I Remember

Wide-eyes in amber hues brimming with salty tears
Four years old in red ruffles and day of the week panties
Mama’s precious baby girl
Trembling, frozen with fear, cold and confused
Silenced, but I remember

Truth or dare on the trampoline
Triple dog five second French kiss or eat worms
Mama’s little daredevil
and innocent boys following the footsteps of their forefathers
Busted, I remember

Open window and moonlit shadows dancing on the wall
Thirteen and rebellious; Mama’s little wild child
“Everyone else is doing it. Don’t you love me?”
Pressured, I remember

Head down, tears flowing, pushing past the picket line
Fifteen and pregnant, Mama’s dirty whore
Cold steel forced inside me, life ripped from my womb
“MURDERER!” I remember

Strobe lights and rap music, twerking teenage dreams
Sixteen with nothing to lose, Mama’s party girl
Beer run – two guys in a Chevy truck looking for some fun
“Drink up baby girl.”
Room spinning, losing consciousness. I remember

Bright lights, bloodshot eyes and grunting,
hip bones pounding into supple flesh
Incoherent but coming to, Mama’s naive fool.
Struggling to scream and unable to move
Tossed curbside next to the trashcan, battered and used.
Damaged, I remember

Butterflies taking flight, head floating in the clouds
Young and reckless, making plans for the future
They said we’d never make it so we set out to prove them wrong
Independent and headstrong, Mama’s girl on the run.
Head over heels, I remember

Dimly lit room, cold gel smeared across my belly
fluttering of a tiny heartbeat, fear and joy intertwined
Mama’s gift from the heavens, I shall protect you with my life
I often dreamed of the day I would cradle you in my arms
My existence had a purpose, I remember

Blood dripping down trembling legs,
Blurry lights passing by in a frenzied pace
pain unimaginable as the room fades to black.
Floating between dimensions, struggling to find my way back.
Wings gifted, Mama’s little angel
Inconsolable, I remember

Silence shattered like broken glass
“Ms. Daigle, I’m afraid you may never bear children…”
A woman’s worth destroyed in thirteen syllables
Fertile soil now barren – hopeful heart destroyed and abandoned
Mama said it was for the best, I remember

Consumed by heartache, weighted by grief and despair
I sought love in the form of flying fists and rage
Black eyes and body bruises, Mama taught me well
I deserved it, I remember

Surgical steel piercing my vein
Injecting poison to numb my pain
Mama’s little junkie
There was no escape, I remember.

Body gone limp, heartbeat slowing
Discarded by a coward, left there overdosing
Silent screams as tears rolled down my cheeks
Vomit staining sweat soaked sheets
I am fading and Mama can’t save me now
but I was born a warrior, I remembered

I begged God for mercy and fought my way back to the light
Never again will I be swallowed by the darkness of the night
I am immortal, and I remember everything.

-Dena M. Daigle, 2018

 

This piece was inspired by a beautiful piece written by Rachel Finch that moved me. Her words helped me find the strength to release those that have been locked inside of me. It is a testament to her strength and resilience which we can all appreciate. Rachel’s piece is featured below. 44710536_2209525525995879_526698698571251712_n.jpg

I Will Not Write Your Obituary

Heroin addiction is a destroyer of the human spirit, completely obliterating not only the heart of the addict, but the hearts of those who love them as well.  The harsh reality of this cyclic battle is that some souls simply cannot be saved no matter how hard you try to help them, or how much love you offer them. We can’t walk the path for anyone but ourselves, and there is no way to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. – Dena M. Daigle

This is a piece dedicated to my sister. I tried with everything in me to make this a spoken word piece, but I could barely get out 5 lines before I broke down in tears. Wherever you are sister, just know that you are loved and I hope you can find yourself one day.

 An Open Letter to My Sister 

I reached out to you with three simple words,
“How could you?”
And your response was “I need help”
But how many times are we supposed to save you when you won’t even save yourself.
You said “Fuck help. Fuck life. I give up”
Never giving another thought to the children who need you;
nor the mother and sister who would succeed you.
You told me that I would never see you again;
and I’m not even sure how I’m supposed to feel about that.
Is it a ploy for attention, or a cry for help?
I don’t know,
because most don’t give a warning before they kill themselves.
And you have lied so much to anyone who would listen.
They obliviously cater to your bullshit while you feed your addiction.
You leave devastation in your wake;
a winding trail of shattered hearts as long as the river Nile,
robbing piggy banks and leaving bones scattered on the shores of denial.
But you tell me “Just remember that I love you.”
As if those words could ever ease the pain of losing my sister;
my own flesh and blood
the girl I would give my own life to save.
Then you block my messages and calls and vanish without a trace.
How dare you lay down your sword at my feet as if I’m supposed to end this battle for you.
How dare you lay your burdens on my fragile heart as if I haven’t suffered too.
I will not clean up the endtrails you recklessly leave behind.
I will not hide your rotting corpse from the wolves that come to dine.
I will not place you gently into the river trying to save your soul.
And I will not write your fucking obituary before your body turns cold.
But if you reach out to me, I will answer your call.
I will sit with you in the gutter and we will write graffiti on the walls.
I will write you into poetry of painted skies and butterflies
and you will laugh at me.
You will think I have gone completely mad
unless the only hue on the palette I’ve chosen is black.
But I would do it anyway because I just want to see you crawl out of your cocoon.
I want to shed my light on your darkness and guide you to brighter days.
I want to see your babies smile and seek solace in your embrace.
I will stay at your bedside and watch over you as you sleep,
and I will help you slay your demons on the days you are too weak.
I will roll up my sleeves and grab a broom and we will clean this mess together;
but I will not let you sweep it under the rug again
nor let you decide which storms we have to weather.
I will not watch you destroy yourself any longer and tear our family apart;
and if that means you hate me,
I will just have to keep you safe in my heart.
But I will not write your obituary.
I will just love you from afar.
-Dena M. Daigle ©️ 2018

Silly Girl

Silly girl, look at you! How weak can you possibly be? Screaming in silence while the world dances on around you. You let them kill your light; just rolled on over and watched the darkness swallow you up without even putting up a fight. You had the entire world right there at your fingertips and were too afraid to grasp it. Far too concerned with labels – the ones sewn on your clothes and shoes, and the ones branded upon your skin; too blind to see that none of it even mattered.

Stupid girl, look at you! Parading around town, displaying your flesh upon the alters of ungodly men; worshiping them while down on your knees bathing in lustful sin. You became everything they said you were, as if you had a point to prove.

Scared girl, look at you! Still stuck on Chapter 16 of a book that your tormented soul may never get to complete; too afraid to turn the page; too fearful of your fate sealed within the epilogue.  When are you going to realize that you are the one who holds the pen? Only you get to decide how your story will end.

Sulky girl, look at you! So much to be grateful for yet you dwell on the pain; afraid to smile; unsure how to hide your misty eyes without the safety of the rain. It is time to feel the warmth of the sun. Bask in its rays; let those tears nourish your roots and bloom beautiful soul! Have mercy on your heart for once sweet girl.

I know I never told you this, but I think it is time for you to know that I forgive you; and you are worth so much more than that which you failed to realize before. Baby girl it is time for you to spread those wings and soar!

Love always,

Your Future Self

Surviving the Void – A Tribute to the Healing of the Womb

I love every aspect of my life and those I share it with, let’s get that straight, but there is still a gut-wrenching ache in the depths of my soul and it just won’t seem to loosen its grip on me. Although every other chamber of my heart is overflowing with love, there is still a chasmic black hole in my heart that all the stars in the universe could not fill. It should be infused with light through self-love, the love reciprocated by those I care for and inner-peace and happiness, yet for some reason I cannot seem to tame the envious beast lurking within. Perhaps because, like most childless women who yearn to cradle precious life within them, I come face to face on a daily basis with subtle reminders of the one ability I lack – in every family photo taken, every school bus stop, playground, grocery store, television screen, doctor’s office and inevitably, every other conversation that seems to flow around me. I am 35 years old, unwed (but engaged) and childless (of my own womb) living in a male dominant society that propagates marriage and children before the age of 40, while subliminally implying that infertile women are somehow inferior… but I digress.

It is every woman’s sacred birthright to bear the fruit of her womb, but sometimes in life things happen that prevent us from doing so. That does not make us any less of a woman, or any less knowledgeable about how to raise children. Allow me to reiterate this to those who say “You don’t have kids, so you don’t understand.” – That does not make us any less of a woman, or any less knowledgeable about how to raise children! (Seriously people, there is nothing comparable to telling an infertile woman those words that could ever make her feel more disconnected from womanhood than she already does. So, please don’t say that.) Motherly instincts come naturally to the human species just as they do in the wild (even though we may want to argue that point after witnessing certain behaviors of some women towards their children). Certainly some of us may choose not to have children, and I’m equally supportive of those women as well, but it is a decision that they have made nonetheless. Then there are those of us childless women who have been physically coerced to forego the idea of bearing children by our bodies who have decided that fate for us. We were stripped of the right and/or ability to choose for ourselves, forcing us to swallow the toxic tincture of emotions that followed, which we then had to learn to digest somehow.

I, like many women, have endured severe sexual trauma, both pre- and post-pubescence, and it has affected me immensely in every way – mind, body and spirit. While navigating the muddy waters of self-healing, I sought shelter in connections with other females who have experienced similar hardships. Despite their experiences or reasons for not having children, there is one common factor linking us together – the wisdom gained by enduring the pain of living without that which our hearts desire most. Because of these goddesses, I now see the intrinsic value of the womb, the captivating beauty of the divine feminine spirit and the essence of all life itself.

The womb is a not just a sexual organ residing within the reproductive system of the female body. It is the sacred seat of power that links all of humanity to The Great Mother. It is the source of infinite abundance embodying the life-force energy that gives birth to the entire universe.

“When we speak of the womb, we are referring to more than a physical organ within a female body – although this sacred site is brimming with creative magic. We refer also in a greater sense to an energetic, multidimensional portal, a bridge between worlds, that lives within us whether we have a physical womb or not.

For women who have had a hysterectomy, the energetic power and blueprint of the womb remains within; for those in menopause, your energetic wise blood still flows in harmony with the cycles of the moon. Women in their crone phase are the spiritual grandmothers of the tribe, the wise wombs. Men also have a spiritual or energetic womb, which we call the hara.”

Womb of Light, Mary Rogers and Anjali Devi.

In my quest for closure, I have learned the importance of healing, not only mentally, but physically and spiritually as well. That may sound somewhat strange because well, obviously, those old wounds have healed externally, but internally there is still a mess of unhealed damage that has gone untreated for many decades which requires my attention. You see, our wombs are where the majority of our pain, including the pain that we have inherited from our ancestors, resides. We entomb that toxicity within our bodies and it grows like a cancer attacking otherwise healthy organs and causing all kinds of issues. Additionally, when we harbor that pain within by suppressing our rage and tears, we actually inhibit our growth in all facets of life. Although the process of healing past trauma can be utterly painful, it is vital to our well-being to awaken that slumbering beast, accept the lessons it has taught us, and to then permanently evict and prohibit it from returning to cause any further damage. I know that now.

“Through awakening of the womb we are able to travel back into those places that have disconnected us from our power of gnosis and grounded living. The places that are frozen through trauma of painful experiences can now begin to thaw into rivers of ancient grief. Irrigating our lives with [the] birthright of pleasure, innocent wildness, juiciness, magic and a deeper self-love than any we have ever known.

Self-love is a fertile, pregnant doorway into manifesting true love on the physical realms through relationships. Through our womb imprints we inherit our mother line gifts as well as our pain. When we are cutoff from this power center we cannot access our gifts and instead can stay in loops and replay of generational trauma.”

– Anabel Vizcarra

This process is how we honor our hearts and the blossoming lotus that is the awakened womb. In learning of the power carried within the sacred space of the womb, my purpose has become abundantly clear. I now realize that, while I may not be able to bring forth life in physical form from my womb, I can bring forth life in other ways, equally as beautiful. I carry within me the spiritual strength and creative energy needed to share the life-changing tools I have discovered with my kindred sisters so that I may help them to restore the balance, vitality and essence of life within themselves. I inherited the sacred energy of The Great Mother, and I am a guardian of light protecting the innocence of the children that I love as if they were my own. So I will continue walking gracefully along the path of healing carrying within me the divine torch of light and love. – Dena M. Daigle, Phoenix Ascended

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Sources:
Photo: Pinterest, Artist Unknown.
Mary Rogers – Lotus Gypsy Soul
Anjali Devi – Anjali Devi, Psychic Medium
Anabel Vizcarra

Iris – The Sacred Meeting Place Between Science and Spirituality

Have you ever met someone for the first time and felt an instant connection to them as if you have known them your entire life? Perhaps there is something familiar in their eyes, but you cannot seem to pinpoint exactly what it is. Yet you still feel like you have gazed upon those mystical orbs a million times before. I believe we feel that connective spark because our soul instantly recognized theirs the moment we looked into their eyes. Related article: “Vibe With Your Soul Tribe.”

“It has been said, for as long as I can remember, that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I wholeheartedly concur! I view the intricate patterns of the iris as a universal map leading us to the sacred meeting place of science and spirituality.”

Dena Daigle, Phoenix Ascended

Every human being on this planet has a unique pair of eyes that contain their very own galactic microcosm known as the iris. No two are the same, much like our fingerprints. They are a beautiful blueprint to the stars, mind, body and soul alike.

Did you know? “The iris is like a map of the body – changes in certain organs are reflected in specific parts of the iris. The right iris shows the condition of the right side of the body, while the left iris reflects the left side. The exact relationship between iris and body parts can be seen from the iris chart below.” (Source: What Your Iris Says About You.) Please note, however, that the actual pattern of the iris rarely changes acutely.

map2

The iris develops when we are in our mother’s womb and remains virtually the same our entire life. “In health, the iris is composed of densely structured fine, straight lines, radiating from the pupil to the outer rim. A close grain, similar to that of hardwood, indicates a strong inherited vitality and good recuperative powers in the case of temporary illness. If the fibers are loosely spread, as in softwood, the basic health is weak.”

It is also believed that the eyes do not change when we pass from one life into the next, allowing us to recognize our spiritual companions throughout time and space. Our souls are light-bodies that exist in higher dimensions beyond the confines of this earthly realm. However, we incarnate here in physical form for various reasons with a distinct purpose and/or mission. Our personal unconscious acts much like an internal hard drive storing vital data and information that we have encountered in past lives in order for us to evolve and grow. Even though most of us do not consciously remember our past lives, certain places, events and even people have the ability to trigger that stored energy into resurfacing. That is why we feel such an intense connection when we encounter certain people and momentarily gaze into their eyes. We are basically catching a glimpse of a past life connection.   Pay attention to how you feel the next time you “meet” someone.

“Mosaic masterpieces in hues of brown, gold, green and blue. Kaleidoscopes of color containing all the beauty of far-away galaxies. These story-telling spheres speak the untold truths in moments of silence. Like tiny windows to the soul, our eyes reflect every encountered emotion. It is there that we can view each other in our purest form, raw and unfiltered.”

– Dena Daigle (2017) “Windows to the Soul,” Scattered Ashes

#MeToo – A Series to Raise Awareness of Sexual Abuse

#MeToo –

Any sexual/intimate act should only happen if you agree to it.

If all the people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

I was 4 years old when my innocence was stripped from my soul right along with my red-ruffled “Day of the Week” panties that were stripped from my naked toddler body. The teenaged son of my parents’ friend, along with his raging hormones, was supposed to watch over me until my mother returned from work that evening. The things that occurred in that dark, cold house could not be accurately processed by my still-developing mind, but I knew that they were very wrong.  And I also knew, or was manipulated into believing rather, that if I were to speak a word about what happened, I would be in a lot of trouble. I was forced to believe that I would somehow be “in trouble” for having my body desecrated by the hands of a monster. That is a lot to process for a four year old, and even more to keep buried deep within.  The toxicity I entombed by remaining silent ate away at the remaining bits of my soul, long into my teenage years and even into adulthood, as I have now come to realize. This single event, along with other traumatic experiences in my adolescence, led me spiraling down a path of self-torture.

Fast forward to high school years and my self-abuse was now being accompanied by drug use and promiscuity.  Each slice of the razor blade upon my flesh, and each hand that I allowed to touch my delicate skin, was an attempt to feel something more than what I had been feeling for years.  Those self-inflicted wounds were silent cries for help from a mouth that had been sewn shut for far too long. They were not ploys for attention from a spoiled child as they were believed to be.  I just wanted to feel loved, and at the same time, I just wanted to numb the heartache that I could never speak of.  The mind of a victim is quite the paradox.

I was around 16 when I experienced my second sexual trauma. As I mentioned previously, I was making some very poor choices, which included going out to parties with much older crowds (of some pretty sketchy people, might I add), drinking, selling and taking drugs, etc.   I was asked by my friend to accompany two men (who were friends of hers at the party) to the store to pick up some more alcohol.  I guess I was security that they would return to the party and not run off with the money they were given to make the purchase. While they did, in fact, end up running off with the money, they also ran off with my blood on their hands, and with the little bit of dignity that remained within me.

While I will spare you the gruesome details, I will simply say that I was brutally raped by those two men that night after being given some type of “date-rape drug” that rendered me partially unconscious and unable to move or cry for help.  As I began regaining consciousness, I was punched in the head so hard that I was knocked out again. While my body was still fighting to come to, I was pushed out of a truck on side of the road a block away from the party and left there like a pile of rotting garbage. A friend saw me lying there and, I would imagine, assumed that I was just intoxicated and that I fell, causing injury to myself. Although they could see the knot that had formed on my head, and a few cuts, scrapes and bruises, they could not see the other damage inflicted upon me.  In fact, no one ever would.  I kept it all a secret in fear that no one would believe me anyway, as that had been my experience when I attempted to break the silence about my childhood trauma.

I thought my life couldn’t get much worse, but I was mistaken.  This pain that I kept hidden was eating me alive and the drugs were no longer helping to numb it.  The choice to remain silent forced me into a deep depression and I spiraled completely out of control.  The winding staircase to my own personal hell led to the birth of a heroin addict, but also to the rebirth of a warrior.

In a society where “rape culture” is still very much alive, it is imperative that we teach our youth the importance of speaking out against their abusers.  And as adults, it is equally vital for parents and other influential persons in a child’s life, to understand and recognize the signs of a child who is silently pleading for help.

A Letter to the Man with My Blood on His Hands

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Picture shared on Facebook

I came across a photo prompt today and as I thought about all the words I would say, every emotion I was feeling came pouring out of my pen. I guess sometimes it takes this kind of event to cure writer’s block. Anyhow, this is what I came up with…

To the man with my blood on his hands,

Some say that death is the hardest pain to heal, while others say that it’s harder to mourn the loss of someone still alive… but me, oh I think that healing a broken spirit is much more difficult a task. I have mourned the loss of too many loved ones to count, and the loss of “love” even, but it has taken me 30 years to finally grieve for the loss of my innocence. I wish I could tell you just how much you broke me but I don’t even remember your name. I guess suppressing painful memories can do that to a person. What I do know is that because of you I have flinched every time a man has ever touched me. Because of you, I have built walls around my heart so high that most give up before ever coming close to reaching the summit. Because of you, I wouldn’t know real love if it slapped me in the face. And every time I’m betrayed by someone who claims to love me, my spirit breaks just a little bit more. Because of you, I’m also afraid of being alone. Because of you, I’ve allowed my flesh to be desecrated at the hands of merciless cowards. Because of you, I constantly apologize for things I have no control over, sometimes even for my own existence. Because of you…hell, who am I kidding? It’s ALL because of you. See ’cause, it is because of YOU that I fight my hardest to heal…to share my voice for all the broken little girls who can’t. And because of you, and every wrong path you led me to, I found my purpose! See I wish you no harm. I actually hope you’re well. I hope you have a very long life ahead of you with an excellent memory. And I hope your demons keep you company every night as you lay your head on your pillow. And I hope somehow, some way, you read this some day and see the face of the brave little girl you almost destroyed. You couldn’t silence me forever.

Capture Your Heart Through Art Project

 

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso

WELCOME!

I would like to give a warm welcome to all who visit, and to give thanks for your interest in this project. If this is your first time participating in an event like this, I will say that your soul is in for a special treat! I previously participated in several monthly photography prompts, and also participated in a wonderful project a few years ago by Carly Marie about capturing grief. My heart was so moved by what I experienced in those projects that I was inspired to create this one to share with you all! I hope you all enjoy it.

WHAT IS “CAPTURE YOUR HEART THROUGH ART” ABOUT?

How many of us have a routine that we follow daily? Most of us wake to blaring alarm clocks, consume massive amounts of caffeine just to get motivated, and then shift our thoughts to auto-pilot as we begin our duties. We hurry through the day focused on completing our scheduled tasks according the ticking hands adorning our watches and walls. By day’s end we are tired, stressed and preparing to repeat the same pattern again the following day. But when do we stop to appreciate the little things? When do we allow ourselves to just BE at peace for a moment in time? “Capture Your Heart Through Art” is a photography/art project about being present, capturing what moves you and enjoying the beauty in the mundane.  There are 30 subjects, one for each day of the month of September, and a detailed description below to better explain what each subject represents.  You are invited to share a photo that captures the essence of your heart’s energy as you stop to experience each of these precious moments along the journey. Please be mindful to read the details below, as they will assist in guiding you through the steps of this project. Remember to have fun, keep an open mind and be present in the moment.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

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(Descriptions below.)

HOW TO JOIN IN THE FUN:

First, let me reiterate that this project is meant to remind us to BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT, no matter when/where that moment may be. This is an interactive project designed to help each of us learn to fully appreciate our “normal day to day” and to find something to be grateful for in each day. With that said, you may be asked to do a little more than just take a photograph. You may also want to keep a journal or notebook to write down your thoughts and feelings as you experience each day. Please be aware that some of the prompts/subjects may require a bit of planning, such as sunrise, full moon, sunset, etc., so I advise you to read through all of the descriptions below carefully and plan accordingly. Please feel free to partake in this event as you so desire. Do not feel obligated to participate and/or share daily, as you may be drawn more toward some subjects and less to others, which is perfectly fine. Your creative interpretation of each prompt is strictly up to you, but I have provided some helpful details in the descriptions below to assist you with ideas pertaining to each.  How you capture and share the special moments along your journey is also left to your discretion. You may choose to preserve your experiences with your phone, digital camera, or any other device. Additionally, you may choose to share your photos online (publicly or privately) through your favorite social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Blog, etc.), or any other web-based platform, or you may opt not to share them at all. Should you choose to share your photos online, please caption your post/photo with the project name, along with the chosen day/subject.  For example: “Day 1: #Sunrise – #CaptureYourHeartThroughArt” (hashtags are optional). For those who decide to share their journey publicly, please note that the use of hashtags allows everyone participating in the event to easily access each other’s beautiful moments.  I will be sharing photos from my journey publicly each day on my Facebook and Instagram pages. Facebook users, you are invited to share your photos in the comment section of each photo thread I share as well, should you choose to do so. 

WHEN DOES THE FUN BEGIN?

September 1, 2017 marks the first day of the Capture Your Heart Through Art project. Remember that each numbered subject in the Photo Prompts photo above corresponds with that day of the month. Please understand that we are all in different parts of the world, therefore our time-zones and days may slightly differ. The purpose of this guide is merely to direct you to enjoy the moment you are capturing regardless of what time/day it is for others.

WHAT ABOUT THE RULES?

Rule #1 – THERE ARE NO RULES! This project is simply all about presence and enjoying the little things that this life has to offer…beauty in the mundane, so to speak. My only requests are that you: (A) RELAX and ENJOY each moment. Let your heart lead the way. If at any time you feel pressured to take and/or share a picture, you are not truly living in that moment. The photographs are simply meant to serve as mementos of our presence in each precious moment that we are alive. (B) Use your own photographs. Even if they are photos you may have taken previously, the purpose of this project is to fully enjoy and document your own personal journey, which will be different for each person. Appreciate that and be respectful to one another. We all have different lifestyles, interests, and paths.  (C) Protect yourself and others. No nudity/lewd photographs. This should be common sense given that most of us will be sharing on public platforms, but I feel it necessary to specify out of an abundance of caution. Additionally, as one of the prompts is “Adolescence” be mindful that this involves children, and unfortunately, there are some predators who exist in this world. Be cautious of how and what you choose to share.

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DESCRIPTIONS:

Day1Sunrise – The sun’s energy brings all potential life from within the Earth. And just as each new day begins with a beautiful sunrise, so does our journey. No matter where you are in the world, make it a point to rise with the sun. Gaze upon its vibrant rays and bask in its energetic essence. Feel the warmth upon your skin. Breathe slowly and deeply, and enjoy the tranquil moments of silence as a new day begins. Silence the mind and appreciate the sound of nature around you, the scent of morning dew, and the vivid colors that chase away the darkened sky. To prepare for this, be sure to Google (in advance) the time of sunrise in your location. Even if bad weather interferes, do not let it prohibit you from enjoying this moment. Take a photo of your surroundings as the new dawn breaks the sky (visible sunrise or not) to mark the beginning of this project. Describe your energy today and what you felt as you watched the sunrise. If you share online, please be sure to post your location along with your photo.

Day2Adolescence – There is something special about the innocence of adolescence…authentic souls untainted by the troubles of the world, carefree and pure at heart. Their spirits soar effortlessly, touching the lives of all who surround them with their beautiful glowing light. Many of our hearts have been changed forever by the birth of our children and the joy that they bring, while some of us have experienced the loss of our children and the toll that it takes on us. Take a moment to honor and appreciate the essence of those tiny beacons who selflessly share their love with the world. Enjoy their smiles and laughter and reflect on how special they truly are. Please be mindful that this photograph involves children, so sharing is left to your discretion.

Day3Joy – Have you ever been walking somewhere, perhaps the grocery store, or through the park or other public place, and you spot something that instantly brings a smile to your face? Something that makes your heart flutter with joy and excitement. Pay attention to your surroundings today and when you spot something that brings you happiness, try to capture it and describe what you enjoyed about the moment. If you couldn’t capture it, no worries, feel free to use any other creative means to share your story instead. This also applies to any of the prompts below.

 

Day4Gratitude“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle | Blessings come to us in many different ways and take on many different forms. Incorporating gratitude into your daily life attracts even more blessings to be grateful for. Take a moment to reflect on everything  your heart is grateful for and write those things down. Take a photograph of your list and, if you choose to, share it. You may choose to express the things you are grateful for in any other creative way you desire as well. (In addition to this project, you may even consider keeping a daily journal for this purpose. The abundance of happiness you will find in doing so may be life changing!)

Day5Empowerment – We have all experienced something that made us feel completely alive in the moment, empowered and strong. Maybe it was an article or poem you read that moved you, or perhaps it was overcoming an obstacle or participating in an event for a great cause. Think about whatever it is that makes you feel a sense of strength, something that helps you face your fears. Take a picture of it, or use a previous photo you have to share with others and help to empower them as well.

 

Day6Full Moon – The moon, being the closest astronomical body to Earth, has a profound effect on us. Unlike the masculine qualities of the sun, the moon represents the nurturing, feminine, emotional, and creative aspects of us. The Full Moon is powerful and intense, creating a perfect time for self-healing! This is the time to release anything is no longer needed in your life. It is also a wonderful time to release any aspect of yourself that you may have outgrown. It is important to let go of these things to make room for, and welcome the blessings that you attract. Center your heart and write down the things that no longer serve you. Take your list outside along with any special items you wish (i.e., crystals, sage, candles, etc.) and underneath the moonlit sky, repeat the things you have chosen to release back into the universe. [I, personally, like to do this every Full Moon cycle. I take my written intentions, along with a candle, abalone shell or fireproof dish and a bowl of water. I place my palms into the bowl of water as a symbol of self-cleansing, then read my intentions aloud and light the corner of the page with the candle. I then place the burning page into the fireproof dish, allowing it to continue burning to ash, thereby releasing that energy back into the universe.] Affirm your heart’s desires and allow yourself time to feel the weight lifting away from you. Take a photo of the moonlit sky. Should you decide to share your picture online, be sure to post your location along with it.

Day7Spark Ignited – After cleansing and recharging under the moonlight, we should feel refreshed and revitalized. One of the metaphysical qualities of the moon is its ability to increase our creative flow. What do you enjoy creating? What ignites that spark of passion within your heart? Whether you draw, paint, write, make music, dance, or anything else, let your imagination run wild and share a photo of your masterpiece with the world.

 

Day8Favorite Book(s) – It is important to remember that the entire universe is connected. We can feel that connection in many different ways, sometimes even just reading a book. We often find solace in the words of others because we can either relate to their characters, their journey, wisdom and/or beliefs. Think about a book that you read that you completely resonated with. Share a photo of the book and describe the ways that it moved you.

Day9Perception“One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one’s perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.” ~ Tom Robbins | Have you ever looked at something and thought it so profound, so amazing that you instantly felt a sense of excitement about what you are seeing? Perhaps others around you may not have had the same reaction because they perceived it differently. As your day progresses, pay attention to your surroundings. Look for the beauty in simplicity. When you see something that moves your heart, capture and share it with an explanation about the way you perceive it and what makes it special to you.

21101032_10211912732991724_256687613_nSanctuary – Is there a place that you visit when you want to recharge and center your heart? A place that offers serenity and peacefulness that you can completely submerge your spirit into. Think about a sanctuary that you feel connected to, a place you go when you need balance and clarity. Perhaps it is a garden, park, lake, beach, forest, or some other type of sacred space that you hold near and dear. Share a photograph of that special place and explain how you feel when you are there.

 

Day11Natural Beauty – Between magazines, television and social media, society is in a constant uproar about what defines beauty. We’re either too much or too little of something or another. Our outer shells are merely the vessels transporting our souls. It is what lies within our hearts that makes us beautiful! Each of us has a unique body with a special spirit. No matter your complexion, body shape/size, hairstyle, or any other feature, you ARE beautiful! Take a moment to appreciate the body you have been gifted in its natural state, no makeup, no filters, or any of the extras that society encourages us that we “need.” Take a selfie and write down all of the qualities that you appreciate about yourself.

Day12Music Soothes the Soul – Science all but confirms that humans are hard-wired to respond to music. It is not a tangible thing, you cannot hold it in your hands or even see it in a physical sense. Yet we have spent majority of our existence creating beautiful instruments, melodies and sounds that have the power to soothe our souls. That moment you feel emotions coursing through your heart while listening to music that moves you, you are experiencing the release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which is a signaling molecule in the brain. Think about a form of music that caused you to experience goosebumps/chills upon your skin. Perhaps it is a song, an instrument being played, a singer’s voice, etc. For this prompt, I invite you to share a recording, link or video of your favorite tune and give a brief explanation of what you feel while listening to it.

Day13Perfect Imperfection – The Japanese practice an outlook of the world centered on the acceptance and adoration of transience and imperfection. This practice is called “Wabi-Sabi.” |“Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect” ~ Richard Powell. | Characteristics of the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, and appreciation of natural objects and processes. Take a photo of something you find to be perfect in its imperfections and explain what you see in it.

Day14Healing Waters – Water, is a great necessity, for without it nothing can live. Along with Earth, it has the ability to bring forth life itself. It is a purifier, with wonderful healing and cleansing energy. When we swim, water supports us. When we are thirsty, water hydrates us, the same as rainstorms do for the Earth. It is a free spirit flowing and shape-shifting as it so desires. Such is the greatness of water that spiritual regeneration cannot be done without it. Think of an aquatic location that gives you peace and comfort. If you can visit there today, do so and submerge yourself or your hands into the healing waters allowing yourself to be fully present in that moment. If you cannot visit today but have already gone to a location like this, feel free to share that instead.

Day15Perseverance – When I think of the word “perseverance” I visualize a flower growing through a crack in the cement. It is a reminder that where there is a will to do something, there is a way. We merely have to believe we can achieve it. What have you overcome despite hardships and struggle? I invite you to share your story, along with any photos or other items that correspond to it. Or should you happen to see something today that resembles perseverance to you, capture and share what you discover.

Day16Love – Love is the most powerful emotion of all. It has the capacity to heal, to forgive, to encourage and to bring an abundance of joy to our lives. It is my hope that one day through love and acceptance we will change the world. Whether it is the love of your family, friend or romantic partner, take a picture with that special someone in your life and share with us why that person is so special to you. How have they captured your heart?

 

Day17Light Up The Darkness – Much like everything in this world, we are subject to the law of duality. We each carry within us both light and darkness. It is merely our perception that causes us to see things as being positive or negative. But darkness can be beautiful too, for without it, there can be no light. For this exercise I invite you to be as creative as you wish. You may choose to draw/paint something, take a photo, write something, or anything else your heart desires, to represent the beauty found in the darkness. Share your art and give a short explanation of what you find beautiful about what you observed.

21122198_10211917887280578_269231371_nCurrent State of Soul – We are a little more than halfway through this project and I’d love to know where you are in your journey! Take a selfie to reflect your current state of soul. Explain how you feel, what you have learned, what you desire, anything that has moved your heart throughout this project. Even if today is a hard one to handle, share your story…you never know where a helping hand, or a light in the darkness may come from.

 

Day19Giving Back – With tomorrow’s New Moon approaching, it is time to clear your personal space and make room for the many blessings coming your way. Let’s make this a time to give back to our community! There are so many positive ways to give back and share our hearts. Maybe it’s spending some time with family or friends, lending a hand to someone in need, or perhaps making a donation of some sort to a local organization. Whatever act of kindness you choose, do so with your whole heart, expecting nothing in return. Spend the day being kind to everyone you encounter. Remember that even smiles are contagious! How did you feel today? What did you notice about those you came in contact with? How was their energy affected by yours?

Day20New Moon – Unlike the energy of the Full Moon, the energy of the New Moon reflects a birthing cycle. This is the perfect time for planning and seeding your intentions. The same way that a seed planted into the earth requires a gestation period before it breaches the ground and reaches for the sunlight, so do your desires and intentions. This is the manner in which our ideas are manifested into reality. As mentioned in the cleansing ritual I described in the Full Moon prompt above, intentions stated out loud or written down on paper, hold power, so be mindful about only stating those things that you truly want. With that said, just as the moon has its phases, so do we relating to our individual needs and desires. This is why I update my list of intentions each new moon cycle. Feel free to take the same steps as mentioned in the Full Moon description above, but now focusing your heart on your future wishes. As we are viewing the dark side of the moon, it will not be visible in the night sky. But, I still invite you to take a photo of your surroundings, and should you decide to share your picture online, be sure to post your location along with it.

Day21Intentions Set – So now that we have set our intentions, pay close attention throughout the month as they start to manifest. You may want to keep a journal or notebook to keep track of the items on your list that have come to you. What does your path look like now? I invite you either to write something, take a photo, draw a picture, or use some other creative form, to symbolize your current path and what it holds for your future. Remember, not every prompt in this project is something that you have to share. This is strictly optional. The purpose is for YOU to be present in YOUR journey.

Day22Colors of Life – Colors are often associated with the emotions that we experience in our daily lives. As such, emotions can be reflected in art through the use of color. When someone feels sad, we identify that emotion with the color blue, much in the same way we connect the color green to sickness and red to love, and so on. Today, I invite you take a look at all the colors that surround you during different parts of the day. Pay attention to the feelings you experience in conjunction with the hues around you. Observe how they may affect your mood, if at all. Choose 1-3 moments in the day and capture your surroundings. Note the colors that stand out to you and give a brief explanation of how you felt in those moments.

Day23Seasons – Just as the Earth has seasons, so do our hearts. As I mentioned, we are all in different parts of the world, so some of us may be experiencing Summer, while others may be experiencing Winter. Take a photograph of your surroundings to reflect the current season in your area. Be sure to post the season and your location along with it. Give a brief explanation about how you feel during this time of year.

 

Day24Explore – Today is Sunday in my part of the world, which gives me the perfect opportunity to go out and explore a little. I invite you to join me! Go out and explore your city’s off-beaten path. You may decide to check out some local favorites or even some quiet spots in nature. Observe your surroundings and how you feel when you are there. Take some photos of the things that capture your heart. Share with us what you love about it.

 

Day25Spirit Animals – Animals that approach us and make their presence known to us carry with them a message from our ancestors and loved ones. Pay close attention when the raven calls to you, or when dragonflies land nearby. Observe the fluttering wings of the butterfly and the playful squirrels as they run by, for these creatures are trying to speak to you and are sharing their wisdom to guide you along your journey.  The challenge today is to be open to seeing the world around you beyond the hustle and bustle of daily life. Take time to notice when an animal comes near. Do a little research by simply Googling “______ spirit animal,” depending on what animal makes their appearance to you. For example, if you cross paths with a monarch butterfly, simply search for “monarch butterfly spirit animal.” You will come up with several results. Read through and see what explanation is better understood by you. Some of the sites I personally enjoy are: http://www.universeofsymbolism.com/butterfly-symbolism.html and http://www.spiritanimal.info/butterfly-spirit-animal/. If you were able to capture a photo of your animal spirit guide, share it along with the message you received from them.

Day26Graceful – Have you ever been to a ballet and noticed how gracefully the ballerinas move across the stage? Or perhaps you have seen a swan as it glides across the water so elegantly. When you see something graceful today, take a moment to capture and appreciate its beauty. What do you notice and feel about it? How does it inspire you?

 

 

Day27Blooming – As we continue to grow along our journey, we begin to bloom from within. That inner beauty is outwardly reflected and often noticed by our friends and family. There is, perhaps, nothing more beautiful than a person falling in love with who they truly are! Take a photo of your favorite flower to symbolize the ways that you are blooming from withim and describe how its characteristics remind you of yourself.

 

Day28Senescence – Senescence by definition means “the condition or process of deterioration with age.” Just as we age throughout our lives, so do our surroundings. As humans, we naturally fear the process, but there is much beauty to be found within it, depending on your perception, of course. I often find beauty in crumbling statues and buildings. I also find beauty in the elderly and the way that love causes them to act like silly teenagers for a moment. Take a moment today to appreciate the beauty that can be found in senescence. Share a photo of what you see and give a brief description about your perception.

Day29Reflection – As we near the end of this project, I ask that you take a moment today to reflect on your journey this month.  What have you learned along the way? Have you learned anything new by participating in this project? Pause for a moment, stand in front of a mirror and gaze upon your reflection. What do you see differently about yourself compared to a month ago? Take a photo of yourself and share with us how you feel. What are you most proud of yourself for? What would you like others to see in you that you see within yourself?

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha

Day30Sunset –The same way that the sinking sun brings closure to each day, it will also serve as the finale of this project. Make it a point to allow yourself a few moments to enjoy all that you have experienced along this journey. Reflect on the things you have learned, the things you have let go of, and the things you will take along with you from here on out. Make yourself a priority today. Let this day be one that you spend honoring your heart and doing whatever soothes your soul. If something is weighing heavily on your mind, make today the day you choose to bid it adieu and just enjoy the present. Find a quiet location, or one that is special to your heart. This may even be your sanctuary from Day 10. Wherever you decide to go, allow yourself to be fully submerged in that place and enjoy the peacefulness that encompasses you. Find a comfortable spot and try to let go of your thoughts completely.  Take in all of the sights, sounds and scents that fill the air. If you wish to say a prayer or meditate, feel free to do so, but do not feel obligated.  You may also wish to journal about how you are feeling, etc. When the sun begins to set and the sky begins to darken, take a picture of the evening sky. If you share, remember to post your location along with it. Share with us where you visited and how you felt when you were leaving. If there is a time in the future that you start to feel stressed, unbalanced, or overwhelmed, use this picture to remind you that sometimes all we need is a moment of peace to recenter our hearts and restore our strength.

Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.                 ~ Kristen Butler

I hope that you all have enjoyed this project as much as I have enjoyed sharing this experience with you.  It is my hope that through this exercise you have discovered an exhilarating appreciation for your life’s journey. Even though this project has now come to an end, the way you have learned to view the world doesn’t have to. Take a moment for yourself each day and continue to capture your heart through art!

With all my love and light,

Dena Daigle

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