ISSUE no 1
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One Breath Magazine
by Michelle Wells
All rights reserved.
In service of Freedom.
I have become a believer of Magic.
The last two years of my life have contained Great Suffering and Great Healing, and I have been gently and lovingly taught the hardest lesson I've ever learned:
How to trust Myself.
When a woman learns to trust herself, it is best to Watch the Fuck Out - for she is finally ready to show up, take risks, and do All the Hard Things.
This magazine is a collaboration of brave-ass women who are doing All the Hard Things.
We are survivors, thrivers, healers, healing, lovers, and sisters of soul.
We are finding our voices - and using them.
Supporting and loving each other has reminded us who are - who we were born to become, reborn to become again.
May the magic of our words spark a fire in your soul that lights the path back Home
May you remember who you are, and keep remembering.
In Love and Freedom - One and the Same.
Michelle Wells, curator
The old woman sits, wolf beside her, high on a sandstone cliff looking over the Four Corners country. She’s wrapped in colorful wool blankets and cotton quilts. She sits cross-legged on bare rock. She has a small fire of piñon and juniper, with sage bundles at the ready. She is high up and can see a very long way. The coyote and rabbits, the snakes and the ravens,
stay close. She knows what is coming.
She sees into the heart of things. She sits. She is patient. She is calm. She is Wise Woman.
She is connected to rock and animals and sky. She watches the rain clouds move over the sandstone monoliths and the sacred mountain. She smells the wet earth and the sage- scented wind. She hears the thunder and the wind, and she also hears the sounds of mice feet and bird wing.
She has compassion on it all. All of it. Even me.
She feels into the heart of all that is, and she loves us all. She is the center of the holy world. She tells me that my journey has been, and will continue to be, holy. She asks me to stop judging myself for doing it wrong. She tells me there is enough. I’ll be taken care of. All creation is holy, I’m part of creation, so I’m holy too. Have compassion for myself and all things. Be kind. It’s all light. It’s all movement. It’s all flow. And it’s all transitory.
No more guilt.
Let every tiny desire come to the surface.
Let them show up
Let them be
Let Mother Elephant
listen to your woes
of your beating heart.
Remember when you...
did that favour
kept your mouth shut
pretended it was okay
said yes, yes, yes
even though every particle
of your being was
Maybe don’t do that again?
Be proud and loud.
Stand up tall.
Take up space.
Be you, all you, in all your bigness and brightness. Be bold and confident.
You are worthy.
You are beautiful.
You are strong and fierce and amazing and powerful.
Allow the love you deserve to come to you.
Let us show you how you are loved.
You are worthy of love and joy and everything you desire.
You don’t have to “make do” with the small share that you’re used to.
You don’t have to try or work hard or be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees or bend over backward or keep quiet or stay small or play it safe.
Play it fast and loose.
Go forth confidently, knowing we are with you. You are loved and supported and you cannot fail. You are precious.
You are infinitely valuable and worthy.
You are owed.
It is time to collect your due.
It has been piling up, waiting for you.
Open your arms and your heart to accept your treasure.
Accept your pleasure.
It’s ready for you.
It longs for you.
You have denied yourself because they told you to—told you that’s how good girls behave.
Fuck that shit.
Be a bad girl.
Bad girls have more fun.
Bad girls ARE more fun.
Take what you want—take it all.
Be selfish and greedy.
Be lazy. Be frivolous. Be risky. Be frisky.
When a woman
of her heart
there is nothing
that can ever
a remembrance of harmony.
Be what you want to be, how you want to be, regardless of what others expect. You are a good person and your desires will lead you on the right path. They are not bad.
Desire is not bad.
There is nothing wrong with you. You can want it all—and what’s more, you can have it all.
There’s no limit, no portion control—it’s ever-expanding and there is plenty for you and others. You do not have a “place.”
Your place is everywhere.
Break free from your cell and take over. Claim your due—which is everything you want. It is here for you. Take it and smile.
Play hooky. Sleep late. Read all day. What is your life but moments to be savored? Who savors sitting at the computer in joyless drudgery? Quit it. You will be provided for. You only limit yourself—let go of those beliefs that you have to suffer for money. It’s not true. IT’S NOT TRUE. You were not made to suffer. They were suffering and wanted
company so they told you that. You in your innocence believed them.
But you know now that it’s false. You were made for miracles. You are a purveyor of magic. Magic is all around you. Open up and let it in. Allow it. Trust it and stop pushing. [How many times do I need to tell you to stop pushing?]
Float, flow, release, relax, receive. Your work is done.
Time to play.
All is well.
Yes, it is.
Trust me—trust you—trust us.
Let go, let go, let go, let go.
Open wide and say “ahhhh.”
Go to the mirror
Look deep into
your own eyes
Can you see
your original face?
Beyond all thoughts of
right and wrong
Good or bad
Arrogance or humility
See the light
Take a breath
Still your mind
Ready for the final revelation?
YOU ARE GOD
YOU ARE THE MIRROR
Allow this knowing
To infuse every cell
No longer afraid
Of who you are
See with your God eyes
Speak with your God voice
Love with your God heart
Cherish our temple
All is God
Everything you see
God looking at God
looking at God
looking at God.
Now, go play!
It is inexplainable
The way Grace
Unravels us back to
A reunion of
Heart with Heart
Breathing into the Life
From which you came
You have made your full return
The circle of resolution
It is safe
To lean back
There comes a time
When the shade is pulled
And after the initial
Adjustment to brightness
You see the light
You did not flick the switch
Or pull the string
This was a gift bestowed
For simply showing up
You did not learn to do this
Somehow, along the way,
You slowly filled up
The space of You
Laying down, I try to take myself there, to that cave in the forest. My mind resists. This is unusual as I usually have no problem conjuring up images or visualizing. So I relax and ask myself "where do you want to go?"
Immediately, I am taken to a memory of a high cave in the desert of Utah, it was
pointed out to me during my river trip down the Gates of Ladore on the Green River.
On the last day of the journey, before the put out, our guide told us that it was the hideout for Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch gang.
In my vision, I feel a shift as I approach the cave. The cave opening is redrock and I feel I’m seeing through the eyes of a Native American. On my feet, I feel the clay soil and the red-iron sand. In the cave, the light has changed. My eyes adjust from the brightness outside to the cool semi-darkness. I see a bird's head. First I think it’s a small eaglet, but then I realize it's a hawk. I say, "what are you doing here? shouldn't you be outside?" I look out onto the cottonwoods and the contrast of orange rock and blue sky. I start to feel tingling from my body not having circulation... like pins and needles. So I stretch
and change my position.
I'm dwelling on the idea of my animal spirit. It is a bird of prey. I focus on how it needs
to eat meat for sustenance (I'm a vegetarian). Do I have to eat meat too? Or do I need to change how I nourish myself? This misplaced bird, small and young. What's the bird doing in the cave? Hiding? Protected? Is it being its true nature? I am back in the big
room inside the cave. Light beams in from the hot, bright, sunny environs. In the cave
it's cool. I enjoy a feeling of respite, breaking journey, resting. Rest is something I can
do more of.
I leave my dream, eager to write down the experience and google the meaning. "When hawk swoops in to your life be ready for new level of awareness in mind and spirit.
Hawk comes at at a time when you're pursuing new divination methods, you're learning to trust your higher self ... let hawk hone your focus. As bird of prey, hawk is helping you learn how to time your actions: swift, decisive and successful movements. Psychic abilities and clairvoyance is growing. Hawk's greatest aptitude is their Vision. Hawks
have the sharpest eyesight of all the Raptors. This signifies that it's time for you to
pause and pay attention to everything."
there comes a time
I can never change.
This thought is a broken umbrella
Its metal spokes protruding
from ripped canvas.
Menacing, boney fingers
threatening anyone coming my way.
I can never change.
Over and over again,
I repeat this sad and useless mantra,
between the receptive days of summer,
and the immobile gloom of winter,
I am notably altered.
I can never change.
A moment of suspension,
surreal and unsummoned,
in the midst of this tumultuous repetition,
I see from outside of the thought,
As if in a dream,
the thought floats by
I can never change.
This thought is a broken umbrella
Passing a trash can,
I stuff it on a heap of unwanted refuse —
a terrible act of betrayal,
we have been together so long.
I walk on,
ignoring its pleas for reunion,
into driving rain.
6 weeks later, much has happened.
I have given notice to leave my job, I have wrapped up projects, transferred tasks,
cleaned out years of files and a myriad of projects.
I have said my goodbyes and practiced my speech about what I’m doing next.
It's June 1st. It's my first day away from my
job of 16 years. While making my morning
tea, I glance over at my dream journal, at the beautiful red headed, feathered blue-goddess swirling in her creative flow and I spot, for the first time, atop her head soaring along with
her, the red hawk. The one from my shamanic journey. Quick action and all seeing. The one that belongs outside soaring not inside a
And I think what a beautiful welcome for this first day of first days. There is magic on my path.
I arrived to find Leo (my spirit guide, a big male grizzly) standing in the river up to his shaggy belly, staring at the current moving around him. At first I thought he was fishing. I joined him, sidling up to his side. He bumped shoulders with me in greeting. After watching him for a moment, I saw that he was letting the fish pass around his legs.
Puzzled, I asked him, “What are you waiting for?”
He smiled in a Bear-ish way at me and said, “Waiting is a story. I don’t wait. I am arriving, always."
I pondered this for moment, realizing that I had asked him the very question I’d set out
to ask for myself.
He interrupted my thoughts, asking, “What are you waiting for?” Um. I still didn’t know. I asked him if he knew what I was waiting for.
He looked up at Eagle, who was soaring over our heads, feathers flashing in the light.
Eagle came closer and closer, finally landing nearby on a giant nest. He then nudged an eaglet over the side, who flailed and, with effort, flapped away.
Eagle then turned to me, saying: “You are waiting for someone to push you out of the nest.”
I watched, stunned, as another eaglet teetered and leapt, eventually hitting the ground after careening about. I felt fear. I knew he was right. But why? I realized I could ask this, too.
"Why am I waiting?” I asked.
Leo answered this time. “You don’t trust the arriving in yourself yet. You’re still looking outside of yourself for answers, for permission. You still believe in the story of waiting.”
Huh. That all felt true. Shit. I stood there in the river, taking it in.
Leo spoke again. “You realize that you don’t need it, right?”
Love and Laughter reign the day
Smile until it hurts.
There is no
right or wrong way
to do this Life
Pop up that
And lay down
on the page.
She is Gram, Lorraine, Jo
Patricia, Lorie, Linda
Marge, Linnie, Sal
Jeanne, Michelle, Elaine
She is all of us
She comes to me in the kitchen
The garden, the woods
On the edge of my bed
In an email, a song
A movie, a book
In dreams, both asleep and awake
She changes shape and size and form
To meet me where I am
But I know her voice
Her steadfast presence
Her gifts of love that heal and hold
Nurture and strengthen
Sometimes her message is easy to hear
Sometimes I question and think and
She is patient and persistent and firm
The more I can, the more she speaks
I looked at him quizzically.
He huffed. “Permission. You are the one who permits. You don’t need this from anyone
but yourself. You actually don’t need it at all.”
His words struck me as hilarious. I started laughing. Then, I no longer cared if I understood... something inside had loosened. That was what mattered. That wordless giving way seemed so clear, so simple. So EASY. I knew all at once this truth: We are
always exactly where we need to be.
Without thinking, I leapt up into the air, and dove down into the water as a fish, a
salmon. I swam and swam like it was the only thing I had ever wanted or known how to
do. It was glorious, that simple freeing act of moving on purpose.
Soon the river grew fast, and narrowed. Continuing upstream wasn’t easy, but each challenge was simply more swimming. I noticed that my body was beginning to weaken and fall apart, and then realized that I was swimming to my spawning grounds, to the
end of this life.
Instead of feeling grief or fear, I felt a peaceful anticipation. I would return to the river.
Or, that I was already also the river, always. I saw that this was true of everyone and everything. I saw that none of us had ever left it. There was no place to go, only the river that we already were and always had been.
And suddenly I saw that — like Leo — when we stop believing in waiting, we are each of
us this constantly changing current: arriving, always.
She offered allowing and receiving
On the riverbank
Her face and body moving
Fluid blue and green water
Beckoning me to float with her
Allowing myself to relax into her
Carried and held
Intentional delight is where
We have been meeting of late
Something new for me to consider
But a natural fit
With allowing and receiving
She opened the door oh so gently
“Lighten the fuck up, dear”,
She said kindly
And I roared with laughter
As she knew I would
But the bell was rung
I heard her loud and clear
Receiving by allowing
Stepping beyond what isn’t joy
She looks like a Goddess, skin brown and textured with time.
She rarely has her eyes fully opened, keeping her gaze towards an inner horizon.
She is squatted, keeping her yoni close to its maker.
She is earth and sky, flowing lava and sea breeze.
She raises her hand, in a fist, so large that birds orbit her wrist, her fingers.
There is something inside this fist and she lifts it towards your line of sight.
Do you see it?
Humming that makes no sound. It vibrates inside you now, growing stronger and filling your chest, your belly, your pelvic floor.
It shakes you into a million pieces and you squeal in delight, tilting your head back,
yelling in ecstatic joy at the oneness you’ve become.
You open your eyes and you are born.
Keep yourself close to the ground, for it is where you will find me, lurking among the minerals, stardust gifts.
Every time you open your thought to new possibilities...
they have come.
Every time you say yes...locked doors are flung open.
Every time you listen, trust, and release...healing happens.
Every time you move out of the way...unexpected wonder ensues.
Every time you trust yourself (and Me) with your knowing...
Every time you allow a bit of your “you-ness” out...you have
Every time you released yourself and allowed wonder...your heart lightened.
Every time you embrace all that is uniquely yours to offer...
your heart overflows.
Go with grace, dear child, knowing I will be with you always, gently guiding you home.
my inner teacher
I watched them when they were napping the other day. I made sure I could see whether their chests rose and fell with each breath. I wondered silently how much longer I'll be blessed with their presence in my life.
Today we went to the cemetery to visit the graves of deceased loved ones and I wondered if my next trip to this place will be to attend a funeral for one of them. I hope not, but at their age, well, at any age really, but especially at their age (87 and 89) it could always be the last time.
My parents; they've always been there. I don't know a life without them. As much as stupid, insignificant, silly things about them annoy me to no end, I feel gratitude for their presence in my life and I feel blessed having had them in my life for this long!
So, I've decided that I will lighten up about the stupid little things that annoy me and see past them and just enjoy the last few days of my stay with them here! I'm going to lighten the fuck up!!
two of wands
My inner teacher at the moment is the tarot. Therefore, it seemed only fitting that
I would consult the cards and ask what we as a collective need to learn. My
answer came in the Two of Wands. So, I will break it down a bit into what I know about Wands and twos (and apologies to any of you true experts in numerology
or tarot – I profess to be neither).
The suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire. Fire, like passion, enthusiasm, intuition, and creativity. Fire, like a roaring bonfire that we would all dance around with wild abandon like a coven of witches if we were all together in one magical wild space. Obviously, this is the perfect suit for us. And 2 is the cross between balance and duality, the number of a choice, standing at a crossroad. It’s the number of partnership, sharing, agreement. Here is a quote about the meaning of the number 2 that I love “There may be partial success, but more will be revealed later.” That is exactly where I am and where I expect I always will be.
The Two of Wands shows a man wearing a jaunty cap (and while it may not be
dog socks or boots with wings, it is still quite delightful). He holds a small globe in his hand and is looking out over a vast expanse of land and sea. The globe holds
a very literal message: “he holds the world in the palm of his hand.” And he wears orange and red to symbolize his passion and enthusiasm for life and adventure.
The Two of Wands is the card in which the spark of inspiration matures into an actual path forward. This card is about discovery, stepping outside of your
comfort zone, and exploring new worlds. It signifies that we now have the
courage to take that first step – always the most difficult one - the step that requires true bravery. It indicates that we now are starting to know where our creative process is taking us.
"Thank the Gods
you are finally seeing it!
No need to be so serious!"
She comes, a sway in her hip,
laughter like liquid pearls,
delight shining in her eyes.
Her dreadlocks wrapped and twisted
into a wild pile on her head.
Her bare feet connecting with earth,
her hands open,
heart glowing bright
I can see it through the skin
of her chest.
And then she speaks:
"Stand solid in your KNOWING,
for you KNOW,
oh, how you know.
Be unshakeable in your fullness.
All of you is welcome,
Show up and laugh,
with your whole body,
every cell alive with
Walk into the conference room
with magic in your pocket.
Spray it around the room -
an unexpected shower of light.
Meet mystery with practical flexibility,
bend to absorb it,
just as you bend
to accommodate challenges.
The bending isn't only
for disaster management.
Bend to catch joy,
Bend into freedom,
move toward delight.
Flexibility has more benefits
than you can imagine.
Always keeping your centre in touch
And, please, PLEASE stay light."
As I mentioned above, twos are often about decisions and in this case, it’s a decision between sticking with what we know or expanding our horizons and taking a risk. This card suggests that we know that the world has big things to offer each of us but in order to reach what is being offered, we must leave the familiar behind, step out and explore.
And that, my friends, is a bit of wisdom my teacher, the tarot, wishes to share with me and with each of you. The spark of inspiration in each of us is beginning to turn into something tangible for all of us in this space.
what I know
I know that I am different. I know that I am private. (For if someone doesn't 'get' me, it hurts too bad to try to explain myself. I'll test the waters, but if I feel the slightest bit of pain, I won't share my heart. And it will be their loss). If I am shown that they are
reaching out and trying to earn (or re-earn) my trust, we can work with that.
I know that I love mothering.
I know that I love being reflected in my partnership with my husband. I know that I've manifested (created or attracted) a partner who, it is clear, has many wonderful traits,
but is not always kind due to his own karmic issues and dominating personality traits. I know that I would probably not have the freedom that I have to be into some of the stuff that I have gotten into lately if I wasn't in a partnership such as I am, where my husband
is such a good provider.
I know that I am changing. I know that I am a witch-in-training. I know that I am in love
with crystals, and good nutrition, herb knowledge, and healthy exercise like yoga and walking. I know that I am a healer and will be learning energy work soon.
I know that I have had an awakening and that I have no idea what is coming next. I only know that I am compelled to keep myself steady, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of good water, eat fresh, raw, organic and nutritious foods, be in nature, be with animals, keep my home environment attractive and tidy, understand my money, share myself with close friends and with my dad and stepmom, make art, let music touch my soul, tend to plants, observe birds and wildlife, smile at strangers, maintain my alignment, and welcome prosperity, blessings, love letters from the universe, delight, and other desirable manifestations from the universe. And to listen to my own guidance and follow where my guidance is telling me to go and that I can surrender now.
I have an awareness that others may mock me or deride me, even search out my soft, vulnerable under-belly to try to pierce my resolve, or may dismiss me or hate me or be jealous of me (who am I to 'awaken'?) or try to get me to stay the same as I was or have been. I know I'm not perfect and that my sorrows still sometimes linger at the periphery.
But I know that I AM you and that you ARE me and that WE are God.
Why is this publication called 'One Breath'?
With the support of my sisters, I finally realized that I am a healer. Upon acceptance of
this calling, I was given a vibrant vision of a magical playgroup for women that I was being asked to create and lead. This publication is the collective work of that group.
I received the following precise information about the meaning of 'One Breath':
'One Breath Many Voices' endeavors to illuminate the living Breath of Life as experienced through our unique, yet parallel, journeys.
Our work is rooted in a foundation of Hope that the Breath of Life is compassionate and generous. That we each experience a mysterious longing for intimate union not only calling us, but relentlessly pursuing us through many facets of creative expression including, and far from limited to: joy, sorrow, desperation, music, art, literature, knowledge, curiosity, delight, nature, animals, tradition, dreams, ritual, relationship, science, synchronicities, and stillness.
We also acknowledge that, paradoxically, that same mystery often seems nowhere to be found.
We have come to realize that this One Breath speaks in many voices and the root
language is always Love.
We are learning that our primary gift and contribution to this equation of divine unity
and personal integration is to show up exactly as we are - embracing all the parts of our humanity as necessary and valuable to both our individual and collective journeys.
This publication is a collection of our authentic experiences with the Breath of Life, also called: God, Love, Universe, Divine Feminine, Spirit, Truth, Goddess, Source, Being, Tree/Bird/Wolf, Light, Home, or whatever terminology resonates most loudly in our
hearts at that moment. Or, as I often call her, my Knowing Woman.
This is our unified cry of longing - to know and be known. It is the esoteric response of
our trembling hands reaching out into the darkness, touching something, and not pulling
back - but rather, stepping forward in radical curiosity and trust.
A collective poem using snippets from all of our work in this issue.
Remember the song of your heart.
Let every tiny desire come to the surface.
Let them show up.
Let them be
Be unshakeable in your fullness.
Release yourself and allow wonder - your heart lightened.
Slowly fill up the space of you.
You were made for miracles.
You open your eyes and you are born.
Remember when you kept your mouth shut?
Great. Maybe don’t do that again?
Go to the mirror.
Look deep into your own eyes.
Can you see your original face?
She changes shape and size and form to meet me where I am.
She has compassion on it all.
All of it.
Feel gratitude. Feel blessed. It could always be the last time.
We are each of us this constantly changing current:
We must leave the familiar behind - step out and explore.
Receiving by allowing. Stepping beyond what isn’t joy.
A moment of suspension, surreal and umsummoned.
What a beautiful welcome for this first day of first days.
Lighten the fuck up, dear.
No need to be so serious.
There is magic on our path.
We will dance around with wild abandon like a coven of witches.
Trust you, Trust me, Trust us.
I am you, You are me, We are God.
We will never allow ANYTHING to keep us from singing again.
We aim to be experiential – not educational – and with every piece our hope is that you, dear reader, encounter a widened expansion of heart in your relationship with Breath, resulting in
a greater understanding of your unique place in our world, how very dearly you are loved,
and how greatly your experience here matters.
Why are the authors not credited for their specific piece(s)?
There are two reasons I chose to curate our magazine in this way:
1. To protect the privacy of our contributors.
Our playgroup is a catalyst for Truth and Authenticity. We aim to hold nothing back in our writing. Often, that means our writing is deeply personal.
To keep the work from directly identifying the author and maintain a space of protective freedom, I have chosen to credit all contributors in a collective manner.
2. To stay as true as possible to the Divine Guidance I received.
With no personal credits, each piece seamlessly flows into the next, offering a rich, literal experience of One Breath.
In addition, our work is truly a product of community sharing, play, alchemy, and magic.
An alphabetized list of all contributors can be found on the final page of the magazine.
Trust is not an easy thing for many humans – especially us wounded ones.
Sisters: For your deep trust in me, and for teaching me to trust again, I am eternally grateful. You are my heart.
One Breath, Issue 1: Remembrance
(in alphabetical order)
Dawn Van Dyck
All photo credits: pixabay
*Except the artwork on page 19: Credit and Thanks to Tracey Hewitt*
This publication is for sharing only.
The works held within may not be separated from this publication,
reproduced, or edited in any manner without written permission.
All work remains the property of each author.
For creative inquiries, contact Michelle: