In my work as a transformational mindset coach, I spend a lot of time helping people to become living embodiments of Real, Radical, Transformational Positivity. It’s BIG work designed to help folx create positive change in their own lives first, so that they can experience the healing for themselves and extend it into their relationships. Think of it as a ripple of positive transformation that flows outward.
Whenever I begin work with a new client, they are often in a place where they feel stuck and very, very frustrated. They’ve been trying to move forward on an old goal and just don’t seem to be making any real progress. They’ve been spinning their wheels or going in the same circles and are just worn out from trying so hard, but yielding little if any results.
They’re PISSED OFF and bummed out, exhausted and ready to give up on their dreams.
They’re this close to quitting, but are open to giving it one more try.
If I can help them to make even one positive shift, however large or small, it is often just the nudge they needed to look at things differently and create the momentum they want. From there, it’s amazing how the missing pieces begin to fall into place.
It Starts With A Dream
One of the first things that we will typically do together is have a fresh look at their dream, their goal, or the idea that they’ve been holding onto. Sometimes, they’ve lost the plot and have made their vision try to be something that it was never meant to be; other times, maybe they’ve skipped past the big dream entirely or tried to make it too small, too tame.
I challenge them to dream again.
Let me encourage you to make a hot date with yourself this week for some serious daydreaming (don’t push it off to next week, please… trust me on this one).
Get Expansive. Dream BIG. Give yourself the time and space to get creative. Imagine something spectacular for yourself. Fantasize about a massive lottery win. Envision what solving one of the world’s greatest problems might look like.
Because the fact is there is NO good reason why you can’t enjoy some time thinking big, having a fantasy, or imagining a better world. This is the way that change happens: it starts with a dream for something bigger, something brighter, something better than the status quo.
You don’t have to have all of the answers. You don’t have to have it all planned out step by step. You don’t even have to know how to put it all into action (that bit comes later). All you need to do to get it started is to give yourself the chance, the space, and the permission to daydream.
What’s one of the weirdest things about you? What makes you unique, special, gifted?Since I started to embrace and lean into my weird and share about what makes me different, I have been able to use my gifts to help others and do work that I love, whether it’s intuitive readings or animal energy work or transformational coaching.
My Weird Ability With Animals
I am very fortunate to have been gifted with the supremely weird and highly magickal ability to communicate energetically with most animals. To do this, I first survey their body language if available, then connect with the animal’s energy field, and ask if they would like to talk with me or if they have something they wish to share. Think along the lines of a “whisperer” to get the idea. With most domestic animals and pets, I can pick up their thoughts, read their energy, and communicate with them fairly easily, even over a great distance. I always love when I am invited to share a pet’s message with his or her human. You can book an Animal Energy Session with me if you have questions for your beloved pet.
Friends who have traveled with me can vouch for the fact that I can even call some species in their own tongue- dolphins and wolves especially- and have them respond. There was the time in the Virgin Islands when we were in the bay at St. John’s, and I kept sensing dolphins nearby. Our captain said that dolphins aren’t normally in this particular area, but I felt them so I called nonetheless. Moments later, a mama dolphin and her calf appeared not 20 feet from our boat! Sorry, no pics for this one as it happened so quickly!
On a recent trip to Alaska, we visited a private wildlife rescue/sanctuary for animals that have been injured in the wild. They are given care and rehabilitated, but their injuries are such that they wouldn’t survive a reintroduction to the surrounding forests. One of the animal residents is a beautiful wolf. I was invited to call out to her and see if she would respond. I went deep into my bones and called up a howl that told her, “I see you, and I am here with you.” If you would like to watch the video of our call and response, you can do that here: Watch the Video
During this same visit, I was also invited to chat with the local mink, and I was absolutely delighted to be able to connect with moose, caribou, bobcat, wolverine, and a grizzly. Amazing time.
And, in one of the wildest and most dramatic displays of my weird gift ever, a couple of years ago in France I healed a bat who had been attacked by a cat. I would LOVE to tell you all about this encounter, but my story is currently under consideration for a publishing deal so I can’t share the details of the story just yet.
I actually injured myself with that healing session because I was physically unprepared for it, and the folx present around me didn’t intuitively know how to support me during the encounter energetically. I also didn’t trust myself enough to ask for what I needed. I don’t blame any of us for this, it was a weird as hell experience and quite unexpected.
My back went into painful seizure for the remainder of my trip. Thankfully, my two travel companions are both people who are incredibly tuned in energetically; they both offered me comfort and support by leaning into their own weird gifts. I did learn from it though, and should such a need for healing intervention arise again, I will know to ask those around me to hold sacred space- both for me, and the animal in need.
My Weird Ability With Energy & Spirit Guides
Another of my especially “weird” gifts is an ability to read energy and connect with different spirit guides. Ever since I was a child, I could sense things that weren’t always visible to those around me. I later learned that this ability is called clairvoyance, and though it’s something that not everyone readily believes in, I have no doubt about the truth that it is just part of who I am.
I kept this part of me hidden as best as I could out of necessity for many years. Still, other kids knew that I was one of the weird ones and would take every opportunity to remind me. Kids can be cruel in their unfiltered honesty. Try as I might to fit in, to blend, to “be normal” it was just never going to happen. My weirdness would always find a way to show itself.
Eventually, I gave up trying to hide it and just let people see only the weird that I felt comfortable sharing. It was fine (and fun!) to interpret my friends’ dreams for them. It was socially acceptable to turn my visions into poetry. Praying is just talking to a supernatural, unseen being- that I could do publicly without anyone batting an eye, even if the “god” I was talking to barely resembled the polarizing biblical character. How weird is it really that folx can be so up in arms against witchcraft, paganism, and honoring the dead- but are totally fine with taking the bible literally?
The rest of it, the card reading and the spellwork and the spirit channeling and the observance of the moon phases and the animal communications I practiced privately, quietly, discreetly. I would eventually learn that this spiritual exploration is not something to be fearful of, but is in fact an important part of Exploring [Your] Divinity. It’s one of the 4 Pillars of Transformational Positivity.
Wrapping Up In Weirdness
So, why do I share all of this weirdness and woo with you? Because for far too long, I kept much of it hidden out of fear. Very rarely did I let anyone in on just how deeply weird I am, and how much that weirdness delights me. I don’t want to waste any more of my precious time on this earth hiding the weird shit that makes me a certain kind of awesome. I am and have always been and will always be a magickal, witchy woman.
My abilities and practices are definitely too weird and out there for some people, and that’s okay because I’m not here to be everyone’s cup of tea. I am here in service to the Spiritual-But-Not-Religious, the Beautiful Weirdos, the Woo-Curious, the Unapologetically Unique among us. I see you, and I am here with you. Howl, Bitches!
Check out the variety of Energy & Spirituality services I offer:View Services
Connecting with Spirit doesn’t have to be complicated or convoluted. It can absolutely be as simple and pleasant as having a conversation with someone you are fond of.
Prayer becomes talking to your wisest, most caring friend. Meditation becomes listening to the songs of the trees and the stars. Worship becomes honoring the earth and the water and the sky. Enlightenment becomes falling in Love with the Truth of your own Highest Self, and recognizing the Highest Self within those around you.
Remember Love, though you may be talking with a Divine Being, you are also a Divine Being. The only difference is that at least one of you is currently existing in a human body.
By actively exploring the essence and qualities of Divinity and cultivating our connection to all things spiritually- including nature, community, and self– we develop a profound sense of mutual caring, respect for, and recognition of the wholeness of life.
When we begin to consider the traits which define the Divine, we first look to the archetypal characters found in the sacred texts, literature, and folklore. Our most ancient ancestors created and passed down stories of gods, goddesses, and the ascended masters to help learn and teach about the world around them as well as the emotions within them. We still hold these up as the perfect models that we aspire to.
To begin to recognize this Divine essence, let’s look at what are considered some of the most positive or pleasant characteristics attributed to Divinity. A few examples:
This is a brief, not an exhaustive list of many of the Ideals (standards) and Values (drivers) that we tend to assign to spiritual beings and deities across world religions and faith communities. Often these are Values that we also either look for in, or erroneously assign to, people in positions of power, governance & leadership, and Ideals that we individually strive to hold ourselves to.
So what about the characteristics that have become vilified? What do we do with the so-called negative or “low-vibe” emotions of Anger, Vengeance, Sadness, Jealousy, Fear, Hatred? Though they may be uncomfortable to handle, they are no less Divine than any other feeling. These are just as real, just as powerful, and just as necessary for understanding our experience in this life.
One of the biggest frustrations I have with so many spiritual communities is the phenomenon of “toxic positivity” that is alarmingly prevalent and ever-present. Toxic positivity is what I call the tactic of bypassing our more challenging, difficult, uncomfortable, or otherwise highly-charged emotions. Feelings like Anger, Vengeance, Sadness, Jealousy, Fear, or even Hatred have become vilified and labeled as negative or low-vibe, when all they actually are natural, normal, very human and indeed part of the myriad characteristics also found in the Divine.
Instead of learning what these powerful feelings are, why they show up, and how we can work with them to create positive change and transformation, we are taught all sorts of “mindset hacks” to avoid experiencing and expressing these emotions. This is not healthy and it’s not in alignment with reality.
It’s reductive and dismissive at best, and what’s worse is that we are shamed into believing that we are wrong or bad or broken for having these feelings, and we’re not spiritual or holy enough because we haven’t “transcended negative emotions” like a proper guru or one of the ascended masters.
The problem is that’s total Bullshit.
Expressing Anger doesn’t make you less spiritual. Wanting Vengeance doesn’t make you less holy. Neither does feeling Sadness, experiencing Jealousy, carrying Fear, or holding Hatred make you any less spiritual, holy, human, or Divine. All of these are real, they are normal, and they have just as important a purpose for us in our spiritual journey as do the light, bright, easy, lovely emotions.
Our work is to learn why we feel them, what triggers them in us, what messages they hold for us, and how we can work with them for our Highest Good without being shitty to others.There is beautiful, powerful healing available to us when we are willing to dive into this.
Over the past week, I had the privilege of visiting a beautiful, healing retreat in the Arizona desert. This spa/resort held a Divine spirit that was palpable; so peaceful, so immense, so transformative. The majority of people there (of the few that were allowed to visit due to COVID restrictions) were totally blissed out, and without exception all of the guides that we encountered had a calm, positive presence about them that told of extraordinary journeys and lives deeply healed.
Most everyone that we interacted with commented on my “positive energy” or my “great attitude” and stuff like that. And it’s true, I definitely shared the best of myself whenever possible. But what most people didn’t see, and most people didn’t witness, were the parts of me that I typically only share in the safest, most controlled spaces.
Only a small handful of folx got to see me cry, cuss, and use all of my mindset tools. Only a few were there to witness me push through my fear and physical limitations before I tapped out. Only my husband could hold me close and love me in my messiest places of Anger, Hatred, Fear, Frustration, Jealousy, and Sadness as I moved through them to find Calm, Clarity, and Healing.
And that is the whole point of Transformational Positivity. In opening ourselves to experience challenges and allowing ourselves to explore the more difficult emotions as they come up, instead of pushing them away or stuffing them back down deep inside of us, we can begin to view old patterns in a new light, untangle ourselves from old stories, and move forward with a more empowered, clear, and healthy vision for our life.
We experienced some powerful mindset shifting, and some personal transformations of our own this past week. It was a spiritual experience that had nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with connecting to the Highest Power within, and seeing same spirit moving through everyone and everything around us, as much as they chose to open to it.
It is always my goal to learn, to grow, to flourish and thrive in every way possible. That certainly includes spiritually, thus my ever-present desire to connect deeply with others on a spiritual level.
I want to take a closer look at some ways to experience a connection to Spirit that may seem unconventional. I’m talking about connecting spiritually with trees, plants, animals, mountains, oceans, rocks, stars, planets, angels, ancestors, and all manner of deities, not just the rock-stars of the major religions. I’m interested in going beyond the sacred texts, beyond the walls of the churches and synagogues and mosques and temples to step outside of power-over social structures and into the natural flow of supernatural, Divine energy. That is Freedom.
Especially for those of us who either grew up associated with, or who later in life adhered to specific/strict religious beliefs- this can be a challenging point of view; but I have learned that whenever I choose to adopt a more expansive view of Divinity is when I get to more genuinely explore and embrace the energies- the spirits– of Love, Truth, Life, Creation, Community, Healing, Joy, Peace, Freedom, and so much more.
For many people, experiencing Divinity (in whatever ways you understand God-energy) happens whenever they are inside a traditional house of worship, whether they are in congregation singing and worshiping with others or visiting solo in private contemplation and prayer. That’s wonderful and can be absolutely beautiful!
However, it’s not true for everyone, especially if you have any negative associations or experiences with traditional, organized religion. The good news is that you don’t have to be tied to a religion or a building or a book to have a Divine connection.
Many folx I talk to feel their strongest and most spiritual connections when they are in more natural settings without the interference, stress or distractions of modern technology. Most often, people can sense this connection at the ocean or in the mountains. For others, it’s in the desert dunes under an endless starry-night sky, or in a tropical jungle with every conceivable color in the flora & fauna, or in a soft, quiet forest surrounded by thousand year old trees. I know people who can hear the trees speak to them. I know people who can feel the voices of the rocks. I know people who, like myself, can communicate directly with animals and plants. It’s not made up or drug induced; it’s mind-blowing to connect with the spiritual energy of one another, whether or not they look like you.
It’s important to recognize that there are many other places that are available to you to experience the presence of the Divine that are beautiful, powerful, supportive and transformative. Any place can become holy. Any practice can be made sacred. It is within your power to decide and determine where, when, and how you connect spiritually with Divinity and what feels most magnificent and profound to you.
If you could describe your own Divine Spirit, what does she/he/they/it look like?
2. What are some ways that you have found to connect more deeply with the Divine Spirit within yourself?
3. How are you connecting with the Divine Spirit in those around you?
[Key Area = Connecting with Spirit] What does your current connection to divinity look like? How does spirituality support/inform your daily life? Where do you experience the Divine? Are you able to separate religion and doctrine from spiritual practices? If you could SEE your own Spirit, your life-force, your essence- how would you describe it? What does she/he/they look like? Do you know the guides and energies on your spiritual support team, your Spirit Council, and how to connect with them?
Whenever I am conducting a 4 Pillars Assessment with a client during a Soul-Mirroring Session, these are some of the questions that we go over with regard to their 4th Pillar. I want to address them here because the spiritual component is one that is often overlooked, misunderstood, or has been misused against us. I believe that in asking these questions of ourselves, we can unlock incredible energy within us to lift layers of fog and reveal more Truth as to who we really are and why we are here.
How does spirituality support/inform your life?
How does spirituality support/inform your life? After all, we are so much more than just our physical flesh and blood, more than what we can see and touch; we are magnificent spiritual beings having a human experience. We ARE each an expression of divinity! This is especially powerful when you consider the positive characteristics commonly ascribed to the Divine, such as: love, joy, peace, creativity, transcendence, blessings, abundance, truth, eternal, holy, sacred, beauty, goodness, generosity, justice, mercy, powerful, liberation, sovereignty, knowledge, wisdom, healing, compassion, empathy.
This is probably the most “woo woo” area that people find me to begin work together, and I FREAKING LOVE IT. This is the ultimate in healing energy. Connecting with Spirit allows us to have a deeper understanding of the divine traits within ourselves, so that we can embody and express them in our human experience. We get to do this today, in this lifetime- not just in some faraway afterlife.
Do you separate religion/doctrine from spiritual practices?
Do you separate religion/doctrine from spiritual practices? The 4th Pillar is about our connection to the Divine Spirit. You might understand this spiritual aspect to be God, Goddess, Source, Universal Energy, Creator/Creatrix, Divine Masculine/Divine Feminine, or something else that feels right for you. Whatever you identify with as your Higher Power.
A key part of Exploring [Your] Divinity is allowing space for your own autonomy as a divine and sovereign being.
This is something vastly different from religious studies which are designed to teach you all about a particular deity (i.e., God[s] or Goddess[es], the value system that is associated with that Deity, and how He or She or They want to be worshiped). Religion and doctrine teach you how to connect and interact with the Divine that exists outside of and beyond you.
I want you to see and connect and interact with the Divine that IS you.
I want you to nurture that Holy, Powerful, Wise, Loving spirit that existswithin you.
Your exploration of the spiritual world should lead you to a place of discovery, of alignment, of expansion, of wholeness, and of the freedom to be the fullest expression of your whole, true self. If you could SEE your own Spirit, your life-force, your essence- how would you describe it? What does she/he/they look like?
Where do you experience Divinity?
Where do you experience Divinity? To experience Divinity is to connect spiritually with another being. It is an energetic connection that can be felt intuitively, and may or may not manifest within us physically or emotionally.
Whenever you sense a spiritual connection, whether that is with another person or group of people, whether it is in solitude, whether it is in Nature, whether it is around animals, whether it is in or near designated holy places or ancient burial sites- your spirit, your essence, recognizes the energy of the Divine.
Your spirit recognizes the Divine because it is the same Divine Spirit that is ever-present within you. It is the essence, the essential part of you.
Some people and places that we encounter make it easy to connect with them on a spiritual level. You might meet someone and instantly get “good vibes” from them, or walk through a place that “just feels good” to be in. That is your spirit recognizing a Divine connection.
Divinity exists within every living being, but humans tend to miss out on experiencing the awe of spiritual connection that is constantly available to us daily. We are often so rushed, so focused on our tasks at hand that we don’t slow down enough to tune in on a spiritual or energetic level to the Divine energy that is all around and within us.
The first step in strengthening your 4 Pillar, the Connection to Divine Spirit, is to recognize the holy essence within you. As you go about your day today, and again tomorrow, and each day that you have moving forward- I invite you to be open to recognizing and experiencing the energy of the Divine within yourself, in the people around you, in Nature, and in every living being that you encounter along the way. How different could your day look if you were to experience the Divine in this way?
How do you connect with your Spirit Guides?
We are more than just our physical body. As living beings powered by Divine energy, we have spiritual connections to all other living beings- visible and invisible. Just as it takes effort and intention to build positive relationships with other humans, it’s no different when it comes to growing and sustaining positive relationships with other living beings including our pets, our plants, and our spirit guides. Talking to angels, to our beloved departed friends and family members, to the spirits of our ancestors, to ancient gods & goddesses, and even to the ultimate Higher Power is a gift that is available to each of us.
It’s easy for me to connect with the spiritual world because I’ve been doing it my whole life. Even still, I know some beings more intimately than others, and there are plenty of spirits that I have not formed any relationship with at all. Whenever I am doing a reading for someone, I take the time before, during, and after each session to introduce myself to their present guides and invite them to share whatever important message they have to offer. It is easy for me to see, hear, feel, or otherwise receive messages because it is a familiar language to me which is why I so enjoy providing my services to people who don’t yet understand how to interpret what their spirit guides are trying to communicate to them.
Unpopular Opinion: You don’t need to have a go-between, or a guru, or even a psychic, spiritual, witchy-person like me to speak with your spirit guides for you.
You can initiate the conversations all on your own. You can learn how to interpret and understand the messages that your Spirit Council, as I like to call them, have to offer you.
All it takes is doing exactly the same things you already know how do to build the positive, loving, nurturing relationships that exist in your life right now. Your Spirit Guides are no different- they want to connect with you, too! Be interested in them. Get to know them. Befriend them, and see for yourself how much richer, clearer, and more expansive your life’s journey on earth can become.
Of course, I am always grateful and honored to provide my support to you as a medium through my energy work, clarity readings, and all things woo.
In my last post, I shared an overview of the 3rd Pillar of Transformational Positivity: Natural Harmony, which is all about our Connection to Nature. Today, I want to share a bit about the ways I am integrating and incorporating natural elements in and around my home to help strengthen and enhance my 3rd Pillar.
Practice sitting, laying, or standing barefoot on the ground
Move your yoga practice outside or meditate in Nature
Collect and study rocks, crystals, gemstones (ethically sourced)
Add a water feature such as a fountain, pond, or pool
Soak in a tub
Meditate in the shower
Enjoy a fire pit
Light a candle
Have a beach bonfire
Cuddle with your pets
Observe the animals that live near you (including birds and insects)
Set up a bird feeding station
SUN & MOON
Start a Sunrise practice
Start a Sunset practice
Follow the phases of the Moon
All of these are simple ways to integrate and incorporate elements of Nature into your daily life- even when you are housebound, or live in the city, or have a limited income. Do what you can to create nurturing spaces that will strengthen and support your 3rd Pillar and help you to foster a stronger connection to Nature.
To work on a personalized plan that takes into account your particular lifestyle, schedule a Soul-Mirroring Session & 4 Pillars Assessment with me right here: SCHEDULE MY SOUL-MIRRORING SESSION
In my continuing exploration of the 4 Pillars of Transformational Positivity, we come to the 3rd Pillar- Natural Harmony.
Natural Harmony involves your relationship to the Natural World around you (earth, sky, animals, plants, elements etc.) and cultivating our connection to Nature.
Ask yourself: Where does your soul naturally feel most at home- at the beach, on a lake, hiking the mountains, walking in a forest, tending a flower or edible garden, or exploring the desert? What sorts of images from nature do you feel most drawn to? Do you love animals or feel any special connection to certain species? Does a starry sky on a clear night fill you with awe? Do you crave the feeling of your bare feet on soft grass, warm sand, or cool wet mud?
Transformational Positivity has taught me that I am not about being in The Hustle. I am not on this planet to constantly be grinding away at meaningless tasks of my own making (or anyone else’s). I’ve learned how to get everything done that I need to, with ease, and even a fair amount of joy, by tuning into the harmony of nature & managing my energy accordingly.
When we distance ourselves more and more from the Natural World, we lose a deep and ancient connection to our very roots and the natural systems that sustain life. Creating more harmony between your being and the natural world might look like temporarily “unplugging” and escaping from your desk, your laptop, and your cellphone periodically for planned and/or spontaneous “Nature Breaks” in your nearest green space and reconnecting with the very real life happening around you.
While taking a week-long remote tropical island retreat might be on your dreamiest bucket list (just me?), creating more Natural Harmony in your life can be as simple as sitting outside quietly for as little as 5, 10, 15 minutes a day… or longer if you can manage it… and being mindful of how many different living things you encounter in that time. There is a natural, palpable stress relief that occurs in your body when you let yourself focus on the shapes of the clouds, or the scents on the wind, or the many different shades of green (or blue, or orange, for example) you observe in the plants and/or animals around you.
Some possible ideas to explore:
Stargazing, observing lunar cycles, sunbathing, living by seasonal rhythms
Studying the energy of Elements and how you relate to them: Earth, Air, Water, Fire
The patterns, variety, and perfect cycles found within the Natural world have been an endless source of awe, inspiration and rejuvenation since the dawn of time. Stay tuned for my next installment of this series where I begin to dig into some of the above mentioned practices and how I incorporate them into my life.
One of the lessons I am learning since my breast cancer diagnosis back in early March, and through my current chemotherapy treatments, is the value & necessity of deep introspection. It has been a time that has forced my overly active performance based perfectionist ass to SIT. DOWN. Rest. Face my Shit. Dive Deep, and then go deeper still, excavating layers and layers of hurt and suffering and fear, and offering those precious pains of the past on the altar of Love.
It’s in these spaces of intentional, ultra-focused awareness when I experience some of the treasures that I coveted & previously sought out in all the wrong ways; treasures like Peace, Calm, Contentment, Healing, Strength, Resilience, Love, and Joy.
Such are the treasures that I had tried to find through partying, hookups, addictions, religions, escapism, numbing, avoidance, deflection, discipline, overworking, and high-vibe-only mindset bullshit. All of these were just more ways to punish myself for my perceived failures.
I am doing much less coaching these days in favor of offering my tarot-based Spiritual Clarity Readings, which is work that feels so much more nourishing to me instead of draining. I have made enough space in my practice to allow for serving fewer clients, in order to say Yes to my own need for physical and emotional healing. I have built extra time between clients so that I am serving within my capacity, not beyond it. Even this simple step is the result of some deep digging, and was arrived at by picking apart some residual bits of guilt/shame.
I know that I have come a long way and I celebrate this. I’m grateful for the healing that has taken place, for the goodness that has come forward. I know that the Love, Joy, Calm, Peace, Strength, Resilience, and Contentment that I feel now is beautiful, and that there is still more of it all to welcome in. So I will sit down, and meditate, and learn new things, and unearth more of me to be Loved. This is Healing. This is Transformational/Positivity.
Weekends are sacred in our home, a time for resting, relaxing, and restoring our bodies & souls. We take care of one another, just as much as we take care of ourselves. Sometimes that looks like tucking ourselves away, and sometimes it looks like yesterday did. Yesterday was a gorgeous, get outside, enjoy some fresh air & sunshine, get a little bit spoiled kind of day. Both are necessary. We visited our favorite fancy restaurant- the place where we were engaged- which has recently reopened with modifications to protect the health guests and staff. Then, we made our way down to the harbor to take in some fresh sea air and walk along the docks, daydreaming of owning a beautiful boat.
It was fascinating to observe the contrast of these two public spaces and how one place felt clean and safe, while the other felt quite the opposite. The wide open space of the harbor was packed with people clustered together, very few people wearing masks, and fewer still making an effort to give space to others. It felt hostile and entitled. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t disappointing to see, because no matter how many times I see selfishness on display, I am always hopeful that people will choose the higher way of caring for one another.
And- we are still living in a time when the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is still very much present, and doesn’t give a hoot about how long we’ve been quarantined or how much we would like to go get our hair and nails done or how much we miss hanging out with groups of friends or that we would just really like to go sit inside a fancy restaurant and be served.
So how do we treat ourselves in such unprecedented times as these? We make the choice of maintaining a positive mindset and take the responsibility of caring for our physical safety. Whenever my husband and I do go out in public, and it is a rare occasion- we wear our masks & practice safe social distancing- including only visiting places that honor the safety of others. Our personal safety matters, and we are collectively responsible for making the world a safer place for all.
It is not such a hard thing to do, quite honestly. We would rather be mildly inconvenienced by wearing a mask in public spaces and avoiding hugs from loved ones for a few more months, than to risk contracting the virus (something that I as a person who is very much immuno-compromised right now cannot afford to tempt Fate with) or passing it along unknowingly to someone else. Taking care of one another extends beyond our immediate family. For us, temporarily sacrificing some of our individual comforts is preferable when doing so means securing a safer environment for all in our community- especially for the most vulnerable.
Personal responsibility + compassionate consideration for others = safety for all.
Caring for my body & soul while helping others to do the same is a huge component of my Transformational Positivity work.Work With Me
Listen: For the past week, I took part in a small social experiment on Instagram and Facebook called #amplifymelanatedvoices and it has been powerfully eye-opening. The premise was to center, promote, and amplify the messages of Black activists and artists while simultaneously putting our own messages on pause and truly listening to what they have to say. Without the need to draw attention back to ourselves, our opinions, our perspectives, our excuses, our discomfort. Just… listen. And then, lift up.
Because the truth is that Black people in America have been telling us the same message, over and over, in every way imaginable for hundreds of years and by and large, it seems pretty evident that we haven’t really been listening.
As a long-time, dyed-in-the-wool social justice warrior, I thought that I had been listening, but I am seeing more and more clearly just how much I was only half-listening, and sometimes actively avoiding listening- deeply, reverently, listening– to the larger conversation around racial inequity and white supremacist culture. How often I was missing the message.
I’m in no way an expert in any of this. I can, must, and will learn to listen better. This is deeply personal work, and I know that I need the help, guidance, and leadership of the people who have been doing this a lot longer than me. Maybe you are someone who has been working at being an anti-racist for a while now, and maybe you are someone who is just starting to see, understand, and unpack what all of this means. Wherever you are personally in your own journey, know that there are people who are skilled and ready and willing to support your growth. I’ve included some links to resources below:
RELEASE– Let it allllll out! Spend some quality time with your therapist, your besties, your support squad, your spiritual teachers, and talk about what you’re feeling/experiencing. Name all the feelings and fears that come up to the surface. Release your messy inside stuff. Cry hard and ugly. Shout loudly. Do this with the people who you can trust to be supportive, who can hold space for you without judgement or shaming- NOT with hateful internet trolls (I’ve learned this one the hard way). Release expectations from yourself to do things perfectly, to get it “right” the first time, to have all the answers. Release the need to be right. Release the need for other people to do their work. What else can you release? What else do you need to let go of?
REFLECT– After you’ve had a minute to let your mess out, take the time to process it. Reflect on what it means to you/for you, or if there is any deeper meaning to be found. Note: there isn’t always a gold nugget hiding in a turd; sometimes a turd is just a turd. Reflect on what you want to have happen next, and what some of the steps are that you will need to take to move forward.
RESTORE- Take. Good. Care. Of. Yourself. Restore your whole self with lots of rest, body care, nutrition, art, laughter, music, and so much Love. Restore the relationships that are most important and nourishing to you (this is not the time to feed the drain). Pray and meditate. Build up your community.
I am a teacher and a healer, and I am also here to listen and learn. I look forward to sharing more tips, wisdom, and love with you in the weeks to come. Stay tuned, and stay strong. I am in this with you!