To The Little Girls (the future drum beats)

I have never posted a "spoken word" type project. I'm shaking as I hit send because this is overly vulnerable, even for me. But when I feel things of great magnitude, I have to get them out or they get stuck in me. This is for all the girls and women that I love fiercely. Click below to listen if you are supposed to.




Here's to the little girls of America (and the world) who's blood and tears are boiling and brooding and running hot and scared today.

Your Mamas want to know what to say to you in the aftermath of a broken dream, but they are momentarily feeling small again, like they didn't work hard enough, sing loud enough, shout proud enough.

Not true.

The heartbeat you feel in your chest is one that has been beating since long before you were conceived. It is one that has been muffled and told to be smaller and quieter for generations. But the Mamas are bold and will not be silenced. They have continued to grow louder and stronger and fiercer with every set back and through the ages, they have fought for your right to NOT have to fight for your voice.

They continue.

Your future is full of drum beats and lyrics and melodies that will carry you gracefully out of THIS battle and straight through the glass ceiling that is cracking under the pressure of the collective LOVE rising up.

One woman is not your answer.

You are the answer.

Together, we are making differences that will add up to THE difference.

Little girls, you come with a blueprint of nurturing and loving and protecting in your veins that you do not have to apologize for! And you will do those things with a ferocity that will shock the hell out of you someday. Being feminine is not weak. You do not have to act like a man in order to be powerful. Embrace what is YOU and you will rise strong. Act like a GIRL, act like A WOMAN, act like A SURVIVOR, whatever that looks like for you. Wave it around for everyone to see, however YOU SEE FIT.

Because you not only have the heartbeat of generations in your chest, you ARE THE HEARTBEAT and it continues to gain momentum, moving from the low steady hum of your foremothers, into what is now an anthem being sung throughout the lands, saying,




YOU ARE the future drum beats, the future melodies, the future lyrics.

You are the future.

So, beautiful ones, go to bed tonight with a heavy heart. Feel every ounce of sadness that has been unearthed today. But lay yourselves under a heavy blanket of hope and compassion and healing, knowing that something much greater than one battle was won today.

Togetherness was won today.

Soak it up as you sleep, dream it, believe it and wake up tomorrow ready to keep living it.

Tomorrow is a new day and you are one step closer to living the balanced and beautiful life that your Mamas have believed for you.

And someday you will be the Mama. And you will be the fierceness. And you will be dreaming of the next best thing for your daughters.

And that's what keeps your Mamas fighting.


Who remembers that very poignant last question asked in the debate on Sunday night? "Can either of the candidates find a quality that you respect in each other?"

Well here's my sincere, and not one bit sarcastic, quality that I am grateful for (can't get all the way to respect) in Donald Trump, having nothing and EVERYTHING to do with politics.


You have single-handedly given us the greatest gift we could have possibly ever received in the form of a COLLECTIVE VOICE. If ever there was a time to find GRATITUDE and beauty in something so utterly despicable, let my voice be the one to shout it the loudest.... #BEAUTYHERE

And to the girls and women who have experienced this kind of hurt and to the men that have loved us and respected us and have helped to healed wounds like these in us, let us now see this as the offering that it is and continue this incredible dialogue so that we can raise daughters AND SONS who will not continue to stand for this kind of disrespectful mockery as a normal way of behavior.

I am thankful to be alive at such a time as this and be able to speak up in this very delicate and important conversation. I may only influence a small little circle of girls and women, but I will proudly stand up and speak about this in a way that helps to shift the perspective and makes us take a look at what can really be accomplished by what is happening. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING TO's happening FOR us. It is crumbling HUGE AND SCARY walls of silence. Let's use social media for adding to the beauty and realize that this conversation goes waaayyy beyond politics and enters us into a new way of thinking, acting and loving. The future is big and bright and full of beautiful women who are changing the world, one story at a time. Focus on THAT.

In sincere gratitude,

I told my daughter I didn't like her...

I told my daughter I didn't like her last night before bed. She sat there stunned for a second and said, "Well, I don't like you much either, so I guess it's time for bed." And then she walked out and went to bed.

And I let her go.

Usually I will go to her after an incident like that and "make it right", but on this night, I was just too tired to care anymore and I fell asleep.

And now I am awake and have been struggling with this feeling for the past two hours. And here is where I find myself.

I think it's ok for our kids to know we don't like them sometimes. As we grow up, when we do something hurtful to someone else, they will either tell us or show us in one way or another. So what better way for kids to practice not being "liked", than in a place where they know there is unconditional love? Where they know they will still wake up to a snuggle and breakfast and a ride to school and an "I love you even tho we were not at our best last night" as she gets out of the car?

Really, what better place is there to feel failure than right in the middle of love?

I don't love this particular stage of life with her. It's hard and she is like a mirror of all of my Jr. High insecurities. Most days it seems I cannot do anything right.

But (and this is the important part) I love this girl and her fierceness and her matter-of-factness. And most of all, I love the fact that she will always be calling me to love in ways that I never even knew I was capable of.

And that is enough to get me back to sleep.

(I hope)


A Moment

There is a single moment when you realize that every moment in life goes exactly as it must, in order for you to properly feel each consecutive moment.

And when that realization sets in, you can then consider all things for learning and growing and expanding.  You blink a little slower, so that you can take in every color that speeds by you in a flurry and tuck it away behind your eyelids for later. You somehow breathe a little deeper so that you can feel the caverns of your lungs waiting for you to send another shot of life into them. And most of all you begin to walk more purposefully, stopping to engage only with those hearts and souls that bring to you and breathe into you new life with even their very presence.

This is the moment that nothing else matters except love and intention and you let go of all that no longer serves your highest good and bring into your sphere the expansion of life where you have plenty of room to grow and change into the soul lover you were brought here to be.

And when you become aware of and begin to cross paths with those souls that you were brought here to love, a new moment arises in you and the realization of depth sets in.  No longer do you desire to control other beings into loving you, because the desire for the deepest of connections outweighs control and the waiting becomes the gift. Waiting for the beauty of a connection to come into its perfect timing of birth and life.  Creation.  And when that happens, souls can then move fluidly in and out of and all around each other, creating masterpieces, as love permits, in order to give each other exactly what is needed at the perfect time.

And so in this newly created space, the simple and yet complex act of a kiss becomes a momentary connection of yourself with another, for passing by and seeing something deeper within their soul, as opposed to a promise that ties you to a heart for the life of its body.
And even greater still, when the time comes for two souls to come together in passion and the bond of bodily love is created, it is just exactly that...Creating.  Art.  Crafted by two souls to be admired only by them and to be used intentionally for what needs to be healed within each of them.

For love is art and art is healing. But on the deepest level, life is art and should be moveable and bendable and shapable.  And although art is most certainly subjective to each individual beholder,  it should always be most beautifully beheld by its creator, for only he or she knows exactly why and for what it was created.

And so in this awareness, I will celebrate my ability to create beauty within the depths of my love.  And I will allow myself to feel every part of what the ground and sky have to offer me, as I exist temporarily between the two, creating a body-soul experience that has felt all of life and is ready to leave when it must.  And when it does, I will move into the next realm peacefully, knowing that with each passing moment I created art within and around this clay-made body in order to leave a piece of beauty behind on the earth for her eternal healing.

Because everything is healing. Everything is art.  Everything is eternity.  Everything is a single moment.


Published in the Compilation Project: Recovering Faith: Words for the Way. Volume 1.(Poetry, meditations, personal stories, essays, curricula and more.)

At Last (a song about hope)

Story Behind The Song

by Shellee Coley

A few weeks ago I wrote a new song. It came out in such a way that I felt the devastating heaviness of the past several years and the blessed relief of hope, all at the same time. It was the strangest and most wonderful mix of emotions I that I have ever experienced in my songwriting process. It felt as if my faith and my doubt were simultaneously dancing together to create God's love in the form of a song! 

I sent my iPhone demo to a few people who have walked closely with me in this season of my faith journey and something beautiful happened from it. My friend Travis Reed saw through the cracked morning voice and my hesitant performance of the new melody and he created another layer of beautiful art to accompany it in video form.

All of my ego is hesitant to share this very personal moment with the world, but my spirit says YES! So here is an offering created in friendship and trust, by myself and my incredibly talented friend, who sees beauty beyond what most see. I'm grateful that he gave images to the cries of my heart.

To Watch More Beautiful Videos By The Work Of The People And Find Out How To Subscribe Monthly For Their Incredible Content, CLICK HERE

About "The Work of the People"

We are an independent ecumenical platform that produces and publishes multimedia to stir imagination, spark discussion and move people toward discovery and transformation. 

Seeing and living in God's alternative narrative of abundance and freedom often requires a holy disruption that gets us to an altered perspective. The Work Of The People strives to be a holy disruption and prophetic witness that creates multimedia as a daring proclamation and moves people toward growth and divine vocation.

By creating the only Visual Liturgy library on the planet and gathering the wisdom and insight of an unparalleled collection of theologians and practitioners, The Work Of The People have become trusted creators of content that doesn't decorate, but declares; and curators of a unique cloud of witnesses who challenge and invite us to live upside down and abundant lives.

Peace, Love and Hippie Shit

I've spent the last several years " getting healthy". I spent a good portion of the earlier part of my life in and out of Doctors and Hospitals trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I always felt broken, both physically and mentally. At one point, I got tired of that route and began seeking out more natural methods and what my friends fondly refer to as "hippie shit" and through many trial and error experimentations, found a path that worked for me. I still had an occasional cold or stomach bug, but on the whole, I was so much better, that those things seemed minimal. I felt I was mostly on the path to wholeness and healing.  

Enter 2015. 

Not only has MY health been a challenge this year, but both of my Dads and my Aunt have had cancer and a host of other health issues. It has been an incredibly difficult year for me personally, but also just for our family in general...And all the hippie shit just couldn't fix it.

We often look at each other and say, "How can we handle more?"  And honestly, there are days when you just can't. So you yell at someone or you curl up in bed with the dog for 5 hours in the middle of the day or you drink a couple glasses of something that makes it all go away for the night. But we all still get up everyday and try again and keep loving each other through the very large amount of shit we are shuffling through right now. 

The most interesting thing about this season, is that in the midst of all this, I have been more spiritually content and fulfilled than ever in my life. I will start to panic about something and then, ever so gently, I am filled with hope and a promise of healing. It doesn't happen every time, and sometimes it doesn't last very long before the panic sets in again with the barrage of "what if's" that my mind can spin. But it's beautiful when it does happen and I recognize it for all its beauty, because of the lack of it I had most of my life. 

I am talking about peace.

Peace that surpasses all understanding. Truly.  

Up until this past year, I could count on one hand the moments when I've experienced true peace in my life. I am sure they were all around me, but I just couldn't ever figure out how to tap into them or hold onto them. But these days, the moments of peace come so fast and furiously, that I couldn't document all of them, even if I tried. And I'm realizing, that's because I watch gratefully for them in the midst of my chaos and daily stress of life. There is not a formula or a 12 step program for peace. I think it just finds you when you have come to the end of yourself and you decide you don't have to be at war with yourself anymore.


Some would say read your bible. Some would say pray or meditate. Some would say deep breathing. And while all of these are most definitely paths to peace, only you can decide if you will find it in any of those places. I have deep breathed myself right into a panic attack with a BIBLE in my hands, so the tools are not THE PEACE. The peace is more elusive and mysterious in my opinion, almost magical. And when you find it, you celebrate it and you fill yourself full of it and know that it most definitely will float away for a time, but that it will always come back if you are looking for it. 

Peace. It is well.  

the stories behind the song and video of conversations with z

One day, two moms stood in a parking lot and talked about collaborating artistically.  Below is the story of how the song, "Conversations with Z", was born and and how two women's love of creating came together and brought forth a new piece of art in the form of a video.  There are elements of both joy and sorrow in our stories, and making this video was a true labor of love and healing for both us. We sincerely hope that by sharing our stories in this way, others will be inspired to tell their stories and find their own unique creative healing process.  We are grateful for the opportunity to share ourselves with you in this way. xo, T&S

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