All posts by awakemandie


daring adventurer
dancing the flames
of my own undoing
dancing the flames
of my own resurrection

in to

what awaits me?
that which is behind me
i no longer need

you thought i was further along…
i thought i was catching up
i was catching fire

burning alive
by my own virtue
burning alive
from my own passion

from ashes i rise


The Goddess of Loring Park

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i met a goddess the other day
as i was walking
in Loring Park
she caught me quite by surprise
i couldn’t quite place who she was
(at first)
standing there,
by the pond
arms reached to heaven
in some sort of dance
she spoke to me
in a language i could not hear
or understand
yet felt deeply in my bones
maybe you have seen her
met her
talked to her, too
if not…
if you like
i can take you to the place
where Freya lives
as a tree
in Loring Park


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Gate 6

I lay this heartache
on the bare-bones altar
of all my dreams

I scream in vain
A question echoing through
the empty walls of my heart

No one will answer…..

No one can.

[Image Credits]
[Retrieved from:]

Why I’m Giving Up On Hope

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I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately.  Hoping things turn out ok, hoping someone special to me is ok, hoping that maybe, just maybe “this” can work for me too.  Hoping for a better world, hoping for healing, so fucking much to hope for….

I don’t want to hope something for someone that they don’t hope for themselves.  Talk about an imposition of will based on some judgments that what want for you is surely better than what you want for yourself.

Synonyms for hope include the words expectation and anticipate.  All of these are looking toward the future.  If it’s not ok to future trip with worry, why is it ok to future trip with hope?  Let’s ditch worry, hope, regret, shame – all of it! – and live in this moment, with radical acceptance and surrender.

Brené Brown talks about faith and worry not being opposites.  She suggests that the opposite of faith is certainty, faith and worry being two sides of the same coin.  Let’s look at hope and worry with similar eyes, as being two sides of the same future coin.  That being the case, the opposite is presence.   

Hoping for some future, better condition is a sort of slap in the face to the perfection of now.  Maybe rather than hope for something different I can be grateful for what is.  Maybe rather than hope for something better, I can do the powerfully magical work of shifting my consciousness and seeing the world through different eyes –  a perspective shift that allows me to see the perfection of the moment.

“Maybe, just maybe, this can work for me too…..” What ever happened to doing the right thing for the right reason? Does this mean I am choosing a course of action based on my desire for a specific outcome – like “it working”? What if things turn out differently than my image of “working” – does that mean I did something wrong, that I didn’t try hard enough, that I am hopeless.  What if I miss some really beautiful outcome because I am so stuck to this vision of what I think life should look like? What would happen if I do what is on my heart to do, solely because it is on my heart to do?

Having loved enough and lost enough,
I’m no longer searching
just opening,

no longer trying to make sense of pain
but trying to be a soft and sturdy home
in which real things can land.
~ Mark Nepo


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Like a Weed

I hope the seed I am
grows like a weed:

Without any reverence for where I’m supposed to grow
or where it would be more convenient.

Finding the cracks and tiny spaces in everything;
spreading my particular kind of beauty
in the most unlikely places.



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I come from….

I come from…

Well, of course I come from my mother –

and a long line of mothers before her.  And that is what is obvious…  My mother and my mother’s mother, and her mother before, all quite skilled in the art of survival.  They survived cruelties, witnessed disgusting acts of hate and power – and, somehow still had dinner on the table promptly at 5.

They sacrificed their children on the altar of someone’s hunger, on the altar of making nice and looking pretty, and…were up at dawn preparing breakfast, headed to the fields.

I come from a long line of lies, broken hearts, and pretense – always, always pretense.  And, when it all became too much to bear, too much to hold together, I come from a long line of violence.

I come from my mother, who not being able to bear the pain and constant struggle of holding the façade in place, firmly powerfully in place, escaped through a tiny hole in her arm.

In her escaping she shifted the legacy, only perhaps even darker now than before.

I come from…

I come from a place inside myself that will not be denied.

Shrouded in cultural atrocity, presented as normal, passed off as appropriate… I come from a place inside myself that will not be denied.

A place of stars, a place of grace, of raging fires and ravaging storms… I come from a place inside myself that will not be denied.

A place of ubiquitous love, of grand creation, a place of interwoven mystery and cosmic unfolding….

I come from a place inside myself, that, though carefully walled in and dressed in the fabric of a culture that could care less, will not be denied.

Originally written January 11, 2015.

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Passionately In Between

I start this post with a bit of trepidation – and I am aware that saying that makes me a less powerful writer.  That’s ok.  Our world is possibly more polarized and divided than ever.  Being a person that values diversity and inclusion, who strives to try on as many perspectives as possible, and who wants to build bridges, make connections, and expand beyond the limits of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, I find myself torn between groups of friends, afraid to speak my truth, afraid to be different.  I find myself more temperate on some issues than friends from either side.  I find my growing edges around racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, cultural appropriation, genocide, constitutional rights and freedoms, different opinions and experiences, and so many more, being engaged and challenged – willingly.  And sometimes awkwardly and painfully.  Almost always, I find myself passionately back in the middle – not on the fence, rather between the worlds.

Rarely have I ever considered a different perspective or point of view because the person sharing it started off by telling me how wrong mine was.  My natural inclination to that sort of approach is resistance and defense.  I remember once at Diana’s Grove, Cynthea Jones talking about getting a group of people to the energetic level you want them to be.  “Start where they are,” she said.  If they are loud and you want them to be quiet, start loud and progress to quiet.  If they are quiet and you want them to be loud, start with a whisper and move to a shout.  I don’t think that means start with hate and move to love – I think that means start with connecting, then with moving.

If someone tries to rip away the foundation of my belief system, pull the rug out from under me, or otherwise upend everything I stand on – I am going to cling to those beliefs and defend them.  Because of that instinct I am less likely to entertain a different perspective. For that reason, I think between the worlds is a great place for healing to happen.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Extremism probably isn’t the antidote to extremism, even when it seems like the only natural response, or the only thing the other side can, or will, understand.

I’m not suggesting we not dive deep, be passionate, thorough, or fully engaged.  Extremism to me isn’t about how far we go; it’s about how narrow the road gets as we travel.  For me, the ideal path gets wider and wider; more inclusive, more diverse.  The path builds bridges, makes connections, and weaves a beautiful tapestry of understanding, compassion, and connection – even when it’s hard, even when I don’t want to.  When common ground isn’t obvious and I want to attack or defend – ideally, though not always, I pause and keep looking.  I can find a way to connect and through that connection, that crack – well, it’s where the light has a chance of creeping in.

The following TED Talk, for your pleasure:



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