Carolyn has three beautiful books of poetry & prose. She’s loved by a chunky ginger cat and inspired by espressos, dreams and the sea. www.carolynriker.com

#4. Trust your intuition

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Not all relationships are good for us whether it is a friendship or a romantic partner. You might notice a lot of little red flags, but you ignore them. I know I have. In the past, I pushed down my intuition and gave excuses.

A little personal background

From childhood through my 30’s, I learned quite well to blend with whoever I was with. For as long as I can remember, I was conditioned to please others.

Especially anyone with authority and in particular male.

I was taught that my feelings, ways, thoughts, and interests were last, never first. …


And grow your own set of wings

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Please don’t worry, my child
whose eyes stare through
the windows
worn as rain’s glasses
adorning the house
where the lullabies
of fireplace and candles
flicker with a jazz bass.

Please don’t worry
there’s a stain on the ceiling,
or the walls are a bit dingy.
What’s important
is the front door is locked
to keep boundaries tucked safe.

You, my child, who writes
at dawn’s beginning
and finds the kitchen table
waiting at the end of a day,
are doing it just right.

So, please don’t worry
how ‘pretty’ the world
would like you to be.

Just be…

The sentimental, sensitive, outspoken,
fully passionate tree,
risen from an inner elder’s vision.
Immerse yourself fully
into the valley of life’s embers
and grow your own set of wings. …


And what they said felt natural and real

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When I’m aware,
the subtle winds will blow
and the evergreens will sing.
The free branches will sway
and the air will tilt slightly
into a delicate softness.

They seem to say
there is no right or wrong way.
Embraced with hints of gray
embroidered with
threads of chartreuse.

Yet, today there’s only sepia
and I’m alright with that.
So much so that I asked
whatever or whomever is listening:

How often do we hold onto everything,
all the time,
forever thinking we have to?

And then, as if by natural law
the trees replied
with such kindly comfort:

Right now, Let go a little
and we’ll send a message
to all the Willows to weep
and the Redwoods to carry
and the River Birch to soothe. …


As Carl Jung explains, “the artist has little say in the matter.”

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In all honesty, writing scares me because I’m sharing pieces of my soul with you. Transparent as glass. Deeply feeling as if I’m the sea. I put myself ‘out there’ when I’m much more comfortable resting my arms on a warm wood table letting nature’s elements crisscross their shadows next to me. My mug to the right, a plate to the left are bookends holding me long enough to share.

This type of silence breathes with me into a quarry of the unseen.

But while writing scares me, I need to write and share otherwise a part of me would die. I am alive when the words stringing their compositions along a tundra, a riverbed, a dark closet, wild fields — telling my stories. And those stories aren’t fiction. I use words as buoys, landmarks, clouds, an island. Words become a tree growing inside of my visions. I hear the heartbeat of pain and the squeal of joy, especially when the perfect words surprise me. …


Kismet has little to do with it.

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I’m not sure if it’s night
or if the whales have started
to swim across the sky
on a sojourn from the sea.

Just for a bit
they speak to me.
And somehow,
I understand them
because you see,
I’m closing my eyes
and letting the tides
of love wash over me.

Holy whale notes
gather a bouquet of sea spray
converging at the center
of infinity.

Where you and I
will someday meet.
Kismet has little
to do with it
when we welcome
our differences.

Can you feel them too?
Speaking with circled ease
in round whole noted murmurs
of lovers exchanging whispers
dipped in tender hues. …


You’re okay being you

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The sky is calling me again.
It’s an invitation of numinous sorts.
The evening’s oranges blend
with the pinkest pinks.
While morning’s halos of grays
serendipitously let me think.

Not ordinary, they seem to say.
You’re okay being who you are.
Clearing space to be
whatever it is
that asks you to explore.

Such as essential truths,
known from the beginning of time,
punctuated with synchronistic incantations.
To me, these feels are reassuring
as much as life’s stages mirror the seasons.

Winter swells below the sea.
Spring lights lightly on lemon-green leaves.
Summer’s sorcery fires her fiery veracity. …


And surprised me with its indelible truth

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I know when a poem is trying to inch its way through the rubbish of ordinary. Time gets irritated and the noises of always seem to have an exaggerated emphasis telling me to stop and listen.

And usually, I do. I stop and give over to the poem’s spirit.

The room becomes a soft hum and colors wither into a field of deliciousness sprinkled over the sky.

As if on cue, the cold winds press against the house, snuggled together as lovers do.

Time slows and a single candle flickers her song. The morning kettle’s steam soothes. …


HUMOR | THIS HAPPENED TO ME

How I got through an eye exam with my nonstop inner-outer self-chatting, self-soothing army of me, myself and I

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I’ve been dealing with some eye issues since last summer. Actually, off-and-on for the last two years. Dry, irritated, and very blurry. Like when I’m finished writing this piece, words will be fuzzy and seeing far away makes everything look Picasso-esque.

It takes me a long time to go and see a doctor. Instead, I rely on Dr. Google who I have on speed dial. With just about every symptom, I can easily self-diagnose. I finally realize, this is a form of self-soothing.

Nevertheless, off I went to see an optometrist. Being it is COVID and all, I had my mask on and my anxiety ramped up. First, because of my eyes. Second, just being out of my safe cocoon. …


Than the last 4-years with a US president who never should have been president

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We’ve witnessed 4-years of blatant abuse of power and control by Donald Trump and his administration. Some people who favor him have told me:

“[Trump] is like a toddler. He’s a 3-year-old who never got his way. You must humor him. Trump is like a spoiled child. He doesn’t mean what he’s doing. He doesn’t think before he speaks. It’s so refreshing to have a president who says whatever he wants. He doesn’t speak in complicated long sentences. You are too hard on him. He’s done such good things for this country.”

I stopped having conversations with those people.

I define Trump and his followers as such:

Trumpism: An anarchist who uses gaslighting, and exploitation of any race deemed inferior except for being white. An extreme example of narcissism expressed with a powerful demand for dictatorship, a disregard for soul, an inability to empathize with humanity and therefore will eliminate anyone who gets in their way. …


Here are 3 steps to tap into that relationship

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Nightdreams excite me. Why? Because dreams are a gift from somewhere deep inside of us and a relationship to better understand who we are.

What are our dreams telling us? How do we figure them out?

With some patience and practice here’s how I work with my own nightdreams and with my client’s nightdreams.

First, some dreaming background

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who extensively studied nightdreams and their mysteries. One of my favorite quotes by Jung is:

“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night….”

June Singer, Jungian analysist and author of Boundaries of the Soul is a wonderful resource on exploring Carl Jung’s psychology and better understanding of our nightdreams. …

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