Thursday, November 5, 2015

and then I fell...

I do not handle failure well.  That means something, doesn’t it?  Let me go check.  Okay I found a bunch of quotes on Pinterest, some of them made me feel like I am a conqueror to even still be here and some of them made me feel like shit for taking so long to stand back up, but que sara, sara.  I’m writing again so that’s something.  In May of 2014 I left on my way to Colorado to open up ‘Breaking Chains – A Village’  a nonprofit organization idea I had/have that seemed so magnificent that I’m still quite shocked that I came up with the idea.  I made it as far as Texas, spent a few months there and ran back to Mass with my tail between my legs.  On my way and in Texas I found I bit off more than I could chew and really didn’t know how to progress or how to handle the obstacles and tricky situations that were unfolding threatening to suffocate me.  Some situations were mine and some belonged to others.  Regardless, I was impacted and depression reared its ugly head, leaving me broken and ashamed, not sure how to regroup and reinvent.  So instead of taking the bull by the horns and quickly delving into some aspect of reaching for my dream, I stopped dead in my tracks.  Didn’t budge.  Wouldn’t move.  Stagnated and slid into the abyss of my own despair, depression and darkness.  The abyss welcomed me with thoughts of “Sure, why ARE you here.  That idea was madness.  Who DO you think you are? Knew you couldn’t do it.  You have no business being alive. OH just end it. You’re useless. etc.”  The abyss grew deeper and even murkier.  It had a choke-hold on me and I allowed it to wrap its tendrils around my throat. Deeper and deeper I sunk until I wasn’t getting out of bed.  I felt like a complete failure.  (see the difference was that I hadn’t just failed I WAS a failure in my mind) darkness was everywhere.  I stopped showering, stopped eating, no going outside, and had dreams of ending it.  At that point I knew something was really wrong, so I went to the emergency room.

Standing there at the window I couldn’t stop crying hysterically.  They asked me how they could help, and not able to speak I wrote on a piece of paper.  I’m having dreams about killing myself.  I stayed in the hospital for a month or two.  It has been an entire year in and out of hospitals. (I will write more about that) and only NOW have I gotten to the point where I realize… okay I FAILED.  NO, I’M NOT A FAILURE.  That’s HUGE.  

So here I am, still on fire for my dream, not knowing what step to take next but knowing a step will reveal itself in time.  So when I say I understand…. I UNDERSTAND.  Things are gonna  hurt and knock us down.  Sometimes people won’t understand what we’re going through and not everyone will be compassionate…. It can be lonely…. BUT  BUT I have three children who love me even though they don’t understand what the hell I’m doing, and five grandchildren that I adore and that adore me.  That’s worth living for.
Yesterday my Malachi <oldest grandson> made me a paper fortune teller, one of the ‘positive’ fortunes said ‘that me and noni will be together forever no matter what’  well shit… I have to live don’t I…  I can’t disappoint him. 
More to come.

To fail does not mean one is a failure – Shanti Shaharazade   

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The deeper pangs of ego death

My ego is fighting to be heard.   I think that it senses its decreasing hold on my being.  I had not previously realized how enmeshed I was in automatic behavior.  I think that is what truly astounds me, if I look at myself in there here and now, I fall victim to comparing myself to other’s around my age, and societal levels of success, then when I glance back at the true journey, the layers that I have unraveled, then I’m almost in awe of the courageous excavation I have undergone without going simply mad. 

I’ve owned everything I’ve done, every choice I have made, asked forgiveness from myself and others, and truly changed those qualities that were ego driven.  So there I was in Dallas, HALTED, in a neutral location (Denae’s Ashram) on my journey, not realizing that being so raw, everything would slam into me.  All memories, hidden and avoided emotions trapped in the layers of fat, shame, blame, drugs <albeit prescription>, alcohol, senseless relationships, started to rise up.  I didn’t recognize what was happening and started to doubt my sanity.  I know I am here to share my journey.  I know that I have chosen to be raw, and show each ‘ sometimes insane looking’  step… I’m sure at times it looks as though I’m doing a cha cha, back and forth, repetitive, redundant steps, however; I’ve realized that I am on different runs of the ladder of life. 

So why didn’t I go to Colorado, AGAIN?  It’s so frustrating even to me, BUT again it didn’t feel right.  <major eyeroll, I assure you>  In 2010, I was in Port Richey, Florida with a plane ticket to Arizona, to spend time with a loving sister, then head to Colorado.  I began having terror attacks.  Diagnosed with PTSD, panic attacks were and are nothing new, but TERROR attacks, holy crapola, it was right around the time of the full moon/lunar eclipse/winter solstice, and of course I whipped my arms out to universe in surrender and asked to be of service.  Did I know what that entailed?  UMMM no, I never thought about it, I never contemplated what that would feel like to me, the little me inside, that already was overwhelmed by the journey.  I didn’t realize it would have to take the complete destruction of everything I was, to birth the new. (chaos to birth a dancing star)  NOT AT ALL.  I don’t regret asking to be of service, I know that, the life that matters to me is based on LOVE not fear, but may I just say holy shit, was I blind.  So I headed back to Mass. In 2010 <my upcoming ebook talks more about the specifics of the last five years and what the internal journey was like shedding the layers of fat and fear, yup there’s still work to do> Because I followed my spirit, and came back, (yes, I was  feeling as though I was a failure), I was able to spend the last year of my aunt’s life with both her and my amazing little cousins.  NO REGRETS. 

So there I was in Dallas, experiencing amazing things, just ‘be’ing, YOGA, love, stillness, and I had a feeling…   I was thinking about Colorado and it just didn’t feel right.  Shit, I thought what now???  I had been skyping with my daughter and really paying attention to my grandchildren, not in a poor them or poor me way, but in a how’s that light in their eyes doing kind of way, and damn I thought, I want to be of service and with my tribe??? Why’d I leave my grandchildren, I know logically that they could visit me wherever I was, once a year or so, if that, I mean school, distance, etc. but, the two youngest grandpeeps wouldn’t even know me, AT ALL.  That felt nasty in the pit of my stomach.  So I sequestered myself and PRAYED.  Literally, called on my angels, god/goddess, ancestors, my aunt… etc, and waited, it took TWO DAYS, …  I heard the words ‘go home’ … I didn’t feel warm and tingly, I was like… REALLY??? Are you shitting me??? Why home, damnit… why … then I made myself wait another 24 hours and then bought the ticket. 
I had to get off the merry go round of thinking that geography plays a part in our divine spiritual expression.  I asked to be of service, and when we SAY/MEAN those words, we have NO idea what that could/can look like.  I’ve had almost zero energy for the last week, and have only seen all the grandpeeps together only once so far… I do know however that the answers are in the stillness, between the ‘big’ events, what I like to call the ‘waiting room’, seems like we’re always waiting for something, doesn't it?  A baby, job, car, significant other, test results, life, death… to lose the weight, gain the weight…. And on it goes…. So being still is literally ‘BE’ing inside the maelstrom that can be the journey.   I had to follow my intuition and come back, I think I skipped a step, do I understand it all, not particularly but I KNOW that when this happened in 2010 and I listened <I beat myself up for that move for a LONG time…> not doing that now… <different rungs of the ladder>, I was blessed with a year so special, so fruitful in developing my soul, I wouldn't have it any other way.   So, here I am, day after my 47th birthday, thank YOU for all the well wishes, thank YOU for the love, we ALL matter, each and every one of us, whether we’re on the road less traveled OR NOT, it doesn’t matter, cuz it’s all unfolding with a grand purpose, one that I think our human eyes cannot see.  That damn veil. 

I think my ego is struggling a little  bit with this whole process… no LSD needed,  I think I’ve excavated myself into a deep level of ego death. 

I'm surrendering!!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kicking down the walls... NO SHAME!!

Oft times, I sit in deep contemplation at the myriad of things I feel.  I explore the ever changing horizon of my own personal terrain constantly trying to make sense of it, and perhaps this is where I can learn to love myself a bit more kindly.

Early this morning as Denae quietly drove us back to her home after the long ER visit, we passed a row of uniform homes in a neighborhood that triggered an old, deep memory.  Ohhhhh I thought, it’s my teenager that has been so frightened lately. ..had my lightbulb moment, NOW that makes so much sense.  When I was teenager, I was driven occasionally from family court to new group homes, always watching in trepidation and dread, not knowing what new situation I was walking into, and that is exactly how I've been feeling lately. PTSD has been triggered!   SMH, how did I not see that... (forgiving myself).

In order to not get my ass kicked on the regular, I created a really tough persona; I still loved in the ways I could, without appearing overly sensitive. 

I AM overly sensitive and have always been.  I pushed fear and anxiety deep into my body, soul and mind, so deep it could not seep out.  I put serious LAYERS upon LAYERS of food, addictions, weight, codependency, anything I could to keep that crap locked up tight where it could stay hidden.  I had my first ‘technical’ anxiety attack in 91, Las Cruces, New Mexico, a young mom with three babies and a confused, angry, sometimes violent husband, I was rushed to the hospital with a speeding heart rate, I was diagnosed then with separation anxiety.  (I was separated FROM ME/GOD/dess) 

After the breakdown of my first marriage with its cycles of abuse, and many horrific episodes of LIfetimeESQUE 911 calls and a few domestic ‘home invasions’ , I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder.  I was a HOT mess.  Couldn't sleep without nightmares, didn't function during the days, I was depressed, despondent, and so full of shame.  I wanted to be ‘like’ everyone else and roll with life’s punches.  I wanted to NOT feel things so deeply.  I wanted to be ‘regular’ … what does that mean anyway? 

So I spent this last winter going through the panic attacks, weaning myself off of the psychotropic antidepressants, anti-anxieties and sleep meds.  I spent the winter in my room, except for the gym, store and appointments.  I worked out, read, wrote, learned, and faced many of my demons.  I know I am called to be of service, just wish that came with a little more ‘direction’.  So I threw myself out of an unhealthy environment and instead of taking it slow, I jumped all up in my GOTTA be of service energy and ripped so many scabs off at once… (gulp)  .. yea I forgive myself.   I left my tribe and went in search of ME … out ‘there’ … it was all in it’s perfect timing to learn what I had to learn. 

That’s it okay to be me… sensitive and raw.. <shrugs> will it last forever, I don’t know but what I do know is that it’s okay to be exactly who I am in the NOW, in the ‘is’ness.  Do I get scared, oh hell yea, and I’m still leaning into the ‘fears’ … still here even though in some moments it can feel as though  some spectral hand is gripping my throat.  Yea, I know that to look at me, one may not see the layers of processing going on underneath and that too is okay.   It’s all in there.  I am perfectly imperfect, SO ARE YOU, so whatever you are dealing with, anxiety, depression, panic, blame, shame, weight and/or any kind of addictions… whatever, we are all perfectly loved as is, and we will find a way through it all.  I’m not fucking apologizing for my existence ANY longer.  What the hell is normal anyway?????  (diagnosed with PTSD, GAD, PA... and I'm still ALIVE...sans meds...)  

By the way I’M SENSITIVE.. yup I AM!  The people who truly love me/you won’t even need to understand it, but keep loving you... isn't that beautiful???  So there's the gift of it, I DO NOT need to understand it all myself to just love me AS IS.  Nods head.  What a lesson! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So I've had a few schizophrenic loved ones, and I must admit, I've always been curious.   Like all up in their grills wanting to understand the experience of hearing voices.  Clearing my throat, I would ask, “ummm what do they say” or “how do they sound” … pfft.  Lemme be honest, I hear voices all of the time, now granted they are not OTHER voices, but they are indeed voices.  For me, it’s the voice that says… Shanti, WTF are you doing??? What happened??? Changed your mind???? Again???  AT 46???   

So there I am today, again on the Katy Trail, (God Bless the Katy Trail) fo REAL!  I was thinking as I was re-listening to 3 of the “I can do it” talks, absorbing Ms. Gabby Bernstein, Anita Moorjani and Dr. Wayne Dyer again, and having them reiterate what I know to be true, that we are ALWAYS loved, no matter what we do, no matter what we chose, no matter if we have road rage in the morning or not.  Whether we turn off onto what others perceive is the bravest road we can take or we divert onto a path only we can understand… it is what IT IS.  The shame and the blame… nu uh.  USELESS.  Wasted energy, but still there’s no judgment in that either, it’s what we were trained to do, and what we now choose to ‘retrain’ …

So there I was thinking of how I came to be on this journey, and how I realized that I don’t want to be the absentee Grandmother who sees her grandchildren once a year.  I bitched and moaned FOR YEARS that I wanted a tribe, a family… then I turned around and saw… my little tribe.  I saw it in my grandchildren’s faces when they talked to me on skype.  I felt it in the wistful tugging of my heart as I watched my two youngest grandpeeps playing, smiling, beaming, but.. but.. I want to be a part of that. 

So there I was conflicted with all the voices up in my brain.  Shanti, isn't it your job to go … be the change… is/was that location specific??  I can be the change anywhere right…so what was I looking for??? ME..and I’m everywhere! <so are you>

There is massive turmoil in our world.  I can feel it, before the news reports it, my energy feels ‘twisted’ … well no matter what it is, coming, going, shifts, changes…. I want to be able to throw my arms around the little people and be there.   So, do you hear the voices and the naysayers??  I think that’s the ego, fearful of not being needed, anxious at the thought that passion is leading.  IF we do something because we believe we’re obligated, and not for the joy of it, I think it loses the power of love. 

My/our only obligation is to be happy, and that may twist and turn like the currents of life’s rivers.  My understanding is that we’re exactly where we’re meant to be, doing exactly what we need to do, so let’s just breathe into it, maybe we all don’t know ‘together’ … maybe we’re all just finding our way one brave step at a time. 

I don’t believe in failure, I believe it happens the way it’s supposed to even when we cannot make sense of it, in the ‘now’ness. 

So those voices… yea lovely… thank you but ummm I got this, and since we cannot fail at what god/dess has sent us here to do, it’s all good… onward and upward!!!  Does a muppet shut the mouth motion at the ego!!! Yuh!!  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cutting OURSELVES and other's some SLACK!

Soo … I’ve been thinking, something bout walking (meditative movement) does it for me.  I mean really does it.  I’ve not been sleeping well AT ALL, and there’s a part of me that just does not want to get out of bed in the morning and just wants to chase Morpheus, but I head out anyway, knowing that there’s golden nuggets to be found 8-10 miles later. 

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately and although I’ve been wrestling with my own shit, my humanity, I still pay attention to the general tone of our soul pod and I’ve noticed some interesting things lately that cumulated into some serious epiphanies on the trail today.  

I’m gonna start and end with this sentence.  Can we just cut ourselves and other some slack????  WTF??? We are all having a HUMAN experience.  As far as I’ve seen and ascertained, this is NOT Mount Olympus and we are subject to the same qualms, fears, doubts, joys, and uncertainties that everyone else has.  Now granted ya may not know what your neighbor, family member, ex’s ex, bf, gf, aunt’s, parents.. teacher, student.. old lady down the block.. etc is going through because they may have to hide it for the sake of their own sanity.  It may look as though they have their shit neatly packed in a 12 x 12 box, all sorted nicely, edges tucked in, no seams showing, coiffed just right, but under that facade, we have NO idea the kind of shit storm is going on. 

Those really broken people acting like assholes… <yup me too> are HURTING, they have no idea how to get themselves out of the abyss.  We/I/you might think they do because something they said and/or did alluded to the fact that they have a clue, or we can judge other’s by what our PERSONAL best is….. but I truly believe we have no fucking idea.  Ever watch a wounded animal???  They lash out, they turn into giant crazed beasts that need a mofo tranq gun just so they can be cared for… remind you of anyone you know?

We are all on this mofo big BIG BLUE rock together and in my HUMBLE opinion, I think we all miss HOME, and by home, I mean back with Source in eternity, cuz it sure as shit looks like we’re all trying to recreate the experience of perfect belonging.. yea ummmmmm this is a HUMAN aka FLAWED (perfectly imperfect) experience. 

So when I arrived on May 22, in Dallas, and headed to the Katy trail for the first time, I looked up at the hill I had to climb and thought…FUCK.  How the hell is my ‘wounded knee’ (yea I took it there) gonna do this?? (if you’ve been following,  then you know about my fall down the stairs and subsequent slip and fall with the whole stretching of my ligaments shit)  so leaving behind the knee and foot brace in Mass, cuz well I just didn’t accept that as part of my reality, I gazed up that hill and thought hmmm here we go. I limped for the first, second and MAYBE third week, I mean seriously limped… my knee felt like it was gonna slip out of its groove, but I kept going.  As I walked that long ass, tree canopied trail much understanding of my own soul and journey became clear.  I got so much about my own limiting beliefs.  How much I JUDGE myself, how self-talk can cripple us or make us scale mountains <not at mountain status YET, but I’m twerking on it> just who was I trying to prove shit too??  Smh.  I came on this journey to be my best me, which includes PLOT TWISTS, yup you got that… you deserve PLOT TWISTS.  How the fuck are we supposed to know how we feel about shit if WE DO NOT TRY??? 

As I walked up and down the trail day after day, I would tilt my head to the side, inhaling.. ummm there’s “Red Door” .. Definitely some “Polo” going on,  oh wait there’s “Beautiful” and ummm yup “Light Blue” by Dolce and Gabbana… so I began wearing my Elie Saab (smiles) … I noticed some women wearing full track suits complete with JACKETS.. yo it is HOT out there… why the fuck are they all covered up, then it began to dawn on me, just because I am currently loving my 220ish pound self does not mean everyone is embracing themselves.. ahh I get it.. and maybe they are ‘sweating’ it all out. Who the hell knows????…   who cares?? They are human and deserve LOVE…      some people smile back, some people don’t, is it PERSONAL??????  Um nope, maybe they are in the groove, maybe they are thinking about their spouse or sick parent/child, again who the hell knows??  

And that’s my point... we do not know, there is NO WAY we can know for CERTAIN unless we climb all in another’s being, we have no idea what shitstorm they are walking through.  Just like you cannot know for sure what it feels like to be me, even with my sharing all my shit, it’s still not the experience of being me. 

So for me… FOR ME… I intend to look at everyone with the eyes of love, I cannot fucking ascertain how much pain a person is in.  Who knows why some people are trying their hardest to destroy other’s lives??? Smh.  I am here to DO MY BEST, what SHANTI perceives as HER BEST (3rd person feels so weird, lol)   but that is the truth of the matter, I didn’t come here to make everyone happy, I came here to be joy exemplified, that’s my job, to shine MY light as brightly as possible, (makes serious concentrating MUPPET FACE) that’s it.  

So DO you, beYOUtiful, don’t worry about the naysayers, the doubters, troublemakers, gossipers, insecure, the backstabbers… IMHO, they are in lots of pain, and more than anything paying attention to that behavior will only add darkness to a world that needs more light.   
So thank YOU for being YOU, thank YOU for choosing to get up today and be the BEST you can be (your best only to be DEFINED by YOU), WE fucking rock … for an existence that did NOT come with a manual I think we’re doing p r e t t y damn well!!!! 

So your choice??? Part of the darkness or part of the light?? Fear?  Or LOVE. 

I choose love EVERY TIME (sometimes after some thought, it most definitely is not always an instantaneous, spontaneous response)  <3

Let’s cut ourselves some slack … that then carries over into cutting everyone around us some slack… let’s raise the collective consciousness!!! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Extraordinarily Average and Normal!

I’ve given average, "normal" a bad rap.  In Crystal Andrus's last 12 week telecourse. we were asked to listen to a group of words and to pick the ones that made us feel badly, the ones that trigger us.  Average and normal slipped right on by.  Ego has a way of being suspicious at best and vicious at worst!  So true!!

I was so in love with most aspects of my life.  I simply adored being AWAKE… bounding to my feet to the gym, go go go. Planning, imagining, feeling, manifesting, I stayed busy, so busy in fact I didn't have much time to process all the changes I was putting myself through.   I gave away my shit, and honed my belongings down to 1 box, suitcase and carry-on then I dipset on my life back east to experience an extraordinary existence.  (smh)  you can shake yours too, do you know what’s coming???  So I flew however many miles to Dallas, I successfully weaned myself off a buncha anti anxieties, and embraced courage with A VEHEMANCE... fo shizzle. I flew without a pill or a drink leaning in the turbulence with rediscovered enjoyment of the ‘is’ness.  I thought longingly of my grandchildren but replaced those thoughts with…  I can give them a BETTER me, maybe a faraway me but a BETTER ME. 

I came all the way to Dallas primarily to visit a siSTAR, Denae and to go to the “I Can Do It” conference in Austin for a weekend with another siSTAR, Kristina.  It was amazing, and A LOT of powerful, soul stirring, gut disturbing information.  Ummm yea.. I chose to dive straight into ‘material’ OVERLOAD, because of course I had <simply HAD> to start reading, researching, and implementing but, I hadn't caught up with being on this, my first trip solo journey in a LONG time (minus one short Amtrak trip to Florida in 2010)  

Okay so my thoughts became more and more about ‘doing IT right’ … how do I speak to young women, and how do I get myself OUT there.  smh … can you see where this is going???  EGO...  edging God/dess out.  I did.. . I concentrated so much on being connected to source; I knocked myself right out of the realm of expansion and contracted myself right into fear’s grasp.   SHIT!!!!  

Are you feeling me??  So my dream is to speak to young women, to stand before them and show them that they have choices, but to do that authentically I must utilize mine, and if creating this dream out of nothing, like that <snaps my fingers> is overwhelming to me, I missed something…. Damnit…  I must function in JOY, the sheer joy of existence.  Nods…  Last night talking to Yola, today to Kristina I realized … omg … my trigger is “average”.   I don’t wanna be average, and I started thinking about that word, average… a small apt cuz I just want a small place, a small car (I’m not a big car chick) what’s wrong with ‘normal’?  What IF I rock my ‘normal’ life with such verve, passion and shininess …nods head that it makes me giddy with joy, well then by the very definition of the experience my normal life would be extraordinary… right?  Right!  So what’s a goddess to do???

I am putting together the tools I've amassed and sticking them into my tool box, heading back to Mass.,  to feel the hugs of my grandpeeps,  to look at my children in the eyes with love and to **shine** .. AS, ‘JUST ME’, a woman on the road less traveled.  Not hugely spectacular unless you know the whole story but grateful and happy.  I have a feeling that that’s enough, cuz I am/you are ENOUGH as is. 

When it’s time for me to speak to young woman, the angels know where to get me <smiles> we CANNOT fail at god/dess’s purpose for us.

 I’m gonna just LIVE and be happy, enough WORK for a little bit.  I’d rather go get a job, and let my spirit VEG and process for a minute.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Rainbow Warriors - We are Called!

I was a club kid in the 80’s NYC dance scene, from the village to midtown Manhattan. I partied at clubs like the Roxy, Danceteria, Latin Quarter, Paradise Garage etc. I was a runaway on and off during those years in group homes, a foster home or two, and a lot of time on the street.  I had a lotta peeps, and many of them worked in the sex industry. I was very lucky, and never did (there but for the grace of Source went I) but that didn't stop me from looking for love in all the wrong places. I had minimal self-esteem and self-worth, and was convinced I had no voice and what I had to say did not matter. I was NOT comfortable utilizing the word no. Acquiescence, I felt, was my contribution to the world. It was all I thought I had to offer.

I found myself doing a bit of a stint in a drug program called Promesa, in the Bronx.  I met young people from all walks of life. One angel was named Gabriel; an amazing soul, reminded me so much of one of my favorite uncles, Taj.  My mother's youngest brother was also an amazing man and a shiny spirit!  He loved as exuberantly as he lived… OUTLOUD.   He pulled no punches and had no compulsions about being blunt, sharing everything that was on his mind.  
I digress.

Gabriel and I spent many hours talking and dancing, memories of him slipping on my gorgeous brushed suede tan peep toe pumps, he taught me or should I say reacquainted me with the hustle.  I had watched and imitated my uncle for years!  Gabriel had a challenging past, ostracized from his family because he was gay and a drug user.   I didn't give a shit what he was all I knew was that his soul was sparkly!  We all however cycled in and out of group homes, foster homes, incarceration <yea I was lucky again.. no jail for me>so much that we lost contact, I never saw Gabriel again.   A few years later I found out he succumbed to AIDS and I remember feeling like I got punched the stomach.  I was beginning to lose loved ones to this fucked up disease that no one seemed to know anything about.

Fast forward…
I found out my uncle was diagnosed with HIV, by that time I had known and lost many people from this senseless, confusing disease and I was living in a world where my earlier seemingly innocent promiscuous nature now had a deadly flavor.  In 91’ living in Temple Terrace., Florida, working at Met Life, I was tested, petrified by my uncle’s diagnosis, I just knew I had it; I went and got tested.  There was such a waiting list for the results that it took a month and a half for my results to come back.  I was so scared that I was manifesting signs; I was constantly nauseous with flu-like symptoms.  I cried hysterically when I found out I was HIV negative. 

I moved to Harrisburg Pennsylvania, with my babies.  My Uncle Taj, came to see us, all the way, from NYC by himself.  He never gave a shit that I was the black sheep of the family. He never gave a crap what people thought of me. He just saw his niece, point blank that’s it.  He sat across the table from me eating a pound of bacon for breakfast. I looked at him asking if he really thought he should be eating that?? He replied, does it matter now? I looked at every one of his features, at the evidence of Kaposi Sarcoma on this face and asked him if he was scared… He looked at me and said, petrified.   

He died about two years later and the year after, I became certified by the city of Boston as an STD/AIDS prevention peer educator and I began to teach women to how to have safe sex, and to love themselves. It's funny because at that time I didn't even know how to love myself, but I knew there was something more than waiting around playing Russian roulette with our lives. 

Fast forward… After 9/11, I moved back to Massachusetts from New York after a stint as a retail manager, I became a housing advocate and case manager for clients with HIV. I knew I wanted to give back, I knew that there had been loving, caring, nonjudgmental souls who had nurtured and loved my uncle…  I wanted to ‘love’ that forward.   

Now that I truly understand self-love, I want to be of service; share my life. I know that if I open myself up, turn myself inside out and show my seams, being blunt, living raw about what's really going on as I strive for the highest expression of myself… then there is no other outcome, but the raising of the collective consciousness.

Are you a rainbow warrior too??  How can YOU be of service right now?  Smile at the next person you see, help someone, hold out your hand…

We have choices. We can shine our light brightly. We can choose to be ourselves in a world that would have us be clones.  We can choose to research, take precautions, we can say no, loving ourselves in action, not just with words.  Where is your courage? Show me your brave! I'll show you mine. I am still here, and we FUCKING matter!

I was inspired to revisit why I have/had been an advocate for those who are on this “life” journey with HIV, by a man that to me, epitomizes the word hero. I am blessed to have 'happened' on his excursion into the depths of the human experience through a woman I call a universal sibling. I've been watching his expedition, continually inspired and refortified by the courage he exemplifies. 
As I was packing my life up into 1 suitcase, carryon and box, saying goodbye to my family chasing the desire to ‘be of service’, Bob has been choosing to share of himself in raw and unfiltered displays of courage.  As I was watching his documentary, the first thought was how dare I bitch about my journey, then the empowered 'remembering/retraining' kicked in ...what's important is… how can I be of service? 

Bob has chosen to walk his talk, sharing his story with as many people as possible, carrying a banner of hope, determination, tenacity, courage and raw truth.  He refuses to give up, to allow HIV to define his life, instead HE chooses to rally in the face of what could have been a debilitating tragedy. 

It sincerely stuns my spirit to realize that Bob contacted HIV after one unsafe act, at the same time I was engaged in many unsafe practices on the street.  Why him and not me? 

I know that I will be of service in any and all ways possible to facilitate the eradication of this PREVENTABLE disease.  Enough is enough.  We will not be silenced.  Taking Bob by the hand, we are ONE!

What can WE do?????

Educate ourselves
ERADICATE the stigma <such bullshit>
Learn how to use our voices
Be A PART of a growing collective to JUST BE OUR DAMN SELVES

Please educate yourself, watch this raw, courageous documentary about Bob’s ‘in your face’ choice to be of service.  

Click HERE to watch The Fire Within!

don't forget to donate WHAT you can!!!! 

What else would you add to this list??? Let us know, you can contact Bob at:

Let’s RISE together and banish this disease for ONCE and for all. I choose to stand and be a part of change… who’s with me?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rocking Authenticity!!!!!


Life keeps expanding to the expression of one’s courage.  Yup for sure.  Today I addressed and implemented some boundaries I have been mulling over for a few weeks.  These issues made me literally sick to my stomach.  Its true what’s repressed must be expressed.  I am a woman on the cusp of her highest expression.  I cannot be boxed in, tamed or controlled.   It’s a beautiful thing although my ego and fears would tell me otherwise.  Go back to Massachusetts, fit neatly into the box that ‘they’ would have you in, follow the mainstream, acclimate, condense your spirit, CONFORM.  NO, but that’s not me, as one of my best friends and mentors taught me, “What would courage have you do?”  As another so succinctly told me “you have choices, other’s may not like them, but you have them”.  I am NOT a conformist at heart, never have been.  I am different, unique; you know that soft whisper that you hear saying … no that’s not right for YOU?  No shame, no blame but BE YOURSELF. There are no ‘follower’ tendencies in me as I hold a machete, slashing the bramble in my path.  Yes there are times when this journey scares the shit out of me, and I long and yearn to hold my grandchildren in my arms, but will I go back and watch my soul slowly die from the monotony of a life NOT lived??? Nope.   Will I wonder on my death bed what would have happened if I followed my dream…. Can’t do it. 
I have to be me, so thank you to the people in my life that get it.. that embrace my idiosyncrasies and love me anyway… who raise a quizzical eyebrow in the face of my choices and yet hug me when I get scared.  THANK YOU for realizing that I am THE HIGHEST expression of me and I am roaring, as my innate, primal GODDESS yearns to be expressed.  

I listened, I learned and I’M putting all of those lessons into real life expression. 

This is what courage had me do … these are the choices not only can I live with but I can be proud of knowing that I honored the source/goddess riding my skin and my soul with exquisite passion.
This IS the bravest thing I've ever done…ever… I risk every relationship I have being true to myself and YET I must, I have to … this expression is as necessary to me as the oxygen that I breathe. 

Watch me fly!!!!

Thank YOU for teaching me so well… cuz this goddess took it all seriously!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

By the Grace... Breaking Chains Matters!

Appreciative, stalled in the stillness, examining the terrain of the 'waiting room', surrendering to the 'is'ness may and sometimes does feel uncomfortable.   There are moments of sublime elation and moments spent reclaiming balance.   It is a bit of a tightrope walk.  Goes something like this:  

The Cast:

E.G.O (Edging God Out) - EGO (my EGO is totally frightened by the divine self)
Divine Self – DS (the me I choose to be, following my authentic, self … my inner sexy geek)

Wake up..... EGO kicks in, sense of dread....I've got to do what?  In how much time? 

DS: you got this...let it rise, let the feelings rise.  It's okay, love yourself as is. 

DS gets out of bed, chooses to meditate, surrendering to Source's/God/dess’s plan, even if every step is not defined.  The path is only spiritually palpable...not always tangibly so. 

After DS meditates, and surrenders to Source/God/dess, the journey and plan; things progressively FEEL better.  Working out, meditating and writing, with EGO occasionally whispering in MY spirit’s ear, what the hell do you think you’re doing?? To which DS replies…  I AM TRUSTING source, dammit, we ARE following the light!!!!!

This is a small glimpse into the running dialogue in my head.  I choose to direct my thoughts now and that's the difference. 

Flashback:  Walking down a dark Manhattan Street, shadows jumping at me from every direction, heart in my throat as I pass the theater district.  On my way to Pennsylvania station (Penn Station) for the night, looking for any of my street siblings.  I walked determinedly from 42nd street towards 34th street. As usual, I was thinking about the why's of my life.  Why me?  What do I do now?  Why am I alone again?  Poor me, dammit, I just want a family, a home and to be somewhat understood.  “Yo, Cookie... Wtf are you doing?”  Blinking a few times, shocked out of my abysmal contemplation's, I recognized a girl I had been in Promesa with a couple of weeks earlier… and thought quickly…  oh shit, I'm wearing this girls Adidas.  Fuck!  She weaved toward me, her eyes empty and unfocused. I realized that she was almost unrecognizable due to the amount of weight she had lost since we had last seen each other almost two weeks before.  Slurring her words slightly she said what's up with my kicks, I said, I know, I have them on, but to be honest, I don't have shit else, and I'm not walking down the street barefoot.  (I was thinking damn damn, not barefoot too). She looked at me, I guess deciding if this was worth the effort of a forced retrieval.    I was bigger and stronger but she was definitely a better fighter due her many years on the street and the system (I remembered some of her story from our encounter groups in Promesa).  She said with a dismissive wave, “give them back next time we see each other”. I nodded apologetically with a shrug of  “badass” I don’t care... I don't really give a fuck attitude, my ego protecting my back out there in the concrete jungle... ( I totally gave a fuck). As she walked away from me, towards the shadows, I saw movement, a spectral, bony hand reaching for her head as she knelt down.  My mouth fell open as I realized what she was doing... My heart beating like a frightened baby bird, I quickened my pace speeding away from her in her very own Adidas.  I never saw her again.

Fast Forward: Sitting here in a semi-public place, watching a loving family, I just wrote that feeling all up in the 'ISness' holding space for that young woman who was driven to her knees by her demons.  I want so badly to remember her name.  To hold light for who she was, who I was, who we are.  In retrospect I was lucky, divinely protected ....but why? 

In 1991, I was laying on my mother's futon, talking to God, my children ages 5,4 and 3.  Attending Medical Assisting School in the evenings, I was single parenting while my ex was out doing his thing.  I could not yet see any rhyme or reason for this tortuous path.  I was more than angry, I was frustrated and laden with despair.  I cried out to the heavens, tears streaming down my face, WHY???? WHAT IS IT ALL FOR???… I could feel my heart clenched in pain, my insides felt as though they were viscously twisted and knotted in agony.   What the fuck do I do with THIS? How do I make this work?  I felt broken, empty, angry, afraid, bereft, and still not understood, by anyone. 

I heard an answer.

Three calm words...

No voice to describe... just three words ....then four.

write it down. 

write it all down.

I thought what, write all that shit down and then die?  Wtf? With my luck, that’s just how it would happen, leaving my children with whom???? Pfft!  NO, thank you.   

That was in 1991, I get it now, share everything, everything that has happened and the journey that is now unfolding.    Show the messy, sometimes scary, raw process, my return to innocence, retraining one damn thought at a time.  I am to flip myself inside out and show my seams, loving myself and all others during the process.  Holy shit! 

Yup, I AM brave, so are you, if your reading this, it's not an accident or a coincidence, there's something in this intersecting labyrinth that we are in together that mirrors and reflects something in your spirit.  Something that you want to know.   We are one. 

That young woman (cannot remember her name) and I were/are one.  I hope she made it, I really do.  I cannot feel upset that I didn’t run back to her, because as I knew in that moment, the darkness threatened me too, what I saw could not be unseen, if I had gone back, I may not have made it.  There but by the GRACE of god/dess, go I.  I hope she’s okay… to that young woman who shared a room with me at Promesa, I’m sorry I took your sneakers.  I am holding light for US. Wherever you are, I remember you.  I see you.  Thank you. 

*Write it down.. write it all down* 

Yup, got it.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Resplendently ME!!!!!

Massive layer shedding, as I took myself and splurged on two workout outfits at Old Navy, been walking the Katy Trail almost every day and well <clears throat> there has been chafing in these here parts… blink blink I’ve always been more than content to work out in old baggy cut up t shirts and old worn out yoga pants or shorts, but due to the severe temperature change and readjustment to more intense workouts my body is bitching. 

I bought bright pink and turquoise… so outside of my comfort zone.  Do you have any darker than black, please?  I can so feel my aunt, Darsh, laughing, applauding or both… smh.   Went back to the house preparing for my walk and took a glance in the mirror <did I mention that an ENTIRE wall is made of mirrors… gulp> I stopped in my tracks and thought shit.. shit… there’s lumps and rolls showing.  GULP.  Contemplated exchanging them all for BLACK, and asked myself, just who I am hiding from?  IF I am truly embracing authenticity, this is where I am RIGHT now. 

Am I at my perfect fitness level… no.  Am I as tight and toned as I would like… no.  BUT, so the fuck what??? I AM a divine goddess creatrix no matter WHAT, so I embraced my bravery and my courage and walked out of the house ala Cleopatra.  

As I roamed around in the extreme heat of Dallas <gps’ing myself with my phone… yay> got my eyebrows threaded, and getting my 12,000 steps in, I pondered….  Do we, ‘did I’ shame myself (ourselves) for so many years because it was socially expected that I (we) should want to hide my body???  Was I more accepted because I was trying to fit myself into the perfect cookie cutter/ sheeple wanna be?  Did I dim the bodacious light of MY soul and BODY to make other’s feel comfortable… surrendering to the abyss, cuz it was safer?  Who said we all have to look alike, why is long and lean so acceptable, what’s up with us fertility goddess shapes… we are ‘drawn’ that way…. and that is PERFECTLY MAGNIFICENT. 

So I sashayed my ever decreasing ass all over Dallas, getting both darker AND more radiant with each step… so what the active tank I bought is more form fitting than anything in a LONG time, maybe I’m done with being part of the woodwork, ha.. maybe I am ready to spread my wings, rising into the air, a resplendent, transcendent goddess. 

I will hide NO longer.  I am HERE, and HERE IS FANfuckingTABULOUS!!!!!!