celebrating a cycle

pull out your party hats, your drums and flutes and whistles... summon up the spirit of celebration and join me in wishing easily amazed a happy 1st birthday. (insert joyous sounds and laughter here!)

i adore the life that easily amazed has grown into in its first year of sharing and inviting. the exploring, celebrating, honoring, and uncovering that has unfolded here is most definitely worth appreciating. and i am humbled by the amorphous, mysterious presence that this space holds... taking its time and defining its shine!

the biggest gift that easily amazed has given me is all of you. the evolution and pulse of this site is 100% a result of the commenting generosity of those who read and participate, engaging me and one another, linking together into the amazing network of connections that we are. wether your voice appears in words or you read without commenting, your presence is felt and appreciated.

the feeling your own story thread continues to thrive at integral naked. a recent contribution of jacqui's echos, to me, a core component of how being connected to all of you through easily amazed (and your personal webbles and blogs) has encouraged an exponentially greater amount of Love within me:
If I see the beauty in someone, and I tell them that, and they tell me how much that meant to them to be seen in that way, I feel more love, more joy. I also see them as even more beautiful. If they see beauty in me, and tell me, I see them as being even more beautiful, and I feel more love and beauty in myself. This is a real, biological happening in me. It happens in my body, in my heart/soul whole being. It is as if Love plus Love equals an exponentially greater amount of love. But that love has to be spoken, shared, announced, proclaimed, celebrated or it doesn't work.

thank you easily amazed for inviting us to speak, share, announce, proclaim and celebrate... it's working!!


happy 1 birthday, easily amazed!

i sing you a song, light you a candle, and watch
in delight your joyous face while you're eating that birthday cake!

happy birthday, all you easily amazed!

GravatarHappy Birthday from Ghana, easily amazed! lots of love, ted

Gravatarthis is a sweet chance to pause
to look back to last november, to celebrate
a year of incescribable inner growth, to reflect
on how easily amazed has been like a little
laughing river right outside my back door,
beckoning me barefoot into the forest
on the scent of the fabulous pathways
of postconventional love;

what an easy, amazing crossroads - it's in these
comment boxes that i met christy, and thomas,
and brandy, and leela, and got to hang out with old friends like chris corrigan and jeff aitken and to smile and thrill at the words of so many others...

i thank you for the inspiration to start my poetry blog metaphorest walk, and for all the other sparkling ways that you invite us to open up and spin our love and our daily-freshly-integrated selves out onto the shining waves of the awakening world...

happy birthday easily amazed! with love,

Gravatarwow! a happy birthday toast (definitely with something sparkly, effervescent, fragrant, and intoxicating!) to easily amazed, its wonderful, colorful, celebratory space, and to all of the easily amazed souls who have been happily drawn in by its radiance.

and ashley, that reminds me that it's been a little more than a year since PoP, when I first got to meet you, walking on the drizzly forest path from our dorm to thomas berry hall--what a gift it has been for our worlds to have spilled into each other since then!

lots of love,

GravatarMy dear friend. Of course it has been a year you have been sharing your thinking and inspiration with us. Your voice has been a lovely addition to the chorus that fills my eyes and ears.

I am so glad to know you, and to have been able to deepen that knowing over the past year, online and in person.

May your path take you to many more years of sharing your easy amazement with everything that touches you.

Much love...c


Happy (belated) birthday.

Oh, Ash. You've given me so much to be thankful for. You have a rare ability to make every post a reminder of the importance of thanks-giving.

And don't pass off too much credit to your blog alone. You are, after all, the one who nurtured it. You're the one who breathes life. These pages are an extension of your own beautiful nature. So happy birthday, yourself, and thank you (thank you!) again.


posted by ashley


dear One

Do tell me how you are doing, dear Ashley.
swimming inside of the many parts of myself, i look for dear Ashley. i felt her melt at this request of another wanting to genuinely know how she is doing. another's heart reaching through the computer and offering presence and acceptance for exactly how i am doing. i felt such freedom in this request. that the asker will see me fully in whatever form i share with her. she'll love me fully no mater how i'm doing.

and now i've found dear Ashley. embodying her, i am sensitive and vulnerable. i wear my heart as my skin. there is no outer layer of protection. the raw fierceness of love lines my being and i am totally exposed to the world and all of its elements. my surface of love has a powerful magnetic quality to it. it longs to connect with the love in others. it's unyielding magnetism is attracted to the purity and innocence of love as expressed in others and quickly joins with that love. regardless of how Ashley and Other are interacting (having coffee, talking on the telephone, writing an email, gazing into each other's eyes) the Love within us is embracing, dancing, making more love. that love inside of us leaps to greet an old and dear friend and together they celebrate and rejoice. i love this side of me, of dear Ashley!

right now, i'm feeling vulnerable, anxious, and ecstatic. my heart is wide open and i am getting ready to walk into a world in which my heart has a tendency to close down. i am walking into the territory of the unknown. i'm sure you know that place. i'm sure you've experienced how it haunts and teases us with the uncertainty of its mysteries. as i approach those uncertainties my skin starts to scream out for attention, forcing my heart back inside the borders. i then end up isolating myself from the radiance of my heart, my love, my dear one. i fool myself into thinking that i have to retreat, that i am protecting myself, protecting dear Ashley. but in truth, it is just a habit. dear Ashley has learned how to protect herself and no longer needs the habit of retreating. i am able to stay wide open. i am able to embrace the love that fills my way. i am dexterous in my ability to swerve beyond, making my way through pain, shame, guilt, doubt, and disappointment.

i am guided by love, always open to growth and learning. i am becoming whole. so to answer your question, dear Mary, i am staying present with each moment, riding and noticing the wave of emotions that travel through me as i get ready to fly to north carolina and georgia for a most festive celebration of this season of thanks-giving. the first half of my trip is to walk the soil that knows my soul in the mountains of north carolina. i've been dreaming of my move back home for the last two years and in one month it will be my reality. thus... i've also been dreaming the logistics of jobs, house, community, etc. i frequently remind myself of this saying:
Más que planear, tenga que confiar.

More than to plan, you have to trust.
Trusting and believing and dreaming require more time, energy, and attention than planning, which is different from how our accustomed organizations (and internally shaped work patterns) operate. as much time as we put into planning we have to put MORE than that into trusting. into dreaming. into believing in that which we dream. i practice this. and now... as i'm at the cusp of actualizing, i feel the nervousness, anxiousness, fear of disappointment...(i'll play the what-if game) what if i can't bring my dreams into reality. what if all that i was believing in isn't possible. what if i'm not as capable and qualified as i had convinced myself. what if i don't have these gifts to offer. what if i was fooling myself. what if i've been dreaming in something that i can't make happen. what if i was wrong. what if.... it feels so good to get those out!

now, with a huge grin on my face, and tremendous amounts of joy bubbling up through me, i gently grab dear Ashley's hand, hold it warmly in the palm of my own, gaze sweetly in her eyes and share that radiant smile that we both know so well. and off into the world i walk. open, vulnerable, trusting, and ecstatic.

this is going to be fun!!!


hey ashley,

the heart-skin image is so powerful, and the sense of journeying forth after a time of growth, incubation, preparation, connected experimentation shines with such beauty and strength and vulnerability...and i think how when we journey forth we aren't just led to the places that fit with ease, but also to the ones that require all our stretches, all our moves, the deepest water we have. go well, dear one. blessed am i to be a part of the receiving side of your journey...


dexterous in my ability to swerve beyond

chk chk

swerve the curve, dear goddess of the good,
toucher of tender truth.

we love you and you and again you we love.


Gravatardear Ashley! goddess of the good, indeed!

wearing your heart as your skin you turn the ordinary boundary interfaces inside-out, not only magnetically attracted to love but magnetically, gently gravitationally, drawing other hearts out to play at the skin level too, showing that it can be safe, and free, and fun, to be exposed, to be vulnerable, to be affect-able

love to you,


posted by ashley


easily amazed?

i could use some help. as you may have noticed, easily amazed as we know it here has been out surfing the web, looking for parents. in this search, www.easilyamazed.com was born. but what that website will be has yet to be determined. this is where i would love your help. in this moment, i'm simply playing with the words easily and amazed. chris corrigan first introduced me to the weblog world by saying:
"easily amazed", which should describe her readers as much as herself...
that's you (and me) that he's talking about. so since you're here, why not help me out! i'd love to hear some personal definitions of the term "easily amazed." remember there's no right answer... just different perspectives. i'll start.

easily - without effort; spontaneously.
amazed - sparked by wonder and awe

easily amazed - spontaneously seized by wonder, sparked full with awe. effortlessly liberated.

posted by ashley


being a teacher

WELCOME, Christy, to the wonderful world of webbles (thomas' term for weblogs),
life cultivating life is an inspiriting new friend in the neighborhood:
our face, our presence, is so precious... seeing & acknowledging one another is such a deep true part of love and friendship and community. ...

what I am particularly learning about teaching is the way it is a powerful vehicle for making space to venture deeply into what matters most to us about being alive--relevant to any course topic, whether it's herbal formulation, practice management, or physiology from a systems perspective.
which seems deeply related to jeff's quote of rabbi shefa gold:
the laws of empowerment — how to see and call forth the qualities of leadership in others, and how to share in the joy and the burden of being human. If you’re sitting alone with the burden of Truth, it will weigh you down. And if you’re serving people from morning till night, you cannot become a proper vessel for Revelation.

thank you for the warm welcome, invitation, evocation, dear ashley-heart, and for all of the luminous weaving you do. i have an image of you (one of many!) as a kind of tinkerbell, zooming around inner and outer and every space, connecting and illuminating with your whole body and soul, sparking, layering, effervescing, and occasionally throwing it all up in the air with both hands, just to see how it will sprinkle down!

lots of love,

p.s. "webbles"--i love that! thanks, thomas!

tee hee!!!!

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posted by ashley

sweet reality

blissfully riding this trail of sweet love and intimacy
breathlessly dreaming a reality of authenticity
playful and potent, a radiant fire of pure potential

suspended in presence
guided by wholeness
dedicated to respect

creativity unfolds spontaneously
circling without effort
the grounded luminosity

embracing, nourishing, supporting
granting goodness to god’s graceful glow
full and flourishing, following fantasy’s flow
gathering gratitude
inciting inspiration


thank you for accepting love
thank you for receiving
thank you for expressing joy
thank you for just being

golden waves of wonder
winding through eternity
electric lines of clarity
threading bonds of unity

blessed is this sacred life –
that spreads its wings
bears its soul
opening heart
in humility
posted by ashley


unconditional love that sticks

i've altered some of these people's words just a wee bit, so that we can have that conversational flow... i hope you all don't mind.
i have been a silent observer of your lovely blog and not commented before, possibly because i wonder if i measure up to all the love you put out!

We have to, in our strivings to express only the greatest good, learn to love our own icky parts and bring them out of the closet.

i feel inspired to express myself in many different ways. i feel encouraged and empowered to confront ways of communicating in which i feel shakey (they feel foreign) and bringing them out in their full beauty.

sadly, i feel that much of our society has lost the concept of pure and unconditional love, and we are so lucky to have reminders that it DOES EXIST. i think many are taken aback by the amazing amount of love that you - and others who have commented so beautifully here in the past, hold out to others - because it's just not seen very often in our daily lives. i just returned from d.c., where many are angry and disheartened for what seems like endless reasons...the election, the homeless, the cold, the lines, the jobs, the cost...you name it.

I pray that we learn to recognize the individual humanness in each and every one of us, regardless of our religions or convictions.

i guess what i'm really saying is that yes, your pure love does shock and overpower others (including me). but that, my dear, is a wonderful thing! all you lovers out there don't give up...because you are inspiring others to join your ranks.

It is so important that you continue to express who you are, otherwise, how would we ever know? How would we ever be able to know there is a another out there who worries about the same things I do, who hopes for growth in the same way, who longs to express the same sort of goodness? It can be so LONELY on this path, in certain areas, even if you have many friends/family/acquaintances. Just knowing someone can touch you with gentle recognition in that very place where you feel most vulnerable is so important.

I am learning that in matters of the heart and soul and spirit, it is ESSENTIAL to let it shine. People cannot love the real you if you never show them who you are. And likewise, you cannot love the real them.
letting it shine, showing our soul, being ourselves in the most unhindering ways, and allowing effort to release to effortlessness is a potent part of transcending the loneliness many of us confront on this path. finding others who are willing to recognize us and reflect our wholeness is, i think, the most precious gift that we can offer to and recieve from one another in this world. in such ways we nourish unconditional love with no end... that sticks!

~puala sharing a comment
~jacqui from integral naked
~r.k. from integral naked
~cleolove from a great post about yasser arafat
~chris weaver he just says this!

posted by ashley


cracking up in my morning rounds, brandy grants me a new perspective:
I feel very cozy here at work, if it's possible to feel cozy in black, nearly knee-high boots with four inch platform heels. (I swear, I must be like, six feet tall today--from this perspective, I've become totally fascinated with the parts in people's hair.)
as she acknowledges these wise words from davidD in a rich discussion on expanding the limits of love
How to move from controlling and being impulsive, to being spontaneous? ...It's about trusting. But I believe that you can’t really trust others FULLY unless you can trust yourself first. I’ve got to accept myself, every one of my many faults, not trying to change them, not indulging them, just accepting them, and trusting that I’m on a journey and its OK to be however I am right now. That’s what it is to love myself unconditionally. Unless I can do that, how can I love YOU unconditionally?
and these from shawn
To know how to hold on is easy. If you want to you will. When your grip is slipping, and [others] are stomping on your fingers, do you feel the pain? Good. Does it matter? No. If you are being what you want to be, without holding anything back then BE. You will hold on if you want to or if you must let go you will. Release the mind and follow what your heart tells you. It will show you what you need to be shown. Trust that what happens is not just you but [for others] too.
geez, is this crew hot or what... i would so enjoy summarizing the many highlights from that amazing conversation... but if you peek over there, you can see that it's gobbling up my computer time. so if you're interested, let your eyes roam!
posted by ashley


loving in the most unhindered way

What is your expression of "pure love coming through in the most unhindered way?" ~Mary MacLean

As I continue to open my wings, embracing my ability to love as fully as I know how, I am constantly struck in amazement as I notice how often I feel constricted when I let my love simply gush out. There is this steady sense that i love too much or my love will overwhelm another. Perhaps my love may even scare another away . And yet what generally is happening when such reactions are invoked as that either I or the other are misuderstanding the love. Labeling it as something other than what it is, running away from its intensity.

Love whatever you do, no matter how insignificant. Love intensely and unconditionally...

Basically, love in the worst moments. There is no better protection than tenderness. There is no better fuel than love. Living without love is like a car without gasoline. Those who love become powerful and miracles happen to them daily....

We have to be careful that no one interrupts our loving...

The love I speak of is that powerful energy that is capable of transforming lives and healing the sick, a love that has nothing in common with the sentimental, weak, and dependent attitude of those who say they love but are full of fear and mistrust. It has nothing in common with the sentiment that suddenly ends or turns into resentment, or that chains others. The love of which I speak is freeing, healing, total.

At the heart of each person lives a being that is immensely loving. When this being is free, love flows spontaneously, filing us with light. We would not have to make ourselves love, or even learn how to love, if we had not suffered such a grotesque deformation of love. Let us hope that modern man will stop torturing his children, converting them into repressed beings incapable of giving or recieving love, who for that reason go through life empty of tenderness, hungry for affection, who at the slightest caress don't know whether to be grateful or angry.

There are those who think that love should be reduced to the couple exclusievely. Actually, love should fill all the chapters of our lives in its purest form.

~Luis Espinoza in Chamalu: The Shamanic Way of the Heart

Love is such a tricky language, don't you think! Try living for an entire day as an expression of pure love coming through in the most unhindered way. Even if you don't, aren't capable of, or choose not to act upon that expression, just notice inside of you how you would be if you allowed pure love to come through in the most unhindered way.

(it goes without saying that any observations are so enjoyed, right?!)

miss ashley - i have been a silent observer of your lovely blog and not commented before, possibly because i wonder if i measure up to all the love you put out! sadly, i feel that much of our society has lost the concept of pure and unconditional love, and we are so lucky to have you to remind us that it DOES EXIST. i think many are taken aback by the amazing amount of love that you - and others who have commented so beautifully here in the past, hold out to others - because it's just not seen very often in our daily lives. i just returned from d.c., where many are angry and disheartened for what seems like endless reasons...the election, the homeless, the cold, the lines, the jobs, the cost...you name it. i guess what i'm really saying is that yes, your pure love does shock and overpower others (including me). but that, my dear, is a wonderful thing! all you lovers out there don't give up...because you are inspiring others to join your ranks.


posted by ashley



how are you feeling now that the citizens of the united states have elected a president? depressed? relieved? worried? concerned? excited? indifferent? motivated? numb? uncertain? hopeless? hopeful?

i am inspired by the momentum that was created in this election. john kerry and george bush were directly responsible for getting people rowled up, tuned in, and focusing attention on a common theme: electing a leader. folks were intoxicated (and aggravated!) by the rich political debates that sprung up everywhere. the possibility for a brighter future encouraged public involvement, communicating with strangers, meeting one's neighbors, inviting dialogue, and exploring dreams and desires. regardless of opposing views, people were united around this common theme and turned out in record breaking numbers to make sure that their voice was heard. for this, i thank those two men. and i invite each of us to keep letting our voice be heard. speak loud and clear about that which motivates your heart and propels you forward towards your dreams and desires.

Alan Wolfelt defines hope as "an expectation of a good that is yet to be." prior to the election, an electric wave of hope ran through kerry supporters who saw in kerry a promising shift to the good that is yet to be. i am grateful for anyone who can inspire hope in others. now, however, it is our responsibility to claim that hope as our own, to take it back into our own hands -- returning it to its rightful owner, our hearts. if john kerry gave you hope for the future-- claim that hope as your own and hold onto it.... please, we need you.

i've noticed in the past few days a deep sense of grief and depression squirming its way through kerry supporters as that expectation of a good that is yet to be dwindles. it's almost as if that balloon of hope was popped by the state of ohio and it pains me to feel the air streaming out. my technique for containing that air is to honor the grief. let's grieve together.

The grief journey requires contemplation and turning inward. In other words, it requires depression, anxiety, and loss of control. It requires going to the wilderness. Quietness and emptiness invite the heart to observe signs of sacredness, to regain purpose, to rediscover love, to renew life!

~ Alan Wolfelt

honor your depression, anxiety, and sense of loss of control. allow yourself to experience the journey of contemplation, quietness, and emptiness as you make your way back to the sacredness, regaining your purpose, rediscovering love, and renewing life.

now that we're awake... let's keep playing together!
posted by ashley


oh walk me to a boulder

oh walk me to a boulder

half-way up the mountain, covered with lichen
and damp with fog, where i can lean my back
and weep. oh my grandfathers, who walked
away from your farms and sailed west
from dark shores to save your sons from the finely-
gloved hands that would strip us of our rakes, our saws
and ploughs, that would lock swords into hands meant
to catch newborn foals and light peat fires in autumn.
oh grandfathers who made your way to these hills,
will you sit with me a moment and add your grief
to mine? i will take it. i will feel it burst from my heart
and flow into this great rock at my back, and sink
down and down into the all-remembering earth.

i was twenty one before the sight of blind injustice
knocked me to my knees and i came back to these mountains
to know my people. in the basement of the church i sat next to
my mother's father cecil at the love feast. we ate canned fruit
in paper bowls, the women on one side and the men on the other,
and then we passed a metal basin of warm water, and one
at a time, on the bench, we washed one another's feet - my father
galen washed mine, and the i washed cecil's, held in my hands
the heavy feet that had walked the peach orchards on the top
of tinker mountain for decades before slipping awkwardly into
leather shoes for the treasurer's office at the little college
in the valley. and as it was meant to be, from this gathering,
stubborn and shy like a herd of cattle that moves over the ridge
away from the road, the knowledge entered my heart that jesus
did walk this earth, and his hands knew how to touch.

and jesus went to the wilderness, and jesus rested his back
against a boulder and he wept, and jesus rose with fire
in his eyes and sent his shout into the center of the whirlwind,
and jesus felt love and compassion trickle into secret pools
and rivers under the crusted blind face of the world of men,
and jesus walked back down into the streets of the city
with his touching hands and his blazing eyes and his
grieving heart, and his shout came back around as torrents
of sweet rain, and each raindrop said, HERE I AM.

~chris weaver

i can do like jesus did,
pour love and compassion
into the deep wells of the world
so it can go deep down and water the roots of everything
and find its way up through the stalks
to the flowers opening out into the world,
and when lots of people do the same
we will again remember that
we are all part of creation
and need to take care of what we have


"open space in place"

long old roots
inching deep into the dark mineral body,
with each one's shallow feeder roots
intricately tangled with everyone else's,
all surging into the above-ground life,
the leafy top exchanging breath
with the clouds and the winged ones

posted by ashley


stand up and show your soul

Mayke Wagner posted this on the Open Space listserv:
As a German citizen I cannot vote - at the same time I feel deeply affected by the politics of the U.S.. A friend of mine asked me today, how I handle this powerlessness and my answer was the following:
I try not to be discouraged by the things happening far away from me. I try to make a difference for the people around me, "to stand up and show my soul", to listen and serve.
i offer these words of inspiration to each of us, not to be infected by the virus of powerlessness but, instead, to stand up and show our souls, making a difference for the people around us, listening and serving whole-heartedly, with our eyes wide open, being guided by a love for life.

here's a couple of excerpts from the book Chamalu: The Shamanic way of the Heart
Western man lives in luxurious prisons built by himself: prisons of rules, prohibitions, dogmas, and his own thoughts, over which he has no control. In this sad circumstance, spontaneity, purity, love, and innocence are sacrificed. He prefers to run in desperation rather than enjoy the walk. Caresses have been forgotten in personal relationships, because tenderness, having no value, has been suppressed. The contact we will eventually have is a call to spontaneity, to purity, a remembering of the beauty of life and the importance of falling in love with it.

There is no better protection than tenderness. There is no better fuel than love. Living with out love is like a car without gasoline. Those who love become powerful, and miracles happen to them daily.

At the heart of each person lives a being that is immensely loving. When this being is free, love flows spontaneously, filling us with light.
sounds a lot like standing up and showing our soul.


there is no better protection than tenderness,
there is no better fuel than love.
i love these quotes so much, as i am always looking for the words that will open eyes and entice hearts out of their prison into accepting a simpler, more loving way. even today, i am on a lunch break from working with some adults, and i want to hold their hands and say, "don't worry, we really can be fully ourselves around the kids, love makes its own way, and there's no one here to intimidate us or get us in trouble, let's just laugh and enjoy one another and be caring, and vulnerable, and alive, and free."

Gravatardid you say it?

and yes.

Gravataryes and, let us notice when we assume that we have no influence over faraway events. the widespread public opinion in germany and around europe, against bush administration policies, is tremendously heartening to those of us in the united states who share these views.

let's not withdraw into a smaller sphere out of a fear of powerlessness; we are now called to be more public with our showing of soul.

posted by ashley

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