A poem depicting the absurdity in comparing ourselves with others

Journey On…
Written by Elizabeth A. Van Cleve

Don’t ever say-
Because I’m here
You shouldn’t be there
or
Because you’re there
I shouldn’t be here
It makes no sense

Would you ever say-
Because I am twenty
You shouldn’t be two
Because I love red
You shouldn’t love blue
or
Because you’re a teacher
It’s not okay I’m a student
Because I’m carefree
It”s not okay that you are prudent
Because I’m in the east
It’s not okay you’re in the west
Because you do it better
It’s not okay I do my best
Because I see the sunset
It’s not okay you see it rise
or
Because I slipped and stumbled
It’s not okay that you were wise?

See how ridiculous
this thinking seems to be?
When I cannot be you
And you cannot be me!

Do you ever say-
Because you’re over there
I should not be here
or
Because I’m over here
You should not be there?
It makes no sense

One should never say-
Because my skin is black
Your skin should not be white
Because I think it’s wrong
You cannot be right
Because my body’s whole
It’s not okay you cannot walk
Because I know the language
It’s not okay you cannot talk
Because I am straight
It’s not okay that you are gay
Because you have to work
It’s not okay that I should play
or
Because you are happy
It’s not okay that I am sad
Because they got it good
It’s not okay I’ve got it bad
Because you are you
It’s not okay that I am me
Because I have a vision
It’s not okay that you do not see

Because I am here
It’s not okay that you are there
or
Because you are there
It’s not okay that I am here
It makes no sense

Here’s what we should say-

I am here, and
It’s okay that you are there
You are there, and
It’s okay that I am here
I see one way
Because I am here
You see another way
Because you are there
Your journeys yours
My journeys mine
I may be twenty
You may be ninety-nine
You may be a woman
I may be a man
Another may be both
By what they understand
You may live in India
I may live in France
I may be very timid
You may love to dance

One thing is for certain
It’s foolish that we fight
And say you must be wrong
Because I think I’m right
It is what it is, and
We are where we are
And from where I started
I’ve come thus far
So journey on my friend
I wish you all the best
As you travel east, and
I travel west

Cheerio!

The Last Question

  The Last Question

Written by Elizabeth A. Van Cleve

The bird asks,
Where shall I build my nest?
What shall I make it with?
When shall I rest?
When will these eggs hatch?
When will my peeps flee?
Where will they go
when they’ve parted from me?
What shall I eat next?
Where shall I fly?
How many days do I have till I die?

The tree asks,
When will the rain fall?
Deaths on the brink!
Where can I dig my roots for a drink?
Will this tempest soon pass?
My branches are aching!
When will the winds cease before I start breaking?
Where will these critters that live in me go,
If my days be shortened, I am sure I don’t know.
How many years will I stand in my glory?
Is there no soul who will treasure my story?

The man asks,
Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
How come the oceans and rivers keep flowing?
Why are the stars so far out of reach?
Why do they twinkle, what do they teach?
How deep are the waters?
What lies down below?
How many plants are there?
How do they grow?
What is this flesh and blood that is I?
Why is it breathing and why does it die?
Why can’t I see in the blackness of night?
Why do I tremble, when I feel fright?
What are these tears and this pain I am feeling?
Why do more questions come with revealing?
When will I understand all in perfection?
When will my knowledge exceed my perception?
When will I ask the very last question?
Will there e’er be and end to progression?

Were told,
Doubts generate questions,
Just trust and believe.
Then you’ll be happy,
You’ll find your reprieve.

But answers are living
They’re the ether’s obsession.
And the spark of life dies
In the absence of of questions.

Where did this all start?
And where will it end?
Who is the enemy?
Who is our friend?

How do I hold onto any possession?
What will be found in the very last question?

 

The Message is Simple… LOVE!

sunset-hands-love-woman

 

Lately, it seems to be quite a struggle to hold onto hope for real world peace, to feel safe and secure in life, and to trust in the best intentions of humanity. News headlines lines literally wreak with purifying stories of hatred and malice, murder and deceit, heartache and suffering. I suppose the most baffling aspect of it all is why would things be worse, when there are churches and religions massively covering the earth claiming to teach unity and love? In fact, I don’t think there is hardly a religious person out there that would not agree that LOVE is the key that unlocks happiness, peace, joy, liberation, forgiveness…

Then why, why is the world in such a mess?
Why is religion not impacting the world as it could be?

The reason religion is failing to unify is because of a little conjunction that most religion adds to the simple message to love.

That conjunction is “and”.

What comes after that conjunction is as vast and as varied as personalities are.

Love and go to church
Love and give money
Love and dress the way we dictate
Love and submit to authority
Love and be baptized
Love and call yourself a_____________
Love and join our affiliation
Love and see things the way we see them
Love and agree with everything the pastor preaches
Love and don’t listen to rock music
Love and wear a covering on your head
Love and don’t ask questions
Love and be compliant
Love and serve our church
Love and stay away from______________

On and on and on it goes. Where it stops nobody knows.

Its not what follows the “and” that is the problem. It’s the “and” being there in the first place.
The “and” is what breaks the fellowship. The “and” is what divides. The “and” is what turns love into hypocrisy. The “and” is what removes the unconditional. Its the “and” that provides the excuse to commit atrocities. Its the “and” that inflates the ego. It’s that little conjuntion “and” that is added to the simple message of LOVE that dilutes it and robs it of its potency.

LOVE!

That is the key to world peace. That is the key to happiness. That is the key to Spirit.

God is love. Love is God.

The message of the sages is simple:

LOVE!

Written by Elizabeth A. Van Cleve
10/09/2016

Your Inner River that Satifies

there-is-a-river

There is a river
That flows from deep within,
There is a fountain
That frees the soul from sin,
Come to this water,
There is a vast supply,
There is a river
That never shall run dry.

This song talks about the river that “flows from deep within.”

In my book, “The Voice of God Within” I share my journey out of the abyss of religious muck and mire and finding true soul freedom when I began to listen within. I still hear that voice, and I have more peace now than I ever did in stuck in the boxed up teachings of Christianity.

However, my time spent in religion was not in vain. It was a stepping stone to where I am today- a learning process. I do not regret it. I was doing my very best during those years with what I understood. Nor do I advocate that religion is unnecessary. Many people are helped greatly by their religious affiliation.

But the greatest freedom, joy, peace and love all come from the voice within– There is a river that flows deep within each and every one of us. Most religious systems teach that you have to go through a process to receive this special infilling that gives you access to this river. Yet, I have found that it is these very processes offered that keep you away from this precious inner guidance. Religious dogma and expectations cause a person to look more without than within.

The REAL awakening comes when you hear and listen to the voice within. This voice is in every one of us. It is the very spark of life. It is the realization that YOU are the temple of God. Not a building or a group of people- but YOU! The Christ experience is to understand that you too are God incarnate.

“Is it not written in your scriptures, Ye are gods?” ~Jesus Christ

This song talks about freedom from sin, which is what keeps us from drinking of this eternal river. Sin is separation from God, or to put it more plainly- separation from SELF. It is anything that keeps you from listening within. When we hear that voice within, it leads us to have abundant life.

“I came so that you might have a more abundant life” ~Jesus Christ

To be religious is to be dedicated to a systematic way of living, to its rules, and to its religious observances. It is to have an allegorical “old-testament” way of life- to fear and quake before a powerful God- outside yourself, that will one day destroy all that is known to us today; it is to be judgmental of yourself and others; it is to separate, to war against, and to destroy your personal self- old testament religion is divisive. It is an allegorical testament of the evolution of man.

But to be authentic- or what Christ said to the woman at the well, to be in spirit and in truth, is to listen within; it is to drink of the inner eternal waters; it is to be reconnected to yourself; it is to become alive to your true, authentic self, which is God incarnate; it is to be free from rules and regulations and simply subjected to yourself to your own inner guidance system; it is to connect to pure, infinite, unconditional love; it is peace and serenity with yourself, with this life here, with others, and with God; it is the peace that passes understanding; it is to know that you can never really be separate from God; it is understanding that nothing in and of itself is evil or bad, but only perceived as evil (Romans 14:14); it is to be okay with where other people are in their journey; It is the freedom from feeling responsible for other peoples journey; it is to love everyone everywhere because you realize that what you do to one, you ultimately do to yourself; it is understanding that we are all of one source and life is eternal, and this too shall pass; it is knowing that the only thing that is real is that which never changes- that voice of God within- that YOU that has been there all along…

Look for that river within- it is a VAST supply!

 

 

 

Start Your Day with Awesome Sauce

love-pen-bed-drinking

Good Morning!

Here is quick morning practice to do before you even get out of bed that can add that extra awesome sauce to your day!

  1. As soon as you wake up say “Good Morning” out-loud with a smile on your face.
  2. Next, say out-loud, three things you are thankful for; e.g. Thank you for a safe nights rest. Thank you for another day of life. Thank you for this bed/ room….
  3. Spend five minutes waking up your body. Stretch your feet back and forth. Roll your wrist. Take long, smooth, deep breaths. Bask in the moment.
  4. Sit up and ask yourself, how do I feel today and what do I need? Tune into your body. Its it tired? Sore? Refreshed? What about your mood? Do your night dreams come to mind? Bring them to the forefront. What emotions were felt? How do they relate to your current life? Acknowledge them. If they were negative emotions, determine what you need to bring them up the vibrational scale. Keep a journal and pen by your bed to take notes.
  5. Once you decide on your needs, think about how you can meet those needs in the upcoming day. If you are sore, maybe a hot Epsom salt bath and a couple aspirin would help. If you are weary from a stressful week, perhaps you needs rest and relaxation.
  6. Ask yourself, “How do I want this day to feel?” Now that you have tuned in to your needs and desires, you can answer this question. Feel is the key word here. Do you want to feel relaxed? If you are meeting up with people, how do you want the meet up to feel? If you are going to work, how do you want work to feel today? Put your feelers out there and really feel what you desire.
  7. Now commit it all to the universe. Place it all in a colorful bubble- choose a color that feels good and then mentally release it for the universe to work it out.

You are the co-creator of your life. You are either creating by default or you are creating intentionally.

Have an AWESOME day!!!

Good Energy Verses Bad Energy

wolf

Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

Many of us have heard the native American parable of the good and bad wolf within, and how we all have both wolves within and the one we feed is the one that wins. We can look at energy or vibrations in the same context. There are good vibrations and there are bad vibrations and whatever you feed is what is going to grow bigger.

When people focus on how bad this world is- the crime, the corruption in politics, the fighting, the discontent, they are feeding that bad energy. Focusing on the negative, giving it your time and attention and especially allowing it to alter your mood and emotions, talking about, sharing the bad news you hear- this is all feeding that bad energy. Whatever you place your focus and emotional energy on, you are growing.

To bring about the positive change in our world, we need to reverse this trend. We need to learn and practice feeding the good energy. And to feed the good energy, you have to talk about those things that are good.

There are many people living happy fulfilled lives in this  “negative” world. At times this angers the people that are focused on all the bad stuff. This is because the energy of the people that are focused on the negative is clashing with the energy of the people that are focused on the positive. They are on opposite sides of the spectrum, feeding two different wolves. But instead of getting angry we need to start feeding the positive wolf too. There is a scripture in the Christian bible that teaches us to think on the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good news, if it has any virtue or anything worth praising- meditate on these things.  Talk about those things. Put those things out there into the energy field- into your vortex. (Philippians 4:8)

The reason that the news is so full of horrible stories is because every time a piece of bad news gets out there, people are like those baby Salmon you feed at the fish hatcheries. The media keeps sprinkling all the dirty stuff they can find and the masses swarm it. They give attention to it. They talk about. They listen to radio programs on it. The bad news travels hither and yon.

Does this mean that we should just ignore bad news. ABSOLUTELY! That’s exactly what it means. Starve out that bad energy wolf. When you come across bad news, say a prayer for whomever had been affected. Send them out positive thoughts and vibrations. If there is something you can actually do about it, do it. But otherwise, go feed the good energy because there is just as much good news out there too. But a lot of people will pass the good right up. They will scroll right past the positive stories and come to a screeching halt to read any sensational piece of gossip or dirt.

If you really want to see improvement in this world then start clicking on the good headlines. Yahoo news and other similar sites create more stories like the ones that get the most clicks. The media simply puts out what sells. Don’t point the finger at the media when you are clicking on and sharing the trash. Do you really need to click that article about the man who just murdered his wife and children or the kid that was mutilated by a lion? No! You don’t.

Meditate and/or Pray for Peace

When you meditate and you pray peace for humanity and for those that are going through sorrow and grief and difficult situations, when you send out good vibes into the universe for them, you are covering all of that. But when you click on that piece of bad news and read it and get that negative visual in your mind feeling the disgust or sadness you are increasing the negative energy in this world. You are contributing to the energetic downfall of humanity. That may be hard to swallow but its just how it is.

There are times when awareness of something that is wrong needs to be raised. For example, recently I read about the horrific mutilation of geese in China to produce our feather pillows and such. This type of “bad news” can be helpful when there comes along with it a positive action I can take to stop this. I now know not to buy feather pillows from China. And I will pass this information along to my readers as well. I can also support industries that are free of animal cruelty. So in that case I am taking my energy away from what I don’t want and putting towards what I do want and that is strengthening the positive energy.

Sometimes there is bad news that affects us nationally that we need to know about. So I am not saying that we should never again listen to a piece of bad news. But the point is, where is your energy and focus flowing? Which energetic wolf are you feeding in your life?

 

Another example; there are many animal activist out there that are trying to get people to see how wrong it is to eat meat. But you can be an animal activist and still be contributing to the negative energy of this world. You do this by going out there and attacking people that eat meat, trying to make them feel bad by telling them how horrible they are and how they have no conscience and putting out negative quotes about meat eaters. That is not helping the animals nor this world. But, what you can do if you are concerned about something like this, you can decide that you are not going to eat meat. Be an example of someone that can stay healthy and strong on a meat free diet. You will have a greater affect. People will no longer feel defensive but rather inquisitive and will more readily listen to why you have chosen your path. These are positive ways to affect the vibrational energy in this world.

This is not about just being a positive Pollyanna. Its not about denying what is, nor denying our emotions behind that. What it is about is considering which energetic wolf in this world you are feeding:

“Where your attention goes, that is where energy flows”

If our overall attention in this world is going to feed the negative, then the negative in this world is going to grow. But if each person that insists on feeding the positive and on finding ways to bring positive thought into this universe, to bring hope and to bring light and to  continually feed that we will see positive change.

If you want to experience this world in a higher state of love and peace and tranquility and happiness and joy, it has to start with you.  Be determined that what you are going to feed in your life is the positive energetic wolf.

With Brave Wings She Flies!

free

By Elizabeth Van Cleve
July 4, 2014, edited August 10, 2016

It’s been over two years since I left the church I had been a part of for close to 20 years. With all the courage I could muster, I walked out of the inner world of protocol, dogma and dictation and out into a world of uncertainty and misgiving. I waited for the sky to fall, for the serpent to bite, for the wrath of God to shake his finger at me and claim me a heretic doomed for hell’s fires. Every slip away from the rules and regulations I had so faithfully adhered to, was followed by accusations that I was the devil’s advocate and would soon be “seven times worse than before.”

It wasn’t a hasty nor a light decision. It began a few years prior, when in a desperate cry for relief from a monotonous, insipid life, I began to pray that God would take every ounce of religious spirit out of me and to help me to be a proper representative of him. Over the years the splits, fighting, hurt and drama I had witnessed at church and in the religious world at large, I knew God could not be the instigator of it all. I was so discouraged and let down. I could not envision the entire world being locked down in this systematic way of living that we were regularly admonished to uphold. Though I understood very deeply that the world at large has great needs, in my mind this way of life was not the answer.

I began reading books written by women who had been involved in religious cults and they resonated the same fears I had about leaving their religion, of God’s wrath, and of their system being the only way to heaven. It opened my eyes to the manipulation of fear, and I began to understand that what was holding me to the church I was immersed in was no longer a love for Christ and his work; Somewhere along the way, that had been lost in all the “do’s and dont’s” and in the complete take over of my life. I was no longer happy there and I was dying inside and the church did not have the answers to my inner turmoil. I knew that the only thing that was continuing to hold me there was fear. Yet, God was working so gently within my heart, drawing me closer to and showing me my wings.

A complete paradigm shift was going on inside of me. Little by little God began to rock my world so severely and I knew I needed to leave religion behind me. I read a book titled “Half The Sky” written by two journalist who traveled to several countries and witnessed the violation and oppression of women and young girls in developing countries. The stories in this book were absolutely horrific. I began to contemplate how so many women were in countries and/or positions where they had no voice about what was being done them. I thought about all the religious oppression world wide where torture and blood shed awaits any who would dare question the system. And here I was in AMERICA- the land of the FREE choosing OPPRESSION! I then realized that leaving church was not just about me. My freedom was about every man, woman and child out there who have no rights. My freedom was not to be taken lightly. My freedom was a responsibility. My freedom was their HOPE!

Yet I struggled because of years and years of fear conditioning. Then, one day I saw this vision of myself; I was in a large cage, curled up in a ball, crying. The door of the cage was wide open but I was too terrified to leave because I believed the serpent waited without to devour me. Then God spoke to me and told me to use my wings and fly away.  It took a great amount of courage to leave flying straight towards my deepest fear. It was the bravest step I ever took. But the day I flew away, a great load lifted off of me and I knew, I had just taken my first step towards TRUE FREEDOM!- that freedom that comes from within- that freedom of KNOWING I have wings and Spirit is the wind beneath them and that nothing could ever separate me from God. The day I walked away, was the beginning of my personal inner freedom and authenticity.

I have never regretted that decision!

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

To read more of my spiritual journey out of religion and what I have learned see my book: “The Voice of God Within: An Inward Journey of Discovery and Restoration”

Hi Vibes for the Wounded Soul; the struggle is real!

contemplation2

As a child, the mental and emotional abuse I endured was almost unbearable.
There was some physical abuse as well, in the form of corporal punishment that never matched the “crime.”
Most of the time I had no idea what I had done wrong, but my father seemed very adept at pulling heinous crimes out of the hat for an excuse to unleash his own unhealed wounds on his children.
The alcohol consumption only worsened the amount and intensity of his chastisements.

Horror… terror…dread…
How does one describe being a child of a belligerent drunk?

I have flashes of hiding under the bed, or in the closet,
covering my ears so as to shut out the screams of my siblings,
my heart pounding into my throat-
hoping beyond hope he would not find me.
Who knows the hours I remained there at times, terrified to come out.

But it was the emotional abuse that was the most damaging-
the angry and insulting slurs,
beating me down, insult by insult,
like a worthless piece of existence.

Being raised by a father figure-
the one you looked up to for love and acceptance,
to cheer you on,
to protect you from the harshness of life,
to give you strength and courage…
left scars that are blatantly visible in my everyday life…
Scars from always being watched by a condemning eye,
relentlessly ridiculed and punished,
scars of never being enough-
never kind enough, good enough, obedient enough…
And those scars don’t go away.
Some of them pierce me everyday,
cast an ugly shadow over my spirit,
get in the way of the perfect life I long to live…

I want to say to you,
I understand that the struggle is real.
You are not alone!
I get it!

High vibes life has been the antidote to my deep depression,
to low self-esteem, to fear of waking up,
and to fear of dying.

High Vibes Life has taught me…
That I can create something NEW!
I can paint my own rainbow
and make my world beautiful!

It has not been easy.
Everyday I have to practice.
Everyday the scars and wounds stare me in the face,
and everyday I have to kiss them good morning
welcome them once again as part of who I am.
Everyday I have to check my forgiveness,
for the one who originally wounded and maimed my soul,
and for the ones along lifes path
who unwittingly kicked at my wounds,
and scorned my tenderness.

Everyday I have to chase away the shadows of yesterday,
and begin the day anew- with beautiful thoughts.
Many times I awaken from disturbing dreams;
Most of the really scary ones have faded, but I still dream
of being rejected, unloved, unwanted, unworthy;
But I’ve learned to thank them for the what they show me;
They guide me to understand what positive affirmations I need to write.

And I remind myself anew, out loud,
in ink, in voice, in mind, in Spirit:

freesoul

YOU ARE LOVED!
YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE!
YOU ARE LOVEABLE!
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
IT IS SAFE TO BE ALIVE!
YOU ARE TRULY AMAZING!
YOU ARE THE BEST FRIEND EVER!
I LOVE AND ACCEPT YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!

 

*If this article has touched your heart, please share it on one of the forums below.
I also look forward to your encouraging comments.

Namaste!

The Eye of the Universe

I wanted that bean burrito
with warm refried beans
and mounds of sharp cheddar cheese oozing over them
I craved that bean burrito
topped with dollops of creamy white sourcream
and a handful of salty black olives
I stirred a small pot of warm the beans in mounting anticipation
proud of choosing to eat what my body seem to desire
glad that I possessed all the makings at hand

I pushed you away-
Resolutely!
Because I needed that bean burrito…
Or did I?

I pulled out my block of Tillamock cheese,
and sliced off just a small piece to pop in my mouth
So salty and savory, so good!

But you returned-
Resolutely!
Your large, sweet, deep brown eye
the eye that held the soul of the universe
piercing through decades of branding and conditioning
your eye found mine
Spanning oceans of culture and tradition
Soaring above mountains of corporate mind-rape

Slave holders, soldiers, prison guards- anyone that subjects another life knows…
cows eye1AVOID THE EYE- do not make eye contact
But your eyes drew mine-
contact was made
And they were crying
Blazing yet another “Trail of Tears”
left in the wake
of human gluttony and apathy

My soul wrestled within as the skin of my hand held the block of cheese-
This was no longer simple; one by one my arguments were extinguished
in this historical river of tears…
The cheese was no longer a beautifully wrapped, sensual morsel of deliciousness;
but an ensign of participation- to partake of this simple pleasure
Was to remain in the battalion of apathy and gluttony-
Was to partake in inhumane treatment of life!
It was to refuse the eye that bore witness to inconceivable amount of suffering

I had looked into the eye with such helplessness and despair.
Amidst a multitude of people, smiling, laughing, intrigued
People roaming about in freedom
eating, drinking, enjoying entertainment and food to the full
Holding their sacred children near
Mothers nuzzling their babes at their breasts
offering the nourishment perfectly designed for them

All the while you were held in the tight confines of a small barred-in cell
a machine relentlessly tugging on your breasts
that were meant for your babies
The crowds jostled about in their merriment, gawking on, avoiding your eyes…

Were the tears that ran from your eyes and the desperate pleading gaze
effected by a surging pain from the machine?
Or by a broken heart of your lost infant?
Or, perhaps by both?

I could bear it no longer- the farm at the fair.
I could not set you free, and I could not watch you suffer.
So I left…

But you have not left me
Your eye, streaked with tears of sorrow, burn on in my soul.

I wanted that bean burrito…
or did I?

Perhaps all I really crave now, is a bowl of warm beans,
spiced with a little hot-sauce
topped with a few chopped onions
and to cry, for you, for me, for us…

for the eye that held the universe,
and spoke into my soul
of tragedy so monstrous
Born of deadened hearts

The eye has awakened me

Stay awake my soul!

How Can I Help Those Who Feel Lost?

flora (3)

When grappling with how to reach out and help others that may be struggling through darkness, ask yourself three questions-

  1. Who inspired you to believe in yourself, to strive for a better life and/or to have great faith?
  2. Why did they inspire you?
  3. What did they do or say?

Then ask yourself the next three questions:

  1. What has broken you or caused you to lose faith in yourself, God or humanity?
  2. Who played a vital role in breaking you?
  3. What did they say, do or not do that may have been instrumental in pushing you over the edge?

Now you have some insight into what heals and what damages…