Respectfully Ours

“I find his advances so irritating but there isn’t much I can say, let alone do.”

“His timing couldn’t be worse. He wakes me up in the middle of the night after a long day and I am just not up for it but I give in anyways.”

“I keep telling him that I’m not interested in dinner, but he just won’t let up.”

“I just found out that they don’t pay me as much as him even though I have been here longer. I’m scared to even say anything because if I do. they’ll find a  way to fire me.”

There are moments when to be a woman feels like more of a chore than anything else. Almost like a burden placed on us by our ancestral society. Not only do we carry the weight of our children, but we also carry the pleasure of men. To be a woman, for those who are free, it is a delight. For those who are chained down to the expectations of another, the burden weighs heavy. Yet, the burden weighs on us for simply allowing it. It is about to be 2018 and it is only now that we are slowly starting to demand a right that is respectfully ours.

After being silenced for so long, it is time that we loudly begin to use our voices, and confidently take steps towards changing how the world as a whole view and treat women. There are those who argue that we are far more progressive than women in other countries but I counter them with the thought that just because others are struggling more than we are, does not mean we still don’t deserve to be treated as the beautiful souls that we are.

We once used to be the country that everyone looked towards for instruction or example. I want to be that for the women in other countries. I want us to represent and symbolize what it should be like for women of all over the world. After being silenced for so long, we must loudly begin to use our voices. After many years of being looked as a “lesser than” rather than an “equal to”, we must now demand it. Ladies, the view of ourselves has to change before anything else. That new view point will inevitability get the ball rolling. Our expectations for ourselves must be heightened not simply because we must, but more so because we can and we don’t. We matter and if we don’t believe so, then how will we change society and its distorted view of one of the most precious beings on this planet? Because remember ladies, we are Goddesses and without us, there is no life, no?

We must speak because if we don’t, who will do it for us?

We must fight and stand up for ourselves because if we don’t…who will?

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Being Alone

Alone Time. Honestly, it’s one of my favorites.

In a world where people no longer cherish a moment of “alone time”, I am a BIG advocate on voluntary alone time. Society today is constantly connected and alone time is what refuels our tank when it runs empty. The mind and the soul need a moment of solitude. We internally need the peace of quiet, the calm of nothingness.  There is an art to being alone and within that art there is a thin line that if crossed can lead to more of a problem than a solution. I find that by never crossing that line there are so many pluses to having a bit of alone time that it makes you question how there are people who avoid it like the plague.

One of my favorite things to be is to be alone. I find solace in it. Not because I am anti-social but more so because I am pro-sanity. For me, being alone feels like peace entangled with thrill. Peace for its obvious reasons, thrill because it’s such a rarity. Life today constantly feels so busy that I try to steal moments for myself any way I can find it, like an addict needing a fix. I hardly get any “me” time and so when I can run off by myself for a bit, I make sure I do.

For instance, I am constantly surrounded by people. I work in the restaurant industry so most of my days are wrapped up in customers of all different styles, temperament, and culture. I also live with my significant other whom I love dearly. With that, said he does like to spend any minuet I have off, together. If I’m not working or with the boyfriend, I am with friends either advice giving or just hanging out and having a couple cocktails. I want to make clear that I am not complaining by any means. I love my life and those in it. Yet, I must admit that it does not leave me much room for “me” time. Recently was when I noticed that I was spreading myself thin and it was taking a toll on my mood completely. One of the ways I took control towards a more positive lifestyle change was incorporating more time for myself into my day. Whether it was an extra 30 mins in the morning or an extra 30 mins at night, or maybe I got out of work a little earlier than normal, I made sure I found myself some time to clear my mind. I quickly began to notice all the good that it was doing for me.

I noticed a heightened sense of creativity. I began to pump out more ideas for my writing, motivating to me to utilize my time in a manner where I would spend more time writing versus doing something unproductive such as watching t.v. or scrolling through my Facebook. I noticed that my problem solving skills dramatically improved. The quality of advice that I was now giving friends was much clearer and easier to obtain than once before. At work, I was able to focus better and so I was able to remember things off the top of my head, even the most minuscule of detail. I found that I was beginning to feel an inner strength that I hadn’t quite felt before. In my alone time, I had discovered time for self-reflection and in doing so is when I began to find strength from within.

I am sure that most of you reading this will think,

“Well, I already barely have any time for the things in my life that I must tend to. I will never have time for any “alone time.” I mean seriously, who’s got time for that?”

I say unto you, for everything that you place before you, before your needs, you are telling yourself that you mean nothing while the world means everything. But what you don’t see is that without you there is no world, for your world truly exists only within you. If you do not begin to place yourself first, in a healthy manner of course, then how will you have enough of yourself to give to others? How will you have enough life within yourself to live? The mind will eventually implode and your soul will darken and die, and to be dead while living is the most terrible death one could ever suffer. Finding yourself some alone time would be one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. It isn’t being selfish. It would be selfish not to because then you wouldn’t be allowing for others to have the best version of you that you could possibly be. So remember even if it’s an extra five minuets a day, give yourself that much needed “You” time.

You deserve it.

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Almost Forgetting

I almost forgot about detachment. The stepping out of the circus that the external world most times is. I lost myself for quite sometime because I allowed for other people’s bullshit to become my own. I cannot tell you how annoyed I was to be aware that I was becoming less aware. That’s what I call tragic. My days were being filled with unnecessary distractions that I deemed necessary. One day blurred into the other and then again and again. I had forgotten about my stones and crystals and all of their uses. I forgot my prayers to my Universal Mother and Earthly Father. Meditation was no longer a thought. I began to simply exist.

Time goes on and I begin to grow unhappy. I found no joy in the simple things because the simple things weren’t being acknowledged. I found only content in the big things. A mere moment of satisfaction that flickered out barely leaving a memory behind. An unhappy soul begins to act out and so mine did. It was in an argument with a fellow troubled soul that I found myself asking, “What am I doing? Why do I care this much?” To me I found caring too much equally as harmful as arguing too much. A little bit of it is healthy. More than that and you’re asking for trouble. It was then that I began to look inside of myself. I began having an internal conversation to try to figure out how I had gotten to such a point. I knew about meditation, about the effects of internal dialogue, of how to not let the outside world determine your internal happiness and feeling of self worth. I had stopped practicing all of the things I had learned in the last few years and I was watching it create havoc on my life.

The second I began to realize all of this I took action. It’s only action that gets anything done. There was no point in me coming to this realization and not doing anything about it, right? I mean, did I want to be happy? Of course!

That night I took the last hour of my waking day to sit quietly in my room. No electronics running, other than my phone in the distance, playing calm meditation music. I sat and cleared my mind for just a few minuets. I hadn’t meditated for such a while that in took me a second to really get into it. Once my thoughts began pouring back in, I did a physical brain dump. I heard these thoughts but never listened. The moment one thought finished I visualized popping it, like a balloon, and the thought disappeared into nothing. Soon my mind quieted again and there I sat, just being one with myself.

The next day I felt as light as a feather. I had slept like a rock the night before and woke up with a sense of rejuvenation. That day had gone smoothly. There had been no drama, no feeling of sadness. That night I took advantage of my sage and of course, my crystals, infusing them into what I was now making my nightly ritual. I began to feel a momentum build in my life and this is where I am at now, just riding the wave.

I now realize how easy it is to become engulfed in life and in people’s dilemmas, even after knowing all about the laws of the Universe and the gifts it gives us to counter the negative. I make a conscious effort everyday to not allow being swallowed up by negativity again. I’m sure that one day life will throw me for a big loop threatening once again my awareness. It’s only due time for it’s the yin and yang of life. By then I wish to be stronger willed and able to walk through the storm without getting caught up in the downpour. So until then, I practice Mindfulness and embrace the power of Positive Thinking.

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A Mental “Feel Better”

When you’re having a hard time in life, boy does it fucking suck.

It did for me anyways. Big time.

I was looking at unemployment, residential displacement, feeling lonely, and ridiculous amounts of internal conflict over external bullshit. The gears in my mind, lubricated in anxiety, were continuously winding and that’s never any help. I am a thinker, it’s what I do. My overthinking at times is beneficial but most times it hinders my journey towards a more peaceful state of mind. During a depressed phase, over thinking can easily creep in and before you know it you’re caught up in a web of misery and the less you talk about it the greater that misery becomes. You drown in these dark feelings and for just a split second, if you allow it to happen, you give into the drowning, letting yourself sink just a little bit. That was me. For a split second, or more like an entire morning, I allowed myself to sink. I felt myself exhausted and quickly began to question even my very existence.

For may people, reaching this moment is almost like washing up onto the shores of the island of No Return. They lose hope and cling onto the sadness for so long that they only feel comfortable there. But that is only because most people do not know of the tools life has supplied us with in order to survive periods such as these. I am one of the fortunate few to have learned of these internal tools that we were given. I am one of the few who believes in these tools and that is the difference between some of those people and myself.

So how did I snap out of this depression that I was experiencing? I didn’t. One doesn’t just “snap” out of these emotions. You don’t just snap your fingers and wala you’re out of the darkness, nor is it a like a light switch you can just flick on and off. No. It’s a process and for everyone it is a slightly different one considering we are all so unique. Our healing process should be customized to our individual needs as well as to every given situation.

On this particular day my process began with a little rage cleaning. It was early in the morning when I woke up to feces all over my living room floor. My dog had apparently gotten a horrible case of diarrhea during the night and had shitted all over the place. I found the smears within minuets of me waking up and it quickly sent me into a tizzy. I frantically began cleaning like a mad woman (I was a mad woman) swearing under my breath as if releasing the “f” bomb was somehow helping me scrub just that much harder. Before I knew it, the living room, the dining room, and kitchen were pristine and once I was satisfied off I went for a deep cleaning of my own.

My shower is my safe haven. I imagine the water rinsing away my worries even though deep inside I know that it’ll only be for the time being. The steam relaxes my tense muscles and I float away..

It’s only once I’m finished and in the mirror getting ready that I begin to remember all my troubles and at this point is when I actually let myself fall away into the depths of my despair. I wail like a child, sobbing from the center of my soul, cries pouring out of me and invading the silent air. Within my normal life, I hardly ever cry, so as I do now, I stare at myself in the mirror. I stare fiercely into my water eyes. I allow to see myself like this. I allow myself to feel all the emotions that run through me, vibrant and strong like an electrical current and shocking my senses. I’m  allowing myself to feel everything that I had been clearly feeling for quite some time but was always trying to hide.

Instinctively I turn and reach for a notebook and begin writing. I do what is called a “Brain Dump” and write everything that comes to mind. Whether it made sense or not in the notebook it went. All my feelings, thoughts, concerns, everything was written down in the pages of my journal, some of it gibberish, most of it not. I purged everything that I was feeling and by the end of it, five pages later to be exact, my soul was feeling lighter. I wanted to keep this going. I wanted (needed) this mental feel better and so taking advantage of the fact that I was home alone I decided to then get myself into total zen mode.

I lay out my yoga mat strategically in front of my bedroom window so I get some of that natural sunlight hitting my skin. The only electronic device that is powered at this moment is my phone which plays nature meditation music, specifically downloaded for moments such as these. I sit Indian style, facing the sun, eyes closed, and focus deeply on my breathing. I sit there like this for whats seems several mins and then slowly begin to stretch my body. Section by section I stretch and while doing so, I speak to each body part, showing love and gratitude. I connect with this vessel my soul is encapsulated in and not only thank it, but also reiterate to it how it is enough. I begin my affirmations and soon all negative thoughts that once thrived, circling around in my mind, dispersed. They became nothing. In its place stood me and all the good that I had temporarily forgotten.

“I am healthy. I am loved. I am in love with everything around me. Money flows freely into my life which helps promote spiritual growth. I am happy. I radiate positivity. I am enough. I am exactly where I need to be. The universe is conspiring in my favor.”

I recite these and more within in my mind letting it penetrate every cell within my body and it does. I begin to feel strong once again. I begin to feel empowered. Before I knew it I was running on a natural high. No, all of my problems hadn’t just disappeared, but I had the strength and the courage to face them without any self doubt. I had replenished my internal oil lamp and it was radiating so much light, no darkness could invade. Suddenly, there was no problem without a solution.

After my mini mental break down and rebuild, it took me a couple days to really feel 100% me again. I made sure to get good sleep and to actually eat at least somewhat healthier. I also spent a lot of time listening to motivational videos and webinars whenever I could. I would play them as I did my cleaning around the house or as I went for my runs. I’d let them play as background noise, trying to soak it as much as I could and it worked.

To many, this all may seem like a lot of hippy hoopla  but in actuality it takes work to be happy and if happy is what we want to be then effort is what we have to put in. To really feel the pain that you’re going through builds your inner strength. It gives what you’re feeling a voice and it helps you to move on. Merely hiding your issues may get you over it for a second but doesn’t allow for you to get through it permanently. Addressing your inner dialogue is highly important as well. It is true when they say, “You become what you think.” Our minds hold much more power than most of us know and it is imperative to our well being to keep our thoughts positive and motivating. We can be our own worst enemy and it begins with our minds so be mindful of your inner dialogue with yourself and stop being so darn hard on yourself! Meditation can help with this. Silencing your mind for just a couple mins a day can help tremendously and allows for you to regain control of your mind when it does begin to wander off into darker territories.

As I previously stated, everyone is uniquely different and so the process of getting back to feeling like oneself after a moment of gloom will be equally as different. I know that this time, this is what worked for me. In sharing this, I hope to help others who are maybe having a rough day find a way to replenish their internal oil lamp and stop them from being overcome by the darkness that threatens their happiness. Whether it’s meditation, writing, dancing around your apartment like a goober, whatever the method may be, find what works for you. Life is too short to be stranded on the island of No Return for any given amount of time, and remember happiness is a choice.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

#Metoo: The New Face of Resistance

In the last few months, sexual harassment has been such a hot topic of conversation for just about everyone. Whether it’s online on FB posts and Twitter feeds, or a discussion being had at the dinner table with guests or family, where before to speak of such a thing was considered taboo, now people like Weinstein, Bill Cosby, former FOX news chief Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, L.A Reid, David Mueller, and even comments by our president Donald Trump (“Grab them by the pussy!”) have opened up the lines of communication for accusers all over the world. Women from all economic class levels, cultures, ages, have been coming together to speak of their stories that for up until now have been kept buried in the farthest corner of their minds. Almost as if it were a story that wasn’t wanting to be told until now.

My story is not very different when comparing it to the others that have been told. It seems to always start off with a man who feels in power. Whether it is the situation at hand that makes them feel powerful or something else in life that makes them feel empowered, they almost always seem to have the upper hand like an illusion produced by an intimidating magician. I can personally tell you about three separate occasions that single handily happened to me where I was alone and an unsuspecting victim. I can then also give you a list of “minor” instances that fall longer than a roll of toilet paper where I have fallen victim to the cat calls, the groping, the unwanted advances. Even an incident as recent as last weekend in which I was at a concert with my boyfriend and I was touched multiple times, obviously unwillingly, by a shadow in the crowd. How did we get to be a society in which the norm is for women to be fondled or fall prey to these heartless cowards. Cowards because they hide in the shadows, cowards because they hide behind their titles and their roles in society.

With the #metoo movement, not only have people who have fallen victim to sexual assault found a group of comfort and support, but we also have been seeing a change in the attitude of men, some who are self admitting to committing such advances.

Right now we are living in a time in which many voices who have been silenced have been given a mic. Some may think that this is our “five mins of fame” or that we are presently standing on our “soap boxes” in hopes to make a small wave in what recently has been seen as the “norm” in society. Yet for us, it’s not about making a wave. It’s about starting a movement. We want to be able to move towards change in order to allow for a better future. We will no longer stand for allowing the mistreatment of people no matter the age, race, heritage, nor gender. We may not have been able to always stand up against those we accuse, but at least now we can stand together for the cause. I may not have children of my own but children are our future.

To all of my friend’s who have children, those kids are our future and we must make this a better place for them to grow, live, and evolve. We must break this unacceptable cycle of sexual assault whether it’s on our campuses, work place, or simply at home. It is not Ok for those in power to feel as though those who aren’t have no say, have no voice.

To all of you who are just like me, although together we stand united and strong, we must never forget that to stand strong as a whole means that we hold a little piece inside of us that is strong too. Feel empowered because you are. We are the face of resistance.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Fort Myers Beach, FL

 

Bluntly Upon My Sleeves

You are completely mistaken.

It wasn’t because you were doing well and then all of the sudden you weren’t. White Lies. You were never doing well. It just took me a while to figure out that you were badly put together. Taped in lies, out seeped the truth.

The best revenge is that which is written down on paper.

And while neither of us are perfect, never did I try to sweep dirt under the rug. Confronting and communicating is all that I ever tried to do. Giving up is what that led to, for I always found myself speaking alone. All the time alone.

You say that behind curtains I hide but that too is simply not the truth.

Who I wear bluntly upon my sleeves is the heart of who I am. That does not mean that I am not nicked, dented, or imperfect and as time wears on, those who stand beside me find out my deepest stories, understanding each flaw.

Because I was not perfect, as perfect as your eyes betrayed you to see, you retreated in your hermit shell, instead of trying to understand me. Once again running… You ran from who we are as individuals, you ran from who we could have been as a team.

While running you ran into the arms of the exact demons that have kept you in hiding for so long. The Devil’s Brew. There you dance with the devil to the melody of a dangerous song. You have lost yourself over time and now deeper in the hole you seem to be, and although your rants and raves fall deaf to me, through the grapevine your messages have been received. Everything that you say is said because you’re sour. Everything you write is written as a coward because again you hide behind the strength of a bottle.

So yes, disappearing is what I had to do. Why run the risk of coming across this doppelganger you? This venomous character who I am just only now getting to know? Do you now realize that what you reap is too what you sow? All of those uncalled for words have hurt,  so you think I am just going to let it roll, us remain friends, let you say bye to my dog?

You should understand me now enough to know that I refuse to house hostility in my heart. I keep negativity at bay and I always remove any toxins that affect my life. Unfortunately this called for the removal of you.

Someday, once the pain subsides, once your mind is clear, and your soul is back to feeling right, you’ll see and understand why. Until then, if that day were to ever present itself, I wish you well. I pray that you get clear so you can see all that the Universe has for you in reach. I pray for your soul to feel free, and that when you someday choose to shoot for the stars, there you find what you so desperately seek.

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Photo Credit: Angie M. Muse: Natal Galvan

Giving More FXS

For that split second…

for that “flick of two fingers” split of a second he thought to himself,

“What the fuck are you doin’?” It was the perfectly phrased question when thinking about his life. The question only popped up into his mind once while he fucked her. But now every time they hung out, which seemed much more often than he was currently comfortable with, the question danced in his mind.

What was he doing with his life? What were his goals? He’s got dreams and fantasies, but what are his goals? A better question would even be what was he doing with her? Someone so grounded and career driven. A woman, he felt, was way out of his league. Not because he wasn’t “worth” it but because she’d never give him the proper time of day. He could provide a roof over their heads, cover the major bills, and still have enough to go out on the town with friends for some smooth jazz and whiskey. Still, all this without a socially accepted title, is an embarrassment.

For a split second…

for a split “blink of an eye” second he thought about leaving her. He still thinks he just might. Just let her sit there at the table waiting. Her deep red recently polished nails fidgeting with the white linen napkin that sat in her lap. His soul is much more valuable than some swanky new job title he’d now have to accept in order to meet her unspoken standards. He peered at her through the crack of the bathroom door. He had direct view.

She was beautiful there was no doubt about it. That kind of beauty that takes your breath away without registering why first. Her eyes were kind and you knew her soul was full of love, with just a tint of sadness. She was relateable and within seconds she could make friends of strangers. She was that kind of beauty. Yet, because of that very beauty he was almost ready to run past their table and out back towards the kitchen doors.

How horrible would it feel for him to have to live with such judgment, mostly self imposed, and such pressure? How would he measure up in her eyes? Could he ever be her equal? He would most likely feel second at best.. *Push yourself* something internally whispered.

She instantly turns her head towards the direction of where the men’s bathroom lies. He knows she cannot see him but he can see her fully now. That face, that stare, slowly taking his fear away. He snaps out of whatever absurd thought he was in the middle of having and straightens himself up before heading out the very doors he was just hiding behind. The look on her face spoke volumes. She was waiting for him and he could not keep her waiting any longer. Without her knowledge she had injected him with courage and he walked towards her fearless. Anything can happen. She loved him, he saw that in the flicker of her eyes as he approached their table. This story could turn into “happiness ever lasting”  just as easy as it could end in tragic heartbreak, but he gave a fuck and that’s why he won’t be running away. He cares about knowing the outcome to this story. He gives so much of a fuck that he will trek the journey and see to it he strives hard for a positive outcome.

He wont let fear govern his life, nor love, because he wants to live and he wants to love. Simply because he gives a fuck.

Before he reaches his chair, he slowly walks over towards hers. He reaches down, one hand wraps under her chin tilting her head up, and he swoops down like a vulture, taking her mouth in to his. He kisses her passionately but only for a quick beat, and then he lets her face go and goes to sit in his chair, not once taking his eyes off of hers. A slight smirk revealed itself, her red lips still perfectly painted, perking up in the corners. He waved their server over and ordered a second bottle of wine. Their finest, her favorite.

He’s got this….