Little by Little

Baby Steps fisher

baby steps add up to … a Giant LEAP!

I’ve just completed an exhausting book campaign for my latest publication, “In the I: Easing Through Life-Storms.” The only way I could have achieved the great success this nonfiction narrative garnered  (a Kindle BESTSELLER the very first day, wow!) was by focusing on my goal of sharing my message of LOVE with the world. And then taking tiny baby steps toward that goal, everyday. Not getting overwhelmed. Never letting setbacks get me down. And certainly, never ever giving up!

All three of these things once stopped me dead in my tracks from achieving my goal in the past. Now I’ve learned. These are what it takes to achieve a sense of satisfaction:

  • focus ONLY on the goal (setbacks come with the territory of being alive)
  • never allow the feeling of being overwhelmed, no matter what
  • take baby steps everyday; feel each breath is yet another true success!
"It is not your time, go back," the Voice said.

never ever feel overwhelmed!

Sure, there were lots of hurdles to jump over, challenges to meet, difficulties to overcome, to write, publish, distribute this book. But here’s the thing: if we focus on our positive goal, we achieve it, little by little.

Here’s its cover, and click here to “IN THE I” link on Amazon for those interested.

PURPLY front cover in the I

We can apply these 3-ways to succeed to anything in life. It just so happens I’m talking here about publishing, marketing, and spreading the word about a true-life inspiring literary book. But we could just as easily be talking about how to turn the tide with social injustices, or how to change our world to a much better, safe place. The same principles to successfully reaching a goal apply. Remember these 3 things, and you will succeed in making any change you wish.

Take heart! You can, if you want to achieve something, even the most seemingly difficult! Whether it’s a personal goal like losing ten pounds, or finding a new job, or looking for a satisfying love-partner. Or changing the political climate of your country’s government, every choice you make adds up.

If you are displeased about anything, take a moment right now and … sit down and write yourself a goal how to change those feelings into something better. Create a positive goal. As you write your feelings, don’t use any negative words. Try to keep your goal as lofty, as high-minded, as filled with love and inspiration as you can. Why not? This is YOUR life! Make it as extraordinary as you can.

And then, once you’ve written down your goal and have gotten absolutely clear about what it is you want to achieve … just know in your heart and soul that everything you do from now on, every little decision, every tiny step you take, will head you in the right direction, toward succeeding with that specific goal you’ve set for yourself.

Now — your only job is to let go of any expectations. Do not focus on “what ifs” or “why nots.” Let go of thinking you have any answer at all. Your part was the making of the positive goal. The rest, the baby steps, the whispers, the heading-you-on direction is all NOW up to the Universal Consciousness that we all partake of. Every single one of us. This energy, this consciousness, directs the “show” we’re all participating in — life on planet Earth.

I’m sending each and every one of you many blessings for a gracious and love-filled season of Light.

Each of is a (metaphorical) Guardian Angel of Earthly Life

Help spread the LIGHT!!

My goal right now is to get back to my writing. After recent months of nothing but focusing on learning the publishing and marketing end of books, I’m ready to get back to the final-edit part of my already-written, next book. You’ll be hearing more about it in my next post.

My birthday is right now! In a few days. I celebrate being alive as much as anyone ever could. Truly, life is a gift. My gift is my love for each and every one of you. The more I love YOU, the more I love my life. Indeed, life is a blessed gift.

Sending blessings to us all! in the Light of Love, teZa aka LordFlea

here’s a contact form if you’d like to be in touch with me! I love hearing from you.

Introducing — #InTheI

My next book will be available this week! On Amazon and all other book-getting sites. And the audible book, narrated by yours truly will quickly follow. It’s being edited right now. I am soooooo excited, folks! Spread the word! The great reviews indicate people LOVE this book, its message, its uplifting inspiration and on-your-seat story.

Love and Light for ALL

spreading HOPE JOY LOVE is my mission as writer/artist!

One of my greatest passions in life is to share with others the tools that worked to change my career path from that of an soon-to-be middle-aged loser to a completely reformed, dedicated member of the mindfulness and positive-thought tribe.

The events related in In the ‘I’ occurred in a juvie lockup some years ago when I was the teacher, not the inmate. But I’d already spent time bucking my true calling, ending up in a prison of the worst sort. Not just the third-world one in which my body was finally incarcerated in, but within the locked-up thinking that my closed and negative mind-set had created for me, as well.

In the ‘I’ is about the class I offered girls in prison, as a volunteer. Called “Miss T’s yoga and meditation class” by the at-risk girls who attended each week, the book chronicles our discoveries coinciding a major hurricane’s eye traveling right toward the isolated facility in central Florida.

To the government offices that received our facility’s reports, asking for continued funding so this high security correctional facility could operate, and the academy could offer more than regular high-school classes and individual psychological counseling, in official papers our yoga-and-meditation class was euphemistically deemed as: “Empowerment Techniques.”

As Hurricane Charley was being tracked deep in the heart of Florida’s cattle and citrus country (having already rampaged through central Cuba the night before that August 13th back in 2004) I’d already been teaching Empowerment Classes for several years at the high-fenced, triple-locked prison for teenage girls. The Academy of Bowling Green (ABG) housed 52 girls who’d been adjudicated for repeat offenses, their anti-social behavior seen as both drug- and mental health-related. Other than being rounded up and housed together, in all other ways except ABG’s efforts, they’d been abandoned by a system that doesn’t help at-risk kids at all. After six months of going to ABG, I was rewarded with pay, unasked for but a welcomed addition to the budget of my family’s suburban home at the time, more than a hour’s drive away.

While Hurricane Charley gathered speed after leaving Cuba, Miss Ursula, the founder of this unique experimental facility, who also served as ABG’s Mental Health Director, started repeatedly calling Miss Estelle, the head of security. After the cyclone shifted course, hitting much further south than anticipated, Charley’s eye was reported to be “heading up the Peace River corridor”—straight for where the girls and their caregivers at ABG were huddling in fear, anticipating the worst.

That Friday the 13th, after trying to drive through the heavy storm conditions Ursula and her car filled with co-workers was forced to turn back to their St. Pete’s Beach homes, seventy miles distant from ABG.

As Charley gathered speed, I relate from my distant-in-another-direction home, how our Empowerment classes were regularly held. What we did in them. First we’d focused on our breath, settling into our deeper, inward selves, our inner ‘I’  as I refer to this peaceful inner state everyone has, if only a person wishes to know about it. I relate how our circle of 12-girls-and-I talk for a short while about yoga-related topics, such as “How to be more calm,” “How to feel untouched by outside stress,” “How to choose to be positive,” and other practical things. We then begin our hatha (physical) poses, some simple, some challenging. And we always end by resting on the floor (the girls’ favorite!) in a short meditation period.

intheI

resting in the calm of our inner ‘I’

At the back of the classroom sat black-and-white uniformed Mr. Lawrence, usually the assigned guard, who constantly listened to the chirps of his mandatory walkie-talkie that was on all of the many guards’ hips at this busy, hectic, noisy reform school for what society deemed “hardcore incorrigibles.” That’s the term the Girl Scout director called these girls who’d been forgotten by the rest of society, when I went to ask, and received, sponsorship from them to reach these so-called “bad” girls. I had sought out the “baddest” I could find, you see. Because I wanted to share with them what I had never gotten early in life, to tap who I really was. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I would meet the teacher that set me straight on the spiritual road to discovering my inner ‘I’.

The day before the storm, at our regularly scheduled Thursday class, I used the oncoming storm as a metaphor. The rushing-toward-us hurricane was an opportunity for a lesson about choosing to be calm in the face of the catastrophic event that, more than likely, would be roaring toward some place in Florida by dawn. Possibly, ours.

“Charley is like all of life’s many woes,” I told my yoga-girls that Thursday before the storm was due to hit. Then I proceeded to remind the girls, encourage them to “stay within your inner ‘I’ like we’ve practiced in each of our previous classes.

“I’m here to remind you, honestly, how all humans get to choose to be focused within, even in the midst of horrific outer-chaos, no matter what’s happening outside ourselves. These events, these Life-storms, are a constant. We get hit by storms of both natural causes or people-made all the time,” I spoke lightheartedly in our opening circle, not scaring them, but wanting the girls to be fully aware: They always have a choice.

there's always hope

there’s always hope

“Even if the eye comes here tomorrow, you’ll be absolutely safe inside these walls.” Miss Ursula assured them. She knew because she’d done extensive renovation work a couple years earlier. “When the storm hits, and it most likely will get pretty scary, girls, now you won’t be worried, knowing how safe this building is. If you remain calm, you’ll be given the chance to enjoy the power of Nature, coming so close to you, I’m sure. For most of you here today, you’ve never witnessed such a phenomenon.”

She looked around at her wards at the daily community meeting she was holding the day before the storm, before its devastating eye would be forecasted to directly hit their tiny speck on the map. Against all odds. The worse happening, to them!

“Knowing you’ll be safe frees up your mind. Now you have the choice to tune into something much greater than what might happen on the outside of us, when we’re hit by this humongous storm. Knowing you’re safe, frees you up to choose to not let your emotions carry you away, into the danger-zone of life’s outer, swirling chaos,” Ursula ended her preparatory talk that Thursday before Charley was due.

All the girls nodded their heads. They were happy to be reminded that they have this choice. To not be frozen in fear, or worry, or anxiety, or any other negative, heart-clamping feeling.

In class that Thursday before the hurricane, Katy, the star student of the yoga class who was also alpha-girl at ABG, shouted to the others, “Let’s not be stupid! Let’s do what Miss T says.” I smiled. All the girls respected Katy. She was the biggest, sturdiest, and oldest: the baddest of the bunch. Plus she was the only one who ever tried to run away from ABG, during an hard-earned home pass. Of course more time was added on to her sentence when she was caught and returned to lockup.

Alex nodded her head vigorously. She was to be released soon. She’s one who told me when she first came to class: “Doing yoga is the only thing that makes me happy. I used to be a cutter. Watching the blood ooze out where the razor cut me used to be the only way I could ever feel anything before. But now, I have yoga. I’m doing yoga for the rest of my life on the Outs.”

Also in class that day was the gang girl called Shay, whose real first name was the literary wondrous one of ShakespearesDelight. Hardcore Gangsta, her hood’s tats ran down those skinny, no-muscle arms of her looking more like a vertical brocade. Yet she was the most vocal in defying all other gang girls who “diss me for doing this wimpy ass yoga shit,” she’d report in our opening circle with a shrug and a rough laugh. At the back of the room Mr. Lawrence looked up at this use of foul language, and scowled, wondering, as he always did, if he should give Shay one of his usual “criticals,” a serious-offense recorded mark that particular grumpy guard was notorious for dishing out too easily.

Profanity was not allowed at ABG. Nor was physical contact. But in yoga class we did both: we talked down-n-dirty at our opening circle … before we got into our “yoga groove” and often, but only after getting a girl’s permission, I made adjustments to her pose.

There’s another reason why I chose to teach these particular girls. People often wonder why I was drawn to teaching girls in heavy-duty detention. I love and accept all young people who get in trouble, because that was me. I wished someone had guided me when I was going through my tough times, exactly like they were.

In class I revealed to each and every new girl—”I’m just like you guys. Yeah, I was a teenage alchie, then a druggie semi-criminal, too, before I decided to change. The only different between you and me, girls, is—I didn’t get caught nearly as young as you guys did. That’s why I chose ABG—to be with you, who most people have given up on—to share what I have to offer. Because finding out who I really was, learning to tap my inner power, after getting sober first!, is how I changed from my resentful, scared, former bad-girl ways—to who you see before you today.”

Eyes always popped open at these opening remarks of mine. I never elaborated even when pressed. I gave just enough away about my colorful past to entice, to create equality, to form bonds of solidarity, these caught, so-called bad-girls, and me—their former-wayward, now mostly-straight yoga teacher.

____________________

I’ll post a link if you want to purchase a copy for yourself, very soon! Check back, sign up for LordFlea posts here, or … go to my website tezalord.com and sign up for my info e-mails and book updates. Lots of exciting events coming up! Interviews, podcasts, giveaway contests! Sending LOVE to you! LordFlea aka teZa

PURPLY front cover in the I

#MeToo #UsToo

First Glance, What IS

the sex game … age-old but BUSTED NOW!

Speaking as a so-called “victim” of sexual abuse, I have the authority to write deeply about a subject that’s too often, in the past, been considered either taboo or bad taste. Well, too bad, any leftover squeamish sex-prudes! The secret’s out! Humankind is sexually obsessive! That’s right! And it’s time we call sex for what it is — the second most driving force (mostly hidden) of human nature, right after survival-of-our-species itself.

Let’s face it, without sex, humankind would perish. It’s that simple. Sex and survival go hand in hand. Okay, you outraged ones (always!) before you get your feathers all ruffled, let me explain that this doesn’t give license to people to do anything to anybody they want, sexually or otherwise. Allow me to present my viewby painting the picture of my own experience.

Beeman Pollination Blues, all species, all love--we are ONE

spiritual sex is divine

Yes, sex is lovely and as natural as, well, bees and all other kinds of Nature’s creatures. We humans are animals, we must remember! But we also use the word “civilized” in connection with the type of natures we humans have been cultivating for, oh, let’s see … is it hundreds of thousands of years, or is it just yesterday, or the day before, when thesexual truth of many powerful men’s unacceptable behavior was thankfully, finally revealed to be the norm, more than anyone ever thought.

When CONTROL is added to the sexual urge, the energy of sex irrevocably changes from divine to devastating. The effects of sex, when two people are not of the same consensual and mutally agreed-upon level of carnal excitement — the merest of sex acts, or improper touching — changes to a weapon of utter destruction, to both the perpetrator (eventually) and to the victim (immediately).

I’ve always known how sexual this so-called human civilization of ours is because I was sexually molested at age ten. The whys, the questions, the mind-blowing crashing of my basic and utterly faithful trust (up to that point) in humanity that followed, and the consequent healing that finally arrived after I stopped self-destructively rampaging and got down to serious self-love healing — all this has led me to understand this issue from a different point of view than most people ever mention.

And that is:

Until we stop controlling others, and stop letting others control us — which can be applied to the subject of sexual conduct as well as all other forms of interaction in our global society — we will never truly know the real meaning of Spirit in our lives.

Because to live in Spirit, to breathe freely in Spirit’s uniquely free-wheeling manner, is to let go of all control. And that includes, most especially, allowing others to control us as well as letting go of the need to control any other (mothers raising young children is the only exception to this statement I make).

Every person, child or woman, who allows themself to be un-wantedly fondled, has to learn to kick their aggressor in the crotch, poke their fingers in his/her/their eyes, and run and scream and shout for safety! No longer allow yourelf to be vicitimized, male/female/in-betweener: this is what I’m stating here. I know this because I was the victim of someone’s sexual control before anyone ever told me there was such a thing. Or that such a thing was UNACCEPTABLE.  No one told me I could bite, scream, claw, kick and defy my aggressor, as I would have, if I’d only known what that was what was happening to me.

Children don’t understand the mystery of the power of sex intuitively. A ten-year-old being sexually played with doesn’t even know that sex with an adult is an “improper thing.” To me, when my molestation took place, I hadn’t a clue what was going on. It wasn’t until I saw the reaction of the adults I told afterward, that I figured what had happened wasn’t really the “game” I’d been told it was. Wasn’t really “Okay” as I’d been lied to.

I’ve been told that in more primitive societies, before our so-called “civilization” took hold, that incest and adult-child sex was permissible, indeed, even ritualized. But we live in a different world from our cave-dwelling ancestors. And change is, once again, happening. Sex must be revealed as the sacred thing it is, between individuals who love and care for each other. We must spread this information more than ever, today, NOW, as a result of the recent spate of revealed abusers resulting from victims, at last, stepping forth.

what to do when ATTACKED

SHOCK brings CHANGE

It’s up to each parent, aunt, uncle, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, mother, father, to protect their child from sexual or any other kind of unjust manipulation. To fail at this is like failing to provide water, air, and food. You kill your child if you do not protect him/her/them from a sexually compromising situation.

Okay, children aside. Let’s talk a minute about this current hoopla about all the men who are being outed for sexual transgressions. In many cases the women who were victimized are portrayed as being “in fear of their jobs” and some, even raped, or otherwise disrespected by incredibly narcissistic behavior played out in front of them, without their permission, by men who felt they had power over these women.

Whatever the circumstances, it’s time for our family of humankind to take the next HUGE step toward spiritual well-being. And that’s to admit that sex has always been a power-tool wielded all too commonly, and easily, by unscrupulous and mean-hearted. And I’m not just saying men are the guilty ones. I’m sure there are going to be some female predators that will be uncovered, during this stage of reassessing what’s basic to acceptable human behavior. What’s acceptable and what ain’t applies to all, regardless of gender.

To me, very sensitive to sexual improprieties since early childhood, any form of un-asked-for physical touching must be agreed upon, by both parties, adults and children. As a yoga teacher, I’ve been asked many times to “not touch me, please!” because certain students can’t tolerate even a gentle touch to remind a hip to go further back, or a spine more elongated. Everyone has different barriers, boundaries, or needs. And nothing must be assumed. I remember the occasion (it’s happened more than once) when my extraordinarily long fingers (I’m quite tall) accidentally touched another woman’s breast who happened to be standing close to me in conversation. I always acknowledge when this happens. I always say, “Oops, sorry!” and always, the other party smiles and says, “No problem.” This is human decency.

What isn’t human decency is to assume, as some men have, that it’s cool to come up to me and kiss me smack on the lips with their slimy, sloppy, saliva-drooling mouth. But I’ve never said anything about this before. I don’t want to hurt the man’s feelings, they’re usually some poor sod. I’m thinking of an elderly, well-meaning man especially, but nonetheless, I shudder every time I see him as he insists on kissing me this way, and it’s always right in front of his wife too, yet I hate it and from now on I won’t let him do it anymore—because it dis-tresses ME.

The more men (and maybe women) who are exposed publicly as using sex as tools of control, the sooner we’ll get over this clumsy stage of our human development. We’re going through growing pains, that’s all. Our human species is in teeny-bopperhood in terms of our spiritual development. True!

flies waiting at the john

let’s focus on our similarities rather than our dissimilarities

Think of it. We’re in a very permissive time in our culture. Tits and asses are all over the place (I hate it, it goes against my goddess-image Self, when I see Nicki Minaj shake her big fat booty, and Beyonce, too!). We’re supposed to respect our bodies as sacred yet hip-hop stars are debasing the female form more and more each year, and young people are being taught to accept it.  Think it’s cool. Well, it ain’t! But we’ll keep going to the extremes until it’s cool to … go in the reverse direction. That’s human nature. To expose our boobs to the very umpth degree and think that no repercussions will ever come of it is just plain stupid — why? — because we are sexual beings. And are men supposed to control themselves and not drool or want to screw a piece of ass that’s being flaunted in front of them? Are they? Why should men be tortured, and then screamed at for being sexual abusers when they touch a woman’s ass, or tits, without getting her permission. It’s a screwed-up logic, this sexual game our society is playing. But, playing it, we are.

getting closer to the truth

Religious people object to Civitas, a huge statute I posed for

I think it’s such an interesting time, this crossroads of our homespun American purity with the rash of current exposure to power-hungry perverts who have been abusing women for far too long. I’m sure there are going to be some innocents that are pushed into the “guilty sack” along with the true oppressors. Usually I can tell by someone’s visage, the features we can see in a person’s face, about his/her/their true nature. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, it’s evident he’s a pig. No doubt about it. But for the faces of some of the accused, well, it’s hard to tell, isn’t it? Who’s going to be someone you can trust, and who ain’t?

IMG_2663

LordFlea and her consort carterO high on Matchu Picchu Mountain.

My own dear consort, Carter, who is the epitome of gentlemanly ways and respects women as the goddesses they are, was longago accused of sexually abusing his own sweet young daughter! Unjustly, and in the end, completely insanely, by his gone-crazy-with-anger-and-grief, soon-to-be ex-wife, who had nothing to fight back with except her Jerry Springer-like accusations that Carter took advantage of their beloved 4-year old daughter. The befuddled child was yanked from her home and spent 4 months in a cruel foster care setting, until the court’s investigations could be made, when Carter was fully exonerated, and the daughter was returned to his care. The mother (along with the grandmother) was charged with making false accusations but didn’t get jailed, as her daughter had.

Both my stepdaughter, now 33, and my wonderful man Carter, were horribly scarred from the nightmare of having to go through the repercussions of having been drawn into this sex-scandal heralded by the lies of the ex, who is now dead from her misdirected life of overusing drugs and alcohol.

Extremes like this will continue. It’s human nature to be messed up. We all know that. We’re no angels. We’re all just trying to get better, one person at a time, one day at a time. But until the world starts talking publicly about (as it is NOW) and accepts that sex has been used far too much, far too commonly (even priests, pastors, men of so-called spiritual leadership) — things will not begin to change unless there is a sea change.

And that sea change is — awareness.

Breath by breath, person by person, the awareness that is possible for an individual to experience higher ways of thinking, feeling, Being — may start with a shock, such as a grossly inappropriate sexual encounter. Epiphanies shake one’s very foundation in trusting life. I know that’s what happened to me. I’ve thought about how sex shook my world a good deal, starting in my early teens. If I hadn’t been sexually molested, and lost my faith in my fellow humans, I would never have gone to such extremes as I did, trying to hide from the fact that I loathed myself. So I ended up burying my consciousness in drugs and alcohol as many victims do. Until I nearly died. Then I had to make the decision. To stop trying to control the inner dragon, which is what addiction is. I one day chose to let go of that control, and surrender. By surrendering to the dis-ease of addiction, I came to be victorious over my self-loathing. I gave up the fight. I gave up needing to control my state of mind through a puff here, a sip there, a slug there, and a chug-alug drowning there. I finally chose (after bottoming out) to become, in more ways than just the word … natural.

And when I gave up controlling my addiction to mood-altering substances, hoping they’d take away the pain of having been abused (poor me, poor me, pour me another drink!) — I gradually came to the place where I could give up the need of letting others control me.

It took a while. But I kept practicing. And pretty soon I learned how to say NO! No, you cannot control the way I feel, the way I think, and certainly not the way I act. When I let go of both things — needing to control and needing others to control me — that’s when I learned what true freedom really is.

drawings, scanned 11.08 020

I was ready to burst out of my rock-suit of hard-heartedness

This is what our society now faces. The same choice. To come alive, awake, aware! Burst out of our secrets, our shells, our hard covers over our beautiful, oh so beautiful BIG hearts! Our true humanity. Love is the weapon of mass illumination.

Now that many so-called men of power have been exposed for the predators, abusers, rapists, and no-goodniks that they are, each person today has the choice of … acting with more human dignity in their own personal life. Not judging others until they know all sides of the story, for instance. Remember how Carter was unjustly accused! But also remember this. Something that happened long before I was abused as a ten year old child. How we need to educate our children more. This is what I witnessed myself. Something that forever changed my life. And made me cautious about accepting people as who they say they are.

I was riding my bike around our urban neighborhood one summer day. Our house was across the open meadow of an Illinois field, where I’d ride a narrow bumpy path from my neat grass-clipped yard over to the smooth sidewalk and parking lot that surrounded my small parochial school that was, naturally, closed up tightly for the summer months.

On this hot July day when I was eight or nine, riding my bike around, I saw something weird that caught my eye. It was down a deep dark stairwell, one that led to classrooms below ground level. I saw a flash of yellow. So I stopped my bike. Got off it and peered down the stairs. The yellow of a wide-brimmed straw hat sat atop a man’s head. And just then he looked up and I saw that he wore sunglasses and was stone cold naked! And then I saw that his hand was doing something strange like up-and-down in his lap and he was looking at me awfully funny. So I jumped on my bike and whisked back home, all of a two-minute feat, rushed and told my mom, who ran across the field by herself.

Years later, as she drank Scotch late one night, she told me, “That was our old parish priest you saw that day, Father Aloysius, and I caught him red-handed doing just as you said!” Mom sadly shook her head. She’d waited over 20 years to tell me what to her, was “The Horror!” She went on and said, “I didn’t know what to do. He saw me and ran his bare butt self into the school door and I ran home and called the oldest member of our congregation, the local dentist. Together Dr. Bob and I decided to go tell the Bishop, which we did, and real soon there was a younger priest sent, to watch over the old man.”

That was all my mom could do, back then. Now … it’s a different world. Women are free to be who we are, just another gender. We have rights we didn’t have even in my early womanhood.

Things are getting better, folks. We’re becoming better, more spiritual people with each little bit of control-or-be-control that gets loosened from our humanity-made torture chambers.

HERE’S the GOOD NEWS!!!

Watch for my upcoming book, it’s to be released next week! Telling more stories about how we, our beautiful human family, are becoming more spiritualized, day by day, person by person.

Stay tuned, as soon I’ll be posting a link where you can purchase a copy for yourself.

All love to you, teZa aka LordFlea

PURPLY front cover in the I

Book of teZ

The Importance of Being

France Chagall Exhibit

I love Chagall’s work, so mystical, so symbolic

 

People say “This is the most important!” and others say, “That’s the most important!” I’m guilty of this myself ( see last post ) What I’m feeling today is even more basic than what I wrote here last, this place where I get to share random thoughts and find others who relate to my opened door of perception.

More than anything else, to let my awakened consciousness melt into my heart chamber, where Love feels the most expansive — is how I connect to my very existence. This is how I practice simple awareness. Also called, simply, “Presence.”

Really, there’s nothing more simple. To just “Be” … is there? As long as we’re breathing, we’re alive, we are “Be-ing.” Even if one is in a coma, people who come back out of them, say they are “aware” of what’s going on around them. They hear, smell, and sense, people in their presence, shows being played on TV, conversations taking place between others. The people who are incapacitated are still Be-ing. Their Being-ness has pretty much been limited to just observing, true. But still, they are Being.

Think about that for a second. Are you aware that each breath — is a gift?

Tell me how this makes you feel. I’d love to hear from you.

In Light, with lots of love, teZa aka LordFlea

if you wish, please leave me your contact info and I’ll add you to my author info-e list, and we can stay connected even more. And don’t forget — I love you!

in the 'I' ... easing through Life-Storms, a nonfiction spiritual adventure by teZa Lord, aka LordFlea

‘I’ — the MOST important thing to know

look deep within---it's YOU!

look deep within—it’s YOU!

To know your own self, and to love that self within, is the most important thing for any of us to do in life. This is the highest achievement one can have, ever! Seriously. All the titles, degrees, uber or simple contributions to humanity, celebrity or public recognition, or none at all, add up to a pile of beans if a person hasn’t yet met their inner ‘I’ — the eternal, magical Self (the Higher Self) that resides within each of us.

This ‘I’ is also called Self Love. And it’s true what they say, you know. It’s impossible to love anything or anybody else if a person hasn’t yet learned to love their own Self. Because we are all reflections, mirrors of each other. If you learn to love that essence within, your true Self, you can see that love in another person reflecting back, or the entire family of humankind, including both its foibles and greatness.

I’ll give myself as an example. Once upon a time I somehow got stuck in self-loathing. Circumstances in my early life took me there, and it took me quite a while to even recognize I was “stuck there.” My parents did the best they could, but they were dealing with the demons of my dad’s alcoholism, a real family-wrecker. Addictions of any sort are.

By the time I reached adolescence I wanted to shut off the noise of self-hatred, so I became a teenage drunk (drugs weren’t available back then in the Stone Age) and began to numb the self-loathing. Having always loved making art, I pretty much documented my journey. From that place of utter and complete inner confusion, to finally reaching a bottom, and then being fortunate and humble enough, desperate enough, to ask for help. And getting it! Pursuing it! Luckily, I had great teachers. My journey, my inner journey, knowing who and what I am, began when I chose to put down the drugs and alcohol that had ruled the entire first half of my life, from age fifteen to thirty-six. Earlier, I never thought I’d ever make it past my 21st birthday, so intent was I about obliterating myself because I couldn’t take the pain of living.

That is when my spiritual journey began. As a sober person. Then I began to have a love affair with my “inner Self” — the real me — not the “bad girl” one my harassed and distracted (by their own isms, intolerance, and judgment) parents told me I was. I realized that my inner Self and All around me were One and the same. We are all connected. I felt it! Now that I no longer held a shield between myself and … this existence called life.

No matter how, which way, or when I tried testing this theory of Oneness, I experienced it viscerally. But only after I put down the self-loathingness of my using chemicals (and bad relationships) to put myself down. My work changed. I took all the pre-‘I’ stuff to the dump. From then one my work has honored the sacred in ordinary life.

we are ONE: what affects one of us, affects us ALL

we are ONE: what affects one of us, affects us ALL

To know one’s own true Self is the greatest gift we can ever have! And best of all, we can give it to our own Self. You don’t need someone to hand it to you. You don’t need to “earn” it. It’s every single person’s birthright, to explore this inner Self, what I call the ‘I’ within.

Now I’m publishing a book about that journey within! It’s a journey to consciousness in the disguise of a story about how I taught yoga and meditation to teenage juvies in a hardcore lockup. And the first thing I told all my students? “I’m just like you are … only I didn’t get caught as young as you did!”

Heal Psychic Wounds

We all have to Heal Our Psychic Wounds

I’m just days away from the actual publication date, when the book will be uploaded to Amazon! I’m so excited, because this book is the culmination of, literally, 30 years of work. Not just the sitting down at my desk and writing the true story, the dialogue quirky characters speak contained within this nonfiction narrative, but the years before that, of having worked on my own inner Self. The decades it took to for me to learn to let go of self-hatred and embrace Self-love.

I’ll be sharing where you can purchase this book very soon, my friends! There will be a 5-day period on Amazon when you can purchase it digitally for only $.99!! Imagine! But you can also get a beautifully printed (on demand) tree-book. You’ll get 30-years of LordFlea’s development, all for a price less than a cup of Joe at Starbucks. Isn’t that ironic!?

I love this age we’re living in. My book launch is completely through the internet, so spread the word! shout it from the rooftops! Visit my mothership tezalord.com (yes, LordFlea is really teZ-ahhh!) or use the contact sheet below, and sign onto my Army of Love (meaning, join my email list, ha!). That’s so I can keep you posted about upcoming events, interviews, and other cool things I plan on doing. Like the TWO BOOKS I’ll be publishing as soon as in the ‘I’ is birthed. That’s right! I’m busy!

I’m also in the middle of making an audio-book! Many of you might prefer to hear me read the story, complete with all the animated insights of a love-to-read-aloud person, not to mention the author herself.

My consort Carter and I made a movie together and I love acting! We have been reading to each other in bed (besides other things there) since we married, twenty-six years ago. I was 7 years into my new life of “loving my Self” when we got hitched. And I can guarantee you — I would never have been able to even recognize him as being “a lover” if I had not done the previous Self-inquiry, introspection, and purification that’s part of getting rid of crap we don’t need, the psycho babble stuff, and embracing the soundless, wordless, blissful state of knowing my true Self.

A blessed day to you, and keep coming back here for updates on …. the book! check out the glorious endorsement Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi graciously gave In the ‘I’!!

in the I COVER

contact me here if you wish to sign onto my Army of Love!

In the Midst of Chaos … a Center of Calm

Hello Dear Friends,

So much turmoil! All around us. Not only destructive storms, erupting volcanoes, and lethal wild fires, but … people losing it, freaking out left and right! Right at this moment I have a police officer right outside my front door walking toward the neighbor’s house with a drawn machine-gun! Can you imagine that! I just now found out that the teenager in the house has “… locked herself in the bathroom, she thinks there’s an intruder in the house!”

The 11:11 clock face means … it’s TIME to wake UP!! We all have choices, and I’m here to remind you, with loving kindness, my friends.

Fear shakes a lot of human hearts these days.

Whether there is an intruder next door or not, we shall see. I am directly across the street from them, and we don’t have any such fears in our home. Windows are wide open today, this gorgeous and cool day, after too many storms lately. Matter of fact, we probably should lock, or at least close our doors a little more often than we do, we feel that safe. We shall see what’s up with the neighbor. Of course I hope there’s no intruder. But … possibly … the “culprit” could be the teenage girl who I saw outside as the police arrived (guns drawn!). Her fear I mean, imagining an intruder when … it could be the wind in the surrounding trees knocking against the window.  A penetrating fear perhaps ignited more strongly now as a result of her inner state being disrupted by so much turmoil on the outside world at this particular moment.

These days we all have this choice: Ought I buy into the huge amount of angst and anxiety going around, due to all sorts of factors (Nature sending us direct messages of Her dis-content; the political arena in an unsettling and dangerous uproar; scandals loosening our tongues about age-old abuses and oppression surrounding others’ use of sexual control, etc. etc.) … OR we could choose to turn within, and seek shelter in the calm of our peaceful inner space.

We all have the same choice. Be fearful or stay in the Big Heart of Our Shared Humanity.

notebook drawings 09 007

the human family is IN THIS TOGETHER, our species’ spiritual transformation

Some people call me “aggressively positive” and I laugh! What a great thing to be called. Yes, I’m kind of in-your-face positive that Spirit Rules! Because I firmly believe that it is my life’s role to be the cosmic jester, the trickster, the jokester that makes laughing and being happy such an appealing advertisement for Being Spiritual that even the most confirmed pessimist won’t stand a chance in face of my nonstop tickling of their heart, their funny bone, their strings attached to fear that I’m loosening so they can experience more freedom for our collective humanity.

My purpose in life is to document my own journey. I’ve done that through art and writing for as long as I’ve had this urge … going back to my whacky, off-kilter, angst-ridden yet in-love-with-art teens. In defiance, I set out to conquer my demons. First, by meeting them head-on, and fighting them to the death. And yes, I finally did manage to kill my inner demons. After trying to drown them in alcohol and drugs (just doesn’t work!) After sobriety (33 years ago) I realized, little by little, that my fears are of my own making. They are not real. And today I can surely, soundly say the same for what a lot of other people are feeling, as far as their fears are concerned.

We make our lives our own heavens, or our own hells, by either creating our own fears, or letting them go. It’s that simple. Case in point: even in an oppressive society, a person can make their reality a happy life, if they accept their circumstances, and work with what they have to better themselves, as best they can. I was not so good at this when I was younger. When I was pissed off … I wanted everyone around me to be, too.

And yes, bad things do happen. But … hey! this is life! This place called Earth is where we’re all going through our journey together. Some of us are sure this journey is only about what’s right in front of them! What they can see, feel, hear, smell. Who’s been elected, who’s not been. Who’s getting the most likes on social media. And then there are others, count me one of them, who feel that the true meaning of this journey called life is to accept what’s happening, and see the merit of each moment before us as it unfolds. Moment by moment. If bad things are happening, they are happening for a reason. It’s up to us to figure out why, and work with that. But to say, “I’m angry, This is unfair!” only takes away our creative juices and disallows us to discover the true meaning of the situation before us.

dharma brat images 7.09 088

Enter each “bad” situation, and ask, “What benefit does it bring? Me? Humankind?”

Not to judge the past, not to anticipate the future, but to stay right here, breath by breath, and harness my breath to this moment before me. That’s what each new challenge brings me. The magic moment of this now, and then the next one, and then … on and on, making each moment I’m experiencing the most incredible experience imaginable — right NOW. Why would I want to miss this next opportunity to grow, and learn from it, by wasting my energy being pissed off, or scared, or dis-spirited about it? That’s … like, totally unspiritual my friend!

I tried to impart this concept to my teenage-girls-in-prison yoga-and-meditation students in the book I’m soon to release (soon I’ll be announcing it’s available on Amazon!). To accept even what might seem “bad” as “the hand that’s been dealt me” … and find comfort in the moment before you, no matter what.

Right now I’ve unwound all the tangled knots that arose in the course of getting my next book published (yes, it’s an indie-venture). Many more hurdles appeared than I could ever have forecasted. Gee, does that sound like … life? We start off doing something, even something as simple as deciding to go somewhere, and suddenly we find ourselves in the middle of an imbroglio, a cluster-fuck (excuse my French, but that’s the only description for life’s endless messed-up complications, always arising unexpectedly, like the clover-leaf highway with ten major routes converging upon us suddenly that we’re supposed to navigate … upon first glance!).

lost in the canyons of life's dilemmas

lost in the canyons of life’s dilemmas

When I get overwhelmed, I go within. Instead of letting my emotions rule the hand I’ve been dealt in life’s “game” — which I know from experience only worsens things — I allow my consciousness to sink into my heart, follow my breath, and go as far from my all-is-misery thinking state as I possibly can. Yes, this can be called meditation but it’s also just “not buying into the BS” of each disturbance in life.

I know that with every situation there’s always more that’s not been revealed. “There’s more to life that what meets the eye,” is a spiritual axiom that can be applied to every single event that arises in life.

I also know, for a fact, that people love drama. The news media, entertainers, and certainly advertisers know what the buying consumers want. Drama. People don’t click on “happy news.” They want Excitement! Drama! Conflict! So for those of us who can see that the majority of our entire modern species is addicted to drama, and will do anything they can to keep it in high angst-gear, it’s a case of accepting that our message of Love, Compassion, Acceptance is simply not … going to be as easy to disseminate, as popular, as mainstream as fear is.

But that doesn’t stop us, none of us who are in the “Positive Thought Tribe.” We are countless souls, spreading the good news that we humans are aleady beyond the tipping point of humanity’s mass-transformation, from low-level thinking to the next, higher, Better-me level. Believe this. This is not fake news. This is fact.

There’s nothing anyone can do to stop this trend, the spiritualization of humankind! Our tribe’s positive voice is becoming stronger, more mainstream, more discernible among the racket and hullabaloo rippling off the latest drama-fueled headlines. We’re celebrating! Those of us who participate in spreading the positive ideas of

  • Mindfulness
  • Conscious-living
  • Meditation
  • Self-realization (Self-awareness)
  • Compassion
  • Body-Mind-Spirit modalities
  • Eastern thought
  • Integral medicine, sports, modern life of all sorts of fonts of wellness

… people like us (millions, if not billions by this writing) practice the state of staying in the NOW, the magic moment of this Presence before us, as much as we can. Some of us have been practicing a long time, others are just discovering this incredible way of heightened-consciousness living. It’s safe. It promotes happiness even when uncomfortable things are happening all around us. It’s the sure source of all creative solutions that will arise from individuals like you and me, or the kid who’s just in grade school now, the next Elon Musk; or the yet un-borns, that will help us evolve to the true state of our humanhood.

One day in the near future we’ll be able to call ourselves not homo sapiens … but homo spiritus. Trust me, this time is at hand. Right NOW we are in the Kali Yuga (a time in human history mentioned in yogic scriptures, when darkness heralds the time of eventual en-Lightenment of our species).

We are evolving. Right now. Many of us are committed to being voices of this transformative trend. There’s nothing anyone can do about it. Fears and anxieties are forcing people to experience the more elevated parts of our human consciousness that have been, collectively, less available, less popular, less acceptable until now. And why?

Because the fear factor of current times has pushed us here, to the very precipice of change. For all people who are filled with fears (as the teenage girl is next door) — they have a choice. Believe that life is more than what appears to the eye. Or … be frozen in your own made-up fears.

So … please … have no more fear! It’s so unproductive. Such a waste of energy. Do not despair. Whatever you may think is terrible, is just exactly what we need, what you need, what we all need, in order to urge all of us to embrace the higher way of thinking, believing, living. And that is called “higher consciousness. Presence. Mindfulness, etc. etc.” Anyone locked in anger or turmoil is not eligible to experience loving kindness and compassion. What’s your choice?

In this more relaxed, more fruitful manner of living, called Presence by the great teacher Eckhart Tolle, creative solutions will arise. No solutions will arise when our minds and hearts are locked in fear and angst. Fear is a negative cell-block around our creative energies. We’re stuck in lower consciousness when we allow fear, worry, despair, disappointment or sadness to rule our lives.

This is the theme of my book “in the ‘I’ … easing through Life-storms” that I’ll be sharing more about in the coming weeks.

inthei-TL_1

The difficulties of getting this book into final publication form are now over. I’m soon to send out to my pre-publication readers the official PDF copy of the book that will be formally published, in just a few short weeks (barring anymore hurricanes or life-storms that disrupted our previous schedule!).

If you want to know more about my books, or art, be sure to sign onto my info-list. At my site, the “mothership” tezalord.com there will be a pop-up asking if you want to join my tribe of positive thinkers. I hope you will join us. Our efforts need all the help they can get.

I also hope you let go of any negative feelings you might be holding too tightly to your heart during this challenging time we’re all going through here on Earth. People’s perceptions about positive opportunities before us are waking up en masse, and it’s about time! It’s never too late! Don’t believe any naysayers who try to dish out any negative garbage. It’s not too late for us to help the environment, or for enlightened leaders to help us move forward, as a family of humankind. What’s happening in the political arena is like a push off the cliff for many. If people haven’t started waking up, with all that’s going on in that arena … it’s because their denial is so thick, and so comfortable, that they will stew in their misery while the rest of us who are polishing our wings … will jump off the cliff of despair and … soar upward to FLY HIGH!

The consciousness of humanity is awakening in a never-before experienced wave of Love and Compassion. I know you are aware of this, because you’re reading this. Spread the word. Live for Love. Don’t let fear hold any reservations in your mind or heart.

Join the Army of Love.

Love is the weapon of Mass Illumination.

Oh, and there was no intruder across the street. Of course not. The machine-gun drawn officer silently slipped away, as he arrived. Isn’t it nice, though, to know that protection is so close at hand as a call to 911? Even though the snake in the grass most often turns out to be … “only a piece of rope.”

Love to you all, your pal LordFlea, aka teZa

 

 

 

Doing Time Doing Me, Myself, I

Hi Friend!

Well, we got hit by another hurricane, this time Irascible Irma. Many people from our little seaside town chose to evacuate, but many of us stayed. As it turned out, the storm, as cyclones tend to do, kept changing course. So instead of getting hit directly as the TV weather station maniacally predicted, my smartphone’s app (iHurricane) told me exactly where that bitch Irma was, at all times. And I knew how she’d changed her mind and was heading for … exactly where many people had originally evacuated for, the opposite side of our state.

My hurricane-smart consort Carter and I boarded up for Irma, as we got somewhere around 70 mph winds. We will keep our big glass window-doors boarded up till the end of this hurricane season, at the end of November. We know how it goes. Some years, global warming or not, are real bitches, when it comes to storms. This has been happening for as long as I’ve chosen to live in warmer areas. Back in the 70s when I lived in the Caribbean, it was the same story, back-to-back killer-hurricanes, that wiped out both islands I happened to be living on and working from, Dominica (which got wiped out this year as well, with Maria) and the Dominican Republic.

Which brings me to … the subject of my post today … staying calm in the worst situation imaginable, the subject of my literary nonfiction book … “in the I … easing through life-storms” … whose publication date is imminent!

inthei-TL

My nonfiction book is soon available for the public! Stay tuned for more info. I’m looking for advanced readers (willing to post an Amazon review within a certain time period). If you’re a fan of LordFlea and would like to help spread the word of this GREAT READ, the true story of me teaching yoga and meditation to distressed juvies in lockup — please contact me. dearlordflea@gmail.com thanks.

Here’s a quickie peek at what my soon-published nonfiction narrative reads like. I’ll post more excerpts in the weeks to come. (I have plenty of other subjects to share about, but am busy with the pre-publication marketing, PR stuff, so I’ll keep my subject to this for now.

Spread the Word: LOVE

from my heart to yours … help spread the WORD!

The girls shuffle into the dimly lit classroom. Only those who’ve been here before have anticipation inscribed on their faces. The others wear downturned mouths, furrowed brows, fear-filled eyes. They push and shove each other like toddlers.

I am their volunteer yoga teacher, and they are teenage girls who’ve been sentenced to jail terms varying from nine to eighteen months, for crimes I never ask about. Sometimes they want to share about it in our opening circle.

“Here, we’re all equal,” I say and look around to the twelve who’d signed up for class that Thursday, the day I drive each week two hours back and forth from my central Florida home to their facility, deep in the heart of rolling green cattle country.

“You keep saying that, Miss, but I don’t believe you,” Alex says, her jet coal eyes sparkling with the same curiosity that keeps her coming back. Months earlier Alex shared that she used to be a cutter, as a lot of other girls are in state-run juvie detention. Alex is one of the regulars. I’m hopeful for her new life on the Outs, because she’s soon to be released.

“Believe it,” I say. “I used to be a bad-girl just like you guys. But then—I decided to change. I had to get sober first. That’s why I’m here today, to show you how I did it. Learning to still my monkey-mind, like doing a yoga pose teaches us, is the highest high I’ve ever known. I once wanted to die, like you all did, too. Why else did we do the stupid stuff we did?”

The rumbles around the circle tell me they get it. They know.

“That’s why I’m here. I come to show you how I’ve changed, so you can. Otherwise, you might keep doing the dumb things that got you here in the slammer.”

Heads nod all around me.

#

Each week I arrive at the triple-locked, high-security youth prison that houses fifty-two repeat offenders, adjudicated by the courts. Some have been my yoga-girls since they started serving their sentences. Whenever there’s a new girl, like Alice is today, I give the same spiel. The more seasoned yoga-girls never grow tired of hearing it.

“I’m just like you,” I say. “Only I didn’t get caught as young as you guys are. I was an addict and a criminal too. I spent time in prison, like you. Only mine was worse: it was a snake pit dungeon on a third world Caribbean island.”

I notice the girls sitting up straighter. Their cross-legged postures appear electrified after hearing that the regular-looking, middle-aged lady in front of them—a mother of two, a contributing member of society—admit to being … just like them.

“I was hell bent on dying, like you were. My family was troubled, like a lot of yours are.”

“My mom’s a pill head,” Lashonda sadly admits.

“My mom’s never home, and I never met my dad,” Beth murmurs.

“My dad’s serving time,” LouAnn says.

“I’m sorry, girls. We all get the hand we’re dealt for a reason. But trust me—just as lousy as you feel the hand you got is, if you want, just like that! (here I snap my fingers)—you can change it!”

Ursula, the director of the Academy of Bowling Green (ABG) greeted me the year before when I first arrived, with a big hug, saying, “I knew you’d come. I’ve prayed you up myself.”

I’d come to a point in my life where I felt compelled to call the Girl Scouts of America and tell them, “I want to help the baddest, the worse-off, most forgotten girls. The ones everybody else has given up on.” The Girl Scouts sponsored me and I chose ABG, where the most aggressive, heavily tattooed gang girls in the state were sent.

Ursula had told me, “We’ll call your yoga and meditation class, Self-Empowerment for state-funding purposes.”

As soon as the girls arrive who’d signed up that week for class, we start our deep breathing exercise, and instantaneously their inner-awfulness dissipates. Then, we briefly talk in a sharing circle about whatever bothers them. Only then we do the poses, some easy, some challenging. We always end with a guided meditation, the girls’ favorite. By now, the regular yoga-girls are practically teaching the class without my guidance.

#

Today’s class is different.

A major storm is on its way. The weather bureau says Hurricane Charlie will strike Cuba tonight, and hit the Gulf of Mexico coast early Friday morning. Everyone in the state is in high alert of what tomorrow might bring.

I ask the girls to listen carefully. “We’re expecting something that might terrify some of you. Going through a hurricane, especially if you happen to be close to its center, its eye, is like going through any other major challenge in real life. So tomorrow, instead of feeling scared, you can choose to do like we practice here—follow your breath and go inside your inner being, inside your true self. There, you’ll always feel safe.

“Just like we do in class, starting with our focused breathing. And how we concentrate our energies on maintaining a steady pose. And—your favorite—trusting that still place we go to, inside your own quieted-down mind.”

Shanda asked, “You mean going through the storm tomorrow will be like doing yoga, Miss?”

I nod my head. “There’s nothing to worry about, girls. Miss Ursula herself oversaw the work when this building was remodeled. She knows it’s as hurricane-proof as Fort Knox. Once you know your shelter is safe, all that’s necessary to go through a major storm, like tomorrow’s is shaping up to be—is to stay centered within yourself. Inside your calm, peaceful self. Like we practice in class.

“The power might go off. August in Florida is hot enough, so you guys might be really uncomfortable, I’m not going to lie. But being prepared—knowing what’s coming—is better than being surprised. The wind will howl like an army of witches outside. But if you’re prepared, you can easily accept anything that comes.”

For the rest of the class as we bend and twist, I keep reminding them:

“Think of your own body as if it were this brick and mortar facility you’re in. Your body is just like this trustworthy place. It’s a good place to feel safe inside of. Trust that you’re strong enough to take whatever comes, any day.”

As we do the poses, Alex is quiet, as usual. Her dark eyes follow me while I walk around the room, making adjustments. Later, when she’s in the exiting line with the rest of the girls, she hangs back a bit.

“Miss, I’m scared to go home. It’s just two weeks away. At home, my mom still uses, and my brothers beat on me. And sometimes they try other things. You know, bad things. I’m afraid to leave ABG. It’s been my home for so long. What should I do, Miss? I want to be free! Especially since I’ve got the high of meditation and yoga instead of drugs and bad choices to start my new life with. But what can I do to not be so afraid?”

I take a deep breath. “Alex, I know how you feel. I’ve been there myself. You’re lucky, because you’ve already got a lot of sobriety under your belt. You’ll go to lots of recovery meetings, won’t you?”

She nods her head adamantly.

“Let me talk to Miss Ursula. Maybe she knows of a halfway house you can live in, until you feel more capable. Would you like that?”

“Oh yes, Miss!” Alex’s eyes sparkle like black diamonds. “I wouldn’t be so worried then, about what might happen at home.”

The next day the monster storm crept closer to ABG. I could hardly believe what I saw, sitting with my family watching the TV screen, as Charlie’s deadly eye roared right toward the girls! I imagined them huddling all together in the safest area of their strong facility. The announcer said the hurricane’s very center would directly—and imminently!—hit ABG’s miniscule pinpoint of a one stoplight-town. The impossible … was happening! All I could do was send everyone at ABG my comforting thoughts, surround them with my love, for protection. Just like I did with the tall oaks that stood like twin sentries around my home.

Before every tropical storm, a frequent occurrence in this part of the country, I go outside to silently stand in front of my sturdy tall trees. I extend my arms and send energy to my arboreal friends, requesting they stay erect, supple, and not topple over in the crushing wind that soon will test their mettle.

That Friday, when Charlie’s eye tore its destructive path across the middle of Florida, I’d find out later, the girls at ABG did more than expected. They were cooperative, even-tempered, uncharacteristically accepting. Not a single girl went into hysterics. No one had to have a take-down, a many-person procedure used to calm a berserk individual in detention, before hysteria can spread.

I was happy to hear that my yoga-girls were among the most peaceful of ABG’s huddled bunch of inmates and guards. While marauding troops of wind-demons screeched outside, everyone clung to each other. Big trees crashed and roofs flew off all around them—but ABG remained untouched. Just as Miss Ursula said it would.

When I arrived the next Thursday, Alex greeted me with exciting news.

“Miss Ursula found a half-way house for me to stay in for as long as I need to, when I’m released next week, Miss!”

My chest pounded, for so many reasons.

Many had helped me find my way to an honest, fresh-start after I’d crashed and burned. Now it was my turn to help guide girls like Alex, to morph into being useful citizens. I looked into Alex’s midnight eyes. Helping at-risk youth like her made me feel a better person, helped me love myself a bit more, too. Sharing with such beautiful souls like she and Lakeesha, Katie, TraySea, Sha’Ron, Tiffany, Jessica—even the non yoga-girls too shy or close-minded to try a class—helped heal the bruise still aching inside me, from having done harm to myself so long before.

However a person learns to do it, being empowered helped the girls accept that the outer imprisonment of their circumstances can never stop them from feeling real peace, inside.