I Hope We Never Stop Saying “Me Too.”

me too

I hope we never stop saying, “Me Too.”

I hope we never stop believing in the force we are together. I hope we never stop defending the love that keeps us tethered.

I hope we never stop combatting the fears which threaten us apart. I hope we never stop feeling the strength of linked arms and the warmth of cleaved hearts.

I hope we never stop mending the severs and schisms this world fights to harden. I hope we never stop hearing the groans of those downcast, exploited, forgotten on the margins.

I hope we never stop raising the banner of justice, the emblem of truth, the pennant of courage. I hope we never stop exposing the bedrock of kindness where a culture can flourish.

I hope we never stop handing off the megaphone to voices muted in the uproar. I hope we never stop receiving the words from each mouth that broken systems dare to speak for.

I hope we never stop gazing at the faces a shade darker, the eyes tinged with fire and sorrow. I hope we never stop sensing the might of their stories from our bones to our marrow.

I hope we never stop braving the tension of what is and our faith in what could be. I hope we never stop declaring this shared humanity.

I hope we never stop knowing that united as one is the course we are given to see this life through…

And I hope we never ever stop saying, “Me Too.”


Truth Found Me in the Trauma

it is well

This past year began with a march on the nation’s capital. Thousands of female voices and bodies and hearts surged together in one pulsing, roaring, fire-breathing crusade.

It ended with a hashtag. The simplest and yet most disarming of words—Me Too—which affirmed the everywhere-ness and everyday-ness of sexual trauma for women.

In both cases, the message was loud, passionate and overdue: “We’ve had enough. We are not subdued. Our faces will be known. Our stories will be recognized. Our truth will be heard. Our moment for justice and equality is now.”

I cannot think of two more rabble-rousing events to bookend 2017. But crammed right in between these cultural touchstones, a subtler force of reckoning had taken shape within the breath and bones of my personal narrative. And that is the story I must tell.

It caught no media attention, but it disrupted the rigidity, normality and predictability I assumed would keep me sane. It did not contribute to the clamor on Facebook, but it jarred all the defenses I believed would keep me safe.

 It wasn’t named among the “silence breakers” in Time Magazine, but it forced me to break the silence anyway—to scream and grieve and rage and weep.

This was my own experience with trauma, lodged in the darkest crevice of my soul.

Something primal inside of me could sense it existed, but conscious memory had chosen to forget. The idea of being known too profoundly, seen too intently, felt too strongly­­—I couldn’t allow this to happen. I refused to give anyone else that access.

I became relentless in making sure they never learned the truth—that I was tainted, undesirable, too broken for love. And so I decided vulnerability was unsafe. Emotion was weakness. Authenticity was reckless. Human contact was out of the question.

Instead I clung to the trifecta of control, independence and badass-ery. My opiates of choice.

I was addicted to the notion that I could survive alone, that I could outrun the abuse and betrayal, that I could protect this heart from being hurt all over again. And for awhile, I succeeded. I was high on self-reliance, and I managed not to hurt. But I didn’t heal either.

So when the narcotizing ebbed and the white noise faded, all that remained was me.

Still bruised. Still afraid. Still jaded. Still detached. In a solitary confinement where I had locked myself. Warden and inmate. Judge and defendant. Clutching the keys but too familiar with the chains—resisting the freedom which meant rejoining the world.

But then a different truth found me.

It was quieter than isolation, louder than fear. It sighed within my spirit: “You are not tainted, you are redeemed. You are not undesirable, you are irreplaceable. You are not broken, you are under reconstruction.” And I caught myself aching to believe.

Truth doesn’t need my endorsement. Truth is real whether I accept it or not. But I could either ignore that same truth clanging on the prison bars—or allow it to shove me toward an audacious new realm of connection and compassion outside my own angst.

So I want the truth. I want the freefall. I want the pain and mess and discomfort and grit. All those reminders I am, in fact, alive.

I want the people who kept their word and stuck around. I want the relationships that yanked me from the shadows, tilting my face toward the sun.

I want to be transformed from lone drifter into rebel with a cause—from impassive and withdrawn to crackling with fire and ferocity.

Because the truth is a springboard for radical, extraordinary, astonishing redemption. I don’t always hear the truth. I don’t always seek it out. I don’t always soften to its message. There is always a “don’t” involved. But I am learning.

And no amount of trauma can diminish that lesson.

Intentions > Resolutions


So I was listening to a podcast yesterday…

(Random side-note: 90% of my sentences begin with that conversation opener. I have a podcast problem, deal with it).

But I digress…the theme of this podcast episode was all about New Year’s resolutions. Groundbreaking stuff, right? It’s not like we just entered 2018 or anything. And here’s another bombshell—more often than not, resolutions don’t even work.

*Cue the collective gasp track.*

Not that it’s a shock to anyone who’s, oh I don’t know, made a resolution at some point, but the excitement and motivation tend to fizzle out after awhile. Once that novelty of goal-setting wears off, most of us find ourselves back at the status quo with a nagging sense of regret or an “ehhh I tried” kind of attitude. We humans are creatures of habit—we resist change, avoid the uncertain, question the unfamiliar.

It’s our struggle. And it’s real.

But now that we’ve established “resolution” carries an undertone of failure, how about a different approach? What if we used another word instead? Like “intention” maybe.

Does a shift in language matter though? Is there some nugget of nuance to extract between the lines? Umm…I think so anyway.

A resolution is expected or obliged.

An intention feels softer, gentler, more mindful somehow.

A resolution has no margin for error.

An intention creates the space to just learn as we go along.

To accept that mistakes happen but only define us if we give permission.

To honor the process of growth and renewal.

To be transformed with a loving touch on the inside, rather than browbeating ourselves into “doing better” on the outside.

One is a performance. The other is a lifestyle. One confines. The other sustains. One is action-oriented. The other is soul-centered.

I picture intention as a creative force. A conscious, dynamic burst of awakening. The genesis of every dream or desire. This might sound too meta for some, but I believe the human experience is rooted in spirituality. And we need to nourish this corner of the triangle (mind, body, spirit) before the wildest, fiercest, bravest, messiest, rawest, truest, fullest expression of ourselves can break through.

So this year, I’m issuing a new challenge to myself—acknowledge the intent behind the resolve. If my goal is to workout more often, for instance (which is an absurd goal since I already workout like it’s my job), rather than just increasing miles, weights or repetitions, I need to investigate what’s fueling this urgency.

Do I have an impulse to exercise because I want to feel active, energized and healthy?

Or could I be using exercise to “outrun” the fear that who I am will never be enough?

9 times out of 10, it’s the latter. In which case, the most beneficial strides toward self-improvement won’t take place through fitness. Resolving to workout more can medicate the symptom. Yeah, sure…of course it can. But the heart-issue will go untreated. And love, impact, art, service—they won’t sprout from a fissured heart.

Instead of focusing all my efforts on the physical, what if I tried setting my intentions on the spiritual? Choosing to affirm that I am enough without “fixing” my appearance to prove it? Now that would be a radical shift. Downright crazy. Weird and wonderful. A pattern of living disrupted. A comfort zone flipped on its head.

But hey, comfort zones are so 2017. Moving forward, I’d rather be soft and intentional. Not stiff and resolute.

So on that note…hello, 2018!

What Do I Want?

It seems like the most basic of questions. But to me, it’s loaded. And it’s something I’ve been asking myself on repeat lately.

More like forcing myself to ask. Because the deeper I probe into the motives, rhythms, choices and beliefs that compel my actions, the harder it feels to reckon with the truth of what I’m finding.

The truth inside me.

The truth I’ve been denying. The truth I’ve been suppressing. The truth I’ve been ignoring. The truth of who I’ve become.

Someone who prioritizes a fleeting gratification over an abiding source of fulfillment and purpose. Who gravitates toward selfish, lustful appetites instead of compassionate service to others. Who withdraws behind the security of pretense but misses the beauty, intensity and ferocity of relationships. Who settles for this mediocre “half-life” while rejecting the invitation to come undone and come alive.

These truths are uncomfortable to admit. And downright scary to expose in writing. My hands will freeze over the “publish” button for a solid five minutes before posting this. I guarantee it. So what’s the point? Why bother disclosing the naked underbelly of my soul? Who needs to know? Who’s going to care?

Ahem…the answer is simple. need to know, and need to care. Not just facing the discomfort, but talking it out—that’s how accountability and honesty are learned. It’s the exact same concept as muscle memory during a workout. The more a behavior is perpetuated, the more it distorts into reflex. Second nature. Identity.

When it’s no longer a behavior but a dependence, I can’t skirt around the issue anymore. I have to recognize that a fractured spirit isn’t mended through silence and artifice—but through peeling off the withered husk, so newness can sprout from the rubble. I need a different form of muscle memory built on awkward, clumsy decisions that seem counterintuitive but lead to a strength I never imagined.

I need the sunlight to burst my heart into flames. And in that furnace, I need to finally breathe again.

So what do I want…?

The clarity is unmistakable. I want 2018 to be a year of freedom, healing and redemption. I want to start choosing life. And not just from the safe distance of words on a keyboard—although for me, that’s where all the best discoveries begin.


The Breakthrough.


I am the raven orbiting in aerospace

Above the earth, above the human race.

My shadow smeared upon the mountain peak

Like a feathered kiss on that snow-white cheek.

Sometimes I wander too close to the sunrise

Enough to feel that fire in its eyes.

Singed by the heat but lost in my reverie

Heedless to pain until it consumes me.

I freefall alone at the edge of the world

Wings thrash the air—wild, frantic, unfurled.

It’s a desperate, feral, impassioned last stand

But solo flights are doomed for a crash-land.

The wind chokes out my voice and strangles my soul

All that remains is a fleck of the whole.

A body deprived of its essence within

A counterfeit creature of bone and skin.

I comb the horizon for my saving grace

Some foothold to grasp, some faith to embrace.

I roam the hinterlands with compass unclear

Direction obscured, sight darkened by fear.

The summit ahead and the valley behind

Keep me hemmed in their resounding divide.

One urges me forward on two broken wings

The other croons, “pause…rest…heal your heartstrings.

The summit proclaims a hero’s arrival

But from the valley dawns a revival.

A hurried ascent leaves you panting for breath

But stillness draws strength from innermost depth.”

So I’m just an arrow in the archer’s hand

Ready to soar at his trusted command.

My feathers catch daylight, my aim flashes true

First comes the waiting—and then the breakthrough.




And then You Feel Alive

Sometimes it seems this wound might never heal. Sometimes it feels this pain could last an eternity and more.

Then other times, you find yourself barefoot and lounging in the bed of a rusted ’99 pickup truck, gazing at the infinite expanse of black, losing count of all the stars. There’s a warm breeze on your face, a pulse in your chest, a world at your fingertips.

It’s those quiet moments—strung together like beads of rain, prisms of light or fractals of snow—that remind you life isn’t over.

While your lungs still draw their treasured breath, while your heart still drums its velvet cadence, you realize there’s a purpose to the cosmos. You sense it’s not through random occurrence or chance encounter that you exist in one minuscule fissure of it all.

And then, you feel alive.

When It Starts to Feel Dark, I Need to Create. So, Here’s a Poem.

This Soul

 this soul of mine.

                                          blinded by the sun.

                                             curtained by the moon.

               this soul of mine.

                                          pierced by tongues.

                                battered by lies.

               this soul of mine.

                                          silenced by fear.

                                    mocked by regret.

               this soul of mine.

                                          drenched by the rain.

                                          hurled by the wind.

               this soul of mine.

                                          roped by the siren.

                                          enticed by the wolf.

               this soul of mine.

                                          taunted by danger.

                                              abandoned by refuge.

               this soul of mine.

                                          scorched by the desert.

                                              jarred by the current.

               this soul of mine.

                                          grazed by the rocks.

                                                  shadowed by the peaks.

               this soul of mine.

                                          inspired by strength.

                                               haunted by weakness.

               this soul of mine.

                                          bewitched by the skies.

                                           upheld by the earth.

               this soul of mine.

                                           pursued by the wilds.

                                                 anointed by renegades.

                 this soul of mine.

                                            compelled by true north.

                                                  urged on by the waves.

                 this soul of mine.

                                             refined by the fire.

                                               baptized by the tears.

                 this soul of mine.

                                              sustained by courage.

                                                    anchored by endurance.

                 this soul of mine.

                                              created by mess.

                                        unfettered by art.

                 this soul of mine.

                                              toughened by the pain.

                                                  softened by the beauty.

                 this soul is mine.

inner peace