Have a luminous and peaceful Christmas!

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We are all half lost
and half found,
wine half poured
and half drunk.
Yet scared
can be brave
and brave
can be kind.
Light does not have
to be blinding,
it can shine softly
on the tip of our toes.
Half still, half moving.
Embracing it
ALL.

Maryse Godet Copans © 2016

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The 12 Months of 2016

This is to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”, except for the very first line that you can read silently and ponder. I gave up resolutions a few years ago and haven’t looked back.What about you? 

 

[On the last day of the year, my true Self said to me : “NO RESOLUTIONS!”]

 

Then the first month of the year my true Self gave to me,

permission to simply be me.

 

The second month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The third month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Three deep breaths,

Two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The fourth month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Four loving hugs,

Three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The fifth month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Five nature walks,

four loving hugs, three deep breaths,  two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The sixth month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Six meditations,

Five nature walks, four loving hugs, three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The seventh month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Seven dreams come true,

Six meditations, five nature walks, four loving hugs, three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The eighth month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Eight poems-a writing,

Seven dreams come true, six meditations, five nature walks, four loving hugs, three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The ninth month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Nine honest prayers,

Eight poems a-writing, seven dreams come true, six meditations, five nature walks, four loving hugs, three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The tenth month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Ten friendly signs,

nine honest prayers, eight poems a-writing, seven dreams come true, six meditations, five nature walks, four loving hugs, three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The eleventh month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Eleven bold steps,

Ten friendly words, nine honest prayers, eight poems a-writing, seven dreams come true, six meditations, five nature walks, four loving hugs, three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

The twelfth month of the year, my true Self gave to me,

Twelve open doors,

Eleven bold steps, ten friendly words, nine honest prayers, eight poems a-writing, seven dreams come true, six meditations, five nature walks, four loving hugs, three deep breaths, two grateful thoughts, and permission to simply be me.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR. May it be basked in light and the warmth of understanding and companionship.

 

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A Tale of Three Fingers

The prompt asked that we write a very short story from 3 different perspectives. Fun, fun, fun,

 

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Hey you! Yes, you, Life! What the heck do you think you’ re doing? Trying to slow me down? Thinking you can win this? Watch me. Watch me fight you all the way, climbing a little higher every day. You may go after me and block my way but I’ll keep moving ahead in the direction I choose. F– off already! – Signed, The Middle Finger

Life, when will you leave me alone to enjoy myself? Every time I start relaxing another crisis shows its ugly head. Aren’t you tired of giving me such a hard time? Why do so many have it much easier than I do? Why are you picking on me? Why me? Am I not kind dutiful? I am a good person to whom bad things happen and I blame you entirely. Poor me. Bad you. – Signed, The Index Finger

Good morning, Life. Whatever you decide to bring on today, I’m ready. Ready to dance or rest. Prepared to work or play. Willing to try or simply savor. I am you and you are me, flowing together in this one great adventure. I don’t seek to understand it. I don’t strive to best it. What will be will be. My heart is open and my spirit free. Take me where I’ m needed. Show me what’s wanted. Thank you! – Signed, The Thumb Up

A Human of All Seasons

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As I photographed this glorious butterfly sipping the last nectar of summer, its invitation to focus led me to also take a shot of my inner landscape. Only a few days ago the excitement of biting into my second spring was filling me with excitement and anticipation, and yet I now found myself adrift in a blurry picture of sorrow mixed with gratitude and joy. There I stood, newly confirmed in the community of empty nesters, feeling both elation at my children’s independence and sadness at their absence, swinging between the highs of mature freedom and the lows of returned aloneness. All. At. Once.

The Bible tells us, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to weep and a time to laugh…a time to mourn and a time to dance…” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-5).  As wilting flowers easily yield to the fiery shades of autumn, I’m wondering what we, transient beings, are supposed to do when we come to realize that all times, all seasons, move upon and through us at once. We laugh and cry in the same sentence; in our hearts flow both hope and grief; our lives sing the songs of the dead and the living. Everything is right now, in this instant of potential and regret, in this breath of opening and closing.

Like winter’s ice protects the triumph of summer’s blooms, like fall’s bounty feeds the promises of spring, we each harbor every one of life’s seasons. When we open to them with acceptance and reverence, without forcing their presence or wishing for their retreat, we get to feel there’s enough space for them all. Always.  Pain doesn’t negate joy. Bliss is not meant to erase heartache. Emptiness doesn’t cancel the wonder of belonging. Together they shape the true form of human experience at any given time. Together they gift us with a depth of perception and a longing for more. When we finally choose to own the richness and echoes of this truth, we are offered a chance to taste what it means to be whole, authentic, and without end.

“He has also set eternity in their hearts…” – (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Maryse Godet Copans © 2015

My Bold Truth

This is a response I posted today for a 10 day photography/writing class I’m part of. The prompt was “truth”.

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Yesterday I came very, very close to dropping out of this class.

I started last week full of enthusiasm at the idea of growing and creating with both words and photography. Five days later, anxiety symptoms had returned and I was once again filled with self-doubt.  Surely, real depth came from darkness if I were to trust the vibes permeating the class. Most posted about their pain and struggles. Captures of moments of joy and light were few and far between, timid exceptions to a sad rule. “This is not my truth”, I thought, “not my tribe.”

Every human journey is unique, yet we all share the same pain and challenges through the simple facts that we breathe the same air and feel the same emotions. We all taste loss, unworthiness, and fear. We all, sooner or later, touch the bottom of our humanness. It teaches us about humility, compassion, and resilience.  But we also all hold the capacity for joy. I too walked the walk of the wounded, trapped in the pit of my own sorrow. I too created from that space when it was the only relief in sight. It made room for healing and new possibilities, and little by little, the light returned.

There’s power and nurturing in this light because it knows the darkness well and like roots planted deep in the soil need sunshine and rain to grow into all they can be, I now choose to create from that space of hope and love. Love for my journey, for myself, for you, for Life. I choose Joy. I choose to celebrate every moment I get to embrace who I am and be a grateful witness to all that life has to offer.

This is my truth and today I boldly stand up for it.

Maryse Godet Copans © 2015

Wildly,Horribly Irritating Mind (WHIM)

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Back in the corner you go. You know the one. That’s what you get for deciding to write on a whim. Look at the lines on the wall and listen to those playing in your head: “Who needs another writer? What do you have to share that hasn’t been said before? Who do you think you are?” You love your mind, I know you do, it’s a beautiful tool and it’s saved you a few times from falling feet first into mouthfuls of embarrassment. And today is no different. It’s keeping you safe, aren’t you grateful? You’re not ready to show yourself. Don’t you feel better knowing the corner is there with its right angle?

It’s the wrong angle, you say? You choose to turn around and face the sky? You know who you are and it’s not your mind? You are bold!

You want to create with your Wonderfully, Happily Imaginative Muse. You want to let the voices in the corner speak and invite them to look at the view on the other side. You want to paint your walls all the colors of your experience and create a picture that others will be inspired by. You want to be seen and own your space, not to push others to seek refuge into their corners, but so that both your strength and fragility can become beacons of encouragement for all.

This is the perfect angle. For me. Right now.

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Maryse Godet Copans © 2015

Writing again…?

This is a short entry I wrote as a response to a five why assignment for the Literati Writers’ online group led by Dave Ursillo. It feels like a cool way of re-entering the world of written creativity now that my two masterpieces have left the nest (yes, yes, my children). 

This morning I decided to join the Literati Writers. Why? Because in the last two days I have become an empty nester and I’ve been feeling the need for taking even the tiniest step towards my life as a new “long distance mom”. Why is that step important? Because it helps me shift the pity party into a pool of possibility. I may be a writer, I may not. Time will tell. But today, as I type these words, I’m reconnecting with a part of myself that’s been kept quiet as life immersed me in the art of motherhood instead. But today my shoulder hurts and if I’m to believe Dave, it means my creative self is asking for immediate attention. Why do I choose to actually pay attention? Because if I don’t I will end up like my mom who, after raising 6 children, lost all sense of direction once we moved out. She died many years later, a prisoner of dark thoughts and emptiness. In her name, I want to discover the joys of my second spring, with my heart leading the way and nothing to prove. Why am I following the joy? Because I’m not my mom but the love I feel for her demands I heal this pattern of fear and depression. To honor all the love she gave me. To honor myself. And to honor my daughter’s right to a bright life journey.