Mindfulness & The Garden

Even in anger I can find expression if I choose mindfulness. If I choose to not be mindful then I truly miss out my bravado is then a show simply for myself as it is clear to everyone else what I have chosen. Which yes is fine too and I’m the one who misses out on the vibrant gardens waiting in my blindspots asking me to come play, breathe and bathe in my own aliveness. Treasure waiting for me will then have to wait until next time when the call brings me to its precipice again. I challenge myself each time in hopes I get to choose the garden. I like gardens, especially when gardens are being shared with me. What a beautiful invitation.

Photo by unknown

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From Suicidal to Self Care

Good morning. Today’s video: From Suicidal to Self Care.
I’m making a video every day until the end of the Kickstarter to give you insight into the book and my voice.
 
Only 9 more days to make ‘100 Days of Loving Men: A Woman’s Journey Into Recovery’ a reality! If you want to see this conversation out in the world please take a moment and invest in my Kickstarter:
 
Thank you and feel free to share this post and get the word out there.
Photo by me:
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Being ‘right’ doesn’t make me happy…

I used to think being ‘right’ made me happy. Now I see that I confused what I thought was happiness with a high. Being ‘right’ doesn’t make me happy or bring me joy, it’s a sadistic high that I feel. Nothing necessarily wrong with that either it’s just being honest with myself about what I’m doing and what I’m choosing in the moment. With a high comes the come down and for me it’s not pretty. The righteous high comes at a cost to me. The come down is rough, the fiending for the next dose to alleviate the inner backlash is blinding. Fighting through the addiction to see what is it that nurtures me and do I dare be it?

Love has a high, however, to me that can expand into deeper connection. Like a thread sewing together. It has a substance that the righteous high does not, a foundation it seems like to me, potential to create a bond, trust, vulnerability, it eventually grounds itself in reality and then builds itself from there. The love high has its own failsafe, illusion busting written in its composition with a call to grounding and deepening in self sight in my experience.

Exploring the highs in life. Nothing wrong, even righteousness has its time. Like anything, righteousness in its excess becomes a painful addiction with a high cost to self care, self kindness and my health.

Being what nurtures me is an important selfishness.

Mindful Eating, Healthy Living

For those who do not know, the past 3 months have been very challenging for me. I have a tendency to underplay my challenges, I’m not going to do that here. I had a hard time breathing nearly every day dealing with acid reflux and could barely eat. I was put on medication. I put myself on a very strict diet of potatoes, egg whites, boiled chicken, boiled beets, ground turkey and lettuce with no seasoning at all including salt. Do not do this. It’s not a healthy choice for people. I do not recommend it as a diet. Can’t stress that enough. It could cause complicatioins and major health issues. For me it was a healthy self care choice considering the other option was restricted breathing due to high acid and ending up in the ER.

Without going into too much detail, after 2 and a half months of many doctors and ER visits the source of my agony was found. My gallbladder. About 2 weeks ago I had surgery and my gallbladder removed and I’ve been healing since.

Today this meal I’m sharing is the first full well rounded real meal I have had in 3 months.

When I was exhausted, worn out and just devastated with what I’ve been dealing with the past 3 months a sweet random message from a friend meant the world to me❤

And the real thing here is, I prayed for all of this! I was overweight to the point of being pre-diabeitc and having high cholesterol and I prayed ‘God, please help me lose weight, get fit, healthy and help me with my food addiction’ and then boom! This happened! It’s amazing how I really get what I ask for and how well taken care of I am by the Universe. It was like I had to get sick to get healthy. I’m no longer prediabetic nor do I have high cholesterol.

What opened up for me too was a brand new appreciation for the tastes of food on their own flavor! Oh my god. The taste of this succulent salmon in it’s own fats, the taste of fresh pan seared spinach oh my god wow! I added fat free feta and one of my favorite fruits, grapes.

As I was savoring the crispness of the fish skin fried in nothing but it’s own flavor and the freshness of the salmon meat, oh my god I put my chopsticks down and was so hit by this moment so filled with gratitude my eyes filled with tears and I began to cry. Just so filled with gratitude my heart just swelling with this moment.

I’m grateful for all of it. Every agony. Every trial. This experience has shifted my view on health, food, self love, self care in ways that I never expected to actually happen for me. What appeared as at first ‘why me?’ really was a prayer answered and a dream fulfilled. This experience has shifted my view on life in ways I’m not sure I’m fully conscious of yet and I am thrilled as I am grateful.

There is nothing to forgive

The wisdom of a friend shines through in these conversations of racism sharing with me those who speak such things they cannot help themselves, my soul family shares they know not what they do and my mothers voice pierces through the veil, there is nothing to forgive. I am left in tears of surrender.

So to be abundantly clear here, this does not mean I do not forgive or do not believe in the process of forgiveness. Of course I do. To me this touches a very specific place in me when my mother says these words that is hard to put into words as it is a feeling. Forgiveness is an important practice for me and these words touch something that is transformative to me. Can’t word it yet.

Boundaries 

Sometimes even in the face of absolute self righteous a-holeness I have to stop and realize, the bottom line is I’m responsible for how I show up and god I have come a LONG way. Because no matter how anyone else shows up, who I choose to be in the face of such identities is ultimately completely and entirely up to me. Being loving and understanding is NOT easy and god it’s a whole lot of work, daily work. And yet here I am. Still trying. 

It would be so much easier to pick up my weapons and metaphorically annihilate someone but I’ve come to a point that I don’t want to leave my self with that. In the face of my boundaries being repeatedly violated I’ve finally found my voice to speak up and be loving yet unwavering. Loving to my own being first. I have spent my life advocating for people yet now I stand as my own advocate as that is only my responsibility.

I’m tired of living as if people will respect my boundaries by default. This is naive and dangerous. Now I speak them. I love these people except now not at the expense of me. Love at the expense of me is not really me being loving anyway, that’s an unconscious form of fear manipulation. 

I would rather be honest even if in the perception of some people that costs me intimacy, love and connection. I know those who stay in my life and encourage my boundaries love me. I also know some that love me and are confronted by my boundaries either aren’t conscious of it or don’t know better. Either way, it’s my self care to make them conscious of my boundaries and care for my self accordingly.

I’m no longer attached to manipulative and hurtful reactions to me setting a healthy boundary. Be it. No persons temper tantrum to my self care is going to make me sway from being true to me.

 The Dangerous Reality That is ‘Tantra’

I’ve reached a boiling point with the ‘Tantric’ discussion. It’s time for a conversation of awareness and self care to awaken in society. Somehow we’ve come to idolize Porn Stars as the epitome of what it is to be a human being. Porn Stars as human beings are people and their choice is theirs I don’t shame them for it. What I’m speaking to is the sex addiction in our society that we have come to praise the sex industry as if it is a symbol of freedom and sexual empowerment or even the ultimate way to be. It is neither, nor is it even original. The sex industry in my experience is a black hole of pain that hurts people yet exists as a bandaid in society for what I believe we all contribute to in our own unconsciousness.

So called ‘Tantra’ which is not actually Tantra it is the bastardization of an ancient tradition that I myself am not schooled in. Listening to those who have actually been schooled in Tantra and are pure in knowledge and coming from my own experience in the sex industry, what I see being paraded as ‘Tantra’ is nothing more than very sneaky porn.

What’s even a bit more twisted is the flowery language and gaslighting that is being used in the name of ‘spirituality’ in the ‘Tantric’ conversation. Often in the name of the ‘goddess’. Primarily men are spoken to as if they are not good enough for women and they must be fixed to serve women. The sacred masculine is hardly if ever addressed and when he is, it is only to shame him for ‘patriarchy’ and somehow he must atone for his seemingly original sin of being born male. It is done with much bravado and in the guise of ‘helping men’ to be ‘better lovers’ while completely dismissing the hearts of men and that men are full beings beyond their bodies. These ‘Tantric’ conversations feign caring about men and making men happy when actually they treat men as a tool to make women happy and disregard their own happiness. It doesn’t ’empower’ male sexuality, it dominates male sexuality. Only men can say what feels right for them sexually and not just sexually, from their hearts. Enough of the conversations that objectify men for their sex while ignoring their hearts. It’s a violation of their boundaries and a man’s ‘No’ matters. His boundaries matter. Men are not here to ‘serve the goddess’, which is a paraphrased way of saying to ‘serve women’ as if men’s needs do not also matter. A man’s needs matter, he matters, his heart matters. His ‘No’ matters. Men your sexuality is not lacking for being a male, your sexuality is important and beautiful as is your heart, mind and soul. I honor all that you are. You are not just a body to be objectified and I am sorry that as a society we have fallen behind on honoring you in all of your glory. I see a change on the horizon, however.

As for the ‘Tantric’ approach towards woman, it relies heavily on shaming women for not wanting to have their sexual boundaries violated. These ‘Tantric’ retreats shame women who do not want to be naked in front of people or groups or have their bodies touched or filmed for the sake of ‘education’. These ‘Tantric teachers’ use the word ‘wounding’ to refer to women who do not wish to be naked, touched, or have group sex. As if they must ‘graduate’ to their sexual freedom by having sex with or performing sexually in front of a crowd. The amount of pressure and shame that is placed on these women for not getting naked and the wounding that leaves on them is abusive. There is nothing wrong with a woman saying ‘No’ to taking her clothes off. No one can measure a woman’s sexual empowerment. That is the woman’s choice and hers alone. Her boundaries matter. It is completely healthy to not want to get naked in front of a group of strangers. That’s healthy and very normal and yet we in our society treat it as if it’s the opposite. Women, you are not ‘wounded’ for saying ‘No’. You are not ‘wounded’ for trusting your boundaries including your sexual boundaries. You are not less than sexually or otherwise for keeping your clothes on and I am so sorry as a society we have told you otherwise. I include myself and the part I’ve played in leaving women questioning their sexual wholeness for not choosing to divulge their bodies to strangers. You are beautiful just as you are right now in this moment and I honor you in your entirety.

These ‘Tantric retreats’ are on the rise.

Men and women who have returned from said retreats after the high dies down often are left feeling violated for doing things in the ‘tantric retreat’ environment they would not have done otherwise. Such is the disregard for the individual outside of the ‘Tantric Guru’s desire to fulfill their own personal fantasies. There are those who have committed suicide after these retreats. This is a very serious matter.

The honeyed words that are used by ‘Tantrics’ to really get into the persons head to manipulate them quickly shifts into gaslighting and pressure to be ‘sexually free’. This is the catch phrase used in our society to promote violation of one’s boundaries. Sexual freedom does not mean having sex with a group of people, or getting naked in front of people. It is extremely rare this is the case for a human being. Most of what is being shown in society as ‘sexual freedom’ is actual sexual repression and sexual addiction. I was a sex addict and there is nothing ‘sexually free’ about it, quite the opposite. It’s like a noose around the neck. It’s an addiction. In my sexual freedom right now I acknowledge my boundaries, tenderness, connect with my own energy, self love and self care regardless of the times I am sexually active or not. There is no self care in sexual addiction. Sexual addiction for me was also a body disconnect. I was so disconnected from my body that whatever I did sexually was ‘OK’. Sexual addiction was sexual repression as I was not being authentic in my sexuality, I was disconnected and not being present with myself or the person I was with. Having lots of sex does not equate to sexual freedom. I was repressed in that I could not be with my sexual energy and I was avoiding my sexual energy by acting out what I thought sexual freedom meant. But it was a painful act and I did not get to actually relate with my own sexual energy. In my sexual addiction I was actually running away from my sexual energy. The hyper sex drive also had fear infused in it. Fear of sex so hurry up, have it, run away and pretend all of that was ‘fun’ or ‘wild’ to try and prove to myself I was free. There is no freedom in sexual addiction. 

I’m not a therapist and I believe my sexual addiction was rooted from the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. With therapy and self care I now have healthy boundaries, self worth and self value and just would not get naked in front of strangers. Nor would I allow anyone to touch my body for even so called ‘sexual education’, nor would I go to one of these ‘Tantric retreats’ and watch other people do this. In the sex industry I violated a lot of relationships by giving space for the person to cheat, both men and women. I had to face that in myself and get honest with the space I created. In all of this I was unconsciously hurting myself and drank heavily to numb myself to the fact I was violating my own boundaries. I also left women questioning themselves for not doing what I did, as if they were not capable women or as if they were not sexy for not being nude in front of strangers. I supported men feeling like they had to pay for kindness and the appearance of intimacy. I left men in pain and addicted to coming back to see me for a temporary ‘fix’ from their pain. Ultimately after all the money they spent I just left men feeling lonely.

I healed my sex addiction and now feel whole and at peace within myself. I am the woman that would be called ‘wounded’ by one of these ‘Tantric gurus’ when in fact I have actually come to a place of healthy boundaries, self care and self love. I would be called ‘wounded’ for saying ‘No’ to showing my naked body, for saying ‘No’ to group sex, for saying ‘No’ to being filmed and touched. I would be shamed as ‘wounded’ for coming to a place of health within myself but I would have been heralded for staying a sex addict and hurting myself. I would have been praised for taking actions rooted in my sexual abuse as a child. Do you see? This is exactly the twisted fallacy I am speaking of that is used to shame women and men to see themselves as ‘broken’ when actually they are taking very good care of themselves and value themselves and their boundaries.
Please take care and trust your own wholeness and what feels right for you. I was in the sex industry for over a decade and I can share that these ‘Tantric’ retreats are just as dangerous and abusive. These ‘Tantrics’, are doing the opposite of what a good therapist could achieve. There are sexual therapists- and as in anything one needs to weed out those who shame or objectify male and female sexuality- who are actually equipped to support people in sexual discovery. Sexual therapists who are trained in their field to support a person as an individual and support their sexual boundaries in ways that are healthy for the individual. These ‘Tantric teachers’ do not take the time to be with each individuals needs, they have a cookie cutter way of approaching sexuality and dismiss all others as ‘wounded’. Which is a farce that I have just shined a light on here.

Men and women, you are sacred. Mind, body, heart and soul. Your boundaries are beautiful. Trust yourself. You are a treasure. Please be safe, I implore you.