Song of the Toad

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Someone said “You’re not doing it right or like I would.”
And that was true and I grew blue.
What to do.

I felt like I was beautiful and right on track
and yet I dared not fight back.
I held the lack.

The lack turned into years of rain.
I was flooded in the pain.
And yet I was beautiful and growing more so
every day.
But they held sway.

The years went by and like a tree
I weathered many seasons
without giving any reasons.
I knew they didn’t care.
It wasn’t fair.

I drew the curtain; shut the door.
I wasn’t feeling anymore.
I lived in gloom.
I swept my heart of laughter.
Only tears came after.
I wasn’t there.

But in some way the light crept in.
I was more beautiful than I’d ever been.
They didn’t see me, didn’t feel me.
Only I knew how to heal me.

I stood alone, my heart a stone.
I breathed a prayer and felt an air
of music in my soul.

At last I knew my heart was true
and I was doing right by you
to always be myself, no wonder.
I no longer will go under.
I will rise and take my place
and feel my own amazing grace.

Vicki Woodyard

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It’s in the bag….

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It’s in the bags.
It’s in the rags.
It’s in the sun
and in the rain.
The ever-present
need for gain.

It’s driven by
a need for love
not covered by
expensive glove.

The love that
melts the
darkest heart
and is not carried
in a cart.

It’s in the blood.
It’s in the stars.
Embedded in
the painful scars.

Look up and see
this love is free.
Put down the burdens
and look at Me.

Vicki Woodyard

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The Upside of Being Alone

file1591340859301 (2) The Upside of Being Alone

For the first weeks following my husband’s death, I actually marveled at my freedom. As devastated as I was, I had been freed of about five years of suffering. Now as I rested, I realized how sacred life is even while it is destroying your ego. I saw that my aloneness was a form of extreme healing that was needed after a long pilgrimage into caregiving.

Ten years have now gone by. I value my solitude more and more. It is a sign that I have made it a good way up the mountain. For the higher you travel, the fewer people you meet on the way. You are going alone to the Great Alone.

The air is thinner, so you must conserve your energy for the last approach to the top of the summit. You may not ever make it, but that is of no concern, given your “true intent to be a pilgrim.”

Your standards are relaxing, for you have realized that no one else can go with you on this journey. It is not so important to be seen as to see. Everyone chooses when they will begin the ascent up the mountain of God and there is no turning back.

Winters seem long and little progress is made. There are landslides and swollen creeks of tears. The trekkers are few and far between. They may nod and smile at you but they must continue on, just as you must.

Isolation becomes a time for mending your tent and putting up supplies for the next leg of the journey. As your eyes begin to open, you are seeing the ground under your feet as spring arrives. You actually notice the tiny wildflowers arising in their effort to do what they came here to do.

Your patience with life may be growing as you see how helpless you are against yourself. You begin to sing little songs of praise and thanksgiving for God. You are learning how to breathe more deeply and slowly. And at some miraculous points you jettison your past.

You have lost your watch and there is only now. The loneliness has lifted to a considerable degree. And when a little bird lands on a nearby twig, he is singing only to you. And you see his clear blue coloring and his tiny yellow feet. And you remember how hard it was to sing even one note of a song.

The journey is tailored to each individual pilgrim and everyone has a team of angels and teachers. Although unseen, they can manifest when they are needed the most. But you don’t count on them. You just continue walking because that is your destiny this lifetime. You stop expecting yourself to arrive in mint condition. The mirror broke the same time as your watch and
now you must look for yourself in everything you see.

The upside of being alone is that you are forced to travel in your own company on your own time. And that is enough and more to complete the journey back home to yourself.

Vicki Woodyard
Author, Bigger Than The Sky: A Radical Awakening

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Life Lesson from my Facebook Page

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When I was born into this world, I immediately knew something was amiss. Well, probably not immediately, but soon enough. I couldn’t put it into words until much later; it began as a sense. For example, I would hear a grandmotherly type speaking sweetly to a baby in a carriage and my gut would feel a discrepancy. But I felt guilty because what was there to criticize? A baby and a sweet old lady, c’mon. So I begin to deny these alarms going off in my gut.

I realized soon enough that my father had a short fuse and that my mother’s main job seemed to be to ward off the inevitable outburst he was building inside. I became mediator between them, thus growing up much too soon.

I might as well skip over the rest of my life up until now because I think most of you are nodding and saying, “Uh, huh, I hear ya. The same reactions that I was having. Why are people so full of crap?” Well, maybe you didn’t say that….

The church was just as full of it. Preachers caught with their pants down. Politicians taking handouts. And their outer demeanor was opposite from the inner tombs of their character. I knew something was wrong with orthodox teachings. Thank God my mother was on the path. She graced me with spiritual books that the church would have not allowed. I heard the word “esoteric” and felt that world carried hidden meanings that might explain the world.

My studies brought me to a fine esoteric Christianity teacher by the name of Vernon Howard. He taught us to know both good and evil within and without. He explained that the words of Christ were spoken consciously rather than mechanically. So that was why the sweet old grandma made my teeth hurt. She was sound asleep!

One thing led to another as my life piled up with tragedy upon tragedy. What Mr. Howard taught seemed to have done me no good, either. I was up to my neck in alligators and mad as hell. Now what? Both systems seemingly failed me.

But lately something has finally burst up from the soil of my soul. A crop of teachings that arise from silence. So that’s it! Words are never the thing; they can only point to the thing. It is one’s inner condition that determines one’s outer condition. Mystery, resurrection, rebirth, ascension arise out of silence. But I am not good to go yet. Not by any means.

The mind hangs on until the bitter end. It has its weedy side that must be witnessed to moment by moment. But while one weeds, one may sing praises and give thanks to God. I find myself immersed in the moment more and more. Being truly grateful for simply having survived. For knowing I am forgiven again and again. Rejoicing in simplicity. I could go on, but once again, most of you are nodding and saying “Amen. I hear ya, sister.”

Vicki Woodyard

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This is Kirtan

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I went to a lovely kirtan led by Phil McWilliams on Saturday night.It was raining off and on. People left their shoes on the front porch and some partook of a vegetarian potluck before the music began.

I got to visit with a few people and came away better off for it, as always. I have waited a long time to find my sangha and I never tire of writing about it. This group is the culmination of a long search for myself, the part of me that is bigger than Vicki. I mean, she gets old and tired in a hurry. I know everything she will say and do.

But with this group, the love carries one above the personality level so easily. The vibe is vivacious yet quiet. I suspect there are introverts aplenty here. Plates are filled with healthy food and conversation is quiet and easy.

As the music begins, I sit on a brown leather couch while another woman joins me. A couple are lying on the floor and putting their feet up on the couch. The woman pats my leg lovingly and I
squeeze her hand. The doors are kept open and curtains move mysteriously as small lights are visible across the street. This is kirtan; this is my heaven on earth.

I can’t see the musicians because they are in the adjoining room. People in there are mostly sitting on the floor. I am more comfortable on something with a back. So I listen with my eyes closed much of the time.

Riding home I feel so connected to something I never thought I would find. Myself.

Love,
Vicki

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Enlightenment in the Spring

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I got a lot of positive responses to my off-the-cuff essay (they all are) about the notion that I am now enlightened. That I don’t have to consult anyone about it or listen to anyone’s else’s second-hand accounts of it. And you don’t have to listen to mine.

Who we are is a mystery and we live it consciously or mechanically. You cannot use language to wake up. It is not part of the package. I am smiling.

I just went to Marshall’s and T. J. Maxx. I love going there. I call it going to the bazaar. I found a bright red sweater for next winter and a delicious purple jacket that is warm as toast. I felt so happy with my “finds” at such reasonable prices.

For many years I felt just as much happiness cracking open a new book that promised enlightenment. But at some point my spirit rose up and pronounced them “just more detours” to my real and actual self. And if it wants to wear red and purple, I am just fine with that. I also let it acknowledge the fact that it will never know anything of a spiritual nature definitively.

Ye gods and little fishes, the proliferation of spiritual knowledge is infinite online. But I had rather ask myself what the truth is. And I answer sweetly, “Don’t worry about it.”

The leaves pushing forth from all the trees are not dogmatic about it at all, except for maybe the dogwoods. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Love,
Vicki

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Why?

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Why follow thoughts of change?
The mind is quick to rearrange
one’s life to make it seem like
things are new when things
can only be as true as you.

Why follow thoughts of death?
The heart is fast to follow grief
and find it gives no real relief.

Why follow thoughts of pain?
When more and more like
thoughts entrain?

Why follow Christ and be like Him
when your own chances are so dim?

Why be reborn and face a morn
entirely new?
Because He is asking it of you.

Vicki Woodyard

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The Author At Home

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This is a photo my son took of me on our kitchen deck a couple of days ago. Some of you have seen it on my Facebook Page. It got a lot of views and I thought, “Hmmmm….maybe people enjoyed seeing a picture of me in my usual habitat.” Ha ha. It’s April in Atlanta and everything is spring green and new.

My book, Bigger Than The Sky: A Radical Awakening, came out in September of this year. It has 26 five-star reviews on amazon. All who discover it love it. I hope you will click on this link which will take you to its page on amazon. Once there, please order a copy. This writer needs readers.

ORDER VICKI’S BOOK HERE.

A reviewer from the U.K. says, “Vicki, words fail me as I attempt to express the joy this jewel of a book has given me. I will be reading it again and again, whenever necessary. It is timeless. Thank you!”
Love,

Vicki Woodyard

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I am so ordinary.
Life is so trying.
Love is elusive
and we are all dying.

The sky is so open
and we are so closed.
Prayers are ascending;
I give thanks for those.

The ocean is carrying
garbage and death.
Mermaid and seahorses
gasping for breath.

What shall we do now
but keep on with our prayers?
Saying our beads and
climbing the stairs.

Descending the valleys
while looking above.
Hope is far from us;
We long for the dove.

Ours is a journey
with maps torn to shreds.
Love is the garment
with untattered threads.

I tenderly hold you
as you look at me.
Angels together we
all shall be free.

Vicki Woodyard

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Order Vicki’s book, Bigger Than The Sky: A Radical Awakening

I haven’t figured out how to market my book without using the traditional methods. So here is yet another attempt to explain how good it is.

I met Peter, who awakened after having a series of strokes. Peter was a hoot. His email address was Laughter. And he sprinkled “ho ho” into each email he sent to people.

He could have been on Mash; he had learned the value of laughter in the midst of a grisly situation. So had I. I, who had been writing comedy when my 3-year-old was diagnosed with incurable cancer. I, who knew what it felt like to have 2 members of my nuclear family have the words “incurable’ taped to their foreheads. I kept on writing jokes because it was therapy for me.

Peter and I had hit it off from the get-go. He had no time to waste so he got right to the point. In so many words, his philosophy was exactly the same as any great master of his time. “Get on with it. Life is short. Enjoy it.”

So we enjoyed each other’s company. Peter barely able to summon strength to write me. Me barely able to quit crying long enough to write. And I had no idea that I would write a book about our friendship.

As Jerry Katz said in the Foreword. “Vicki and Peter are a pair for the ages.” I find that very moving. That I sit here typing out this note while Peter gets to sit on Cloud Nine and cheer me on. Life may not always seem fair but one thing is sure. When you eat the bitter pill, the sweetness outweighs it and the wisdom is transformative. Get to know Peter. It’s easy to love him. He has been gone for many years now but his presence peeks out from the pages and you can almost hear his “ho ho.”

Order it here:
Vicki Woodyard

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