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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The Art of Femininity: Relating to Menses

I was reading this article this morning by TIME-  Meghan Markle: How Periods Affect Potential about the conversation which is well known that there are girls in countries such as India, Iran, Africa [and other countriess] who girls drop out of school because of their period. They do not have the resources to take care of their periods and there is also the conversation of shame around them having a period as if there is something broken about them. This is such an mportanti conversation to support girls being able to stay in school and have access to a better chance at success in life. And while we are far better off in the USA we are still lacking a loving conversation with and about our menses, in my experience anyway. It wasn’t until my adult life that I found a healthy relationship to this time of month. I don’t mean worshipping it and calling myself a ‘goddess’ over it as I am very much a human woman not a deity. I don’t need the pressure nor pedestal of being a ‘goddess’. That’s a long way to fall if I show up as the human I am. Just as my period doesn’t make me inferior having a period also doesn’t make me superior. As a female it’s something my body does biologically that I realized I wanted to have a healthy and loving relationship with as part of my self love and self care. By loving I mean loving this monthly time as a part of my life and body. Giving space for this in my life rather than try to pretend it doesn’t exist or relate to it begrudgingly. Being able to experience my period as a beautiful cycle. I honor this really is such a private conversation and yet even among women there seems to be shame about this conversation. Looking at it purely as purpose the period is a cleansing.

And there are emotional elements to it too of course. Emotional elements I had myself shamed until conversations with women and even with men. I interviewed men for my book ‘100 Days Of Loving Men: A Woman’s Journey Into Recovery’ and one of the men shared a beautiful insight, that the period brings about a way for women to have a natural release. Really opened me up to looking at this monthly time in another way. For me during this time of month I have to slow down, I am called very deeply into my body and self care. It’s become a part of my self reflection. I’ve learned to love it as a part of me rather than resist it and feel frustrated by it as I used to.

What would be great to see is conversations for girls here in the US to feel related to their periods, to know what is happening with their bodies or will be happening and cultivate a loving relationship with their bodies through this. I think this could alleviate a lot of body shame and can support self love conversations for girls and women.

What is your relationship to your monthly?

As strong as I am in my conversations of men, I am also strong in my conversations of women. You can follow me in both conversations on my Facebook pages, click on the titles to visit:

The Art of Femininity

Loving & Celebrating Men

 

‘Respect My Pain’: When Trauma Becomes Domination

There have been times in my life where I came from this space, albeit unconsciously, where I was using my pain as a form of hiding and domination. Rather than going into my pain to listen, learn and heal, I wrapped myself up in a cloak of pain to be ‘right’ about it. What I mean by being ‘right’ about my pain was that because it was my pain it was something that I could be a self declared authority over. In this, no matter how someone came forward and tried to support me seeing a path out of my pain and into self care, self love and joy, I could always shut them down because ‘How could you know what I have gone through?’. I could then prostrate and demand respect for my position of pain and feel completely justified in shutting down the voices of healthy people coming to me with love and reminding me of my innate power and joy. I could then stand atop my victim mentality mountain and slay whoever came to me trying to show me a path to freedom from the suffering and turmoil I was cycling. For, how dare they not respect my pain? With that mentality anyone who came to me with love was a villain and I the hero.

This was an addiction. Painful things happen in life, no one is alone in this, no one is extraordinary in this. I certainly was not extraordinary for feeling pain, though I seemed to be telling myself I was. I was using my trauma as a way to feel extraordinary- this is backwards. It was the trauma that was calling me as an alarm clock to remember my innate being, the trauma itself was not my innate being. To confuse the alarm as ‘the way’, was stunting for me. To wear my trauma as a medal did not work. Pain is not wrong or bad, it is a call for self care. It is a necessesary emotion and when felt can even be a beautiful experience of self care. When wallowed in, it can become an addictive cycle. For me when I felt the pain but could not move on from it nor find actions rooted in self care, I had become addicted. Feeling pain, truly feeling it with intent to move through, transmutes into a deep body connect and connection with innate joy and love that is always present and easily accessed when allowed. If I’m not allowing myself to move through and into the love and joy, I have become addicted to the cycle of pain and whatever I’m getting out of it. I saw that I had become addicted to the attention I got when I played victim- victim currency. I had become obsessed with receiving the ‘poor you’ and ‘look how strong you are!’ when I played victim.

An addict never wants to know they are an addict. So when people came to me and were a stand for me to be free from my own suffering and addicted cycles of pain, I lashed out at them from my victim mountain. And self righteously shamed them with ‘you have no idea what this feels like how dare you question my victimhood!’, in so many words. Think about that, I lashed out at the people who came to me with love, who were standing for me to be free from my self abusive pain cycling. I was so addicted to my pain cycles it was gluttonous. I was abusing pain. Pain is not meant to be lassoed like that and harnessed, it is meant to be free to move through and move on until it’s next visit. It was like I was holding pain hostage against it’s will and purpose. And since the pain was my own feeling, a part of my own experience, I was holding myself hostage against my own true will and purpose. Fighting to stay away from my heart and my own love in the process. For, if I were to meet my own heart, I would have to let the pain process go. I would have to allow myself to be free and present to my innate joy. I would be able to see those who loved me who were inviting me out into the sun to enjoy the world with them, to enjoy the world with myself. If I were to meet my own heart, I would have to be present to the real beauty of life and place down my addictive shackles. And so I did. Because I’m worth it.

I don’t have to respect a persons pain, that is not compassion that is enabling. I respect the person themselves as I respect myself. To me respect means seeing each human being as powerful and capable of choosing. Even if it is the addiction they choose. I’m not here to enable, I am here to stand in knowing love. From my own self care, I trust each persons journey and trust myself to not enable

Mindfulness in the Human Rights Conversation

Today’s video on my YouTube:

Mindfulness in the Human Rights Conversation Video

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I’m starting to ask myself, ‘Where else is this the case? Where else is someone genuinely being compassionate based on how they perceive the world and I’m judging it based on how I perceive the world and making their try “Not enough”?’ If I judge someone’s try as ‘not enough’ then who am I being in relation to them? A try is pure. Just because it doesn’t fit my perception, doesn’t mean it’s not pure.

A try is pure and compassionate and loving. Where the hell do I go to smash on something so pure? What drives that? I don’t need to impart knowledge. I can share my knowledge and I don’t have to be so attached that it’s received. That’s the freedom I’m giving myself. As I feel solid in my knowledge, I’m just becoming less attached to it. Not that I won’t share it, just that it doesn’t define me whether it is received or not.

Words: Me

Artwork: Alvin Epps

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Acknowledging a person’s try

This morning I got to distinguish between someone being intentionally malicious and someone actually trying, even if my interpretation is they are being malicious. It’s all about the person’s intent. IF the intention is to be malicious then it’s not a try to me. However, if the person is coming from a space of compassion from where they are- even if in my view, from my filter, it may not seem compassionate based on my reality- then that to me is a try. And that’s when it’s time for me to step out of my own way and be in my own compassion and in this be compassionate towards them in acknowledging their try. That’s what I’m choosing. Oh boy is it confronting! Hahaha AND I’m up for the adventure!

Artist of painting unknown

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Have I Internalized Misogyny?

Have I Internalized Misogyny?
I have been told that I have ‘internalized misogyny’ simply because I speak up about male victims being including in the human rights conversation. No. That is a downright lie I will not take on. What I believe is happening is those projecting this see only one gender as a victim so that view is being projected onto me as if I only see one gender as a victim. Absolutely not. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am really sick of this being projected onto me. I am creating a conversation of inclusion, how that is being warped into a conversation of exclusion is a gaslighting I’m not taking on.
I have NEVER denied there are male criminals and female victims, nor would I ever. If I were to say ‘No female victim/male perpetrator dynamics exist’ or ‘My voice as a female victim doesn’t really matter we need to hear men first’ that’s when YES it could be said I have succombed to the misogyny gods and have internalized sexism. But I have never and would NEVER say that. I don’t believe in ‘first’ when it comes to victims of violence being supported, I believe in- together. ALL victims matter and no victim should be kept from funding for supporting their healing or escape to safety. There is some bizarre scarcity mentality and hoarding sneaky lie that is underlying conversations denying male victims as if we don’t have enough resources to help men, yes we do. All we need is the awarenes and empathy to take the actions necessary so that men are not denied support simply for being born male.
I am speaking a conversation inclusive of male victims while shining a light on the blindspot on men in our society. That is opening the conversation to speaking on all victims and to recognize all victims need support. Otherwise, we are attacking innocent people simply for being born male or simply for being born female. I don’t believe in ‘man bad/woman good’ just as I don’t believe in ‘woman bad/man good’. I believe every human has the capacity for violence and the capacity for greatness. Violence is NOT gendered, violence is a human issue and the focus needs to be on supporting victims and criminals being brought to face the law. I believe regardless of political identity we can all come together to support human rights issues.
Once again, I know I stand uniquely in my conversation of inclusion in a society that is predominantly in denial of the importance of including and supporting male victims. To me everyone is welcome to this conversation regardless of political identity. I am also aware all humans, myself included, hear through a filter. I get people are unconscious, me too. I am making a very clear statement here that yes I am spearheading my own voice here and I get it does not fit the ordinary and I stand by my voice and my heart. I know my intentions and I will not be afraid nor silent anymore.
Photo by Max Nepstad for my feature by Gran Centenario Tequila speaking on my book ‘100 Days of Loving Men: A Woman’s Journey Into Recovery’.
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