life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Encouragement”

I am here to tell you morning has come 

there’s this whisper promise 

in the breeze,

a bit of ethereal fog slipping between the sheets 

of night 

and dawn breaking.
there’s this rumor running 

afoot in this new born day,

a sideways glance of something – 

Oh it’s JOY! 

and all this glory burning hot. 
there’s this holy hushing

songs of angels,

a chorus of bluebells

bowing heads

softly clapping

as they watch it all approaching. 
there’s this first blush of light,

smudging darkness,

a bit like the bitter and sweet

mixed each day with our longing 

for joy to come nest. 
there’s a song playing on low

sometimes you forget to remember 

be still and know

as sure as spring follows winter

love always wins

listen to your heartbeat 

joy is our birthright 

right now

morning has come

🌞
Amy Lloyd (AL)


It could happen any time, tornado,

 earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.

 Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That’s why we wake

 and look out — no guarantees

 in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,

 like right now, like noon,

 like evening. 
Yes!
-William Stafford

At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

 

 – Albert Schweitzer

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what fire am i?  


i am the fire on the mountain

i am the fire by the sea

i am the fire in the forest

burning down all of the trees


i am the fire in the desert 

i am the fire in the snow

i am the fire that will warm you

when your bones have grown cold


i am the fire for your shelter

i am the fire for your bread

i am the fire for your hunger

whenever you go to bed

i am the fire on the water

i am the fire that is near

i am the fire burning your words

consuming your doubt and your fear


i am the fire of your longing

i am the fire of your soul

i am the fire of your loving

i will never grow cold


i am the fire for your winter

i am the fire for your spring

i am the fire of your living

passion and life i will bring


i am the fire of destruction

i am the fire where you die

i am the fire of your Phoenix 

as you rise, as you soar, to the sky

🔥

Amy Lloyd (AL)


world changer 

You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.

    – Carol Burnett

A KEY TO HAPPINESS — SPIRITUAL HUMILITY

So many religions and philosophies, ancient and modern, set forth paths to happiness, fulfillment and the end of suffering. Many of these paths are filled with great wisdom and deep spiritual insights that have helped countless people throughout the ages. I have been inspired by so many of these spiritual traditions; and I have learned so many hard lessons though my own inner struggles and challenges, as we all have. Consistent with so many of the spiritual traditions, I have found that one of the keys to happiness and finding a deep spiritual connection is cultivating a spiritual humility — reaching beyond our egos as best we can by quieting our minds with a bit of wisdom, by opening our hearts to a bit of unconditional loving-kindness, and by expressing a bit of gratitude for the light and wonder that has been given and that touches us even in the dark times.
1. WISDOM AND THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF ALL EXISTENCE. We — and all of life — are interconnected in a vast and boundless divine tapestry. Our belief that we have a separate, “fixed” self is a delusion that cuts us off from the flow of life and the interdependence of all things. We are nothing but a wondrous part of a larger, interwoven whole. To see all this, even a little, leaves us humble, but also touches us with a deep wisdom that we are connected at our core to something so much greater than we can imagine.
2. THE INNER SPIRIT. As a part of that greater whole, we are truly children of God, at one with the divine essence. Yet, when we come into this world at birth, we put on a limited and fragile ego mask that we wear throughout our lives, believing that the mask is our real self and forgetting our true, inner spirit that is a part of the greater divine radiance. So, we struggle to keep this mask-self safe, closing our eyes to the flow of the divine presence through our lives. Seeing all of this, even a little, we begin to see the futility and childishness of so many of our self-important dramas; and, with the resulting humility, we begin to let go of the ego games and begin instead to focus humbly and joyously on our connection to others and to the greater divine reality. 
3. JUDGE NOT. Looking with an open heart at the cosmos, we may begin to see, even if dimly, the presence of a boundless divine power that supports all of existence, guiding the planets in their orbits, causing the flowers to grow, holding all of the law of physics in the palm of a hand, and supporting our very existence. But, when we grasp after our ego-mask self, and forget our own inner spirit and its connection to the greater divine presence, we begin to make judgments, limiting and defining God, ourselves and each other. We think that we know better — indeed, we think we “know” what is really going on — but the mystery and wonder of existence is beyond any knowing. We do not know, for instance, the truth of another person and where he or she is on the spiritual path. Indeed, we do not even know who we are ourselves. How, then, can we presume to judge others and where they stand in God’s plan? How can we truly judge ourselves? And, even more importantly, how can we judge God, the ineffable foundation of all existence and non-existence? Seeing all this, even a little, we can only begin to humbly let go of our limited, ego-based judgments and open our minds and hearts to a gentle faith in the divine, in ourselves, and in each other. 
4. SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. So, how do we come to see all of the above and cultivate a joyous spiritual humility? Each must find their own way. For me, it come from a gentle spiritual practice: 
(a) First, I try to be mindful of the interconnection of all life, as well as of the impermanence and transience of my own ego-mask self. Then, with a little inner quiet and stillness, I try to watch for the presence of ineffable wonder; I listen for the quiet whispers of my own inner spirit; and I open my heart to the rumblings and reflections of the presence of a boundless God beyond all knowing or grasping.
(b) Next, each day I try to practice a little kindness and unconditional love, as best I can and with as much wisdom as I can muster, quietly shining some light in the darkness on myself and those around me. We all can open a window in our hearts to the divine and let the divine presence shine through us, as if through a glass darkly — but we can polish that glass each day to let in more and more light.
(c) I judge God, myself and others so much. So, I practice not judging by being mindful of how much I do judge, and examining how much of that judgment comes from my own arrogance or insecurity. I then think about the the mystery and power of the divine presence — and the preciousness and miracle of all life, including my own — and stop for a moment and acknowledge, as best I can, that the divine presence is boundless in ways I cannot begin to fathom or judge.    
(d) Finally, I try to find reasons to be grateful: for the presence of wonder, wisdom and light, even in the darkness; for the preciousness of my own life and that of others; and for the blessings, sometimes hidden, that grace my life. There are so many opportunities to express that gratitude to those around me through words and deeds; and to God in my prayers and in the songs of my heart. Finally, I try to express gratitude to myself in the words I use in speaking to myself. We all can begin to appreciate more our own inner, luminous spirits. Humility in the face of the overwhelming wonder of the universe may cause us to begin letting go of our ego games, but it also opens our vision up to the magnificence of the cosmos and to the luminous wonder of our place in it.
Simple Inner Truth by Steven Jay




words and eye above by Jen Lemen 

your prison is walking through this world all alone  – Deperado (lyric).  

You must leave a lot behind

for your life to become whole.
What the Beloved lets go of

to have you!
If there were a hell 

God would always be there 

carrying people out. 
There is a flock that is not well

without you.
When you think you’ve run away,

proud of your independence,

you’re really just lost.

You need each other. 
All of life is God’s party

at having found you.

Or maybe, today, another.
Don’t be ashamed to be brought in

on the shepherd’s shoulders:

you got lost in the best possible way,

looking for God. 

         

Remember each of the other ninety-nine

came the same way. 

         

         

__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net

listen to Love is My Religion



and before it can be begun

the wind whips the wisps of promise

out of our reaching hands

the hard ground dries the wettest seeds

the thorny earth strangles

the fragile thin ice easily breaking

plunges us under the dark icy water of yesterday’s pain

the sensitive places choke us

we allow old wounds to be reopened 

by new innocents

replay 

rewind

again and again

life is not always kind

love is not always given a chance to bloom

buds crushed early

unicorns are tricky

yeti never let themselves be fully seen

or photographed

quickly disappearing into the foggy forest 

yes, truth is written by those in the know:

“it is ours to win or lose”

so, what will we choose?

to step in or duck out?

some people love to talk loud about the desire to win

then secretly, swiftly throw the game

and silently walk away

thinking they are playing life safe

fear is a brutal master

comfort-zones will kill us all

though we’ll keep 

breathing for many years

trust is a deep quarry hidden within

the high walls of the castle

each kingdom must be won 

the beast slain by our courageous spirit

removing the massive heads of the monsters

with the found sword of our personal truths

Envision holding those fearful grotesque trophies aloft!

Stepping into your full name! 

Champion

Conquerer

Love always wins! 

You must choose it! 

You can do it,

were born that way! 

Amy Lloyd (AL)


All my life, I thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. Well, that’s a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly.
― Paulo Coelho 


Read that again:

All my life, I thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. Well, that’s a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly.
― Paulo Coelho 

blues jam



inhale to receive exhale to give      

Earth our waitress

            comes to the table in her rumpled apron

            stained with a hundred juices.

            “What will it be this morning?” 
            “Let’s start with some mist

            in one of those green valleys,

            and a cup of black loam with

            a single tree frog.

            Then fallen apples over easy

            with extra worms,

            a side of scattered leaves

            in a caramelized sunbeam.” 
            “That comes with Summer’s last

            abandoned bird’s nest salad.

            Or soup of the day, fern bog

            with skunk cabbage and blue

            chanterelles.” 
            “I’ll take the soup,

            a half carafe of Autumn rain,

            and a cruller the shape

            of a groundhog’s hole.” 
            She remembers your order by heart.

            Old ones keep coming back to this place.

            They bring grandchildren.

            She knows what you love. 
            There’s a line to get in.

            Sometimes it seems

            we have to wait a year,

            but its worth it.

🍃

Alfred K LaMotte

Packed in my mind lie all the clothes
   

Which outward nature wears,

And in its fashion’s hourly change
    

It all things else repairs.
In vain I look for change abroad,
    

And can no difference find,

Till some new ray of peace uncalled
   

 Illumes my inmost mind.
What is it gilds the trees and clouds,
   

 And paints the heavens so gay,

But yonder fast-abiding light
    

With its unchanging ray?
Lo, when the sun streams through the wood,
  

  Upon a winter’s morn,

Where’er his silent beams intrude
    

The murky night is gone.
How could the patient pine have known
    

The morning breeze would come,

Or humble flowers anticipate
    

The insect’s noonday hum,—
Till the new light with morning cheer
    

From far streamed through the aisles,

And nimbly told the forest trees
    

For many stretching miles?
I’ve heard within my inmost soul
    

Such cheerful morning news,

In the horizon of my mind
    

Have seen such orient hues,
As in the twilight of the dawn,
    

When the first birds awake,

Are heard within some silent wood,
    

Where they the small twigs break,
Or in the eastern skies are seen,
    

Before the sun appears,

The harbingers of summer heats
    

Which from afar he bears.
🌞

The Inward Morning 

Henry David Thoreau

Every night before I go to sleep

I say out loud

Three things that I’m grateful for,

All the significant, insignificant

Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.

It’s a small practice and humble,

And yet, I find I sleep better

Holding what lightens and softens my life

Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

Sunlight, and blueberries,

Good dogs and wool socks,

A fine rain,

A good friend,

Fresh basil and wild phlox,

My father’s good health,

My daughter’s new job,

The song that always makes me cry,

Always at the same part,

No matter how many times I hear it.

Decent coffee at the airport,

And your quiet breathing,

The stories you told me,

The frost patterns on the windows,

English horns and banjos,

Wood Thrush and June bugs,

The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,

An old coat,

A new poem,

My library card,

And that my car keeps running

Despite all the miles.

And after three things,

More often than not,

I get on a roll and I just keep on going,

I keep naming and listing,
Until I lie grinning,

Blankets pulled up to my chin,

Awash with wonder

At the sweetness of it all.
🤗

Three Gratitudes

BY CARRIE NEWCOMER
these two pictures are from Robin OK’s morning from Michigan. The rest are from my morning walk in Branford, CT with Phoebe Snow Good Times!


adding this below – just sent via text from my friend, Anni, currently in Scotland for her daughters wedding!! 

and from my friend, Bill…this day just keeps giving…


and from the lunch table


afterburner      


Ask yourself

As you stand there

In the pale grey air

Frozen to these four walls

Feet turned to stone

Decide!

What is worth saving?
Can you will your hands

To grab the memories

You carry only in your heart

Can you pack your boxes full

With the laughter that rings in your ears
The clouds taunt you

Hurry!

There is no time left

Three red flags declare your fate

The defiance of your feet

The moan caught in your throat

Your hands still empty

🔥

This Does Not Belong To You by Salyna Gracie
http://womenspiritualpoetry.blogspot.com/2014/10/this-does-not-belong-to-you-by-salyna.html?m=1

At any given moment 

we get to decide what we keep

and what we leave behind

what truly matters

what creates value for us

As my friend, Barbara McAfee, says,

“Who ya gonna be while you’re passing through?”

No one can answer that question for anyone else,

though many times we allow them to do so. 

Sometimes it’s a radical loss

we have lost everything we have kept dear

all our treasures in this world

in fire, flood, loss of jobs, health,

bloody battles with power hungry ex’s,

even flukey things never expected.

These are our opportunities 

when we only have ourselves left

and we burn as we adjust to this new space of being

the grieving takes us into different, 

often difficult, spaces 

where we get to (ok, have to) do a new thing

this is where life can reveal our best,

or worst, 

because, it’s always our choice! 

My wish for us is that

this becomes a beautiful foundation 

to rebuild our new ships –

the latest and greatest in technological wonders –

the kind which will catch the best wind

to take us to the next adventure  

for which we set sail!

Where our very lives become  

our grandest home ever!

The best is always yet to be! 

⛵️

Amy Lloyd (AL) 

aka The Oracle of Hope & Happiness

When there has been too much pain, we often forget that we have the built-in capacity to move through it to another state. The Divine gave us tears to be cried, the capacity to express our anger, a vast range of emotional devices that, when healthily unleashed and expressed, can clear the toxicity out of us, and lead us to lessons of self-love at the heart of them. In our authentic vulnerability lies our greatest power—the power to re open our hearts after loss and disappointment. The idea that feeling the pain gives power to those who have hurt us is completely wrong. Feeling the pain is an act of self-empowerment and the only way to make a break from the prison of repressed emotions. Reach inside and unlock the door…


– Jeff Brown



where’ve you been? 

The rising moon has hid the stars;

Her level rays, 

like golden bars,
       

Lie on the landscape green,
     

 With shadows brown between.
And silver white the river gleams,

As if Diana, in her dreams,
     

 Had dropt her silver bow
       

Upon the meadows low.
On such a tranquil night as this,

She woke Endymion with a kiss,
       

When, sleeping in the grove,
       

He dreamed not of her love.
Like Dian’s kiss, 

unasked, unsought,

Love gives itself, but is not bought;
       

Her voice, nor sound betrays
      

 Its deep, impassioned gaze.
It comes,

—the beautiful, the free,

The crown of all humanity,—
     

  In silence and alone
      

 To seek the elected one.
It lifts the boughs, 

whose shadows deep,

Are Life’s oblivion, the soul’s sleep,
       

And kisses the closed eyes
     

  Of him, who slumbering lies.
O, weary hearts! O, slumbering eyes!

O, drooping souls, whose destinies
       

Are fraught with fear and pain,
       

Ye shall be loved again!
No one is so accursed by fate,

No one so utterly desolate,
    

   But some heart, though unknown,
       

Responds unto his own.
Responds,

—as if with unseen wings,

A breath from heaven had touched its strings
    

   And whispers, in its song,
      

“Where hast though stayed so long!”

😍
  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I’ll always want to drive with you.

I’ll always want to trace 

all the corners of the world 

with my own bare hands. 

We’ll whirl by the exits like flight. 

Like wind. 

Two birds collecting stories. 

Breaking all cages. 

Chasing our whims.

Maybe we could leave tonight

without falling far behind

we’ll shed our pain and armor

and be in this music,

these dreams, 

these roads.

Yours and mine.

We’ll find the center 

of everything

and we will ride.

We’ll just drive.

🚘

by Victoria Erickson, Writer



the wild & salty now 


Welcome and entertain them all

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

🏡

Parker J. Palmer with a light-hearted metaphor from Rumi — on the unexpected visitor and welcoming her in, serendipitous chaos and all.


I paddled a small boat

through wind and waves in the open sea,

the wind wanting to wipe me sideways,

waves lurching me about,

the constant pressing, the effort, 

the all aloneness of it,

a little dot in an ocean wide of green,

the struggle so welcome, so satisfying,
because I was there. 
I have climbed mountains and hiked deserts,

raised children and journeyed through a marriage

simply to be there.
You have swung the hammer, sewed the seams, 

taken the bus, changed the diapers,

recovered from the illness, done the time.

You run races, you wash dishes,

you row your body through its failings,

you work the work of youth or of aging,

you put your shoulder to it.

Even in prayer’s stillness

you go the distance.
This is the holy pilgrimage:

to meet the given day.

You give yourself to this moment as it is,

hand to hand, all in,

and beyond all accomplishment

you are given the gift 

of this life.

You come home with salt in your hair

and a whole wide sea in your heart. 

      
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


Yesterday afternoon I watched Kate Hudson die in her movie,

A Bit of Heaven,

and I thought about how important our little bit of time is here on this earth. 

The vast importance of now! 

To never hold back sharing our love,

our bit of time here with the ones we love. 

This morning, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed,

I read posts from various friends,

anniversaries of loss. 

The shock of too young loss. 

The bewilderment of unexpected loss. 

The anger of longing for the love loss. 

Missing persons. 

Persons missing persons. 

I listened to the music these friends shared. 

Music chosen in a very personal, intimate way,

helping them deal, 

bringing them comfort,

tapping into their passion, 

their anger,

their extreme feelings,

their great oceans of emotion. 

Music helping them allow,

helping them to move,

helping them release,

as they remain here, feeling left and bereft. 

Music. Always music. 

I cried with them, 

for them,

for my own tsunami of losses. 

As their music poured into me,

I felt their particular loss, 

and I stood along side them and held them in love. 

I honor the grieving hearts of the world. 

I honor the gift, and power, of music. 

🎼

Amy Lloyd (AL)


A New Thing  


I am learning a new thing

I am digging deep into my belief systems

My very foundation –

the thing I learned,

the thing I wanted,

from the very beginning. 

The very thing I have based every decision of my life on for 51 years,

has crumbled,

discovered hidden and rotten 

under every good thing I’ve attempted to build. 

I kept wonder why my fabulous additions 

kept falling down around my ears…

now I see the gaping ground fault,

the illusive, sinking sand,

which I must release and repair. 

It’s very difficult. 

It’s extremely frightening. 

It’s supremely challenging. 

My new thing goes against the grain 

of everything I’ve ever thought, 

dreamed,

done…

since my very earliest childhood memories. 

It’s been so very expensive. 

Life built. 

Time spent. 

Dreams bent. 

All washing away

as I open my hands and allow 

a new firm foundation 

to be built

as the levee breaks 

and carries the remaining sinking sand 

forever away…

times…

they are a changing!




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