Inclusive Spiritual Speak

In many spiritual communities terms such as sister, brother, goddess and priestess are used frequently among friends and clients.

While some embrace these titles, I ask that you remember the non binary and queer people in your circles. I have chosen a few examples of gender neutral spiritual slang that is safe for all audiences and relationships:

Family

Beloved

Blessed Being

Cosmic Light

Powerful Being

Divine One

Sacred Soul

Love Manifest

Remember to ask (don’t assume) people’s pronouns. Using words that respect someone’s identity is a huge part of loving them.💖

Can You Believe It?

Here I am, raw and unfiltered: I need to tell you something.

I am filled with so much love and joy right now that it’s exploding out of me. I can’t help but look at how far I have come, and how much work and sacrifice I put into building a life that makes my souls sing.

I have so much passion for sharing this joy that often I become overwhelmed with finding the words to share. I am a holistic therapist, it is my job to make the intangible truths not just understandable but practical. I am here to lovingly push people forward into their most empowered selves.

Yet, I know that many of my personal practices seem trivial when there are people struggling to buy food, facing addictions and mental health concerns every day.

Who am I to say anything about abundance when I sit in a seat of privilege.

Sure I have seen my dose of struggle. I’ve been abused, controlled, pushed down literally and figuratively, I’ve been in jail and on psych meds. These experiences don’t define me, but they do empower me.

I refuse to be a victim to anything or anyone. I am my own master, and so I choose the path of least resistance. Don’t misunderstand, there is much battle to be faught in the quest for person power. There is a cost, but with great sacrifice comes great reward.

What greater treasure is there in this life but the unveiling of our true soul. I firmly believe that you, YOU, are stronger than you think and braver than you believe! Stay strong, ask for help, and never give up!

I can’t help everyone, but I can stay strong and continue to grow every day, I can help those around me, I can set an example and I can make a difference.

One of the biggest lessons I learned in the past year is patience and consistency. Whatever it is in your life that you want to change, stay on the course. Results can sometimes take time; growth sometimes feels like failure. Remember that everything is a gift to help you learn and grow.

I know this because somehow even when I didn’t want to live anymore I kept going.

Repeat this mantra throughout the day: I believe in myself.

Why So Much Hate?

I see so much man hate in the queer community. People who claim to be enlightened and psychic verbally attack and assume other people’s gender.

So sorry if a man ever hurt you.

So sorry if a woman ever hurt you.

We are all hurt in some way by the patterns of the past. Racism, sexism, classism and on and on have all hurt us. Misogyny has hurt men and women and people all across the binary spectrum.

The truth is that we all possess an equal balance of male and female. Accepting this about oneself opens up a world where we can accept others.

Me and my partner have been on the receiving end of people judging and assuming because we “look” like a straight cis couple we must be, but we aren’t! Being categorized like this is justification for certain people to throw anger and cruelty toward us. Projecting a life time of story into us when perhaps none of it is true.

I understand why people are angry, but fighting with people who are on your side because you decided to misgender is pretty sad, ignorant, and rude. Just like it would be mean of me to judge someone for looking queer it is also mean to judge someone for looking straight. We are all a human family. Try not to lump a huge group of people together just so you can hate them.

Paganism Roots

I know now that I was always a pagan. The things that I thought were just childish behaviors I see now had a leaning towards nature, spiritually, and quantum physics. Little did I know that paganism goes much, much, MUCH deeper into my identity. Paganism is in my DNA.

I love Yule. There is something about the darkest night that gives me permission to touch parts of myself that I normally wouldn’t, like internal feelings and judgments and psychic patterns. This year I decided to research paganism. I was curious about the pagans of New England as I always felt a strong connection to the witches of Connecticut as that is where my body was birthed.

I knew my roots were there, I just didn’t realize how far back they went. Maybe this was common knowledge to others but I just found out myself that paganism began in Italy.

There is actually a town called Pagani in Campania, which non-ironically I am quite sure I drove past while traveling down the A3 in 2012 when I visited the motherland.

I am pumped!! So here’s the deal. The land that on which Pagani currently resides switched hands and rulership several times during the rise of the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages around the 9th century a small group of people called the Saracens occupied the land.

Let’s hold up for a second. Saracens is a very old word dating back to the early 5th century. It was a name that Christian writers would use to label Arabs, or those who descended from Abraham’s older son Ishmael. There are some stories as to how and why people started associating with the title Saracens, but the TLDR version is that there were Christians and then there were Saracens: the ati-Christians. Hi, how are ya?

So when the city of Pagani — then Nuceria Paganorum — was founded by the family who’s name was literally Pagan, one might imagine that their surname was a lineage of pagans or Saracens.

So although I can’t in this moment prove that my DNA connects me to the Pagan family, I do know that my ancestors come from a similar area. Intuitively I feel that paganism was just a few generations back before Catholicism and Christianity converted my family to the dark side, but who knows.

Italian pride runs deep. As much as I don’t like over identifying with any one title or nation, the truth remains: I am 75% Italian and my ancestors connect me to the timeless comfort of paganism.

Anyone anywhere at any time can choose to be at peace with who they are, where they are, how they are. On this darkest night I remember the brightest light of all: a soul on fire.✨

Four Element Clearing

When I feel the need to reset I like to remember the four main elements as a way to check in with myself and find my center. This technique can be used by anyone at any time. Especially powerful times are during bleeding or a life shift.

Take four days and focus each day on the elements: one at a time. This practice uses the traditional four as the elements, feel free to incorporate other elements if you wish. Day one the focus is on fire, day two air, day three water, ending on day four with a focus on earth. Another option is to do one of each at any time for a quick balancing.

On each day begin in prayer focusing on the element of the day. Let everything you do drip with love. Choose which practices from the days element you wish you use.

Fire

  • Cook over fire
  • Light candle
  • Burn sage
  • Smoke herbs
  • Burn written intentions

Air

  • Self Reiki
  • Rapé ceremony
  • Draw with charcoal
  • Pranayama
  • Dance

Water

  • Bathe
  • Meditate with shell
  • Make fresh juice
  • Pray at natural waters
  • Collect rainwater and anoint chakras

Earth

  • Meditate with crystals
  • Mud/clay/chocolate face mask
  • Hug a tree
  • Lay on the ground
  • Plant seeds
  • Cut hair

What you sow you will reap. The power of your intentions will be supported by this ritual, so be sure to have strong intentions, a flowing heart, and meditative mind as you move through your practice.

Comment below if you have any other suggestions for elemental clearing.

Magic for the Self

Magic and manifestation have been increasing in popularity, and I have people asking me about how to use their gifts to help themselves and others. When realizing we all have power to create and manipulate reality, I think it’s important to begin with the self.

Burn a candle for self forgiveness.

Write down and let go of beliefs around shame.

Release inner judgments.

Reprogram negative thinking with affirmations.

Have compassion towards your process.

Remind your heart that it is safe to be open and flowing with love.

Use herbs and natural medicine to cleanse and revive the body.

Manifest a decalcified pineal gland.

Release trauma and generational pain by observing your karma.

Use meditation to clear your energetic field.

When you find yourself feeling empowered and abundant then sharing these gifts with others comes naturally.

Spiritual Consent

This past weekend I visited a spiritual gathering, a church of sorts. I attended as an observer, knowing that it would trigger a defensive response in me from a life of being raised in a religious cult.

There were many things said and done of which I disagreed with, one being very particular. A gentleman stood in front of the group and shared a story of going to a healer and having the healer pray for his friend through him. This man shared that he knew his friend had his issues with prayer and so he tentatively shared with him after the fact that he had channeled prayer on his behalf.

Praying for someone calls for consent. Now I can’t judge anyone for not knowing about spiritual consent, this is something that must be learned. For many people including myself we were taught that we should pray for everyone. I now know that this is not true. Prayer is powerful, and should be used within the limits of non-interference.

Non-interference is a spiritual law of sorts which speaks to respecting the boundaries of others. By holding space for others to live their lives without trying to control or manipulate how they live we are creating harmony. Everyone deserves to live from a place of free will, and it is each of our jobs to trust that they will experience everything in perfect timing. To read more about what non-interference read this post by DailyOM.

When sending spiritual energy towards others — such as prayer, energy healing or psychic reading — it is important to have their explicit consent. Do not send them energy, even if it is coming from a place of love, without asking them and having them give you a clear yes. If the person is unable to give verbal consent such as being in a coma or being a baby, then clear your energy of personal agendas and ask spirit for consent. If your ego is attached to the outcome, it would be best to abstain from praying for anyone other than yourself.

It is important to understand the equal exchange of giving and receiving: give and receive in balance. Having consent in your giving allows the receiver to send back to you their gratitude, free from shame. When the receiver is given opportunity to show gratitude to the giver, the giver is fed. This completes the cycle of giving and receiving and all are benefited.

Many thanks to my friend and teacher Pierre Dubois for passing on much of this knowledge to me.

Healing Secret Pain

“Are you sure it’s a good idea to have it on Facebook?”

My mom teaches me and inspires my growth, often not in the direction she intends. I spoke with her on the phone a few days ago, she wanted to make sure that I supported the public testimony our arrest that James wrote on his blog and shared on Facebook. I assured her that not only did I support his writing but I helped edit the post. Letting out the details of our experience is one of the ways that James and I like to heal. Shining the light on the pain and trauma is likened to cleaning a wound, and sharing what happened in a public format is a powerful way to remove shame around what happened. I choose to set myself free from any victim mentality that was assigned to me when I was mistreated. I know who I am and I know that I am much greater than this experience, by letting go of the story I no longer define myself by it.

There are many secrets in my family, some that I just found out this year, some that I hold inside because it’s not my secret to share, and surely there are many secrets that I do not know about. I like to do things differently than generations past. I like to tell all my secrets and set them free. I believe that hiding my pain only causes me more pain, I would rather air out my wounds and disappoint a few people than kill myself slowly with the internal burden of secret pain. When I told my dad about abuse I experienced as a child he cautioned me to be careful who I tell, I assured him I would tell anyone I want. I refuse to hide in the shadows of my trauma.

Shame is such a controlling force if we let it sink too deep into our psyche. I have found immeasurable freedom in refusing to be ashamed of anything. I am proud of who I am, proud of how powerfully I have moved through very challenging situations with strength and grace (and sometimes as a hot mess and then back to grace). It is my goal to continually become more polished in my ability to process testing experiences and in the process I have inspired others with my courage, a result I did not set out to achieve but a massive perk in doing the self work.

Growth requires change. I am not a Twinkie that will remain the same for a hundred years, I am a living, breathing, actively changing and growing human person. This might seem trivially elementary to some but to others who tell me “you’ve changed” I say “yes, I am so glad that I have.”

Southwest Love Fest 2018

Southwest Love Fest is the Tucson based conference on ethical non-monogamy, also known as polyamory. April 6-8 2018 was the launch of the first Southwest Love Fest, hosted at Hotel Tucson City Center. Featuring over 20 speakers the conference touched on a myriad of topics such as rewiring triggers, boundaries, mono-poly relationships, relationship anarchy, jealousy, family and household settings, inclusion, and more. Guests arrived from all across the country to hear the speakers and connect with other like minded folk.

For being an inaugural event, Southwest Love Fest was exceptionally well done. The co-founders Kate Kincaid and Sara Bachman-Williams pulled off an amazing weekend with the help of volunteers, all who worked tirelessly and with smiles on their faces.

Local businesses run by polyamorous people were featured, which is the vantage point that I experienced the conference. Greeting and feeding attendees as they went from session to session was a lovely experience. Meeting new people and making them smile was the perfect way to spend a weekend.

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Kosmic Kitchen brought specialty chocolates and treats

Southwest Love Fest took excellent care of their guests by offering child care and an emotional support team. If a break is in order a visit to the emotional support tent to lay down on pillows and have a calming conversation can make a huge difference. Integrating the lessons of self growth can sometimes call for a mental reset, so coloring books and games are provided.

In addition to a weekend full of amazing sessions, Friday night there was a pool party to start things off and on Saturday night a hotel wide party was thrown called Choose an Adventure Treasure Hunt. Follow clues from room to room with surprises around every corner. Lose yourself in the dance party and dress up at the photo booth. This party was an amazing experience and great way to loosen up and see peoples more playful side. Pirate and fantasy costumes abound!

Supporting to the community is an important goal of the SWLF team, this year 5% of the proceeds were donated to Marisposas Sin Fronteras, an amazing group that brings help to queer people who are in detention.

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If the Southwest Love Fest is an event you are interested in being a part of, then save the date for next year. For more information, check out their website and subscribe to their email list for updates.

How To Use The Block Button

“Never unblock!”

My words were passionate, a bit emotional, and sharp like a whip. My partner took a deep breath to hold space for my wisdom. They had been facing the repercussions of seeing a person from their past online and thus opening up triggers that were better left healed in their natural timing and not because of social media.

A year later — long after I had forgotten the advice I spewed — my partner reminded me how powerful those two words were in creating boundaries not just in their relationships but in their heart. They shared how blocking this person created a safe container for healing and allowed them the freedom to face their pain and overcome it in their own power.

Blocking is a powerful little button that can make a world of difference in ones daily life and overall happiness, peace, and sense of safety. I am going to share some misconceptions and tips for blocking and how I have taken my power back with the block button.

“Is blocking mean?”

One of the first fears and misconceptions that comes up for me when choosing wether to block someone or not is the potential of the block being a hurtful act. When I am in this state I typically am putting too much attention on the other person and not enough attention on myself. There are ways to gently and respectfully block someone, but first I have to check myself. I take a deep breath and a moment to observe my gut and how I really feel.

Would I feel happier, safer, more at peace if this person was no longer in my social media world? Do I want to block this person assuming there were no hurt feelings and I could simply know that my online life is now private from this person? How do I think it would feel to know this person can’t contact me or comment on my posts through this outlet?

Recently I asked myself these questions in a situation where I went back and forth several times. I was so worried about making such a hard line in the sand, and these feelings were intensified knowing the sensitivity of the person I was dealing with. At the end of the day, having a technological connection to this person was wearing me down and bringing far too much stress and drama into my otherwise happy go lucky life. After much thought I realized that I absolutely must put myself first in this situation. Was there potential for the other person to be hurt? Yes, but I was being hurt by my inaction and in blocking them I was protecting myself from pain and attack. Blocking was the kindest thing I could do for myself!

Social Media vs Reality

I feel it is important to take a step back and clarify the difference between online and real life. Yes the internet is real and the interactions we have are often authentic, but at anytime we can put our phone down, close our laptop, log out, delete the app, and our lives go on! I think it is important to step away from technology on a regular basis to clear the mind and remember what we love about this life. The experiences we have online can often consume us but there is so much more life to live that uses all five — even six — senses. When I step away from the internet and the drama I remember how silly it all is, and blocking someone seems even less abrasive. I think to myself, “So I blocked someone, big deal. Life goes on!” Often I have taken long breaks from social media and have deleted my accounts, these cleanses have been wonderful but I came back because I wanted to have the option of connecting with new friends through social media and sharing experiences with long distance family and staying updated on local events. Social media is a tool and a gift and I wanted it to stay sweet. When someone infiltrated that peace, I had to block them and move on. Any uncomfortably that I felt around blocking them can be easily comforted by spending time in the garden, focusing on a work project, or spending time with friend who make me feel valued and trusted.

How to Block With Grace

The decision had been made: a block was necessary. In my recent example I needed a social media cleanse of this person on every platform. Every situation is different, and often a swift click of the block button is perfectly appropriate. When blocking a friend, an ex, a family member, or anyone who you feel like showing particular respect to, I recommend sending them a message explaining the block. Let me clarify, this is not necessary! This is an act of kindness only needed if you personally feel on a situational basis that a farewell message will ease any discomfort or in-person interactions. If you plan on blocking someone from every aspect of your life and never want to see them again, this step may not be for you.

In my case, I wanted to create a boundary for myself on the internet but would be okay with seeing this person in social settings, so I wrote out a message explaining what was happening and why and then I sent it through text after I had already blocked them on all social media platforms. I was honest and direct. I shared how I felt even if I thought it might come across as painful. This was my opportunity to be true to the feelings that until then I had been suppressing. I didn’t say anything cruel, just honest. I began with the initial truth:

“I removed you from my Facebook and Instagram because I didn’t feel like you could handle the responsibility.”

Note that I am not stating facts, just my personal opinion. I went on to share ways that this person had violated my social media space and had made me feel uncomfortable.

“Being connected to you has brought drama into my life that I find unnecessary. Having stories and projections thrown at me distracts me from living my life.”

I then gave an example of a boundary that was important to me and paired it with politeness.

“I don’t want you seeing what events I am attending; go to whatever you want and if I see you there I will show you nothing but kindness.”

It was important for me to end a toxic cycle and this message gave me the strength to block them while knowing that it wouldn’t be a surprise or shock when they couldn’t find my page anymore.

Blocking Someone’s Phone Number

Is the connection you have to someone through text and phone calls causing stress and triggering you? There is nothing wrong with blocking someone’s phone number, and with smart phones it has become as simple as ever to prevent someone from contacting you. With the click of a button you can have the peace of mind that you deserve. There is no rule that says you must let people text or call you, if it makes you uncomfortable then you have every right to create this bold boundary.

If someone is harassing you, sending you threats or dangerous messages, absolutely block their number and perhaps report their activity to the police. If someone is bringing these threats into real life, get a restraining order. Keep community close and call upon your trusted friends or family anytime you need support. Abuse should never be tolerated. If you are in danger, call 911.

Unblocking

I began this post with a quote of me saying “never unblock,” but I don’t think this is true of all situations. I have had huge blowouts with friends that led to us blocking each other’s numbers and ended in ya making up in person and unblocking. If there is room and maturity for working through whatever issues have come up, then unblocking is absolutely a potential.

When I advised my partner to never unblock, that was during a time when they had some deep personal work to do. A couple years later, they actually connected with this person as a means to create closure, although it is important to note that they are still blocked on social media. Working through our relationships to bring them to a place or clarity and understanding seems like the higher road to take whenever possible. When it is safe and you feel completely ready, go ahead and click the unblock button.