This is what you're here for (it's brave and bright)

The daffodils are in full bloom. Everywhere you look there's yellow. It's like the sun's shining up from the ground as well as down from the sky.

But just a few short weeks ago there were only a handful of solitary daffodils who'd opened their eyes to the world, the rest still closed up tight. I imagined those daffodils as the first brave and curious explorers, eager to see the world and somehow sensing something good was waiting. I imagined the way they'd wake up, see the wonder and turn to their sleeping brothers and sisters and whisper, 'Come on, you have no idea how beautiful it is out here!'.

Feeling good is good, but there's wisdom in the darkness

"You can't rush your healing.
Darkness has its teachings."
- Trevor Hall

These words come from a song of the same name (You Can't Rush Your Healing) by Trevor Hall. The first time I heard Trevor’s music, I fell immediately for his voice and lyrics. Medicine for the weary heart, signposts for the seeker, reminders of our oneness and celebrations of LOVE.

Healing anxiety (and my own anxiety journey)

If you struggle with anxiety, I wrote today's letter for you. I’m going to share my personal anxiety story, how I experience anxiety today and five tips that I hope will serve you in your own journey.

The first time I became aware of anxiety

The first time I remember feelings of anxiety becoming very obvious in my life was during my first year of university.

The perilous business of true art

Are you ready?
Strip off then.
Go on, everything.
Yes, that too.
Right down to your wiggly bits.
Feel exposed?
Yes, yes, ok.
Now, see those stairs?
Go ahead, climb up, stage left.
Walk through the black curtain and make your way to front centre.
There's a white cross taped to the floor there.
You can't miss it.
Stand right on the cross and
don't move.
Ready? It's about to start.
Lights are going up.
What's that? You want to know how this will go?
Sorry, that's not a part of this deal.
None us knows what happens next.
You signed up for this.
Now, go!
.
.
.

There, there, all finished.
Breathe.
How did it go?
Oh God, they didn't like it?
Really, they rejected everything?
Said it was ridiculous?
That you were out of your mind?
That you had no chance of making it?
That they didn't get it?
That it wouldn't work?
Couldn't work?
That you weren't...good enough?
Shit, that sucks, I know.
.
.
.
Here, rest on my shoulder a while.
I don't mind the snotty tears, honestly; we all need that,
sometimes.
All done? Good, good.
Now,
ready to go again?
Excellent, my friend, excellent.
Welcome to the life of the true artist.
You have officially
come
alive.

[To artists and creators everywhere. To those who risk the new. Those who stand naked over and over again with their heart in their hands saying, 'I made this. What do you think?' To the ones who know they'll suffer rejection, and create anyway. To those with the unpopular messages which need to be heard and dare to speak. To those who choose what feels honest and true over what is sure to work. To all of you, you have my highest fucking respect.]

Love and courage,

Leah

The endless invitation

Old energies rush forward
the way the tide comes into the bay near my home;
without warning and at a speed quicker
than galloping horses,
leaving you frothing like a wild sea.
Inadequacy, familiar as a childhood blanket;
unworthiness, a playground friend
tugging on your limbs, wanting
to swallow your Presence down.

Breathe.

They say you should never struggle against quicksand
it only
pulls you more quickly down.

The waves of inadequacy crash at the shore,
debris of guilt, shame and sadness alongside.
But where are you?
Sitting quietly on the craggy rocks
your favourite spot
a witness to this ancient energetic tide.
Knowing that these waves cannot harm you
cannot touch you
you bless their coming;
their endless invitation to
wake.

Love and courage,

Leah

The man who rolled the lemons. A poem about alchemy and significance

Ordinarily, the people at the supermarket checkout
take the items that roll easily - lemons, apples and such
and guide them with a careful hand
down that slight incline that leads towards your waiting bags.
But he was different.
He scanned my three lemons
before giving them a playful shove
sending them roly-poly-ing toward me.
I laughed and he shot me a mischievous smile saying,
”It’s the best part of my day.”
Two bulbs of garlic were next in line
but they would not roll on account of their nobbles
and our eyes met in a conspiratorial giggle.
Before I left, I wished for him that many people would come in search of loose lemons this day.
Joy followed me like a light shadow
until the sun slept and then still when it woke again
and I prayed for all people to know
that an insignificant action and, therefore,
an insignificant life
are not things that exist.
He rolled three lemons and made joy and poetry;
a master alchemist in disguise.
We will likely never know all the ways our lives reach beyond ourselves
but we can be sure in our hearts that they do.

Love and courage,

Leah

Rebellion, mischief and originality in a world that favours conformity

Offer me all the material success in the world. Sew my bedsheets with golden thread and hang diamonds from my curtains. Fill my bank accounts with rubies and embed emeralds on the tips of my shoes. Kiss my hands and bow deep at my feet. Speak of my great achievements with respect and awe. Fly me business class around the world and wait dutifully in line for a signed copy of my international bestseller. Quote me in journal articles and invite me on Oprah. Sing my praises to all who will listen. Know my authority and expertise.

Offer me all the material success in the world and I will reject it all if it comes at the cost of true expression. What is a life for if not to be oneself?

The light of rebellion, mischief and joy glitters in the eyes of my young twin nieces. I pray it never dulls. Born but minutes apart, their differences make up the utter beauty of this world. A unique expression of one, indivisible whole. The gift of each of us births rivers of salt from my eyes. Perhaps we will never know just how splendid our originality.

Yet with time, most of us get smudged. A little rounding off here. A little smoothing off there. Recruited into groups that blend us into one another so much that in the end there is little left to tell us apart. We feel relatively safe. Maybe we are pretty successful. People like us. We fit in. We move with the crowd.

But just beneath the dry, tired surface, true expression still flows. A creative force that’s hot like blood pushes at the door of your heart and begs to be let in and then up and out!

When a baby is born, an artist is born. The world is full of artists who have forgotten their gifts. Heavenly blessings smothered under rules, authority and fear. Find your way back now. It is not too late until the last breath is taken. Cut the cords that tie you to a flavourless life. Discover the truth and words your heart alone wishes to speak. Risk your reputation for the fire of your untamed creativity. Rejoice in the vulnerability of standing alone. Let Love burst through your red-rich veins and colour this world in the way it can only ever do through you.

What is a life for if not to be oneself?

Love and courage,

Leah