Tag Archives: Tolerance

Who are you?

My name is Kiley. I was born on December 6. I am a left-handed Sagittarius. I write poetry. I love coffee. I cry during previews at the movie theater. I laugh by myself often. I have an obsession with touching trees as I pass them. Talking to strangers is my greatest fear…. And biggest source of intrigue. I love the idea of traveling, but familiarity soothes my soul. When I say I enjoy ‘being alone’ what I really mean is that I want others to be around me, just quietly. All of these qualities describe me… and yet, they don’t.

These things are not who I am. None of the ‘things’ you say define you, either. We are very good at convincing ourselves of who we are. These qualities are, in fact, just thoughts, just tools used to label ourselves, to separate ‘us’ from ‘them.’ So who are we? Who, or what, is underneath every thought that we have? Does anyone really know for sure?

What if we came to accept that none of us knows anything about who we truly are? What if we dropped all labels that we use to separate ourselves from others … and we simply existed, together? What would the world be like then?

Tell me – who are you? Who is that being beneath all labels, beneath all thoughts? Can you answer? Ideas come and they go, but what is waiting there between each thought? The mind is a powerful tool. It tells you that you are a parent, you are Caucasian, you are a college graduate, you are an employee, a nurse, a brother, that you are happy, you are worried, you are anxious, you are sad, you are a baker, you are a politician, you can’t afford that trip, you are incapable of writing that book, you are unworthy. It tells you who you are and how to be that person. And most of us listen. We obey. We succumb. Why do we assume that these labels define who we truly are? Why are we at the whim of what our minds tell us? Do you realize that your mind has been conditioned since the moment you were born? From your first breathe, you were told who you are and given a name with which you identify. And what if, today, you quieted your mind…

What if your mind was silent and didn’t tell you who you are today? What is left? Who is there reminding you to breathe?

It is quite a mystery to me. Maybe I am the mystery. Maybe you are a mystery. The truth is that there is something magical that lives in each of us that is indescribable with human language. It lives and grows us each day. Whatever it is, it is strong, resilient, magical. Whatever it is, it lives in us all. Don’t forget that the next time you are quick to judge another person, or hurt another person. What is in him is in you too.

Keep asking the tough questions. Let’s be puzzled by what seems obvious. Never stop searching for the answers.

With compassion, we grow.

xo,

Ki

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Thaw

I trace every face

In search of your love.

I wonder if you do the same…

Like a lost child in search of her mother,

I am.

The weight of that simile

Suffocates me.

Be love, and I’ll show myself to you.

Resilience, live me

Until then.

 

My body is cold from this horrendous winter. I was told to wait patiently and sure enough, spring will show herself again. So ‘they’ said.

I waited, and here she is. Her warmth now mending the aching bones I carry. Like my body, my heart grows cold from relationships strained, and I build walls around it for protection. Yet just as seasons change and frozen lakes thaw, my heart grows warm as I lower these walls and open myself, once again, to those I love most.

I encourage you to do the same.

Cycles, seasons, all things impermanent. Be love, and forgive. Resilience is a beautiful color on you.

 

With love and light,

Ki

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Need

It feels so lonely, growing up. I feel so alone, as a grown up. I thought I wanted this, but I don’t. Shed me of these layered skins I’ve tried on. They don’t look so pretty after all. I don’t know what I want to be, as a grown up. When will I grow up? I just want to ask questions. I don’t want to have all the answers anymore. I just want to take a hot bath in a pool of unknowns where I drown in naked surrender of the things that scare me…. Like open water. I don’t want anyone to save me. I want to choke the waters that chase my fears deep into my belly until regurgitated truths surface and my breath meets yours in embrace. Relief will hug us as I cry out my fears of growing these roots deep into yours. Breathe in me, you. If I tell you that I’m scared, is that enough to interrupt the pace at which we’ve rushed this life? You’ll always be mine…. Won’t you please let me weather this blow? Changing seasons from a young girl to a grown up. I still need time.

need post

Be patient with yourself…. It’s not the worst thing in the world to wake up and realize that you’re in need.

We all are.

I challenge you to speak up about what you truly need from life, from the Universe, from others, from yourself.

You will be heard, I promise.

 

 

This post is for Sally. Your struggle is my struggle. Your happiness is my happiness. I’ve seen the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly — as you have seen all of mine. We may not be living the lives we had planned, but isn’t it beautiful to laugh at our naïve ways as we grow to become the strongest women we always hoped we would be? I love you, and I created this with you in mind.

Calling

Sometimes I find myself laying on the floor at weddings wresting ugly thoughts that scream at me, telling me I’m not beautiful, not worthy, I don’t deserve to be here on this Earth celebrating with wonderful people. And then I look up at tiny lights on the ceiling that are actually a direct reflection of lights within me. For the most powerful images are not those from our past, nor the ones that lay ahead; they are the voices and images that lay patiently within us. So I wrote a poem about that day, at a wedding, laying on the floor.

 

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My efforts to love you

Tossed away.

A severed connection,

You put me at bay.

 

Now I find myself in a beautiful house, with beautiful people, with a beautiful spouse.

 

And I lay on the floor only to find,

Nothing consumes me like you

On the mind.

 

I look up.

I see a miraculous sight.

Colors glowing, illustrious light.

I wonder why it is you treat me this way.

Flip of the switch

We’re strangers that lay.

 

One day you love me,

I’m beautifully so

Exquisite like diamonds

Inside, I glow.

 

Yet today we are strangers

With hollowed eyes

Ignoring passion

For you,

Hear the cries.

 

Tonight I know you have left my side

Your abandon, I surrender. You win. I abide.

How long will this last? Who me? I don’t know.

The mirror shouts reflections you refuse to show.

 

This love, it is patient.

This love is for you.

Though you won’t wait for me,

I’ll wait for you.

 

I say I, when I mean we.

For I am you

And you dear, are me.

I speak to you daily

Can’t you see?

I am the light

That only you can set free.

Love me completely.

This is how it must be.

Surrender yourself

Let go

And breathe.

This you know, we both truly need.

 

Love yourself,

That’s all I will say.

That’s all I want

For you each day.

 

Look up at those lights as you lay on this floor,

It’s me, I’m calling, please do not ignore!

Get up now dear

Please lay no more.

Reach out, be brave

Now open the door.

 

I’m calling.

for me from missy

–Original Poem (original artwork created by a beautiful soul and friend of mine)–

I challenge you to listen today. Listen to the voice within. Stop for a moment. Don’t look forward, don’t look behind, look at what is calling out to you in this moment. Can’t you feel it? Can’t you hear it? It’s you. Won’t you accept this beautiful gift?

Love and light,

Ki 

 

 

Listen

Lend your ear to a flower. I think this is what she’d say….

 

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You ask, what might my thoughts entail?

Well human, my language is beautifully frail.

I will whisper my thoughts, my wisdom, my strife

If you promise to listen to a simpleton’s life.

 

My birth, so humble, in a cold, damp place

Where transformation ignited my elegance and grace.

From the darkness I rose to a world brand new.

Brains remain dazed, “How is it possible she grew?”

 

As I stretch each day, my roots finger deep.

My inner is hopeful to unburden my grief.

My stem I admire — such strength to the core

But passersby gawk and lust after more.

 

Hypnotic scent upon my petals, “It is certain,” They say

“That diligent bees will visit one day.”

But the bees I loathe, for they come and they go.

It is the sun who sustains my desire to grow.

 

Do you follow, dear human?

Do you hear what I say?

Can you feel the music

Of my silent display?

 

I stand here rooted, observant of you.

You humans amaze me at how much you ‘do.’

You work, you wander, you question, you squander.

No wonder you flock as you do.

 

Step away from the bustle, you all come in herds.

Leave your cities behind to admire my words,

But why do you pick me so?

 

You lust after beauty,

You see me, you use me

And open the wounds I have sewn.

 

Can you feel my death

In your brilliant displays

On your tables, in vases, in windowed cafes?

When my frailty shows, tossed away I go

And you forget my life and my gift.

 

So human, you see, life is simple to me:

Born, I grow

To the world, I show

Love is the way, I know.

 

Do not pick me now,

Please step away somehow

For my gift can be yours

If you open Love’s doors

To abundance galore

This I know for sure.

 

Just please do not take me, bend me, or break me.

To possess me is not love at all.

 

Stroke me, smell me, do as you please

But leave me to bask in this cool spring breeze.

Live slowly and love all that Is on Earth.

Recycle my message

To ignite your rebirth.

 

I love you, dear human.

Do you love me too?

Reciprocity heals.

Let’s breathe

Anew.

 

–Original Poem—

 

So many thanks to a wonderful friend who challenged me to write from the perspective of a flower and divulge my thoughts and feelings. I am beyond grateful for your creativity, inspiration, and encouragement to post this poem to the blog. Sending light and love to you! Namaste.

Hopes and Dreams

A poem for my son – with reference to his polite refusal of his mother’s milk

 

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Salty waters swelled

As you announced your arrival.

Slow and steady,

Graceful cries of

“I’m here!!”

 

Cleansed,

Tears freed,

Aquatic relief danced upon my cheeks.

Panic, planning, patience,

Love —

Released.

 

I love how you lit up the room,

Bringing color to those cold, white walls.

I love how you light up my life

And how my eyes light up at the thought

Of you.

 

Your refusal to take to me –

Allowed heartbreak to swallow me up,

Intimate with frustration and patience.

You stubborn thing, you.

I should have known then

Your desire for independence.

 

I see in that mind of yours,

Countless wheels spinning,

Immeasurably paced.

Won’t you blanket me

With your curiosity?

 

If only I could bathe

In the freshness you emanate,

Soak up your youth.

Won’t you share it with the world?

 

Lucas, teach them

Like you taught me.

Show them how to let go

And be free.

Please, do this for me?

 

The way you dance through this house,

I hope you dance through life just the same.

I hope I teach you to

Love yourself.

It is the only source of truth.

 

Who you are,

Who you will be,

I already love.

 

When you say you love me,

Do you know how I love you?

 

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—-Original Poem—-

 

 

 

In Recovery

I am in recovery.

Aren’t we all? Every person I know is recovering from something —

A broken heart; addiction; loss of a loved one; failed marriage; estranged relationships; eating disorders; disease; depression and anxiety; foreclosure; abandonment issues – let me tell you, the list goes on. This is life. This is what so many of you are struggling with day to day, and it just breaks my heart each time one of you reaches out to me and shares your story. I feel your pain. I feel the struggle. I struggle too – you guys know this, and that is why I am so thankful I have this platform to share my story as it unfolds.

I am recovering from an abusive relationship with myself. You guys know this. It actually seems silly to say it like that – to articulate it in such a way that places me as the victim AND the offender, but this is my truth. It is the least I can give to you to show my appreciation for what you guys give to me each day. I’ll be honest; I am embarrassed to voice the terribly destructive thoughts that float through my mind just as a coy, fluffy cloud passes over a brilliantly blue, seemingly spotless summer sky. Within seconds of the clouds’ arrival, they chisel away at yesterday’s half-assed attempt to convince myself that I am worthy of anything. Sky is now grey with ash and soot – and all I’m left with are the tears that cleanse my soul. Back to square one, yet again. Confused, frustrated, angry with myself. How could I let this happen again? How could I let those innocent clouds become knives – cutting through each layer of my confidence? I bleed profusely, and my world is suddenly painted red with suffering and deception.

A fourteen-year-old Ki would have chosen booze…. Yes, alcohol was my friend at a young age. You’d never know it then. I was a ‘straight A’ student, a talented athlete, and I wore a pretty smile that I meticulously painted each morning as I awoke. Funny thinking about it now, I was never really awake. I was sleepwalking through my life. Yet, you saw all the potential in the world. I saw nothing but lies and pain. God, if I had only known then how much the world offers us each and every moment, every single day, I am certain I would not have slept for so long. You cannot sleep through life and truly live. As I think about her now, my heart breaks for fourteen-year old Ki. I carry a piece of her with me today. She’s still in recovery. I am teaching her slowly that hurt is a natural part of this life, but it can be managed and sorted through. Recovery is possible.

I recently found meditation. Or shall I say, meditation found me? For I am certain that the Universe offered it to me – crying out to me to take this opportunity and run with it. Fucking hold on tight, and run with it (I’m certain that this is how the Universe speaks – this is your cue to chuckle). A wonderful friend of mine sent me a link to Oprah and Deepak’s Desire and Destiny 21-day meditation class. Something deep within me whispered that day: This is a bit out of your comfort zone, but you have no other choice. You’ve exhausted all other options. This will be your therapy. This is where you – Ki — will rest easy. You cannot do this alone anymore. Being strong does not mean you must walk a path of recovery alone. Let this be your guide. You will not regret it. You deserve this. Yes, you DESERVE this.

And I never looked back. I have been quietly meditating since November 13, 2013. I am confident in saying that it has changed my view of this life completely. This post is not an opportunity to ‘plug’ Oprah and Deepak and sell you a CD on meditation (no, I did not get paid for providing the link). I’m telling you guys that you MUST find something that guides you in your recovery, whatever it may be. TRY EVERYTHING!! If exercise is your meditation, then get a gym membership today! If reading is where you find your bliss, then by all means get in the car and go to the nearest bookstore and stay until it closes. If going to church is where you feel your heart mends the quickest, go to the next available service – and if you’re too hesitant to try it out, send me an email and I will go with you! (Provided you are in the Midwest, USA)

Please, please, please take it from me – if you do not know your path in life and you do not know what helps you become a better version of yourself – then you must keep on trying. Dip your toes in foreign waters. Hell, I’ve tried on religion after religion; considered joining the police force (what??!); thought having a child would fix me (This IS NOT THE ANSWER, I PROMISE YOU. Children bring happiness and joy – but they WILL NOT FIX YOU); I even joined a local group of Instagrammers who share my obsession with photography, and this has worked out wonderfully for my social and mental health. My point is you must keep searching. You must keep testing new waters. Some of these endeavors will do wonders for your recovery. Some, well… just won’t. But that is the beauty of this life: You have the choice to try new things. You have the choice to overcome that which you perceive as a struggle. Release the fear. Let go of the thought that you are struggling. Recovery is positive. It is an opportunity to learn and grow. Your setbacks are beautiful because in the end, they provide you a new opportunity – a new direction – in this beautiful life.

The catch?? Only YOU can do this. Only YOU can walk your path.

As Oprah and Deepak often remind me — Moments themselves are the gifts. The journey itself, the rich reward. Find the gifts in every problem in your life. Start over today. It’s okay to admit you didn’t get it right the first time. Recovery is a second chance at life! A rebirth!

As I’ve said before, we can always begin again. I’ll be here; anxiously awaiting your emails, your pictures, your smiles as you tell me what it is that nourishes your soul and guides you toward a healthy recovery. I am with you.

And I will chat with you soon.

Cheers, readers.

Ki

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Inspiration for this post:

–The place where this little dove has flown and found a home; your heart; your love; all of YOU–

–Poet: Jules R. Ryckebusch

–Musician: Edward Maya

 

 

 

Just Be

Sometimes I think about how weird I really am.

  • Some of my best friends are people I’ve never met in person.
  • Being in a bookstore feels like Christmas morning; heart filled with joyful anticipation of the unknown. Eyes drooling over each untouched gift.
  • The smell of freshly brewed coffee makes my heart flutter. Coffee mugs, well, it’s embarrassing how much I love mugs (and coffee for that matter!)
  • I cry daily (to say the least).
  • I have too many obsessions to name: Hand sanitizer, soft pretzels with cheese (Oh my dear god), sugar, Instagram, poetry, the ocean, trees, the smell of fall, the sun…
  • There is an indescribable energy that floods my body each time I meet a new blog reader and connect with him/her on a level that far exceeds any expectation. The gratitude in my heart is insurmountable. I wish everyone on this earth could FEEL it.
  • Although I have an eclectic taste in music, I must admit that Romanian techno beats fuel spontaneous dance parties in my household, err, often.
  • The idea of backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels while simultaneously taking copious notes in hundreds of journals excites every inch of my being.
  • I’m a proud American, but the most flattering compliment I’ve received as of late is: “You’re looking rather Euro today!” (Ki heart gushing still!!)

The list goes on….

Are you getting the point? I’m So weird.

Then I stop and think – there is an honesty to my weirdness. It is pure, fresh, and innocent. It is the kind of honesty that breathes easily as it seeps from my pores – mirroring the honestly of very young children. You know, the kind that emanates from those who have yet to realize the vastness of the hurt, disappointment, and responsibility that hides in this life. Children play without hesitation. They laugh heartily in the present moment. They seek out answers with curious minds and hopeful hearts. In love with life, their souls effortlessly take flight. They dream. They believe. They live.

As the years blend – one into the next — We lose sight of this ‘zest for living’ with age. We become stale, young adults who complicate every facet of life and who spread suffering everywhere. We lose our curious spark only to make room for the desire to be like everyone else; to do what everyone expects of us; to be accepted in society. We are afraid to be happy just as we are. Blinded by fear, we forget to truly live.

Navigating choppy waters, we struggle each day to rise to the top; to be the best employee; to have the highest paying job; to live in the most adventurous city. As we climb the ladder of ‘success,’ we miss the gifts that reside in every moment – Smells that excite the senses; smiles that warm the heart; laughter that soothes the soul. We forget that loving others (and ourselves) is a responsibility and not a luxury. Instead, we are caught up in our extraneous activities and ‘To-Do’ lists, allowing the present to dissolve quicker than cotton candy in your mouth. Spontaneity feels like a foreign term. Schedules and appointments consume us – drowning us in our overworked, overbooked, overly exhausted lives. We forget the importance of simplicity. Sadly, we lose the grace of the child within each of us.

I laugh at my list of ‘weird’ qualities and gladly embrace them as I grow older. For as long as I can remember, I thought that life was one continuous struggle to be a better version of myself. I now know that life is about survival, and you don’t have to struggle to survive. Simply put, survival is existence. Exist and be who you are, right here. Right now.

Hey, I like weird! Weird looks good on me.

Embrace who you truly are. It looks good on you too.

Cheers, readers.

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@kileybw for more photos

LifeofKi is now on Facebook!

 

Awake

Leave your ego here. Yes, right here at the end of this sentence.

Good, you are in the present moment.

Take these words in – as objectively as possible.

As a great friend once said, “Let your mind focus, and in that focus — set it free.”

 

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What if there is no Heaven? No Hell? What if they are not actually ‘places’ at all?

What if God is with us, here, now, instead of waiting for us at the pearly white gates of Heaven? What if ‘He’ is stabilizing us, just as the ground stabilizes each stride? What if He speaks to us, just as the wind brushes a cheek? What if ‘He’ is not really a ‘He,’ but rather an ‘It’? What if God is actually the Universe?

I can’t say for sure that there are destinations called Heaven and Hell — I like to imagine ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’ are elements within us; they make up our being. ‘Heaven’ is the soul within each of us. ‘Hell’ is the mind. In essence, I imagine humans as reflections of the universe. Not reflections of God per say – although I still believe in higher thinking, higher powers. Yet, where some people say ‘God’ is the highest thinker, I say the ‘universe’ is the highest thinker. Therefore, we as humans are very capable of achieving high(er) thinking. ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’ within us, however, often intervene and may even hold us back from pursuit of a freeing knowledge – one that is content, peaceful, removed from care and concern.

The Universe is very beautiful, very stubborn, very dangerous at times. So are humans. Very beautiful, very stubborn, very dangerous. The Universe is impermanent — always changing — and I believe humans are no different. We change every day. We grow older; our features fade; we grow weak; we die. Our minds are no different from our bodies. Our minds evolve — just as the old Oak tree grows and strengthens its roots, we cannot forget that it was once a tiny seedling. So, if the Universe and humans are mirror images of impermanence, then how could we ever believe in any fixed, finite places called Heaven and Hell?

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Where is your ego now? Has it returned? What is it saying? Have I challenged your beliefs? Perhaps. I hope I have not angered or offended anyone. Never an intention of mine. These thoughts, they come and they go. Some flourish in my mind, others are never to be seen again. Hopefully your eyes are a bit wider, mind turning a bit quicker, heart beating a bit faster. These are all lovely signs. Signs that you are alive. Just remember, no human knows the answer to Heaven and Hell. Be tolerant of other viewpoints, even if you do not agree. Stand firm in your views. Hold tight to what you know now. After all, the only thing we know for sure – is what the universe offers NOW.