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No Means…

What does “No” mean to you? Most importantly, what does the word no mean to the person you are being intimate with. Ironically the word, sometime has little to no effect when used in the bedroom. People will push limits to see how far they can go, ignoring the word completely.

Its interesting how I still have conversations with people who have strong opinions about rape and or sexual allegations as a whole. These conversations prompted this blog post

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Whats constantly questioned is how the victim allowed the situation in the first place. I’d like to start off by saying, we all at one point or another make an initial decision. Initial decisions are influenced by emotions, hormones, ideas, standards, or even expectations. But at any given point, we have the right to change our mind and say “no” and or use body language which implies a no. The problem arises when our voices are not heard. Maybe when the word no is said, it sounds playful to the other person. However when the word no is said, the result should not fall on the victim. A lot is involved in this encounter and these situations often are judged, the victim is blamed because she didn’t fight or use other tactics to enforce her words. But what is the point of our words if we are not heard? And from a young age little girls are told not to fight back, and be a lady. Body language plays a big role as well, the body shows when it’s closed off and vice versa. I believe that at any given moment anyone is allowed to change their mind. There are many different reasons why the victim may not have acted forcefully in the beginning. We all come from different socio-economic status, cultures, backgrounds, upbringing, and religions. Which means, some people were raised to speak up for themselves while others were not taught to assert their rights and instead were forced to ignore. Some grew up with people not listening to them and have gotten used to such dismissal. Many factors are involved in this ever so controversial interaction, but the big idea is if a person expresses denial in any form, there shouldn’t be a hesitation to stop.

I also dislike hearing people say things like, “well look at what she was wearing, she was asking for it”. Do you really think people ask to be dismissed, disrespected, hurt, mistreated, and undermined? Again I believe no matter the outfit, a woman has the right to wear whatever she pleases. A short dress, a bra, no bra, a v neck shirt, or whatever else she desires assuming the outfit is not hurting another. As women we experience so many double standards that keep us limited and are kept in old social ideals.

The word “no” is powerful, heavy, and important. How about instead of blaming the victims, we teach our children to speak up for themselves and let their voices be heard. It is more than ok for a little girl, lady, or woman to use her voice without being labeled bossy, controlling, emotional, unbalanced, rude, or uptight. Society has pushed these ideas upon us, which explains why so many females have quieted their voices and gotten used to being dismissed. In Malawi, Lilongwe they teach girls the power of consent in classrooms throughout the country. Simang’aliso Domoya teaches girls from ages 11-16 self-defense and self-empowerment classes. She has the girls repeat mantras like, “I am beautiful but I am powerful” and “Don’t touch me, respect my body”. Domoya teaches both verbal and physical self-defense in order to reduce sexual violence and assault but most importantly empowering them.

On the other hand, as teachers, parents, and or guardians we also can make an impact on teaching our boys, young adults consent. This goes both ways and at an early age, we can make an immense impact on how males interact with females. Teaching respect and boundaries early on and teaching our children the meaning of no can make a meaningful impact in our society. I hold an immense amount of respect for those gentlemen who do listen to the word no as they continue to make a difference in the world.

So why don’t we create a movement like this? Lets raise, guide, encourage the feminine development. Rise up and speak out even if people judge you. The more we all speak our truth the easier it is for everyone to get used to. Get used to what? Get used to women having a voice no matter what. As you can see, there were many aspects discussed in this one blog. From sexual violence, consent, culture, upbringing, socio economic status, and feminism. Experiencing any lack of consent, changes you as an individual. It takes away your power and changes the way you view yourself. As a woman who has gone through lack of consent, I went through the 5 stages of grief. I didn’t tell anyone because of all of the stigma that is attached to the word. I didn’t even label it until a decade later. I learned through guidance and therapy to reclaim my power and fully accept what happened. As the #MeToo movement unfolded I started to realize how much this was happening to so many people around me. As women we hold the power and I believe we need to know this as young children so that we know how to express it later on in life. Women empowerment is big and in your face now, I want to help keep it going. Lets see more Serena Williams out there and reclaim the Devine feminine power.

Atypical

Isn’t it funny how when we greet people, we say, “Hi how are you?” But rarely do we want to know, how they really are. The response we want to hear back is the typical, “Good, how are you?” We want to keep it moving and get to where we want to go. In other words I’m just being nice and saying hi without much regard to really trying to understand what you may be going through at this moment. I won’t say that I’m void of this type of interaction because I would be lying if I did. Most days I can barely keep up with my own emotions, circumstances, and stories to take on someone else’s. But what happens when you get the truth? When the person is honest, and opens up to you about how they really are feeling.  I’ve noticed that people don’t know how to react, it gets awkward and nobody knows what to do or say or you get the complete opposite. The person answers back disregarding all of your feelings. This happens to me often, sometimes I am in over my head with my current situation, I feel like if someone else asks me how I am doing I can’t look at them with a straight face and feed them the, “I’m good” lie. Unfortunately even when feeling safe with someone it doesn’t mean that person is ready to hear your story. Its really hard to understand feelings and or experiences, everybody feels their emotions and experiences differently, the way I feel can be so foreign to the way you feel. I realize how uncomfortable people become when you are open and honest. I often think of the sketch from The Chappell Show, that is called, “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong”. It showed Dave Chappell in situations without any filters. The social filters we place everyday so that we can present ourselves as a “typical person”, when in reality we are far from that. Most people don’t know how to respond to another human going through struggles. When I share, I almost feel a hit of regret, oh no, I’ve shared too much. When I share I guess I seek understanding for who I am, I know I am confusing, and its more of an explanation to why I am the way I am. I know sometimes I say things that don’t make sense and I forget a lot of things, but by opening up I also seek a deeper connection. I know at the core there is no need to explain myself and I am who I am but something inside me wants to. I want to show my vulnerabilities so that we can connect on a deeper level and you can share yours with me. I like to go straight into it and cut to the chase in a sense. I know we are all people, we all struggle, love, laugh, get angry, sad and so on. I like the raw version of people.

Because I am still purging, accepting, and healing my near death experience (I suffered a traumatic brain injury when I was 16 years old.) I struggle to relate and connect with others. Often times I feel like a little alien roaming the streets. Even though the accident was many years ago it is apart of my existence. It turned my world upside down, I process life in a totally different way. starseedsIronically, I crave a connection but find myself retracting socially all together because of my struggle to relate. I am noticing that when people don’t reciprocate the same advanced intimacy as mine, I get bored and I lose interest. I don’t do well with surface talk, I want to connect on a deeper level. The brain injury affected my social filters, which explains why I am confusing at times, say things out of order, or easily forget things. This all makes socializing and communicating interesting for me, thus making connecting a task. Most often than not, I retract because its easier. I don’t have to work it all before speaking, its kind of a task to when communicating. Other times I just go for it and take the plunge. I feel out the energy and if it feels safe and accepting, I continue but if its the opposite I take it personal. What I am learning the most is that not everybody will align with me, the craziness, the rawness, the weirdness and thats ok. Learning to love myself each day is a continuous practice, its easy to place blame on oneself but the more you accept the person you are nothing else matters. You see what don’ts align with you just as that. We are all on a different path, some may cross and some may not want to and again that is perfectly ok.

 

I bid farewell.

For me 2017 was extremely eye opening. I went so deep, deep into places and spaces I never explored. Through this journey I gained clarity and remembered that I am immeasurable. I am not how much money I make, my occupation, where I live, who my friends are, if I’m romantically involved or not, if I have children, have a family etc. All of that is fluff, none of it is real. Those things do not define me or us. What defines us is who we are inside. Our souls, our love, our energy, our truth. I learned a whole lot this year, things I discovered about myself that I never knew. I spent more time with myself doing things I enjoy. Getting to know myself a little more each time. What I found out is how much I like my solitude and yet at the same rate, how much I enjoy being around people and socializing. My Gemini- self craves being social and yet I yearn for the quiet times to reset and just be. Balancing those two dynamics are what keep me sane. 2017 was also about learning to let go, being aware of when things really aren’t aligning to me and being at peace with it. I think this is where I grew the most or where I was challenged the most. I have learned not to dwell on life of which I have no control over. I do my best and practice surrendering and trust its for my highest good. This aspect is still a practice for me and I definitely can not say that it is easy. This year I started off my business and its been a trip. I’ve already experienced highs and lows but the most important thing I learned is that a business takes time to expand and develop. There is no such thing as instant success. As much as I want to quit and give-up on what I’ve started with the crystals I feel a pull to keep going. I got certified in Reiki level 1 & 2 this year, which is also a great leap for me. Never did I think I would be called to do this. Looking back on the year I am proud of what I have gone through. For years I avoided any type of confrontation with people about issues that bothered me to spare them and me of being uncomfortable. This year I overcame it. Honoring my voice and using it when I feel the need. Practicing this is a work, it doesn’t always feel good inside, its foreign, why should it if you’ve never done it? But its necessary. I am definitely proud of what I’ve accomplished this year amongst all the hurdles.

I don’t do resolutions because they don’t scream “consistent”. So I make intentions. My intentions:

I am confident, powerful, and bold and release helplessness.

I am whole and release feelings of yearning.

I am grateful and release feelings of scarcity