theater of the imagination

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players
-As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

Maybe when you act, you’re not necessarily putting up a false facade.

Maybe you are exaggerating, for theatrical effect, parts of yourself that already exist.

You are a living, breathing hyperbole.

You don’t have to live a double life. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be simple, a matter of choosing which parts of yourself to emphasize and which to keep tucked behind the curtain, out of sight but still very much present.

Just because parts of yourself—the wild, loud, sensual, scandalous—are hidden, does not mean they don’t play a role. They are the ones working the pulleys, flicking the switches, turning on the lights and cueing the music.

They are the secret behind your radiance, the reason for the light behind your smile.

Your secret: it’s not your work that’s making you happy. It’s your inner world.

It’s so bright it radiates outward and colors all that you touch.

The mask may hide your true face, but it’s a beautiful mask, something you’re fond of wearing.

Like a magician employing distraction to great effect, you engage in emotional slight of hand. A light deception, nothing to be ashamed of—on the contrary, essential to survival.

It is merely a choice of where to train the spotlight.

Your workday then becomes a playful dance. Your uniform, your costume. Each movement a deliberate expression of your newfound awareness.

Give yourself permission to feel beautiful without regard to your reflection in the mirror. Say your lines, take a bow, and then go home.

Remember what happens when you screw up onstage? You improvise. You take that mistake and you run with it. The show must go on.

The trick is to keep your eyes up and out. The second you make eye contact with a member of the audience, boom, your dance, your lines are wiped clean from your memory. In day-to-day life, you can’t avoid making eye contact. But you can keep your chin up and your inner focus up and out. The woman behind the curtain keeps her gaze high and her inner eye trained on the horizon.

victory

rejoice
in your heartache’s
resurfacing.
in that moment
long ago
you had not the strength
to bear the pain
meant to be yours alone
so you hid it away
until
today.
accept the confirmation
of your unconscious
for finally
you have passed the test.
feel it throb in every fiber
& know you will not break.
this has always been 
about power—
seize it.
you are the agent
of your own momentum.
the moment you embrace it
& declare “this, i can
abide”—
its hold upon you
will ease.
all this time it has waited
for your surrender.
allow it in every atom
& stand victorious
among the wreckage of what
used to be.

instinct

when birds sing
are they aware of their audience?

or do they simply sing
because they know they must?

be the bird you hear through your window
who doesn’t know you’re listening.

sing
not because someone is listening
but because you know you must.

you never know whose ears your song will reach
& you may never find out.

perhaps it is better that way.

choice

I no longer tolerate poison inside myself.

I no longer tolerate hatred

anxiety

shame

self pity.

This doesn’t mean they won’t overwhelm or attack me.

It means in the middle of the storm, I will hold fast to the Eye that says:

you can do better.

I no longer have patience

for soul-poison.

I am human; it may fool me for a moment.

But it will not claim me.

I will be tested. Again & again.

I don’t know how I will make it.

That’s okay. I’ll start there.

I’ll start with “I don’t know”

& give the rest up to Spirit

so that when something comes along that is not of my Divine nature,

I will recognize it.

People may not understand.

That’s the hardest part.

Keeping my Spirit under lock & key

helps me feel safe around others.

I seek to release the fear

of what they will think–

of my refusal

to settle for less

than the glory we were made for.

Now, instead of approval

I will seek soul-fire.

reconsider

your prison
is your
wilderness
your cage
an open sky
for why would you 
create if not
escape
from space confined
wise women know
the caged bird's song
wise men
the battle cry
of soul unleashed
from genie's lamp
of hands from
rope untied.
curse not your chains nor weights of stone
for without them art would be unknown.

again & again

it seems to me that all these books
contain again & again
a single truth
each breath
each page
an iteration never-ending
we seek it
in each new
book
taste
lover
until one day
if we're lucky
we see we've held it
in our hands all along.
even the wisest among us
so long as they draw breath
are fated to repeat
the lesson over and over.
the only difference
between the enlightened & you & I
is that the masters do not read doom
in each new trial.
instead they welcome with open arms 
the certainty of loss & the uncertainty
of what is yet to come.
where we see a curse they see a blessing
& even in their weeping
they smile with all the radiance of youth.