Living as Openness

What does it take to be fully present as love with another human being?

It actually requires very little.

We create stories around why we can’t love. We close our hearts because of past wounds. We create too many expectations for the future.

But the truth is, right now in this present moment, you are alive as love.

To open as love with another human being, all you have to do is remember the essence of who you are, who they are. Everything else is just a story, a narrative we convince ourselves to believe in order to keep our hearts protected.

Sometimes we need to protect our hearts. Yet many of us keep our hearts closed and protected long after the perceived threat is gone. We play it safe, wading in the shallows because we are afraid to feel hurt.

But love isn’t safe. It rips us open. It exposes our souls. It requires us to surrender to the complete Unknown. We can only truly open as love once we are willing to embrace the depths of pain that come with loving deeply—the truth of inevitable loss, of death.

To be present as love with another human requires us to open to all—all the hurt, all the pain, all the joy, all the bliss. We cannot experience the full spectrum of our humanness by keeping a part of ourselves closed. Nor can we ever know Union with another by keeping a part of our hearts protected. In every moment we have a choice to open as love. What are you choosing now... and now... and now?

Artwork by Dominoe Farris


What doesn't kill us, makes us love more

“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.” —Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

These words by Dr. E still touch me so deeply.

“If you love the sky and the water so much, you almost cannot bear it….”

Key word: almost

Because we CAN bear it, and we WILL bear it

(whatever that IT is that feels almost impossible to bear)…

And it is in this process of overcoming the seemingly impossible, that we discover how strong and resilient we actually are.

Every obstacle is a doorway, every obstruction is a gift, every yearning is a gateway to living ever-closer as one’s liberated and authentic Self.

It is precisely those moments in life when I've felt like I can't go on, when something miraculous happens. And along the way I've discovered that behind every obstacle is an initiation—an invitation to come home closer to Truth.

Quite a fitting theme for today's Easter Sunday, during which we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his crucifixion, an archetypal example of one's capacity to faithfully persist through immense hardship and challenge only to be reborn anew through the process as a deeper expression of Truth/God/Love than before.

Must we all not experience some sort of Death, shed some part of ourselves that no longer serves us (whether an old habit, belief, or idea), in order to grow? Of course, one day, our bodies will wither and fade and we will experience the Final Death of this lifetime, but until then...

whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, as they say...

and also...

whatever doesn't kill us...

makes us love more deeply.
makes us sing more loudly.
makes us dance more freely.
makes us speak more authentically.
makes us live more WILDLY.

"You are not dead yet, it’s not too late
to open your depths by plunging into them
and drink in the life
that reveals itself quietly there"
—Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy Sunday, beloveds.



all i know is love

all i know is love.
what is now
will soon be gone.
what is born
will die, in time.
learning comes in longing 
and there is no passion
without the persistent
truth of loss.
we can let go
and still hold on.
we can be free
and still choose to live
in cages.
i am tired
and i am filled with life.
i am courageous and afraid
and i keep moving forward.
both pain and love
dance in unison
to the One Beat
of the Heart.
there is no separation.
and there is 
we are always together
and we are alone.
we are alone, 
alive together.
dreaming, losing
breathing together.
being, dying
grieving together.
all i know is love.
all i know is love.

poem by nina lombardo


Freedom is an open window,
a breath unconfined
by past
or future,
a movement arising 
in response to what is now,
not what was then
or what is yet to be.
Freedom is in union with all,
in rhythm with the pulse of Life,
liberated from reaction, 
unlimited by the habits of Self.
Freedom is expansive,
Full and Wide.
It is not You nor I,
nor Identity,
so direly clung to
in the search for meaning.
Freedom lies beyond the need to speak,
but not beyond speaking.
It is the glue,
that holds all our separate pieces
No longer grasping 
for something 
that isn’t.
Moving in-tempo to 
the evolving symphony 
Waking up to know 
the gift of waking.
And loving.
Without bounds.

poem by nina lombardo

Transcending the Victim

When I say no, the earth shakes
and the waters rise.
My no slides off my tongue like a piercing blade.
My body is relaxed.
My heart is open.
My mind is clear.
When I say no, 
you tremble and listen, 
for you know my immensity is my weapon, 
my compassion is my spear, 
and my sincerity, 
a gift to be cherished.
I don’t want to hurt you,
I want to teach you
that the unconscious things you do 
create more pain, 
more grief, 
more terror.
Fuck no.
I forgive you.
Fuck no.
Learn from it.
Fuck no.
Take it and digest it.
Let it shape you, transform you, 
guide you to your highest self.
Listen to my no, 
so generously given, 
and become a better person.
My no is an offering
to your inner child,
the little boy so neglected and shamed, 
never taught it was ok to feel, 
to connect deeply, 
to ask before taking.
My no is also an offering
to your divinity.
I recognize your soul.
The goodness that is lying
beneath the grip of your conditioning.
I say no to awaken your depth.
I say no to serve you on your path, 
and to protect me on mine.
I say no because I have to.
It is what the Universe is requiring.
There are times when I couldn’t say no.
I was never taught how.
Just like you were never taught to listen.
I forgive you now.
But because I am working on my no,
to overcome my paralysis,
and reclaim my voice,
so you must work on your capacity to listen, 
to feel,
to connect.
Only then can we both transcend the patterns that have shaped us.
Only then can we all be truly liberated.

poem by nina lombardo