Tuesday, October 24, 2017

{ regarding #metoo } - writer. woman. yogi. mother. austin, tx

For a week I've been thinking about whether I would say more, but for 20 years I've known I should.

The first time it happened I didn't speak up.
I didn't say anything because I was just a kid, a very scared kid.
The first time morphed into an ongoing situation of abuse that lasted several months.
When you're 15 and feel ashamed, everything is a mess.
I was lying to protect the very person who was routinely hurting me.
I was lying to protect myself from what I thought would bring on more debilitating guilt.
I was completely shut down because that's what happens when you're afraid and underinformed.

It was a party, there was alcohol, I said "no" but should have tried harder.
In a small town, there was gossip by the very next day.
My upbringing taught me that I was responsible for making those bad decisions that placed me in danger.
I was completely isolated in my suffering.
Instead of allowing others to blame me, I went straight into blaming myself.

Years later I would come to acknowledge that my innocence had been stolen and that I was not the thief.

The next time it happened, I should have known better.
I was an adult.
I was with friends in a safe place.
How did I let this happen?
Again, I defaulted to shutting down and placing all the blame on myself.

It happened at a time when my heart was profoundly broken and I felt all alone.
I threw away regard for myself and began a path of self-destruction.
I wanted to earn every bruise and scratch he put on me.
Self-hatred carried me down a dark road.

And then I broke.
I split wide open and watched the darkness, I sat in it and begged to understand.
I touched every painful place and screamed at the demons I'd held down.
Light came from a place inside me.
I thought I had nothing, but it was there all along.
It was stifled and smothered and tender.
I saw it like a scared animal lost from a loving mother.
My light.
My loving touch.
I wasn't alone and I didn't deserve the years of believing that I was.
But I'm so grateful.

It's frightening to smile at strangers.
My heart cries "danger" far more often than necessary.
There is a hard-wired fear that I will always be left alone and unprotected.
I have to call my deeper wisdom to practice and choose to trust daily.
But I'm so grateful.

I learned that who I am is not what I've been through.
Who I am is love and forgiveness.
Who I am is compassion and connection.
And I can bring a soft and knowing touch to those who also hurt.
I know the darkness and the alone place and I'll go there with you to find your light.
It hasn't left you.
It never will.


sinking

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

{ feeling it } - photographer. yogi. lover. mama. writer. austin, tx.

I watched the water swirl as the currents rejected each other.
It glistened and rippled away from the giant concrete pillars.
Everything must go the direction life has set.
The clouds were spread out and fragmented, white against a stunning blue.
I can't feel the stitches in my back, but I'm careful.
There is a newness in my body.
It's been so long since I've felt my belly so deeply.
Creation, art, and power are stirring.
Welcome home.

how ELISE feels

Sunday, April 2, 2017

{ ripped } - yogi. writer. mama. lover. austin, tx.

I grieve the lost moments and the memories made only for a night.
Were we all just in it for a reward?
There is always a payback, I'm aware.
My heart sensed connection and I had so much love for y'all.
I saw the surface and I went under, over, and around.
Desperate to know the deepest of your soul.
But I was right there with you, numbing some gnarly pains.

The drops plummeted from the sky today and pierced my skin ruthlessly.
I tried to feel each one like shards of glass from above.
I let my clothes cling to me and my shoes fill with water.
Thunder shook me from the inside with the sweetest reverberation.
The sky, marred with clouds appeared to me blue, even as it deepened gray.
Do you crave these colors and experiences as I do?
I want to know all you feel.

Can we hold hands and place vision into each other?
Let me see what you see, take my touch, trust my friendship.
Give me something in return.
Be here, wake up, roll in the grass and smell the earth.
Close your eyes and feel the sun kiss your eyelids good morning.
Watch the movie of your dreams for the day dance before you.
Step into this life, friend.
Let it flutter in your belly and excite your imagination.

Breathe.
Touch.
Remember.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

{ raising women } - mama. yogi. lover. writer. austin, tx

I ask myself all the time if I'm qualified for things.
Have I learned enough to be an expert?
What if I give the wrong information?
Nowhere is that more present than in my parenting.
I'm helping guide 3 beautiful young ladies into their own.
Holy shit.
These girls are the most incredible and interesting souls, even when I remove my bias, they're so cool.
So what can I offer?
I've been thinking about some of the things I hope they retain, little nuggets I want them to carry forward.
We are inundated by images of women who act less than ladylike, and I want more for my girls.
I want them to flow through life gracefully and with joie de vivre.
All the good things, all the shadows, and a perfect blend of mysterious and endearing.
These are my girls.

us.

I encourage them to laugh, I'll do anything to make them laugh.
We dance ridiculously whenever we want.
We sing in public and see how much we can make each other blush.
We make up stories endlessly.
We ride a good joke to the very end.

I set the standard that my dad set.
My girls know that I walk next to traffic and they know why.
It's my job to take my girls on proper dates and spoil them.
My girls know they are queens.
There is no such thing as too much affection.

I tell them straight up.
Every question gets an honest answer, even when it's scary.
Every chance I get, I tell them how much I love them, how proud I am, and point out the good.
When they're out of line I call them out.
I apologize when I mess up.

shake it

I let them keep me young.
F*ck this snapchat thing, but for my girls, I'm all in.
We move together, running, yoga, rolling around, and unnumberable hugs.
I share my stories from childhood, reliving and letting them learn from my mistakes.
I let them play DJ and dance to Justin Bieber and Disney pop.

I offer them wisdom.
We play Elmore James and Otis Redding.
We watch movies from way before their time.
I see them as souls, not children, they understand so much.
We read a lot and talk about our books.

I love the random things we discuss.
I cherish the way they open up, the treasures of their life experience that they share with me.
I will protect them from any heartache I can, but when I can't and they hurt, I will hold them always.
I try to teach them manners.
I let them teach me and acknowledge what I don't know.
I adore that they'll humor me and walk in the rain and dance in the road.
I see their love and goodness touch the lives of many.
I can't wait to watch them change the world.


overcoming

Monday, March 27, 2017

{ wildflower } - yogi. lover. writer. mama. soul. austin, tx

Every day I run by the flowers and they beg me to lie down.
They draw me from the inside, the pull is so strong, but my resistance is stronger.
I know what will happen when I fall back into the field of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes.
Once more I'll drink in the poison of memory thinking it is nectar.
This is where we spent so much time saying nothing but breathing together.
For so long I couldn't even bring myself to this place because it was ours.
Your feet and mine pushing the sand and rocks deeper into the earth, while our future unfolded so clearly to only me.
I looked at the sky and saw sapphire even when it was raining.
The leaves didn't turn for me, even through fall and winter.
I thought that was our super power.
While I look over the field of blue and coral now it's all alone.
I'm back here, but without you.
The sky couldn't be bluer and the sun comes out just for me.
I ask the wind to blow over me and she does.
I've managed to have the experience of great, great love, and you weren't beside me this time.
You and I are both full of love, together beautiful, apart just as magnificent.
Even when I thought I was losing myself I was simply losing what I no longer need.
When I thought you were abandoning me, you were pushing me back to my light.
You're growing in ways that inspire me and I'm so proud of you.
My life has shifted to free me of old pains and crutches and I'm so proud of me.
Our time together now is new to me, it's a curious place I struggle with in my head.
However, in my heart, when I shut my eyes and press in, it becomes so easy.
You're my best friend and it makes no sense, but does it have to?
For now, I'm staying open, I'm letting go of my perfect boxes and explanations.
It takes deep breathing, a lot of sitting still, and sometimes tears.
In all the familiar places I close my eyes and I feel all that same love still inside me.
With or without you, I feel passion.
You created the space that now I must hold on my own, space where I learned to love.
Because of you I see how I need to give more, show up without hesitation or analyze the gifts.
My body will become an ocean that knows no shores.
My hands will share tenderness and touch, my feet will pound out pain and suffering, and my heart will remain open.
I stay away from the spell of the flowers because right now I'm running in the sweetness.

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