spiritual healing

i carried this for years.

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"You seemed very curious as a newborn Boop. It seemed as if you were absorbing EVERYTHING. You had a very intense and piercing gaze, but not in a bad way. You were a happy baby, always smiling. You were also a trick baby (not the pimp, prostitute type of trick) but the kind of baby that was so easy that it tricked you into thinking that yep, I could do it again. Lol" - Kimberly Banks (My Mom)

 

Feeling motherless had become embedded in the fabric of who I was for so long. I truly believed I was unworthy of a mother's love. I taught myself that if a mother didn't want her child then the child was not enough. I truly believed that. I spent years feeling unsafe, unloved, and neglected but something in me couldn't pull away from the hope that one day I would be able to ask my mom "When did you realize that you couldn't take care of me?". 

Asking the hard questions was something I prayed about. I wanted the courage to ask, to mend a strained relationship, to accept what the truth was even if I didn't like the way it made me feel. Through therapy and my own spiritual journey I found myself doing the unraveling of what happens to a motherless child. When I got to the core, there she was, me, 7 years old holding on to an oversize Tigger shirt and a stuffed pig that smelled like my mother. She was unsafe. unloved, and neglected and she carried that with her in those items. 

As I talked to her I found out that she didn't hate her mother, no, she loved her mother more than anything else. She had questions that needed answers and she was waiting for me to ask them. She was waiting for me to release all of the assumptions and get the facts.

Last year I got to ask my mom those questions. I asked her about her childhood, her adult life, and the question that haunted me everyday --- why couldn't you keep me? I learned that she, in her late 20s, felt helpless and lost. I could tell she had been working on herself because her responses were clear and genuine. We talked for hours.

As the conversation pressed on I realized something. I never looked at my mother as another woman -- always as this goddess like person who denied me their love. I never thought fully about her own life traumas or her own mental health battles. I was a child and the thought of going to school and having people ask where my mom was haunted me. Mother's Day made me sick and I hated holidays. As I got older I swore off all children in hopes that I wouldn't be like her. 

I was a child but now I am a woman. I am a woman who is in her late 20s dealing with things that have sent me over the edge. Things that have made me question my own existence. I can feel my mother's trauma and pain through my own. I can finally relate.

My mother, although absent for most of childhood, has always loved me. No matter how mad I get through this process of creating our own relationship --- she still loves me. She encourages me and reminds me of who I am -- every single time we speak. She makes me laugh. She makes me remember what it felt like to lie in her arms even when we are miles apart. I haven't hugged my mother or seen her in 5 years but I can remember her scent. Being able to just call her about anything has changed my entire life and I will be able to hug her again, very soon.

Family hasn't always been the kindest to me but I value the relationships I am building with them now. I am rewriting our history one relationship at a time. I am the missing piece that will complete this puzzle.

 I was told once by a good friend that I am here to break my family curses. I am here to wash away my families shame. I am here to heal and save my family and that starts with my mother.

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Come shine with me!

roots.

Poetry month is coming to an end and I honestly have enjoyed every moment of sharing my work with you all. I have a small following of readers and it's a blessing to know that someone is interested in my work and actually finds it helpful in some way. 

With everything that has been happening this year in my life unexpectedly, I have found that being outside and planting my feet into the grass is one of the most therapeutic things for me. I have noticed that I am more concise with my words and I am starting to find myself not interested in the things that used to occupy my mind and time. With every moment outside amongst the flowers, birds, trees, and sounds of the wind I find myself becoming more open to the possibility of putting my phone down and allowing myself to become one with the outside -- even if just for a moment. 

Being grounded is something I have always struggled with. I often found myself trying to control things that were totally out of my control. Past trauma and pain and "the struggle" are embedded in the fabric of who I am but that didn't mean that I had to be married to those emotions, that pain, and those memories. I was operating out of a place of "I have to struggle in order for my life to mean something" and sometimes I still think that way.

To combat that I force myself outside as a reminder that I do not have control of anything -- except my reactions. I can choose what to keep and what to let go. I can choose what to divorce that is no longer serving me. Being outside is a reminder that as long as I can plant my feet into the ground and allow myself to breathe for a moment that life goes on. 

I have been using Twitter less and less daily but I posted something recently that not only resonates deeply with me but seems to resonate with others. I said, 

"I am divorcing my attachment to the idea that I have to struggle all my life. I am divorcing the idea that I have to perform to be loved. I am divorcing the idea that I cannot accept myself the way that I am right now." 

I meant that with every bone and breath in my body. I am really tired of being married to the struggle and to that struggle mentality. I am not a victim anymore. My life will have ups and downs that I cannot control. The only thing I can control is how many moments I can allow myself to go outside, plant my feet into the ground, and breathe freely. 

Next month is #MentalHealthAwareness month. I will be taking a hiatus from my personal social media accounts to focus on some inner work for a few weeks. I have some great features for next month's blog from some of my favorite people. Follow the blog's Twitter and Instagram for updates! I will be using those accounts during my hiatus from my personal accounts to keep you all updated on posts. 

Poetry month has been a blessing to me. I hope it's been a blessing to you too. 

Fin.

Come shine with me!

Perform No More

This is the time of year where everyone is figuring out what they have accomplished, going over mistakes they made, and trying to figure out what’s the big goal for next year. There will be vision board parties, new year new me posts on IG, and think-pieces about what to bring into 2018 and what to leave behind in 2017. All of these have a purpose and a place. All of these have significance to someone.

Throughout the year I have tried to find ways to better myself. I have done this through many different modes -- therapy, exercise, diet, friendships, healing, writing, dancing, reading, studying, retreating, reinventing myself..all necessary. One thing I can say I haven’t done is mastered self-preservation. I have found many ways to stay afloat and to exist but I can be honest and say that I have neglected certain things about myself that I need to preserve.

Self-preservation is often tied to extreme things like death or just staying alive.Then there is the flip-side where it can be seen as a way to protect oneself from the outside world and societal/systemic schools of thought that can break a person down. Doing just enough to not end up hurt physically but what about the mind. The mind needs preservation too.

I had a good friend tell me that my “form of self-care was making sure others were doing self-care but what about me?”. Sometimes we can get into the cycles and rhythms of helping others preserve themselves and ignoring the glaring red flags in our mind that we need to preserve ourselves first.

How does this happen? I believe it stems from the need to feel needed, the desire to be wanted, the eagerness to make sure others are doing well. Nothing is wrong with this but in order to really be of service to others, we must first be of service to ourselves.

I had to ask myself the hard-hitting questions. “Are you happy?” “How do you feel physically vs mentally vs emotionally?” “When you wake up do you feel ready for the day?” Let’s just say the answers were not all “love and light” like one would expect. I spent most of my year so concerned with my presentation that I didn’t take time to work on my preservation.

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Because of this, I got sick, a lot, and none of my remedies were working as well or as quickly. My lack of mental preservation impacted my physical body. So, I had to do some digging. I had to figure out what I needed to do in order to preserve myself.

I had to first realize that my lack of care for myself was going to kill me and that I really have a lot of work to do in the “attempting to live for others and be perfect” department. Shit can be so toxic and foolish. This I know.  I had to secondly realize that the more I ignored the signs of letting go of things the more difficult it would be to really be open to my blessings. And lastly….I had to quit my job.

From here I am not sure of a lot of things but the one thing I am sure of...is my decisions. I know that in order for me to continue to shine I cannot present instead of preserving. I cannot tell others to shine their light if I continue to let my own light dim when I feel weak or scared. This isn’t an empowerment piece, it’s a redirection piece. Shit, we all have moments where we forget how to take care of ourselves. This was my moment of many.

New year new me? Nope. New year, same me, better observation of self, less presenting for others, and grave preservation of self as a WHOLE.

 

How do you plan to preserve yourself moving forward?

 

Come shine with me!

Welcome to the #LIGHTSHOW

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Compliments are my favorite gift to give. I enjoy making others smile by pointing out the things I admire about them. It can be their smile, style, resilience, intelligence and even their laugh. If I love it, more than likely, I will compliment it. I get joy from watching the light of others beam onto me and how their smiles radiate when I pay them a compliment. That genuine exchange is my favorite form of communication.

It’s so easy to find the good in others and compliment them but at times I find myself struggling to pay myself compliments. Often times we are so busy with the hustle and bustle of the day that we forget to pat ourselves on the back for our achievements. We forget to encourage ourselves and extend kindness.

I am extremely hard on myself, imposter syndrome always catches me slippin’.  I find myself doubting my worth and my work. We can be our worst critics, right? 

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This blog post is a little different, in that, it is a challenge to my readers. I want you all to give yourself the flowers.

Let me explain.

I call this the #LightShow challenge. What we are going to do will bring us so much joy, I promise. On December 1st I want you to write yourself a letter. Encourage yourself, motivate yourself, and pay yourself some damn compliments. In 30 days we will open our letters together. That day, December 31st, 2017, will be our #LightShow. We will shine our lights back onto ourselves so as we embark on 2018 we can illuminate our world. You don’t have to post your letter, you don’t have to even tell me you did it, I just think you deserve to get some flowers.

#LightShow is something that I have been testing on myself in the last 2 months. I started off with texts to myself, then I did emails, and now I, too, will be doing the letter challenge. It has made a world of difference on those days when I need a reminder of who the fuck I AM.

If you are on social media use the hashtag #LightShow when you want to give yourself some flowers. Self-Praise is the BEST praise. Word to @heyfranhey. I am so excited to radiate with you on December 31st, 2017. Let’s light this shit up and relish in our greatness, together!

Come shine with me!

Salvation

 

 

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I often listen to audiobooks on my morning commute to work. Most of these selections are considered new age, enlightenment, or even self-help. One book, in particular, The Power of Now, has been resonating with me more now than it did when I first read it, chapter 8 specifically. Eckhart Tolle talks about relationships in a way that not only made my head spin but also made me evaluate my own marriage & how I interact with my husband. Tolle also made me think about past relationships with lovers and even friends and how they panned out.

He talks about Salvation, which is a word I used to tie to Christianity solely. When seeking love or seeking refuge we sometimes believe that another person will be that redemption for us. That way of thinking can make us become obsessive and set expectations that are irrational. We have all been there before, chasing unrequited love in hope for salvation or settling for anyone as a friend or lover just to say we have a “person”.

I had a talk with my husband a few days ago about my real thoughts prior to marriage. We talked about societal pressures and confusion. I expressed how I felt like it was the “thing to do” in order to be whole, he felt the same. We then talked about where we are now, a year later, and how as we both go through the journey alone yet together, we can see that we are whole persons and that we do not “complete” each other. That idea of “completion” puts pressures on someone to be “everything” to one person and that is an unrealistic and irrational task. I realize now that the reasons for our marriage were immature but luckily those reasons have drastically changed.

My healing journey sparked the curiosity in my husband.  He knows that I cannot be his salvation and I realize that he cannot be mine.

Salvation is not elsewhere in place or time. It is here and now. - Eckhart Tolle

 

We are both blossoming in our own ways. I am learning who I am as a woman, who is queer, and married to a man and what it means to be present in salvation. He is learning who he is as a man, with a queer wife,  and what it means to be present in salvation. We are learning to continue finding refuge in the present and redemption in ourselves. From that we can bring transformation into our marriage without trying to transform each other based on our own egotistical agendas.

 

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Often times I get asked about marriage, love, relationships and I tell people constantly that your love for yourself reigns supreme. In order to blossom you must nurture yourself. Relationships are nice but how are you as a partner to yourself? That is more important, in my opinion.

How you treat yourself is important. It is one of the most important themes of life. How you love yourself is important. Do you treat yourself with the love and compassion you give others? Are you seeking refuge in things and people?

Shit, I know I have and I know I will again and again but I also know that I will gently remind myself that my refuge is within me. We all deserve to find redemption in ourselves, even if it is a lifelong journey.

 

Have you read The Power of Now? If so, did you like it? I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below!

Come shine with me!

A Trip Around the Sun

A photo from my last trip to a park before my Solar Return. It was so beautiful. I can't wait to experience parks in the Fall months.  (Louise F Cosca Park - Waldorf, Maryland) 

A photo from my last trip to a park before my Solar Return. It was so beautiful. I can't wait to experience parks in the Fall months.  (Louise F Cosca Park - Waldorf, Maryland) 

 

Birthdays have always been super important to me. I always celebrate the birth of others as if it was my own. Seeing people make it through another trip around the sun brings me so much joy because many of us deal with things that could have killed us.

For my 27th solar return, I felt a switch. Something in me, as it got closer, became more aware, compassionate, graceful, and gentle. Something in me became more peaceful, expressive, calm, and reflective. Something in me changed.

I did a soul healing while in Charlotte for my birthday. It began with a foot soak and ended with a meditation to open my heart chakra. During this particular meditation, I could feel my heart opening, activating, and inviting love in while releasing love out.

Leading my life with love, compassion, and grace was my only goal for my 26th trip around the sun and for my 27th I want to allow that love, compassion, and grace to glow.
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This year for my trip around the sun, I am doing something different,  I am setting goals that feed my soul and spirit.

  1. Be Present - Often times I preach being present to others but I forget to do it for myself. For this trip I will continue to focus on the now and not the past or the future.

  2. Speak freely and let my words thump- When we speak we may say things that drop little stones but for this trip I want my words to thump when they hit. I want them to stick, to be intentional, to be powered by higher vibrations and love.

  3. Use sex as a tool and not just an outlet - Studying Sex Magick and Tantra has completely changed my views on what sex is and what sex can do. For this trip around the sun I want to put my studies in motion and practice more intentional sex acts and healings. I also want to provide others with the knowledge and resources to work through their sexual wounds or traumas.

  4. Take care of my physical body- I was so focused during my 26th trip around the sun on taking care of my mind that I forgot to take care of my body. I want to use this trip to create an apothecary in my home and to find remedies for my autoimmune disease & other ailments. I want to be gentle with my body like I am with my mind.

  5. Jump with no fear- I can be quite methodical and tedious in my planning. For this trip around the sun, I want to take the leaps off the cliff of fear and achieve my wildest dreams. I cannot keep hanging off the cliff with one hand, I must let go, fly, and allow my light to guide me.

These are my 5 "soul goals" for this trip around the sun. We all have goals and aspirations but which will feed and serve your soul and spirit? Which will provide you inner peace and push you to lead your life with love?

Comment, email, or tweet me with some of your own "soul goals" for your solar return or just in general. We don't have to wait for a new year of life or a new year to set "soul goals". Start today.

Our “glow up” isn’t a destination it’s an ongoing exploration of who we can become and become again and again in different ways. We take many trips around the sun, let’s make them intentional. Let’s make them self-serving for once.

One of my friends gave me a great idea of sharing some of my self-care tips. So every sunday I will be posting a blog post with a self-care tip. If there is anything you want me to write about, let me know!

 

Come shine with me!

Go Outside

 

Being self-aware is bittersweet.  Sweet because you get to grow and evolve, change your school of thought, and really understand whom you are. Bitter because shit ain’t always love & light, rainbows & butterflies, or easy.

The journey to being self-aware is exhausting & exposing. It can seem like you can’t catch a break. The healing journey never ends and that is what makes being self-aware so important. Being self-aware allows you to look at yourself in a mirror and be honest. It pushes you to think through things and to be able to identify your triggers. Being self-aware allows you to reach a higher consciousness of who you are.

Over the last few weeks, the word “baggage” kept coming up. I was involved in situations where others projected their own problems onto me and attempted to leave their problems at my feet. In the words of the late great Mac Dre, it is “not my job” to deal with your problems in that capacity. These bags that we carry around prevent us from reaching that level of self-awareness that is important to grow.  They prevent us from moving forward.

I had a shit ton of bags on me. I had bags full of horrible things that happened to me and things that I had done that I wasn’t so proud. I projected those emotions and that pain onto others and out into the world. I was not self-aware because I was not doing the work to work through my past problems. I was simply ignoring them and allowing them to tell me who I was.

 My self-awareness stemmed from a few things ­– therapy, healing sessions, crystal healing, oracle/tarot readings, and exhaustion. I was tired of carrying not only those bags but also the burdens that came with having them. I wanted to feel lighter and be able to find my own inner peace & happiness.

Now, I am self-aware. It is an everyday process but I have my “toolkit” to keep me in check. I revisit old journal writings and see where I have grown. I listen to certain songs to see what emotions they provoke and dissect the memories attached to them.  When I feel myself getting anxious about the past I talk myself through it with questions like “why do you feel this way?”, “What does anxiety feel like right now?”, “What does your breathing feel like?”, “What sounds do you hear/what do you see?” in order to ground me. The biggest self-check tool is paying attention to how I handle things. Am I being reactive in a way that does not serve me? Am I approaching the situation with grace? Those two questions let me know if I am embodying old habits or embracing new ways of thinking.

Grace is what keeps me from projecting past pain onto others. Grace is what guides me through my day-to-day interactions with others. Compassion also assists in how I handle myself and how I embrace those around me.

Self-awareness is about reaching a point where you can look in the mirror and say,  “this is who I am and that’s okay”.  It is reaching the highest form of you. It is self-love in my opinion.
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This past Sunday I went on a nature hike at Rock Creek Park and I sat by a body of water. I sat and I talked and I listened. I took in the sounds around me, I studied the way the water moved, I even acknowledged the way my body felt in that element.  Here are some photos from that hike.

 

I encourage you to shine your light in nature this week. Find a park, trail, or sit on your front steps. Take a journal or your notes section in your phone and identify what you see, feel, hear, etc. Identify what parts of your surrounding align with who you are. Does the sound of cars passing remind you of how busy you are? Can you hear the tree leaves moving? Take the time to go outside and inhale the fresh air.

If you decide to do this, tell me about it in the comments below, on twitter, or via email. I would love to see photos and hear about your experience.

 

 

Come shine with me!