Full Life, Full Heart Volume 3 :: Issue 4

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Moving forward with courage, faith and trust. Living every moment to the fullest.


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Being A Badass

by Laurie Lahti

“Laurie, I challenge you to do something out of your comfort zone and discover your inner badass.”

“Like what?” I replied.

“Well, you could take an improv class, like we’ve talked about before. Or you might think of something else,” my therapist suggested.

Taking her challenge to heart, I gave myself a few days for ideas to percolate and my intuition to guide me. The term “badass” made me laugh, because it was so far removed from my self-concept and the demeanor I present to the world. The transformation I imagined was like Sandy in Grease, from miss goody two shoes to badass in black leather.

Not even 24 hours passed before an idea occurred to me, like an intuitive spark. I knew I needed to learn how to ride a motorcycle.

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Breaking Boundaries

by Melissa Kelly

Orchids are symbolic of the Divine Feminine, their Beauty, Grace, Uniqueness, Sensuality and Vulnerability printed on metal to signify the strength of standing in our full potential.

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Spirit Nourishment

by Barbara Heile

It is the silence in everything that feeds my spirit.
This silence has so many qualities and always the same quality of depth.

When a tree stands before me, feeding me with the spirit of branch and root, trunk and presence, the silence is the container for this nourishment.

When a spring flower opens before me, the delicacy of its spirit often belies its own fine rooted system of being grounded and nourished through the soil.

When my Friend looks into my eyes, all the ages are held in his gaze, feeding my spirit through his loving eyes.

Those who have read my words feed my spirit in their open response of hearing and reception.

My family feeds my spirit. In their blood knowing of me I am unconditionally being embraced.

What I Heard

by Marianne Lyon

Somewhere in all of us are memories of how we were at six
Sundays at Grandma’s are melted into me
I see them as clearly as a stage set —
her barn-like kitchen, oak table long with extra leaves
lace cloth, mix matched cups fitted on saucers

Friends drop in after church
for a coffee, strudel, a shot of whisky
the kitchen, a wide alley of sound,
I squint my ears to the Croatian words
like nonsense rhymes
we concoct playing jump rope

Every linguistic morsel consumes me
the room, a communal throat
I go back and forth like a swinging gate
the exchanges electrify me

Grandma’s friend Maria stands by the wall furnace
forehead a ladder of wrinkles
black hairs stiff from creases above her pursed lips
she runs her fingers through her hair
as if trying to comb her thoughts into place
her eyes grow big beyond belief
when something pleases her
she is like a dog-eared page in the script of my early life
I move even closer thinking that I will understand

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Perseverance

by Wendy Mitchell, Judy Zehr and Scott Lockhart

“The old ones, they who have persevered, look upon them with respect. For they in their very being can teach us to look beyond the seeming impossibility of circumstance, to look toward the light no matter its distance. In their reach lies the beauty of striving to be.” — Raemon

We face many obstacles. These come with living the life that was given to us. Some will be hard to overcome. Most are not our fault. All are there for our learning and our growth. Dealing with them, of course, is likely to involve some pain and require a lot of perseverance. But that is how we grow strong enough to carry our own weight.

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Grandmother Corn

by JoAnne Dodgson

She came on the waters, traveling many miles and many moons on a wooden raft bound with sinew and vines. Attentive to every sound and sight and smell, she searched along the shore for signs of the villages she’d seen in her dreams. Grandmother knew the people were hungry. She’d seen the rippling effects of their fears. Guided by her visions, she followed the currents of the wild waters, carrying bundles of ancient medicines for those calling to her.

Drawn to the laughter bubbling up from beneath a canopy of trees, she came upon a group of children playing where the river meets the land. Grandmother drifted into the cove, chanting her Greeting Song. With wide-eyed curiosity, the children waded into the waters, giggling and holding each other’s hands. They pulled the raft into shore, staring at the old woman who’d come from Upriver. With her long silvery hair, wrinkled dark skin and green eyes shining like stars, she was unlike anyone they’d ever seen.

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This Body is a Vast Terrain

by Eva Burke

…and then from the one pool we sprang,
leaping across the invisible abyss onto a new earth.
The terrain was hard and supportive,
but still we walked with a heavy, lumbering step,
and with eyes still unseeing from new birth.
We’ve been stumbling and trampling a long time,
been playing like children with our blocks,
seeing just how tall and how many.
We’ve been building a delicate system of distractions,
seeing just how long we could cut-off from the mystery of living.
But the blocks always fall
and we are faced again with the choice.
Which way to go from here…

…and then the child spins around,
bored with amusement,
and sets off in a new direction
eagerly seeking, yet
secretly knowing already
the really real:
the flesh of mother,
the soothing breast,
her firm embrace
and loving gaze,
her
offering
of milk
and honey…

…the body itself is a vast terrain,
with its bones, like rocks
flesh, like flowers,
let blood be the waters,
and limbs like grass.
Let us start a new journey
and learn to sway
and flow,
to quake and grow,
to spin and dance,
to stretch
and to feel our very own
expanse.

I Miss You This Much I

Poem by Janeen Pergrin Rastall
Image by Cheryl Angel

make a little circle,
touch my fingertip to thumb,
a line of flesh that does not end.
This is not the ring
that you forgot, not the shape
knuckles make on thighs
and breasts, not the hole of days
I dug and dove into. This is the circle
you did not expect, the manhole cover
I crawled up to, the shape of lips
saying: “No.” This is the drain
I place on my chest to siphon off
love’s residue. This is the zero,
the nothing left, the blast site center
aftermath. When I lift my hand,
this is my sign: three fingers splayed,
without you I am okay.

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Great Star Mother

by Maya Telford

Come little stars, into my eyes, come.
Come little stars, into my arms, come
Come little stars, into my heart, come
Come little stars, let us go home.

Acrylic on canvas . 18″ x 24”

Wide Open

by Mother Turtle

Birthing another song and beckoning you to take a little time for yourself today, find a moment of peace — heart wide open!

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Mother Goose: Why Was She Sometimes Shown as a Witch?

by Jeri Studebaker

About Mother Goose very little is known. The few theories floating around about her are sketchy at best: she was Clotilde, wife of king Clovis of the Franks; she was Charlemagne’s mother “Goosefooted Bertha”; or, she might have been Bertha, wife of King Robert II of France. Others say she was Queen Pedauque, known only from mysterious statues in Medieval French churches of a woman with a webbed foot. Still others insist she was Elizabeth Goose of 18th-century Boston, Massachusetts, whose son-in-law supposedly published a book of the rhymes she sang to her grandchildren (no one, though, has ever found a copy of it).

Above left: Queen Pedauque, on the far right, with her one webbed foot.

Whoever she was originally, to many late 19th and early 20th century American artists Mother Goose was a Halloween witch. These artists show Mother with a large hooked nose, a giant pointed chin, and an evil, sinister grin smoldering on her face. She flies though the night sky on a goose or a broom, often in front of a big, round, orange-yellow moon. Sometimes a black cat rides behind her.

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Roses

by Jiling Lin

Smell a rose. Really stick your face into it. Notice its intoxicating perfume, how it draws you in, makes you feel. Notice its velvety petals. Open your mouth and hold one of those petals in it. Breathe that aroma into your mouth, into your body. Lick the rose petal, then slowly begin eating it. Notice its aroma, how it courses through your body as you imbibe this plant that has been associated with love, the heart, pleasure and medicine through cultures all over the world, from ancient times ’til present moments.

All parts of the Rose plant (Rosa spp.) are useful: buds, petals, leaves, hips, seeds. I particularly enjoy the buds, petals and hips.

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Breaking the Alabaster Jar

China, 2014

by Melissa (Mei An) Reed

For all the street dancers who move between Swing, Folk, Jazz and the Cowboy song,
“It’s been a long hard ride home.”


Unhelmeted electric-motor bikers swarm

Nanjing streets, bike paths, sidewalks, swoop

soundlessly from behind pedestrians, graze

human calves with passing shoe leather racing

relentlessly to work. Their mission? Forced

to workplaces on time or lose their jobs (despite

unmanaged high volume traffic) they freely choose

to support clean air. Only wei guo ren * need remember:

pedestrians sharing that mission lack right of way.

Safe awhile inside the stationary shop, you view

the frenzy of fast development storming by, destroying

the lives of people it aims to serve,

view the unfolding drama as Eros and

Thanatos write it, as Chinese view it —

the past always before them, a rewinding film.

You count the mounted Venuses whose broad-brimmed

hats challenge the promised, never delivered

safety, their colorful silk scarves floating

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The Seed

by Nara K

Acrylic on canvas

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