When someone asks, "What are you?,"
As we discuss the spiritual and the sacred
I will now respond, "I am all religions."
God/Allah/Hashem teaches me love
Showing up as Jesus, Divine Mother, and through
the nourishment of prophets and saints.
Buddha teaches how breath allows this love to flow through me
A blessed gift from the universe, from my ancestors
From the fusion of Shiva and Shakti, from the dancing fae.
Mother Kali, Mother Earth, Holy Spirit
The rising tides, the frozen lake, the flowing river
Dragon's fire and dragon's flight all protect me.
I am the child of them all.
The prayers are building blocks, not scripts
And my poetry doesn't have to rhyme anymore.
The spirit within me is no longer shades of grey
On some continuum in the middle of a black and white world
Spirit is all the colors, all the reflections, all the experiences
Spirit is all the feelings, all the sensations,
Spirit empowers the transformation of tragic pain into splendid art
Spirit does not belong in a box, on a scale, or with the laws of men.
For decades the Pharisees told me not to indulge in this buffet:
That faith is not a cafeteria and
The salvation of my soul depended on eating what I was served.
I grieve those years I almost listened and I celebrate the victory within
The inner light is a rainbow prism sparkling from ruby slippers
Carving a path, guiding me home this whole time.
Speak the truth
Even when your voice shakes
I've seen the meme
I've noticed the posters
And I've wretched inside.
So much easier said than done.
Taking a breath
I share my variation...
Breathe into the center of my being
Breathe and find my truth
On the exhale, allow doubt to release
Let fear begin to soften
Exhale the lessons learned that
My truth doesn't matter.
Be gentle if some of these blocks remain.
Trust my journey and
Allow these tendrils that silence me
To fuel my intention
The doubt, the fear, the negativity
Let my body know the innate
Specialness of my truth
How she needs to be shared
She wouldn't frighten me if she didn't.
Ride the waves of doubt
Play in the rain of fear and
Navigate the brutal rocks of negativity
Breathing all the while
Breathing like a lion and
I will roar like a tiger
Speaking my truth to the ages
Dancing with the consequences
"Brave Girl" mixed media: acrylic on canvas with photographs featuring Sister Henrietta Ritter, HM one of my kindergarten teachers and first movement facilitators on my left wing, representing the lineage of bold female teachers who came before me. This picture was taken in the 1920's when she played in a professional basketball league, recently gifted to me by another member of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary (Thanks Sister Joanne). On my right wing is Alicia Hann, one of my Dancing Mindfulness training students and emerging leader in our movement. She represents the boldness of female students I have the privilege of teaching. I am in the center, lifted up by the wings of integration given to me by my students and my teachers, flying me towards my greater purpose of helping other brave girls heal. Thanks to my cousin Danielle Realty for recently giving me an ornament with this phrase "Brave Girl" embossed upon it; the concept has given me a great deal to ponder!
Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity