Monday, May 31, 2010

Mix It Up Mondays: L.Marie- Skydiving

My life changed the week I left my job. Gray, routine, boring, and lack of passion, were the words my girlfriend used to describe my personality and our relationship.

I used to have emotions, then somewhere along the line, my heart turned into stone; I stopped laughing, caring, and smiling. I tried to stop myself from slipping into depression, but it was impossible. I was plagued by the flashbacks of my last week on the job.

My girlfriend told me, if I didn’t get my act together, then she would break up with me. I had been living my life for three months on autopilot. In order to keep the routine, I planned on purchasing an engagement ring for her that week. When my girlfriend told me to get my act together, I decided to take the engagement ring money and use it to go skydiving. The warmhearted me would never go skydiving, the coldhearted me, could careless.

The day I went skydiving started off uneventful and ended up being life changing. As the plane cruised through the royal blue sky, my instructor asked me if I was frightened. I looked at him and just said I am unable to feel fear. My instructor laughed and told me that was what all his students told him prior to the jump. I remember laughing to myself and thinking, he has no idea what my life has been like for the past three months.

My instructor told me I should count to three before jumping; I looked at him, shook my head and just jumped. For the first few seconds all I could see was a blur of blue sky sprinkled with white clouds. I felt something at that moment, the quickened beat of my heart. I did something I had not done in awhile, I laughed. Soaring through the sky was exhilarating and the stone around my heart was cracking. In an instant my euphoric feeling dissipated when my instructor shouted to me that something was wrong. He told me that the trajectory for the landing was off and we were heading straight for the lake. Anything that he told me after that was muted. All I could see was the glistening blue lake morph into a glare of sharp knives. All I could see was my girlfriends smiling face. I felt raindrops on my face, but it was not raining. I felt my heart quickening with fright and panic as the lake drew near.

The only thing I could think of doing was asking my angels to guide and protect my loved ones. I could only hope that I leave this world quickly and pain free. I wished when I transitioned on to the next life, I would have the chance to repay my karma. As my face almost hit the cool blue lake, I felt serene and I felt at peace.

When I opened my eyes it was 4 am and I was drenched in sweat. I could not believe it was just a dream. It was more than a dream, it was a revelation. I had been so cold to my friends, my family, and my girlfriend, that I realized my demons were affecting my relationships. I needed to return to the police force and put that case behind me. I could not let that dream come true, I had to change my life and open my heart. It’s funny, when I woke up at 4 in the morning, I turned to my girlfriend and told her that I loved her and I did not want to be gray, routine, boring, and lack passion. She just mumbled, that she loved me too and for me to go back to sleep.

My name is Lue. A dream of skydiving, emotions, crashing into water, and having a sense of serenity, prompted me to join this grief counseling program for police officers.

By: L.Marie

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mix It Up Mondays: Tres- From Nothing

This weeks Mix It Up Mondays post is from Tres. His piece is entitled 'From Nothing' and is the prologue of his book series. If you would like to read more from his book check out his blog . You can also contact him via Twitter.

From Nothing- Prologue: Unbelievable 

This dark alleyway isn’t a reflection of my poor choices. Not a personification of the mess that was my marriage, or a metaphor for the disservice I’ve done the religion I believe in.
Its a disgusting, AIDS-ridden, depressing alleyway.

After losing everything in the divorce and all of my money to alcoholism, I sit here now staring at objects both sharp and blunt, wondering if God was somewhere watching. I thought of his expression several times; a misty large figure like that of Dorothy’s Wizard with an even deeper, more pervading voice without the bells and whistles. His eyes would sadden upon my sight, and his free-floating head would shake disapprovingly as I tried to excuse my scrubby presence.
But he wouldn’t announce me. He would only say my name, tell me my crime, and vanish as I felt his presence leave me forever.

“Daniel, I’m so very disappointed in you,” God would say.
Then the world would shake, fires would erupt, people would die, and then everything would be consumed in God’s rage and then… nothing.

Just a ruse. A thought of God I had created because I never knew what his presence ever felt like. I prayed to my vanities, listened to self help books and every other man alive, but I hadn’t heard a word from “Him” all of my life. I was left, like everyone else, to fend for myself and decide what God was to me.

Before, he was just a reason for my parents to beat me. An excuse for a belt to fly off and call me an idiot, or lazy. As my life progressed, he was something more of a Genie. God became this magical person in my head I could wish to and, if I was lucky, he’d respond in a poof of smoke and I’d have a new pair of shoes or a bike.

But I felt like I’d used up all my wishes, and as time went by so did my wife. I married young, and had children that I couldn’t for the life of me be a good father to. They were annoying, then cute, then brats, then needy. I started to drink my life into a stupor, and before I knew it I was praying to the Toilet God on the regular. He’d cleanse me of my sins and splash dirty holy water on my face and cool my fiery lips from the hot vomit. But he was unforgiving, merciless and not very sanitary.

And I’m here now. Barely 27 and I’m not even staring down the barrel of a .45. I don’t get a glorious death. No cocaine overdose, because it’s way too expensive. No heart attack since I actually happen to be in decent shape for no reason (I figure its genetic). Starvation, dehydration, and maybe a shard of glass will be my executioner. A dried up stick with a broken piece of a thrown away medicine cabinet shoved in my chest…

However, life rarely lets you die when you want. You’ve got more to go through than you know.

(End of Prologue)
(Next, Chapter One: “I Met a Man Named Michael.”)

By: Tres

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Mix It Up Mondays: L.Marie- The Origin of Shadows

The Origins of Shadows
Keeping the mind clear and focused on a single thought while the wind whispered in my ear and the sunrays danced upon my face was a difficult task.
Photo Credit: L.Marie
Spring break for many means fun in the sun, but for me, I had two midterms and a paper due the week I returned. My books sat to one side, my iPod, sketchpad, and camera on the other. In my mind, meditation would magically give me the knowledge required for the assignments. My mind swirled with thoughts. Focusing on one word and blocking everything out was my task. I started off with repeating love, success, and relax however the smells of rice, beans, chicken, plantain and the sounds of the street drums distracted me from my meditation.  I told myself to focus and started my mantra, until I was distracted once more.  After several poor attempts to meditate, I decided studying would be done another day, and a walk around the yard would be the new adventure.

My grandmother’s yard was not very large, but still managed to have an almond, avocado, plantain, and mango trees, along with aloe plants, hens, and that rooster. Walking around snapping photos left and right of plants that I had only seen in aisle one of the produce sections of the farmers market was exciting. Every experience was a first: walking, feeling, smelling, seeing; like a child learning the basics.  I began to wonder if my brief meditation session actually did work. Those moments spent strolling through the yard was one filled with respect and awe of nature.

The curiosity behind the origins of shadows escaped me by elementary school.  While venturing through adulthood,   time is of essence and noticing a shadow that mimics every movement often is overlooked. That day I noticed a shadow for the first time in a long time. I actually sat and observed the nuances of a plants shadow.  Forty minutes prior, I meditated in front of that same plant and had not noticed its beautiful shape and color.
Photo Credit: L.Marie

As I grabbed my camera, I noticed a blur zipping in front of my face several times before settling on the plant then zipping away again. I took about ten photos hoping to catch the mysterious blur that darted in front of my face.  When I looked at my camera, I saw that I had captured the perfect shot of a hummingbird.  I never saw that hummingbird again after that day, and after that moment I could never catch a clear shot.  It is almost like Mother Nature granted me with a gift for noticing her beauty that often is lost in the shadows of human glory.
Beauty often hides among the common, overlooked until one sits back to observe.  Cherishing these fleeting moments is a valuable lesson, for in a flash, the moment is gone.  

By: L.Marie

Do you want to be featured as a Guest Writer? Fill out the Request Form on the Closed Lids website.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mix It Up Mondays: Shaman Sun -- Tao Electric

This weeks Mix It Up Monday piece is by Shaman Sun. If you would like to see more from Shaman Sun, check out the awesome blog for great pieces on spirituality and more or check him out on Twitter!

Tao Electric

This green maze,
Of threaded vines in a tapestry divine,
It touches all and is pinned by none.
We are Earth, electric,
Bonded at the heart unseen,
There is nowhere where we cannot be.
Spoken whispers in the valley,
Taken up to the sky,
Discovered at the distant shores in a smile.
I will tell you now, of the secret Tao,
It is written not by pen,
But in this scattered, electric dance.
And you know, the Earth has a Soul,
It seeks a voice for all its facets,
In the Sea, the Land and Sky.
The Two Seas, between which we stand,
Seek union in us,
Through that we will come to know the Sun.
And the Earth will sing, Her Breath as Ours,
We the seeds for the New Forest of Light,
Intwined with the Old.
What does she say?
If we listen, she sings, Love, Love!
And all the lotuses dance with delight.
We weave for her a new way of being,
So that our tall cities,
And our sprawling may be like roots of a tree.
When the electric is the organic,
Spirit Descends,
New World covered in Morning Glow.
It is the subtle Hum of the Ancients,
Born anew,
It is the sacred dance of the animals.
We are with our Minds birthing New Life,
Our Nightmares,
All transmuted to Light.
This is the Tao,
When electric humming bears the Sacred,
The static leaps to Love.
Again we have born the cycle,
Earth exhales, “Ah!”
And the world is anew.
What impulse she has, what resilience!
For all the greatest terrors,
There is hidden gems of Light.
This is her Secret,
For if every blade of grass reveals Divine,
No clumsy footing may destroy her.
This is the Tao,
For if every electric grass we weave,
Let it be “as above, so below.”
The Poets and the Bards know this well,
Coming to face the Dawn,
They sing their greatest songs.
How many of us now await the light?
Yet within,
We all know it is already here.
The sun we see, its subtle glow,
Within us already known,
Within us, it shines as the True Sun!

By; Shaman Sun

Do you want to be featured as a Guest Writer? Fill out the Request Form on the Closed Lids website.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dream Related Songs

Thanks Janine, for sharing these two songs. Different from my usual genres, but still great songs.

"See Ya in My Dreams" by N'Dambi

"See You in my Dreams" by Deborah Bond

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mix It Up Mondays: L.Marie- Do You Use a Dream Dictionary?

Do You Use a Dream Dictionary?

It is interesting that many believe that there could be multiple sources that stimulate a dream. If this belief is held by some, why use one source to interpret dreams? A dream dictionary has a collection of common themes found in dreams and their definitions. These definitions are formulated after reviewing thousands of dreams and finding a common interpretation.

I do not use dream books. I have a few dream dictionaries in my book collection, but I can say I skimmed them when first purchased and put them back on my bookshelf. I have no problem with dreams dictionaries; I just feel that a bird in my dream does not have the same meaning as bird in the next persons dream.  Dr. Paul Jessen in 1855 published an article in which he stated “The content of dreams is more or less determined by the individual personality, by age, sex, station in life, education, habits, and by events and experiences of the whole past life.”  I believe that in order to accurately interpret and understand a dream other factors need to be considered.  There are some themes that may be similar amongst individuals, but not everyone is going through the same life experiences as the next person.  I suggest for a beginner* wishing to understand their own dreams, to purchase a dream dictionary. I was given as a gift the Dream Dictionary by Tony Crisp, I actually like this book, it not only discusses definitions, but key issues that come hand in hand with dreams.

*Note to reader: I believe that no matter how good an interpreter, the dreamer is the only one who can truly understand and decipher the dream. I often gain affirmation that I am on the right track by feedback received from those whose dreams I have interpreted. Normally, after I interpret a dream and the individuals says “wow that really connected”, or “that is so true”, etc. I know that I have opened that dreamer’s eyes and they are now more aware of the issues going on in the waking life.

-L. Marie

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ask L.Marie: How can I incorporate my dreams into the waking world?

 Dear L.Marie- I have recurring dreams, 2 standing out in my mind @ ths time is the one where I'm writing songs & the music, lyrics and performance are all great, but I can't put it together while I'm awake.  The other dream is where I'm always in a very high positon (e.g. atop a building, mountain, top of a tree. etc.), and I'm always afraid I will fall.  How can I better incorporate my music into the awake-world, and what do these height dreams mean? -A.S-

Thank you for submitting your question A.S. Embrace your gift of performance. Prior to sleep, practice what is called dream incubation. Dream incubation is a technique that I frequently use and that many use subconsciously. Dream incubation is the technique of creating or visualizing what you would like to appear in your dreams. Prior to bed,  close your eyes, relax, and focus on what issues, problems, or situations you wish to be solved/answered. In your case, focus on recalling your lyrics, songs, and performances. You can ask to have clarity and a clear vision of what you wish to occur. A reoccurring dream means there is something that needs to be faced. You continue to have these dreams about music perhaps because it needs to come out in reality. I am also going to suggest you keep a dream journal (check out my article). Dream journals will aid your dream recall. Every time you have a dream notate the dream, if you cannot recall, jot down your feelings. Once you make it a habit to jot your dreams down, your recall will improve. I would say give it 1 to 2 weeks of consistent dream journaling and you will eventually begin to remember your creativity. 

Do you ever feel you are over your head in some situations. Are you afraid of heights? Once you reach the top, do you ever feel overwhelmed. You achieve great feats, but once you get to the top/number 1 you panic and become frightened. Face your fears, standing on top of a mountain is not a scary situation, congratulate yourself for being able to accomplish great things and enjoy your view. In your waking life, do not be afraid of your accomplishments. If at work you are up for a promotion, do not get overwhelmed or nervous, appreciate that you are being appreciated. Do not take on assignments that you know you cannot complete because of stress. Also, be mindful of the goals you reach. You could be setting the bar to something that you are not read for. 


On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on twitter, Join the conversation and interact.
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