Wednesday, January 23, 2019

{ maternal light } - mama. writer. photographer. yogi. lover. austin, tx

I walked away and closed my eyes. the thought of you is light coming up from my heart into my eyelids. my eyebrows lift and my shoulders drop.
I'd like to keep you in my arms, keep you close, and rock you to sleep.
earth angel always.
to me, you're pure sweetness.
when things hurt you, they hurt me.
the moment your smile slips away, I fear I can't bring it back.
this is a challenge of loving so deeply.
far outweighed by the light of seeing you throw your head back and laugh.
watching you experience life and all its new treasure.
you are beautiful, kind, tender, and hilarious.
stay vibrant.
be true.
spread your wings, love.

real real


stay tuned

stay tuned

garage gang


Friday, November 9, 2018

{golden notebook} - mama. writer. photographer. yogi. seeker. austin, tx

Life isn't always black and white. in my experience, I've witnessed a lot of greys. That place in between, where every question has two or more answers and my gut can't decide between fear of the known pain or unknown future.

When I decided to begin writing my memoir I had no idea how challenging it would be to recall the past and put it into words. As I've endeavored to embark on this writing journey, I halt daily. What is relevant and what needs to be shared? For a very private person who wants to be completely open, this is quite a challenge. Every night when I tell myself to sleep I am filled with the words of my story, but when I sit down to write them in my book, they evade me. I began my memoir in a journal, it is gold and simple. When my girls learned about this book, they would ask to be read stories from the golden notebook. Like me, they long to know their mother at an earlier stage in life. For them, I am trying hard to continue the writing. I struggle.
My voice.
My outline.
My time.

I recently had the privilege to meet my absolute favorite band of all time, The National. I received advice from a band member that has haunted me for weeks. He said, "you must finish this book."

I must finish.

I must keep going if I am ever going to finish.

If you're reading this now, feel free to hassle me, ask me how much I've written. Hold me accountable. Because my girls deserve as much as I can muster.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

{ f(re)emale } - writer. yogi. mama. photographer. lover. austin, tx

You can't shame me with your insecurity, I've grown too happy to be torn down.
When I begin to question, I come back to my mat, to my body, to my breath, to my light.
Finally, when I look at myself, I don't see your shadows on my skin.
Absence now feels like space, let me twirl, cartwheel, and fling myself into possibility.

Loving feels so good.
I have untrammelled energy for the many people I encounter.
The pain and self-doubt that once weighed me down was so clearly my bruised ego having a fit.
Now I can say "take a seat" to the voices and stories in my head when they start to pipe up.
A river of breath and love continue to wash the murkiness of my past.
My soul shine is evolving.

I don't care what you think of me, I care about what you feel.
Compassion I wear like an immaculate dress, even as I stand naked in front of the mirror.
Life is a spectacular revelation.
Each day new, with the potential to throw open the windows and demolish the masonry I so carefully constructed around my heart.

Freedom, today, feels like being a woman.

rugged love


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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

You went quietly into a place I couldn't reach. I saw it without my eyes and felt it without my hands.
Still, your body stayed and you spoke, but it wasn't you anymore.
Were you stolen or was it by choice?
Either way, the sunshine was gone and you were unrecognizable.

Were you hoping I could help you come back or did it feel good to be gone?
My days felt heavy, confusing, and like the ground was tilting underneath me.
I wasn't ready, I didn't see it coming and I had no plan of escape.

My shoulders wanted the end-of-a-long-day embrace I could count on.
My head wanted the firm flesh scented pillow of your bicep.
My mouth wanted the sweetness of your lips and saltiness of your skin.
I gave you my secrets, told you my scars, and you scratched them open and left me to bleed.
I asked for tenderness and it turned out to be too much to request.

Once I dated someone who believed "time heals every wound."
I don't know everything, but I don't believe that time is the healer.
Passing days, months, years even, have not eased certain aches from my heart.
Love is the mother, the father, the divine.
I can sit in this place is discord and nothing makes sense, except for love.

over it

Love the hard places until they become soft.
Love the ugliness until it shines beautifully.
Love the broken heart in your chest and knots in your belly until you can take a breath, and then another.
Love the days you have here and draw them out for a long, long time.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

{ that punctuating pause } - yogi. mama. writer. austin, tx

I struggle with this need to write.
Words swarm around inside me and for years I have slowly let them out.
I hold back, completely mute when I'm in the greatest pain.

When I've been dark and broody, all the words are still there.
But I cannot find the strength to share them.
My fears override everything and I lean on distraction to keep me from this place.

I read through my past in these posts and feel each pause like the depression that is was.
Always light and connection as I emerge.
My sharing has unfolded recently as a responsibility.
Who benefits from words unspoken, unwritten?

Evelyn asked me when I'd begin writing my book and I promised her "Tuesday."
Today is that Tuesday, that day I press my fingers to the keys and spill the past, curate the future, and probably make a big ole mess for some editor to clean up.

Multiple times a day I catch myself making judgments and being caught up in my own head.
Separating myself from others and falling short of my highest self.
Life happens, deadlines, things to learn, to-do lists, etc. and it pulls me.
I run from something I desire, a pattern that I work on as often as mindfulness.
I want to know you, I want to slow down and understand you.

Though I'll undoubtedly continue to self-criticize and question why anyone would care to read what I'm writing, I will write.
I'll give you the marred and ashen, the bright and exuberant, and pray that it lands where it is needed.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

{ w o m a n } - writer. mama. yogi. photographer. lover. austin, tx

I'm thankful for this life and the trials that have sharpened me strengthened me and enlarged my capacity for love. May I continue to come to the light and fall to my knees in gratitude that I have grown. Keep me humble and compassionate to those who spur me forward and may I never call it "rejection" again. I embrace that I may be too much.

I don't want to apologize or feel guilty anymore for being overwhelming.
My desire isn't to push, but something inside me naturally bolsters the greatness in you.
I've learned to walk again and it makes me believe that you can fly.
When I lost the love of my life, I took my tears and used them to lubricate your process.
Nights on my own I've begged to be released from these feelings, only to drop to the ground in gratitude that I can feel so much where numbness once lived.
I won't turn down the volume of my soul or slow the velocity of my vibration.
I'll peel away the layers and show you the stretch marks on my heart where it expanded when it was pulled.
As the contractions of my ego cause me pain, I'll breathe until all jealousy, self-loathing, and fears have been expelled.
When the music plays, I'll dance unabashedly with you, and when it stops I'll get closer and continue to sway.
I'm going to grow old with your head on my chest and the rise and fall of our breath like the low tide rolling in and out.
Through silence, I will exercise the strength and stability of my tongue.
And when I speak you will feel the potency of truth and love, it will smell like amber and taste like honey.
First thing in the morning, I'm going to wrap my arms around you, hold you close, and inhale.
Together we will exhale.
My passion is that you know you're loved, that you matter, that you are here on purpose.
I want you to chase that purpose and fill your pockets with memories and moments.
Because I've fallen, left, lost, purged, seethed, and picked myself up, I now know that I have the strength to stay with you.

i wish i could dance

"Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them." -- Unknown



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.



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.


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.


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.