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My Ultimate Spiritual Tip

gray and black rock formation

After all this time, there is one spiritual lesson I want you to walk away with after meeting me or reading my words:

Balance the fucking terror with unapologetic beauty.

It’s very easy to look around and judge people. However, I have come to find that some of us are more prone to darkened thoughts than others. That is because of the way we were brought up, our experiences, what we continuously expose ourselves to and our genetics. So, in as much similarity we all share with each other, we also have definite differences.

So if you identify as somebody -like me- who tends to spend significant time on the dark side; please take this lesson to heart. Dwelling too much in the darker shades of our thoughts might hinder us from crossing over easily into a lighter way of being.

People who have dealt or continue to deal with depression, anxiety, repressions and other -mind fucks- excuse my french; tend to feel heavier.

There are two main problems with this heaviness:

  1. The first problem occurs when you don’t recognize that it is heavy to live with those things. You have created your own basis of normal, and those around you treat it also as normal. Nobody looks at you with shock and says: “OH MY GOD! What A Damn Weight you carry. Do you ever put it down?” This almost never happens, because we are incapable of being vulnerable with each other, and we do not trust each other. Another reason it doesn’t happen is because society has normalized anxiety, depression, and repression. What does that really mean? Well, it means that no one will kick you out of their club if you say you suffer from those things. But, also, no one will dig much deeper. You will however get the greatest therapeutic advice to have ever existed:” WHY DON’T YOU JUST RELAX.”
  2. The second problem with those of us who know mental terrorism a little too well; is that we feel crippled because of it. People find it more difficult to do regular things when they are fighting battles in their minds all the time. Even worse if they’ve given up and gone numb. If your only option is to fight the weight, then eventually you will get exhausted and get crushed by it. So, you never actually take breaks or take off the heaviness for a second to plan how to better carry it or dismantle and inspect its parts.

Life is NOT without suffering

That’s the thing, I wish it weren’t so, but as long as we have not reached some Guru level enlightenment we will always have some conflict within ourselves. To each his own suffering or struggle. There are darker days and brighter ones. You are lucky to wake up daily and check what is in store for you each day.

The trick is that if you can manage this truth, then you become better capable of addressing beauty in all that it could be.

The Balance

Knowing that both things exist at the same time is the very first step. Terror and beauty are happening all the time; where we direct our attention is what becomes real to us in the moment. That is why we need to be active in the art of creating balance between the two.

One more time, whenever in doubt ask yourself:

Am I Balancing the Terror with Beauty? If not, then what ways can I insert some beauty into my own life? Food, animals, nature, books, movies, music, dance, silence, sky gazing, meditation, yoga, humor, spinning, running, connecting with people, the list goes on….beauty is always available.

Comment for others below, what are ways that you insert beauty into your life?

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This is Your Green Light to Reinvent Yourself.

woman s photo screenshot

You can always reinvent yourself and redefine who you are

I am here to tell you that you can constantly reinvent yourself. However, there are risks involved. Yet, if you accept the challenge and the risks then, there’s nothing to it really but your own willpower and how wild you can dream.

This is how I would define Reinventing myself: It is the act of intentionally choosing who I am now, despite the past, while accepting with accountability all that I was before, and am today.

So, let your imagination run loose and give yourself a minute, maybe even a day to think about all the things you want to do and experience. Think about people you wish to meet, places you want to see and things you want to become good at.

Unpopular opinion: Reinventing yourself is Good for you

Let me first lay out the obvious for all of us here. Take a deep breath in!

You will die. I will die. We will all DIE. Crazy ha?

The scary thing about reinventing ourselves is that we are on some level dying, and then coming back to life as something slightly different/ maybe completely different too.

So why is it so unpopular in society to reinvent yourself? People shy away from encouraging each other to change their situations. Why do we scare each other from even trying?

One simple reason is because it means that people have to socially, mentally and psychologically REMOVE YOU FROM THE BOX they have fitted you in, and then FIND A NEW BOX to put you in. It means they need to -possibly- treat you differently, because people treat each other based on the boxes they allocate for each other. Values like respect, kindness, empathy, encouragement, tolerance and sincerity are not inherent in all social relationships. The truth is that most of our relationships are bound by some weird social meter of relating based on pride, selfishness and expectations.

People relate to one another usually by similarity, so if you manage to reinvent yourself, then those who have related to you before in your unhappiness have no more excuses to their unhappiness. People will have to deal with all the feelings of shame/regret/blame/ rejection….etc. Now honestly no body wants to do that constantly. CHANGE ironically triggers humans. Why? because it means things don’t stay the same forever. Why is that scary? Because it leads us to the utter inevitability of death being constantly present.

People die, situations change, relationships change…accepting that frees us into a state of REAL LIVING.

The Challenge in Reinventing Yourself

Some people might mistake reinvention with escape. Those two are not the same thing. When you feel called to reinvent yourself, the process is difficult because of the challenges that come with it. The difficulties include keeping your integrity and promises and staying accountable to all that you say and do. One does not simply step out of everything, and expect to be reborn. It is a romanticized notion, that we can just “walk away or escape”. Walking away with intention and integrity requires facing our lives, our truths and traumas; it is an act of healing.

Only when we are acknowledging all that is within us, can we really begin to create ourselves again; healthier and happier.

HUMANS ARE TERRIFIED OF THEIR OWN IMPERMANENCE

So what do we do?

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Photo by Ann Nekr on Pexels.com

We try to create permanence in the little things we have and practice. We treat our identities as unshakeable, unchanging and fixed things. Slowly, we become the job we do, the food we eat and the people we surround ourselves with. Unchecked, our thoughts become fixed, so do our values.

Don’t get me wrong, building little forms of security is commendable. The beauty of being human is the ability to create and nourish people, projects and homes. So why not do it all? Just without digging our nails into anything we create or nourish. Reinventing ourselves comes with the belief that we are fluid beings, with changeable attributes; capable of a lot more than we limit ourselves to believe.

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”

From the book “When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron”
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Expectations! How do we deal with them?

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Let’s talk about EXPECTATIONS!

Drum roll please for the alternate universe we all seem to have one foot in at all times. The universe of expectations; the fulfilled and the God forbid – UNFULFILLED ones.

We all know the funny aspect of Expectation vs Reality, as it is so widely popular online with probably millions of memes denoting the travesty. You may also remember this scene from 500 Days of Summer where they so blatantly show us the insane gap between sometimes what we expect to happen (happily ever after) vs what actually ends up happening (fucking heartbreak).

The point is, expectations are useless, if they are based on assumptions.

I will say that again more clearly:

Expectations are useless and painful if we derive them solely from baseless or unrelated assumptions. The problem with this is that sometimes we cannot determine the difference between a fair assumption and a baseless one.

Mind Reading and Assuming on Behalf of Others

Mind reading is a skill we develop mainly due to a conditioning of guessing what others are thinking. Why would we do that you might ask? The answer is usually around these parameters: We learn the art of mind reading and assuming what others are thinking and feeling when we are in close relationships with people who don’t express thoughts and/or feelings. So in order to keep up such relationships, be it with parents, friends, lovers or anybody close, we start drawing assumptions and guesses on how they feel and what’s going on through their minds in order to be able to better interact with them. So we learn to make good guesses, mind read and infer based on their patterns of behavior; we then use those guesses to engage with them accordingly.

Where is the glitch in that coping mechanism?

The glitch in this, is that it teaches us wrong pattern guessing, which leads to wrong or awkward expectations. So if your father always sat in his reading chair after dinner instead of going to the sink to wash the dishes, it meant he was upset; which essentially meant for you to NOT ENGAGE in that moment. You expect a bad reaction.

However, fast forward to your lover displaying similar behavior after dinner, and you simply choose to NOT ENGAGE with them because you are fearing a bad reaction based on your previous conditioning.

This expectation is wrong. You are placing expectations on a person based on your own assumptions, where they never actually said that they were upset.

No Expectations No Disappointments

Personally, I was a sucker for this line which ended up causing me a lot more harm than good. This mind set similar to that of mind reading leads us all into the weird dark side of the universe of expectations. Why is this bad?

Expectations are OK. There is nothing wrong with expecting to be treated well in a relationship; to expect food to nourish you and not make you sick. More so, it is ok to place some positive expectations on yourself as well, such as expect yourself to show up, to do good where you can; expect yourself to show kindness… The list continues on, but in the same manner. That is, realistic expectations based on realistic desires and aspirations. Not being able to meet such expectations, is also ok; and if it is important to you to fulfill that expectation, then you will do better next time. Knowing that you act on what’s in your control, all else is surrendered.

If you enter into a new relationship, and you know that you are doing your best to be a good partner, it is fair to expect your partner to be good to you. If you go with no expectations no disappointments then the only person you are fooling is yourself. Why? because you are starting off with a bar so low, that you do not even expect to be treated well.

Don’t be afraid of expectations

It’s so easy to crumble underneath the immense expectations set upon us by society, family, work and lovers. Sometimes, we place immense expectations on ourselves too; ones that seem outside of us, directly implied on our sense of value. There are so many layers to that and it becomes incapacitating and paralyzing. The practice is to determine your own parameters. What do you realistically want from/for yourself? What do you truly need from others? and where are all the other bounds for you to feel well and happy?

We have the ability to expect good things from each other, and step up. We have the ability to lift each other up. Sometimes, a person’s expectations for you come from a deep sense of faith in you. It is helpful to uncover those things and recognize the difference between positive realistic expectations, and inconceivable, pressuring ones.

Regardless the outcome, the beauty of this process is in showing up, in doing what’s necessary and honoring ourselves throughout.

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Liberating Healthy Femininity

woman in white dress standing on brown grass field

Consciously moving away from women who are afraid of men and men who are afraid of women and the importance of healthy femininity for healthier societies.

I dedicate this letter to every strong and gentle woman I have met this past year and every year before. This also goes out to the healthy masculine(s) who truly love women. Female warriors from every part of this earth, each has her struggle and her touching triumphs. I honor the women in my own family who have suffered and continue to push against the walls of judgement and sometimes loveless lives. The problem however, is that not enough is being said, not enough is expressed. This is writing itself as I personally had to learn many things the harder way; despite my privilege. Women learn the hard way in our communities. I have wondered why that is, and I only recently realized this:

The Source of the Teachings Given to Women

Everything I have learned about my female nature has been curated, structured and bounded by an unyielding patriarchy, yet binged and purged onto me by women. Women afraid of men and men afraid of women. I realize that a male dominated society and religion that is terribly afraid of feminine liberation, taught me how to be a “good girl/woman”. This feels exceptionally flawed, why? Because coming back into this body, after years of denying her, hiding her and trying to not be judged because of her, I am baffled by the grace held within this female body. At this point, as a woman, you cannot but see life differently. If you trace your automatic thoughts and feelings back into their source what will you find there? Where do all those contradictions come from? Why is feminine energy so relentlessly constricted and/or judged? Surely one major factor is misunderstanding; which places a lot more responsibility on women to lead by example on what healthy femininity looks like to each one of them.

Nevertheless, every woman has her own challenge making her way back into her truest nature; and many of the conditions and implied values we learn tend to be etched in our psyches.

What woman has not dealt with this at some point?

Inadequacy/ Being NOT ENOUGH vs Being TOO MUCH

Being TOO sensual vs Being TOO Cold

Being TOO Smart vs Being TOO Beautiful vs being both or God forbid neither

The dilemma of Prude vs Slut

The list goes on and on… but we all know what lies underneath those extremities of judgement.

Women lose sight of their true inherent value, in all that makes them who they are. We risk becoming small minded, anxious and spiteful. We create life narratives that begin to disrupt emotional and sexual availability not just for others but ourselves too. Our relationships get affected, along with our career choices and so much more.

There is a process since childhood of allocating value to Girls/women based on those conditions. then Women carry that suggested value within their lives while being treated as commodities or stereotypes.

Your Healthy Feminine Nature

Female nature includes sensuality, sexuality, the physical body and her hormones, psyche, heart, emotion and everything that makes a woman divinity embodied.

There is no SINGLE way to be a woman. The energy is so fluid that when bounded by force she freezes like water, yet she always will have the capacity to melt back into her natural state. There is so much freedom in allowing yourself to be fully who you are. Liberating the feminine energy is not scary; bounding it is what is terrifying. However, it is every woman’s responsibility to learn how to manage her energy, her ability to give and receive. A healthy feminine is essential for the healthy masculine to thrive as well.

Healthy femininity begins with recognizing the grace and natural power present in the female body and spirit. Our differences make us all the more enticing and strong. In supporting yourself as a healthy female, you also learn to support other women and men too. Ascending into your liberated femininity empowers you. You find that you are finally managing your natural capacities beautifully all while creating and nurturing the environment that surrounds you.

Yet, In order to truly be free, each woman must check in with her own narrative of internal light and darkness. Healthy attitude towards self and others is a process. You must be careful of the spiritual ego as a dangerous deception of the mind to ascend without doing the necessary work of constant awareness.

Healthy Femininity Hand in Hand with Healthy Masculinity

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The idea is not to live in opposition with the masculine or other more liberated feminine(s), or even in spite. Ideally both energies work together and intertwine lending necessary support to each other. A traumatized woman cannot heal without facing that trauma, same with a traumatized man. Doing the work is an essential process for any human. Cutting through all the conditioning is a heavy task, one that is continuous across one’s life and generations to come.

Not every man must pay the price of the pain one woman suffered on the hands of 1 or 50 men. Not every woman must pay the price for the hurt one or 50 women inflicted on one man.

That is what relating to one another consciously means; hard as it may be or seem. If we are to progress as a human race, it is imperative for us to learn how to be better to ourselves and each other. At the heart of this progress is the power of free women and the healthy feminine; ones who can raise better generations and build more creative societies with healthier men.

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The Love that Stays: How To Find Self Love

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Welcome to my valentine’s day post about finding that mysterious self love everybody talks about but nobody seems to know how to do.

This will not include tips on how to make your lover never leave you.

I have a secret to share with you; and it is as beautiful as a sunny day after 5 days of rain. It is as refreshing as a cold cup of lemonade in scorching heat. This secret is an answer to the undying mysterious feeling that something is missing.

Just know that the love that stays is the best kind.

It is the peace beneath every breath be it a short one or a long deep one. Surely, let’s not kid ourselves, some days are so terribly hard and some breaths are suffocatingly shallow. Unfortunately too, some people leave us when we don’t really want them to. Simple.Emotions can get stormy and messy, but know that there is a love that never leaves.

There is Hope for Love

Hopefully, you are latching on to my stream of thought here. You were born with the love that never leaves. It is that breath of life the moment you opened your eyes. Love is always there in our bodies, but our clash with the external world silences it. The love in your heart is always there it just gets mocked, locked up and deserted. Love for the self is innate, and not a solid thing contrary to what you might think, it is like water, it flows wherever there is space, and no matter how much it is pounded it will not get bruised. You could feel like this love can be beaten down, and torn to pieces and shredded because It has the capacity to look like other things. Just rest assured that its innate quality remains eternal from the day you were born until the day you die. The love that stays is absolute and complete inside of each one of us.

You might be thinking: But how come I don’t feel it?

There are many reasons for that, and I will help you look at them.

We place so many layers of protection over that sweet love inside of ourselves. In the beginning that love wants to grow and expand into everything we touch and everybody we meet.

But one bad look here, one disappointment there, a good old heartbreak follows, then sprinkle that with different types of rejection, neglect and egoism. That little love now rests underneath every possible defense system you could develop. We want to protect ourselves from pain.

It is a sad story to see that most of us by age 30 have almost forgotten what it feels like to experience that little childlike affinity for things and people. We start experiencing mind love, you hear people say I love with my mind not my heart and that’s ok; but its also a dysfunction, because mind and heart go together. If you don’t uncover, dust off and free that internal self love, then it becomes difficult to use that heart.

How do you find Self love?

Sit with yourself and truly check how you feel.

Really try to answer those questions

Just know that the more sincerely you answer these questions, the more you awaken the love within. There you find the beauty of feeling a sense of connection to yourself. The more you ask and answer, the answers will get sweeter and simpler. The simplest form eventually will appear to you as the love that has always been there, and the love that will never leave you.

You are there for yourself, you can overcome and float, you have pure potential for explosive beauty. Let your heart speak again, let your body feel again and experience those emotions that keep you locked in.

Love yourself first. Self love is eternal and beautiful; once that is done everything else falls into place.

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You Know What’s Sexy for 2021? Healthy Masculinity

silhouette of kissing couple

Let’s talk about GOOD MEN!

Drop the religious, socio-cultural and emotional concepts of what makes a man “good” first. Take away the money, his theism or atheism, his physical strength or charming character. What would remain then? What does he embody in his presence, in the way in which he lives his life? That which remains is his “healthy or unhealthy masculinity”.

Yet, for the purpose of this post, and in reflection of my own heterosexual orientation, I speak about the straight man and the healthy space he can hold for a woman to thrive.

I want to talk about men with a healthy masculinity in relation to the feminine woman. In other words, this is about the man who carries himself in a way where a woman is comfortable in her own feminine power around him. Where she does not need to act Dumb, Small or Scared to be liked/loved by him. This is the feminism that I believe in. I speak purely from my own experiences and cognition. Mind you, this has nothing to do with gender stereotypes, and if you cannot fathom the difference between gender stereotypes and masculine/feminine energies, then let me know and I can create a post on that later on.

What do I mean by Healthy Masculine?

A man with a healthy masculinity does NOT need to be perfect. He does not have to be the epitome of pop culture concepts of a strong man which look a lot like following:

  • The strong man doesn’t cry.
  • He shuts out his emotions.
  • He is never afraid and can never be vulnerable.
  • The strong man cannot be hurt, and he is always tough.

The list can go on and on surely, but the point is:

ALL OF THOSE ARE LIES & unhealthy conditions. Those normalized MALFUNCTIONED values ruin most men’s lives, and negatively affect the lives of those who come into their path.

Unfortunately many (most) women also have grown to perceive strong good men to have those qualities. So the flawed value system is propagated both by men and women.

Healthy masculinity is a harmony between strength and vulnerability. Beginning with accepting one’s humanness. In addition to acknowledging one’s ability to grow given the correct mindset and a lot of emotional accountability and maturity. Healthy masculinity, then, is a nod to the beauty, responsibility and power harnessed in the ability to hold seeds of human life.

The Healthy Masculine & The Skill to Embrace

It all begins with practicing self awareness. Healthy masculinity does not shake when contrasted with the healthy feminine, but it thrives. So, one is not intimidated by the self aware and accountable feminine, he does not seek to control or dominate her, neither does he want to destroy and erase her. He is not undermining of a man or woman’s strength or weakness no matter where he/she is on their journey; but he is actively supportive, understanding and enveloping of the other.

When countered with other men, the healthy masculine does not try to peacock, or overcompensate. That’s because the healthy masculine recognizes the shortcomings in himself and others, and tries to go inwards to heal and transform. He recognizes in himself the power and space he can uphold for other men to open up and reveal their true masculine.

The Skill to Walk Away

However, one of the major takeaways of a healthy masculine is recognizing when to walk away. Sometimes knowing when to stop a relationship (no matter its type), and create distance with a person who has unhealthy habits (who is unaware and unwilling to listen) is the best way to treat one’s self with honor and respect.

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The Way out of Struggle

Do you ever feel like nothing is working in your favor? As if the world is conspiring against you, forcing you to struggle, and the more you push forward, the harder everything pushes back?

This is a tricky situation that can usually leave us hopeless and in a state of fear and eminent defeat. The good news is that there is a way.

There is always a way to get through the tough phases in our lives!

Handling External Resistance and Struggle

It requires a step back first. Once we step back from the mess we think we are in, we must acknowledge things for what they are. AKA accountability.

young asian female looking at reflection
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Accountability helps us define the problem we are in, and sometimes we are the biggest culprits in said problem simply because we refuse to (breathe, calm down, say something to somebody, move, take action, cry, confront, walk away…) Choose your poison.

In other words it all goes down to this:

Repeat after the chorus:

I AM NOT A VICTIM. I AM NOT A VICTIM.

However, if I believe that I am one, then I will surely keep behaving like it and guess what? An oppressor will always find me even if I were trying to sleep at night. The oppressor will come in the form of insomnia.

The Alchemy Between Internal and External Release and Resistance

You see, life is an exchange of beliefs, actions, energies and space. Our beliefs determine our realities, and our limiting beliefs determine the limitations to our actions towards growth. The energies are not only positive and negative, light and dark but also, can be anything from confusion and clarity, chaos and order…so on. Space surrounds us all, and we live by function of the beliefs, actions and energies we feel define us. As a result, we are met with what we put out. And if my partial spiritual mumbo jumbo has lost you by now, tell your science brain to read on confirmation bias. We are constantly met with the things we believe to be true.

So if we believe that we cannot move, then we will not be in motion voluntarily. However, something external could move us, but it will only move us into a smaller corner, simply because that is what our belief system and our energies allow into our space; restraint.

What we believe about ourselves is usually echoed back to us. What we have to do is notice it and be vulnerable with ourselves. The words make it seem easy to do, but in all honesty this is a difficult thing. Embracing our struggle with compassion and assertiveness, allows us to be vulnerable and hopefully courageous enough to admit to ourselves what our limiting beliefs are. We can then see clearly where we engage in regressive actions and in self sabotage.

The Way Out of the Struggle

Everything is temporary; let’s get that out of the way first. So take it in and recognize the short time we all have on this glorious planet, with our loved ones. Presence is the first exit from the mental struggle. Presence and gratitude put everything in perspective no matter what. When we drop the victim state, or narrative or grand story line, and let presence and gratitude in, clarity becomes easier. Honesty becomes easier. The only way out of the mysterious struggle is to recognize that most of the times, we are in the center of it; and changing ourselves allows us to change perspective, treat it like fertilizer and grow gloriously and graciously out of it.