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Thriving Words

                                Photo by Michael Haber

My power words for the year!

Engage. As in engage in life. No more standing by. No more waiting for a better, braver day-- for anything.

The past couple years I found my spirit dying, because even though I had woken up in the past several years to new possibilities, I came to a point where I could no longer engage in life, because in letting go, so much was released and changed, but the applications of any of the changes were still so new and challenging, and with increased awareness, there were those daunting core challenges brought up for clearing that were the source of most of the blocking.  Ouch!

As depths were probed, big chunks needed to be broken off, and landscapes needed to be rearranged. In the middle of it all, it was a mess, and I was hanging on for dear life! It seemed impossible for the old and the new to co-exist in a peaceful way.  Yet, I let myself want more. And life dangled a whole new set of possibilities, which showed me that I couldn't go backward, but I still couldn't go forward either! I was too weak, and too steeped in old paradigms of thinking to 'see'.

I let myself burn in the fire of my own mind, and fully feel all the pain of existence, of a mind that worked from a template of lack, wanting, and fear. I became my own martyr and walked my path of pain with eyes half open, becoming so inward, that I might have lost myself in there--if I hadn't been so supported by the seen and the unseen. But as perhaps with every path of thorns, I knew that I couldn't be lost, and weakly, that this was a transformative process--and I held out for this. But the truth is, I had to let myself die as much as I could, to begin to live.

In the dying, I hadn't yet fully recognized that part of me that streamed pure life-force, and held eternal reserves of sustenance--a  part of me that was alive and well, and waiting for me to reemerge from the depths, to move from being a newborn, to reborn. 

My perception is moving closer to seeing this life-force as more constant, as I indulge less in disappearing.

It isn't that I think this process is over, by any means, but I can say that I have arrived somewhere! I'm open to the possibility it will be easier from here on out though!

This act of reemerging is changing everything for me. When in the throws of feeling as though I had no choice but to choose death, because I just couldn't live if life was going to be the same, (and if it wasn't a literal death, it is maybe worse--living as though you are dead!) I heard with my being the softest whisper, that choosing life, didn't mean choosing the old life, but rather a new one. And that this new life would be greatly supported, because of what I had released of the old.

And since reemerging in bits this winter, a new way of life has been highly reinforced. I know I am not alone. I do feel supported. As I wrote about in Birthing the Self, the pain, anguish and depression, forced me to step outside of myself and to see and use my world in a very different way, to ask for things I would never have asked for before.

Life is feeling different, because I am different. This seems to be the key. I can't do things the same way. Therefore, it goes without saying that things would be different.

The main difference is that I can't ask for little and settle for even less. In many moments when I'm feeling a pull toward the old, I take steps to shake it up--even if it means wandering aimlessly for a while, just to break the pattern of checking out!

My second word is Leap. As in jump into the middle of the river, and start swimming actively, letting the flow carry me, but doing my part to stay afloat, to be sure to take in all that wonderful oxygen. I am noticing how when you jump right in and finally do something, even if your mind has no clue if it is right or wrong, (because your heart always knows, but it is hard to trust its quiet way) how it opens doors you could have never seen before without having made the jump! (An example of this was changing the name of this blog again. It took a lot of courage to do it, but as soon as I did, there were so many ideas and energy for moving differently! And it is all about moving differently, and seeing yourself through new eyes--somehow, having it revealed that you were always so beautiful in your unique way. It helps you see how beautiful everyone else is too. I find myself loving so much more abundantly! I am realizing that when you take a leap of faith, and land in a new place, you realize that you always knew that you had to take the leap. You were just waiting for your courage and bravery to catch up with you--for when you were really ready-- and would have the endurance to swim. I've decided I am calling Leaps of Faith, Leaps of Knowing, because we know. 

On some level, we always know.

And my final word is Impeccable.

There was a time when I did everything to the best of my ability, because I took pride in what I was doing. I was excited by the call of the future! I remember this in my dreamier days of my teens, when I was sure that life was worth living. But alas, this was both a curse and a blessing. My desire to be thorough became a way to seek approval, and when I was met with criticism, mine or another's, the fire easily went out. And when life presented challenges, there was no fuel for doing anything anymore. It all felt meaningless and not worth the trouble, as I indulged in that more cynical view of the world.

And let's just say that I lived through a lot of years of criticism, and eventually the fire to do things impeccably was completely gone, and life became heavy, like walking through quicksand. It isn't to say that I stopped doing things, but I did stop taking pride, because I was seeking mine and other's approval, and wasn't getting it--or even open to it. I did the best I could, but couldn't find any beauty in movement. I perceived my life from harsh inner and outer judgement that had taken over as a jumble of noise, and I became blind to what was lovely, and uninspired to move forward.

It was so painful, it lead me into my first rebellion, at 30ish, which was way too late! I had to throw out all the rules, break down all the structures, yell out about all the hypocrisy of this crazy world, and call its bluff, and then begin the arduous journey of building myself all over again from the ground up, in a world that didn't make any sense and wasn't supportive--at least at first glance.

In my experience this is a developmental process we all seem to undertake at some point, and we either go with it, suppress it, think it is indulgent, irresponsible, maybe even cut off our ear, or resist it. It is that inner war I spoke of in my last and one of my favorite posts to write:). So much judgement around this process, from ourselves, from others who want us to get our shit together! Don't they see that we are doing just that? I see it as the curse of the artist born after so many great artists and thinkers before us. We don't realize that we all have to start from scratch, and that it is okay. It is okay for it to take time.

Anyway, in that lawless place, (or at least as lawless as I could get, being a mommy still enforcing the rules),  I began to see the noise for what it was. But I still wasn't free. Throwing out the rules just made you floating by the way side, watching it all go by, still stuck in the same patterns, and not understanding how you could still be at their mercy, when you didn't buy into it--or did you?

It is a cold day when you wake up and realize nobody gives a shit if you've thrown out the rule book. It is your issue to contend with.

So, here is when an important choice was made. Live or die?

But choosing to live is when I woke up, and found that I've spent all this time in the ravaging fire that was supposed to consume me, and I am still here! This is when you notice that you have a warrior spirit, and instead of indulging in the mess, you are ready to get up and walk out of the old dream and into a new one. You leave the messes to be cleaned up by others, and start working the 'wax on, wax off' in your own tiny space. But it is new. There isn't some great prize ahead, something to prove, or something to conquer. It is all about impeccability. Hence, my new word and world to explore this year!

This is when tasks begin to take on a sacred quality. This is when you value clarity, because clarity has became a living virtue, no just something splendid to throw around.

This is when you realize that you are at the mercy of chaotic forces, and because you don't know which way they will swing on any given day, as mainly gentle or with a destructive vengeance, that all you can do is focus on doing your very best in each moment--but not because you have to, or because you should, but because you've chosen to exist right where you are.

This is when I bring the focus back to a small circle around myself, when I become curious and thorough. This is coming back to life, to engage and leap and be impeccable at it, on my terms, which strangely do not seem to conflict as much as I would have thought, with what is already in existence.

This is freedom to believe in magic again, but not needing it to measure mythical proportions. It is quiet. I see it small scale right around me, in the doing of the daily tasks, in the taking care of my body, and heart, in having the courage to do all of it all differently. And to be available to love so big, because nothing is in the way; to be loved so big, because nothing is in the way--and you can actually let it be what it is in each moment, while still using the full spectrum of humanness to be as colorful as the paint on a canvas, and you celebrate this freedom together!

Today as I touched the piano, which has been a largely neglected friend, I felt impeccability. I felt it in my patience to execute the notes clearly and accurately. I felt the fullness of depressing each key to achieve a desired sound. I felt it in the way my body opened up to express and receive the music. I felt it in the way I became part of the life, instead of resisting it. I felt it in the way I didn't attach to my playing, as the great union of lovers, but as something as passing as the phases of the moon. And it was good either way. I felt it as balance.

That is what it is, I guess--becoming part of the machine, but not in a dull way, rather, in a vibrant, allowing kind of way. Letting yourself be a part of all of it, without getting stuck in the extreme high's or extreme low's.

And impeccability is the highest order of waking up, realizing you are here, and that taking pride in all that you do, is all that you can do. And that it is important, not because you care what people think, but because you somehow care about life. And this caring supports life. This caring supports thriving.


  1. My dear Brooke, how well you articulate the touch of a breeze and the consuming nature of a heart set ablaze. I love it when you write like this, for even though to gain nourishment from an apple one must eat the apple themselves, I feel as though your words nourish me.

    I’m definitely going through a transition in life, probably the biggest one in many many years. Thank you for sharing your journey. I feel your presence beside me.



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