We’re All Refugees & It’s Time For Love & Prayer


Sometimes it is too painful to be in a body. Especially when black people are killed because they are black, and veterans shoot policemen. Men rape and abuse women, and get away with it. People blow up themselves and others. Our brothers and sisters in their despair have decided that someone has to die, their fellow countrymen, the other religious sect, whomever is in the way of righteousness.

Symptoms of a world on fire, humanity stands at the edge, looking into an abyss so deep and wide we dare not leap.

When I become numb or obsess on the news and what other people are thinking, then it is time to feel. I stand at Search Bay holding these thoughts, my body dull and leaden beneath their burdens. The only door in is movement, to dance the self free and return to prayers woven through subtle gesture and feeling.

Music is the sound of waves and wind. The clouds move with me, joined by birds calling in the forest and over the waters. Trees bow gracefully before the elements. Prayer longs for presence. It moves up through layers of pain. Tears fall as deep anguish rises on the tail of hands spreading through space. Body weaves right and left, sinks down, rises up. Feet caress the ground, connecting with support, with the Earth.

The body leads with each tear shed. With each contraction of grief I step into feeling and freedom. The body knows what truth is. Truth is not this painful separateness, this struggle to rise into power that is removed from the greater good. The body knows the truth.

We stand at the edge of an awareness revolution. Where our heritage as human beings committed to tribes and survival burns to become a unity of being. I can’t tell you what that means, but standing on the shores of Search Bay, a place that called me to its wild beaches, I know. We are poised to leap…to enter a reality where we know ourselves as one, as unbroken wholeness unfolding. Where we will look at the “other” and see our struggle for love and acceptance.

We will know we are there when we recognize ourselves in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. When I discover I am both the black man stopped in traffic by police and then dead and the policeman shooting in terror. I am the woman who goes to a party and wakes up raped. We are all refugees, whether in a camp in South Sudan without hope or as Syrians driven from our homes and lives.

This is no one’s fault. We endlessly assign blame, and hate those who are responsible, perpetuating the trauma of tribal stories of survival. We have choices. We can feel.

It is time! The planet is calling through horrors and polarities that lie on top of the chaos we fear, calling us to open to a bigger picture, to let go of control, to follow. Polarities are strong, humanity is a caricature of itself. Chaos is present, the Earth is in crisis, and we are in crisis.

What emerges from within is something we cannot contain or control. This is love, unfathomable overwhelming love. It lives inside our bodies, waiting for us to slow down and drop in. This home, our body, is intimately connected with the Earth. If we let the body out of its box and into our worlds… if we let words follow movement and presence, we might find home together here.

I stand on the shores of Lake Huron and follow the body’s weaving. It is beautiful. My body welcomes me home as I sink deeply into its truth, for a moment. The body’s truth is amazing; I can barely stay present when it opens doors to what lies behind this dense reality we claim. The intelligence orchestrating all we experience asks me to let go, to become a fluid center, like the waters that roll endlessly into the beach where I stand. This request is so anxiety provoking, so chaotic that I retreat, before I can step forward.

I join the larches and birches, cedars and pine, sand hill cranes and bald eagles, the endless chorus of sea gulls diving overhead. How to let go and welcome them? My body knows! Once the layers of pain and burdens of responsibility are shed, I leave behind a skin so tight that it kills.

Then I become prayer. I join the waters and the Earth, offering prayers for a planet standing at the edge. We each have to choose whether to burn or leap, it doesn’t really matter what choice we make. Whatever we choose serves unbroken wholeness. It loves and accommodates all. I choose love.

I don’t know how to love as deeply as I am called to. Maybe if I show up, returning again and again to this body, if I follow movement into prayer, presence and communion, I can join the revolution at hand. A revolution of awareness and welcome for a reality so large it can’t be held by the mind.

But the body, ah the body. The body rejoices to immerse itself in love, relieved to be included, excited to lead this journey home.

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith.

Sip a little more:

{Open Your Heart} My Gift Of Love To The Pain & Horror In The World

Dance With the Dead, Let Them Guide Your Feet And Memory

lisa marks


Lisa Marks


Lisa Marks MA LMHC had a dream that inspired a lifelong movement practice. Out of her journey arose Sentient Body Explorations®. Resting on the theoretical foundations of Process Work Psychology, Sentient Body Explorations demonstrate how subtle awareness and movement uncover information drawing us closer to our essential self and our soul’s purpose. Lisa creates safety, laughter and direction for this powerful practice of embodiment. Lisa is a Psychotherapist, Organizational Consultant, Process Work Associate, Sentient Body Coach and Soul Motion™ teacher. She loves exploring embodiment in relationship to the self, others and the planet that holds us. Trees and beaches in the woods and waters of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Olympic Peninsula of Washington are her movement partners. Passionate about her spiritual and movement practices, gardening, hiking, and poetry, she can also be found performing with Yesango Marimba Ensemble.

  1. HI Lisa,

    Just read your words and feel myself caught — also not knowing how to love as well as I would like. Thank you for sharing your lake experience with us all. Cindy

  2. Thank you Cindy. So touched… I too don’t know how to love as I can. How to love and hold the other side of no and some things are not ok? And fight back too! Practicing how to do both/and. Greetings to your side of the Great Lakes. With love, Lisa

  3. Good morning Lisa….I am deeply touched and moved by your piece. We share the same vision of our humanities evolution. Busting open, embracing and loving the pain of us all is not a task many are willing to attend to. Thankfully you are. With love, Deb

    • Thank you Deb. For walking through the vision together over the years and being willing to show up with all your heart, wide open. Phew… ripples outward that loving heart holding pain and promise in each breath. Thank you for sharing! Lots of love!!!

  4. Brenna Olivier

    Thank you for your beautiful writings. I can feel the movement and exploration within the words, the dynamic physical within the captured word. Thank you for your deep presence and willingness to keep growing, nurturing and exploring.

    • Thank you Brenna! For your willingness to feel within the words what is dying to be born. Together we can do this next step one breath and moment at a time. Stepping into the body, stepping into being. Painful as it sometimes seems. Lots of love! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This