“Judging is easy. Anyone can make their own goals appear closer than they are by warping their perception, shrinking those around them in proportion to their own desired greatness. Anyone can stand tall on the proverbial backs of their fellow man. What makes someone truly great, however, is when they can stand tall while on their knees. What takes real courage and strength is vulnerability, softness, tenderness, calmness, kindness. What’s really striking is when someone can point out the beauty in another, knowing that it doesn’t diminish their own. Anyone can paint the world in shades of grey and then relish how their own colors stand out – but what really matters isn’t how you compare to others but how you relate to them. The only true way to shine is by finding ways to amplify the light in those around you, knowing full well that this is how you illuminate yourself.” – Cristen Rodgers
A Beautiful Kind of Magic
“Sometimes I wonder if the most healing art is the kind that turns pain into beauty. I wonder if that’s the real reason that art can be such a powerful, if also poignant, teacher – not because artists are wiser or even more experienced in life, but because when they find a way to dip their pen in something as horrendous as tears or blood and paint something beautiful with it, it gives those who consume it the permission and perhaps even the courage to do the same. In that way, I suppose it could be said that just one honest and fearless artist has the power to heal others as much as themselves. Even more, it could be said that each one of us has the ability to be an honest and fearless artist, if only we find our passion and then have the audacity to break ourselves open and bleed into it – just bleed, and cry, and laugh, and love beyond reason and without restraint until all of that madness is transformed into a beautiful kind of magic.” – Cristen Rodgers
“Sure, it takes courage to die. It can be hard to close an old chapter, or lay old versions of yourself to rest. You must be daring enough to let outdated beliefs be incinerated before that heat can forge the purer truths that will eventually take their place. But, what I want to hear about isn’t how many times you’ve died but how you’ve been reborn.
I want to hear about the first time you watched a cold shard of judgment melt into warm waves of compassion – the first time let an aspect of yourself live instead of expire. I’d like to see your eyes light up and your soul shine as you recount all the little moments of self-discovery that came after the self-denial died.
Tell me how you recognized yourself in another person’s smile, or you forgave your own shadows in their eyes. Now I want to hear about what lies ahead, instead of rehashing the ashes you left behind.” -Cristen Rodgers
“I am not here to make you comfortable. I am not here to take on whatever role you think would suit my frame.
I am here to love, to learn, to teach, to dance this life in my own perfectly inimitable way.
I am here to pour gasoline on your costumes and light a match in your mind.
I’m here to tease the truth out from wherever it now hides.
I am here to love, and be loved, not to give you some reason to be proud.
Mine is not the song of morning birds but of the siren calling you out.
Its purpose isn’t to soothe but to show you that you breathe spirit and so it’s impossible to drown.
I will not be your mirror, no matter how determined your mind.
Instead, I will be the face that keeps looking, even from behind.
I am whole and I am complete as I already am. I am not here to be molded but to break the mold under my heel.
I am not here to make you comfortable but to show you what’s real.
I am here for love. I am here to learn and teach and dance, so make no mistake –
I am sure, secure, and strong in each step that I take.” – Cristen Rodgers
This is It
“Inhale deeply and let the energy of life rejuvenate your body and relax your mind.
Step deliberately, mindfully – feel your connection to the earth vibrating through the soles of your feet.
Look up for a moment, from your path, from your plans, from your phone, and let your eyes feast on the shapes and colors of the flowers and faces, the trees, the skies, the scenes.
Let go of the inner noise and listen. Listen to the crickets with your ears, to the world with your heart, to the silence with your soul.
Just be. Right here. In this moment. In this place. This is it. This wholeness of experience, this automatic harmonizing, this transition to giving and receiving, this appreciation, this feeling is the essence of life. Drink deeply and stay drunk. Only this drug can, in equal proportions, diminish and sustain you.” – Cristen Rodgers
Love in all Her Glory
“Have you felt the sensation of soul slipping against soul, the penetration of a mind, or the soft caress of a heart? Do you know what it feels like to lead with your own, so that its warmth precedes you and tenderly touches the essence of life before you? Do you know love yet, or are you still wandering the corridors, trying different doors, searching? Are you still afraid that the light may burn your eyes?
Oh how I pray that one day you might let down your guard and slip into something real, that you may know the tenderness, feel the firm but gentle grip of Love in all her glory.
I dare you to walk through the flames and discover yourself fully, fantastically alive on the other side. Only then will you truly know her, only then will you know what it means to drown in an ocean only to discover that you breathe water.” – Cristen Rodgers
Winks and Nudges
“I used to think that fate was an idea embraced only by hopeless romantics and those desperately looking for somewhere to drown their responsibility or silence their conscience. I used to think that the millions of little stories we live and those we tell were disconnected, spontaneous, a result of chaos and the overriding power of will.
I used to think these things but now I know. Now I know that, not only does it all have meaning and purpose, but it also follows a pre-ordained path – the kind that has many decision points but that, in the end, will always lead you to one of two ends. A path of love or a path of fear. The path of heaven or the path of hell.
Now I can see the signposts everywhere I look, little winks and nudges from the universe. Now I can feel it just beneath the surface of everything, the subtle vibrations of a grand orchestra that’s perpetually unfolding and yet always conducted by none other than love herself.
I used to think that the answer was force. I used to think that the way was lonely. I used to think this world was chaos. Now I know that the answer is flow. Now I know that the way is together. Now I know that this world is love.” -Cristen Rodgers
He Doesn’t Have What it Takes
“Beautiful girl, he can’t give you what you’re really looking for. He couldn’t possibly have what it takes. No man does – not because men are lacking, and not because you are somehow too much, but because only you can do what you’re hoping he will.
If you love him and enjoy his company, if he can meet you in your depth of spirit, in your heart and intellect, if he can grow with you as a partner and friend, then go for it because of those things. But don’t do it because you think he’ll make you happy. Don’t do it because you think he’ll complete you; and don’t do it because he makes you feel special, worthy, or unique. Don’t do it expecting him to fulfill you, because he can’t.
Only you have the magic to break that spell – the one that makes you appear smaller than you are. Only you have the power to unlock your inner universe, to realize that you contain multitudes, that everything you could ever need is already within you waiting only to be unleashed.
So don’t ask him to fulfill you. To do so would be doubly unfair, because there’s nothing that any man can do to improve the worthiness, beauty, and immensity of you and your galaxies upon galaxies all wrapped up in the skin of a human star.” Cristen Rodgers
Every Love Poem
“Don’t you know by now that every love poem is about you? Do you not yet see that every song, every hastily scribbled line, every passionate rendition is for you as much as it’s for anyone? Love isn’t a one-on-one thing, something that can be kept between one giver and one receiver – because in love there is no ‘other’. There is just love and the expression of love. So go ahead and receive it as if it were meant for you. Read every poem as if you were the writer’s most precious muse, and listen to every song as if it were written with the image of you in mind, with the sound of your voice inspiring its tune, with the warmth of your heart fueling the fervent soul expressions that became that inspired art. Do you see now, beloved, that they are all for you? Accept them. Gather them up like precious little jewels and disperse them in your own fashion everywhere you go – for you are the world and the world is an expression of love. Be at one with it and you will know riches beyond your wildest dreams.” Cristen Rodgers
“I’ve always been infatuated with things that have unknown history – things like abandoned houses or old, unmarked photo albums. There’s this irresistible intrigue whenever I stumble across plots of land where man once trekked but mother nature has since reclaimed, or rickety antique stores where miniscule fragments of various lives are piled atop one another, just waiting to be uncovered. It’s more than just the misty memories that they hold within them, but also the almost tangible potential of what might have been or may yet be. There’s an extraordinary mix of energy spent and energy that still lingers – and they dance together in a hauntingly entrancing sort of way. That mystery will always pull me in and compel me to take a deeper look. I suppose it’s because these things are like physical displays of a spiritual truth – that somewhere beyond the trappings of the mind, the known and the unknown live together as one.” Cristen Rodgers
It Lives On
“Our story could never truly end nor will it ever fade away. Our story will live on, because the earth herself holds it close to her heart. It’s written on the shores where we spent those lazy afternoons, and it’s etched in the trees where we shared giggles like kids. It’s painted across the evening skies and it’s remembered by the moon who stood witness as we bared our souls. Every plant that we grew holds a piece of us forever in its flesh, and every shell that we admired has our fingerprints on its skin. It lives in the oceans where we allowed ourselves to be washed away and it sits forever in the bellies of raindrops that mimic our tears. The stars that we wished upon will always remember, even after time and age have had their ways; and the winds will carry our love on their wings forever, even as all the rest fades slowly away. It could never really end because, you see, nothing ever does. It lives on, in one form or another, given new life each time it touches another heart, each time we remember it’s song, every time we tell it or call out it’s name. Our story is eternal, because our story is love -and don’t you know that love never ends? It lives in everything, donning scraps of stories stitched together to create the most exquisite of gowns. Look for it. Look for it in the ocean and in the moonlight, in the heavy branches of trees and the songs of the morning birds. It’s there, always alive, always waiting for a chance, any chance, to keep adding line after line, character after character, like a collaborative poem that will continue being written until the end of time itself.” Cristen Rodgers
“Some people love to say that the truth is simple and anything more just muddies the water. I hear them repeat this and I wonder. I wonder if, in seeking the truth of heaven, they’ve forgotten to enjoy the illusion of earth. I wonder if they’ve forgotten that there’s a world of complexity in even the simplest things – like the millions of little miracles that go into a single booming flower, or the thousands of years it takes to see the light of a single star. Things like happy tears and nervous laughs, falling in love and broken hearts, the trials of growth and the blessing of pain, like the thousands of days that lead to a single smile, or the millions of people that contribute to one collective step. I wonder if they know that you don’t have to simplify these things just because you know you can. I wonder if they’ve forgotten that even intricacies can be wonderful teachers if we allow them to be, that sometimes it’s just as wonderful to see the complexity in simple things as it is to find the simple truth behind complexity.” Cristen Rodgers
“Some people are like light rain and spring flowers, fresh cut grass and sweet-scented breezes. Other people are like autumn leaves, sheets of poetry, knit sweaters, and oak trees. Some are like blue skies and blank canvases, white-tipped waves and puffy clouds; while still others are like polished cherry, wine glasses, and heavy musical notes under soft, golden lights. Maybe love is a bit like being a student of art, getting lost in the mystique and drinking in the atmosphere that makes someone who they are. Maybe love is about getting sucked into a world that’s different than our own, about the overwhelming intrigue that makes you want to know what else is hiding beyond the edges of the frame, that mysterious fascination that keeps you coming back to see it again and again.” Cristen Rodgers
“Oh how I wish there was some way I could show you the millions of miracles that surround you, the things that I know your heart yearns for but your eyes struggle to see. There is such splendor, such sublimity in every little thing. There are wings fluttering and spirits dancing, mystics chanting and forests whispering, if only you know how to listen. There are the glints of sacredness and the glimmers of secrets, there’s magic glistening out of every last little crook and corner of this world, if only you know how to look. And there are such glorious sensations meandering, roaming, rambling, flittering, and dancing upon the very air! There’s mystery and magic, love and longing, beauty, birth, creativity, and life, so much life, just hanging there like heavy dewdrops that would make you so gloriously drunk if only you had the courage to taste them. Oh how I wish I could help you see that this is it. This is the paradise that you so long for. All you have to do is open your heart to feel it, open your eyes to see it, open yourself up and breathe. It’s in the very air, it’s in the moonlight, in the music and the silence, the roses and the thorns, the tears, the laughter, the stars, the mist, and the mountains. Just be still for a moment and maybe you’ll start to see. Just be still and look, listen, and breathe.” Cristen Rodgers
“It’s not your fault and you aren’t less than enough. You aren’t what they did to you. You aren’t the person that grew in all crooked and bent under the pressure of what happened to you. You aren’t the awkwardness that came from being stepped on and over-pruned. You are the spirit that survived. You are the deep roots that continued to grow beneath the surface even when you were outwardly rejected. You are the life that went on despite being mowed over time and time again. You are the beauty that remained, waiting patiently for the right time to bloom. And now, because you held on even when the world turned away, your strength and compassion are the kind that know no end. You, my dear, are so much more than enough. You are exceptional – because you survived, because you beat the odds, because you are a warrior, a self-taught healer, and because now you have become a beacon of hope for others who suffered like you.” Cristen Rodgers
“While other men longed to grab her by the waist and follow the curve of her hips, he was busy running his mind along the curve of her intellect and admiring the way it bows to the fullness of her intuition. As they dreamt about her naked body, he was excited by the prospect of her slipping off that mask and revealing her naked soul.
While other women were assessing his physical strength, she was impressed by the strength of his spirit and entranced by the way he flexed his intellectual muscles. While they raucously sought his attention with verse and vice, she silently seduced his spirit to sing and then relished the way that his song softly serenated her soul.
When he met her with the penetrating force of his sincerity, her heart opened and melted in perfect vulnerability. Only then, after all of their secrets were spent and their spirits completely dissolved into one another, did he finally lean in to kiss her for the very first time.” Cristen Rodgers
“All I’ve ever really wanted is freedom, because once you’re truly free, everything else falls into place. Once free from restraints, you can explore. Once free from expectation, you can appreciate. Once free from belief, you can learn. Once free from fear, you can love. That’s why, if there were a single pursuit that could define my life thus far, it would be the pursuit of freedom in every form. As far back as I can remember, I was fighting battles to win that freedom and some were oh so fierce – but none quite so brutal as those I fought to win it, not from others, but from myself.” Cristen Rodgers
“Yes. I’m a bit quiet and I don’t share a lot of what’s going on in my mind. But it’s not that I’m afraid to. It’s just that I don’t often feel the need to. I don’t share everything that crosses my mind because I know better than to believe everything that crosses my mind. I need to take my time. I need time to observe, to assess, to understand, and yes even to correct my thoughts before I let them flow out into the world. I need time because I understand and respect the power of words. So no, I don’t speak often and I don’t speak loudly. But at least you know that when I do speak, it’s going to be something I feel I really understand, something that excites me, that I believe matters, and that sounds true to my soul – because to me, that’s what speaking is actually for.” Cristen Rodgers
“Don’t hide your hurt, beautiful soul. Grab a hold of it. Run it through the purifying flame of your heart and mold it into something beautiful. Allow the depths of your pain to expand the breadth of your compassion. Gather up your stumbling stones and build a bridge for someone else. Remember what it’s like to be lost in darkness so you can be someone else’s much needed light. Don’t deny your pain or bury it away. Let it rise to the surface. And then transform it into something that makes it worthwhile.” Cristen Rodgers
“Oh, of course I stumble. There are times when I’m confidently skipping along and then I trip over my own poorly-placed steps and fall face first into the thickets. But I think there’s a sort of beauty in falling. Each time I fall, I’m reminded that I’m still human, that I’m still learning, that there will always be more lessons, growth, and discovery up ahead. So, although I have times when I’m weak, when I’m critical of myself, or I lose hope, I wouldn’t give them up for the world. I cherish them – because it’s the risk of falling that makes life a grand adventure rather than just a guided tour.” Cristen Rodgers
“As we begin to embrace the idea that we are all one, interconnected whole, we begin to see everything around us in a new light. No longer can the world be neatly divided into good and bad, light and shadow, beautiful and ugly. We slowly begin to realize that all things are playing an important role, sustaining the whole beautiful cycle – a lot like the way that all of the various plants, animals, minerals, and molds contribute to the health of the entire forest. We realize that things are so much more than we once gave them credit for. What was once just a tree reveals itself to be a living presence stretching her arms and fingers high in the air, forever reaching closer to heaven. The wind becomes more than just the movement of air; it whispers to and caresses our souls. Unsightly weeds and unkempt grasses become windows through which the laughter of God echoes out; and roadside puddles offer a glimpse of Divine artistry in action as a myriad of colors reflect off their surface. The world remains the same, but because our perspective has changed, so also does the way we see, understand, and relate to it. We realize that the Divine doesn’t live somewhere far away, gracing only a few, select beings with its glory – but that it’s here, now, surrounding us, and revealing its beauty in every tiny detail of the world that surrounds us.” -Cristen Rodgers
“I release ribbons of gratitude to flow back upon the path I have walked as it stretches out behind me, so they brush past everyone whose path crossed my own. May they feel the brief kiss of remembrance within their hearts, there and then gone again, passing like a spring breeze, so that they suddenly know the things they have done for others, in so many ways big and small, seen and unseen alike, somewhere are known and treasured.” Cristen Rodgers
“The world doesn’t need more people beating themselves up inside, making a bloody mess of their broken hearts and tattered shreds of their minds. There’s quite enough of that and all it brings is more pain. The world needs more beautiful souls like yours who choose to see the beauty in their scars, who dare to forgive, to take their great big hearts and turn them inside out and give themselves the same kind of compassion that they give to others.” Cristen Rodgers
“Pre-conceived notions are bland; they dull the true flavors of life. When we’re brave enough to wash them away, we’re rewarded with a new richness of experience, finding pleasure in the full array of flavors that life has to offer – the sweetness of beauty, the zesty joys, the tartness of growth, and even the bitter sorrows. We have to stop limiting ourselves by believing that we like this and don’t like that, and open ourselves up for the endless array of exciting combinations that life has to offer. Only then will we switch from powerless consumers of life to the artisans of our own experience.” Cristen Rodgers
“Beat by beat, we each move to the unique rhythm of our souls, following the song in our hearts. We spin and glide across the dance floor of the universe, flowing into and back out of one another’s steps. We dance in groups and then in solitude. We switch partners and we change speeds. At times we become so lost in the flow, so comfortable with our rhythm, that we seem to float above the floor. At others we stumble, our music stutters, and sometimes we even fall. But even among all of this movement, there is a kind of synchronicity. Even when our dances and our songs are at odds, when we bump into one another or we abruptly change rhythm, everything seems to flow. It all comes together, and even the missteps begin to seem as if they are part of a larger dance. It’s as if somehow, it were all choreographed from the start and, if only we could see it from somewhere way up high, it would be the most exquisite, most extraordinarily beautiful and perfectly synchronized work of art that any human eye has ever seen.” Cristen Rodgers
“We all have a unique art, a personal passion that serves as a vessel through which our souls can speak. True happiness is found by filling it, and purpose is fulfilled by pouring it out.” Cristen Rodgers
“Perhaps we’re surrounded by angels who are sprinkled throughout the population, dressed up in aprons and business suits, overalls and high heels alike. Maybe there are wings resting atop the shoulders of everyday people that, in countless little ways, peek out just long enough for us to get a glimpse. Maybe, just maybe, we see them all the time but we just fail to notice.”
“Every season of the heart has its own perfect time and an important purpose. Even those that shake you, like the harsh winds of fall shake the trees, for they help you drop unnecessary things. Even those that challenge your footing, like the rains of spring loosen the ground beneath a flower’s roots, because they give you the chance to dig even deeper. And even those that feel like they chill you almost to death, like the winter cold does to the once vibrant flower, for they cleanse and ready you for the beauty of your coming spring.” Cristen Rodgers
“Mother nature, in her own unique way, is a flagship on our spiritual journey. No matter how fierce the storm, she remains steady and true; always offering up the knowledge we need without charge. Uncolored by the egos of men, she can show us in her green leaves, blue skies, and clear waters what we cannot see within ourselves.” Cristen Rodgers
“There is a pattern of sequence in everything, tying our worlds together. It’s easy to miss because of its translucence, much like a spider web that, even when right in front of you, can only be seen when it catches the sun in just the right way. Only when you become spiritually aware will you be able to illuminate these webs and see the connections. But once you do see it, you will never again be able to overlook it. You will never forget the way that every last strand gently vibrates across the entire web when you touch just one little corner. It inspires both a sense of humility and of power that will stay with you forever. The beauty, the passion, and the magic of true awareness is overwhelming, but you cannot look away – because suddenly seeing something so intricate where before you saw nothing is the kind of miracle that will stay with you forever, changing everything about how you see the world and how you see yourself in it.” Cristen Rodgers
“To recognize the true beauty of something is a courageous act, because it means stripping down the protective barriers that we have built around our hearts and opening ourselves up to feel what’s in front of us rather than just seeing the mask it wears. This is what it means to look through the eyes of the spirit, to see reality as it truly is behind the filter of physical form.
The more that we develop this spiritual sight, the more that we will start to see depth in what once seemed shallow and beauty in what before seemed mundane. We find that beauty isn’t just waiting for us in the gentle folds of a rose petal, the exquisite colors of a masterpiece painting, or the face of a loved one; we discover that beauty is hidden everywhere and tucked inside of literally everything. In every raindrop, in each smile on the street, hidden inside of mountain ranges and pebbles, stars and twinkling eyes alike; there is a spark of life that is so heavenly, so exquisite, that the way we think of beauty is changed forever.” Cristen Rodgers