Maggie's Poetry &Writing
The Medicine of Surrender
In spiritual ceremony with my higher self
By Maggie Claydon
Surrender, She says.
It’s not safe, I have to stay in control, I say through gritted teeth and clenched fists.
Why? She asks.
It is the only way I know how to be. I feel trapped, contained and controlled. I don’t trust myself or others. I don’t trust the universe. It will all fall apart without me controlling it. This is how everything stays on track and works out, is by me forcing it. I know what’s best for me. There’s only one good outcome. This is the only way to get my needs met. Controlling is how I have survived so far. My control is my agency.
That is all an illusion of your mind, she says. Part of you already knows that it will all work out, and it is all for you. You already are safe. So what are you resisting?
I notice I am resisting the truth of myself. I am intolerant of staying with my body sensations, my emotions, my dark thoughts and my memories of all the mistakes I’ve made in this life. I must abandon myself to stay safe. I must try to be someone else, someone without needs, in order to be loved. It’s too painful to stay with my true self, yet it’s painful trying to control it all.
I give you this pain so that you may break the illusion that you were ever in control, she says. Through your suffering is your freedom and expansion, so for the moment you must keep feeling the cost of trying to pretend you are leading this dance with the universe.
I want to give up, I say. It’s too painful to hold on so tightly.
Perfect, she says. Give up. Let go. Surrender…it is your way through.
As I reach my breaking point, I give up. I let go of my resistance. I feel it all. And it feels like grief and heartbreak and despair all at once. But then the most curious thing happens…I naturally surrender. Yet it’s not what I expected. It’s not simply acceptance of the reality in front of me… It’s seeing through the reality in front of me.
What do you notice? She asks.
I am magic, I say laughingly. This world is magical. It is wondrous and awe-inspiring. I don’t know how I could have forgotten that truth. It seems so obvious now. It’s beautiful on the other side of illusion, it’s liberation. I see a better picture of what’s possible in this world. It deserves to be far more wild, and far less contained than what it is now. Trying to control life is actually not understanding that the universe supports our expansion in every way already. The joy is watching it unfold, to brave the unknown with curiosity and to hold gratitude for this fascinating adventure we have chosen together.
Life loves you, she says. Let it keep surprising you, it’s far more fun that way.
Finding Aliveness in Loss
By Maggie Claydon
Loss can be such a profound catalyst for remembering what this life is really all about.
It forces the most important question: what makes me feel alive?
Through meditation, common themes start to emerge…
I am often with My people, those known to me and unknown to me
I am often moving my body, in ways that feel less like work and more like claiming my power
I am often in nature or tuned into a more primal element in myself
I am often playing, relaxing, laughing or having fun
I am often creating, expressing and feeling inspired
I am often tapped into something beyond myself and trusting it will all work out
I am often going with the flow of life and seizing opportunities that naturally present themselves
When I am alive, I remember the true nature of myself and that I have chosen this human experience.
I see with clarity, I move with ease, I speak in truths and I am free.
By Maggie Claydon
It tells me I have loved courageously
It brings me to my knees, yet reminds me I am truly alive
It knows our true state is Oneness,
And pain is the separateness which goes against this universal truth
It pushes me to reach out, recognizing that connection is the salve that heals our wounds
It brings me clarity in my values, boundaries, needs and desires
It forces me to surrender to my emotions and honour my body’s needs
It brings up rage, tears and catharsis
It gives me glimpses into my most vulnerable self
It knows the insecurities that surface now will be my biggest points of growth if I am willing to boldly face them
It encourages me to run towards my fears, the ones that drive me without my awareness
It is the most daring part of me, that faces my harsh inner critic
It creates with music, movement and art, so that I may heal what is no longer for me
It knows expression is the way through to the new self
It whispers I am brave for letting go
It says to trust the unknown and that life will continue to surprise me
And reminds me the unknown is actually what creates beauty and adventure
It tells me that endings are just beginnings
It knows my next chapter is ready and waiting
A Fable of Reclaiming My Voice
In Spiritual Ceremony
By Maggie Claydon
Once upon a time, a little girl was born into this world completely whole. She knew without a doubt she was worthwhile. She was perfect just as she existed now. She loved playing in her body. She was fearless in how she used her voice. She would cry and laugh and speak and sing. She knew her voice mattered and that she was important and valuable. She saw beauty in herself, others and the world. She felt free to express and saw this as her natural birthright.
But one day a boy, who had been hurt by his own father, told her not to cry when she was hurt. He told her not to yell when she was angry. He told her that her laugh was too loud when she was happy. He told her not to listen to herself when she was scared. He told her that she was too much, and needed to be smaller and quieter to be lovable. He told her this so many times and in so many different ways, she started to believe him. She started to believe that her emotions were unwanted. She began to believe that her intuition was wrong. She believed that parts of her were unloveable. And she began to shrink and purposely make herself small. She started to believe that the only way to be accepted was to make herself different than who she was naturally. She started to doubt her value and her worth, and whether she mattered at all. She began to believe no one would love her if she didn’t change herself.
Just when she thought she couldn’t feel any more hatred for herself… another girl, who had been hurt by her own mother, told her not to speak in front of others. She told her she had nothing valuable to say, so not to say anything at all. She told her not to sing, because her voice was terrible. She told her never to make music again because she had no rhythm or soul. She told her never to use her voice again, if she wanted to belong at all. Slowly the girl stopped expressing herself, stopped singing, stopped playing music and stopped speaking up. She wanted desperately to belong, to be accepted and to be loved, and so she began cutting off pieces of herself to fit in. You see, she thought fitting in was the same as belonging.
Over time she found herself in more and more environments, with more and more people where she was loved and accepted. For she had kept a small piece of her authentic self deep down inside, and it had been searching all this time for a safe space to come out and explore again. It helped to have others encourage her voice and her expression, and yet she still felt held back somehow. She could feel the block in her throat she had fashioned so many years ago to protect herself, was still stuck there. Even though it had developed because of others, she herself had created this block. And despite her efforts to sing and speak past this block, it persistently remained to keep her safe from those that needed her to be small and quiet.
Then one day she had finally had enough of being small and quiet, and she awakened. She saw herself as a queen, a goddess, as the creator. She realized she was all powerful and everything in this world was created for her, even the struggles. She had actually chosen these challenges for herself, because they were interesting to her growth. They just were not interesting anymore and it was time to release these fascinating blockages. She reached into her own throat and pulled out the block by its roots. A glowing ball of light she had placed there to help her survive. She said, thank you for protecting me for so many years, but I am done with this now. She took her first full breath she had ever breathed. Her chest expanded so much she realized she had even been breathing small. She sobbed big tears like she had never cried before, and realized she had never really let herself express true sadness. And she began to sing a medicine song to soothe her soul, and realized her voice was beautiful and powerful afterall. She realized she belonged again, to herself. She noticed that she kept singing, speaking and expressing over the next few days. With no block, it flowed from her naturally as was her birthright. She had reclaimed her voice, and there was no going back. She was ready for her next challenge; And knowing that she was the creator of her challenges, she was no longer sad or frustrated, she found she was excited to see what was next.
A Love Letter to Anger
By Maggie Claydon
I am fiery and bold
I am blood pumping and clenched fists
I am the internal fight within all of us.
I am roaring passion and expanding intensity
I am the heat rising in your throat.
I am the snarl and the growl
I am the wolf, I am the lion
I am the gritted teeth and the downcast brow
At times, I see blood red.
I am the perceiver of threat and the helper of survival
I desire engagement through action and voice
I am the leaning in
I am the catalyst forward.
I am caring and full of heart
I am more vulnerable than at first glance.
I am the protector from pain and fear
I am the guardian of boundaries
I am the speaker of needs.
I command attention
And I ensure being seen and heard.
I will not be unfairly controlled or forcefully suppressed, not for long
I will bubble up with explosion, when not appreciated
I will not be contained.
I reclaim power when feeling powerless
I am the lion’s breath
I am a force of nature.
I am red fury and unbridled rage
I am fierce compassion.
I am the yearning to sing out, to roar and to howl at the moon
I am the Queen of Fire.
Coming Home to Freedom
By Maggie Claydon
There exists a place of effortless transformation, awakened through the experience and engagement with radical self-expression and true belonging. If Morpheus stood at the gates of this desert oasis, I definitely chose the red pill…
When you enter a space that offers full acceptance and radical self-expression, you realize you have never really felt it before. This contrast shakes you. You come to understand people don’t have expectations of you, that this is an illusion created by your own insecurity. When you are surrounded by your people, the love and acceptance you feel enables you to be your raw self, or at the very least, enables you to explore who you truly are. We laughed together. We sang and shared meals. We danced through the night. We had deep, mind-expanding talks while looking up at the stars. When common practice is to paint your body and walk around naked with your tribe, you know that external judgment has vanished. You are faced with the voice within that is your worst critic. Feeling the support from your community helps you let this voice go. At least for awhile, you experience a sense of freedom from your inner tormentor. Experiencing full acceptance as you are can only really come when you let go, surrender and risk the vulnerability of being authentic no matter how weird. It helps to see other loveable weirdos and know you are not alone in your journey to full expression. You suddenly understand others are also trying to radically express and accept themselves too, against their most powerful oppressor - themselves. You see that any push back you experience from others is not actually them rejecting you, but simply them not accepting an aspect of themselves. You begin to love your own and other’s tentativeness, because you see that’s actually growth trying to push it’s way through. If you want to sing or dance or journey or create, do it boldly and freely and find people that encourage it. True acceptance can only come after true expression. Holding back will only get you further from the acceptance you long to experience. We are all searching for belonging; To belong to ourselves through radical self-expression and to belong to our people and a community that accepts us as we are.
In this individualistic world, I had come to believe that the only way I could meet my needs was doing it alone. I came to experience something quite different in this new space. I discovered I can take care of my needs with other people around. I experienced collective support and care in a new way, and found it was actually safe to receive and expect to be looked after by others. I found my care for others came more naturally and effortlessly too, because I had let go of the fear of scarcity that my needs had come to know so well. In this space, there is only gifting and offerings. No transactions or exchanges occur in this alien environment. This contrast to our material world, moved me deeply. It felt like freedom from capitalism and from individualism, and allowed me to envision a more magical, peaceful and collaborative world. When you feel this sense of inclusion and cooperation it is unmistakably powerful! You realize it is an illusion that people will be lazy or selfish without being monetarily compensated. Our natural desire is to create, to share our creations with others and to make our surroundings more beautiful and fun. The visual art, the music and performances were outstanding. Creativity is very contagious. Seeing others create from their heart enlivened my own creator within. I came away with the undeniable sense that our current world and systems need to change dramatically. There is a much better way, that fosters happier, healthier humans that are connected to nature, themselves and each other, and who want to create a better future for all of us.
Foster My Feminine Wildness
By Maggie Claydon
Help me get enough sleep. Help me nourish and hydrate my body. Help me to relax and unwind. Help me feel safe, secure and connected. Help me move and self express in ways that make me feel powerful and loved. Help me meet my needs and understand what is important to me in this world. See me, hear me, know me and be present with me. Love me enough to stay connected when we disagree. Help me feel free, passionate, capable and enough.
I desire wildness in this life, as it is my natural state. I want to sing and dance and cry and laugh. I want to skinny dip in the ocean. I want to howl at the moon. I want to have conversations for hours about consciousness and the universe. I want to create with the most amount of colours. New adventures, insights and connections are my birthright. Yet, the only way for authentic wildness is for me to feel free, expansive and safe in myself and my connections. When I feel solid in myself and in my bonds with others, it is my natural inclination to venture out and explore, to grow and to play. My fullest self is meant to think clearly, to feel fully and to act lovingly. The wild version of me is the best version of me, which is only available when I feel secure in getting my needs met.
The tired me, the stressed me, the hungover me, the hungry me, the scared me, the hurt me, the misunderstood me, the insecure me, the disconnected me, will never be capable of wildness. That version of me is grappling with simply finding safety and security. That me is in survival mode. Help me by honouring my needs and creating security, and the wild woman I am will appear without effort. Wildness is my true nature.
How does Judgment serve us?
By Maggie Claydon
There is a primal part of us that judges. This is not a good or bad part of us, simply an essential part. There is no way to dismantle this part from our primitive cognitive circuits. However, we can use this to our individual and collective advantage. Historically, this part of us kept us alive, it kept us safe. We had to make fast and decisive choices to survive. Speed of mind and body empowered us. Certainty and shrewdness gave us strength of character and power of will. Yet, there is a type of judgment in our current social landscape that has bled into self-righteousness. This is the judgement that shames and moralizes. This is the voice that is entitled and authoritative. These are the words that compare and separate us. This judgment is destructive, and doesn’t serve us without the counterpart of creation. There is another type of judgement, which is closer to discernment. This is the voice which shares and connects us. These are the choices which understand what works and what doesn’t for us collectively. This is force of enlightenment and creativity. This is the cultivation of wisdom and insight. This is where novelty of ideas and creation of systematic change will be born from. While it may be necessary to burn away certain beliefs, practices or systems that no longer serve us as a community, the collective creation of something that empowers us and inspires us and a vision of something better is fundamentally how practicing our power of discerning (judgment) can take us somewhere new!
Freedom from Cultural Productivity
By Maggie Claydon
The world tells me to hustle. The culture convinces me that my worth is solely in my ability to ‘do’, and to keep doing no matter the cost to my human body or spirit. It says I can only rest when it’s earned, and maybe not even then.
The culture makes sure I work hard…claiming it is for my health, my relationships, and my career. You are only working hard enough when you are stressed, it says. Burnout is a sign you are upholding your cultural agreement. Ensure you are busy and have every moment of your day over-scheduled, it says. Stillness is the enemy, as that will only slow down your efficiency, it claims in not-so-subtle ways. After all, the rules are that you have to earn your freedom through hyper-discipline, struggle and suffering, right?
The culture claims that productivity will lead to some future happiness, security or peace eventually…All you have to do is keep pushing through and ignore your authenticity. The proverbial carrot dangling forever in front of us in the hope that ‘one day’…
So, I hustle, I accomplish, and achieve. I make sure every minute of my day is accounted for towards the prescribed goals for that day…only to find that there is no happiness found at the end of this road…there is only more of this lonely, relentlessly tiring, rarely fulfilling, spirit crushing, broken road.
At last, I stop for just a moment to catch my breath after years and years of the hustle. The social programming hammers on in my mind that I have to keep going, that there is more to do, and that of course one spare minute in my day should absolutely be filled with another task. Everyone around me is constantly busy and stressed, so I guess I should be too. I give myself just enough compassion to understand this is all I’ve ever been taught. This is the only messaging that most of us receive. After-all, I am only valuable when I am accomplishing. The goal is to be like a machine, right? And machines don’t take breaks or rest.
But instead of forging on, I stay stopped. Sometimes exhaustion is such a gift! I stay still, just breathing. I try with all my might to stay out of my mind, and listen to my body…and I hear it’s plea and it’s longing. I yearn for a sense of freedom, for peace of mind, for creativity, for play, for connection and for some long awaited rest. Mostly, I just want to stop going through the motions and actually feel more alive. Every cell in my body is crying out for this, as I hear it crying out in most people around me too. And yet none of this freedom is found at the bottom of a to-do list that never gets finished. None of this peace is found at the end of a day of relentless “shoulds” and “have-tos”. Authenticity can only ever be found after claiming space and time that is unscheduled and unstructured.
I admit, the potency of the fear to try this new way of living is overwhelming. No wonder I always turn back to the familiarity of productivity! I am scared to be considered lazy, useless or unimportant. I feel my resistance to step into boredom at all costs. Yet, I wish to be loved and needed for who I am, not simply for what I achieve. This fear to go into the unknown of Rest, is simply a mistrust of myself though. For when I am given time and space to just be, I always end up creating; Which is my favourite place to exist. If our basic needs are met, free time will always reach for connection, play, creativity and purpose. This is unequivocally the place I feel most alive.
I want more of this for myself, and for those around me too. Our current cultural system wants to keep us productive, to ensure we have no time to feel or just ‘be’ or question if productivity is even working for us. We are often too busy to realize how depleted and disconnected we really are, and too tired to fight a capitalist system that is simply not built for human wellness. Or maybe we do realize, and simply don’t know what the alternative looks like. All I know is that the first step is to stop engaging in something that is not authentic to my values and trust something better is on the other side.
Maybe I will get bored or not do anything (eek!). Maybe I need to be in that ‘potential space’ to have my next adventure and ensure it aligns with me. Maybe productivity is not the enemy when it creates momentum towards what is truly meaningful for me; Yet I must rest and be still to understand what that next action is for me. I don’t really believe that doing nothing is the opposite of productivity; I believe creativity is the counterpoint to productivity, as it is what is born out of the freedom from time and space constraints. It’s an unknown and new space for me to let go of culturally defined productivity and give myself the permission to rest and slow down, and thus create. I am determined to reclaim the dance I have had with productivity and channel it into what makes me come alive. I can see now that our freedom/peace/connection are NOT at the end of the ‘cultural productivity road’, but exists right now if we want it. While I am claiming rest and creativity as my birthright, I do expect pushback from the culture. After-all, to rest is the ultimate rebellion.