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I will not quit.

I will not quit on myself.

I will not quit on my healing.

I will not quit on my health.

I will not quit on my journey.

I will not quit on my friendships.

I will not quit on my relationships.

I will not quit socially blossoming.

I will not quit in my pursuit of spiritual growth.

I will not quit in the creation of my spiritual foundation.

Because I am not a quitter.

I will persevere.

I will continue to become more confident.

I will heal my heart and my soul.

I will reach a point where I am confident in my physical body.

I will find content in my physical body.

I will find perfection in me.

I will heal, develop, and welcome old and new friendships

I will have a loving, thoughtful, deep, passionate relationship

Because life isn’t living without passion.

I will enjoy people to their fullest potential.

I will continue to learn and grow.

I will remain an observer.

I will be mindful of myself.

I will be mindful of others.

I will continue to give of myself.

I will rely and reference my faith throughout this journey.

I will be positive.

I will be happy.

I will bring all of these wonderful affirmations to the world.

I will do all of this because it is a part of who I am.

I will be patient, I will persevere.

I will be me, Brittany.

and I will be loved by myself and by others.

I have exercised all day and have not found ease in a breath, how unusual.

I have sat in silence for an hour and still hear the roar of a city between my ears.

I am wound up, tired out, but still searching.

I am sitting despite the fact that I am cold.

I hoped that I could sit here until the sun came out and warmed my body.

I would sit until a significant thought would carry me back down the trail.

I am sitting with my back to the view of the lakes.

I tell myself, Turn around Brittany, but I can’t.

It is as if I am waiting for a fellow friend to come up the trail.

I will offer them a hug, say, Hello, my friend, and think to myself- I was waiting for you.

I feel unfiltered and raw but not like a gross Andy Warhol spin-off.

I feel present but this time there are no layers to peel away.

There is nothing to hide. No one to think about. Nothing to overcome.

Is this freedom?

I haven’t had this before. This sense of self.

I have always been alone but I am here, alone but feel connected.

No feeling of solitude.

Connected to myself, and I am O.K.

I feel like I am supposed to be thinking of something but my mind is blank.

Beautifully blank.

I don’t need to think. I don’t need to feel.

Just need to be. Just need to write.

I can’t feel my pulse and I remember feeling it all the time.

Is it because it is so far beneath the surface of me?

Have I mistaken it as a non-vital?

I hope the next stage of life is about letting my pulse radiate like waves of energy.

Waves of energy on the shore of a blank canvas.

I could live only from the heart- I used to be good at that.

A long time ago- breathing came easily to me.

These are the right steps.

You’re on your way home.

If connection is what you want, Britt, then you will find it.

If the trees could talk they would say, Brittany, we are getting to know you.

I am winding down now.

An eyelash just landed on my hand.

I’ll make a wish on it even if the eyelash isn’t my own.

“It takes giving everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what truth really means. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living. They asked me why, but there’s no reason talking to people who have a home. They have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lay your head.

I was always an unusual girl. My mother told me I had a chameleon’s soul. No moral compass pointing due North. No fixed personality, just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean.

And if I said I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying, because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one who belonged to everyone. Who had nothing, who wanted everything. With a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to a point that I couldn’t even talk about and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness.”

One Today

One Today

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together

RICHARD BLANCO

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Quote borrowed from Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love.

Could my spiritual journey be a simple as a cosine wave? Or is it as complicated? I imagine it depends on one’s mental and spiritual clarity. There are moments of dullness and moments of endless creation. In recent times, I believe that the strength of these waves has to do with the amount of allowance and/or the level of resistance that we maintain in our energetic bodies.

The motivation to write began with a yoga class, the invitation to share the union of breath with a family of strangers. Encouraging and sharing movement was so powerful, it lead to a deeper investigation of my ‘self.’ Later that evening during a friendly gathering celebrating the seasonal change in the North Country, I had the opportunity to gaze out into the galaxy. This is not an analogy, my friend is an amateur astronomer with an extremely powerful telescope! I learned a new skill while star gazing. He explained the concept of averted vision. Did he know that he was also explaining the process of spiritual growth? Averted vision meant taking your eyes off of what you instantaneously, almost impulsively desire, in order to view contrast and appreciate what it is you did not know existed.

I have not quite come to terms with that wave of information, but I imagine that it will come again. I eagerly and optimistically made one more connection while gazing out into the unknown that I stopped learning about in 8th grade earth science. Allow me to explain the series of connections:

It began with a book. (No surprise there)

A book about movement, a book called, “What a Body Knows.” I am only paragraphs into the book but I am hooked on the fresh new concepts of movements creating desire and therefore creating the self.

It is as simple as movement. This is something I have always understood, and now movement is a more than an activity, it is a principle and it is something that I proudly embrace.

Laura, the author, indirectly says (or I perceived) movement is critical to our development, and it enables the self to create powerful waves that eventually become manifestations of our desires. It takes the wind out of the sails of willful and wishful thinking and enables individual to eminate hope and wellbeing from their spiritual bodies, not just their spiritual center!

I said, AH HA! I have known this all along. This is why I must always be moving and this is why I will always be on the move! What I did not understand is how does a melody of simple movements create a song of desire?

The answer to that was literally in the stars. As I gazed out through the telescope at star nurseries, and supernovas, my friend told me that I was gazing into the past. He meant 1500 years into the past! He explained that by now those particles had moved or been moved and were probably already forming or a part of another star. Ignorant to intergalactal space creation, I asked him, “how do they move?”

He spoke of the effects of chemical reactions, gases and other atmospheric pressures. It became my understanding that these non-life forces propelled movement that was so substantial and powerful that it could create entire galaxies. We then began talking about the idea that the same matter that builds the stars, also forms the foundation for human beings, and every other object on the planet. So the power behind creative movement is as simple as molecular restructuring. That is not rocket science (actually it is), but it does go to show that we are definitely a part of something greater. It is now clear to see that we are all connected, moving and changing in synchronization with one another. We humans, stars and galaxies alike, are not alone in this journey.

Moving to a new place poses more challenges than just the physical labour of hauling furniture and stuffing carloads until your tire axles wine and complain. There is the longing to start your new life while still being able to maintain your relationships from the past. The emotional layers of moving penetrate our spiritual lives through the subtle movements and changes of the subconscious self. Though challenging it is also very rewarding. If you are ready and willing you may find yourself diving deeper within and preparing for something much greater.

And isn’t this the purpose of life, of growth and of human beings?

My recent move has opened my heart and mind to a life of unforeseen changes. A spirit inside me drove me to pack up and relocate but a greater being knew I was capable and guided me to this place where I would continue to evolve into someone great.

Although I am unaware of the end results I am persistent in the free informal education.

What are these lessons?

For me, it has began with learning about people. It is about winning and influencing those around me to create a community which I desire to dwell in. Fortunately I am not alone in this process, I am in fact accompanied by Dale Carnegie author, and fellow pursuant. The principles that he offers are intangible and by the end of his book I would like to help others generate these principles on their own so that they also adopt and alter their own lives. What keeps me intrigued? The reactions and actions of those around me as well the reward of knowing that this higher level of thought and living will allow all ships to float.

The next lesson has evolved from my decision and commitment to being happy. This is easier than most believe. I think it comes down to perspective. A commitment to happiness also means a commitment to continuously developing new perspectives. Those which allow you to enjoy, enjoy, ENJOY whatever it is you encounter. This can be done in a number of ways, maybe through relationships or adventures, maybe more awareness, effort more gratitude and more appreciation. The commitment looks and feels different every day and isn’t that wonderful? The fuel is the feeling of becoming and the warm acceptance from those who welcome and admire your constant rebirth.