arrogance of those who say
Competition is the only means to save us.
Man, woman, and child; we all are kin.
Therefore, humankind must find within
Love for all and equality.
Hate bares no resemblance to the will of Divine.
But humankind hides Love sublime,
Bowing down to the cold society: dissembling.
Mouths speak not from the heart, but from lies,
Fear passed down by our forebears;
An ancestry we must foreswear.
Open eyes, open hearts, we must make the start
Recover from the depths of our deepest heart,
Childlike innocence and wonder.
We may feel the sting of society’s beliefs
But in adversity we grow in strength.
Truth’s tongue resonates deep – relief.
Learn to love thyself and then all neighbors –
Not just yours, but ours, all Earth dwellers,
For we beat with one heart in allied behaviors.
Humans are one race – many cultures and ethnicities
Each with mind treasures and bounties to share,
Growth for all: plenty.
Fill your heart, but empty your mind.
With open ears, you will hear
Truths that are self evident.
Bear witness to these truths,
Feel the beauty with the pain,
Then, speak from the heart and soothe.
Survivors we all are in one way or another.
Our strengths and weaknesses the emotional vibrations
That fill our songs, discords and harmonizations.
Love lost, grieving, and betrayed.
We feel the sting of bent tongues, emotions splayed
Down to the bone, but still humans continue on.
For we also know the succor of finer feelings:
Enlightened hope, joy, love, and peace.
Divine healing and grace provide surcease.
Heart cries no longer abandoned
Heart listeners dare to hear the unburdened
As each person lets go the silence.
We hold out our hands and keep open hearts.
We listen – no judgement on our part.
We embrace you and healing starts.
For we know when heart overcomes mind,
And when love overcomes all of the hate,
We will see a rise and an expansion into divine.
Compassionate love will abate
Humanity’s great divide, tear down separation’s gate
Because Divine hearts will have no barriers.
We are all one, connected.
Spirits contained, but not heart interactions.
Love’s energy is free, no ego interjections.
You and me – one day, you’ll see.
In the infinity of time, there will be
An end to the you and an end to the me.
We will become pure synergy.
Copyright ©2020 by Ashley Marshall-O’Dell. All rights reserved.