Beauty in the Breakdown

Beauty in the Breakdown

P1000280In a room, all alone, she sits and wonders how she got to this point. Away from all that is familiar, stripped of all that is known and once thought to be needed, she lays down and closes her eyes. Those voices that steered her too far off course. The surrounding people that did not understand. Wanting to be heard but scared to yell. She had been bent so far that she broke. She broke down, and was now segregated and in a world surrounded by the unknown – no other words to describe what was going on except that she was in the process of a complete breakdown. Pushed to the limits, she comes to a realization. It is really okay to feel this way. It is okay to feel lost at times. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to say no, it does not make a person less than a person. Basically people are just not okay all of the time, and even that is okay. Praying and lost in thought, she seeks and finds complete solace within herself. Stripped of all that she felt she had to have to survive, she finds herself in the darkness and somehow finding clarity and making sense

Does the above sound like a total breakdown? I do not think so.

I think we are all in different places on our journey. We all fight 60d2f4622bf344ad5e55e983608affcbbattles in different ways. Some of us need a time-out, others react in other ways – but the main thing is that no one is alone in this and that awareness will come to us at the right time and place. The main thing is to treat each other with respect and to just understand. Each person has a different perspective on Life and each person and their gorgeous uniqueness.

“I may have not gone where I intended to go, but I think I wound up where I needed to be.”– Douglas Adams

No one expects to wind up in the middle of a breakdown. But, Life 51a35a34e730ddc111714c0986818a0ccan throw you curve balls and put you on a different course. That was me. I had a life planned out that I thought was going to work. I did everything I could, made some mistakes along the way, but overall felt great about the way I was living. Then I let someone in my head. I let this person tamper with my sense of reality. Instead of listening to what I knew to be true – my intuition, and my gut instinct, I chose to listen outside of me and it sent me over. Coming from a broken environment, it was my every intention to never live that way again. Somehow, it still caught up with me and I, as stated above – broke.

“Crazy is not about being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s you or me – amplified … Was I ever crazy? Maybe I was – or maybe I was just a girl, interrupted.” Susanna Kayson

The definition of the word ‘crazy’ is as follows: mad, insane, deranged, and demented.

Now, would you honestly use any of those words to describe someone you know or even yourself? I do not think so. Labeling one as ‘crazy’ does nothing good for them. It can hurt and make one feel isolated from the rest of the world because they are so ‘different’.

“Some people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not what they say. Just in what they are.” – Markus Zusak

On a road of recovering, I have been blessed beyond words by the 0dd791855d05462a97d9a67fae3f345agorgeous people I have been meeting. The kindred spirits I have met have been very inspiring and have all helped me move forward in some way. Even if it seemed like what was going on at the time was not the best thing to go through, it still led to pure beauty. Life as I am living it is so very exhilarating. Part of the beauty I see in others, and what I see in me, is due to the happiness on their face, the love in their heart and the feelings in their head.

“Leave your things behind, because it’s all going off without you.”–Imogen Heap

Want to know a pretty awesome secret for utter bliss? Do not carry your baggage with you every single place you go. Just like you place a book down after it has been read, and it is likely not to be picked up again, why would you keep dragging things around?

At any point the details of your life can be changed. There is a reason a4be934727e6329622d7b82a1e9ecee4you are here and there is a gorgeousness about you because you have made it through a dark time and come out ahead. Do not let things happen to you. Change your mindset to think that Life is happening for you. The elegance of your uniqueness is an elegance this world needs.

“You can’t take anything for granted for a second otherwise you trip up. More than anything, I believe life is all about timing. I know certainly every situation in my life has been like “why now?” and it’s a test or a beautiful moment. That’s why life is so gorgeous.” — Lena Headey

beautyinaskirtSomething is to be said about the ones that have overcome adversity and hardship. We all have a journey in this world and each one of us has our own signature styles. The absolute artistry Life creates with each and every one of us is exquisite. Things would not be the same without you in this world.

We all are connected. We all make a difference. We all matter. We are all worthy. And we are all enough. That is such a beautiful realization to come to.

There is pure beauty in Life and its plans for us all. We are doing the best we can, with what we have and what we know in the here and now. Your struggles, your triumphs, sad, mad and glad moments – they are all unique to each person and the more we respect each other, the better we all will be – no one does it alone.

“Someone gave me a box of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” – OSHO

sending starlight and moonlit promises, RF_plane_Renee_December2015Renee

we are ALL worth catching

*images used with permission through Pixabay and no infringement is intended* 


The Realization


For too long I felt unsafe.
And even when I thought things were safe,
I had the rug pulled out from under me
more times than not.
And being surrounded by
those constant words
and reminders of that possibility
were not doing me any favors.
Fear remained
a constant in my repertoire.
Once I did become at ‘home’ with something
around me that seemed to make me feel better,
I would soon have it ripped away from me
for this reason or that reason.
But I expected that.
Given conditioning and all what
I had seen as ‘examples’,
my head was spinning on what was right
and what was up and down –
which led me to more
questions than answers.
The cycle was still going.
I was becoming the same one
I tried so hard to break free from.
The same habits, the same attitudes,
even the same looks –
that stopped me dead in my tracks.
I had to change.
I had to take charge
and if I was feeling unsafe,
I reminded myself that it is different now,
and always will be.

  • – Renee Furlow; January 2016

Dear Me, I need to hear this

(ms ginger‘s writenergy experience brought me this ‘assignment’ and it opened up my world)

Old shabby book, feather and inkwell on a floral background



Dearest Renee,
I would like you to know I am here for you. I will listen and offer you ways of escaping that trapped feeling you have when you think there is no where else to turn with your thoughts. I am here to help you sort through your many emotions for each subject that comes up. Sometimes, I am going to offer your freedom from your missteps and show you things that will cause you to feel elation and joy. Other times, and I know that this is hard, but I will do this because I do love you, but I will also show you where you need to work on things and where you need to apply yourself as well as what lessons you are in need of learning. My job is not easy. Sometimes, I just do not want to come and join you. It’s not that I don’t like the visits. It’s that sometimes, rather than just flowing freely, I get jammed up in your head because you fill your mind with these random thoughts leading to over thinking and then I cannot get out and break free. It is not your fault. Many people do it. But we are talking about you. And you are such a talent. You are amazing with the words I give you. When you put them to paper, sometimes in a different way than I give them direct and sometimes in different order, but you nail it. You are inspiring people with the words we formulate together – I am always here. And as long as you allow the rest of your thoughts and your mind clear passage, I should always be able to pass through and you should be able to formulate my messages. You have to put in work, too, since my messages, like I said, are a little jumbled and sometimes they are going to come out fast. But you can do it. I have faith. And that is why I am here and that you were gifted with this blessing of being able to express yourself through your writing. It’s not for everyone. But you are not everyone. Now, let’s get to work…..
the one who has actually always been here no matter what and will continue to be here – your writing.


Chaos’ Whisper Turned Yell

Aphrodite's Grotto

Am I a whisper of someone else’s addiction
at times this causes the world around me to break
into storms soon after the chaos takes over
and there is not a single source of peace
not in these moments
quickly, the eye of the storm arrives
a soft and almost hushed understanding takes over
and in this quiet there is a solace that
will never be duplicated even if I tried to
the feeling doesn’t last long as the storm must complete
the cycle and I allow it all to take place and take over
but once it is finished, the weariness hits and the time comes
to admit something that the storms never could
maybe I don’t need the chaos anymore

~ Renee Avard-Furlow ~

*sharing as a person who is deeply committed to releasing some of this extreme chaos*

A Moment Like This

RAF_SkipsABeat_Jan2015Poetry seen in a different light can cause an uproar of passion deep in my soul. There is so much expression in every line, every word, every letter. There is a meaning behind their placement on the page. Even before the ink dries, or when the message is freshly shared, the moment before reading the poem, there is a skip in steps. Heartbeat quickens.

Opening the page cannot happen fast enough. In the dimly lit room, with the soft music playing a song that happens to have lyrics that are overheard, “like a touch, like a dream, you’re my amaranthine.”

The words come into focus. The smile, the feelings, the emotions, the opened magic book with magic lightseverything. It was worth the wait of a time difference. It became one to remember. Poetry – words weaved together in such a way that it is sexy. It is full of passion. Anticipation. This could be the beginning. And, if it is, it is perfection. The timing could not be better.

Sitting down in amazement, wondering if anyone else has this experience, finding it so easy to just read and re-read what was shared and going about the day. As the day goes on, it is hard to concentrate due to wondering when the next one will be shared.

Such an opportunity here to grow, to fall, to rise, to discover, to be dismantled, to be put back together and to find what has always been there, just never noticed. A chance to not only be active, but productive. A moment in time to be ….. together.


Yes To More Living

The last few weeks of 2014 reminded me of what it was like to be alive and2 live, not just exist. That is something I have not been able to say before. Not with fibromyalgia. But this year I tried something different. I did not claim the fibro as my own. It just merely existed but it was no longer ‘my fibro’ and that made a huge difference in the way I saw life. I trusted that life knew what it was doing. And I allowed it to do its thing. And whatever was going to happen, I was going to allow it and a main thing I did? I felt my way through it all.

So what did I do to help shift from enduring to living?

RAF_NewPainting_December312014Beginning with picking up painting, I felt something I had not felt before. The brush on the canvas. The smell of paint in the air. The feeling of paint on my fingers and looking down and seeing an array of colors building up on said fingers. On some projects, using mixed media methods such as magazine clippings or more so Modge Podge was brought out. That smell is strong but now, already, brings about such warm, inviting feelings. Clipping out various items to go on the canvas is always a favorite thing to do for me. Using stencils and paint pens. And wow oh wow when I see a finished piece! I cannot get over that feeling of pride when I view a completed canvas that I have had the pleasure of doing. I will admit that my husband and I have spoken about it in a half-joking, half-serious manner. He said something along the lines about giving some away because of our lack of wall space and so I made more wall space. Ha! Not that I do not want to bestow any onto anyone else, but I work on these and most are very personal pieces so I would love to keep them. And the last thing about painting that I love? The shopping! I love looking for paints, brushes, stencils, canvases, mixed media stuff and so much more. Michael’s is our place we go to down the road from us and I get coupons all of the time from there. We just live it up while we are in there.

Another big thing that was introduced to me and I decided to go with it daily,RAF_Christmas2014_Makeup is makeup. I have never really had much in the way of makeup and, save for a few times in the past, I have never really tried to wear it or own it. Well, it began with a $13 assortment from Amazon that had everything you needed in one location. It was great. It’s in the shape of a shell, and it opens and you see all that you need with each layer you open. So I began wearing just a little bit each day until I was hooked. The mascara that came with it was tiny and I was out of it and I wanted some lip stick to travel with instead of taking the whole thing with me. So I went to Walgreens a few days ago with those purchases in mind. I found what I needed but stopped. It was the 26th, the day after Christmas, and there were gift sets in the beauty department half off! I went over there. There were cologne and perfume sets, shower gels, and shaving kits. Then it happened, I turned down the next aisle. ALL MAKEUP. And all of it about $1.50 a piece. There was another lady there whom I had been speaking with earlier and we started laughing and we cleaned up that aisle – it was fun. She would look out for me, and I for her. The best part? There was mascara and lip supplies ten fold! I checked out, and even with picking up my medication and a sweet tea, I still paid less than $20 and you see the picture, I cleaned house. And, much like the painting, I am enjoying playing with colors on my face. Whether it be a blue eye shadow one day or a dark pink lip stick another, I am having a blast with it.

I received a trike for Christmas. A trike! Can you get over it? I am so very excited! I was able to ride it one day before it became really cold the last few days. And the freedom I felt. The wind in my hair. The joy in my heart. The skipped beats in my heart. And the exhaustion by the time I was done. The seat needs raising and the chain needs greasing. So we have to do that. I rode on the day after Christmas and it’s been way too cold every since, I am waiting for a nice day!

1-1Last night, On new years eve, we refused to go out to drink and party. One, we have Austin. But, two, we are in our mid-thirties. I know others may decide they can party and such at that age, but we are not them. So, after finding out Half Price Books was open til 8, we headed there. I found some gems in the poetry section. Pablo Neruda, Rumi, Sylvia Plath and an unknown named Charles P Ries. I love the smell of the books. I love the amazingness of that store. And we are blessed that it was open last night. Then we went to the grocery store and he purchased some beer and I chose some ‘Jamaican Me Crazy’ wine coolers which I hadn’t drank in quite some time. At home, we watched the older movie, ‘Clue’, which brought back memories. But something just felt off so I was thinking of just going to bed. But then Zach came and sat with me on the couch and cuddled with me and so suddenly things came to life and felt amazing. So, I was open to watching another movie then. So, it was ‘Blazing Saddles’ time. I dozed off on the couch and then woke up for midnight kisses. And then dozed back off on the couch for the evening.

New Years morning. The pitter patter of the rain on the window. The thoughts and intentions for 2015 coming to light. I get up and take a shower and get dressed and I can see how I do dress boho chic and I love it. My intentions roll right out of me –

angel1Yes to sleep, music, water, books, paint, creating, fun, dreams, road trips, love, unplugging, cuddling, writing, encouragement, understanding, devotion, loving, living, breathing, decorating, revamping, more balancing, taking action, letting go, moving on, dropping things off, organizing, f*#king, being, silencing, talking, dancing, singing, reading, less procrastination, more dedication, more participation, true living and less enduring, to stop spinning my wheels and make actual progress, and more, more, more and more …

2015 will be me – magnified. This year better be prepared for me, because I am ready to kick ass.


What are you ready to say yes to?

New Moon Reflections On Moonbeams

opened magic book with magic lightsWhere I have come from is not a direct reflection of  who I am. Because my upbringing was less than stellar, I knew what to do to create this Life to be better for my family. I hold on to the happiness I feel from this by realizing how far I have come and how much I have beat in order to be here writing in this moment.

I strive to keep thoughts as happy and joyous as I can make them. In this world, I would love to see what any road that is a dream to travel on has to offer. I know I will make a point to step out of my comfort zone when I feel I should and if I should feel different the next day, I will honor that emotion as being as valid as the other.

To understand the destined and to reach the lessons that need to be learned, one must shed the Ego and be in the raw, and experience every single aspect of this Life, as unpredictable as it is.

magical  nightOn Moonbeams

Swing high and low and go with Life
You cannot make a mistake in this way
Divinity does not create pain and strife
So follow your bright moonbeams
Your inner constellations and stars
Go with that intuition and honor your dreams
No one knows you better than you
Accept when Life gives you a gift
There is no one else it can be given to
And will present when you most need a lift



fantasy sorceressShe’s nothing out of the ordinary, she has a sane mind, she has brown hair, she has two brown eyes, she has two ears, she has one nose, she has plump lips. But that’s when she is under a regular eye, when she is under mine, she’s extraordinary. Her mind is as complex as the galaxies in the sky. She’ll make up her mind then a few moments later it will change. She thinks bad thoughts about herself but will ooze enough confidence and turn those thoughts around. She spends so much time alone in her own head that she feels she is not worthy, yet when she is alone she’s scared people will leave.

I won’t leave, I’ll never leave.

She plays around with her hair so much it’s like a doll she used to play with as a kid, yet when it lays upon the pillow, it smells like home. She can explore my soul through my eyes like windows; her deep stare more powerful than the sun. She has the most perfect lips, they whisper my name in the silent night air, she uses these lips to compliment me, not just with touch but with words too.

Her smile is one of my favorite parts to look at. A grin that can not only be sweet, innocent but also sexy.  She’ll stand in front of a mirror and as her eyes scan her body, I can already see the judgment written on her face. She picks out the things she dislikes and allows herself to believe they need to change, she contorts her figure trying to make a different her, yet I love her for who she is. With one touch she is able to soothe me, like her hands are medicine and I need healing. A touch so gently it feels as though an angel has been placed upon me.

Her soul is the beauty within her, so delicate yet strong, so calm yet fierce. She scares me, of course she does, but for all the right reasons. My heart explodes when I see her or just hear her name, she is my heroin and I’m an addict. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, yet when it comes to her I am, 

God I adore her with every ounce in my body and yet she still doesn’t see it, she doesn’t believe it. She needs to be told she is loved, she needs to be touched and cared for. I am just a human, living in this world with billions of other humans yet she should love me, I need her to love me. Because she is my destiny, she is my universe with all the millions of stars, she is my garden of Eden, she is my holy grail, she is my alphabet with every letter in between.

What I’m trying to say is, I love me.



The High Priestess

Lyn Thurman had an amazing writing challenge during the month of October using the Tarot cards – the major arcana – as prompts. I did not have my blog up then, so I have many articles now stockpiled to share with you – here is what I wrote for the High Priestess, card two.



She knows me. She knows the way. I feel her coursing through my soul. I know her in my heart and I feel the gentle guidance she provides. There is a sense of calm as she leads me to a quiet spot. I am ready to listen and sit in anticipation. Breathing – one, two, three. And again – one, two, three.

The scroll unravels and I feel her presence. She wants me to understand what I feel more than what I see. I feel contentment on my path. I feel the correct path has finally been placed in my way. Spirit surrounds me and cushions any setbacks I might have. Life is leading me down the thoroughfare of words. And surrounding me with success. And support from my family, friends and more.

I feel and know security is going to encompass my home, my heart, and my soul. I am to be protected. From anything. From everything. Even from nothing. I see that the stillness and the solace sometimes is part of this journey. Heck, sometimes this IS the journey. And I smile. Because she smiles. She knows I understand. And I do. That I do.