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The Door Within

inner doorVision of hidden realms within
Behind the inner door
A beacon of journey’s end

Obscured by false fog
Lured away with shiny promises
The key won’t turn
Clues change constantly
Secrets guarding the path

Frustrations mount on twisted pathways
Draped with haunted memories
Harsh words, and bitter regrets

Valiant efforts
Yet the door won’t open
Stuck
Warped shut
Blocked by jagged layers of tangled arguments
Veiled misunderstandings
Warped by time
Kicking batters the door
Fevered curses blister the lock

Sinking against the door
Unyielding
Structure hard on weary bones
Despair clings
Heartache swirls
Hope escapes through tears

Lost
Damaged
Broken
An empty shattered husk

Until all is given up
Until all is surrendered
Until all past versions release

Gentle caress of a new breeze
A wedge of light
Another door
No lock
Swung ajar

The true door was present all along
Unseen until freedom permeated old realities
Former ways that no longer served
Beliefs wrapped in false trimmings

Only the journey knew the way

Amy Dionne, 2015

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A Love Letter from a Story

happieroutsideThe following letter was told to me by one of my characters – Evan, from Intertwined, a fantasy story about magic, defeating the old ways, and realizing that other cultures have the same heart.

Dialoguing with my characters is a technique I use to get to the center of my characters, or ask them to open up to me about what a certain problem is or figure out why they’re quiet. This particular instance resulted in him directing his thoughts towards me, and knowing I needed his reassurance that day. These characters of mine are why I keep writing. I can’t ever let them down.

Evan writes:

Hey gorgeous. I see the confusion in your eyes. You’re pulled in so many directions. You want to make everyone happy. You’re worried about security. You’re worried about making the wrong choices.

While your internal turmoil is twisting you into knots, might I just add that you should choose us? Your characters. Your stories. Here’s why – we’ll never let you down. You will never lack for worlds to create or plots to construct or relationships to cultivate.

Sure you could just continue reading others’ works and find some level of happiness. They won’t be the stories you need to write. They won’t be written with your voice. They won’t have your heart and soul entwined in them.

That’s why we love you. That’s why we show up when you ask it of us. That’s why we let you destroy our lives, our families, our relationships, so you can put us back together in a way only you can construct.

So while you’re making those grand choices and plans to secure your future, bank on us. We exist because of you, and we won’t ever let you down. We will love you through it all, and are so ready to come alive to your readers.

So choose us. We’re worth it.
Love, Evan

With communications like that, how could I ever not believe it?

Image snagged from my friends at Happier Outside.

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Fort Popham

far sideNormally I just upload photos to my various social media collections and call it good. I realized, however, that I haven’t updated this blog in ages and ages. Thought it might be a decent way to share what I’ve been up to. So I’m including lots of pictures from my vacation day when I went down the coast a little to Fort Popham.

Luckily, I went first thing in the morning. If you’re in downeast Maine, you know that the best thing to do in the summer is either avoid the tourist sites or get there early. I was there early, and good thing. There were only a few cars when I arrived at the Fort, and when I left there were cars everywhere, and others circling trying to find spaces.

This trip was a reconnection with the water element. The ocean is often the right place to let go of anything that weighs you down, and to make space for new opportunities and energy to come into your life. Looking at the ocean just puts life into perspective. It’s ancient power supporting life makes most anything we deal with fairly insignificant. So I gave the ocean some old habits and made a new path for authentic creativity.

Did it work? Time will tell, and if not, then back to the water’s edge I will go. Until you get a chance to wander to the ocean, enjoy these pictures from my excursion. Oh, and a note about the Fort itself – the construction is incredibly neat with the materials and the angles. I think it’s impossible to take a bad picture there with the amount in visual interest in each section.

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Spirit Animals

spirit animalsI’ve had a number of people ask me about connecting with spirit animals, which is what inspired me to write this post. I’m no expert, but I’ve done a fair amount of research and believe myself to be at least a competent interpreter of messages from the spirit animal companions. I hope you find something useful from this post, whether you are a follower of the spirit animal concept or not. Feel free to reach me at the connections on my contact page if you have any questions.

Why?

The main question is – why does it matter? They’re not real (at least in physical form anyway…), so what purpose does it have to try and connect with something that’s not in corporeal form?

  • They make you stop and think.
  • You have to connect with the outside world and observe nature and its interactions.
  • Using the presence of a spirit animal can help in times of crisis, sadness, or heightened emotion. What you’ve learned by studying the relevant animal may be the catalyst for handling a situation calmly or finding the will to move forward. Alternately, studying an animal with grace, beauty, and power may help translate to your own life.

Finding your Spirit Animal

There is no one right way to figure out your spirit animal. There are many books and decks that highlight the relationships – I generally use Ted Andrew’s Animal Speak, and Medicine Cards. There are also fun online quizzes (yeah, we know not to hold too much belief in what the internet says, right?) along with a great number of knowledgeable people. Specifically, those in Native American cultures, Shamanistic roles, or pagan paths often use animal connections as part of their belief systems. Many are quite happy to talk about such things with people that have an open mind.

Recognizing when animals show up outside of their normal realms is a critical part of determining your connection with them. There are birds and insects and small critters around constantly. What if they show up at the same time or place every day for a period though? It’s not coincidence that animals chose to reveal themselves to you.

  • Look for the not so obvious animals. Yes, it’s easy to want to pick a “cool” animal like the wolf, eagle, or bear, and while those are legit and awesome spirit guides, remember that sometimes the not so obvious ones have just as much to teach us. There’s a great deal of wisdom to be found with animals such as mice, rabbits, and turtle guides.
  • What animal keeps showing up for you? Is there an animal that shows up often when you commute to work? Or shows up online constantly? In your dreams? The snow leopard was like that for me. After continuously showing up in my life – through artwork and social network feeds, it finally occurred to me with a nudge from a friend that the snow leopard was trying to speak to me.
  • What animal makes sense? What animal feels right? Your gut feeling is your best guide after you’ve done all the research and pulled the cards.

Utilization

So you find your spirit guide, or think you have anyway. What’s next? Couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Spirit animals come and go, depending on what you need to learn. There are some that are always with you, but many guides may only be around for a time.
  • Apply their teachings. What’s going on your life? What do you need to prepare for? How are you handling whatever storms are being thrown your way? Do you need to let loose and have some fun, or build your storehouse for the future? Do you need more connection with others or to be more solitary?
  • Determine how multiple animals are working together, even if they feel somewhat contradictory at first.This is a difficult aspect to learn. An example is – both a predator and a prey animal appear as your guides. How do you reconcile the obvious contradictions? What aspects of each animal do you need to focus on, and how do they work together in life’s circle?

Resistance

 As important as finding out which animals resonate with you, is finding out which ones do NOT. And why. Are you resisting because you don’t want to admit that the spirit guides are showing you areas you may be weak? Are you ignoring parts of your life or your character that need addressing? The message that these animals have to tell you is important. Do not ignore them just because you don’t want to hear what they have to say. The message will manifest in one way or another until you learn what they have to teach.

Journey

Embarking on a journey with a spirit animal is a challenging and rewarding task. It teaches us to listen, to be open, and to apply what is said to our lives. Doing so can help improve your connection to the world. There’s a lot to be learned about relationships with others, and with yourself, by spending time with your guides. They strip away all that which is hidden in human interaction. Animals are honest, and clear in a way that humans have forgotten how to be. We can learn from that.

Enjoy your journey as you determine your animal guides. If you have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to ask.

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Transformation

Transformation
Transformation, from http://davidji.com/transformation-weekend-guided-meditation/

Transformation
Is not optional
Life doesn’t wait for us
To catch up
Run through the bush with thorns
The blood is supposed to be there
One way or another
Arrive

Broken, battered, bleeding
Still, you show up
Find things are different
Than your perceptions
They exist as they should

Pull off the expectations
Cease trying to shape
What cannot be controlled
There is no winning

There is only becoming

Amy Dionne, 2015

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Grief is Sneaky

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAGrief sneaks up in unexpected moments. Yes, it’s full and present during the obvious times of shock, and wakes and funerals. Where it truly lives though is after the flowers have wilted and the food storage containers are back to their owners, and friends have stopped calling every single day to make sure you’re okay. It’s then, in those quiet moments, that grief settles in.

It’s not the loud, tear filled grief from before. It’s the quiet grip that shows up unexpectedly, while waking or running an errand, or reading a passage that hits just the right chord. In those moments grief wraps around your heart and lungs, where tears may only flow silently, where the pain is at its most real. For a moment it’s hard to think about continuing whatever task is laid out before you, because you can’t see anymore through the pain.

It does ease, that despair, that clutch of grief, because your loved ones that have gone on want to know you will move forward. They still support your dreams and goals and life even more from beyond the grave.

Honor them by living the life that they couldn’t, the one that was cut short for whatever reason. Live fully and love without reservation.

To honor your loved ones, to honor your grief, then simply live.

In memory of Tanya Shersnow and Mark Fisher.
Amy Dionne, 2015

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Awakening

Yesterday I woke up
To my own powerfalls
To cease being small
To embrace the wild within

Today I rose up
Decided not to hide
Determined to live fully
Dedicated to my true self

Tomorrow I fly
Chasing dreams
Cascading with my heart’s desires
Conquering fear and doubt

For my life
I dance, I sing, I laugh
Breathing in, letting go,
Knowing who I am

Amy Dionne, 2015

Photo courtesy of Cindy Turcotte, used with permission.

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My Wish for Imbolc

holding candle

Time dawns anew
Formulate seeds
Intentions
Gather goals
Incubate
Future promise

Patience
Generate heat within
Create from soul
Heart pours
Progress grows
From inner light
Push past frustration
The urge to give up
To walk away

Around the bend
Ignition
Spark
Flare
Connection

Wait for that moment
Start at the beginning
Refuse to give up
Lay the foundation
Build it well

Amy Dionne, 2015

Image courtesy of SOMMAI at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Gentle Connection

fire at winter BOWI’ve been thinking about my audience lately. My readers. After spending some time visioning, I’ve reached a couple of conclusions.

My voice is meant to be carried through quiet conversations and small gatherings. The messages waiting in my heart do not need to be broadcast. They should be listened to if they are wanted, never forced.

Instead I see friends gathering, groups of three or four or five, meeting for a drink or at the cafe or by the campfire. Perhaps dinner or movie night with a special someone. Candles lit, hearts light, comfy clothes.

Groups like these will go more quickly to that place of understanding, talking about subjects other than weather or sports. Even going past the latest headlines, although discussion may be spurred from them. These types of conversations echo the philosophers of old, the writers and artists, bohemian types, and all sorts of free thinkers. Those willing to dive deep, get messy, and open to new ways of thinking. Those that know themselves, their values, and their hearts.

These are the people I speak to as I write. They read the hushed words and make them resonate off the walls. these thoughts align and light within, and that soft warm flame travels from person to person, group to group. Shared intimately with like minds.

That is the home I seek for my stories and my musings. Listen, feel, and share. It is a gift offered with love, passion, and a yearning for connection.

The gentle kind.

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Help vs. Clear

Help vs. Clear buttonsI was warming up my coffee in the microwave this morning (the horrors of letting it cool off in the first place, right?) when I noticed something.

On the microwave, there’s a button next to the Clear/Off button that says Help. In the eight years or so that I’ve lived in this house, and the countless times I’ve used this microwave, that little button has never registered in my consciousness. Seriously. I stared at the keypad for a long moment asking if there was always help button.

Which led me to thinking – how many times do we bypass that four letter word in favor of ending something? How many times do we stop instead of ask for help due to pride or stubbornness? How often do we not look for other resources and answers and give up instead?

It’s definitely something I’ve done. My work with horses, or lately lack thereof, is a prime example. I know the type of work I want to explore – natural connection and growing a partnership with these magnificent animals. Using horses to heal the psyche and past trauma in others. Helping others gain confidence in their lives by working with these prey animals that are so much bigger than we are. To seek out the relationships and training that I believe will work, it takes effort. Time. Energy. All which I have precious little of. It’s been easier to ‘punch up clear’ (bonus points if you get the obscure Star Trek movie reference) rather than push the momentum forward.

The big part of this is going outside my comfort zone and asking for help. Admitting that I have no idea where to begin or what the end result is. Finding those horse folk with a similar mindset that can help guide me.

This morning’s revelation told me to push the damn HELP button already. Sharing knowledge and assistance is part of who we are as people. Finding your tribe and the group you need to move forward with. They’re out there, waiting and ready to connect. The universe opens doors when they are needed.

All you have to do is ask.

That’s what 2015 will be for me. Asking, seeking, trying. Connecting.

All because I will push the help button instead of clear.IMG_2351

 

p.s. After writing this morning, I cleared my altar and selected new items to begin the year with. One of those was a goddess card, and I randomly pulled Epona, goddess of the horse. Hello, universe, I hear you loud and clear.