February 11, 2015

Here Comes the Fear...

The only thing that I've been able to think about saying, is how I'm scared to come back to this space. I know, I've said that before. And that's why I've been stuck. I've been stuck with these words, and I haven't moved forward with trying to express myself despite the fear. 

Fear isn't the only thing that is keeping me back. I didn't know what I wanted my message to be, and if I even needed one. I've changed since I've started this blog. I'm almost done with college. I'm doing my internship at an amazing organization that helps LGBT youth. It's such an empowering experience because they allow me to speak my truth, and really value their members. I've been challenged to be authentic there- to not hide there, and I'm learning so much. My daughter will be two in three months. Fucking TWO. She's still the light of my life. She teaches me patience, and kindness. She teaches me to be slow, and observe. And of course she pisses me off to the point where we are both having tantrums. So I'm different.

When my daughter was born I was forced to deal with my demons. There were so many that I kept locked up and I didn't even realize how much it would affect my life. I became depressed. I was angry all the time, I got help. I had individual therapy for the anger, and group therapy for my trauma. I didn't know how transformational group therapy would be for me. The release I had there cannot be described, only felt. I wish I had time to continue with the group, because those women helped me so much. I like to think that we helped each other. There are still more demons, but I manage a little better now. I'm still guarded but I'm learning to soften over time. I know I don't need to rush things.

I've always just wanted to tell my story. I just wanted people to know they weren't alone. I wanted to know that I wasn't alone. And sharing in this space was safe for me, until it wasn't. I talked about some of the reasons in a previous post, but I still couldn't move forward. The more I tried to branch out, the more I tried to hide who I was and what I do. And not just writing here, but writing in general. I stopped sharing my photography, I don't sing in public, I hide my paintings, I do yoga alone, I hide what books I'm reading, I don't share my musical tastes. The only thing I would share is a sort of sassy sarcastic attitude that would make people laugh. Making people laugh is safe. Showing other aspects of my personality? Not so much. I can't pinpoint exactly when I started closing in, or why, but it happened. I want to fix that.

I can't say that from this point forward I'll write, and I'll share, and I'll be authentic, and I'll make friends being my true self and all that. I know the importance of authenticity, but I also know how hard it is to do that when you're healing at the same time. All I want to do is share my story. And sharing the fact that I'm struggling to be me, to open up, and how terrifying that is, is part of that story. I can promise that I'll try but I can't always promise that those efforts will be seen. I have a folder filled with words. Notebooks, too. I have photos and paintings, doodles, and I'm even challenging myself to get stronger at doing my handstands. Things are happening. Internal stuff is happening, but there's so much else that is not. I do celebrate my victories, but my heart still yearns to express.

Maybe this will start it all. Maybe you won't hear from me again for another year. I don't know. I just hope that when I come back, when I do decide to share myself, I hope that I will know that I'm not alone.

January 3, 2015

Intimidation...Unworthiness...Courage. Here's to moments like these.

Intimidated.

Pressure.

I feel like I have to live up to something. Something great. Someone to be proud of. And when I think about those things, who that person would look like, I picture other people. I have to be like that person – they are doing extraordinary things. They have an image that I want. No one would look at me and see extraordinary.

This isn’t a post where I wine about how not-awesome I am, because I am the awesomest. But I have to acknowledge the times when I’m not feeling so extraordinary, and even the times when I’m not feeling ordinary, because in those uncomfortable feelings where I’m searching outside of myself for whatever it is my heart craves, there is a message. And it’s my job to listen. It’s my job to explore those feelings.

Well what do I like about that person?
What makes them extraordinary to me?
What are the feelings I’m trying to receive from trying to live in this person’s light and not my own?

I admire their creativity. Their beautiful photos. Their social media presence. I admire the way they treat their business. The way they explore nature or the things they do in the kitchen. I’m kind of jealous that they find the time to maintain their blog and business. Which probably means I want to be more creative. I want to go out and be adventurous. I want to cook something beautiful in the kitchen. I need to explore ways to spend time on things that are important to me.

This doesn’t always happen. Most of the time I end up in a ball on my bed eating ice cream or watching Grey’s Anatomy. And that’s important too. I can let myself fall sometimes. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for my spirit, if I never let myself crumble- if I always tried to find the positive right away, if I never let myself not smile, if I never let myself cry. I know from experience that when I crumble from all of that pressure, the damage affects my entire family.

Here’s to more creativity.
More writing.
More art.
More asking for what I need.
More being selfish.
More crumbling.
More tears.
More laughter.
More forgiveness.
More moments of intimidation.
More moments of envy.
More moments of Joy.
More moments of fear.
More moments of darkness.
More moments of finding the light in that darkness.
More moments of Love.

More moments of life.

November 12, 2014

New beginnings- reconnecting with "her".


I found myself the other day.

I put her in the corner, and sort of forgot she was there. I neglected her, but I found her the other day.

I think I was ashamed of who she was… who I am. I was ashamed because I felt alone. I felt like the people whom I was around were different than me, which is true, but I let that truth create a rule in my head that the path I chose to follow was silly. My silly, wooey ways didn’t fit into a mold that would allow me to be accepted into society. My silly wooey ways would be laughed at, and definitely not taken seriously. I don’t really know how true this is, but it was true enough for me that I hid myself.

I hid the woman who believed that all things were divine, and sacred. I covered up the woman who believed that there is beauty in all things. I hid the woman who believed in the healing power of the earth, the grounding nature of leaning against a tree (and yes, even hugging one).

That woman, me, would proudly wear her mala beads, and her three stone pyrite to protect her sensitive nature. She… I, believe in the power of gemstones, and would carry one (or more) with me depending on what I wanted to receive from the universe. I would chant to the universe. I would chant until it brought me to tears. I would chant until I was compelled to dance and spin freely. I would chant to Ganesh to remove the barriers from any obstacles in my way, and chant Om Namah Shivaya to remind myself that we are all God in various forms.

This woman would still get sad, but she would understand that this emotion, that particular moment, was just part of the ebb and flow of the universe. And that rough moment made her realize even more the interconnectedness of all things. This woman wouldn’t shy away from pain. She would feel it with all her being. She would go outside, and feel the wind against her skin, and know it was the universe’s nurturing touch.

She would’ve cleansed this new house with some damn sage a long time ago. It really needs it.

She wouldn’t sit in a corner.

It’s important to have friends around you that believe in different things. I’m not saying that I want carbon copies of myself. But I did get lost, and I realize now that’s normal, too. I hid myself but I also knew it was time to grow and stretch a little more. I became confident in different areas of my life. I got more comfortable with being a feminist, I became more comfortable with being a black woman (which is a super huge thing in this society), and I’m still getting comfortable with advocating for women, and people of color, which is what I really want to do because these types of discrimination are really close to my heart. Calling out the bullshit – in people, and in society, is something I need to do with my whole self. I need the hippy goddess in me to tell me the universe has my back. I need her confidence. I need her strength. I need her grace.

I am learning that I can continue to add to my identity. I don’t need to shed any layers unless I truly believe those layers do not serve me any longer. There’s a difference between knowing it’s time to let go, and letting go because we feel we will be rejected for being ourselves. I’ve had a couple of people tell me that if people do not like who I am, then I need to find new friends. A simple concept.

Friends don’t have to be like-minded, but they should be accepting. They should be loving and caring. Compassion is healing, nourishing, and super beautiful when folks show it. No hippyness is required to show compassion.

I miss this space. I miss writing. I need to do this. My spirit feels deprived. It feels dull and undernourished. I am in great need for some self-care.  I need to put myself first for a while (as much as I can with a needy, loving, toddler). My hope is that the fear of writing will begin soften by the strong desire to nourish my spirit. This is my attempt at doing that.

I’m currently reading Patti Digh’s creative is a verb, which is off to an amazing start. She says that living is creative- that we can find art in anything. And I’m reminded that there is beauty in all things, anything can be nourishing, spiritual, and sacred.


There’s always a little light in the darkness, but it has to start within. We have to see ourselves as worthy, sacred, spiritual, and filled with light. I’m working on it, are you? Let’s work on it together.

January 1, 2014

Show Up.

2nd photo of the new year. I took this photo because looking into the camera is very uncomfortable for me. 

I'm trying to just show up.
Just be here.
Not edit my words so much...

That's really hard.

It's amazing what happens when one simply wants to remove the filter.
When one simply wants to just be.

"But will they like it?
But will it be good?
But will anyone care?"

Maybe, maybe not.

Showing up feels scary. It feels shaky. And at the moment I'm working with being in that space.

I read recently about the middle way. The Middle Way isn't so much about not feeling happy or sad, you know, some sort of nothingness - it's really about being with where we are, especially when life becomes uncomfortable. The middle way requires us to live with our discomfort, instead of searching for an instant cure. This path also requires not becoming attached to our pleasure and happiness. The constant seeking and searching for that feel good thing, the never ending search for the salve to sooth our wounds... totally unnecessary.

In pain and pleasure there is wisdom. In both there is love, and kindness.

I'm hesitant to do some sort of 365 thing because I don't want to get caught up in that search for accomplishment, or shame if I forget a day. Honestly I'm more afraid of the shame. Then I must think if it's just the fear holding me back?

That's why it's important to explore our emotions. Even if I am feeling a little afraid, that's OK. And if I'm feeling excited, that's also OK. They are both on the same level. And it's OK if there's not an immediate answer.

Exploration is much more important, and we get so much more out of it. If we just remain curious, the answers will come in their own time.

So just show up. Whatever that may mean. It may mean a photo. It may mean writing. It may mean releasing that fear of setting goals.

I'm just going to leave it open and live through it all.

Tell me. How are you showing up today?

December 15, 2013

Sexiness: A Work In Progress.


I want to feel sexy.

Last night while watching my little girl, this desire - to feel sexy, came up. And I felt bad about it. As I imagined myself in red lipstick, and tight fitting clothes, as I imagined my freshly shaven legs strutting down a walkway, I felt bad. I'm not supposed to want to feel sexy. I mean, I'm so against the notion of playing into societal expectations of what women should look like in order to feel pretty. I didn't want my pretty feelings to come from doing what everyone says a woman should do to feel desirable.

But then, I thought, if I'm doing this for me, then what's wrong with it? I mean, it's not like I dress up and make myself up all the time. I don't spend a lot of time in the mirror obsessing about my appearance - even though my 'unkeptness' is a source of insecurity for me. I like being a natural woman, but I don't at the same time because every where I look I'm reminded that natural beauty really isn't considered beauty. It's not normal.

Does this desire to feel sexy stem from wanting to be normal? Am I trying to conform in some way? Am I just trying to tap into my feminine? And what does that even mean? Is tapping into our feminine all about makeup and tight clothing, or is it much more than that? That's a conversation I would love to -and need to- have another time.

I told my husband about this predicament I was having. This tugging at my heart to feel sexy and how I was so conflicted about wanting to wear makeup and be girly and, you know, be pretty for a change.

And then I asked, "What is sexy? What does that even mean?". And I realized I just wanted to feel confident. I wanted to be noticed. I wanted to be proud of myself. I wanted to be unapologetically me. It wasn't about the lipstick. It wasn't about the tight clothing. It was about letting my light shine. I was telling myself that I didn't want to hide anymore. I wanted to be me, but I didn't know how. This desire came from the restless feelings within -- feeling like an outcast, feeling alienated and alone.

For a moment, I just wanted to live and not hide. I wanted to smile and hold my head up. I can't do that yet. I admit that I can't do that yet. But what I figured out last night was that it's time to figure out how to make that happen. How to be Dyamond. Well, I already know how to be Dyamond, but it's time to figure out how to introduce the world to Dyamond. It's time to figure out how to move through the embarrassment, how to move through the world with all the skeletons and dark spaces in my closet, how to embrace the dark and the light at the same time with love. It's time to learn how to accept that I can't change how people will feel about me. People will tease me, make fun of me, and some will be inspired, some will be critical, some will be helpful and encouraging. I can't control any of that. I can't control anything.

I'm a work in progress. Always will be. And I'm learning that if I strive to be anything other than a work in progress, I'm always going to be unhappy. Life is constant change, constant growth, constant evolution. That's just how shit goes down. There's no happy ending. There's just acceptance. Surrender. Gratitude. Compassion. And lets not forget a whole lot of pain, and heartache, and discomfort.

I don't feel sexy. I'll get there. Especially now that I know what I really want. That's the beauty of sitting with the hard moments. Asking questions, diving deeper. As Pema Chödrön says: "Leaning into the discomfort". So I may still put on a little eye liner. I may still shave my legs. There really isn't anything wrong with being a little girly if that's what one feels called to do. But at least I know why I'm doing it. At least I know I'm doing it to be seen, and acknowledged. I'll support myself with Love.

Now, when I think about this, I hear a voice inside say, "Do what you need to do, Love". There's so much love. So much joy. So much patience. She knows we'll get there someday. She knows, lipstick or not, that we are brilliant. I know. This is my truth. The really is no actual destination. There is no "there" in the grand scheme of things. What I really hope to accomplish, more than gaining confidence, is acceptance. No matter what state of being I'm in. Whether I'm bursting from the seams with confidence, or if I'm hiding in a corner... Acceptance. Always a work in progress.

November 3, 2013

Today we create adventure. #NaPhoPoMo Day 2

It's interesting how quickly forget to cherish the little things.
That there is beauty even in the most dreariest of days.



I sometimes forget how to slow down, and savor the day. 


Drink it in slowly, like a good glass of wine...


Today I remember to create my own adventure. Sometimes it takes the low points to help us remember what truly gives our life meaning.

And I'm reminded at my low points that life is beautiful. All the time. I've been letting go so much more. Forced smiles become genuine. Letting life become playful- laughing more. Taking small moments to nourish creativity. 


Every time I get knocked down I am uplifted by the brilliance this life holds.


 And I remember that this sacred life... is mine. Ours. I am in control of my journey, and no matter what has happened thus far, I still have the choice - a chance - to be someone awesome.

Many gifts are not given, but with a change in perspective we can see just how many are just lying around.

Thank you, universe. 


October 10, 2013

How to Use Imagination to Fall in Love With Yourself.

[source]

Some days all we can do is imagine.

I imagine myself as a beautiful woman, with a big heart. I am filled with confidence - you can see it in the way I walk, the way I speak, in everything I do.

I imagine that I am doing extraordinary things in the world. I am a dreamer and a doer.

I am a fantastic mother, lover, and friend.

On days where I don't feel so good, I let myself imagine. I play around with the ideas of what it would be like to be "her". And as these magical thoughts dance through my mind, my shoulders roll back and down. I sit up a little taller, my chin raises up, and there's an extra sway in my step as I imagine...

We know who we are - we are just scared sometimes to be who we are.

Our imagination can bring us back to who we are, even if for the moment we think we are just playing pretend. The buddhist say we are already enlightened- we've just forgotten. And so our journey is just a processs of reminding ourselves just how brilliant we already are.  We are already brilliant, confident, and beautiful, even when we don't feel we are in our best shape.

Try it sometime. Let your mind wander. What does your dream self look like? Write about her. Take a self-portrait of her. Dream about her. Notice any transformations as you let your mind play. Even the slightest change is important- those changes let you know she's there. She's always there.

Let her come out.