Today is my birthday. The passage of time is a curious thing. It feels as if I continually grow closer to new beginnings where life swims in my body with greater ease. This has less to do with the number of years as with the poetry of living moments that shape days.

Life is stirring and expanding for each of us in some way. This may occur unexpectedly as our skills emerge creatively. For example, yoga and qigong have been part of my life for 30+ years. Both practices live in my bones. I lead qigong classes that begin with yoga warm-ups. The Gentle Flow Yoga that I instruct is laced with qigong transitions. Rather than being a conscious effort to integrate two different things, a fluid moving confluence of both practices simply occurs.

From our first cry at birth our voice and expression in the world grows. It is said that in our early years, we aim to achieve. In our middle years, we gain perspective. In our later years, wisdom grows. This general trajectory speaks to our psychology.

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Something is here in nothing.

A silky darkness.

A wild emptiness.

A river of shapes and sound.

A face with its never-before, never-after turn of lips.

Just so and never again,

lighting universes and rainbows

as tongues of fire singe my heart.

Photo by Elizabeth Gadd

The essential stream of life that animates wind and breathes in stone, equally moves in our heart freely like breath in lungs. The soul of the world is both deeply personal and universal and longs for its full wonder to come alive in us.
We come to life in the best way we can as we learn to open beyond what we know. We plunge into life’s fiery furnace or we cling to comfortable territory. We risk our separateness and give ourselves to life or we attempt to bend life to our will. Polarities are the stuff of everyday life. As opinions and actions polarize and voice themselves louder in the world, life points us to our heart and its heartbeat of wholeness. Here, we meet the heart and soul of all life.

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We learned to identify our life by our circumstances, experiences and the manifest form we see. Deeper, like an underground drum pounding its rhythm through roots and treetops, life calls attention to wholeness.

Beyond what is known, life invites experiencing this moment where an unseen and seen are realized as one. Here, kingdoms of dark mystery and a fresh moment of potential merge.

This timeless moment, a portal into unknown kingdoms, includes all potential. Beyond learned structure, yet including it, this eternal space of life offers majesty of fresh form and experience. Nothing is left out.

Creation dances, an entwined tempter and temptress, seductive and alluring, thirsty for love, simply wanting to express. Light and dark, manifest and unmanifest, human and divine, kingdoms converging in time and space. Not separate. One evolution, one expression of creation and one eternal kiss of emerging grace.

From the silent depths of what is forever unknowable, life opens its wet eyes in the wonder and awe of a bird winging south in a wind blowing north. Its radiant heart sings while basking in the shine of butterflies with breeze in their wings.

Friend, consider stopping here, in silence, right here, where kingdoms converge. Here, where grace finds us, where our ever-so-ordinary-moments are, indeed, miracles.

Photo by Elena Shumlova

A brave and beautiful life calls us into mystery where we are drenched in invitation to be all that we are.

A great movement of authenticity is sweeping through every corner of the world. Depending on your perspective, this may look messy and far from truth.

Closer into silence where wisdom runs deep in us, where raw, kind honesty emerges from vulnerability we can discover a momentum that is real, authentic and true.

We are all wired to discover our authenticity, the genuine realness that comes from landing in our light and standing in our bones.

Authenticity is much more than telling the truth and living in alignment with our values, yet this is part of it.

Being authentic is living with an available heart, open in vulnerability, humility and simplicity.

It’s saying yes to mystery, to light, to earthiness and fire, and to being all we are.

It’s leaving the sidelines, participating, sharing, giving and receiving without agenda to feel good about a separate sense of self. We’re compelled to offer what we can because our love is so great we can’t do otherwise.

At times when we can’t show up, even for ourselves, authenticity is gentle kindness in this moment’s experience. This allows our heart to stay open to the whole of life, including the glory and the grittiness.

True embodied authenticity naturally expresses as uniqueness, as new and upleveled capacities and an unyielding desire to give our self to life. For we deeply realize that we ARE life and we cannot hold ourselves as separate.

As pioneers in a more whole and authentic world we are called to live in presence with room in our heart for darkness longing itself into light.

At this creative edge the mystery of timelessness mingles with time-bound energy and the fleshy miracle of our authenticity-in-action is set free.

Photo by Elizabeth Gadd

This morning she was a wormy thing on the butterfly bush near my patio. Now she swims in the air around my head. Is she learning the lessons of wings and the lift of breeze? Or is she born to that vitality?

What vitality are we born to? Do not for a moment be fooled that I have answers to life’s questions. I simply ask until my edges fall into a cavern of wisdom and a whisper swims into my heart.

Sometimes life includes a radical departure from the norm. We may be moved to do or be or let go in unexpected ways. Sometimes there’s a tug from our heart or a poke from grace that simply cannot be ignored.

My great grandmother may have felt this way the day she stood on a dock to travel from Ireland to America. Being a single mother, traveling to the “new world” with her son required that a man accompany her. So she posed as the wife of a gentleman she met that day who also was coming to the U.S. It was then that our family surname changed to support her passage into a new world.

Names and stories are part of life though they do not define truth. This summer is a season of truth. Much truth will likely come to light in world circumstances yet the truth I speak of here reflects a truth that moves in silence and mystery and births new worlds. Read more

A change in seasons points our attention to new life yet every day is a new season with new life. Every moment is a new tide washing us with fresh opportunity to choose what is here now — a pulse inside that is breathing itself alive as wildly varied expressions in this wide amazing world.

Photo by Elena Shumlova

When I was 3, my parents were my center.
When I was 25, my own family was my center.
Life wore on, wearing me like springtime and winter.
When I was 40, I was stripped to a raw center.

Today my center is the altar of this moment.

This centerless life is a Nameless Beauty.
Her heart, a universe
her belly, a mystery
her breath a timeless wind.

It’s a fast world.
Viewpoints and boundaries are thinning.
Veils of unconsciousness are lifting.
Horizons are merging.
Global ideas are colliding and polarizing.
Life is a curious thing as winter lets go into spring.

The increasing speed of life calls us to live at a pace of presence with heart, sensitivity and soul. This season invites ending a soul-shriveling race to get “elsewhere” that we think will provide enhanced tomorrows. Life offers the discovery of a ripening tide “here” where the play of creation leads naturally to fresh ground and a future we can inhabit fully.

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