Dancer in the Sky

She moves through the sky
pirouetting on pointe

Long sinewy arms
gracefully stretching
the expanse

Flowing skirt billowing
and swaying
she moves effortlessly
through the air

So tall, so beautiful
she opens my mind
and soothes my soul

The wind shifts
and I watch her float away
dancing, morphing
into someone else’s picture in the clouds

Overhead
the deep blue stage stand empty
and bright

As I turn to walk away
I catch the white
of another dancer in the sky

©Alexis Rose, image source: Google

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

Perspective in Minus 10 Degrees

This morning when I woke up, I thought about all the things I needed to get done today.  The list of chores, errands, and the title for a new book I am thinking about writing swirling into a nice time-managed schedule.

With my mind in full active mode, I tried to settle down and set an intention for the day. Setting an intention is something I usually do before I  get out of bed. I grabbed my phone to jot down my to-do list and to check the temperature to see how cold it was outside. I was greeted with negative 10 degrees.

That’s cold! Even for Minnesota, that’s cold! I live in the cities, not in the hinterlands.  My to-do list in my mind immediately quieted, and my intention for the day became clear. Just Be, Just Stop, Just Sit, Just Rest and Breathe!

I also gained some perspective:  My family and friends are all safe and sound living in homes with working furnaces. Our critters are indoor animals (although, I very much felt for my dog this morning when I let her out). It’s a clear day, the sun is shining bright and there is no wind. No Wind is a gift believe me!

It will do me a world of good to rest today. I have just begun to feel better after a three-month-long illness, and an Everest size mountain of stress. My Mantra since the beginning of the year is to listen to my inner self and to have trust and faith in the process. I have continued to learn not to react, but to sit, observe, and then respond. That’s a lot of introspection for 8:00 in the morning!

Minus 10 degrees can provide excellent perspective.

Disclaimer: Minnesotans tend to have a lot of chutzpah when it comes to weather. We are made of tough stuff living in the north. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few hours when I actually do decide to run an errand or two, I’ll  hear myself say, “Meh, it’s not too bad, at least there’s no wind, and look the sun is shining.”

Take a peek at the lows that are in store for us in the next few days! I yearn for summer to see the 90’s and a few 100’s.

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

Where Fairies Dwell

As I gazed upon nature’s elegance
I came across the place
where fairies dwell.
I knew that this is where
they rest, and play, and smile.

A garden safely tucked
beside a hill
which grew out of
friendship, trust, and tender care.

I noticed the flash of light
as the fairies dashed behind the tree
that was holding strong
safe, waving for them to hide.

Filling my senses
with the wonder of the moment
I heard the wind singing
words of hope
harmonizing with the brothers and sisters
in the jeweled sanctuary of one.

©Alexis Rose, image source: Pexels

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

one with the wisdom of nature

In this moment the only thing I heard

were the birds happily singing

The only thing I saw

were the leaves gently swaying on the branches

The only thing I smelled

was the earthy moss growing throughout the woods

I was one in the moment

with the wisdom of nature

©words Alexis Rose, photo A.H.

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

This Hike On A Cloudless Day

Walking at a slow and easy pace, I mindfully climb up a mountain trail on a cloudless day.

Prayer flags hanging in the trees. Some tattered, some brand new. All of them, hundreds of them secure in the branches high and low.
Crossing bridges made of wood I’m mindful to quiet my footfalls.

Besides the babbling creek, the only other sounds I hear
is the gentle wind rustling the leaves and grass.

Large stone incense burners filled with offerings of those who climbed before me, remind me to stop, rest, and breathe. Remember to breathe, take it in, and just walk softly. Peacefully.

This mountain; this hike under a cloudless sky
brings me closer to the place I’ve longed to visit for years.

My senses are awake. I feel peace and reverence.

I sit and meditate, letting go of the strings that hold me hostage to the stress and worry of the past few months. A knowing that I’m letting it go. I feel myself letting it go. I take a deep breath and wipe away tears of gratitude as I commit this experience, this landscape to memory.

I feel free, strong and affirm to myself that this mountain walk, this hike on a cloudless day, is a gift of beautiful peace that I get to experience as I travel along life’s path.

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

Road Trippin’ with PTSD

As summer begins to wane and the occasional cool breeze brings a hint of fall in the evenings,  I find myself packing to hit the road and drive thirteen hours to go hang out in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It’s was a spur of the moment decision to leave, which makes this even more exciting. But, for me, especially this time of year, where there are triggers, triggers everywhere, I have to make sure I have some plans firmly in place so my adventurous road trip doesn’t become a series of frightening flashbacks from a time long ago and a place that I don’t like to talk about.

I absolutely love the freedom of hitting the road, not having a specific destination to sleep, and just enjoying the journey. I love the spontaneity of it, and the “let’s take this road and see where it leads” adventure. It appeals to my carefree nature that is often squashed by my symptoms, but still lies just below the surface.

I love the majesty and strength of the mountains. They make me feel safe, protected, and extremely grounded.  They touch that part of me that needs to feel grounded by the steadfast rock, the earth.

I live in Minnesota, which is nowhere near the mountains. When I get close to the mountains, and my senses begin to come alive, I know I’m now on vacation. I was once that person who worked to go on vacation. Road-trip?  I was the first person to raise my hand and jump into the car. I love to explore, I love new places, I love new people!

Then I was struck with PTSD and everything changed. The things I did without thought have suddenly become a big production. I’m plagued with flashbacks, especially at certain times of the year when my symptoms are easily triggered.

My trauma occurred over a 20-year period in many different places throughout the world. I can be triggered by certain smells, sounds, the way the wind blows, dialect, and many other things. Sometimes, that can start a flashback. Sometimes, I get disoriented and anxious, and sometimes it’s just a general feeling of knowing something’s off. When I’m at home, I can figure out ways to ground myself, get support or use one of my distress tolerance tools to ride out the wave. When I travel, things are unfamiliar and it takes longer to come out of a trigger.

Another symptom of my PTSD is that I become overwhelmed in busy, loud, places — restaurants, for example. It’s very easy for me to get flooded by too many menu choices and a voracious appetite can become non-existent. Before PTSD, I loved trying new food and going to restaurants that I wouldn’t have visited while in my hometown.

Busy roads while not necessarily triggering, can be overwhelming for me. The speed and crowded freeways can be overstimulating, and I tend to get anxious.  The same anxiety I used to feel in a gridlock or driving at night with 18-wheelers whizzing by is now more pronounced for me. My anxiety is ramped up because my perpetrators often drove me to places across the country.

I used to try to navigate where I was by counting the light poles. I thought if I kept track of them I could find my way back home. Of course, I would lose count very quickly or realize that it didn’t matter anyway, and simply sit quietly waiting until we stopped at a final destination.

But once I became a young adult and understood the freedom of the open road, I began to love road-trips. I still love road-trips!

My support system is different when I travel. For my family, it’s often a good respite for them when I go out of town for a few days. It’s not an easy decision for them to let me go off without one of them accompanying me. So, a lot of moving parts must happen before I leave. My support works together to provide text, phone or FaceTime calls with regular check-ins. I must be mindful and respect the times that are available, especially with a time change. It feels uncomfortable for me to know that I require this support, but I’m grateful that I have this in place so I can do the things I would like to do and visit the places that bring me peace.

I understand that traveling with all my PTSD symptoms front and center is a huge challenge. But, I’m determined to have a great time and get my spirit renewed in the mountains. I’m going to the The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya at the Shambala Mountain Center. This has been on my list of things to do for many years, and I’m so excited to go.  My intention is to hike and camp in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and fill my senses with the crisp, clean mountain air, and for just a few perfect moments, breathe with ease.

Road Trippin’ with PTSD is certainly a challenge, but not impossible. In fact, with a bit of planning and the agreement to tell my travel companion if I’m having any symptoms, this adventure is not only possible, it’s happening!

Photo by Madhu Shesharam on Unsplash

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

Oh, There I Am!

To experience and not think
Feeling the breath of the wind
and the chop of the wave
Listening to the stillness
with no need for words
Playing and giggling with glee
at the simple taste of a grape
To rest and not judge this moment
or the next…or the one after that
To connect with the trees, water, fire, and land
To leave worry and doubt behind
To Just Be, Just Breathe
Oh, There I Am!

©words and photo: Alexis Rose

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

Equal in Life’s Garden

Notice the alters of nature’s bounty

The vast colors, the beauty of secret strength

Those who look upon their bloom may be not aware

of their perseverance, their unwavering intuitive knowing

that they are all equal and important in life’s garden.

 

©words Alexis Rose, Photo by TOMOKO UJI on Unsplash

Thank you for reading my latest book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.