A moment's rest

For just one second
put everything down.
Externally, yes,
but internally, too.
Feel inside yourself.
Go into the ribcage
the heart
the belly.
Feel inside the shoulders
the head
behind the eyes
the inside of the cheeks.
Go into every bit of you,
offering a silent permission
to just
put everything down.
Just for a moment
a moment
breathe.
Feel the release
and the relief
of ending the struggle
the 'trying to figure things out'
the weight of future
and the weight of past
and everything that isn't right here and now.
Surrender to the space
the strong hand of stillness
the generosity of the moment.
Look at me
Isn’t it ok, to put it all down?
Are you not still here?
Heart is still beating?
Lungs are still moving?
Breath goes in and breath goes out?
Doesn't it feel good, to rest?
Just for one second
one moment
and then, maybe
.
.
.
just one moment more.

Love and courage,

Leah

Life will burn everything, and it will do it all for love

Sweet love,
If your life begins to crumble
If dreams slip like sand through your desperate fingers
If you find yourself disinterested in all things that once captivated you
If you are pounded down into a depression
And it seems you may never reach the place you were going
Take some comfort today.

Life is a relentless lover
Daring to rip you apart piece by piece
And decimate everything you thought was yours.
It will do whatever it takes
Whatever it takes
For you to awaken
For you to come alive to a deeper, lasting peace.
Everything it does, it does for you
To bring you what you want but don't know how to reach.

Through love alone it lights a match to your life
And you will have to stand by and watch
As it goes up in flames
Helpless to stop the raging fires.
Trust this helplessness
It is a kind hand inviting you to stop
And rest
And surrender
And let what needs to burn, burn.

You may be scared and confused, disoriented and desperate
But you are safe
Sweet love you are safe
Life burns only all that is not true
And as the hot flames begin to wane
You will emerge fresh and new
And you will know
It was all for love.

Love and courage,

Leah

In the name of self-improvement

In the name of self-improvement 
I abandoned myself.
Cast off all that was real
and flung it on the dumpster
in search of a better me.
They spoke with such authority 
all those ‘experts’
and their advice seemed sane and good
until I realised
that what seemed good
was actually planting seeds of
‘You’re not good enough’.
They spoke with such conviction
and their worlds were so shiny
and hordes of people bowed at their feet
so
how could they be wrong?
I dived in with great gusto.
I was going to be improved
better
best!
And then...
and then I would be happy. So happy.
But after many years of this improving 
I have to say
I didn’t feel much improved.
One day,
I made the most startling discovery
that
I had been perfect all along.
And so I traipsed back to the dumpster
where I had abandoned myself years before
and put myself back on
like a favourite old cardigan, rediscovered in a box beneath my bed.
And now it is me who speaks with conviction,
“There is nothing to improve!”

Love and courage,

Leah

Torn between the familiar and the possible

Just when you thought you’d landed somewhere safe, stable, secure, the new starts tugging on your sleeve again. Looking down, it looks back up at you with big eyes and whispers excitedly, ‘Come on, let’s go.’

And there you are again, torn between the familiar and the possible.

You’ve been here a thousand times before. You know it’s inevitable but you still act all surprised when it shows up.

‘Again? Really? Already? Do we haaaave to?

There’s an equal mix of reluctance and eagerness. Terror and…excited terror. You don’t want to but oh, you do want to.

You’ll have to let go of what you have. Scary. And there’s no guarantee that what comes next will be better. Even scarier. But you’ve always said yes to the tug in the past and no matter how much you um and ah this time, you know you’re not about to start saying no now.

A lot of people will think you’re naive, stupid, or even insane. But what does that mean except that your ‘yes’ to the unknown, to the possible, is so distant from their way of seeing life that it’s incomprehensible? You don’t fit their model. You’re used to this by now. Breathe. It’s OK. Your life, remember?

The familiar screams that you’ll die if you leave. And the possible screams that you’ll die if you don’t. So you’re torn for a little while between the two. But only for a little while because the heart is always right there and it’s whispering excitedly, ‘Come on, let’s go.’

And in the end the adventure will win out. Because to adventure is to live and to live is what you're here for. 

To letting go of the familiar...again.

Love and courage,

Leah

For the deeply sensitive

I was standing at a bus stop
when a loud bang
made me jump.
I recognised it, then
as an exhaust pipe popping
and felt the familiar heat of embarrassment 
at the way my body does this.
Over the road
two men
erupted into fits of laughter 
pointing 
at this girl across the street
who jumped so hard
at a sound which
to them
probably barely registered.
A double whammy
for the sensitive soul.
I don’t mind, really
the way they laugh
it must look kind of funny.
I would choose this again and again.
You might not jump
the same way I did
but did you hear
the sound of that bird’s wings
see the raindrop as it was about to fall
cry in wonder at the touch of the breeze across your cheek?

Love and courage,

Leah

Another lost piece of your soul, longing to be loved

So many times
I have thought I wanted
an answer to life’s problems.
A way out of the struggle 
the mess
the heartbreak 
the pain.
But every time
what I really wanted but never knew
was a space
where the strained seams of my life could come undone
completely 
and the stuffing 
old and worn
could tumble out
and somehow
that stuffing
a mangled, yellowing mess
of life’s mistakes and things gone wrong
could be looked upon with loving eyes
and held with such tender acceptance 
that I would know
that there was no problem here
only another lost piece of my soul
longing
to be loved.
Let the seams come undone.
Let the stuffing tumble out.
Soften yourself completely 
and pour Love over that mangled, yellowing mess.
Little by little
those undone seams will rework themselves
and all that you’ve been
will still be held inside
but bound together now
not by disgust
but by
Love.

Love and Courage,

Leah

Your differences are not defects

I was nineteen and in my first year at university.
This was the end of just another night.
The door of my little single room closed behind me and,
locked in the safety of its walls
I slumped, slowly
to the floor
and sobbed.
When there was nothing left 
but a dry crust of salt around my eyes
I slept, exhausted 
from another day confused by life
and my place within it I couldn’t seem to find.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’d gone along, as I always did
to the club where ‘everyone went’.
Awkward, I stood
with a drink in my hand I didn’t want
but too afraid to be without the comfort of something 
anything 
to hold on to.
As if that glass might somehow save me from the night.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Too much noise.
Too many people.
I didn’t dare dance.
But still,
I stood
and smiled
and nodded in false understanding when someone screamed something in my ear.
Ears that would later ring into the empty night.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
My tears were ones of confusion, self-loathing 
and anger at life.
I had never been told
I had never learned
that my differences weren’t defects 
but divine gifts
that
when properly understood 
could be used for unimaginable good.
Indeed,
I had never even known my differences as differences 
only this pervasive sadness
and feeling of being
wrong.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
A decade more would need to pass before,
finally,
I would begin to understand 
and I would learn
slowly slowly 
to give myself the permission others hadn’t known to offer
that it was ok
and also desirable
to be myself.
To love the quiet
and the solitude
and the hours of reflection and seeking
always wanting to go deeper into this mystery of life.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I have only ever longed
to be myself
and to share the world as I see and feel it
extending a hand as I travel to all those who are yet to know 
that their differences are not defects
but divine gifts 
that 
when properly understood 
can be used for unimaginable good.

Love and courage,

Leah