Monday, October 15, 2018

Beneath It All

Fingers pointing everywhere - past, present, future 
A retreat from peace
Into shadows of regret, reeds grow high blocking the sun
Where is the one? 
A silence is devoured by earthquakes that shatter glasses tumbling from cabinets
My rage
Turning the page
Revealing the frustration beneath it all
Beneath it all

In frustration
The end of anticipation
Into a full blown cry of bitter consternation 
Eyes darting back and forth, to and fro
Where am I to go?
What has begun?
Where is the sanity? Where is the one?
Just a sea of hopelessness and depression beneath it all
Beneath it all

In a closet of darkness - depressed 
So much suppressed
A pillow suffocates instead of comforts
Placed squarely upon the mouth
Which longs for breath
As it awaits the death
Shivering and shaking, holding nothing dear
Succumbing to the numbing fright, the paralyzing fear
Beneath it all
Beneath it all

And as acts of terror bind the deepest night
A gentle bird ... somehow ... enters into sight
Crossing the sky on its eternal flight 
A glimmering hope brings a shimmering light
Faint at first, like the dawn's first peek
Then exclaiming "free" in a game of hide and seek
We rejoice in the recovery of a truth once known
The third eye has opened; this bird has flown
Now fully illumined we know what has begun
What's passed is passed, what's done is done
And so, awake, we greet the brand new sun
Remembering forever, we are the one
Beneath it all
Beneath it all
Beneath it all

Friday, October 5, 2018

On National Poetry Day

Thank you poetry
Thank you poem
You’ve led me inward
You’ve led me home
You’ve protected me
Never leaving me alone
You embrace me deeply
You are my very own

Thank you poetry
You’ve always been there
Through the tremors of fear
At times so scared
When I carried no hope
When I thought no one cared
Then you whispered to me
“We have something to share”

Thank you poetry
Though I felt the defeat
Though lost in the darkness
The dawn’s light, we did greet
I feel so blessed
The sentiment so sweet
Here, I stand with you
I am complete

Saturday, September 15, 2018


The sun sets as the tracks roll beneath me
I peer through a window revealing sand and sea
Then I rest again, eyes closed, sitting silently in my seat
Stillness, I make my exit as the journey is complete
Home I walk the streets, the glowing bulbs illuminate trees
I fall into myself, I fall into bliss, I fall to my knees
Amazed, the universal flow, all hail, please take a bow
The world is really pretty right now

A world really pretty - reminding us of the depth
Knowing the times we have laughed and the times we have wept
Knowing of our sorrow - all that we have lost
Knowing the consequences of injury, all at a cost
Recognizing our purity and beauty beneath it all
Recognizing our mother's and father's voice - an echo down the hall
Remembering our childhood nickname - ah, the source of joy
Remembering when we were simply ... a girl  ... a boy
All the wonderment and innocence that the universe will allow
The world is really pretty right now

It's quiet and still and shimmering in the fading light
Giving way to a deeper stillness that is the night

Yet the darkness does not remain or stay for very long
It ushers in another tomorrow, right where we belong
Sometimes hard to know, this dance of righteous divinity
I open wide my eyes in order to see all there is to see
And I stand astonished, mouth agape, in the wonder and the wow
The world is really pretty right now
So pretty
Right now

Friday, September 14, 2018

At Last

Shouts of doubt
The avalanche of harsh critique
Mild and meek, we attempt our retreat
Under the crush of it all
Yet our shields can not protect us
From that which tears at us from within
We can not win
The devil futility enrolls our participation in our own demise
We fall for the lies
We are not wise
The guillotine of self-loathing leaves us broken, scattered
What matters to a lonely soul without purpose or drive?
We must survive
And so we take up the fight to stay alive ... at last
Not silencing or shushing the voices without reason
We embrace the treason
Stationing shouts of doubt no longer at the helm of this ship
But rather under our wing
This lonesome, sweet, little thing
We protect it, not neglect it
We reveal it, not conceal it
We love it, not hate nor berate it
Inner demons hold no power
When engulfed in our mindful presence
A lasting essence
Delivering us to peace, at last, peace

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Chew Toys - The Answer in a Divisive World

Our dog Hennessy loves to play tug-of-war.

Oh my gosh! It’s so fun. Not only does she love the action of pulling and tugging on a favorite chew toy, but she will also come up to me with her toy or ball or rope and actually hand it (or err - jaw it) over to me so we can play the game.

So, you see it isn’t that she just wants that toy in her possession. If that were the case she would just take the toy and saunter over to her bed and hang with it. No, she brings it over to me so I’ll grab it too and play some intense game of tug of war.

It’s competitive, it’s polarizing and yet it’s a game and it’s fun.
  • Kind of like life.
  • Kind of like the tug-of-war games played on grammar school playgrounds.
  • Kind of like how we humans enjoy a good push-and-pull conversation with those who hold a different point of view.


What happened?

Was there a time when two people could hold different points of view, and hold a intriguing, investigative and yes constructive conversation?

If it were ever true before, it appears that is not the case any longer.

Whatever happened to the US of A and the freedom of expression that paved the way for respectful dialogue, energizing debate and healthy conversations, made enlightening because of the variety of opinion? Conversations, especially those witnessed in politics and on our highly charged social media, have become grounds for anger, division, attack and even violence.

Anything but fun.

Anything but engaging.

And, may I propose, anything but American.

Besides a handful of moderate voices who fairly observe and critique all parties, we now have a left and a right that balance out their collective time in two ways:

1.    Glorifying their own viewpoints and constituents. 
2.    Pointing fingers at the lunacy of the other side.

But wait!

What happened to the game?

The push and the pull.

The two sides that could refine their own views, strengthen their own reasoning, and open their own minds through the vehicle of discourse and dialogue.

Is it not OK to have opposing viewpoints, especially in this Constitutional Republic of ours, which propels us forward through the freedom of thought and expression?

On a higher level, do we think we were plopped into the world of duality to have the same beliefs, filters, and thoughts as everyone else? Would you even want that? What would we talk about?

What a boring life it would be if we all saw things the same way.

It would be like living in an echo chamber of our own thoughts.

Like a bad movie that held no opposing forces.

Like a tennis match without an opponent.

It would be like having a chew toy and no one to hand it over to so we could play a gun game of tug-of-war.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer living in San Diego, who even enjoys debating the various sides of himself. He can be found at

Monday, August 13, 2018

Armed with Grace, Beauty and Love

I awoke this morning and decided to meditate. And for the sake of my sanity - and perhaps yours - I am glad I did.

I think I'm onto something here that could help everyone. It all has to do with arming ourselves with the very weapons that will help us throughout our days and nights in the world of light and dark...

I awoke this day with the rattling memory of a whirling social media and news-feed that spits back its vile petulance and darkness. Images of left and right wingers spouting condemnation, antifa marches catapulting hatred, bombs ripping apart human rights, drugs and guns blasting down the innocence of the innocent...

Oh my god, it is happening out there.

And the worst part is ... it is getting IN there.

So many images and memories of the dark forces at play can really have a field day on our psychology and consciousness. But what can we do?

As I sat down at my meditation altar, I had my eyes closed at first. At this point, the images and memories of a culture gone kooky and a nation gone mad caught my mind's eye. And then I made an important move. I made the smart choice to take a certain action.

I peeked.

I slightly opened my eyes.

And what was before me? What was there staring back at me from my altar? It was a simple picture of a smiling aura of grace emanating from a certain spiritual teacher from southern India. A vision of Ammachi, known as a "hugging saint," glanced back at me.

Full of love, full of grace, full of beauty.

And it was here that I realized that to stay sane in this world of duality - ups and downs, rights and wrongs, rights and lefts - we would be wise to first arm ourselves. But we would not arm ourselves necessarily with guns and knives. Rather we can arm ourselves with a connection to something deep within: that identification with a higher power, a connection with a deeper source. What swiftly came to mind was "arm yourself with grace, beauty and love." That was the message told to me.

If we meet negative with negative, we can only escalate the insanity. Fire plus fire only builds a flame higher. Argument matched with more argument only constructs bigger defenses. Darkness plus darkness = darkness. It's math. A no-brainer.

This is not new or news to any of us.

But it's a good reminder for me, especially when I feel lost in a world that appears so many times so very lost.

Before anything. Before approaching the world of duality. Before taking on social media or a media frenzy designed to distract. Before leaving the house...
  • First sit.
  • Meditate. 
  • Connect.
  • Rekindle the grace, beauty and love.
  • Discover the kingdom within and everything will be added unto thee.

You will be armed with all you need to address that which arises.

You can not get lost when you have found yourself and your connection prior to your journey.

Be at peace. Be still. Know the truth. Reflect the light upon all you come across.

It can only support us all ... in reflecting the same.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and filmmaker still looking for that peace and love, attempting to recall its true source. He can be found at


Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Brighter Day - What Can You Say To Lighten Their Day?

"Light of the world shine on me. Love is the answer. Shine on us all. Set us free. Love is the answer."
    ~ Todd Rundgren

A Brighter Day
What Can You Say To Lighten Their Day?

And so it begins! July 1, 2018.

It’s the campaign to bring love and light and uplift to everyone … including you.

Consider yourself invited. But know that it is an exclusive invitation list, which includes only the inner circle of all humans who have the heart to play along.

So what is this campaign: “A Brighter Day?”

It’s a movement to uplift all those with whom you come in contact, as you offer a positive sentiment of personal acknowledgment.

Perhaps you require an example. Imagine this:

1.     You go to a Starbucks.
2.     You are greeted by a barista who takes your order.
3.     Your mind opens up to possibilities to bring some sort of acknowledgment, compliment or appreciation to this person, no matter their personality, no matter their familiarity to you.
4.     Sentiments are yours and yours alone, no script, and could be something as simple as “I appreciate your new hairstyle” or “My wife loved the last venti hot chocolate you made.”
5.     You either say the sentiment out loud, or choose to mainly keep it to yourself.

Sounds easy?  It is. That’s what makes it so hard.

There are a few notable guidelines, which I’ll get to in a bit, but the important part is not the response of the person, or barista in this example. No, something much more vital is available here.

What is actually happening in these encounters is more than a compliment to a stranger, who may or may not receive the good you are offering. What’s taking place is you are training your brain to look for the good all around you. And in your expression you are reinforcing the perception, making it tangible, real and part of a life experience. You are also creating a gift to another who could most likely be uplifted by your sweet sentiment. 

At last, you are conditioning your mind to consider ways of loving all those you meet up with on your journey in this life.

By design, if possible, this isn’t just a good thought, but an actual statement or sentiment that lifts them up in some way. Most likely those hearing the words will be uplifted; it’s often the case you will be lifted as well. But what is consistent and true is that you will be developing a consciousness to be in a place of lighter perception.

In the long run, it will brighten and lighten the day, with the actual words you choose to say.

Now what are some of the caveats?  There had to be some. And you may already be thinking of them with your own objections to this certain path.

First off, for logistical reasons, you won’t be speaking to ALL you meet in public. Consider giant crowds at a concert. And some folks you won’t want to offer something verbal – those hard at work for example. In some cases, a simple good thought sent someone’s way will be all that is available. 

Even so, we are indeed looking to make the experience “real” by uttering some verbal statement of acknowledgment towards another. It can take various forms as well, not necessarily a compliment. It can even be a light-hearted joke to bring a laugh or a smile.

When speaking with the opposite gender, be aware of the current landscape and the potential way your expression can be received. This isn’t the same as “come-on lines,” and some topics are off limits to those hearing a compliment about any sort of body part. I had one past experience inviting a female into a running club, stating that she appeared to have strong enough legs to run a marathon. That didn’t go over well. A friend of mine, who had the habit of calling people – male and female – “beautiful” got written up at work for sexual harassment. Though you don’t want to completely censure yourself, you will want to know your audience!

Also, if you are out there and someone actually triggers upset and anger in you, it may NOT be the best time to utter some “positive” words, as such statements could easily come across as anything from fake ... to sarcastic ... to confrontational.

This campaign is never about being fake, but rather finding the reality in the uplifting sentiment. There are moments to bring more challenging conversations if there is a conflict that needs resolution. As well, there are times to bring in constructive criticism when you are called to express this. (These are different campaigns.) For now, follow these supportive tips when the coast is clear:

  • Consider expressing verbally actual positive sentiments between you and another person. These can be ways they uplift you, a lighthearted gag, a compliment, or something you appreciate about them: a quality they possess or an action they have taken.
  • This is not about blowing smoke, or being fake with some phony baloney words.
  • This is not being “nice,” but expressing a perception of something that is actually working for you or something that you admire.
  • If are upset with the person, you may first want to resolve what stands in between you two prior to considering what to say to brighten their day. (Though starting off with an uplifting expression may support the conversation.)
  •  If there is discord between you or if no words are possible, you can resort to simply closing your eyes and sending a good thought or even a prayer – at least your mind has done its work.
  • Do not use sarcasm in these situations, or use veiled judgments, since that will send a confusing message.
  • Keep it simple and brief so the person knows it isn’t about striking up a conversation or a long-term relationship.
  • Use "I statements" as much as possible.
  • This is different than a “random act of kindness” – it’s an actual verbal statement to someone right there before you.
  • This is something you say in order to reach another person ... not a sentiment that serves you only, as in a physical gift you give another because you want to borrow it later.
  • If not in person, you could post something on social media or in a text, whichever is more fun.
  • Have no expectation on getting anything back. Don’t take personal the response, negative or positive. Remember this is about your training and not about you getting a reward. Your reward will be a heightened consciousness and a light that surrounds you.
And so there it is. A campaign, a path, a door to a lighter world. Imagine if more and more people took this on – instead of the overbearing “what’s not working” or “what’s wrong” mentality … what a great new place this could be. “Love one another” wouldn’t just be a catch phrase.

We will be able to just watch the vibrations rise within them ... and you, as we make our sentiments verbal for those we meet!  

The next person you see may just hold the answer to your own happiness. And that is because he or she will be your next opportunity to choose love over fear, to see the reflection of the divine and to uplift another on our path to uplift all.