Heavy

The pressure,

It cripples 

My shoulders.

The anguish,

It crushes

My heart.

The long dormant

Scars that are

Too deep to

Scratch

Fire and 

Itch something

Fierce.

.

I’m fourteen

Again, 

With the 

Formidable

Red dread 

In my head

Reawakened…

The Day After.

Summertime boycotts.

Shall

We

Play

A

Game.

Creed’s loss.

Drago’s victory.

Wolverines become 

Targets of

Helicopter ambushes 

While we

Devour the

Juiciest 

Red apples and

Pray for 

Happily ever

After and

Peace.

.

Same as it ever was.

.

But this time,

Though,

It’s heavier,

With iron-clad threads 

Of clamoring dissonance

And pandemic fatigue

And the injustice of justice

Interwoven with

Humanity’s

Frayed strings

And compassion’s

Colorless fibers.

.

But this time,

Though,

It’s for real. 

The bombs

And the tanks

Purposely target

The beings 

Whose only crime

Is an address

On a certain street

In a certain country. 

The missiles

Pierce the heavens

As the bullets

Pierce the skin

And the screams

Pierce the silence,

The lives of

The innocents

No consequence to

Him

Who values

Authority 

And 

Avarice

Above 

All and

Lives his

Happily ever

After no

Peace.

The Ukrainian/Galician/Balkan heritage in my lineage and in my soul called me to write “Heavy.” I stand with my ancestral brothers and sisters wherever their feet may touch the Earth but especially those in Ukraine.

Thank you for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.

With love and gratitude,

Jill

“Heavy” was posted on jillocone.com on February 26, 2022. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the writer, who was not endorsed or compensated in any manner by any entity; views do not represent any employer. Copyright 2022, Jill Ocone. All rights reserved. Contact jillocone@gmail.com with reposting, licensing, and publishing inquiries.

Day of Birth

The sun rises on the first day of my 51st orbit around the sun. I ponder the footsteps that led me to standing alongside the massive ocean in this moment, but my path in the sand behind me has disappeared. I pause here, joy-fully scarred and strong with her waves rushing over my feet, and bask in the light that shines from within me. It unifies with the sun’s rays and radiates in all directions a message too massive to fully comprehend.

Here I am, teeming with light and life, a magnificent creature of Water and Earth and Air and Fire, a child of the Universe. Blissful delight overwhelms me, and I allow the sea’s breeze to dry the tears in the corners of my eyes.

The tide recedes with each of her salt water molecules swelled full of gratitude for my beautifully flawed body, for my lungs and my heart, for my soul and my mind, and for my journey to this moment.

After the sun sets on the day, I lie my head on my pillow with a slight smile and close my eyes, content and full of hope.

The sea, her tide rises in rhythm with the sun on the next glorious morning, a morning when I awake once again reborn. In my morning prayer, I ask my body to continue sustaining me, my soul to continue sparking my light, my mind to continue enlightening me, and the universe to continue illuminating the path I’m meant to follow.

I inhale peace and purpose, exhale gratitude for another day of life, and embrace the possibilities of the unknown. I stretch my arms and my legs, then rise to my feet and take my first steps along today’s extraordinary adventure.

Thank you for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.

With love and gratitude,

Jill

“Day of Birth” was posted on jillocone.com on February 13, 2022. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the writer, who was not endorsed or compensated in any manner by any entity; views do not represent any employer. Copyright 2022, Jill Ocone. All rights reserved. Contact jillocone@gmail.com with reposting, licensing, and publishing inquiries.

Shine On…

We’ve once again arrived at the end of one year with the onset of another just lurking in the shadows, unbeknownst to us whether it may be the hero or the villain.

I’m wishing for the hero, because the last two years have been…. well, you know…

This time of year, for me, is more than just a time to lie around full of cheese and unsure about what day it is. 

For me, it is a time of reflection about what went right and what went wrong amid the sprinkles of real life mixed in with the gasps, the smiles, the frowns, and the tears that pepper each yearly calendar. It’s also a time of rejuvenation and illumination as I look ahead to what I hope to accomplish and experience within the blank boxes of the twelve months that lie in front of me.

I set specific goals for 2021 a year ago, like I do on the cusp of each new year. Not resolutions, because those rarely work for me, but attainable goals that I hoped to bring to fruition within the next 365 days. Two of said goals centered upon creative endeavors (one of which I’ve spent seven years honing and crafting) and were of utmost importance to my heart.

But neither venture reached the measure of success I had envisioned despite my best efforts.

Thus, I failed.

I thought I was close a number of times, and I followed the universe’s breadcrumbs as I always do. I believed in each, believed in myself, but that combined with my hard work wasn’t enough.  I sit here facing the fact that I am not where I thought I would be a year ago.

Thus, I failed.

It is true that both provided me with lessons and growth. I know what I did wrong and what I must do with each moving forward if either will be deemed a so-called “success,” but my mind ghoulies have had a field day during the latter part of this year in making me feel immensely vanquished. I still carried the weight of defeat and futility and disappointment upon my shoulders as we entered the last month of 2021.

During a poignant meditation session a few days ago, however, a bright light illuminated something brilliantly new, yet something that has always been there deep inside my soul. 

Yes, I may have failed by not attaining my desired outcome for those two goals, but I succeeded in finding the dawn of a new path now bathed in radiant light.

The light that beams from within me has melted away the overbearing weight I’ve burdened for far too long and shines upon a new route where I will no longer be focused on the outcome but on the journey. Exhilaration overpowers my trepidation and purpose outshines my pain as I forge ahead with curiosity and resolve.

2022 will be a resounding new beginning for me, a year when I will connect with my soul every single day and with the ocean. I will bask in authenticity while I act according to my soul’s desires and let my words become my light. My word for 2022 is SHINE, and that’s my intention, to shine as bright as I can while hopefully sparking the light in others.

And regarding those two “biggest” goals from the past year? I’m not sure I’ll encounter either of them along the coming year’s path. Maybe my journey will circle me around to revisit them, maybe not, but each of them assisted me with arriving at the here-and-now and brightened my core being. I am grateful, not regretful, for each as I step over 2021’s final boundary and forward into 2022.

The only reference to COVID I’ll make is that I am grateful it showed me what truly matters most: relishing the time I am able to both experience life and make memories with the people I treasure. 

My soul, it called me to write this for you…

Take 2021’s lessons and let them craft a new vision for the coming year. Listen to your soul’s deepest wishes and make them a priority. Focus on the internal rather than the external. Shine your light in all that you do, but don’t apologize for being human when your light may go dark for whatever reason…simply endure and emerge stronger once the light shines again. 

I wish for 2022 to provide you with whatever you most need and most desire. Shine on, dear one, and live bright.

Thanks for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.

With love and gratitude,

Jill

“Shine On” was posted on jillocone.com on December 30, 2021. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the writer, who was not endorsed or compensated in any manner by any entity; views do not represent any employer. Copyright 2021, Jill Ocone. All rights reserved. Contact jillocone@gmail.com with reposting, licensing, and publishing inquiries.

Letting The Light In

I’ve been writing little snippets of recollections on sticky notes all week long as I planned to post today about reaching the pandemic’s year milestone.

Yesterday, I threw them all into the trash bin.

Thinking about this time last year, as things rapidly developed and our lives changed minute by minute and the overwhelming fear that crippled me….well, it actually made me shudder with anxiety.

Instead of rehashing the traumatic truth about where we used to be and how we got here, I am celebrating the light that has entered through the cracks over the past year, cracks that were formally invisible to my eyes. 

Do I like our current situation? Absolutely not.

Do I miss everything that’s currently on hold? More than anything.

Did I think we’d return to “normal” by now? Of course I did. 

But over the past year, I realized that “normal” does not exist, nor does a “new normal,” which is one of the worst phrases to come out of this year-long reality.

The light, though…

Sun’s First Light – Taken September 2020

The light shines on the goodness that surrounds me, goodness I was formerly too blind to notice. 

The light beams on the moments I can safely spend in the company of loved ones and friends, and those moments have more meaning today than they ever have. The light will eventually beam and create more opportunities to make wonderful memories.

The light glistens on my watch and my planner to highlight the value of my time, and I’ve learned to decline requests for my time that do not enhance my well-being or serve my purpose.

The light coaxes the words out of my soul and onto my journal or my screen. Instead of fighting those words and holding them back, they flow and release me from my self-deprecating prison. Some are crap, and some aren’t, and I’m taking those that aren’t and creating what I hope helps others to know they aren’t alone.

The light brightens the sound of laughter coming from those I love most.

The light illuminates my purpose and my passion, and has allowed me to see meaning in and understand my journey here on Earth so far, especially the hardest times, the most difficult of days, and the failures and rejections. The light also illuminates a clear path to my future that’s full of experiences I want to have and dreams I will make happen. I’ll be sharing those experiences and dreams with you soon.

The light flashed on a vaccine opportunity that I originally believed was not an option for me because of my medical issues and led me to said opportunity with a smooth experience and limited side effects. My desire to have a life outweighs my aversion to the vaccine, and while my choice is right for me, I respect it might not be right for you.

The light radiates on my gratitude for those who have gone above and beyond to help us all and on my resolve to celebrate the lives of those who we’ve lost to this horrible illness.

The universe works in very mysterious ways. I know she guides me with breadcrumbs, most of which validate that I am in the right place at the right time and doing what I need to be doing at that moment. Case in point: when I sat down this morning to write this post, I put my music on shuffle. The first song to play was “Namaste” by Beastie Boys. A sampling of the lyrics:

…A cold chill of fear cut through me

I felt my heart contract

To my mind I brought the image of light

And I expanded out of it

My fear was just a shadow

And then I voice spoke in my head

And she said dark is not the opposite of light

It’s the absence of light

And I thought to myself

She knows what she’s talking about

And for a moment I know

What it was all about.

Songwriters: Horovitz Adam Keefe / Diamond Michael Louis / Yauch Adam Nathaniel / Nishita Mark Ramos. Namasté lyrics © Brooklyn Dust Music, Polygram Int. Publishing, Inc.

I know what it was all about.

As I said earlier, normal doesn’t exist. What does exist is change: Routines change. Circumstances change. Expectations change. Opportunities change. Schedules change. People change. Persevering while adapting to change is essential to survival.

I also exist, as does my purpose, and what hasn’t changed is my authentic desire to thrive despite change and to strive for my words to speak to others.

The fresh air and sunshine, the clouds and the snow, the singing birds, the ocean’s rollers and mountain’s peaks, and all of nature’s miracles, are still here a year later. They always have been, and they always will be if we allow the light in through the cracks.

And someday, we’ll be able to look back on all of this and celebrate our collective strength and victory over the pandemic with joyous light and fireworks, but you don’t have to wait that long…

Today, celebrate your light. Celebrate your perseverance. Celebrate your life. Celebrate you.

____________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.

With gratitude,

Jill

“Letting The Light In” was posted on jillocone.com and on soulseaker.com on March 14, 2021. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the writer, who was not endorsed or compensated in any manner by any entity; views do not represent any employer. Copyright 2021, Jill Ocone. All rights reserved. Contact jillocone@gmail.com with reposting, licensing, and publishing inquiries