I may be just writing this to myself, but I will share this with you all anyway. Over the recent weeks I took a step back from everything to look for clarity. I do this from time to time. I limit my social interaction, reading, writing, work, and anything else that I deem a distraction. For me, everything had become muddled with opposing views and internal conflicts. The journey of self is like a constant revealing and just when you think you have something figured out, a new bit of information is added to the mix forcing you to reconfigure your previous calculations. Maybe I should stop trying to reach conclusions. Maybe there aren't any problems to be solved and the very act of trying to solve the problem is what causes the problem that never really existed... I just read that I titled the post "Anger" so I should get to it. The funny thing is what I have done so far is the perfect illustration of how I have been addressing my anger. I work so hard on an explanation that I forget I was angry. Kind readers, use your imagination and see this next paragraph as the first.
I am angry about a lot of things. If I had to describe what my anger looks like, it would resemble a black ferocious canine-like creature that when it gets really angry bulks up like a charcoal gray hulk. This androgynous hulk dog/wolf has the strength of 8000 pitbulls and the hunger 5000 packs of wolves combined. I keep it chained up, but it broke free recently and it started to hunt me. My cat-like abilities and uncanny talent to search out steel doors and high ledges have allowed me to allude it, but I have a feeling that it knows exactly where I am. It's hunting me, finding the right time to take its reward. You see, every time I seek to dive deeper into myself, there it is growling and baring its teeth. I hiss back with explanations and someone distracts me with heart shaped candy corns. It watches me sap up the unbearable sweetness as a new muscle tones in its jaw. I search for cake and it searches for me. Dun Dun Dun Duuuuun.. I have had too much cake this time. That ultimate muscle has been toned. I saw it when it happened. I heard it when it said enough was enough. I ran when I saw the chains break and the cage completely shattered. I tried to negotiate with dog-catchers. No one would help me because this is my journey.
Here is a confession: I have always had a strong disdain for the phrase "love and light". Oooh it irks me to the bone. Oh man, I don't think I could describe enough how much I can't stand those words together. Recently in an email exchange, someone said "love and darkness" and I felt my heart smile and inside I sighed, "Yes!". "Love and light" always sounded incredibly pretentious and a like a huge gargantuan LIE. Most of the people saying it from my observations seem to be saying it as a hope and not a reality. I say deal with the reality. You know good and well you aren't all about love and light so be real and say so. I know I am not. I am all of it. If I am the oppressed, I am the oppressor. If I am the beautiful, I am the ugly. If I am the shit, I am the flowers. If I am the light, I am the darkness as well...And if I am the articulate, then I am the foul-mouthed, so fuck "love and light". <-----Maybe that is the dog in me. If I am the hunted, I am the hunter.
All of my posts are related to the direction my Reiki practice is going and it seems like the theme as of late is all about relationships. Take this ride with me as we delve into my mind (filtered through my heart) to get to a bit of what it means to really have a healthy relationship. I have been spending the last two weeks (at least) working to have a deeper understanding of our connection as men and women because the demands of my practice have prompted, no, demanded me to go there. I am convinced that we are supposed to be together, us gals and guys. Our biology has us fitting together like puzzle pieces, sure, but it is more than that. It is in the pull and draw we emit towards each other that goes beyond words and explanation. We use the word "love", but right now I feel it isn't enough. It is the bond that goes beyond breath, sight, sound...into stillness. It is in our ability to create new life. Everything I have written isn't news to anyone I am sure, but I ask you to act like it is. Just do it. I go through this process every time to gain deeper insight; I assume nothing. Do that with me now.
I had this vision of men and women having a party together in some distant desert land. The women crowned in golden headdresses, the men draped in golden sashes, and the mummified corpse of their matriarch adorn in light blue and gold gently watching over the people as they revered her. Her presence got the party started. They had a ceremonial courting dance of sorts. The women would kick out their feet to the drum beat while flicking their wrists as they crossed their chests. The men would dance around the women with their backs to them as their shoulders seemed to lead the direction of their bodies. As the men would get closer to the women, the ladies would further entice by placing their hands on the sides of their face making a bursting like motion. It was a swirling dramatic scene. I sat in all white watching them in awe and wonder. They were so happy and exuberant. Joy twinkled in their mingling and I felt like a kid peaking in on my parents. But then there was a turn of events. The men started to be called away to a duty of some sort. It felt like war, a struggle only they would experience. As the men were disappearing the women kept on dancing. It was like they didn't want to lose the moment, their culture. The kept dancing but the movements, although precise, lacked their previous luster. The men started to comeback but now they were in the background, the sidelines, just watching. The women now danced with themselves. There was little interaction and it was almost like the men were never a part of this once sacred dance. The vision ended.
The first thing that came to mind was the so-called independent women (and men) of our time. What does it mean if it just means you have become accustomed to a lackluster life? What does tradition mean if it is no longer dynamic for the whole? If together they could make so much magic, why not find a way to do it in the new conditions? We create NEW life together, don't we?
The second thing that came to mind was understanding how the individual experiences we have in relationships often go overlooked or ignored. When we bond sexually with anyone it goes beyond the physical experience; you have made a secure connection with that person's energy. That is where the true marriage really happens, but so much of our current culture thrives in ignoring this reality. Without intercourse I can feel the emotions of someone else because I am an empath. It took me years to realize certain emotions were not my own and without emotional intelligence dealing with these mysterious emotions can be crippling and downright terrifying. In a relationship although your partner didn't experience your day, they feel all of the emotional baggage you have picked up through the bond you have made with each other. If your way of being with your emotions is to ignore them or pushed them down, then you have done the same to your partner. There can be no growth together if that's how you roll and there isn't a place for them in your world or on the dance floor. If what they are feeling is beyond the scope of your experience, it means you have to sit down and listen so that you can learn about what you are ALREADY empathizing and work through it together. That is the commitment you made when you were doing all that dancing and legs spreading. You bonded to their physical body consciously and most likely unconsciously to their mental, emotional, and spiritual body as well. A relationship cannot thrive if you ignore this.
I want to say there is a third thing just to keep this going but I don't think I had one. I did start talking to my friends about it, my vision. I told them they were going to help me write a blog and love them to bits, they did. I received both feminine and masculine perspectives because I love balance. What I found in talking to them is the same issue that I have consistently come across, the inability to receive. In so many cases, when one partner is put in a position to fend for themselves (often the woman) they form a protective shield. It becomes hard for them to receive because they have been accustomed to doing everything for themselves, being independent. The shock of acquiring these survivor skills is the same force that holds them into their pattern. The biggest problem is that this act (the holding pattern) isn't done out of trust or love, it is out of fear and and illusion of necessity. So this is the shift that needs to be made. We have to start moving into trust and love. We have to open our hearts and listen to its wisdom and open our legs and receive our puzzle piece (HA!). As we listen to our hearts, we have to recognize the connection we have to each other. Ever heard of the phrase, "Loving me is loving you."? If you really embark upon the journey of knowing yourself, you will also start to see all of your issues that are waiting to be healed. As you love each one, you also extend that love to your partner and then the legs start to creak open a little wider...bit by bit.
I'm convinced we weren't meant to do this life thing alone. Physically you entered the world alone but the bonds you have made along the way go way beyond the human flesh. Michael Jackson said, "you're just another part of me" and "you are not alone". I think he was going somewhere with that. It is up to us to break the pattern. He has to ask that lady to dance and lay out his confessions in his motions (energy in motion=emotion). She has to say yes and allow her body to move with his. His motions are new and different, but she is skilled at receiving this new knowledge, and finding her own rhythm as they groove. As they stay in this flow, they create something new, because that is what they do. They know as long as they have the music, the floor is theirs, and they always have the music.
Open your legs to healthy relationships. Open your legs to greater knowledge of self. Open them up to learning something new about your partner. Open them up to trust. Open your legs to that loving lion. Open them legs to divine partnership. Open 'em up to emotional intelligence. Open 'em w i d e to healing.
When we heal together...
Dear Mother Mamochka Mom Ma,
If you ask me who created me, human me, I never attribute it to some invisible god in the ether somewhere. I will tell you with full clarity that my creator is you. The glory goes to you. There are times when I talk about you with my friends and I have to pause. In those moments, I realize I have the greatest mother on the planet and other planets I am sure. I know I chose you to be my mother. It wasn't an accident or random plan. No, I waited for the right time to enter into this world and I chose you to be the one who would create the way for me to exist. Thank you.
I know being my mother is not the easiest role. I live in a world of dreams and imagination and in so many ways I have asked you to trust something that you couldn't see over and over again. It has been the theme of our journey together and you believe in me in ways not everyone could. With each moment that passes, I seek to bring more from that world into this one and it amazes me that you stand by me, but you do. Even when I have doubted my own capabilities there you were, there as my mother, watching me, listening to me, and reminding me who I am. If there was ever a moment that you said you couldn't, I would understand, because I am more than grateful that I have gotten this far with your love. It has always been my intention that I could show you just a bit of what I see and I know I have done that and I have so much more I want to show you.
One day I looked at my life and took an inventory of all of my accomplishments, my triumphs, my miracles, and I realized that my none of those experiences happened without your support. Not one. Even when I thought I did it all by myself, I knew it wasn't true. Mom you know my heart and understand it somehow. I look at the way you love me and I'm speechless. You never told me what to believe in. You gave me the space to discover for myself. You have never asked me to be someone I wasn't even as you realized you were raising "the princess", "sleeping beauty", "the eccentric", and "the queen" all rolled into one. Some would say I am spoiled, but I disagree, because the work that I do now, where I pour my love into people who are seeking to grow and heal wouldn't be possible without your support...and I think that those who work with me know it. If I am spoiled, then so is anyone who knows me and spends time with me because I love them the way you love me.
As I told you, everyday is Mother's day, but I am happy to say, Happy Mother's day! to you. You are the one that loved me, inspired others to love me, held me, fed me, watched me sleep, bathed me, sang to me, and changed my dirty diapers... and I am so grateful you did. You raised my brother and I by yourself, in a hot desert, with very little help, and constantly created opportunities for us to realize our own greatness. I never saw you give up or say it was too much. You always seemed endless. I now know it is because you are...endless. There isn't a doubt in my mind or heart that I have the world's greatest mother.
Mom, it shocks me to think that there is a soul who chooses me right now and that one day I will be there for her the way you have been for me. Just as your mother did for you, you have taught me well. I know I can do it too, and in my way pass on our family's tradition of transcendent, royal, dreams into reality, magical, unconditional love. You have created the way for me to exist as your mother did for you. I ask you to never think you have lost your abilities. We have free will but a mother's love opens the way for us to step into a greater vision. You are my creator and my goddess. I love you and I believe in you.
The first post I ever made in this blog was about going within. I was learning the uses of Reiki in my own life and was applying it to everything. I wrote that post shortly after I did my first meditation with Reiki in which I went deep within myself. You see, I was asking those big questions: Who am I? What am I here for? What is this all about? Where are my ancestors? It was a powerful experience that yielded several revelations, the most important one was that I was not alone. Within me was a world of ancestors, guides, and yes angels. Since then, the revelations have been continuous and I am convinced that there is no plateau of knowledge. If I am always growing, so is knowledge and so is my spiritual posse.
No matter what religious beliefs you hold, eventually you have to realize that your spiritual journey is all about you. You can read books, blog posts like this one, watch videos, go to church, have soul-stirring tantric sex but eventually you have to walk away from it all (hopefully you will return to the sex) and deal with yourself to find the truth. Recently I started learning about galaxies and planets and how there are billions of earth-like planets. This made me feel very small, really small. It isn't a concept that is easy to wrap your mind around. Hell, I trip out when I drive in a neighborhood and realize that people live in those homes. So, to think there are billions of earth-like planets in existence...wow... But then, I also remember the never-ending vast universe I know that is within and it also makes me look around my life, the biggest life I know, and the only one I have control over.
To be honest with you, sometimes I need help. I needed my mother to act like a cheerleader (literally) yesterday so that I could get motivated to wash my clothes, all five loads. I needed my dear friend to talk to me about the beauty of body hair because I was sad about saying goodbye to it since the weather is getting warmer, genuinely sad, even though when I tried to cry about it nothing came out. My mother laughed at that attempt. I needed comfort from an angelic presence in the middle of the night when the astral realm was getting super intense for me. There are times when we need guidance that we can trust and it can come from beyond our physical perception.
When I did that meditation, I asked where my ancestors were. I realized that they were within. I actually saw and felt them and since I knew where I was, I knew where they were. After that, I began speaking to my ancestors with greater confidence. I was no longer speaking empty words to an empty room, hoping someone would hear me. I was no longer afraid to speak to guides who had come to me a few years back because I wasn't sure who I was speaking to. I was no longer skeptical of the existence of angels when I realized within I could fly, love, and glitter too. When I realized this whole world was inside of me, comprised me, it made no sense for me to deny the presence of those who could help me. Essentially I am helping myself.
Between my clients and the super magical people I meet, the most frequent thing I find myself telling them is to talk to their ancestors. Everyone's journey is unique and what works for me may not work for you. The ancient knowledge that you have within is your personal life manual. Why wouldn't you open it up? I am not someone who needs an expert or science to prove things to be true. All science is trying to do is explain spirituality. I rather just go to the source, which is me, to find out all I need to know. I trust my ancestors, guides, and angels to guide me in accordance to my highest good. I don't do it because it sounds cool or out of desperation, but because I feel their love and I know they are a part of me. I trust myself and my path.
You are the key to unlock all of the codes within you. All you have to do is tap into the love you are, start talking, and then shut up and listen. They will talk back, you just have to be willing to listen. This is especially for those of you who are intuitive and feel like you have energy or entities around you. Having these conversations will really help to release the fears you have regarding psychic gifts or the non-physical world you sense within and outside of you. I speak from experience. I have one of the baddest posses around and when I need them, they show up. Tap into yours!
How, you ask? Get creative and develop your own meditation. The goal is to go deeply within. If you always thought you were like water, see a lake, declare it is you, and go deep sea diving. I heard one person turned themselves inside out and explore from there. That sounded kind of gross to me but it worked for them. If you make the method, it will work. I don't care how you do it, I just want you to do it. Let this be your encouragement to go deeper and ask those big questions. Don't be surprised if Grandma shows up to chat it up with you.
As above, so below. As within, so without.
Are you ready to do "the work"? I have said it before that I can only be called a healer because I can heal myself, not because I can heal someone else. This week I feel this truth more than ever. Many people are trained to externalize personal power and to rely on something or someone else to make it all better. Doing energy healing work, I have encountered clients who aren't willing to do their own work but instead to rely upon my "healing powers". I don't support this kind of interaction because it essentially dis-empowers the client and that is counterproductive. healing always begins and ends with the person who intends to heal, I am there as a facilitator. So what is "the work" that I expect clients to be willing and ready to do?
First I have to say how I feel Reiki works. It is called an healing energy but I don't feel it is because it heals, but really because it helps you to connect to your healing potential. Some practitioners may disagree with me but ah well. I feel at our essence we are perfect, we are well-being, we are divine love, and we are whole. In many ways, I think this is why I feel such a youthfulness and lightness with Reiki. Essentially, I have been able to tap into who and what I really am and allow it to be my dominate expression. When we are children we are closest to that of what we really are which is why as I gone on this healing journey I continue to become more child-like. As we grow, and the lessons of life whip us around a bit, we grow further away from that sense of well-being, divinity, love, and wholeness. Reiki comes in and creates a powerful yet gentle bridge to who you are which allows healing to occur. But with all of that, the question remains to you, my future client, what is your "work"?
You have free will and healing is dependent on you using it. Reiki can do everything I said, but you have to open the door and allow it to flow within. The amount of healing that occurs is determined by how deep you are willing to go and how much you are willing to confront. What doors are you willing to open? Reiki and I can't do that for you. I remember watching this documentary about how deep the ocean really is. There are organisms in the ocean that we may never see because we can't make equipment to survive the environmental conditions of the ocean. When I think of healing, I think about the ocean. If at the deepest part of the ocean lies my heaven, how much am I willing to release, change, transform, learn, and confront to get there. Am I willing to put in the effort come what may? Reiki will help you get there faster and safely but first you have to be willing to get in the water and swim with the sharks, whales, stingrays, and all other deadly sea creatures.
What does NOT doing "the work" look like?
If you find yourself wanting a session out of curiosity, receiving a session, then getting guidance from your practitioner, and then not following up on anything suggested to help you further your healing process, you have just wasted your time. Metaphorically, you are floating on the surface of the ocean on a life raft without any intentions of diving deep. You know you need assistance but you are not willing to do your part for many reasons, fear of change or the unknown usually being the culprit. If you find yourself loving the "healing energy" of someone else and keep on wanting to go back and back because you feel they are "healing" you, you are not doing "the work". You are on the life raft and think the occasional fish that plops up on your raft and the splash of water that offers refreshment from the sun is going to save you. You need to get off the raft and grow some gills. If you are out to "test" Reiki, you are in a jacuzzi miles away from the ocean. Last but not least, if you love the attention that you get when in a healing session and the philosophy of healing, but when things come up to heal you suppress or deny them, you are not doing "the work". You are on the beach taking pictures as your feet are occasionally dampened by the tide and when you see a image you don't like, you just delete it. It is still right there in the ocean but you pretend as if it doesn't exist. Put the camera down, get naked, and dive in.
I am joyfully here for those who are ready to do "the work". If you are willing to go deep, then I will support you along the way. I will give you insight, tips, guidance and even homework so that your journey can be a beautiful one, but it can only be beautiful if you intend it to be so...and I am all about beauty.
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Anyone that knows me now, knows that I love children. Love. Them. But if you knew me in my younger years, you would have thought I was allergic to them. Even as a child, I wouldn't have younger friends. I was too cool for them. I can honestly say, I spent most of my childhood running away from being a child. At nine, if someone said, "Let's play!" I would look at them as if they have committed a great offense to my very nature. Snobbishly, I would reply, "I don't play." Things started to change when all of my friends started to have children. I found that I really related to their children, in fact, more than I did to them. I liked what they had to say. I could see how smart and wise they were about life. They made sense. Now as an adult, I am happy to play. I love having fun and as one of my friends recently observed, I don't need a reason to have fun, I just do it. I love where I am at in my life, but I have to admit it was a journey to get here.
A lot of my sense of wonder and joy can definitely be attributed to Reiki being in my life. When I first became attuned to the energy, I laughed about everything for almost a month. I laughed about things that society says I shouldn't laugh about, but it felt so good, I couldn't stop. Talk about healing and releasing. But even before that, I had glimpses of this kind of joy over the years. Like when I would give full concerts to anyone who would listen or who got trapped in a car with me. One time on a road trip, I sang for almost 2 hours straight, no commercials, full songs, because we didn't have a radio. I sang every song I had memorized down to every adlib, ooh and ahh to my cousins who definitely didn't know what they were in for. I love to sing by the way. When I look back, I realize I have always been a big and admittedly eccentric kid, but it has taken me a long time to embrace that in me. I think I saw it as a weakness. Everyone around me always seemed to be growing up and I was getting younger. I thought there was something wrong with me.
Things changed when I finally took the plunge and decided to teach elementary students. Miss Kiki was born. I started out so serious because I wanted to be "grown up", mature, and a "good" teacher. It didn't work; I was absolutely miserable and the scary part was that my condition was socially accepted as "normal". Since I knew I didn't get into teaching to be miserable, I followed my mother's advice who is a teacher and fellow big kid. She told me to have fun. Then I listened to my heart and my heart told me to love the children. From there I had the greatest time. I would make up songs, do one-woman role play skits, dance, joke, make up games, all in the name of "teaching". We would end each lesson with I love yous and humungous smiles. I wouldn't even consider myself a teacher because I truly played all day and it worked. I knew I did something right when a student demanded for the lesson to start. He was like, "Let's get this party started!" and I was like, "You ain't said nothin' but a word."
Tapping into my youthfulness, inner joy, or Inner Child keeps me creative, excited about life, and happy. It is wild that I spent so many years trying to suppress it in order to fit and survive in a world that says miserable is normal. Well I can't say I was ever that successful, but I did try. I was actually ashamed and embarrassed about the greatness that I am. Now, with Reiki in my life, I couldn't go back if I tried. It helped me heal. It was like, " What you waitin' for? Girl go 'head and do you!" and I was like, "Really? Should I?" and then it was like, " Uh... yeah!" and then I was like, "Alright! Here I go. Watch me crank it. Watch me roll." and then there was a dance. When I work with a client, they often feel relaxed and have a great sense of well being after a session. I on the other hand, feel giddy and then I get excited and then I giggle and do a little dance (I like to dance). The love and excitement I feel about life and myself is why some women have children. They want that feeling . I am writing this today to say that if you want to feel unconditional love, joy, excitement, and creativity then find it within yourself. Let that Inner Child who loves to have fun come out. Do what you love. I used to tell my students that Miss Kiki came to have fun and that they weren't going to get in the way of that. My happiness, the love that I felt, the fun that I had, was never dependent on them and they knew it.
Observe children if you don't understand what I have shared. They don't wait for anyone to have fun. They don't need permission to love. Boredom never lasts long for them because that just means it is time to get creative. They are eager to learn. They take risks. Why would anyone try to grow out of those skills?
I forgive you, western toilet.
One of my recent pet peeves is the term "giving back". I have also never been enthralled by the concept of volunteering or giving charity to the "poor". These concepts are based under the idea that you have more than someone else and now you are "helping" them by giving your services for free. Nothing is really free. Energy is always being exchanged and you can choose to be ignorant to that or benefit greatly from that exchange. What people may not have monetarily, they have in talent, insight, joy, wisdom, and intellect. Furthermore. you don't have to be happy, talented, insightful, emotionally balanced, or spiritually aware to be monetarily wealthy. All it takes is you knowing you are abundant in something. That "something" can be anything. Even thinking you are abundant in poverty can bring lots of money to you. Ask a drug dealer. Ask a loan shark.
So what does this have to do with forgiveness and "giving back"? Looks like this will be lengthy but take this ride with me. I knew my next post would be about forgiveness because it kept on coming up in my Reiki sessions but I wasn't sure about my approach. Well this past week I was shown the way in countless ways but especially in two special car rides. The first ride I spoke with a woman who could clearly see the value in the kind of work I do and she expressed her desire to do more than what she was doing. She felt she had achieved so much in her life and that now she wanted to "give back". Immediately, I cringed when I heard the term. If I had two words to describe what I'm doing, it would be "love reveling". The love in me meets the love in you and we revel in its magic (some call that "healing"). Back to her...She volunteers to help children who have been taken from their homes in cases of abuse or suspected abuse. I am very protective of children so I listened to her like any protective mother would, very carefully. I could sense that she really had good intentions for the work she was doing with the children but I also noticed that these kids were considered "low-income". During our conversation I pointed out that similar things are happening in "affluent" homes as well but these things just don't get reported. And because they are seen as "affluent" we assume they don't need anything we have. When we see people as "less fortunate", we think that what we have is what they need. We have been conditioned to see certain people and conditions as "less fortunate" and others as "affluent". That is exactly how a missionary can go into a country with full confidence and work to dismantle a group of people's beliefs and way of life under the premise that they are doing something "good" and "needed". I think the concept of connecting with children in those situations is beautiful but the idea that one is "giving back" brings the taste of vomit to my tongue. Some would say it is a matter of semantics but we also know that words have power. A few words can traumatize someone for years. I have been taught and can personally attest to its validity, that to forgive means to "give forward". When you forgive you are giving forward to a greater vision of what's possible. You are no longer dwelling in the past, holding onto dead weight. You have given yourself a greater picture to love and be in. So if that is forgiveness, why would you need to "give back"? If you are in such a great place in your life, why decorate a dead weight?
I briefly mentioned a missionary earlier. Would you be surprised if I told you my second car ride was with a Jehovah Witness missionary? I was. She captivated me with stories of her travels and since I love to travel and live with the people as well, I listened very carefully. While in parts of East Africa, a place I've yet to go, she helped to build schools and offer "education" to the people there. She saw the challenges they were faced with and saw true hunger and sacrifice. Of course she also went to areas that were very developed and were like any other city but we talked about the "third world" a lot. When she spoke, I could feel how confident she felt about the work she did there and how good it felt for her to "give back". I could tell she felt good that she was able to see men learn trades and even some being hired for future work. It all sounded great. After she told me about all about what the people learned from the missionaries and volunteers I asked her what she learned from the people. She told me she observed that they were very happy, intelligent, didn't complain, and were jovial regardless of their environment. This was a fantastic observation but I noticed that she didn't answer my question. She was able to tell me how great the well was constructed and the beauty of the water it held but not its taste, its feel, its origin or how it worked. People are so obsessed about being happy, smarter, and younger and there she was at the well and just looked at it. What was she "giving back" to, when she was at the well of exactly what this western world is in feverish pursuit of? Why didn't she ask the keeper of the well for a sip? Where was her cup, bucket, or bathtub? The mindset of "giving back" can dramatically block ones ability to see the wealth of knowledge that stands before them. The humongous continent of Africa is filled with wealth in its people and its land. But history tells us that people didn't invade Africa because they wanted to "give back" to the people. They came because it is a endless source of natural resources and wealth that they wanted control over. Somehow the wealth of its people became relegated to a spectacle and not worthy of the humility, respect, and love it takes to be a student.
I don't judge her in the slightest. In fact both women were full of love in their hearts and I felt it strongly and I definitely recognize their work as valuable. They both had qualities that I studied and learned from in our limited time together. I felt their worth in my experience. I shared the wisdom I have gained through doing my work, and I knew I wasn't "giving back" as I shared it. If anything I was giving to the greater vision I hold about what is possible in my interactions with them. I have shared before that I only deal with fellow presidents, queens, kings, emperors, and empresses when I connect with people. Because of this I can't "give back"; I live in an entirely new world because I gave a greater vision to myself. What if when we interacted with people that have been labeled as "less fortunate" or "poor", we chose to see their wealth? What if we sat at each others feet and became students of each other? How greater could we all be if we greeted each other with love in our hearts instead of pity? What if we didn't waste our time judging people, places or things as good or bad and instead sought for understanding? This is the vision I am giving to. This is how I have forgiven.
To conclude, I am not saying that to share your time and energy with someone in a "volunteer" capacity is "bad" but what I am suggesting is to recognize it as an energy exchange. I am suggesting that you forgo the notion of charity and realize you are giving yourself the chance to grow exponentially when you can see someone else's growth potential. I am suggesting that if you are attracted to a certain group of people, recognize like attracts like and that you are with your equals. If you then choose the see the wealth in someone you are sharing with, what will be returned to you is even greater wealth, and possibly a new friend. I suggest that you understand that what works for you, may not work for someone else and conversely what works for them, may be heavenly for you. What if you encouraged and supported them to make their own magic in the way that feels good to them? What if they did the same for you? Finally I am suggesting that you seek to learn and love than judge and change. You are neither "giving back" or "paying it forward", you are sharing in a greater vision. That is what forgiveness is to me.
For more on forgiveness go to ----->Part 2
My uncle took me to the train station one evening and waited with me for the train's arrival. There were a group of women waiting as well that he seemed to be focused on. Suddenly he asked me to come closer. He had a strong look of concern on his face so I obliged. He spoke firmly, "When you get on the train, I don't want you in the same car as them." "Why?" I asked. "Because she is a crack dealer," he answered in a serious voice. I was shocked and even felt a little anxiety. I looked over at the women trying to figure out how he knew. My eyes traveled down to the woman squatting in her super low-rise jeans...CRAAACK!
Hee hee hee! Okay but really I am not talking about that kind of crack and really I am not talking about the kind that Whitney said was "Whack"...but lets use it as an metaphor for experiences we don't need to have. I think it is safe to say that most of us who have seen the effects that Crack cocaine has on people would never touch the stuff. It isn't something you need to negotiate or think over. It truly is common sense, crack is clearly whack. People on crack look horrible and their lives look completely undesirable and inside you say that there is no "high" worth that kind of outcome. So it is pretty easy to say no to crack on the streets but how about the rest of the "crack" in your life?
The "crack" I am talking about are those glaring red flags and blaring warning signals that come up for you that you ignore, those alleys you have already been down, the people you have already tumbled with, or those disasters you have already witnessed. All the signs are there but you put the blinders on because you must know for yourself. It is like a pregnant crackhead inviting you over to her "mansion" for dinner and you never seeing that she is pregnant and a CRACKHEAD! Your friends can see it and try to remind you of the reality of pregnant crackheads but you never figure it out. You have tunnel vision and are refusing to see the full environment; you must have YOUR experience. You walk right into the crack house and ignore the filth and take what she serves you, CRACK. You experience euphoria like never before and are immediately hooked. You smoke searching to feel as good as you did the first time but that never happens. Eventually you reach rock bottom and barely recognize yourself. You reach out for help and you get it. You put the pipe down and then go through the pain of detox. And even though you recover, the smell of crack still stays with you like a lust-filled temptation and it is with your will that you never pick up the pipe again. Don't get me wrong, some of the most wise and amazing people I have met have been formerly crack-addicted and so in some way I see the value of the experience. But is it really necessary to experience crack? Can't you use some wisdom and discernment to just say no?
When I was young my mother who worked in an inner-city school took me to parent teacher night. One of the students parents was addicted to crack. That night my mother had me study her and showed me how crack had affected her body, mind, and spirit. A year or two later, during summer school, the same student came to my mother to seek refuge. I happened to be there that day and I watched her eat a small can of sauerkraut because it was the only thing the drug dealers who raided her home earlier that day left in the cupboards. I learned quickly that it was not a favorable substance. Life shows us many lessons just like the one I had, about a myriad of experiences. Can't we agree that we don't have to experience everything or at least learn from the experience enough not to repeat it?
We often have patterns that we repeat, paths that we walk over and over again, until we learn the lesson. Along this journey, there are situations and people that represent the "crack", the powerful substance that is attempting to pull you back into the loop. I am proposing that instead of dating him, working there, or smoking the "crack", you use discernment and wisdom to just say no. Know that even though it may have been awhile since you last touched the pipe, crack is still crack and it is whack. Everyone's "crack" is different. What is crack for me might be your ambrosia. Know yourself, it is up to you to step back and become the observer to be able to see the crack. In the great words of Johnny Cochran, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Don't waste your time building a case to judge because all that really means is that you are still smoking that crack. Detect the crack and then step the hell back.
So I ask you, can you detect the "crack" in your life?
Here is a small sample of my crack...
a guy who takes bathroom pictures of himself = crack
institutions and hierarchical systems = straight crack rock
modern hip hop = a big fat bag
certain body odors = garbage rock
a victim mentality = cookie
smokers = base
a particular use of language = roca (espanol)
certain writing styles = hard rock
conditional love = Devil's dandruff
Life is a dream and if you can recognize the signs and symbols put forth for you, you will be well on your way to a crack-free existence.
Ganesh doing his thing!
When I was younger my mother let me go to church with a work friend of hers every Sunday for maybe a year and a half. I loved it! It was a traditional Southern Baptist church equipped with a awesome choir and a hooting and hollering pastor. I saw it all as a great source of entertainment. Parishioners would "catch" the "holy spirit" and start dancing down the aisles. Random women would be releasing orgasmic cries to Jesus saying "Yes! Yes! Yes Jesus!" over and over again. Did I say I loved it?! It was fun to watch and afterwards I would probably get some fried chicken or ice cream. Life was good. I didn't like dressing up for church so I always had a change of clothes. I would strip down in the car to rid myself of those annoying dresses but other than that, I found church to be an enjoyable experience.
You see, I was never raised to have a particular religion so for me I was always studying and observing others who did. I would always go to my friends' churches whenever I was invited. My mother introduced us into Judaism by celebrating Hanukkah and into Islam by going to the Mosque. I never felt bound to any religion. The story of Jesus was simply a story about what everyone could do as a human being. I didn't understand the worshiping part. As a child I didn't know how to express how I felt about religion because I could see how passionate people were about it. I didn't want to argue or prove a point. It wasn't until I was twelve did I become more clear about how I felt. We had just moved to a new apartment and me being painfully shy at the time was struggling to make friends. Every morning at my bus stop was this Indian girl who clearly was in the same boat as me. We saw each other every morning and never spoke. Eventually someone had to introduce us and that is where it all changed for me. We slowly became friends and I would go to her house often. Her house was this amazing place filled with new aromas and images I had yet to see. She was Hindu and I was awestruck by the bindis, the colorful pictures of an multi-armed elephant, the henna designs, the curry, the altar, the man in the orange curtain... I would ask her and her brother endless questions. They would do their best to answer. I would study Hinduism in every encyclopedia I came across. I had to know more. Up until meeting her, I had experienced the more popular religions in American culture, but mostly Christianity. Hinduism was a brand new world for me and I liked it. I loved how every morning she kept her tradition and how she participated in her culture no matter what was going on outside.
Well one day three of us were talking about religion. It was her, I, and a wonderful guy who was holding a scarab beetle in his hand. We were asking each other about how we felt about it and I remember looking at her. She had to be one of the most sweetest people I ever met and at that moment I remembered how many times I heard that if you didn't believe in Jesus, you were going to hell. I couldn't look her in the eye and then say I believed in any religion that I had known previous to meeting her. So even though I was never attached to a religion, that day it became even clearer. Since then I have gone on to enjoy even more religions. I love learning and exploring other peoples way of life and observing the commonalities that we all seem to share. Yet and still, I do not ascribe to any religion. I am spiritual essence and that knowing is eternally fulfilling.
Nonetheless, when I speak or share what is in my heart, I often find my friends saying, "You are very Buddhist." or "You are more Christian than me." or "You are very Brazilian." and so on and so on. I always laugh at this and shake my head. They are perceiving me to be like them, not because I share their beliefs or culture, but because I like to connect to people on a heart to heart level. I can talk to anyone and relate to anyone. It isn't uncommon for my friends to end up on the phone with me for 2 hours and not know how it happened. One reason is because I can talk about anything and another reason is because I am truly interested in who they are. The people in my life amaze me. Their lives are sometimes difficult and stressful but they make so many amazing things happen. I see them growing everyday and it is a pleasure to know them and love them.
So why share this story? Well I was thinking about some of the fears I hear regarding Reiki and I wanted to address it. One of my friends said he doesn't "mess with that stuff". One of my friends refuses to learn more about it since he "has Jesus". And there are plenty more that are unspoken. From my story, I think it is clear that I don't carry fear about other sets of beliefs. My commitment in life is to "know" and not to focus on "believing". It is my experience with Reiki that allows me to write this, not my belief in it. Honestly Reiki isn't that special or mystical but it is at the same time; it is something that is innate in all of us but few tap into it. In fact, before it was called "Reiki" by a Japanese man, it was called something else and something else before that. For me, it is a loving energy that fills my entire being. When I share it with others, I get the sense that it first acts as a connector, connecting you to who/what you truly are. And what are we? We are spirituality. We are "life force". We are divine love. We live our lives as if we are not that. That is where I come in, I like to connect. I don't see this energy as outside of myself, I see it as a part of me. Did I take classes? Yes. Did someone "attune" me? Yes. But why? Essentially someone helped me connect to what was already inside of me and that is what any excellent teacher or healer does. And what does it feel like? Unconditional love, understanding, compassion. These feelings are constantly swirling within me now even on hard days. When I first aligned with the energy it felt like I was hugging myself on the inside and I laughed for the first month about everything. Love isn't really enough to describe it, but it is the only word I know that comes close. Is Reiki Hocus Pocus and Boogie Woogie? Try it and make a decision from there. How you connect what I have shared to your belief system is up to you but I do encourage you dig deeper. If I stopped at a Japanese man calling it "Reiki", this blog or website would not exist.
If you are curious and want to try it, email me at email@example.com. I will give it to you as a gift for your open-mindedness and bravery. I can promise you absolutely no hocus pocus or boogie woogie, just love and compassion.
...It also takes emotional intelligence and true awareness of what and who you are to truly be the boss in your own life. Prior to this you are being run, run by your past, your issues, old wounds, fear, something somebody told you when you were 9, and so on. I hinted to this in my last post but today I feel compelled to go a step further. I have found my journey to Womanhood has been to truly put childish things aside (in the most loving way possible). I am not talking about my youthful essence, imagination, or innate silliness, I am talking about how I respond to life situations from a childlike perspective.
I have done a lot of work in this area which involved meditation, Reiki, great conversations with sister and brother friends, dream work, and even more. In meditation I began to observe my thoughts and I began to distinguish that a lot of the way I respond to situations in my adult life come from the child in me. In one meditation, I actually heard a child voice expressing a thought that I previously expressed in the same day. Sometimes we get confused because just because the world has declared us to be a woman or man and that we can have sex, pay bills, make babies, and have a career that we are actually a mature adult. We think that if it came out of our mouths, then it is an adult statement. Well I had to humble myself and see myself from a loving and non-judgmental perspective (i.e. meditation) and I was clearly able to see that my responses were child like, full of fear, and reflective of past pain even if they sounded like straight FIYAH coming out. I am not ashamed about it at all, in fact I love the child in me that was trying to protect me or who was hurt and just wanted to feel safe. I understood why it all happened and why the child in me had such a stronghold, but as a woman, I realized I no longer needed that anymore. I held that little girl in my arms and said, "I love you and it is time for you to step aside." It was time for me to be my own boss, President, Goddess, Queen, Empress and you better believe I have crowned myself, elected and inaugurated myself, deified myself, and even gave myself my own business.
Let's be clear, I am not interested in managing, creating, ruling or leading anyone's life except my own. In fact, when I connect with other people, I am connecting with fellow Presidents, Queens, Gods, Goddesses, Emperors and Empresses. Even if you don't consider yourself to be, that is who I am in conversation with. In my mind and heart, I am always communicating with people who are capable of having their own revelations and creating their own magic. This commitment isn't convenient; it takes a grand level of personal responsibility and I wouldn't have it any other way. I notice people can be thrown off by the integrity I am nourishing within myself because I am not going along with their issues...and that's okay. I love them anyway. It is because I love them I can accept them for who they are and because I love myself, I will not be run by anyone.
When you get to this point and start living like a Woman or Man it isn't always easy. It isn't the heart that holds the pain and fear, it is your ego, the little child, your foggy mind. It is your task to see past them. You must know your heart and be brave enough (quiet enough) to listen to it, abide by it. Sometimes we would rather squeeze into our underoos and panties and throw tantrums, threaten, blame and complain than stand up and take responsibility for ourselves, stand in our hearts. Living as a Woman or Man requires that you be true to yourself at all times and not to make decisions out of fear. It requires that you have complete trust in your intuition and the power that you have now taken reigns of and not to wallow in self-doubt. It requires that you embark upon an eternal love affair with yourself and not to sink into low self-esteem. It requires ovaries and balls! Most importantly, it requires you to know yourself, accept yourself and have emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence? Well it is exactly what the scared child within you doesn't have. It is knowing how to be present with your emotions and being able to distinguish what emotions you are experiencing and then addressing them accordingly. It doesn't involve suppression or denial of how you feel nor does it involve judgment. We are supposed to feel. It is a beautiful thing and if you are emotionally intelligent, you put yourself in a true place of power. You are no longer being run. If I am sad or feel loss, I give myself time space and understanding. If I am fearful, I reassure myself and give myself a sense of security, If I am angry, I set boundaries for myself. I am not afraid to feel anything because I know what to do. If feel peace, I fly with it. If I feel joy, I have a party. If I am fearful, I am not going to have a party because that isn't properly addressing how I feel. If I feel joy, I don't need to stop and understand it, I need to let it flow within me and fly.
For me, knowing I have the ability to create life, pushed me to come into this awareness. Being trained as an artist taught me that to make something beautiful, you have to start with a beautiful idea. With my hands I have made a lot of beautiful things in my life. With my mind, I am now making my life beautiful because I know I have the power to do so. Most people will say, "Of course, it all starts in the mind. I knew that!" But my question is what are you doing to make it so for you? Who is really running things in your life? Are you your own boss? How do you stand in your love for yourself? It takes ovaries to be the boss!