Breathing Space

My Dear Amazing Readers,

For several weeks now I’ve had this inkling of retrieving from the information highway.   Each time I’ve gone on a hike or taken my long walks into the wilderness, I’ve had a gentle voice nudging me to go inward.  And, I don’t mean for an hour in my morning meditations.  People go to monasteries, pilgrimages, and retreats to center and ground themselves.  I live in the most amazing place in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  I have all the makings of such a place.  People from all over the globe come here to find that peace.  I marvel at their awareness from the moment they enter the property until they leave.  So, after a busy summer season, and what is now a busy fall one, I know I need to listen to the voice gently expressing the need for rest.

I am taking a sabbatical from writing.  I am making my own breathing space of quietude.  I don’t know for how long…going to try for 30 days.  I deactivated my Facebook account yesterday.  That felt good!  I just want to have no distractions of interacting with cyber space.  I want to move gently through the next few weeks and be detached.  Obviously, I have a business to run, a 9 month old to care for, so I mean detached from my own blah-blah-blah-ness of external chaos. My spirit is nudging me to take this break.  I am truly exhausted from reading/writing my own thoughts and transpiring into the Internet.   Sometimes a lot is way too much!  It’s time to simplify and return to the good ole handwritten journal that smudges with tears, food stains, and outdoor living.

I thank you all for your constant words of encouragement, support and thoughts.  I am humbled by the amount of love out there for the words that I write. I still can’t believe anyone follows me on this site!  It is an honor to share and interact with y’all. But, at this present moment this feels right.  I think we all need a break every so often.  I urge you to do the same whenever you can so that your soul can recharge.  This is my vacation.  I find the voice gently getting excited at the thought of no technology.

My only plan for the next 30 days is to hike before it gets too cold, visit waterfalls, watch autumn evolve into its breathtaking beauty in the mountains, and just sit with myself as often as I can.  I want to get to know this woman who has endured so much in 9 months: from a near death experience, to raising another child, to helping others through divine guidance.  I have always been a horrible phone person so I won’t make excuses for not answering!  Silence is sometimes the loudest voice out there.  It’s whimsically exciting to hear it for a few weeks.   I can put on a costume of social grace with the business…I just can’t seem to put one on for me at all times in my personal life.  My inner child is yearning this moment to get to the root of some clearing from the past (amazing the things that come up when you stop the distractions).  There are still some little monsters lurking in the closet.  And, I feel this time will be about finding the courage to finally release them.

So until then…keep writing your beautiful blogs.  Keep inspiring each other and yourselves.  I will be back in just a few.  Have a great month!

Much love and light to all….Millie

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Falling

I fell in love…

s-l-o-w-l-y

and then

abruptly,

like the rough edges

of a mountain

letting one go.

…I…

t

u

m

b

l

e

d

all at once

into your arms

and you

caught me

kissing life back into

my soul.

 

I’ve not quite landed YET!

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Make Time for Play

Playtime in the water

I am the happiest when I am picking up rocks, getting dirty in a river or creek, making mud pies after the rain has passed through.  I wasn’t allowed to do this as a child.  Cleanliness was a virtue, right up there with Godliness.  Now as a middle aged woman I get to revert to playing as much as possible.  Very few people know this side of me.  This is my private and goofy time to interact with Mother Earth.  My best friend took this photo on hiking trip last year up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Graveyard Fields.  The water was cold but so spectacularly clear.  I saw a rock, heard it calling for me to fetch it in the middle of the river, and I had to go after it.  Almost lost my balance in the slippery algae-filled stones but I laughed all the way back to the edge.

The presence of something greater than me lives in these mountains and beacons for me to join the mysteries.  I cannot teach this to others, or encourage them to follow me into the depth of rivers fishing out whatever is enticing me.  All I know that in those moments I am not joyous, I am pure ecstasy.  I am not happy, I am complete contentment.  I beam with giddiness, laughter, and the innocence of a child.  The city girl with high heels, hoop earrings and great outfits is still in me.  But, I have witnessed the stripping of superficialities. I love the simplicity of holding a rock in my hands and feeling the energy of the Divine.  I enjoy taking a shower and witnessing parts of the earth drain away from me.   I never understand how I get mud in my ears and hair when I haven’t been completely submerged in the waters.  Somehow the Earth wants me to take pieces of Her home.

I only hope that in the midst of busyness, craziness, and modern life routines you can take time to play in whatever calls for you.  You will always find the truth of who you are by growing down rather than up.  Silliness is marvelous!

To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.  Most persons do not see the sun.  At least they have a very superficial seeing.  The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child.  The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Dressing the Part

Bearwallow Mountain TrailA few mornings ago I decided to go on a hike up the mountain near our place. As I began trekking up the path I came upon a young man all geared up in what looked like the poster child of a true hiker: expensive boots, nice backpack, walking sticks for climbing the Himalayas, and a great windbreaker. He was standing on the middle of the trail in deep thought staring at the tracks on the dirt. I said, “Good morning.” Took off my headphones when his lips started moving.

“Are these bear tracks here?” He asked with great concern pointing to the soil.

“Yes, they are! You do know you are on Bearwallow Mountain?”

“Are you going up?” He asks with hesitation.

I answered, “That’s my intention!”

“But what about the bears?”

I say casually, “They don’t bother anyone. I’ve been hiking this mountain for several years and have never come across any on the hike. I have friends who have but they are more scared of people than you can imagine. I’ve seen them down on the road while driving.”

“Oh….I don’t know,” He adds while taking off his cap and scratching his head. I saw the fear and anxiety spew out of his pores. He was definitely out of his comfort zone.

I passed him with a smile and said, “Good luck then. Believe me, if you are meant to see a bear you will see one!!!”

As I continued my trek I kept thinking of him and how well he dressed the hiking element. He looked the part. He was ready to climb, explore and experience freedom. I sat on the summit admiring the 360 degrees of mountain ranges with joy on a clear-cool-autumn day. A while later I saw him below reaching the entrance of the path with a map, sunglasses and a complete disorientation that would make a drunken man seem sober. I giggled, not at him, but at how we are in our humanness. We are lost in the illusions of what we expect. He was so confined to the presumption of what would be up on the mountain that he missed the opportunity of enjoying the journey.  And, it is a gorgeous trail.

We play our parts well. Sometimes not so much! Here was this man dressed up to hike on a mountain alone. I can assume this was huge for him to be in a different part of the Appalachians and conquer this moment, which is exciting, nerve-wrecking, and an exploration to something in his spirit. Hiking is a rush, a form of meditation, and a way to join with the dance of nature. I am reminded that I have been him a million times before. I have played the part to a specific drama, said the right lines, worn the perfect outfit, to later find that I wasn’t being authentic to my spirit. I was just acting out what society expected. We tend to wear costumes for the places we expect to conquer. We put the uniform that best suits our purpose and move through the motions of leaving the comfort zone. But, all along the comfort zone is still secretly holding us from venturing outside of our minds. We live on fear and the claws of uncertainty.

I have very few fears. They are not snakes or bears. They are tiny lizards that when crossing my path on a hike I get off the trail running hysterically. Seriously, a lizard, gecko, salamander or whatever looks like one will push me over the edge. I have tried to get to the bottom of this phobia and it seems it’s paralyzing. I am not afraid of spiders, or anything that can actually kill me. I am afraid of a reptile that logically is more frighten of me. How do I go hiking? How do I garden? How do I enjoy nature? Well, I try not to think about it. There is no such thing as lizard tracks…so I must go on through the trails praying I don’t come across one. I don’t dress the part. I know my fear. I don’t pretend to be a hiker. I am a hiker. I sat up on the boulder watching this young guy hoping he found solace and congratulated himself for conquering the mountain…and not coming across a bear. I sent him love from up there, soul-to-soul, padding his back with a “job-well-done affirmation.”

Fear is a costume we choose to wear. I am consciously aware of this. And, unfortunately we attract those things we fear (because I find lizards in places that shouldn’t have them). I know the way fear feels when it’s close to the surface. We dress our parts with pretenses, avoiding the underlining issue for the trauma, circumstances, and/or event. This encounter made me very aware of my own fear of lizards and how much it presents itself when I am doing what I love. Kudos to the ones who surpass the anxiety and find their truth. It is beautiful. If you can undress the nuisance, find the rawness of being vulnerable with yourself, admit it to you and others, then you are far more advanced than many. I take my hat off to you! It’s not easy to show our helplessness.  It’s not fun to show the humanness of vulnerability. But, it is our right to respect those fears in others.  We all deserve at least that!

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Through You

You are my reflection
of perfection
without any pretenses about
how I should be,
where I‘ve been,
how many mistakes I‘ve made.
I am beautiful
when I stare into your eyes
and there is nothing
that can change the delicate vision,
the magic reflecting through your soul,
that brings me to a place
of innocence.
I am better because of you.
I am a princess,
a mother,
a child,
a conqueror,
a lover –
whenever you hold my eyes,
and allow them to follow
you to a place
I‘ve never been before.
Without words,
I know that love exists
and with your touch
I know it will never die.
In you
I see what no one else can:
pure energy for life;
decency for another;
a validation for my existence;
humanness and compassion;
the thread of all there is in the universe.
In you
I am all –
simple and complicated;
moody and irrational;
loving and not;
laughter and silliness;
BUT
you still adore me
in spite of it all
because in you
I am a spontaneous adventure
full of serendipitous moments.

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Loving the Impossible

grandparent

My grandfather was a grumpy old man.  Most people were intimidated and afraid of his demeanor.  He was hard on the outside.  We were taught early on to fear and respect him.  On one of our summer trips to Puerto Rico my mother warned us about staying out of his way.  He had this big office and would spend most of the day in there.  I would go inside and sit by him.  At eleven years of age I loved adults.  I enjoyed elderly people.  We could relate to one another.  We would sit in silence for a while.  Then he would ask if I had something to play with outside of his office.  I would say, “No, I’m fine.  Whatcha doing?”  He would grunt.  He would say I asked a lot of questions.  He would then continue working.  On his desk he had pictures of children from South America.  I asked him if they were part of our family.  He grunted with a no.  I would press on day after day until one day I saw him making out a check to a foundation.  He had children he would sponsor.  I later found out he helped a lot of people who never asked anything of him.  This is the type of man he was.  He was impossible on the outside but a teddy bear on the inside.  It was that moment that changed my perception of him forever.

As I grew older and my grandparents moved closer to us in South Florida I would go visit him.  Every time I would leave I would hug him and asked him to tell me he loved me.  He would grunt and tried to kick me out.  I would just go back and sit on the sofa until he would tell me.  One day he said in Spanish, “You love the impossible, don’t you?”  This caught me off guard.  He would mumble the words, “I love you” in English as if pulling teeth.  I would then proceed to ask for a smile.  This was a dance we did for many years.  He wasn’t impossible.  He was all things possible.  He was a strong man with structure and tenacity.  My mother used to beg me not to bother him when I would visit.  To no avail, I needed his impossibilities.  He was one of the greatest loves because of them.

I love.  I do love the impossible because I’m possible and like magnets we attract.  Most folks who are difficult and hard have the softest interiors.  They are the silent ones who help without needing acknowledgement.  They are the ones who donate money and worry about the welfare of the underdogs.  We are not all on the same spectrum.  But love is love regardless of the impossible or the possible.  It is timeless, space-less, self-less, placeless, and priceless.   At times I hear my grandfather’s questions in my head when I meet the “impossible” ones.  I hear my answer to him each time, “Because all things are possible.  The word impossible says I’m possible of everything.”  He would grunt and tried hard not to smile.  We are all possible and deserve to be loved for the differences of interiors and exteriors.

How do we love?  How do we pick who to love?  Is there such a guide to loving? I might not agree with someone’s views, opinions or way of life, but I do stand with an open heart.  I have had exes who stole my heart and will continue to be loved by me.  Our time came to an end and we learned and evolved.  But, the love will always remain somewhere in a box close to heart.  I’ve had friends who meant the world to me, inseparable, and time came and went and they are no longer in my life.  But, when I think of them my heart smiles because they existed to fill a void, to love all parts of us, and to teach me forgiveness in me and them.  And, with my own children, some have arrived deeply wounded and I have loved and had to let go.  They are always loved.  We don’t have to love with a heavy heart those who ruffle our feathers.  We have to love with an opened one.  That’s how we love.  That’s how we connect to the divine.  People and situations get placed in our path to evolve and better our higher selves.  We deserve to acknowledge those parts of others and us.  I love.  You love.  We all love one way or another.  No two loves are the same.  No two souls can match exactly.  But, when you love from a place of truth, forgiveness, compassion, grace, and boundaries, there is no such thing as impossible.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”~Shel Silverstein

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Marketing Words

writing

I have a hard time promoting myself. I don’t know how to endorse my own creativity. I have two books out on Amazon and I rarely ever mention them. Actually, I forget they are out there. When I wrote Ballerina in a Bottle I wrote it from a dream before my life changed so drastically. The story is pretty parallel to my past. I showed it to a friend who is a writer and he suggested I finish it about a two years ago. It was like pulling my heart out of my chest with my bare hands. Excruciating! Many folks asked why I didn’t make a full length novel. The truth is that just being the length of a novela was difficult. This was part of the healing process. My other book, A Soul’s Peaceful Quest: Lessons from the Path is a compilation of my muses, lessons and stories. Many of the chapters come from blog entries which were removed once the book was out there.

Mark Nepo writes, “Often we repeat stories, not because we are forgetful or indulgent, but because there is too much meaning to digest in one expression. So we keep sharing the story that presses on our heart until we understand it all.” I never thought of myself as a writer. I still don’t label me as a writer of any kind. I am a story teller of common stories, situations and events. I share my experiences with hope that someone out there can say, “Oh my goodness, I’m not alone.” I also share them because I am working through them so I write them for me. At times the words come through and I have no clue how they arrive. Writing is therapy. It calls out in the middle of the night. It has coffee with me every morning. It recites parts of my soul while showering. It sings through the landscape while I am driving. Phrases slip into poems while in nature with every single step. Words fall out in a way that complete the pieces of me that have never been touched. At other times words magnify the essence of events, situations and allow me to heal through each letter, syllable and sentence. Many of these stories never make it outside of a computer file or a handwritten journal. They are hidden in there with the intimate parts of me. These are narrations that leave and dance in the process of exploration to rejuvenate, recharge and release the shadow parts of my essence.

I began working on a third book called Love Transcends. I also have a computer folder with thousands of poems waiting to be shared. It’s exhausting to go through my own words to clear the ones who can be contributed. I was blessed to have my fiance do the other two books and set them up for me. He is encouraging. I am forever grateful. Matt is a talented and amazing writer. Our lives have evolved into other areas that at the moment require our full presence wholeheartedly. So, I will continue to write at a snail pace until it is completed in a way I can share.

If you are ever in the market for a muse or a bit of inspiration check out those two books. I hope they will inspire you in a way that they touched me and healed my spirit. Mucho love to all.

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