Word(s have) Power

5th Chakra (Visuddha): Power of Words, Power of Truth, Power of/for the Collective (hint – we are all connected).

“There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”  ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“Written words can also sing.” ~ Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

“It is through stories that we weave reality.”  Paul KingsnorthThe Dark Mountain Project

chips-fridge-2016-holly-troy

Lady is King of the Blues

“It is hard, today, to imagine that the word of a poet was once feared by a king.” – The Dark Mountain Project

“But there is no Plan B and the bubble, it turns out, is where we have been living all the while. The bubble is that delusion of isolation under which we have laboured for so long. The bubble has cut us off from life on the only planet we have, or are ever likely to have. The bubble is civilisation.”  – The Dark Mountain Project

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

“Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin

“What a curious power words have.” ~ Tadeusz Borowski

I’m always pleased when somebody sings a song of mine. In fact, I never get over that initial rush of happiness when someone says they are going to sing a song of mine. I always like it.

[…]

That song enters the world and it gets changed, like everything else — that’s OK as long as there are more authentic versions. But a good song, I think, will get changed. – Leonard Cohen

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. ~ Elmore Leonard

You’ve already got a younger generation that’s like “bring on the singularity.” The idea of it used to be a dystopian nightmare. But the trauma has already been erased. I think we have to kick back against it but I don’t even know how to. We all just suck it up and try to “swim with the tide but faster.” – Anohni

“I teach self-reliance, the world’s most subversive practice. I teach people how to grow their own food, which is shockingly subversive. So, yes, it’s seditious. But it’s peaceful sedition.” – Bill Mollison

“I don’t think there is any truth. There are only points of view.” – Allen Ginsberg

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”  ~ Ben Okri

“There are always meaningful songs for somebody. People are doing their courting, people are finding their wives, people are making babies, people are washing their dishes, people are getting through the day, with songs that we may find insignificant. But their significance is affirmed by others. There’s always someone affirming the significance of a song by taking a woman into his arms or by getting through the night. That’s what dignifies the song. Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.” – Leonard Cohen

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac

“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.”  ~ Edward Abbey

“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.”  ~ V.S. Naipaul

“None of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked petal on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.” – from Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert

“To live and let live, without clamor for distinction or recognition . . . to write truth first on the tablet of one’s own heart – this is the sanity and perfection of living, and my human ideal.” ~ Mary Baker Eddy

“I do not know the truth, or I do not know how to tell the truth. All I have are stories, night thoughts, the sudden convictions that uncertainty spawns.” – Anne Enright, The Gathering

“You are song, a wished-for song.”- Rumi

Love, Forgiveness, and Creativity will Prevail ~ Anahata

Words from the Heart Chakra:

“Did you really think that fear, hatred, violence and control freaks could achieve victory over love, forgiveness and creativity!?”Geordie Numata, Deer Spirit Reiki

john-lennon-quote“If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often.”  ~ Leonard Cohen

“I’m very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who walked the face of this earth. Any guy who says ‘Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek’ has got to be a figure of unparalleled generosity and insight and madness…A man who declared himself to stand among the thieves, the prostitutes and the homeless. His position cannot be comprehended. It is an inhuman generosity. A generosity that would overthrow the world if it was embraced because nothing would weather that compassion . . .” – Leonard Cohen

“Poems are a hotline to our hearts, and we forget this emotional power at our peril.” – Andrew Motion

“Love, like fire, goes out without fuel.”  Mikhail Lermontov

Dr. Maya Angelou – Love Liberates:

“Love has to spring from within.” – Meher Baba

“Love is when you cease hesitating.” ~  Frédéric Beigbeder

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”  ― Osho

“What a revolutionary proposition to realize that your heartbrokenness turns out to be the key to your willingness to remember what it takes to be a human being.” ~ Stephen Jenkinson

“You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my
million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my
madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my
rapscallionly fellow vagabond, my tempter and star. I want you.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Everyday, say 100 things that you love about yourself.” Sonia Choquette

“Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are thousands of ways we kneel and kiss the earth.” ~ Rumi

“Our hearts resonate at the same frequency as the earth and the universe. Therefore, we are all valuable instruments in the orchestration of the world and its harmony.” ~ Suzy Kassem

“…with our love, we could save the world…” ~ George Harrison

Above:Concert for George Harrison –  Anoushka Shankar and Jeff Lynne playing The Inner Light

“Who has not sat before his own heart’s curtain? It lifts: and the scenery is falling apart.”–Rilke

Riding buddies~ Christine and me taking a break (c) 2015 Holly Troy

Best friends

“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.”  ~ Clive Barker

“As much as I love beginner’s mind, though, I advocate an additional
discipline: cultivating a beginner’s heart. That means approaching every
encounter imbued with a freshly invoked wave of love that is as pure as if
you’re feeling it for the first time.” – 
Rob Brezsny

In the act of forgiving the ‘other’ the radiance of the self is actually freed…. Enter now into this radiant, flowing wholeness that is offered by the Divine to release anything that you have not, until this moment, loved into wholeness.” – Ariel Spilsburg, 13 Moon Oracle

“I do not understand how anyone can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to.” – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

“Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.” Jean de La Fontaine

the joy of being yourself – manipura

“Joy comes when you’re being spontaneous — it’s really hard to be happy when you’re not being yourself.” – Tony Robbins

“The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important.” — Oliver Emberton

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

“Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from pain creates more pain.” The Tibetan Book of living and Dying

“Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.” ~ Ossie Davis

“Don’t outsource your self-esteem to only one outcome. Then you are a slave to a future you can’t predict.” – James Altucher

“Keep clear of the dupes that talk democracy / And the dogs that talk revolution / Drunk with talk, liars and believers … / Long live freedom, and damn the ideologies.” – Robinson Jeffers

“What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?” – John Keats, ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’

“We take almost all of the decisive steps in our lives as a result of slight inner adjustments of which we are barely conscious.” – W. G. Sebald

“It was that impossible thing: happiness that does not wilt to reveal the thin shoots of some new desire rising from within it.”  ~ George Saunders

“Man may have discovered fire, but women discovered how to play with it.”  –Candace Bushnell

cactus-mudra-playing-in-the-desert

Mountain Biking is one of my rituals – it keeps me happy, flexible, and strong. I can’t think bad thoughts when I’m riding – and – I get practice in calmly handling whatever may come up around the corner . . . photo by mountain bike partner and dear friend – Christine Griffin

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” – Unknown

“It’s not enough to be nice in life. You’ve got to have nerve.”  – Georgia O’Keeffe

“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — J.K. Rowling

“The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” — George Eliot

“Claim your space. Draw a circle of light around it. Push back against the dark. Don’t just survive. Celebrate.”  ~ Charles Frazier

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” ~ Jerry Rice

“Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” ~ Joyce Brothers

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” – Bill Mollison

“Your job is to build your own path to influence, where success may just be right around the corner.” ~ Catherine Haggarty

“Before I can discard the verse, I have to write it… I can’t discard a verse before it is written because it is the writing of the verse that produces whatever delights or interests or facets that are going to catch the light. The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.” – Leonard Cohen

dancing with the beauty and vulnerability of the unknown

svadhistana – the right to feel, the power of relationships

“Happiness comes from between. It comes from getting the right relationship between yourself and others, yourself and your work, and yourself and something larger than yourself.” — Jonathan Haidt

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos—the trees, the clouds, everything.”—Thích Nhất Hạnh

“The dancer’s body is simply the luminous manifestation of the Soul.” ~ Isadora Duncan

“Permaculture principles focus on thoughtful designs for small-scale intensive systems which are labor efficient and which use biological resources instead of fossil fuels. Designs stress ecological connections and closed energy and material loops. The core of permaculture is design and the working relationships and connections between all things.” – Bill Mollison

“Creativity requires a state of grace. So many things are required for it to succeed.” ~ Magda Szabó

love-note-to-me-from-kip-holly-troy“We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.” ~ Ellen Goodman

“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.” – Bill Mollison

“For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.” – James Hillman

“We are challenged every day to say yes to the movements of life, to see it all through, without pause, staying in relationship to the music of life and each other, adjusting as we go, not knowing what will happen next.”  —Mark Nepo

“The actual trouble is that profit is identified entirely with money, as distinct from the real profit of living with dignity and elegance in beautiful surroundings.” ~Does it Matter, Alan Watts

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.” ~ D.H. Lawrence

“Salmon are crucial to their coastal ecosystem like perhaps few other species on the planet. A significant portion of the nitrogen in West Coast forests has been traced back to salmon, which can travel hundreds of miles upstream to lay their eggs. The largest trees on Earth simply wouldn’t exist without salmon.”  – Eric Holthaus, “The Point of No Return, Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here”, Rolling Stone

“Maybe some people just aren’t meant to be in our lives forever. Maybe some people are just passing through. It’s like some people just come through our lives to bring us something: a gift, a blessing, a lesson we need to learn. And that’s why they’re here. You’ll have that gift forever.” ~ Danielle Steel

“The war of an artist with his society is a lover’s war and he does at his best what lovers do which is to reveal the beloved to himself and with that revelation to make freedom real.”  ~ James Baldwin

Solstice Intention Setting for 2017 (and beyond)

Several years ago I learned an exercise similar to the one I am presenting here based on an Abraham Hicks Teaching. This is my own version of the exercise. I borrowed this post from one of my workshops. The exercise was based on writing and using the energy of the new moon. I’ve revised it for the Winter Solstice – which is, in a way, the New Sun of the year.

IMG_2581Currently, we are at the Winter Solstice, or the longest night of the year. This is a good time to release what we don’t want – what is unconscious and holding us back from moving forward in our lives. Once we have let go and created space within ourselves, we can create a vision and make intentions for how we want to move forward.

For tonight, or, for the next few nights, it is a good time to set intentions. I propose an intention setting exercise this evening. This is a powerful time for growth. During the winter months, the surface of the earth appears to be fallow, but underneath the surface, roots are digging down deep, and seeds and bulbs are waiting for spring to push forth their potential. Right now is a powerful time to plant intentions so that they may grow strong and grounded beneath the surface before emerging in the spring.

You will need several sheets of paper.

Part 1
Choose a topic you’d like to focus on. It could be about money and finances, relationships, love, career, home life, recreation, travel, the environment, creativity, community, education—basically anything that’s on your mind or that you feel needs focus. If you can’t think of a particular topic, that’s ok, because we are going to begin with letting go of what we don’t want. You may just write about all the things you want to let go of in general.

On top of your page write, “I don’t want . . . ” and then just list what you don’t want as quickly as you can. To give you some ideas, there may be things that are happening in your life right now about this particular subject that you just don’t like. (For example: I don’t want to deal with grumpy customers at my job anymore). Write that down. Or, you may have fears about what may come up if you start doing or having what you want. (For example: I don’t want to date any more guys who are afraid of commitment). Write all the don’ts, can’ts, shouldn’ts, won’ts down for the next 10 minutes.

Read over your list of “don’t wants.” You will find that many of the things you don’t want appear to be outside of you. Is there anything that you are doing that might be creating the things you don’t want?

Below the “don’t want” list, or on another sheet of paper, write, “I want to let go of or release . . .” and list behaviors or circumstances that may be blocking you from having more flow in your life. Some of my things on this list might be: procrastination, always allowing my significant other to make our weekend plans, spending more money than I have, not getting enough rest, etc. Write what you want to let go of for the next 10 minutes.

Read over your lists once again. Is there anything else you want to add? Be thorough, but don’t let the energy get stuck. You can do this more than once (it’s a good one to do at the new moons).

Once you are done with your lists, stand up and lift your arms over your head. Inhale. Then, exhaling, gently bending forward while slightly bending your knees allow your upper body to hang, you may even swing back and forth gently. Imagine all the things you don’t want and the things you want to release are flowing from your arms, fingertips, and top of your head and into the earth. Say, “I am letting go now. Thank you Mother Earth, for taking care of this for me.” Now slowly roll the upper body up, one vertebra at a time, knees slightly bent, head comes up last.

Part 2
Look at your “don’t want” and “let go of” lists. On another sheet of paper, take each item on your lists and write the opposite of each phrase, things or circumstances you do want. You may begin the phrases with, “Wouldn’t it be nice if . . .”, “I’d love to . . .”, “I attract people who . . .”, “I’d really like . . . “, “I am surrounded by . . . ” or whatever seems appropriate to you.

The phrases allow you to daydream and envision more of what you would like to bring into your life.

Once you have written all the opposite phrases – you may take the list of what you no longer want and burn it (Solstice is a wonderful time for a fire) or tear it up and throw it away (if a safe fire is not feasible). The list has now been transformed in the physical dimension and represents another version of letting go.

Take your new list and read it out loud to yourself. Imagine inhaling each phrase and allowing the breath to move through your entire body, filling up the space you have just created for yourself.

Part 3
Continuing working with the breath. Inhaling, imagine light and love is flowing through the crown of your head, down your spine, and all the way down to your feet. Exhale, imagine light and love expanding to bathe every cell of your body. Inhaling, let that light and love pour in through the crown of your head and all the way through the souls of your feet. Exhale, that light and love continues to flow outward. Continue this breathing so that you establish a steady flow.

Once that flow is established, imagine it is three years from now. All the things that you want have come to pass, and you are enjoying your life beyond your wildest dreams. You are having a party to celebrate your success. What are you celebrating? What are your surroundings? Who is there? Try to write at least one detail for each of your senses. Do this for 10 minutes (write as quickly as you can).

When the 10 minutes is up, read your vision back to yourself. Imagine that your vision is a powerful seed of potential. Release that seed into the sky. If you’d like, read your vision to the sun and beyond the farthest reaches of the universe. Know that what is best for you is what will grow. You may even add at the end, “This or something better is now coming to me for the good of all. I love you (Universe). Thank you. So it is.”

Don’t Stop Here
IMG_0500Over the next few months as the Sun gets higher in the sky, you may begin to get ideas on how to move forward with your vision, or opportunities may come your way that will move you closer to your dream. Remember to take action once you are shown the way – otherwise your intentions are just daydreams.

Three years is 1095.75 days. Break your Three-Year Success Dream into doable daily steps – they can be the teeniest, tiniest doable steps along your path, or they can be big leaps. Maybe take some small steps to build up your confidence with some hops and pirouettes thrown in. Do it your own way, with your unique style. Do it in a way that is fun and where you are least likely to beat yourself up. Maybe some of those small steps become habit, and once they are established, you reach a turning point.

What can you do, see, be? Continue to wonder what it feels like to do, see, and be something completely new, while having gratitude for where you are now. Who can you call or enlist to help you on the way? Who and/or what can you let go of? What one little step can you do today that will become 1095.75 steps? Can you enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination?

Go even farther with more writing – focus on an intention and everyday come up with 10 ideas toward making it happen. Push the ideas. How can you combine your intentions so that your ideas can get really wild? Let yourself do this for 30 days every day, and then, when 30 days are up, do it for another 30 days. Before you know it, you will be compelled to take action. (I was introduced to this habit by James Altucher. Read more about the habit of 10 Ideas a Day here.)

Start with what you’ve got and where you are. Most importantly, start.

Happy writing and intention setting! I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

If you would like, feel free to share your intentions in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Namaste.

Holly

The only constant in life is change . . .

Muladhara Message for the week of December 19, 2016.

As we approach the final process of the United States elections today, these most recent root chakra (Survival • Tribal Power • The Right to Have, To Be • Earth) quotes resonate strongly with me. How do they resonate with you?

More importantly, how are you resonating with yourself, your loved ones, and the planet?

“The last taboo is the myth of civilisation.” –Paul KingsnorthThe Dark Mountain Project

“Few men realise that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings.” – Joseph Conrad

“When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by people who are not afraid to be insecure.” – Rudolf Bahro

rusted-route-holly-troy-2016“Why don’t we have a little game? Let’s pretend that we’re human beings, and that we’re actually alive.”  ~ John Osborne

“The American lawn uses more resources than any other agricultural industry in the world. It uses more phosphates than India and puts on more poisons than any other form of agriculture.” – Bill Mollison

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” – Bill Mollison

“The Thing To Remember ~ we all chose to incarnate to go through the times ahead together.” ~ Anne Ortelee

Thanks for reading. 

Much love and gratitude, 

Holly

Sisters Walking into the Lion’s Mouth

Stories about the Dakota Access Pipeline have been troubling my heart for some time now – this story by Victory Lonnquist especially moved me, brought me to tears, touched me on so many levels. Maybe it’s the moon, or my moon – or that water, the earth, women – are so powerful and yet, so repressed that we forget the power.

And of course, what’s happening in North Dakota right now is absolutely horrifying – and a huge civil rights travesty – not to mention an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Here’s Victory’s story:

prayers-at-the-frontline

Women Praying at the Frontline – photographer unknown

Today I joined Starhawk and other women in a prayerful walk to the front lines. We held each other arm in arm, hundreds of us, bundled in jackets, wearing long skirts to show respect for prayer camp, silent. Absolutely silent.

We walked from Sicangu/Rosebud along 1806 to Oceti Sakowin, to the Seven Fire Council. Faith Spotted Eagle wanted to talk to the native woman leading us. She was concerned about us going to the bridge. There were questions on who gave blessing for this action. I heard Dallas’s name. The men murmured, increasingly agitated. I was concerned. Arvol had just said – no actions without the blessings of the elders. I have deep respect for this protocol.

One of the men started saying we needed to go back. The native woman in lead banged her drum in front of them and motioned us on. We started walking, hundreds of women.

I told the sister I was walking with I was concerned. It didn’t feel right, going forward without the blessings of those elders. I stepped away from the front. She joined me. “What elders? ” she said. “There are many elders. A native elder is leading us. ” This is why we are walking! Because too many times women are stopped, our power oppressed.” I nodded, and fell in with sisters who opened their arms with a smile, and walked ahead, trying to understand and feel all of this out.

strength-card

The Strength tarot card symbolizes inner-strength and determination to overcome obstacles, and self-knowledge and self-discipline, as only when we know ourselves and act in a responsible manner will we be able to deal effectively with challenging situations and overcome our difficulties successfully. Yet this card does not only represent physical strength – moral and emotional strength are included in the meaning. {Tarot del Imaginario – LA FORZA}

We neared the bridge, and I could feel the heaviness of the energy, the warning of danger. “What am I doing here? ” I thought. “I’m walking into the lion’s open mouth! ” Yet I would not leave my sisters.

The last time I was here, I was treating water protectors at night, dropping around me like flies. It was a place of violence and war by the police. Now, it was day. It was quiet. We came softly.

Men met us at the bridge, some stern. Male security guards that had made a line to stop us. Some telling us not to go forward. The native woman at lead banged her drum. Some of the women cried “Men! Do not tell the women what to do! ” Some pushed against the men. Some men were aggressive and dominating. A native elder (female) next to me muttered ” Why are they policing us? We have enough police here. ” Some women yelled “Men! Let us through! Stop blocking us! ” Some men looked helpless yet resisted. One of the men said “We are trying to protect you! “

I became aware that this struggle was the mirror of the world.

The women who are tired of men speaking for us. The women who want to walk peacefully without men telling us where to go or what to do. The men, who think they may be helping us, but are still oppressing us. The men who genuinely wish to help. The men, some of whom are learning themselves how to be. We are all learning how to be.

In the end, the men stopped us. A small group of elders were allowed through, which was good. They prayed there at the front lines with the police. We women sat down, kneeled, silently, as the female elders walked to the razor wire, as police with guns and large militarized vehicles looked on, fingers on triggers. The women looked so small against the large fence and weapons just on the other side.

They held ceremony. They smudged. They went to the river and prayed. Quietly we looked on, sage and copal smoke floating around us, only the sound of our “Mni Wiconi, Water is life” flags billowing in the wind.

When it was over, we walked back, silently. Hundreds of women, arm in arm, returning to camp united, in prayer.