One) I kid you not. Seven Crows. We saw them on our way out one morning near a neighbor's house. Actually and literally in an unorganized group in their front yard. And then, later that week someone posted in our online neighborhood group, seven coyotes running in a field nearby a very busy street at 10:15 in the morning. You can't make this stuff up.
Two) I drove twice to the bay area within 2 weeks to meet two very amazing like-minded kindreds that I absolutely adore. It blows my mind how we've gotten to know each other over the years, online first, never meeting in person until now.
Three) I decide to go with the rattle vs. the drum because it just feels right.
Four) I'm totally behind in my Communications class, but I go anyway and watch the first round of creative presentations. Again, I feel like a loser. Going back to school after you've pretty much lived a life has been challenging and hard on those fragile emotions. After all, I did enroll to do the work; the actual assignments, but I've quickly realized that the behind-the-scenes soul work must be done with a diligent, yet soft heart...and all the while reaching for grace.
Five) I let my greys come in. I don't know if I like it yet. I like it on other people, but not on myself.
Six) While book shopping with a friend in a charming, used bookshop, I strike gold when I find the one book that's been sitting in my amazon cart for almost a year now. I quickly take it to the register and purchase it. With a beaming smile, I walk towards the back of the bookstore where the shelves are piled with books up to the ceiling and hunt down my friend. I find three more books that I really, really want. I carry them about following my friend as she scans the bookshelves. I decide last minute to buy the other three.
Seven) Today, I open up one of the books I scored. It's a book by Leslie Marmon Silko. One that I've been hunting down for some time now. I open the first page and see that it's signed by the author. I thank the Spirits.
Eight) This quote from the book, Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit, by Leslie Marmon Silko.
"We are all part of the old stories; whether we know the stories or not, the old stories know about us."
Nine) The waning moon.
Ten) I'm so gratefully content. I thank the Spirits. I thank Creator, seven times.
One) As someone with a sensitive respiratory system, I will have to wear a mask every time I go out. Even if that means just to my car, and from the car to the store. This goes for my daughter too. Not caring at all how I look in a mask. Makes me want to tell people how precious their lung tissue really is. Lung regeneration is very minimal. I'm coughing as I type this. The air quality is far from moderate, it's unhealthy and hazardous. I stay in, but miss the blue skies. I pray for those that are experiencing such pain and loss. I don't light candles this time. Full body prayers.
Two) More dreams and a dream from another where I made an appearance. I think to myself how dreams can be such potent messages from the dreamscape mostly for us, and how rarely they are for the other people in the dream. They serve us individually. Some can be prophetic, but that's not typical. Fascinating.
Three) My favorite part of creating an online course is sharing my voice in podcast like form. It's the beautiful art of storytelling to me. I love telling stories.
Four) He offers to pay for the two books I've been wanting to get. He tells me to hurry and order them on Amazon so they can get here before the holidays. Books, art supplies, stationary. Those things easily steal my heart.
Five) I get the grocery shopping and holiday dinner ingredients in one trip. We usually do this together and I was very reluctant to go alone, but I did and I'm glad. We always end of saving money when I go at it alone.
Six) Vanilla beans...$12.95 for two beans. Why did I not remember? Last year, we felt the recipe needed a real vanilla bean...this year, not so much. Then I google and realize they actually have a complex maturing and curing process. They are from an Orchid flower and are hand pollinated! Like, what?!
Seven) I call Mom today. She answers by saying my name with excitement. We chat for 20 seconds, then she passes the phone to mi tia (my auntie) and then mi tia passes it to my father and I'm repeating stories. It's funny, and sweet. Then back to my mom. I really need to visit them very soon. There is a bit of disappointment on the other end of the phone when I tell Mom we're not traveling to spend Thanksgiving with them. I miss them. So much. Christmas. I will be there for Christmas.
Eight) Grief. There is so much loss lately. How can one not feel grief in the air. Not to mention the sadness that comes around during the holidays.
Nine) I still see the moon. The glow through the smoke. A reminder, a witness.
Ten) This quote today.
"Reliving the thrill of our own conception..." -Alice Walker
One) beginnings are my favorite. Starting over moments are my thing. I will go as far as crafting a ritual to honor this newness because it feels sacred and important. The problem is I am a lover of the dream time and of visioning. I can cling to the illusions in rapturous amazement. All the planning and idea mapping is a language I am fluent in and can remain loyal to this practice of new beginnings.
Two) Consistency is what I like and I'd like to explore this a bit. I want to see what I'm made of and discover what stories stay hidden inside of me that can be set free.
Three) In my communications class this week, a portion of essay #2 was due. I spent three-four days torturing myself trying to choose a topic. Just when I think I had it, I couldn't write about it! I went from, "the value of community," to "feminism," to "slime!" You read that right. Slime. Young entrepreneurs in the Slime making business. Wheeet?
Four) My dreams this past couple of weeks have been so very insightful and eerily accurate. Snakes one night, jewelry shopping another night, cheetahs and my vacay with an Instagram influencer. In the middle of the night, when I can't record a dream in my journal, I reach for my phone and quickly note my dream on this free, easy-to-use app, called: Dreams Diary
Five) Finding a system that works for you is so important as a creative person, yet so challenging when everything out there is geared towards telling you how to do the damn thing correctly. I did a google search: "can people excel at life even without a consistent routine?" This, after I already noted in #2 that consistency is key. I found only one article so far, but I'm not so sure it's answering my question. I'll be exploring this one...to be continued.
Six) 9:42 Friday night. My eyes are heavy as I type this. Sleep is next.
Seven) The leaves are beginning to drift off, one-by-one from the cherry plum tree in my backyard. The colors are luscious. Deepest red, plum, cherry dark, oxblood, burgundy, the darkest of purples and burnt umber.
Eight) I wear clothes until they are literally holey af. When it was my reality for most of my life...to "go without," it's hard to transition out of that. Now I have the privilege to go out and get what I "need" and, my idea around this is, that I really don't need much anyway. I experience guilt. I'm sure my mother and her mother, and her mother's mother felt guilty too. A sort of ancestral discord if you will. Especially, when their families were full of many hungry mouths! Poverty is dense and heartbreaking. Easier said then done as well. It's a consciousness, or a mindset. I am learning and I have so much more to say about this, but right now it's just an (after)thought.
Nine) Voting. This shit better work.
Friday Afterthoughts is a new blog series that I'm experimenting with. The idea came to me years ago, but the courage to write it never came, the instruction manual never arrived, no bouncy and enthusiastic writing or business coach came on the scene telling me to write the blog series because it was my destiny. None of that. In fact I greatly resisted it because I thought it had to be and read a certain way...a "perfect" and "good" way. Which really is some fake-ass-shiz my ego tells me.
I love writing as long as it's casual writing. Is that a thing? I enjoy journaling, keeping a notebook with random thoughts, experiences, dreams and ideas. I could do rough drafts, brainstorm and draw up idea maps for fun and just be content in that phase of the writing process, but it's time to get some practice in. Because, isn't that what writers do? Write. Isn't that what artists do? Create.
This makes me think of blogging. Blogging has changed so much, in fact does anyone still do that? Blogging, to me feels flexible. There is room for mistakes. Room to messily write out your guts and express all those opinions you been holding tight to.
So...here I am. Writing. Or Blogging?
There is more to this story. Especially the title, but I'll get to that later. I hope you find some inspiration here within the madness of my thoughts. Friday afterthoughts are random. These posts may occur weekly, but most likely sporadically. Always on a Friday. I share my current thoughts, the things I might be mulling over. New insights or discoveries, my experiments, books I'm reading. The current dream-story I'm crafting. Enjoy!
One) my current existential question or crises, depending on how you wanna look at it.
My revised translation regarding life-living is: a series or stories, experiences spun into the meaning we give. Depending on the sum of those experiences, a consequence or action may occur or be required, so we alter our stories all the time. We switch in between the dimensions of our storied life in order to continue on breathing in a well thought out or beautifully dreamed up reality. But, when that reality pierces us, blindsides us, harms us- we pay attention. I'm looking at all the connections lately.
Still with me? Okay, good.
Two) collage. It's where my overthinking brain untangles and softly drift away into the background. When my awareness realizes...nothing. is happening.
Three) Death is never going to make sense. Sometimes I find myself trying to explain to people how death isn't concerned with it's meaning.
Four) Speaking of . . . I've been into this song lately by Ibeyi.
Five) Favorite drink as of late: earl grey latte, aka: iced London fog. If you are local to me, Foxwood Coffee & Tea has the best in the area imho. It's called a "Frisco Fog." Also, get the California bagel. Cream cheese drizzled with pesto and topped with a big slice of (heirloom) tomato. Seriously delicious. I also like foxes so I'm a big fan of this family owned cafe.
Six) We sit on the couch together, our bodies side by side. We hold hands. I think to myself of how fortunate we are to have found each other. I feel a wave of gratitude rush over me. I look at him and his eyes meet mine as if he knew exactly what I was feeling in that moment.
Seven) This dog. I finally mastered her barks. There is a particular low "warning bark" when a random passerby be it a neighbor jogging past or a delivery driver gets too close to the end of the driveway. She has a tiny bump of a bark when she wants to come back inside after a potty break. A little squeal and dance when she wants out. A short muffled bark in the morning to wake us up. This dog. She has trained me well.
Eight) The intensity of my process lately has required that I clear space. I just didn't think it would be so dramatic, but the liberation is incredible. More on this later.
I create as a way to navigate my life's journey. This is my personal and spiritual practice. In fact, all this other "living business" filters through my creativity. Each time I find myself at the art-table, I am gazing into a mirror. I trust it...deeply. I trust it to show me the way, to reveal the higher road or to knock me down when surrender is a really good option.
Creating helps me:
reflect, investigate, map, assess, release, reconnect, commune, heal.
Some day soon I hope to share more about my journey as an energy practitioner. There is a simple explanation as to why I am open to this way of walking in this world; this open communication to these energetic multi-realms. It was an initiation that didn't look like one and to tell you the truth, there are many that continue to present themselves as doorways in which I must step through. The simple explanation is: trauma broke me open and the need to survive became my lessons. I became hypersensitive; a sensing soul to all those subtle energies, that eventually became my guides. My soul was cast and over the years I've been shamanic-ally pulling back the layers revealing the tightly knitted web that gently houses my essence. It's the part of me, and the part in you that is untouched, sacred, holy, pure, eternal. Art making is a way home to this. A way back, centered into this realization.
The image below is a captured moment of my creative process. I call this the crap-painting stage. I say it with a frustrated tone as well. I call it this because when I am face-to-face with the things I perceive to be awful, ugly, dark, shadowy (within myself) it manifests onto the canvas. I am not saying this is "THE" process for everyone, I am just sharing my process here.
How can I say there are these damaged parts and pieces of myself, you might be thinking.
And, I'm responding with yes, of course there are these unmet pieces of me, sometimes hidden in the shadows.
Most of the time, I don't even have a clue what they might be because I'm too busy projecting them. And, I haven't met anyone who doesn't do this (jus-sayin). This is just one way to notice them and bring some conscious light to them. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, unless you are not willing to look at your part in it. Which, again, isn't easy. I know...I know.
This is a stage in art-making or life-making that is formless, unknown, in between. It's the grit and grind before the smooth and shine. This place always feels challenging. I have no control and I feel so powerless. I don't know what to make of it. I'd rather throw it out and start over. I want to quit and deem myself a sucky-artist. Never having to take responsibility for my own expansion again.
Ever experience this?
Well, dear tender-heart...please stay with me here,
What's happening here is: I've forgotten to see the beauty in the cycle or in my creative process. My vision became blurred by the illusion of perfection, And perfection cuts us from many different angles, For example: the false illusion to a permanent happiness or worse, a great fear that we won't be accepted, loved or seen.
This is some huge, deep work. I know this, because this is my current work. But, there is hopeful movement making its way through. It's all such a journey to be taken in and held with reverence and grace. Hold that so-called "ugly" art with compassion because it's just the early stages of becoming or emerging.
Just like you.
On the first day of the year I woke up with an insatiable tug at my heart. Everything up until this day felt old, worn, just-not-working-anymore. All my so called "knowing", lessons learned, training and accomplishments just peered out of the mirror and had a great hearty laugh.
This shook me.
I felt defensive. I felt as if I knew absolutely nothing. I was being challenged and really, what I wanted more than anything was to ignore it. I decided I wouldn't tell anyone. I kept avoiding it and convinced myself that it wasn't important.
But one morning, I woke up and wondered if I would attempt to try and cross that creaky bridge? Wouldn't this just go away?
I had been working at making myself someone who had been "correctly trained" or certified by a guru that I didn't even know of nor could locate.
All this to try and find a name for myself. I still wasn't able to pay the "big guys" in my field to certify me anyway. I questioned if I even believed in this.
Sadly, in reality I wrote myself out.
I somehow adopted the belief that I wasn't worth much. Nothing at all without someone in an assumed position granting me some sort of validation.
I felt I needed permission, recognition, approval or somehow be okay'd into the system.
This feels very much like the last few traces of institutionalization that I am shedding. It tells me that I don't think highly of myself. It tells me that I don't value myself. The big question: "am I enough" echoes through the quiet hallway of my soul.
I would never lead anyone to believe this! This is crazy-talk!
Now, I'm going to get real with you here...time for some #realtalk.
As much as I'd rather not even share this, I've realized the hunt for approval is still a not so healed wound in my life.
This is the kind of #realtalk I am committed to and this is why I decided one brisk January morning to claim 2016 as #myyearofgentlerevival.
There is much to look at here, much to sift through, this is why I am also choosing to go gentle.
Gentle Revival: allowing the soul to rise, be in it's most authentic and original form. All knowing intact. All wisdom collected. Noticing all the beauty. Gently reminding the pulse to find it's rhythm and wake up. Awaken to the life that is already full of meaning.
Awareness is continually re-birthing. We do some plowing through the thick and slog our way through the mud until we reach the crystal clarity.
This is intense work...agree?
When I set up to play with paint, I plan nothing. I go around rummaging through my trays and bins pulling things that say, YES, pick me! I might even try every medium I've gathered at the work table before I feel satisfied. Thank goodness for this open and free form of expression. It is a personal process of catharsis for me. It is a space were I allow a flow instead of a bucking the current. There is also a freedom in knowing that it doesn't have to look like, or be anything that is considered "good-art" by societal standards.
I proudly splash paint, glue things down and watch each layer give meaning to my experience. It's this process that brings me to new ideas; new ways of being.
Afterwards, messages or clues may appear in the painting. I may see a shape, image, etc. or I may get a string of words...sometimes poetry rushes in. In some cases, the process alone gives important and valuable information. This art-making is worth more than becoming a recognizable picture. This may lead to some deep soul work. Sometimes, I don't willingly go there. I get there by thrashing my way in with a painting I may not like at first. I have to persevere through this stage. Over time as I reflect on my messy art-work, it begins to grow on me and then I see it's medicine.
My wish for you...
Dear creative soul, dear heartful artist that enjoys watching the build up of paint on your hands...please paint for your own healing journey. I wish for you messy creative acts of blending colors and squiggling lines into whatever shape you are guided to express. Remember you are meant to express in your unique way, in whatever way. Give your new ways life. This is for you. Just paint...go.
It has taken me almost a year to make the decision to blog about this. It has consumed my life in such a way I found myself unable to share too much publicly. I also found that I may have used it as an excuse not to "show-up" for my own expressions, to live out my inner world creatively. That- for an artist, is a torturous and lonely journey. I somehow allowed this to negatively impact my work, my life and my health. I allowed...yes I said "allowed" this experience to dismantle it. I gave it permission to tear it down to the grain. I surrendered into destruction because I needed it and because I had nothing more to give. I had no overflow to share with anyone. I needed this for myself, for my own healing: my most selfish act for the sake of transformation.
Heartache is awful, but experiencing it and feeling the feelings is crucial. Last year around the same time, a very important friendship suddenly shifted in an unexpected way. The tide of it, dramatically changed and left me feeling overwhelmed with loss and rejection. I admit I obsessed about the validity of the reason(s) for how it came to be in the first place. I tried to figure out what I did wrong and how to fix it and how to fix me, but I couldn't. No matter how many times I tried to piece together the scattered bits, the wind would rush through to serve as a reminder that: this was not going to be fixable.
This was one of those moments when you question yourself. Those questions that scare you and challenge you to get real.
Yeah, those. I began to wonder if all the self-work I'd done was even worth anything, because this...this situation makes me feel like crap. I wondered if I was healthy-minded to begin with. I even thought I might be crazy and have been oblivious to it the entire time. I doubted myself. So, what happened next was my "spiraling out of control"...
Forgiveness is something I continue to work with today. It is all I have at this point. I believe in forgiveness. It is powerful and I embrace it ritually. It heals and moves emotions that may have been stagnant. I am still healing. My health and physical body are in recovery. Realigning the physical with the light body sometimes takes some time and patience, some whispering and gentle drumming to guide you home. I am still practicing forgiveness. I am honoring my journey and giving myself permission to try again. To start over.
I reached the bottom of this intense drop-off and heard only my breathing, and then a soft voice whisper, "it is done, you made it."
One thing I know for sure is: "It" never stopped holding my hand.
"On the other side of the shore, lives a fallen woman. She has fallen many, many times. She keeps getting up. She is driven by curiosity and amazed by expanded views. That is, when she awakens to them."
My heart been caught on a snag. I've been avoiding the words to interpret it. My story can be heartbreaking. I can choose blame. I can pull the victim card. I can write about how I chose to be wrong even when no one told me I was. Just to keep the peace, ya know? I can apologize again and again. Ask for forgiveness, while still confused as to what it was that went wrong in the first place. I am capable of all of this. I am capable of all of this. It's totally doable. I did some of this.
I believe in healing. Healing is movement. Healing is reconnecting to a whole, aligned moment. Back to center. Back into the embrace of our true-ness. Beginning again. I begin again. Healing does not mean curing, healing is not about removing or ridding of. Healing is a shift in energy, perspective, belief, a strongly held idea. I am healing. I'm healing all the time. This time, I'm being called to do a whole lot.
I belief in moving, healing and shifting story. Stories are made by how you plant and tend to them. Do they bare fruit? Or do some need to be uprooted and replanted? Or maybe that's your story and- enough said. Story can be a healer. Sometimes my stories don't fit anymore. They start feeling tight and cause blisters when I walk. They can confuse me and sometimes, I allow them to. Sometimes, I'm not ready. This results in groundless energy. It gets hard. Dizzy. Story update alerts would be nice, but I ask myself, "would I listen or procrastinate?" Stories can transform. They can loosen and let in a few doses of the right kind of light. Right now, my stories are in need of some major revisions. They are coming up for some air.
I am nervous about all of this. I am also excited. But, I'm also scared.
I believe in moving, healing, shifting story.
Here. I. Go.
Welcome to my Virtual Journal. Here you will find #fieldnotes of a Medial Woman. I write unabashedly imperfect, mostly short, even one-line word play. I share story. I share- first, my process. I view my life-living as a grand experiment and I am taking notes, mapping a trail with moments, stories and synchronicities.
I write about...