One image: Proof of Embodiment

Pic or it didn’t happen, they say.

So, here it is.

Slam Poetry Night. Flash Poetry Nights – 10 / 07 / 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I am, on a little stage, in front of a microphone.

Breathing.

Projecting my voice as I learned to do in front of the classroom (the students in last row must be able to hear as well as the ones in the first one).

Words pouring out my mouth while my brain wandered around the room reminding me to look right and left, to move my hands, to breathe.

Funny how my awareness in everything that was going on – inside me and outside in the room – , was “split” from the act of reciting the poem.

I was not thinking about what line came next, not for a second, I wasn’t even aware of the act of delivering those words, so internalised they were.

I embodied those words so my mind was freed to wander and do what it does best. Think. Remind me of things. Observe. Pay attention to what is happening around. Sometimes panic.

Rehearsing the unfolding

That spurted “I want to be heard and I want to be seen” back in October of last year… Words that I didn’t know where they came from as they surprised myself more than they did to anybody else. They became day 1 of the “life / dream rehearsal”.

Fast forward few months. Months where I couldn’t ignore what I said back in that car.

“I want to be heard and I want to be seen”…

Those words kept coming to my mind as a mantra and they started to be recognised as mine. They become more real than anything else I had ever said. Those words were embodied, they had nothing to do with my mind, in fact, had I thought in that moment, I would have never dared to utter them.

No.

Those words were somewhere in myself, running silently through my veins, resonating quietly with every beat of my heart, ready to be exposed in the moment when I was ready to hear them.

– Do you ever wonder what else is there, in your body? Quietly waiting for its moment to be revealed to yourself?

Do you ever wonder if there might be a latent desire, in the dark, a deep truth that won’t come out until you are ready? Does it scare you never be ready? Never get to know your dream?

Mind talking about body.

I don’t know if they communicate well. I believe we are perfect creatures, so mind and body probably interact to perfection, although sometimes I think that the balance between mind and body goes off.

Then, when the mind takes over, the body shuts down overwhelmed by all those “irrational” or “too rationalised” fears and shuts up. It is like if the mind became a shield of thick impenetrable thought tissue around the body not allowing any information coming out and reach our awareness.

Body is silent and mind broadcast nothing more than chatter (fears, plans, memories…) giving us the illusion of understanding ourselves better, pretending to be helping us to make decisions and guiding us to our goals. When, as a matter of fact, the only thing that is happening is that we are getting more and more distanced from the intelligence in our bodies. We are further and further from the truth inside ourselves, from our deep desires, to the point that we perceive those dreams as something completely alien to us.

And they scares us. Those dreams and desires, pulsating in every fibre of our body, yearning to be, feel overpowering, paralysing, too intense… too palpable. Too real?

The mind has been trying to shut them down, trying to protect us from its fierceness. Being in the mind is like daydreaming. That is the illusion, the fantasy, that one way head trip that makes us pass at 100 miles an hour over reality converting it into a blur.

When we are on this fast mind train we know we are skipping over something but we are not seeing it clearly, we don’t distinguish the lines, the colours, the smells…

Mind goes too fast but body takes its time.

And that brings me back to that picture from the beginning.

Going from point A to D (of dream) in my body, in the reality, takes time, is a bike ride. You can only go as fast as your body allows you, and it requires practise, and the terrain might be rocky or hilly or having lots of curves, and unlike a fast train that cuts through a mountain tunnel, you, on your bike, can’t avoid those obstacles. You have to practise to strengthen your legs muscles, so that you are able to tackle the ascent of that hill, which is going to be hard as hell to climb. And while you are climbing that damn hill on your bike there is no way you are going to be on your mind because your body is reclaiming all your attention.

The risk is that when the ascent gets too hard, you might want to switch from body to mind and start thinking about taking the fast train again, which, let’s be honest here, is not going to take you anywhere closer to point D.

In that picture I am on my bike. In plain ascent to the hill. Feeling the stretch and the discomfort. Aching. In my body.

I am only in the first stops of the ascent (and that image is my first proof of ascent). I am still at the foot of the mountain where is not that steep but as I am quite fresh in this matter of climbing, it feels excruciating.

I know, though, that if I continue on my bike (or foot), the climbing will get easier as my muscles will become hardened and I will be more familiar with the track.

It’s a matter of embodied time…

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The Bright Side of Darkness

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“Light can only be understood with the wisdom of darkness” – Ka Chinery, Perceptions from the Photon Frequency

A curse can become a blessing, a weakness a superpower, and your darkness can be your light.

We have all the traits inside us. We are everything. We are perfect because we are complete, and are born with the ability to develop every single aspect.

Few months ago I read The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford. The book resonated deeply as my “darknesses” are something I have been very aware of, fighting them, pretending they are not there or identifying myself with them, becoming my darkness and then putting on a costume to disguise.  Darkness were for me a burden weighing me down and something to fight against. So, my relationship with darkness has always being an intense belligerent one. I might end up accepting my darknesses but no way I was going to love that damned shady part of me, nor could you trick me into believing that there is a bright side coming directly from those lightless tenebrous cave-like corners of me.

As I was reading the book I decided to work on the mayor dark side I was aware of those days. Shyness. Shyness being completely assimilated into my life, completely identified with it too. I am shy. That is who I am, a shy person. Resignation. Acceptance. Love? Not so much.

Loving my shyness has always being out of question. How could someone love something that hinders your interactions with others? That causes pain whenever you have to do anything that involves talking to another person: from shops, phone calls, public transport, to asking for directions, from answering the teacher in school, to do a job interview. When your choice career becomes one of the biggest challenges you have to face. When making friends becomes a sad chore and talking to people you are attracted to becomes an impossible dream… You know what I mean, I believe the majority of us experience some shyness to some extent in different moments in life and some others experience shyness in every moment in their lives.

So, no, my shyness was not loved, and since I was shy, I was not loving myself. I accepted myself with resignation but that was how far I could go.

One of chapters in the book asks you to search for the positive things in your life that came from being shy. Still, I was having a hard time finding them, but I ended up realising that probably my rebelliousness and warlike attitude towards every social aspects of life was a product of this shyness. I took interacting with people, my dreamed career and my social life as a challenge and I fight tooth and nail to beat my shyness and become proficient in all those areas.

See? Fighting my shyness, not lovingly accepting what is. Not seeing it as a gift. Even when shyness definitely brought a bright gift. Something that it is likely to become the best gift of my life (up to the current day at least).

“Why?” – you may wonder.

Because I believe that what challenges us the most is what we are meant to overcome. Because life / Universe / God wants us to flourish and for that reason it brings challenges. However, it is up to us to face them or hide away from them. Both are acceptable; I have spent about 35 years hiding away from fully facing the challenge life threw at me… And I may had lived an alright life had I not taken up the glove.

But I took up that damn glove.

Let me tell you one thing, consciously accepting this challenge has been the best decision I could have taken. Because it is one of this decisions that changes everything and makes everything fall into place, that gives yourself a purpose and drives you, fuels you and opens your eyes to the light.

Last night I went up into a tiny cornered stage, with a mic in front of me and a group of people looking at me and my performance (some of them actually judging me, but that was ok as they were there for that reason…).

And I liked it. I enjoyed it. So much I want to do it again. And again. And again. And become better at it.

Who would have said a year ago, that I was going to be craving going into a stage and speak my words? Believe me, there is not a single person in my life, not even myself, who would have imagined this outcome.

And as I was coming back home I was feeling completely at peace, pleased and light. No burden. No costume. No hiding. Finally loving my shyness because it led me to work full on on my public speaking skills. And the thing is that we normally feel the need to improve that what we think we are not good enough at. And when we can’t ignore that call, we listen and we master it. And because it was that hard to get there, we tend to appreciate it it more.

We feel so darn powerful. And we are!

But for that, we really, really need to step into the dark side, not only accepting that is there, but loving it for being there, because when there is love there is no place for fear. Love makes us bold (not blind).

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One

ONe

We are one
you and me.
Not yet free.
Not all that we can be.
You and me
We are one
with the same plea.

Your marriage at 13 subjugates me
Your burned face due to an unaccepted rejection sets me on fire
Your ironed breast numbs and un-womans me
Your unrecognised rape shames and puts me down
Your denial to have education disempowers me
Your unlikelihood of being the boss dissuades me
Your forced silence when you’re not asked mutes me.

The laws passed on your body.
The critics on your attire
The judgement on your figure.
The blame you receive
even when the crime is committed against you.
The voices telling you that you can’t have it all…

What you endure
makes me grit my teeth
and shrink my stomach
with sadness, pain, rage…

We are one
you and me
We are the same
and your suffering
creates ripples in our sea.

How can I accept and distance from your pain
when the main reason of your suffering
is the very same thing that links us together?
When borders and differences are an illusion
and what causes your pain is also what gives me an identity?

My rights are not universal
and fluctuate whenever I cross a border.
My value and worth
is determined by location
and is not undisputed.

My privileges are just a hideout
where I can pretend I am safe.

Fake pretension.

I can pretend your struggle is not mine
and trust there is a reassuring reason
in the randomness of my birthplace.

Or I can admit that I am part of a minority
that is still suffering beyond words.
I can leave my safe hiding place
and join the fight
because I won’t be fighting only for you
but for me,
for what makes us one.

You and me
not yet free
You and me
we are one.

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What has to be done

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And the funny part is that it feels as if the Universe was plotting in my favour.

It’s probably the fact that I am more alert to certain things that went unnoticed before. But it REALLY feels as if the Universe sat me on a chair, stood in front of me, almost shouting, exasperated, telling me: “Have you finally connected the dots?!” “Do you finally get what I’ve been trying to tell you all your life and steering you towards only for you to go back(wards) to hide in your cave?! “

Being the centre of attention

I’m gonna tell you a secret. I don’t remember much from  when I was little. I do remember though, an episode where I was attending mass with my family and I ran to the altar, positioned myself next to the priest and facing the attendees, lifted my dress showing my lovely underwear to all the parishioners.

Me lifting the dress seems to have been a reiterative activity of mine those days (or that I’ve been told).
Me running to a public raised structure with the only purpose of showing my nether regions, not so much (that I remember). The important part is that I wasn’t shy at all those days. I wanted to be seen (indecorously).

Another secret. Since I can remember, I had this distinction between real life and dream life. In my real life I was this scared child, socially awkward, loner who does not want to be seen or heard, prefers not to be the center of attention, panics when more that one set of eyes is looking at her, who believes she has nothing of value to say and therefore finds more comfortable hiding her vacuity. In my dream life, however, I am always the center of attention, confident, deep and thought provoking creature, an innate leader who has a the gift of speech and self expression, is radically honest and not fears being looked at, listened at, and in fact, thrives in those situations.

And you know what? I am afraid that my “real life” was just a form of conformity and settlement. You know The Fox and the Grapes fable? I think that was me for most of my life. I convinced myself that because I was so bad at social interactions and so shy, I didn’t want to be seen or heard, that I preferred to go unnoticed. Bullshit! I didn’t. And I have been hurting all those years because of that.

So, the real life was not real after all, whereas the dreamed life was the real one, although completely unfulfilled.

Starting to live the life I dreamed

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I remember when some childhood friends wondered why I wanted to be a teacher, to be in front of a class and the center of the attention. I didn’t make a connection between what my passion / calling was, and being the centre of attention (which back then I perceived as something bad, like “who do you think you are wanting to be the centre of attention?” kind of bad).

And I remember how I felt every single time I opened the door to the classroom and face the 20+ faces looking at me. There was fear, but there was excitement. A rise in adrenaline. A pleasure.

Then, when I started teaching online one on one via Skype, it was easy. I was confident. I was doing something I was good at without the fear of having to be the centre of attention. It was a pleasure too, I love having one on one conversations much more that being in a group, but the excitement was nowhere to be felt. Reason why I experienced the urge to organise onsite workshops although I told myself that the real reason was to grow the business. Oh, the fear and excitement I felt being in front of those faces again…

See? I am not sure now that I wanted to teach for teaching itself but for being the centre of attention communicating what I knew.

The content has expanded

Being a language teacher has been a pleasure. It still is. But I think that it was just a stage. A stage in where I didn’t believe I had anything to say coming from myself and I needed the support of a Language Degree and all those language books to communicate something, to have something to say.

Spanish language and culture was the content that I needed to communicate then. But it feels somehow limited now. I have outgrown my own creation pigeonhole.

Now, I have something to share that is coming from or through me (I am not so sure of this one yet).

I AM the content.

And I feel ashamed when typing this (and eventually share it) because I still hear the voice asking me: “Who do you think you are?” But now the answer is simple, ME.

I feel that I need to be shared.

I realise I chose teaching for my own pleasure and benefit. Sure, my students benefit from the acquisition of a new language and open their minds, but me? I benefited much more, as I wasn’t ready for the extent of my purpose yet,

My years as a teacher have allowed my to:

1. learn that with effort I could become a great teacher.
2. realise that I love being the centre of attention.
3. get the tools to hide my nerves and “fake” a personality or behaviour that doesn’t come naturally, to create a “persona” and as a consequence, feel more confident.

I learned and I enjoyed. I benefited from that much more than the audience I was addressing. I was soaking information, learning tools, feeling a vicarious pleasure.

The stage that awaits me and for which I am getting ready is not so much towards me but from me towards the exterior (whatever that might be).

I experience the pleasure, excitement (and fear), and the thrill. YES. But I am not the receiver this time. I am not doing it for me and my own benefit. I believe, with every fibre of my body and soul, that I have to say what has to be said that is coming from and through me.

Knowing that we have an impact on the people we interact with, that we alter other peoples lives by just “being” who we are and that we are inspired by other people’s actions and fulfilment, one has to wonder how many people are we not inspiring to action by not being who we truly are as our fulfilled self. I know that I am who I am by the interaction with some people I met. I remember the inspiration moments where I was stirred to take action and where those actions have taken me. Those people were meant to cross my path and because they were fully expressed I was inspired by them. Hadn’t they revealed their nature and purpose I wouldn’t have been encouraged or excited to take certain actions.

How sad would it be that the person, whose evolutionary path I am meant to cross in order to inspire him / her, wasn’t inspired because I haven’t been able to fully express the message that I am here to tell?

If I am here to transmit a message and someone out there needs to hear this message, I really need to get cracking and impersonate the person I am meant to be, find out what is it that I am meant to say and say it!

 

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To be a woman

It means touching your skin,
not drawing attention of the males around,
to that part of your body,
but because you need to caress your soul,
to let yourself know that you relish your own softness.

It means swaying your hips
not to attract male glances of your curves, your bum,
but because your sway generates an energy
that makes you feel present in your feminine power
regardless of anyones desiring eyes.

It means dancing extravagantly, extremely.
Moving your hips sensually,
rocking your body both softly and wildly,
arms embracing yourself,
hands brushing your skin,
your breasts,
your belly…
and when you are done caressing your frame,
you expand as the rhythm grows in intensity,
to stretch your arms into the sky,
as if you were a dancing flame.

You become the fire burning inside,
so every limb in your body burns to express that flame.
Your back curves in and out as a wild cat,
your arms expand as a bird’s wings,
and your legs open and bend
to let the energy from the earth flow
in and out from your now more stable body.

You are not delicate,
you are a hungry wild beast channelling your feminine power.

You are grandiose,
you are a goddess and a queen,
you are wild and free
finally liberated from those limiting lady-like shackles.

You are bigger than those.

You are greater
and you can hold more than “delicate” inside.

You are fierce,
and can expand into a bodiless inspiring and warming light.
You are deep, dark, and knowing of all the mysteries of a shared wisdom.

Pain and fear, made you strong and courageous.

Constraints, made you rebellious.

Silencing fingers, requiring you to raise your voice.

A whole self (and societal)  imposed obligation to others
left you craving obligation to yourself.

The guilt,
fruit of having been made responsible for everybody’s ease,
made you aware of the primordial need to love you first,
because your only real responsibility is with yourself and your own wellbeing,
is to express to exhaustion,
to let everything out,
to exert your feminine power,
to share your intuitive wisdom,
to let your words into the world.

Because you never felt so empowered and strong
until you heard the warm wild women’s voices embracing and lifting you up
without competition or mistrust,
as they know their worth
and fear nothing.

Never a single man’s look made you feel as delicious and sensual
as your loving and accepting look in the mirror.

You have never been so turned on by a man’s touch
as you have been by your own warming, knowing and loving hands.

And only when you have experienced the love from your own hands, eyes and voice,
you have been able to experience fully the love from other’s hands, eyes and voice,
and trust it.

Only when you trust your worth,
your inner voice,
can you trust what others have to say
and only then can you be trusted.

Because you trust yourself
and let your words become the truth.

© Maria Ortega Garcia

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Speak out

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Speak out.

Talk your distorted mind down,

And speak up.

Speak out and about,

freely.

Speak your mind, 

plainly.

Speak about and against.

Loud and clear.

For yourself,

for others.

Speak volumes

and speak well.

Say it.

Don’t hold back.

Project your voiced words, 

your love, your hopes, your dreams,

outwards, 

from the center of the stage,

alone under the spotlight.

And say what it comes 

as it comes.

Utter the words

that will make you implode if you keep them quiet. 

They are growing, 

they don’t fit in,

you need to expand 

and let them out.

The times of guilt are over.

It’s time.

Speak up.

Speak, 

because actions are not enough.

They are not your words. 

They are not what is needed now.

Now it’s your voice that you need to hear.

Raise your voice.

Voice who you are.

Speak.

Talk.

Say…

The negative connotations  

exist only in your head.

Say it!

They are as real as your thoughts.

You control them.

You own them.

Say it!

Lull them to the warm sleep of the innocent.

They did their best.

They have to rest.

But now is time for you to step up.

Stand up.

Speak up.

Tell the story that is waiting to be told.

It’s good.

Say it!

© María Ortega García

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I will burn

 

I desire to live
from my own fire.

From that newly discovered flame
that burst inside my womb.

A pull that I tried to contain
and extinguish,
believing it was vain.

Internal attraction to expand
into a tear
that let the bright flare glare.

That need to be seen
it’s in our nature.

The light has to brighten.
The flame, to arouse.

They cannot be contained,
nor extinguished.

They have to excite and spur
letting the heart of the fire roar.

And burn.

Burn myself in life.
And let the desire to consume into a pyre
be free of guilt.

As I am fire,
I will burn.

© María Ortega García

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