Tuesday, February 25, 2014



soft with potential
hard with experience
sweetness drips from her lips
promise turns to poison
behind the smile
lurks razor sharp words
perched like birds
poised for flight
breaching the security
of pearly whites
the tongue cuts loose
cuts deep
cutting ties that bind
after the tears
the fears
and all the striving years
she opens the door
despite the howling wind
and stinging rain
one step and then another
eyes darting
wild and wide
prison break
the warden of her heart
lying there
slow bleed out
on the run
free at last
as she crucifies herself over every single sin
every perceived fault
knowing she is guilty
of wanting
of needing
or loving
too much
too deep
and in the recesses of her mind
she knows
she chose
and now
she spreads her wings
like a bird
and flies away
into the darkness
of her light
she is waiting
for herself
on the other side

by margo ameera
feb 2014

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goddess Tylar Caldwell

I am what you may call an artistic Jack of all trades, or Jill perhaps is more fitting! I draw, I paint, I write, I speak, I sing, I sculpt, but most notably, I photograph.

I believe that an artist cannot be made; I believe you are born that way. I believe that no amount of classes, skills, or experiences in life can make you an artist. I am one of the lucky ones, I have always been, and always will be an artist.

As a child my parents were divorced and my situation was less than a fairytale. I didn't get to see my mom as often as most little girls should, but when I did, I remember The Beatles and Red Hot Chili Peppers playing while we had "arts and craft" time. Growing up I remember always doodling, repainting my room nearly monthly, loving to go out with a point-and-shoot camera, having my very first poem published at the age of 12 and writing my first short story very shortly after. But I never thought that I was an artist.
I believe that nothing in life can be achieved all on your own; everyone needs guidance and support to achieve their full potential.

My guidance came to me in at age 15 -- which also happens to be the year I got my first DSLR camera. I took my first high school art class "Intro to Art" with by far the greatest teacher I have ever had. His name is Jason Detert, he made art inspiring and understandable to even the common farm boys that passed through his class room.
 I remember I had an outburst in his class because I went ahead on a project, which I shouldn't have done. He took me out to the hall to address the problem, and when I burst into tears I think he realized what I still was unable to see: every little piece of art was also a little piece of me.

I remember from that day I never half-assed another art project, even if it meant that I had to turn it in late. That class was by far the most important class I had ever taken. It taught me not only the importance of art, but also how to channel my emotions into art. Even though I have bonded with my other art teacher to the point that she feels like family, Mr. Detert will always be my favorite teacher. I think that without even realizing it, he taught me not just art, but also who I was meant to be.

Fast, fast forward 3 years. I have graduated from high school as the "most artistic" female in the class, art club president, an inspiration. Having run my own little photography business for 3 years and accepted to the perfect art school in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I never would have imagined that I could have gotten to where I am today and without the people who know and love me.  I have an incredible, supportive, sweetheart of a boyfriend and the greatest friends in the world. 
I am in the process of training an intern to take over my photography in the Rochester area while I'm away at college.

She is 16, just like I was when I interned for photography. Her name is Marissa and she is such a reflection of myself it's insane! Being a teacher has been one of the most incredible experiences for me. At first I assumed I would be jealous if her photos got more publicity than mine, but when I saw that happen it just warmed my heart.

We have been shooting together for nearly 3 months now and it's hard to come to grips with the fact that I won't have her by my side when I shoot in the cities! I love Marissa with all my heart because she has the same burning desire that I have for art. She too was born an artist, nothing else.
I know that a lot of people probably write her off for being so young, but I was even younger when I started! Art knows no age. I am so incredibly proud of her, I really couldn't ask for a better business partner or friend. It's nice because I can't talk art -- namely photography -- with most of my friends. Luckily Marissa is also a jill-of-all-trades.
One of the biggest things I have been teaching her is not technique, but rather, emotion, just as I was first taught. We see a location and we immediately get the same image, it's like we share a brain!

Okay, I know, my life sounds like all rainbows and butterflies... ...if only! Being an artist I am so incredibly prone to intense emotions. I feel them at a much higher level than the average bear. It's almost like I'm in a long-term relationship with emotions!
Whether from the stress of moving, having no car yet a booming amount of photo-shoots, scheduling, or even family nagging, I definitely have times for my rainbow to fade. 

The very first thing I do when I'm upset is find some good angry music, a canvas, and paint. I generally finger paint when I'm upset, I feel much more connected to the canvas without brushes. Sometimes I even sit down to paint just for fun and end up crying.

A canvas is probably better than a therapist for me! If that, for some odd reason doesn't work, I'll call my boyfriend and even when he has no clue what to say, just  hearing his voice makes me feel better.
To sum up my emotion recovery plan: All you need is love... ...and a canvas!

I have so many hopes and dreams for the future, which I cannot wait to share with the world! My main goal in life is to remind the world of the significance of art.
In an educational system where math and science are being crammed down throats, I want people to remember the importance of art. I hear so many people say "I'd love to go to art school, but..."
There should be no buts, if it's your passion follow it. 

I leave you with only this: Follow your heart, make art, and be happy.

That's all I ask of you.

Love Tylar

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Goddess Callie England

We live in a crazy world. A world overfilled with negativity, hate, pressure, and just about every other self-defeating energy you can think of. To live happily, to live abundantly and to live freely (i.e., on your own terms) doesn't always come easy. I should know, as I lived almost 20 years of my life not realizing that I had a choice in the above matter. I saw happiness as a reward to achieving certain (superficial) goals. I told myself things like "If I could just lose 10 more pounds, I'll be happy" - I reinforced the idea that I was not worthy of living a beautiful life, while letting this crazy world we live in get the best of me.

So, when Margo asked me " "what makes your heart sing, what puts a smile on your face, what do you do when you’re feeling down and how do you turn that frown around" I immediately knew the answer: Remembering that everything in this world is choice. We choose how we feel, we choose who we are and we choose the kind of life we live. Sure, there are catastrophic things that happen without our control, but we have the ability to choose how we respond to those events.

This past year, I've embarked upon the most emotionally nutty journey of my life. I've pushed myself to the limits emotionally and physically and as of right now, I understand that this won't be letting up anytime soon. However, in the emotional chaos that my life has become, I'm finding happiness in reminding myself that everything in this world is choice. Just knowing that I have the power to feel any emotion at any time is truly what puts a smile on my face. Although, I have not mastered this concept (I am human after all), the hope of it's possibility keeps my spirits lifted. It's somewhat tough love in nature, as most people don't want to except that where they may be in life (emotionally or physically) is a result of their own choices, but it's as simple as that. I constantly remind myself  that no matter how bad the situation may be, I have a choice in how I perceive that situation - I can go crazy and pull the "woe is me" act, or, I can make lemonade with dem' lemons. Let me tell you, sanity requires the latter. 

One choice I've personally made that has impacted my emotional self the greatest, was when I chose to Let Go (or at least, embrace this concept). Being in such a transitional point in my life, I have found the most peace with a simple reminder to 'let go' and have faith. I've stopped fighting the unnatural, I've stopped trying to control how people perceive me (no matter my actions) and most importantly, I've stopped living by what I expected my life to look like 10 years ago - as those expectations were preventing me from finding happiness in a different path. I no longer fear the future as much as I once did, because a) I truly believe everything happens for a reason and b) I can't exactly control the future, so why be miserable trying? Rather, I make smart decisions in the moment, while letting the rest fall (or not fall) into place.

Moreover, I find happiness in constantly asking myself "If I were to die tomorrow, would I be ok with what I've done so far?". It may seem dark in nature, but by constantly asking myself this question, I find it helps me live more in the moment - as opposed to living for tomorrow. A lot of times, I let fear of rejection hold me back from doing things, and this concept (what if today were my last?) has helped me break through that fear. In the grand scheme of things, I don't want leave this world with any regrets. Because after all, isn't that what's it's all about? Choose to be happy, learn to let go and most importantly, never let anyone keep you from fully living your life.

Much love,

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goddess Loee Love

My passion is hooping.  Yep, that’s right, as in “hula hooping.”  I first saw hoop dance at a festival in 2008.  I fell in love instantly.  I told my girlfriends “I’m going to do that.”  The very next weekend I made my first hoops.  My life has never been the same!
At first I just enjoyed the challenge of it.  Learning to hoop, learning tricks, seeing how far I could take it.  It quickly became an obsession.  All I wanted to do was hoop!  As time went on, I found other benefits, I found it relaxed me.  It was a great escape.  I could get into my hoop and get into a meditative state, peace, and energy, being one with my hoop.  This state of being is referred to as “flow.”  

Wikipedia states: Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.
According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task although flow is also described as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions.

I was hooked!  Learning something new, exercising, getting fit, AND having fun?!  I started hooping everywhere with the few friends I had that were learning with me.  We were hooping in back yards, dining rooms, parking lots, bars, hotel rooms, rooftops, in the street, on the sidewalk, in the elevator…..yeah, that happened.  There was no where we wouldn’t take our hoop! A friend lovingly called us a group of hoop hooligans, another friend saw the humor in that and dubbed us “The Hulagans.”  And so we have been ever since.
We started out as a small group of friends hooping for fun, but as time went on, we started to discover our potential.  We started getting asked to go hoop at events, we had kids looking up to us, we had people wanting to learn from us.  We began to realize we had a real gift, and we needed to share it!
Since forming in 2009, The Hulagans have taken hooping to the streets!  We’ve performed at charity and fundraising events for The Special Learning Center, The MU Children’s Hospital, The Special Olympics, Big Brothers - Big Sisters, Relay for Life, and the Mid-Mo Pride Fest.  We have also been asked to perform at gigs big and small!  Such as the Columbia Parks and Rec’s Family Fun Fests, CDC’s Bass Cabarets, The Blue Note’s 70’s Dance Parties, Pedaler’s Jamboree, T/F Film Festival’s March March Parade, Citizen Jane Film Fest, Dixon Cow Days, Columbia’s First Night Celebration, Thursday Night Live, Salute to America, Videology, South School, California MO’s Girl Scouts Troup, and many more.  One of our biggest gigs is yet to come, the 2012 Roots, Blues and BBQ Festival!  Yay!  We have been featured in the media as well.  Widbin’s Way on KMIZ, the Maneater, Vox Magazine, The Columbia Missourian, The Jefferson City News Tribune, to name a few.  The Vox Magazine story can be found here: http://www.voxmagazine.com/stories/2010/08/12/hulagans-hoop-group-roll/

We have even hosted two World Hoop Day events, one in 2009 and one in 2011.  We made and gave away 200+ hoops to local children at each event, provided live music, and taught the kids to use their hoops, all for freeeeeee!

The Hulagans are now a group of over 20 hoopers, dedicated to the art of hoop dancing.  We have recently undergone a change to facilitate an even more powerful group of professional performers.  We’re going to take it to the next level. Watch out!  Soon everyone will know our name.  J

Hooping has done a lot more than just bringing me together with one of the greatest hoop troupes ever!  I feel like the wheel of my life was moving very slowly when I found hooping, and since then, it has done nothing but gain speed and momentum.  Hooping has set things into motion that I would previously have never dreamed of.  I have become a lot healthier, both physically and mentally.  I’ve been exposed to more people than I ever have been before.  People who have taught me much!  I’ve learned about energy transference, The Law of Attraction, the food industry, eating healthy, gardening, meditation, music and more!  I have since adjusted my lifestyle to live in a way that is both healthier for myself and the earth, and also more spiritually conscious. 

Around the time the Hulagans formed, I started my own business making and selling custom hoops.  I named it “Little Miss Hoops-A-Lot” after a series of books my daughter was reading at the time, The Little Miss and Mr. Men books.  She once told me I would be “Little Miss A Lot of Hoops.”  Business started out slow, but gradually, as hooping gained popularity, I soon had more orders than I could fill.  I sold at festivals, over the phone and the web, and even in a few stores.  I still take custom orders today, and you can still find my hoops at Maude Vintage, in Columbia, MO.
In 2010 I met a small group of fire spinners, and began joining them for regular spins.  Soon I was performing with the Burn Circus, as much as I was the Hulagans.  This group has swollen over the years too, and now has 30+ members spinning all sorts of fabulous fire toys.  These people also became the greatest group of friends I have ever had.
Through the Burn Circus, I also met the man of my dreams!  We have been together for going on two years. I really couldn’t be happier. We have much in common, but enough difference to keep it interesting.  Our love of spinning and that feeling of flow continues to be a good foundation for us.

I’ve also been introduced to other circus arts that I never would have considered in my pre-hoop life.  I’ve dabbled with poi and staff, but really found an interest in pole sport, and aerial silk
I am continuing to learn those new skills, as they are helping me get fit, and increasing my self-confidence.  I am discovering that same new joy and excitement in them that I first found in hooping. 
Photo featured on hooping.org
 I’ve even earned some bragging rights in having some of my photos featured on some hooping sites, being featured in a student journalist’s documentary film on hooping, and even inspired a beautiful song for hoopers by my dear friend, Shibaten!  Track #1 on this album http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/shibaten3.
I have found my joy, my purpose!  I’m happier and healthier than I have ever been.  I belong to two amazing performance groups, and have met and made the best friends I could have ever asked for, including my darling boyfriend.  

All because of a hula hoop.
Much love to you all!  Keep doing what makes you happy. 

Loee Love

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Goddess Michele Woodard

1.I am neither a city gal nor a country gal. My dream is to live in peace and quiet, surrounded by nature, on the outskirts of a big, vibrant city like L.A. (where I lived for 9 years).

2.I am a "dog person" but I have a cat named "Puppy".

3.I have loved singing since I was a child and have always wanted to sing in a band, yet have battled extreme shyness with singing in front of others. And I don’t care if I am 40 years old -- I still want to be a rock star someday.

4.I love to see live music so much that I once saw over 60 bands within a six month period.

5.Since I was a teen, I've always wished that I could dye my hair crazy colors like blue and purple. However, I have never found a hairdresser who is willing to do it for me.

6.I rarely watch television, but spend too much time on the computer.

7.I prefer a mostly vegan and raw diet, but since leaving California two years ago, I have been very bad at adhering to those preferences. 

8.I am a Reiki master, but I do not use Reiki nearly as often as I should.

9.I live with my boyfriend, who I have known for 29 years. He was the first boy to ever ask me out…in 7th grade. I was too shy to say “yes” and always regretted it. 

10.I tend to have hippie values, but I like rock n’ roll style. And though I’m often more plain than I desire in appearance, I tend to dislike trends and lean toward the avant-garde in my tastes.

11.I was the inspiration for a popular hit song on the radio during the mid-90s.

12.I would be happy not to ever see snow again in my life.

13.My mental telepathy and psychic awareness is so strong that it frequently causes me overwhelming stress. (I haven't yet learned how to control it at will or "turn it off" when I need a break from it).

14.My most favorite activity is dancing to music that I love.

15.I was fortunate to have the experience of being a band manager for my all-time favorite singer/songwriters band.

16.I never wore eye make-up until I was 37 years old, although I still go without any make-up on most days. And once again, I don’t care if I am 40 years old, but I really like the emo/goth/scene look. I'm just not very good at achieving it!

17.I do not drink alcohol or do any drugs.

18.At age 40, I still don’t know if I ever want to have children of my own. And most of my close friends in my age range still haven’t had kids, either.

19.I studied under several skilled and prominent spiritual teachers when I was in L.A. My career goal for the past several years has included becoming a healer and a spiritual coach, but I’ve been unable to decide on an area of focus. I have a belief that I was a priestess in a past life on Atlantis and that I have carried that vibration and skill over to this lifetime.

20.I have a master’s degree in print journalism with a focus in magazine writing, but have never seemed to use those skills in my career. I think I’ve now forgotten what I learned so long ago!

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Goddess Sunny Smith

My name is Sunny and I spend everyday of my life living up to that name. I'm an artist, I'm a creative, and I'm an inspirational ray of light to all who meet me. I’ve spent much of my adult life creating the world around me to reflect my innermost desires. I’ve surrounded myself with people who support and encourage me, people who understand me, people who are positive and who are creating their own magical world as well. I’m energetic, optimistic, aware, and joyful,
and people tend to feed off those feelings that I radiate.

My world is filled with love, beauty, and positivity. I am polyamorous, which means that I am most happy when I can give as much of my heart to as many people as I see fit. I’m not bound by the rules of society, who insist that the only way to love people is in monogamous relationships. I love the people in my life with my whole heart, friends, family, and lovers. I feel freer this way, allowing myself to give as much of myself as I want to those around me. I have an incredibly supportive husband and two wonderful boyfriends, all of whom I am able to give my heart to completely. I have very open, honest, and trusting relationships with all three men, which allows this kind of situation to occur successfully. My friends are also very supportive of me and my decisions, as I am able to love and care for them immensely as well. I’m so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.
I wasn’t always surrounded by positive, encouraging, supportive people. It took a long time for me to remove the negative, energy-draining people from my life. It was a very difficult, painful experience to realize that if I wanted to truly live in a supportive, happy, encouraging environment all the time, I needed to do the work to remove the negativity from my world. It wasn’t easy to remove those people, but it was necessary for me to continue creating my most joyful world.

 There are times when I feel down. When I let my inner critic have her way with me. I feel like I’m a fraud, I’m a failure, I’m worthless, and I don’t deserve all the love that I receive. In the past when this has happened, I would let all those negative feelings eat at me until I was crying into my pillow, hiding under the covers, waiting for the world to end. But I don’t let that happen any longer. When I start to feel myself falling down that dark spiral of self-hate and hopelessness, I write. I write about all the ways that I’m winning. I write about all the incredible things happening in my life. I write about all the reasons why I love myself. When I first started writing this way, it was difficult to realize all the wonderful things in my life. When you’re in a dark place, sometimes it’s so difficult to see the light. But the more I wrote gratitude posts, the more I wrote love letters to myself, the easier it got, and the lighter I felt. I have so many little letters I’ve written to myself. Little post-its, little memos, little love notes. I realized that in order to feel like I deserve anyone else’s love, I needed to completely love myself. I have to love me enough to know that I am worth it. That took a very long time, and there are days when it is still challenging. But the more I reaffirm my love for myself, the more I believe it, and the more love I am able to radiate out to other people.

I’m an artist, and I make a habit of spending time in my studio every night. I try to make it a point to create something, anything, every day. I believe that making time in your life to facilitate creativity is vital to a happier, more full life. Even if I just spend time in my studio listening to music or watching the squirrels play outside, it’s still inspiring my mind creatively. I also give myself plenty of time to play with art. It can be daunting to go into the studio to “create” something, but if I go into it with the mindset of play, I feel less pressure to make a masterpiece. Many of my favorite pieces were made while I played in the studio.

My world is full of magic, happiness, delicious food, conscious thinkers, doers, artists, creators, lovers, friends, and gratitude. Lots and lots of gratitude. I’ve done the work to create this life, and I’m so grateful that this happiness continues.

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