Here I am...defining glory. Or, at least doing my best to.Where I am, well that's more of an unsolved mystery. It may even be the charade of the century - a puzzle I strive to unriddle each day. If I could just defeat the sly joker who frolics with delight in my head, if I could just catch him in his tracks, then reaped would be the answers to my two most concerning questions: Where am I? Who am I?
I feel like I'm everywhere doing everything. I feel like I'm morphing into everyone in some way or another too, everyone I've ever loved, and all my feelings have lead me to believe that such traits, such instincts, are a beautiful thing - to understand other people, to walk in their shoes, to expand in all places and spread like butter - to melt like ice. I melt looking back at the affairs of the heart. I simmer like sauce in a cooking pan as I extract sensations from all my old memories. I get lost in a daze. My body starts to feel funny - sensitive. Sometimes I just laugh it off. Laughter is the quickest route to my heart, so I chuckle away the tears before they can find me in a sudden state of unwanted sadness. I sigh and often I dwell on what's gone for much too long. The clock strikes again and time kisses me goodbye as I sit somewhere langorously frozen in all my days of yore. A prayer's warmth evades me as I turn cold toward tomorrow and deflect my future by reflecting on my past. And while gazing forward with resistance and goosebumps caused by an inward winter tide, I ponder on all my "plans" and I ponder on God. Where is God? And, whois God? Those are my other two front-page questions. I muse on his holiness as I plead with an angel in poetry...
Familiarity gives me great comfort,
but comfort makes me weak
So, I pray and I pray for the power to make a quantum leap.
Whether frozen like sleet
or softly kindled like a flame,
I pray for the strength to carry on in God's name.
I do look forward to tomorrow. To carry on is attractive to me, despite my sweet tooth for what's over and done with, and I give thanks to all of my human experiences, the "good" and the "bad". Gratitude and reverence give me a reason to fully believe in today in all its charm. In all its glory.
Today is glorious Tuesday, and seeing as though the weeks are now moving at the speed of light, tomorrow will be glorious Sunday. There really aren't nearly enough hours in the day, it's true, and it's almost as though I've adopted this popular theory, this pretty accurate supposition, as an excuse to do less. It's nice too, doing less. Anyways, less is more. At least that's what they say, so while I do less I observe my receptiveness and sensitivity toward others. It's ample. I give a sh**. I always have, I think to myself as I sit comfortably at a cluttered, but very tidy desk. And, while lost in an epic translation, a mythic contemplation with an ambiguous resolve, I become even more observant. I take a closer look at my desk. I'm an immaculately unorganized person if that makes any sense. I can't ever bring myself to make a realmess. Real messes are just too hard to clean up after, and often times, they're just too much to bare, so says my emotions. By that, I mean I've needed therapy, community, a lot of strength, and a lot of God to survive them. The real clutter hurts. It shocks the system and makes me questionmy every ounce of faith. I get lost, disappointed and completely confused by all the real messes. But...I've also been very happy and fulfilled amidst a stingy disarray. I've even marveled in amazement at the travesties that make me "crazy". Why? Because, theses "curve balls", these sudden jolts, theses whammies and these disillusions are actually godsends...when I go deeper. Real messes are miracles. They're the miracles I never saw coming, and I'm reminded to clean out the clutter in me. So, I clean and I clean and I clean....and I clean some more.
On that note, I'm a huge neat freak. Emphasis on the freak. I'd hate to just be neat. How boring. I have a high regard for neat freaks too. There's just something about organization that inspires me. I also love super freaks. Whatever the hell they are. Maybe I just love the idea of super freaks. Control freaks, on the other hand, not so much. My belief system regarding this type of freak has willfully and rightfully modified itself. I've made some much needed adjustments in my thinking regarding control. I'm a bit of a recovering control freak myself. I'm recovering from all the damage this particular character flaw has caused. And you know what they say, like attracts like. Or, is it opposites attract? They say both. Either way, control freaks occupy this world, and they do it in high quantities. Needless to say, I've been influenced by them, and I've also been the influencee. So in a way, I guess control and all its damage done is the inevitable, but the inevitable is repairable.
And in my process of repairing and restoring, I've had to questioned the proper use of control. I've tried to define its real meaning too, though I've been lead astray in my attempt. And while roaming aimlessly, I've somehow meandered back to the beginning of time. Control is as old as the universe. And though I've misunderstood and suffered confusion regarding the nature of this infamous beast, I believe that its ambiguity has the power to construe a very mysterious and holy significance. And after years and years of examining the weight of my own incisive consciousness, I feel as though a sacrament of some non-religious sort has transpired in me, a truth per say - the truth about letting go.
And, amid my efforts to trust in the Light by letting go and letting God, I feel I've sacrificed balance and good judgments more than once or twice. Thus, I keep asking myself these questions...Am I really in control? Have I lost control? Was I ever even in control? What the hell is control? Hmmm.
As I continue to sit at my disheveled, but organized desk I meditate. I contemplate control and the definition of "taking control" - "gaining control". Giving up control. Control, it's one single word, and yet it's an entire language, a language quite foreign to me on many a day. To comprehend the proper use and the real meaning, to me, would be to acquire the greatest wisdom ever obtained, wisdom that only questions can conceive. They're the questions with the answers that will shape my entire life... When do I take control? When do I surrender?
I flirt with a mental frenzy while still plumped on my butt in my over-sized office chair (which I LOVE). My davenport mayhem, once a work space and now a sacred place, has shifted in its appeal. Everything looks different now. I felt the need to writebecause I haven't written in months! But, now I feel the need to pray and to just sit here. I notice my feet, they're cold, but my body is warm again. I feel temperate and grateful, thankful for all that I have - the gifts, the support, the ease, the shelter. I realize that I already have all that I need and relief crashes into me like a wave of peace in an ocean of mercy and love.
Still seated, but now more tranquil than before, I glance at the calender pinned to the busy wall that faces me. It's nearly December, and the day is moderately cold. I actually cranked on the heater just moments ago. Now I'm all sweaty and the sun, as always, is in a hurry to rise causing my short-lived winter thrill to scatter. Hello Los Angeles. Hello life. Come this evening, another moon will be at it's funky roundest, and when the giant night light in the sky is at its fullest everything gets weird, or weirder I should say. A black hazy sky + big round moon = weird. That equation never seizes to fail.
Or, maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just weird. Maybe I'm just a beautiful weirdo living in a beautiful weird, material world. Sorry moon. I keep blaming everything on you, you and all the weirdos who hurt me. But, I'm letting it go. I like the sound of surrender. What a beautiful voice she carries.
Surrender sings to me as I take responsibility for all the real messes I've made and have had to survive. I'm defining the glory that is mine by defining control. What is itexactly? I do know one thing. With or without the moon, we're all big weirdos.
There's a blazing Virgo disposition designing this woman, I'm referring to myself. So, I pretty much like to cruise through life at a more detail-oriented speed, to say the very least. As for my celestial jalopy with a set of wheels that keep on turning, I prefer to be in the driver seat at all times. I like to be in control, so if life really is a highway, then I'm definitely going my way too. And while on the road heading toward some unmarked destiny while driving much too fast and going my way, I violently collide with "mac trucks" as karma bites me in my ass for being such a control freak. I then watch my whole life flash before my eyes as though a near-death experience has just occurred, as though I'm a film star in an amazing near-death scene! On that note, maybe I'm a drama queen too, or maybe I'm just another actress acting like I'm "in control".
Flashing. Flashing. Flashing back...
I've been completely devoured by a very loud longing for perfection all my life. I was raised to live by the "decree of excellence", and though this statute, this order to be "great", was fully contradicted by its inventor, my mother, excellence was still always commanded, instructed and expected of me. Though, such demands taught me nothing. I learned from an underlying feeling of failure instead. I learned from the hypocrisy that shouted at me and the theatrics of inconsistency that confused me as I slowly, but surely discovered insecurities in all their hiding places. Thus, defeat was my influence, not excellence...and not perfection. Perfection became my mission: Operation Paradigm. And, such an undertaking has been quite the mission impossible, I might add. How does one obtain such? To be PERFECT has compelled my chronic-cosmic quirks to invade me like a crusade. I feel like a gladiator. I feel like a woman who dances with wolves. Anyways, it's exhausting. I can be so incredibly distracted by every little detail, every meager problem, every single solution, every unattainable answer and the need to perfect all that is and all that ever was, that in turn, I'm practically left for dead sweltering in a self-induced oven heat, perspiring as though I've been abandoned in the desert on a mid-July afternoon. Stressed is the word, and when I say I've been left for "dead", I mean an idealism has drained me completely of energy and life, and on that death note, pushing daisies never felt so ordinary. There's something about 'death' that just seems very ordinary to me, and I'm not exactly referring to the soul's departure from the body either. I actually deem that phenomenon to be the utmost ultimate sphinx, the one-and-only conversation with no real paper trail, and though a mind f*** quandary it may be, "death" does promise us a miracle, maybe somewhere on 34th Street. For, what is an after life, or another life for that matter, without it? The enormity of the "death" factor, or better yet, the "God" factor, is like an all-inclusive thesis statement so bold and infringing it's practically imposed an apocalypse among us, and yet it's actually our reserved seat on an underground railway, a trolly that takes us so deep we actually get beyond our own grave. Our graves are dug because death is assured, but our lives are not, and this makes living so extraordinary. I don't think we live just because we were born either, nothing comes that easy. I think we have to be born to live, no matter how long the duration. We're each given a specific amount of time and our time is everything, it's our chance to do something beautiful, something daring, something to be remembered by someone else. Some of us live very short lives, for others, very long, but to persevere in our every breath incomparably and wholeheartedly is to be the animate undercurrent in the river that runs through it, the river that runs through us, the river of resolve and boundless solutions. But, to desist the surge of love and it's constant, rapid flow is to drown in the idle of a dam. And damned we are by our own barriers as death becomes her...and him, and me, and you. To live or not to live is the question. It's also the answer, an answer that depends completely on our ability or inability to forgive, to love and to dream, for our every effort exonerates our every ounce of corruption. Tragedy longs to transcend us to a new and improved level, to a new beginning per say - possibly some other new beginning's end. And like every great story and every great film, The End is always the inevitable. And like every great playwright, we write the show. The most world renowned dramatist is noted for having once compellingly exclaimed:
"Love all, trust few and do wrong to none."
Do wrong to none in your every performance and you'll get to know your character better. We can alleviate ourselves from all theses heart-wrenching dramas we've written and directed, our heartaches included. Thank God for comedies, those we've produced as well, and oh how laughter can heal. We've scripted our entire lives and we've done it with our every thought. So, may we always remember to give thanks to ourselves when giving our acceptance speeches, for we are the artist eclectically in charge. We're the director behind the "lens". We're the stage designer too. All life is a stage...and as for casting, well that's a no-brainer, we're the star. Duh. And for a legion of centuries now we've all wanted to play the the part of the hero; me, you, Christian Bale, Hercules...but often our character fails to develop enough in our story to reach these envied heroic heights, so our drama is just another morbidly depressing tear-jearker. Who needs a hero when you can write a remarkably upsetting love story that lacks a hero? Anyways, it's our love story that won us "Best Picture", not our "hero". It's our love story that won us everything. So, the Oscar goes to....everyone! 'Cause in love's hopelessly romantic and deranged saga, we've all got our roles mastered by now. We've played the victim, we've played the villain. We've even played the victim villain. But, have we played the hero?
Maybe our "hero" was just that deep breath we took when we felt like we were dying. Maybe our "hero" was just our own will power, our willingness to let it all go. Maybe our "hero" was just that prayer we uttered while we cried all night. Maybe it was the hope we turned to after our pain buried us alive, making perfect seem so imperfect. We become so imperfect, we're breathtaking. And the award goes to...you, and me, and everyone with a pulse.
Who needs a "perfect" picture when you have a Best Picture? Who needs a hero when your own character can rescue you?
My character: A woman who casually parish's a little more each day as she's strangled by the squeezing grip of uncertainty, difficulty and sadness. And though, not an anarchist, she does often squander herself to a tussle with meltdowns, and while subdued by the stagnation caused, she startles herself in a prayer. She prays, she prays for the convolution in her head to become wisdom. Her logic's been questioned, overthrown and abolished, her reasons too. So, she prays and she prays, and she notices her thoughts spin less as she mentally outlines the figure of an eight. She remembers a guru...
"Infinity is within you."
She repeats it like a mantra as she realizes she's consented to a multitude of chaotic, but beautiful lives here on Earth, and for reasons beyond her own. She does live a beautiful life, regardless, though she's still not sure why she was born. She's trying to figure it out. Her deepest longing is know why she wakes up everyday. So, like a pill she swallows her pride and she meditates. Then of course, she hops in her car and loses her temper in traffic. She's no saint, she's a pretty typical human person. But, "typical" is just the tip of the iceberg, and there's not an iceberg in the whole world that can sink her ship. She's evermore curios and she wonders constantly. She wonders if she's insane. And while forcing herself to doubt it, she wonders if she's brilliant. Her uncertainty kicks her like a horse as she notably ponders on the very long-winded fight, a fight she's struggled to rectify, a fight to survive the pain endured in love's battle, a battle at bay - a battle of bonkers. For what feels like a lifetime, and for those prior, though not remembered, she's combated a spiritual revolt and fought back the way of her adversaries. A mirror she is to her every rival. She's won and she's lost and she doesn't care anymore. It's not about winning and losing, she reminds herself, it's about living and learning, and she rides off like John Wayne into the sunset on her dark horse. Love is a sunset, the night will fall says her sorrow. Love is a sunrise, the light will shine again says her hope. Love is a battlefield, with no promises and no demands says Pat Benatar. Love is walking in fields of gold, says Sting, and in her fields of gold, she's confronted by grief, provoked is truce, but resisted is her heart, for the warfare of love is a passage of arms. So, her fields of gold are merely fields of barley, but while passing through the provisions of grain, she's lead to a gateway, and re-opened is her heart. She learns to live again.
She lives again...and again, and again. She yields to courage and she yields to God as her vigorous need for impeccability steps down from its thrown, a thrown where she once succumbed herself in a bow and affliction. The demanding imposition cripples as she abdicates herself and screams in a whisper; "God please help me. I am nothing without you."
And there you have it. That's the star of my show, and the show must go on! Now back to one. Rolling rolling!
As for the script, I've been "re-writting" some forthcoming scenes. I'm noticing my life get more and more whacky and ironic as I get closer and closer to being a little old lady, God willing. I've taken on a more comedic approach in my demeanor. I've been directing myself onto a new stage, so-to-speak. A musician once said to me... "If you can't control everything, why control anything?" Profound, I thought. Her statement resonates with me still, and signifies the renunciation of all personal motive and self-assurance, as well as suggests an undeniable capacity to accept our self for who we are, what we are and where we are, and to do the same for others as well, and with compassion.
What I am (on a very long day) is over-stressed, that's been stated. I over-analyze everything and everything's potential for improvement until I'm satisfied with a coke and a smile, as well as a throbbing headache. Satisfaction can make for quite a migraine. Who I am is concerned as I spectate flaws like a hawk and relish in my emphasis on perfection. I've observed myself produce a crushing pressure on myself every day to make a difference in my life, and in the lives of others, and such a pressure squooshes me like a bug as it pushes me to do better, to feel better, and to be better. The side effect is wisdom greatly challenged by emotion. I feel like I've been shoved to the edge of the world where there's nothing left, and there's nothing left to lose. I feel like Neil Armstrong while I bounce in space, and Houston...we'll always have a problem. I've been launched in a body, mind, spirit shuttle to the edge of a dream where I can dance on the moon if I want to, though I hitch a white flag as I smile for the camera. I notice myself yearning to break free from an Armageddon in my mind, the head-trips and confusion, both which I've invented. I'm getting to know my character more and more. Self-discovery is bliss wherever you are, you don't have to be on the moon, you don't have to be on a red carpet either. You can find yourself right here were you are...where you are your hero.
Nothing's perfect...that's what makes your story so beautiful, and it's your painfully upsetting love story that makes you breathless.
And the Oscar goes to...you. You don't have to be Meryl Streep.
Photo taken of Anne-Marie Pauley on the set of her "One Love" music video in 2009.
Music Video, Song & Lyrics written by Anne-Marie Pauley Copyright 2009.
AM's "One Love" music video:
Are you like a stone?
Are you a riddle in a poem?
Are you that voice in my head?
Are you the drop when I fall off the edge?
I want to be an angel.
I want to walk on the sea.
So why do some people seem so unable to love without judging me?
What happened to one love?
What happened to love thy neighbor?
I've got so many questions
It's kinda funny 'cause there's always somebody with all of the answers
Making me wrong.
Will I go to Heaven?
Have I been good?
Should I be better?
Well...I do no one thing,
we may be different...but we're still the same.
And what happened to one love?
What happened to love thy neighbor?
Compassion is what we need.
Learn to be free...
What happened to one love?
What happened to love thy neighbor?
Lyrics written by Anne-Marie Pauley
I dedicated this song and video to a world in need of change. May we each ask ourselves these very same questions. Maybe one day we'll have all the answers, and maybe one day we'll go to Heaven...where we are one.
Anne-Marie Pauley Speaks. Tenzin Norbu interviews Anne-Marie Pauley on "The Life Of Universal Loving", July 30, 2012 at Blog Talk Radio. AM opens up and discusses her secrets, the art of love, the journey through healing...and all the difficulties in between.
I've written this blog and dedicated it to all who read it. May it help you.
"Discover your beauty within, then never forget it. Because, no one can truly hurt you when you know how beautiful you are."
~Me...over a 2nd cup of coffee, morning bliss and a little funkiness of emotion.
After being kindly reminded by silence, spirit, emotions taming and freshly brewed caffeine, I affirmed to myself: I am beautiful! And by-golly...people like me! Well, most people. ;)
This is an amazing affirmation/pep-talk to tune into first thing each day. I wish you the same self-induced uplift.
May no amount of failure or struggle with another person derail your life train from off it's tracks. Without our tracks there is nowhere for us to go, so we must stay on track. It's our only hope, and hope is everything. Failure and struggle is merely a part of the journey onward. It's just a ride some soothsayers have been known to declare. What you cannot control you must learn to accept, and what you cannot accept you must learn to let go of. Let it go, then let it go again as you pop your head from out of a cabin window where you perch in wonder while anticipating an expected arrival to a destination unknown. Watch as all the burdens drift waywardly, backward in the wind as though uniting with every yesterday. And...just enjoy the ride. Don't worry about where you're going, your train will get you there. Rather, focus on where you are and savor the view.
And so it is...
This quest into the unknown, this pilgrimage within our very own body where we explore in our mind in hopes of voyaging back to our heart, is indeed just a ride, a roller coaster ride to be more precise. Every roller coaster ride I've ever screamed and possibly puked my way through has always lead me back to safety - back to stability and back to peace where my loved ones await me with a smile. So, why worry about anything? Why not just have fun instead? To not worry does pretty much feel impossible, but there is a catch. When we don't worry, anything is possible. To worry is to lose our energy. To lose our energy is to lose out on all the possibilities, and to lose out on all the possibilities is to lose sight of a much bigger picture, because without possibility, there is no bigger picture. So, the next time you're screaming because life's "train ride" (aka) roller coaster ride is getting much too scary, just know that you're on the right track. Love awaits you with a smile. The next time you're possibly "vomiting" up the weight of the world - sick to your stomach from all the selfishness, tired, lost, angry and confused - know that you're on the right track. You're being lead back to peace. Next time you're on the verge of giving up and giving in to all of those fears, losing your faith and losing your mind...know that you're still on the right track. You're being lead back to clarity. The next time you feel like giving up and walking away from all your dreams and all of your heart's deepest desires, know that you're on the right track. You're being lead back to faith and purpose, and knowing this is exactly what makes you beautiful. Being aware and understanding that you are on the right track no matter how difficult life may be for you right now, no matter the pain and no matter the loss, is to know how beautiful you are. And knowing that every "roller coaster" ride leads you back to your peace and back to your safety is what makes life beautiful. For without your tracks, there would be no where to go. Without our pain, there would be nothing to learn. We were born to learn and we were born to journey onward with purpose, and where ever your journey takes you...there you'll find you're peace.
Love & Light,
Please visit Undergo Yoga & Meditation for more information regarding AM's yoga classes and workshops. Undergo Yoga is a Health and Wellness blog that AM has designed and dedicated to all who seek information regarding body, mind, spirit and healing.
Relax your body and mind and let your spirit fly...
For lots of information on yoga, body, mind, spirit and wellness, please visit my BRAND NEW yoga & wellness website blog @ www.undergoyoga.com
Below is a lovely piece written by my latest featured writer and author, Paulo Coelho at Undergo Yoga & Meditation.
"Call it spirit, soul, life force, or what you may, there is that within us that knows who it is we’ve come here to be and what it is we’ve come here to do and if we don’t listen to its call, it begins to wane.
This is when life becomes more about enduring until we die rather than thriving while we are here.
Perhaps what our critics don’t understand is that beneath the layer of what they may refer to as “choice,” there lies another layer where lives the authentic self, and its voice perpetually whispers ever so softly in our inner ear, “Be who you are and you’ll find freedom, fullness of expression, joy, peace, purpose and meaning in this precious life you have been given.”
This voice beckons us to be true to ourselves; when we hear and listen to that voice, it’s not so much that we are then guided to choose a certain path in life but, in truth, realize that our path has chosen us. However, do not consider this a “get out of jail free” card for the bad choices we all have made along the way that may have caused pain and suffering in our lives or the lives of others; the reality that our path chooses us when we are ready in no way alleviates the fact that we are always personally accountable for the choices we make in our day-to-day lives.
The voice to which I refer is incapable of guiding us in a direction that is self-destructive or harmful to others or that in any way dishonors the sacredness of life, because it is life itself that beckons us."
Anne-Marie Pauley is an innovative, insightful and spiritually provocative writer, music composer, yogi and yoga teacher. Her debut album entitled, "Forward, The EP", released this year and is now available for download at Amazon and iTunes.
She is the founder of Undergo Music Inc., Undergo Video & Publishing and Undergo Yoga. At Undergo, AM composes music, writes and directs music and meditation videos, scribes an abundance of blogs, and teaches yoga. Her creative hopes are very high and her aim is that of helping and sharing with those who seek change, inner peace and healing. AM's goal as an artist, as a human being and as student at life is to transpire the 'real' meaning of life, purpose and growth. She believes we can each experience these intimate and personal revelations via the simple virtue of our own self-discovery. "All it takes is love, patience and understanding."...she says. AM affirms daily that God is discovered in our deepest gratitude, and she gives thanks to all life and to all whom have crossed her path and shared a part of their life with her. "Even the pain has purpose, because everyone is a message. Everyone can be someone very special to us if we just take a closer look at them. If we can see their soul, we're golden." AM also offers her deepest gratitude and appreciation to all those out there who strive to empower the world by empowering themselves.
"May we each undergo and overcome circumstance...in the name of Love and self-discovery." -Anne-Marie Pauley
"Yoga is the spirit and practice of moving into stillness."
-Erich Schiffmann, Yoga Master & Author.
You don't have to do asanas (poses) to do yoga. Yoga is a consciousness shifter. So, whatever that takes - therein lies your practice.
And...we need to make sure we're tuning into our thinking. 'Thought' is the origin of consciousness, in my opinion. Everything begins with a single thought. Thought makes the world go round and round and round and round, not money. Money makes the world go insane, for the most part. Love doesn't really make the world twist and turn either, unfortunately. But thought...thought will spin the earth in circles ‘til the cows come home - 'til the fat lady sings, if she ever sings. I know I'm enthusiastically anticipating the sound of the robust lady's voice. Whatever that even means. Maybe it just means there's hope for those who wait.
I wait very impatiently.
Speaking of impatience, that too can change. We can all be more patient. The cows don't have to come home first and a plump person doesn't have to sing. Although, singing is very liberating no matter how big or small you are. To harmonize out loud and to dance while you sing is to vindicate your self. All the monotonous holds us back. We need our freedom! We need peace. We need to love more and more fearlessly. And...we seriously need to lose ourselves. Only then can we find ourselves.
We're too bottled up, but we're the message in the bottle that contains us...
And, in this ocean of creation and consciousness, we can ride a wave that will carry us to the shore. And, to love and to sing while we sail the sea is to compose the wind and the tide that will guide us. Break free from your glass container and dive into the waters of love and peace. Sing and dance in the sand on the beach. Sing and dance your life away! Lose yourself! Find yourself! Be exhorted by your creative compulsion!
That's my motto.
While on my sail boat riding tsunami waves and tightly nestled in my "canteen", I find myself working on becoming a more patient human being, hence the tsunami waves. I realize I don't have much time to waste either. I have a message and I want to share it. We all have a message and I believe 'patience' is our messenger, our teacher - our spirit. Fortitude is the spawn of solitude, and I've deemed solitude the founding father of patience. I've had to learn how to slow down, do less. They say less is more. In this learning process, this strange undertaking called 'life', this onward cycle of deliberations and heart and soul consultations, I've had to transcend myself to a more advanced barrier: my own mind, an institution of illusion - a psych ward where girl is indeed...interrupted. This girl. That girl. Everyone is punctuated and even sabotaged by their own psyche. On the contrary, I'm also a bit impassioned by it; all my pens and needles, my eager sensitivities, my mental waves and theatrics, all my energy anomalies...I just try to make the best use of it, when I have the strength. Without my much-needed strength, which I do sometimes fail to acknowledge, I suffer an over-the-top restlessness; a top-heaviness exclusively stemming from all my thinking. Hello awareness.
What feels to me like a bona fide mission impossible, is in fact a mission very possible. To be patient or not to be...that's not a question.
"I think therefore I am." -Rene Descartes
It's been said a hundred times before; "Change your thinking...change your world." To surrender: to traverse from the mind all the way back to the heart, to let go and let God, for as much as it releases us from a lot of our internal chaos, it's also a very painful process. Patience pays, but it's gonna cost us first. It's going to cost us all of our stories and all of our lies, all of our demands and all of our expectations, and we're going to have to slow down. We move much too fast at our current pace, and because we forget to ease our hurried stride and to stop and "smell the roses", we often fail to notice the truth at hand - the truth of every matter. So, we hardly recognize love when it's standing right in front of us because the truth of the matter, which is to chose love, is obscured by our minds, our thoughts, and our stories. So, we miss the opportunity to make that choice. To miss love is to lose everything and to lose everything is our only hope. This is how we truly learn, so it's worth the loss.
To lose yourself is to find yourself.
You'll become younger and more compassionate with your every white flag, so salute "the process". Praise the lessons masquerading all around you, whitewashing your thoughts, varnishing your hope. Be stronger. Think different. We can be happier...with or without the cows and the lady that never sings. We can be free-er. I like the way Caroline Myss puts it, she says we just need to call on our graces, and in this white flag case, the grace offortitude would come in handy. In doing so, we become more vibrant and more powerful from within. We will be summoned to appear more present in the here and now as a dramatic shift occurs in our mind, a shift commencing peace and creating a space...a space for God, a space for Light.
Because, more often than not, it's our mind that fully occupies us, not our heart, and this creates very little space in our lives, if any space at all, for change - for love, for peace, for truth and authenticity. It's our thinking and our chronic speculating and configuring that wanes us of our liberty completely. Our solitude is everything, though the mind is not convinced. So, the mind does not set us free, it enslaves us, and we're prisoners of 'thought' because of it. So, we avidly acknowledge our debilities per the request of the doubts and fears that pass through our thoughts, and on a day-to-day basis. This hinders our growth and fabricates an unwillingness within us to think differently. But, we must. Notice your thoughts.
Change your thoughts. Change your mind and spin the planet in a new direction, then maybe the cows will come home. Let's wave our white flag. Let's make love make the world go round...with our message. Then maybe that lady will finally sing.
"Nothing falls apart, it just falls into place." ~Me, talking to myself on a Tuesday morning.
The day was blissfully youthful and this was my superlative testimony. This was also my attempt at shaking off an unwanted pressure emanating at my every sunrise. "Nothing falls apart!"... I psychologically broadcasted my declaration of independence from all stressful circumstances to the subconscious revolt launching my thoughts into a rapid, space-like orbit. I felt like an astronaut, and Houston...we have a problem. Many.
Now, time for coffee.
Speaking of space, I'm actually a Houston native, born and raised. So, don't mind my fake and aspiring English accent, or my involuntary "New Yorker" tough girl demeanor, or my guru wanna-be persona, 'cause beyond this rewritten and re-invented, hopefully-evolved, but confusing version of my 'self', there's me. Just me. And, though my redneck twang has pretty much vanished on it's own behalf, I'm still just a simple chick from the south, just as exhausted and frustrated as the next person. Though, I use the term "simple" very lightly, as I do believe "simplicity" to be a finer quality of life entailing a profound humanly intent and an impervious vigor for laughter and a good sense of humor. Though both stipulated and interlaced by elements of healing and forgiveness, something as simple as simplicity is quite onerous in it's lucid contradiction. And, it's an absolute paradoxical way of living and co-existing here on Earth. With such vigorous kinetics in our subjective stamina, despondency, and logistics, something as simple as being "simple" can actually be the mastermind of difficulty. So, when I refer to myself as being "simple", it's more like an affirmation or a mantra - a goal. Because, "the way the cookie crumbles" makes a huge mess. It really does, and life is one cookie crisis after the next. So, I've adverted to the more candor-driven adventure as being that of virtuosity and tranquility, i.e. sacredness. The chastity of mind and spirit and the brilliant artistry of patience and acceptance is what makes all the pain worthy of our suffered time. The creative savants, the heroic, the philosophers, the shepherds, the "lost souls"; all of Zion's everyday students have often suffered the dire dearth of love. Patience is our rebirth after pain has called us to our death, and a dynamism of reverie, solution, revelation and purpose is indeed impelled and conveyed when conceived. To be frustrated and exhausted, lost and confused, even angry and bitter implies not negativity, but a huge amount of positivity. I'm an advocator for a unanimous co-existence, and that includes our dualities within. The world inside of us determines the world outside of us. It takes a light to cast a shadow, and only by withstanding our very own defeat, our confusion and our over-extended frustration, will we ever know our capacity to triumph. Without the night...we would never see the stars. "Calm seas never made a good sailor." I read that on a billboard recently. I liked it.
What doesn't kill you...The list goes on and on.
So, I think our ability to clearly comprehend situations and circumstances madly depends on our frustration and confusion, and I've personally embraced all my holy tragedies. And, after abundant years of devoting myself to defying myself and a thousand heartaches and conscious defeats, I realize convolution and complexity is what's made me a better person, not love. Love is what makes me one with God. There's a difference. Though as a commemoration, I do give ample credit to an early-life pledge to graciousness and gratitude highly suggested by my bloodline of good 'ol country folk. I deem where you come from, it does say a lot about you, and 'who' you come from. And, gratitude and graciousness, or 'Grace', is the key to the lockets of love, for such invocation liberates the soul from all the rusted bolts and chains, and imprisoned we are not by the solitary confines of trauma. We are actually free.
So, I thank my family for offering me their insight regarding grace. This cultivated panorama, an intuitive and sensible inkling, decodes all of our languages. Grace is the answer to all of the questions our ambiguities indefinitely await. And, though I've given some merit to a hand full of Texans, it didn't take the Lone Star's state to enlighten me completely on this one. It took a much different state.
I moved away from the land of blue bonnets and Wranglers years ago. Humidity, oil vineyards, muddy waters, melodramas and chronic boredom derailed me of my homestead around the age of eleven. I was uprooted only to never look back, and it just took one gigantic spoon full of inconsistency to make the medicine go down. I was medicated by the 'unknown'. Instability became a theme regarding my dizzy upbringing, though a stanza for all my poetry 'twas. I found myself quickly. I found myself writing. And, that was my stability.
Around the age of twenty, I relocated to a mental state and life got a lot less "simple". Today, I live in a world on fire. Inflamed we are by love, but burned out we are by pain and suffering. And, most of the bridges I've built have been accosted by a flickering blaze. But, then the rain falls and everything changes. I'm baptized by a hurricane. And, as a lament from heaven eulogizes my soul, I notice a rainbow. An upward curve of colors paints the sky after every storm. I have hope after all. Although, my legion of questions and concerns are still undoubtedly absorbed by a sponge of mantras and prayers, borderline doubts and fears. I’ve been advised to "ring out" the answers when I'm ready. I've been told I have that power to do that, the power to look within to find my every solution. So, I'm ready. I've asked for the truth to compose the words I scribe and I've requested it be a language I am able to speak. That's all.
So, clearly I live in a spiritual state too...on a good day. I also live in my own apartment in Los Angeles. I live everywhere. I breath air on a multitude of turfs amidst a profusion of offbeat worlds. This is a fact. I’m undeniably betwixt amongst responsive variables, evaluated illusions, and my Gordian mind set once conceived out of wed-lock. I divorced my anger issues and most of my old thought patters, not all of them. What doesn't serve me anymore...doesn’t serve me anymore. Not to sound redundant. I’m much too aberrant when consumed by the savage, also known as the beast. I have to let it go. I feel more at ease these days too, more freely sundered by the overwrought of negativity that consumes the world. I’m in a new relationship with myself. My spirit reigns on her God given thrown. I honor myself for all that I am and for all that I am not. I am just me, founded in all my states...moving closer and closer to "simple". I'll get there one day.
And that's the way my cookie crumbles...all over the place.
Today I feel like myself again, thank goodness. Yesterday on the other hand, I was defying myself. I spent my lazy Saturday defensively, though proactively brushing off the tail-end of a week long cold. I thought writing would be the perfect medication...So, I wrote.
My lazy and antidotal Saturday...
I haven't been sick in so long! I hardly know what to do with myself. I've officially been abducted by my snot covered robe, three boxes of Kleenex, hot tea, Chelsea Lately, and my yoga teacher study journal. It's been a shift in pace for me that's for sure, or more like an eternal interlude consumed by pacifistic moments. I strive to make the best of my challenging circumstances. And, though I've been sneezing away the days, I've allied my healthy vigor's squander with something more remedial than cold medicine and Vitamin C. I've meditated. I've also taken some time to appreciate the joy that lies in simply feeling good. I've missed my long afternoon runs. It's true...you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone, and that includes all losses. Though, on a more profound note I do believe this: Once you've lost it all, you've got nothing left to lose anymore. Everything that's left is all that you need. My motto, and though a very tough motto it is to live by, I still think it's a very good one. We can actually proceed onward with what we have, with nothing more, with nothing less. Hopefully that will always include our health. Our health is a HUGE benefactor in regards to moving onward. What a gift indeed! And, one of many! Everyday is a gift, so they say. I believe that to be true. Though, there are days I beg to differ. I think there are days we all beg to differ. I'm sure there are many of us whom, if we could, would promptly and happily return our life as though purchased at Target or Bloomingdales.
And, we would say:
"Hi, I'd like to return this. It doesn't work for me"..."It doesn't fit. It's too small, I want something bigger."..."It's too big, I want something smaller."..."It's just too hard, I'd like something easier."..."It's too exhausting."..."It's broken."..."Can I exchange it for something else... possibly another life?"
"No", says the customer service person slumped over the counter with a frown stretched downward for miles, a customer service person who just may feel the same way we do. A customer service person who's been given a divine purpose in life too. Just like you. Just like me. "Divine Purpose"... now there's a topic with no real closure, and I advocate it proudly! Why else are we here?
So, this is the only life we get...at least it is in this life time. And, tears may very well percolate as you interpose such a demur, such an unsettlingtruth: This is my life? And yet, our existence is still divine no matter how much we dispute it. Whether we work at Target or "rule the world", we're each gifted in our own way and we each have a special destination awaiting our arrival. Realized or unrealized, this life is our journey toward purpose. We're heavenly beings, but often times we have to go straight through hell to realize it, and then we have to do it again...and again, and again. I think that too is just part of this journey toward purpose. Hopefully we come out of hell once and for all, never to return with a mesmerizing and restored sense of self and strength, because that's what we're going to need in order to fulfill our destiny, and it's going to take this life to do that. This life is all we've got, and love and forgiveness is all we'll ever need to survive it. The rest of the details just kind of work themselves out on their own, if we're not too busy worrying about it. To me, this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I came across a Gloria Steinem quote the other day. I loved it. Gloria says...
"The truth will set you free, but first it'll piss you off."
And it does. I say just remember who you are, or a least remember you have a special purpose here, no matter who you are or where you are. Because, where we go from here we don't know, and if you do know that's fantastic, but I don't see how that's possible. As for now...no returns. No exchanges. No refunds. This is your life. Make the best of it. Or, make the best for someone else's life. That's always a beautiful thing.
So, with our "life receipt" in one hand and a long mental list of disappointments in the other, a list we all too often refer to as though sadly reminding ourselves of each and every failure, we head back home. Home being the key word. We head back home with our non-refundable gift, our life...the one gift we have yet to unwrap completely. And yet, there are still so many more blessings to come, so many gifts within ourselves we have yet to discover. Each to be beautifully wrapped and nestled under the "Christmas tree" - the Christmas Tree of Life. It doesn't take December 25th to realize this, it just takes patience. Patience is virtue, and so is consciousness.
"You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness." -Albert Einstein
And, though April has now commenced itself and summer's juncture is impending, everyday is still Christmas, if we want it to be. And, hopefully our health is always under the tree. That's the gift that keeps on giving. Without our health, what do we have? It's truly everything - mentally, emotionally and physically. These three active elements together create a spiritual symbiosis, a combined effort - one needs the other in order to succeed. And, I believe uniting our body with our mind and spirit is the most constructive and worthwhile thing we can do for ourselves. This is the most sacred gift to our self.
The gift to be.
To hug someone.
To go for a walk.
To write your story.
To write your song.
To take a picture.
To paint a picture.
To go somewhere.
To help someone.
These are the gifts you will only find under the Tree of Life.
And when we discover these gifts in our self, our inner light illuminates and our world turns bright like snow fall in the night, and the angels carve their place in the earth. Snow angels in the summer time, and everyday is Christmas. We become one. Life starts here. This is the spirit's dream. This is dream that's meant to come true. This is the gift.
Affirmation: Just breath. Let go. Go within. Dance to the silence. And, with a slow count on a rooted inhale and a deep relaxation in an absolving exhale, allow the sweet taste of nuance to employ the splendor within you. Discover your gifts and fulfill your special purpose one day at a time. Tranquility purifies the air and restfulness serves you.
Love honors you. God blesses you. You are the Tree of Life.
“Anything is possible if you believe!”-Chloe Blohm
This was my friend Chloe. Chloe had Muscular Dystrophy. I've never met anyone like this sweet girl in my life. She was so free and so incredibly brave. She was empowered by a little body she could not move. She could not walk. She could only slightly move her neck and her hands.
And, she was an artist - a painter, a writer, a poet, a funny-girl, a believer, a teacher. She was so intelligent, such an old and beautiful soul.
Chloe just passed away this year. She was 19 years old. I want to share her message now. She did her best to do the same while she was here. Her message was beliefin one's self and compassion for another. Her message was hope. Chloe spoke to children at elementary schools regularly. She encouraged these young people to practice compassion for those who are different - to be kind, to treat others the way you would wish to be treated. An angel she was. She was a vocal chord for Love, a voice I will forever listen to until my day too has come. Chloe believed in herself and she loved her life. Her tiny arms were decorated in tattoos and she sported a different hair color every other month - black, platinum-blonde, red. She made the best of her short life, a life she lived on only borrowed time.
And, she asks us to make the best of ours, to believe in ourselves no matter how different we are - no matter how broken we are. Paint a picture, sing a song, write your story...just believe. Live. That's what Chloe did.
We're all on borrowed time. So, we have to learn to live like we're dying. There's no better way to live...before we die. And, we all die. Then what? Now's our chance to make a difference in people's lives, to reach out, to give and to love.
I went on a hike yesterday, it was such a beautiful day. A girl walked by wearing a shirt that read,
"Love to be Free."
Only love can set us free... and free we can be.
Where ever you've moved on to...may your Light and sweet soul shine on forever, and may Heaven bless you now with the freedom to dance. Rest in peace lovely.
Anne-Marie Pauley is an innovative and soul-driven artist. She's a profound writer and a spiritually dazzling music composer. Her debut album entitled, "Forward, The EP" just released all around the globe and is now available on Amazon and iTunes for download. She is the founder of Undergo Music and Undergo Video, an independent music, publishing and film company featuring music, music video, film and meditation. AM's creative works are all written, composed and directed for each and every heart and soul out there in need of healing, and for all those in need of strength and a dose of hope. She artistically operates within the creative field of energy, body, mind and spirit. Performing all around the globe in a wide variety of venues, from the streets of Rome, to the most historic stages in Hollywood, and now performing LIVE regularly at Los Angeles yoga studios and yoga studios internationally, Anne-Marie Pauley is an artist that brings us back to our soul. Both her voice and her music have the ability to illuminate our divine, eternal Light within: the power to love and the power to create the life we dream about--the life we long to live. Her poignant words and lyrics inspire the higher self, leading us closer to what she calls our "authentic self" and our true happiness.
AM: "The deeper meaning to our every life event must be illuminated if we are to truly grow and change. We have to learn how take with us the wisdom hidden deep within every life event, especially those events that break our hearts into a million pieces. I want to help with that."
Anne-Marie refers to her music and literature as an artistic offering, an opportunity to take a moment, or an hour, or a day, or a even a lifetime if we're lucky, to calm the hectic mind that drains the energy in our body, and the energy in our soul--our joy and our peace. It takes but only a moment, she says.
AM: "It takes but only a moment to change everything. And, a mind that's calm and sleeping peacefully awakens the spirit."
Anne-Marie believes firmly that we must revive and remember our essential God given powers: the power to create our destiny and the power to love for no reason. "We must do this every day, all day...over and over again, before we forget"...she says with grave concern.
AM: "All too often we forget to remember what we should never forget, and that is Love. We forget to love, but if we were, instead, always to remember...life would always gets better. It's via the power to create unity and harmony in our world through the act of unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion that will make our world a better place. It'll make us better people too. We can do this with music, or we can do this with the simple act of kindness.The truth is a very simple one.It's not hard to understand, despite all rumors."
Anne-Marie Pauley's goal as an artist and as a human being is to transpire the real meaning of life with her music, with her writings, with her voice, with her relationships and with the world. She believes we can each do all of this via the simple virtue of our own self discovery.
AM: "But, it's team work too!"...she retorts..."I use to say I'm on no one's side but my own. I had heard that once, thought it was cool, and I decided to feel the same way. It was my side or the highway. Now, I realize that's not true, and there really are no sides at all. One size fits all, unless we live in a box, and I don't want to live in a box! I want to live and think outside the stupid box. I want to spread my wings and fly, and I can't do that in a box. So, there are no sides. There is just openness all around when we are open and honest with ourselves and with each other. We're all here together, and ultimately we don't really know why. So, we might as well come together...like the Beatles once suggested."
Anne-Marie says we can all come together in the name of Love, but only after we've forgiven our deepest pain and those we feel have caused it. "In the name of the creative spirit that lives inside of us and in the name of choice and happiness we can heal...together"...AM declares. Her music, fostered by the care of her heart and inspired by the pain she's endured, music all stemming from Anne-Marie's own deep desire to heal, is in fact a glory in itself. Music heals. And, AM offers her deepest gratitude and appreciation to all those who strive to heal as well, and who strive to empower the world by empowering themselves. All it takes is love...she says...and some beautiful music.
AM:"Every walk of life paves a beautiful path when that path is tread in gratitude, and when love is given back in return. If we can just say "thank you" every now and then...or "I love you", we would be so much happier on our journey."
AM: "And...the journey is different for everyone. We're not all the same, we don't think the same way. We don't all function the same way. Some of us are brave, some of us are terrified. Some of us are strong, some of us are weak. Some of us have our health, some of us don't. But, we are all one...ultimately, beyond the faulty perception of the mind. Those who are afraid need those who are brave. The weak need the strong. Those who are dying need those who are living. We all fit together, if you think about it... and we all need each other in order to help each other.
It's like Bono said; "We're one, but we're not the same. We have to carry each other."
Anne-Marie simply aims to be of help to someone, anyone and/or everyone. Her message is Love. Her music is calming. Her words are honest. Her deepest desire is to be free, free from limitations and fear, and she wishes the same for the entire world. Her stage performance is radiant, enthusiastic, healing, and even comical much of the time. AM's motto: laughter heals.
AM: "Make 'em laugh! It's the best thing you can do. Laugh, and laugh away the hurt...and then laugh away the hurt some more. It takes a lot of laughter."
Early life: By the youthful age of fourteen, Anne-Marie had composed her very first original song entitled, "Dreaming Wild". She says all the years of parental-forced piano lessons had finally paid off, and she was in fact, dreaming wild.
AM:"I was locked in a world of instability and sadness. I came from a broken home and I was raised by a mother with a broken heart. So... for me, to dream was to feel wild. I finally felt happy and free, and I did it on my own, because nobody else could show my how to. It was the best thing that ever happened to me...music."
An ever-so youthful Anne-Marie was ready to begin her life, and she was living her own life for the very first time, and she was only a kid.
AM: "I grew up fast, but I grew up smart. I gave myself no other option. I refused to be stupid. I was my own best friend."
Anne-Marie recorded her first song at Sugar Hill Production Studios in Houston, Texas where she was born and raised for the first thirteen years of her life. She had a demo tape in one hand and a dream that lead the other. She had her whole life ahead of her too, and still does...she says. This newly self-proclaimed, gleeful, extremely ambitious teenager was maturing at the speed of light, and as she sat alone in her bedroom day-in and day-out for years upon years at the ledge of her piano keys, she hummed a catchy melody and a hook that would shape her entire life. And, while dwelling profusely in her imagination and contemplating her next song, Anne-Marie found herself lost in a plea of teary-eyed prayers.
AM:"God, though I didn't know what he was exactly, was always my invisible shoulder to lean on. I didn't know where to find him other than in my heart, and that gave me hope. That gave me a sense of self-reliance and the belief in myself that I desperately needed."
Anne-Marie feels like "God" was something she was born to discover from the start. And it's discovering God that she will forever encourage.
AM: "God lives inside of us, and when we go within, we go beyond. We go beyond the world and beyond the pain this world causes."
Anne-Marie's early life continued...
AM: "I didn't really have any friends growing up, and those who were my friends, I would soon leave behind. So, I never got too attached to anyone. I wanted to spare myself any extra hurt I could possibly endure. I went to 17 schools, starting in kindergarten. By the time I was in first grade, I had already been to three schools, and due to my anger over a lofty lack of steadiness and comfort, I failed the first grade. I was always the new girl...every year of my life, and now I was a year behind. So, everybody got younger, which was not helpful. All I knew was that I was new. Nobody gave me a chance to feel loved within those school-hood walls and halls. I was the girl who everyone picked on in school. The unfamiliar girl. The dorky girl. I sat alone at lunch. Sometimes I cried, though I tried to hide and hold back the tears. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was over it. I didn't give a shit. I realized then; people are mean, and they get started young. For the sake of having nothing to lose, I re-invented myself over and over again, but I always ended up being "me"... the same old me at the end of the day. I was no one else, and looking around, I wished to be no one else. So, I embraced my oddities, my strengths, my talents--my Light. I already had my own original ten song album by my highly-anticipated last year of highschool, or as I liked to call it "lowschool". I had a dream. I didn't care about anything else, not even college. And, nothing and no one really bothered me anymore. I felt I had bigger and better things to do, I couldn't be bothered by anything less. So, I'm thankful for all the instability and all the rejection and torment and pain I endured, and continue to endure. It made strong. It's made me brave. I got a lot done. Still do."
Her childhood was not an easy one, but nothing good comes easy. Amidst the winds, she was tossed into a sea of hope. She was only a kid and she had discovered her gift, her passion--her dreams. And, she knew it was going to take a long time to get there, years and years of "trying to make it". She feels she was born ready, and though brave, she was always nervous. Her relentless years of songwriting had begun, her creative-spirit was born and so was Anne-Marie Pauley. That story marked the beginning of a journey that has lead this woman all the way to where she is today, and she can gladly say that it's her heart that has always lead the way...the entire way.
AM: "Though, I stand face-to-face with tremendous fear just about every single day of my life, it means nothing to me...the fear. When it does, I'm done. And, I'm not done. I have too much to say and too much to do to ever be done. I'll be dead when I'm done."
Anne-Marie wishes the same courage and fearlessness for every sweet soul out there who walks a path paved in dreams.
AM: "Let no fear stop you, because you simply have too much to do here. Plain and simple."
AM: "Fear is always there...waiting...but we don't have to be. We just have to be here, fearless and free. Free to love and to hear thy bleeding heart. For, only the heart can birth the power of love and the will to survive the tremendous pain that this life deals to each and everyone of us.
Our heart is our truth, and our truth is our freedom. Our freedom is our beauty. Our beauty is our will to love...just because. So, listen to your heart and let her lead you the way. She will do know harm, and she'll always love you...every single day."