Live It Now

Candlelight vigil to support Electoral College

Time stands still
And in the void an otherworldly voice
Begins to whisper from some unknown depths within,
And though her language is unknown
The heart still understands
And begins to whisper too
Softly at first, then growing louder
Until the voice becomes a roar
For all ears to receive

It is not by the color of our skin
Or the hairs on our heads,
The sound of the voice in our throats
The pew in which we sit,
Or the love we hold in our hearts for another
That we are persecuted so,

No, it is the brokenness,
A carried-down, ancestral aching,
Fierce clinging to ancient, entrenched philosophies
Hunger misguided by survival for the fittest
Which tortures and feeds our collective broken heart
The weeping dagger still twisting
In the open wound
Never bearing the opportunity
To experience the light of healing

Those who hold the power to turn the knife
And keep the wound always fresh and weeping
Believe they also hold the key to our survival
Yet they are wrong,
They mask a heart-known truth

We also hold the handle to the knife
And turn its blade deep into our own flesh
Each time we choose hate or indifference over love
Each time we choose personal safety over protection for another
Each time we choose blindness rather than to witness painful truth
Each time we choose, repeatedly, not to remove the knife
From our own bleeding hearts

So when we choose to fight the knife-bearers
Without removing our own knives
We also then choose
To fight ourselves

This truth, it lies inside each one of us
To heal the world
To heal ourselves
We must speak it now
We must live it now

©SpiritLed 2017

Inner Truth

inner truth2

Dear ones,
It’s not your job to save the world
Though you may feel it heavy on your bones
Like the weight of a thousand tomorrows
Crashing down like an angry wave
Which slips violently onto shore
And back out again with only darkness on its lips

Carrying sand, shells, sediment
Churning the contents of the shallow wading pools,
Disrupting the fishes at the shore,
Creating a subtle new reality after its retreat

Only to give way to the next,
Relentless in its consistency and calm,
Churning and changing in the gentle light,
Never leaving the shore
The same as it was found

And so, in your daily walk,
When the call becomes a battle cry,
Let the waves land upon your heart with love,
Churning up the sediment of fear,
Disrupting the pattern of resistance,
Creating a new truth –
A truth which is only found inside

©SpiritLed 2017

Alive

Shadow of Lady of Justice and light of God

People are alive,
Exploding from nothingness
Into awakening of senses,
Angry, restless, urging to step out
Make their presence known in this changing world

Where do we fit in?

How do we carry the light of justice and truth
Without getting burned in our own flame?

The sign of backlash is inevitable
In a world so full of passion,
So full of hunger for a new existence
Truth no longer gets us hanged or drowned,
Yet it still takes years sometimes to set us free

And so that freedom we seek
Must come from within,
Chains may hold our bodies
But nothing except lies and fear
May constrain the soul

©SpiritLed 2016

Transforming Chaos into Love

Heart shape made of butterflies on vintage field background

It’s been a roller coaster of a week, right?  For so many, it feels like the world is on the brink of monumental change.  And perhaps it is.  Is that such a bad thing?  I suppose it depends on who you ask.

What we do know is that, if nothing else, is that it feels chaotic and uncertain. 

So what to do now?  How to move forward? This question has different answers, depending on your worldview, beliefs, and values.  Spiritual teaching tells us that fighting against something only gives us more of it.  Yet we all need to find ways to feel safe and honored in our world, our communities, our homes, and our own bodies.  And to help others feel safe and honored as well.  In contemplating over the last week on how best to do this, I keep coming back to LOVE.

It’s a platitude, yes.  But I feel it’s become that because we’ve never given it the teeth it deserves.  We reduce love to nothing more than an emotion, when in reality, it’s an ACTION.  An intentional, daily choice to get up, take care of ourselves, other  people, and our world, and then do it again tomorrow.

Sadly, most of us don’t make love a daily action.  And understandably so.  We’re busy.  We see hate and indifference and injustice all around us.  It’s overwhelming.  And now here we sit, surrounded by chaos.

How then, can we transform this chaos into actionable love?

Do your homework – It is imperative in this day and age to be discerning.  We have an overload of information available to us at any given moment, and not all of is accurate or truthful.  What’s worse, much of what we read or watch only serves to support what we already believe.

If a story evokes a strong emotional response, that’s a trigger warning.  Instead of sharing, do your research.  Question everything.  Check sources.  Check your source’s sources.  Don’t share unverified memes and articles (here’s a link to fake, misleading, and satirical news sources).  Read up on history.  Read across your political and religious lines.  Information that is unkind or unbelievable is also often untrue, so follow that rule your mom taught you: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”    Better yet, go sit alone in prayer or meditation for a while and contemplate:  Is this kind? Is it true?  Is it necessary?

Why is this important?  Discernment is a valuable life skill.  It keeps us safe and healthy.  It helps us grow our natural gift of intuition.  And more importantly, love equals truth.  Love doesn’t need to lie to make its point or sway others to its side.

Lend people an ear (and an eye) – We want to be seen and heard.  We need to be seen and heard.  It’s basic human connection.  We want to know that our opinions, values, beliefs, traditions, and voices are important and they matter.  Because they are and they do.  And we don’t tend to listen to others until we feel heard ourselves.

Women and men sit in circles all over the world honoring each other’s truth, listening to each other’s voices, and witnessing each other’s range of emotions.  Without judgment.  Without debate.   It can be done.  People the world over also hold intense discussions around topics on which they have different views and beliefs.  They do it without name calling.  Or condemnation.  Or threat.  Or silence.  It can be done.

Why is this important?  As we open ourselves to other viewpoints and opinions, it paves the way for common ground.  Moreover, this kind of engagement – listening, witnessing, allowing for and encouraging differences and debate – relies on vulnerability, and love thrives in vulnerability.

Give love a voice – We’ve been taught that love is patient and kind, never envious or boastful or proud.  Not easily angered not keeping a record of wrongs.  This is nice, but frankly it also can keep us comfortable and tethered to passivity.

Sometimes, love needs to be loud.  Love needs to growl and howl and make its presence known.  Love needs to take center stage, even if it is booed.  Love needs to be outraged. Love needs to have a voice.  An angry voice.  A powerful voice.  A voice that speaks despite quivering with fear. A voice that makes us sit up and take notice.  A voice that demands a better future.

Why is this important?  Passive love feels nice for a while, but it doesn’t move us forward. Instead, we risk complacency and comfort, which makes us easy targets.  Love does not have to be quiet and submissive to get its point across.

Going forward, I encourage you to transform the chaos and give love a voice in your own way.  Sing, shout, dance, heal, protest, cry, celebrate, laugh, write, speak, study, collaborate, be the change you want to see.

And whatever you do, do it with the voice of love.

Love & light,
Ashley

P.S. If you’re feeling chaotic and need some love, reach out to me.  Through the end of November, I’m offering free distance healing.  Just contact me and you’ll be feeling the love in no time!