Natures Calling

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“Love is the Willow Tree. It is the rain she calls forth to bring cleansing to all living beings. It is the protection and nurturing wisdom she holds at the core of her foundation. It is the roots she digs deep into Mother Earth to create a solid grounding. It is the ancestral knowledge she provides to make sure we begin to do our own work to bring our body, mind, spirit aligned. It is the exploration of our full truths in all their colors; it is the messy and limited parts of ourselves. It is the vibrant and expendable parts; it is the autumn leaves that transform and accept the lesson of free range. It is the prosperous green that spring trees beckon flower petals to dance to. A renewal from cold to warmth, a renewal of restful lullaby to song that speeds your heart rate.” – excerpt from Estamos Unidos

 

It is the roots she digs deep into Mother Earth to create a solid grounding.

 

The concept of grounding has been reeling through my mind prominent lately as a Queer Trans Person of Color existing in the world. Specifically, as a Queer Genderfluid Trans Person of Color trying to navigate systems and spaces which still do not recognize my being as legitimate, or even human. It is hard to keep grounded and professional in spaces where extra conflict and stress will arise from choosing to express in a way which is natural to me. It is hard to keep grounded and professional when choosing to express my femininity can trigger one’s unconscious repression and ensue violence. It has been easier for me to hide away in my newfound shell of “masculinity” as a means for protection and not have to think about the extra scenarios which can happen if I choose to express femme outwardly. Being in Higher Education Spaces, or any space where I do not see my QTPOC family reflected at me, has been keeping me unaligned.

 

Grounding calls for alignment, and alignment calls for deep cleansing. To be grounded, means one’s energy systems has been cleansed so that they are aligned from the crown to the root, from the ori (head) to the feet. Each individual has their own way of becoming grounded because everyone has a unique energetic make up that must be honored. It is our responsibility to remember what routines, rituals, and methods work for us. It is our duty to respond in ways which show the outmost respect to our own body, mind, and spirit. For me, a significant part of what it means to be grounded is surrounding myself with family, friends, co-workers, lovers, and relationships which reflect my identities back to me. The fullness and robustness of all the intersections back at me. I try to stray away from a lack mentality, but it is not enough to be the only Queer Trans Person of Color in a work environment. It is not enough to be the only professional containing these intricate, beautiful, and complex identities in any space. The more I learn to ground myself, the more I am remembering I need to bring my full self into spaces I inhabit and I will not tolerate compromising parts of myself for anyone. If these environments won’t make space for me, I will create my own space. I will find another way.

 

Grounding calls for one to stand in their full holistic truth, which can only be reached by clearing away the muck and debris that no longer serves a purpose in one’s life. It is by letting go of old and dead leaves that a new way of life may emerge.

 

Grounding calls for one to embrace their true nature.

 

It was June 2015 when my spiritual journey began. My sister introduced Ibeyi to me, the French and Cuban twin sisters who sang about the Orishas, ancestors, and their father who had recently passed. Ironically, it was while listening to the song “River” in my sister’s yellow painted space where my first tarot reading began to make sense. I had gotten my first tarot reading about a month earlier from a dear mentor and friend. The reading had been weighing on my mind, but I did not have the ability to access my wisdom yet.

 

“Come to your river, I will come to your river,
I will come to your river, wash my soul again
       Carry away my old leaves, let me baptize my soul,
           With the help of your waters, sink my pain and complaints
           Let the river take them, river drown them” -River by Ibeyi

 

I diligently and devotedly visited the river nearly every day that summer, and continued to visit frequently until I left for Seattle July 2016. It was through visiting Oshun’s healing waters where I began to experience cleansing for the first time in my life. I began to release relationships which were no longer aligned with who I was becoming and began imagining the possibilities of what could manifest for me. I began to hear whispers of Natures Calling to me.

 

Natures Calling:

I have been thinking a lot about relationships for about a year now. Not only in the romantic or sexual sense, but in a holistic intimacy level. I want my friendships to be loving and kind. I want them to be unafraid to embrace me, or hold me if that’s what I need. I want my family to be one that’s a community in unity–who embraces the idea that we are individuals, but through that we are able to merge into one. I want my romantic soulmate for this life to be someone who knows that the strongest love comes from a patient and gentle heart. I want the relationship to myself to be the rhythm that communicates us all in time.

There’s a lingering trauma that is carried on the backs of folks from the LGBTQIA community, but especially those of color who have not healed from generations of genocide. I clearly see the abuse play out over and over again in families of color, even by some of the most respected and valued leaders I have met. I clearly hear the screams these blows cause behind closed doors that are refused to open in fear of more pain. I clearly feel the impact that these denials manifest its way to hatred burned along bruised skin. I clearly know the way the unconscious plays out in cynical ways. The picking scabs and go around fights that stagnate true healing to even begin.

This past year I realized that most of the relationships I have had with anyone in my life have been either straight out abusive, co-dependent, toxic, and/or generally unbalanced. The worst realization was that it all began with the relationship to myself and that everyone else was a reflection of that.
I sought solitude and solace among Oshun, the Orisha of the River. I called out and asked the beautiful goddess to show me where to begin. I cried and begged to Yemaya, the Orisha of the Ocean and Mother of all beings to nourish me back to health.

I began my journey by first visiting the river every day. I allowed the crisp autumn air to begin the process of transforming me. I allowed spirit to begin teaching me how to breathe–slow and with purpose. I began learning how to allow myself to receive the necessities of this life.

When spring came around I stood at the edge of jagged glossy rocks as I stared out into the abyss of openness and wildness the Ocean signifies. I have always been intimidated by her, but I sang and gave my deepest desires to the wind. I watched it sail far away–fast and with precision. I began the process of learning how to allow myself to release all the desires I withhold so they may begin to come to fruition.
Life is a natural balance of releasing and receiving.

Healing is about releasing all that you’re not so you may be able to receive all that you are.

Healing is a choice that requires you to choose to be unafraid—to transform your fear into faith, and hatred into love.

Healing is a choice to embrace your true nature–your calling for this life.

 

 

Integration

Blog3FB“Love is the riverbed. It is the ebb and flow we must allow ourselves to lay in. The deepness we must jump headfirst into, the darkness we must explore to emerge with our own true refuge of richness. It is the jagged rocks along the way we must overcome, breakthrough, return anew. It is the healing of past wounds. The willingness to engage the pain for beauty to emerge. A remembrance that life is a lesson about integration; that we must integrate our shadow parts to achieve equilibrium again.” -excerpt from Estamos Unidos

 

It is the healing of past wounds. The willingness to engage the pain for beauty to emerge.

 

A wound can never fully heal without being acknowledged.

A wound can never fully heal with constant fixation present.

A wound can never fully heal from another’s love smothering your pain.

A wound can never fully heal without retrieving lost pieces of your soul.

A wound can never fully heal, but it can strengthen the core of your foundation.

 

In western society, vulnerability and empathy is looked at as a weakness even though we may say otherwise. There’s this idea if we admit that we feel hurt, or anything at all, we will be deemed less. We are expected to run ourselves dry-working sixty-hour weeks, having a thriving social life, taking care of our kids, being involved with extra activities, volunteering, and still be functional enough to get by without sleep. There is an insidious trap put in place for people, especially POC, to make it seem impossible to have the time to process both their personal and inherited pain. There is a pain we are pushed to embrace in replacement of exploring the pain from both our personal, and collective histories.

We are not guided to explore the pain our ancestors experienced because the past is “over and done with” and we need to move on. We are expected to always move forward and never look back. We are expected to continue to advance, evolve, and move on to the next important thing without ever incorporating our past selves into the present or future.

The current climate in society shames, shames, and shames. It’s easier to put the blame on others than to face the faults within one’s self. It’s easier to hide away truth and tolerate pain, than to own our shortcomings and faults. This stems into the other idea that somehow, we always need to be “right,” and to not be is the worst thing in the world.

 

The truth is: there are multiple truths, realities, and planes in the universe.

 I believe this is a simple truth most people believe they know, but they do not actually understand it with their whole being.

 Theory, the art of knowing, and Being, the art of embodying, are two completely different playing fields.

 

It was December 2016, the first time I experienced parts work. Parts work is a type of therapy that abides by the theory that human beings have many selves within the self. It infuses hypnosis to get the client to a deeper state where they can shed light on parts of themselves which were shunned into the shadows. I went into my session with an open heart and mind, and left with a healing message to myself:

 

Dear Syd,

You’re fabulous because you are confronting your rebirth. You have successfully integrated your Anima and Animus and are learning to live in balance with the many parts of yourself.

Remember how you were just Maria 5 years ago? The girl who did not know who she was. She would try to find solace in any other living being because she was too afraid to explore the darkness inside her. She was so afraid of the gaping hole in her heart that she would sink her teeth into other people’s situations. She failed to notice the universe resided in her heart; the abundance of space it empowered her with. The most pure, true, and expandable invitation it contained to authentically hold another spirit. She was too afraid of her power that she learned to give it away–allowed others to feed on her until the light drained from her eyes.

 Remember how she thought that was the meaning of unconditional love? To give everything at the expense of her own needs? She turned to a frail old woman well beyond her time. Shriveled and weary from all the blood spilt. She barely survived–but today. Today, she was revived. She met an abandoned innocent boy. He crouched in the cold of the shadows shivering with no clothes except for battered under garments. His hair covered his face, but she could still see the dirt smudged across it. His dark brown eyes spoke to her about the silence, the lost songs consumed by it. He could not speak with his mouth because he did not believe he had a voice. He barely believed he even existed. He did not trust the world that failed to recognize his humanity.

 The neglect this boy had faced in his life permeated through every one of his attributes, but his eyes were the ones that called out the most to her. There was something very familiar about them she could not quite pinpoint. He had long soft eyelashes that spoke of dreamlike wonder. They complimented his glossy glow which cradled the little warmth left inside him; a spark she recognized. They reached for eachother as the light appeared and together merged as one.

 

Oya

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“Love is a cycle. It is the beginning, middle, and end. It is a Full Moon reigning in her most robust state. It is Half Moon–a symbol of abundance not deficiency. It is Quarter Moon the size of a fingernail guiding us in the direction of our personal journeys. It is New Moon restarting the phases again and again and again. A realization that there is no need to worry over lack because we shall become full again.” –excerpt from Estamos Unidos

 

A realization that there is no need to worry over lack because we shall become full again.

 

Within every ending there is a new beginning and within every new beginning there is always an ending. The great news is that the dark phases of our lives will end, and the sad news is that even the light will come to pass. I am learning to accept this simple, but powerful multi-faceted truth for our earth. Phases are a natural course and they happen both at a universal, and personal level. I am on a sacred journey of remembering what honoring my personal rhythm looks like so I may become an authentic role model for my time within humanity.

 

Death has always been a topic I’ve stayed away from for it is the ultimate confrontation with the unknown. It is the one calling we do not have the power to choose to avoid. It is the second agreement after birth that we must abide by. It can be postponed, but eventually we will all have to witness our deaths. No human can outplay or outsmart an ending.

 

I am remembering that death is merely a cycle as well. It is both the closing and opening of a door, with the terrain beyond being one not yet explored. Death is the elevation to another state of consciousness, one more in tune and connected with the multiple planes around us. Death is the universal as life is to the personal.

 

I have continuously tried to pretend that death does not exist, that if I armor myself well enough I may be able to numb it from existence. Oh, how I’ve deceived myself all these years with this fake invincibility complex. I’ve created a false sense of protection to avoid coming into the purity of my full truths-of being Latinx. Of being First Generation. Low-Soc. Highly Sensitive. Empathic. Psychic. Queer. Trans. Fluid. Non-Monogamous. Demi-Sexual. Fluid within my core.

 

The most I have done is waste my precious energy of time which could have been redirected to harvesting my joy; a joy that is meant to be shared with the universal.

 

I am so far from “normal” and binaries. This truth makes it hard to function in a society which is fueled by these concepts. I have been afraid of how many people will view me due to their own internalized fear of the unknown and the repression of their holistic selves.

I see too many people choosing fear to dictate their lives to avoid the fullness of themselves.

 It’s easier to repress and not face the complex and dark parts of oneself. It’s easier to project ideas of how things should be rather than see them for what they actually are.

 

I was sitting alone in my office for my first professional job when I received the message.

Oya is entering your life now”

I didn’t know too much about Oya, but I knew she intimidated me. She is the Orisha of transformation, death, storms, winds of change. She owns the cemetery and can be found in the marketplace. She means business when she enters your life, which can be harsh, but also very direct.

 

Death is the ultimate confrontation with the unknown. It is majestic swan resurrecting from the journey through great mystery. Death is the subtle ripples along her back. It is the cleanse reclaiming secrets lost at sea.”

Balance

Blog1_7-24-FB“Love is the ocean. It is the tides rushing to shore for safety in each individual grain of sand. It is the individual who dares to ride each tidal wave. It is the openness and width the ocean signifies. A space big enough for all her children to challenge, learn, and grow from each other. It is a nourishing blanket meant to revive the breath of every being who has sunk, but then has risen between the waves. A reclamation of power; the faith that she will carry us home again.”excerpt from performance piece Estamos Unidos

 

It is the openness and width the ocean signifies. A space big enough for all her children to challenge, learn, and grow from each other.

 

It has been a year since I left New Jersey to explore the healing terrain of the Pacific Northwest. Upon leaving on my cross-country drive I had pulled a card from my first tarot deck for what Seattle would bring me- Balance.

 

Instantly spirit spoke to me- Balance is in all things in life.

 

Balance is the contradictory-the wanting and the denying, push and pull, right and left, black and white.

 

Balance is the complementary- the ground to the sky, fire to water, bitter to sweet, pain to beauty.

 

Balance is the connection- the heavens to earth, spirit to human, life to death, opening to closing.

 

Balance is the concept- the middle-ground to both ends, the individual within the community, the acceptance of multiple truths, the beginning after the end.

 

Balance is learning how to truly give and how to truly receive-both which beckons one to open themselves to the plethora of possibilities the universe must offer.

 

One major area I am actively working on achieving balance is motherhood and fatherhood.

 

Motherhood being the divine feminine essence we all contain and fatherhood being the masculine energy within us all. I am aiming to achieve the perfect balance within myself.

 

In many spiritual practices-the feminine is viewed as dark and the masculine as light. My work in achieving balance through motherhood and fatherhood is ultimately to achieve balance in being- to become a being of light.

 

As a person who did not have the privilege to be parented, I am reinventing what it means to mother and father myself. I am relearning ways my being loves to be nurtured, nourished, and cared for. I am retrieving ancient knowledge of what my being needs to feel protected, safe, and preserved.

 

This past weekend I spent my time in Portland, Oregon. The last time I was there I was brought to a spiritual bookstore which had many different tarot decks. The Tarot Deck of the Orisha is what called out to me. However, my intuition told me it was not the time and to purchase it if it was there the next time.

 

I found the deck at the exact bookshelf it was the first time. I grabbed it and took a seat on a wooden bench nearby as I became distracted with a book. I was reading about an encounter with an Egyptian deity when an elderly white woman confronted me.

 

“I need to ask you a question” she said, “If you were my son would you enjoy this gift for your birthday?”

 

I grimaced and chuckled to myself by her assumption of my gender as she pulled out a cheesy, but cute, birthday card stating how special it was that he was her son.

 

“It’s cute. Totally get it for him” I replied politely.

 

“Really, would you like this if your mother got this for you?” she responded skeptically

 

“I would be grateful if my mother got me anything” I simply replied.

 

Once the comment left my mouth I saw a beam of light shoot into her. Spirit was embodying her.

 

“That’s a pity, you seem like a really nice…person.” She genuinely said with a slight hesitation as she carefully chose new language.

 

I thanked her and continued to read my book, but a few seconds later she returned.

 

“I want you to pick something from this store and I am going to purchase it for you.”

 

With the way, the words left her mouth, she was not going to take “no” for an answer. I told her she really didn’t have to because the deck was pricey, but she told me she was meant to gift me the deck. That comment shifted my spirit to the realization of how important this deck is going to be for my spiritual development. My soul then moved when she spoke:

 

“I’m sure your mother wants to give you so many things, but she isn’t in the position, or have the ability to do so”

 

Balance is a mother’s love washing over long forgotten wounds. It is the stirring of a heart defrosting; the warmth of a stranger’s hand.