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.

What Happened to My Business?

When I was first coached on running my own business as a means to leave a job I hated I felt it was my chance to finally birth my lifelong dream of being a counselor. Although I lacked an advanced college degree or fancy credentials, my life experience and training in holistic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy felt like enough to launch my business.

My baby business was Light as a Feather and as I grew Angel Ray Therapy was established which combined counseling, Reiki, and yoga. I was passionate about helping others become empowered and overcome major obstacles such as leaving a toxic job or relationship, overcoming addictions, healing from trauma and PTSD, and recovering from a religious past which I called Religion Rehab.

After a year of committing to this passion my person life went under some major shifts and movements. Since then I shut down Angel Ray Therapy as I took the time to deeply consider what it is I want to do.

I have learned quite a bit about myself since letting myself off the hook of running and promoting a business. First of all, the pressure of building clientele to sustain myself was heavy. I still counsel friends through life challenges and I still offer Reiki healings and even classes on occasion, but I don’t make it a goal to do these things: they come to me when the time is right. I felt that I should support myself financially through other means for a while and let my healing practice simmer on its own.

Second I learned a huge lesson in stepping back from trying to help people. Although I might want to offer advice and support, it isn’t always my place to be someone’s counsel. I believe that we all have everything we need inside of us, and attempting to help others sometimes left me feeling like there was an implied weakness in the other person. This is not a philosophy I want to support, so I changed my actions away from helping others and turned towards helping myself. We all need support sometimes but I felt the need to stop trying to help others and to let it happen on its own, by being myself.

Now that I have contemplated these lessons for a while I felt the desire to share with my friends and followers my journey. I still want to support others in any way I can. I am always available for phone or in person counseling sessions, yoga, and reiki (Check out my Angel Ray Therapy page to learn more). I would love to have a Religion Rehab support group, does this interest you? I share all this to say that I am here for my community and for my world. I may not be actively advertising what I offer, but I am always just a message away. 💛

I Made It to Tucson

I bet some of you wondered where the heck I have been. Traveling across the country was way more intense than I expected. There was a lot of shedding and growth that I had to go through to get here, and with all the bumps in the road I decided to take a lot of space from social media and blogging.

I will catch you up on what happened along the way in the coming days, but for now I am excited to announce that I am now settled in my new home!

Tucson Arizona is the place James and I decided to live. The constant sunshine and vibrant way of life feels comfortable and healing. Being surrounded by mountains and national parks means we can go hiking at any time! The views are breathtaking, especially during golden hour right before sunset when the mountains look purple and pink.

We are currently renting a house in a cute neighborhood right near a small park. Every morning I see my neighbors walk or bike by with their dogs and children and it makes me feel safe to have this community around me. After living in an RV for two months it is so nice to have space to move around and a kitchen to cook in, a backyard to hang around in our hammocks, and a real bed to stretch out in. The cats are happy to have more room to run around and outdoor space to feel wild in.

Tucson is home to a wide variety of food and restaurants which keeps me entertained. My recent accomplishment of becoming a yelp elite for 2017 gives me a purpose to my hobby of checking in, posting pictures and leaving reviews.

One of things I was most excited to do once settled was start gardening again. I am so thankful to have a raised bed in the backyard and lots of space to experiment with. Currently I am growing strawberries, silver mint, tomatillos, tomatoes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, two kinds of lettuce, two kinds of kale, lavender, parsley, Serrano peppers, and a dwarf pomegranate tree. I also received a huge box worth of aloe from a generous craigslist connection. My travel herb garden that came with me from CT is still producing basil and oregano. I have a compost bin working its magic to supplement the soil and I fell in love with the nursery and garden center called Green Things here in town.

That’s all for now, check back soon!

Assateague Island

Upon reaching Assateague Island National Seashore, we drove straight for the dump station to clear our septic line. We are no longer using the original toilet due to the way it turns waste into toxic waste as oppose to what we prefer turning our waste into: usable compost. Along with the septic flush we also added fresh water to our tank. As we began to pull away from the dump station, the seemingly inevitable happened: we ran out of gas.

Our gas gauge is perhaps not broken beyond repair but it certainly not working. Because of this we are learning how much gas the tank can hold and for how many miles it will last us. We get between 7-8 miles to the gallon with our Jamboree.

So with an empty tank and AAA on the way, I decided to jump into the bay side to cool off. It was absolutely beautiful! The water was very warm and quite shallow. There were a few families around, not too many to seem busy but it was nice to feel sort of a safe vibe.

While I went swimming James prepared lunch. Waiting for help wasn’t so bad since we had activities to keep us busy. By the time we were filled up with gas and then settled in our parking spot everything for lunch had been prepped and just had to be cooked and assembled.

James cooking in the kitchen while I relax 
After lunch we headed to the ocean side of the island for a different experience. The ocean is only visible once crossing over the dunes, and the water is much cooler. The waves are significantly larger and the water becomes deeper much quicker. The day we went there were some people but it was not crowded.

One of the most amazing things about Assateague is the wild horses. Very rarely in the wild can you find horses like this. They walk among the campers and visitors and although it isn’t recommended to approach them, they may approach you. Here is a link to a video of them! 

First Trip// Atlantic City, NJ

It was finally time for us to pack up nearly all of our chosen belongings and the four kidtz (cat kids, it’s a thing okay) for our first real trip with the RV.


Starting from Hartford CT we traveled through Nyack for lunch and a stroll. Not to be distracted by its cuteness for long, we headed straight to Atlantic City where we found a flat spot next to some flowers and water to park next to for the night. James had tickets to see The Killers with his dad at the Borgata which they said was an amazing performance. After the show we had some drinks while playing the poker machine where we all took turns sending it our magic, then made our way to the café for an obligatory late meal.

Lunch in Nyack at Murasaki
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At the Borgata

The next morning we slowly started to move as we figured out a rhythm, but soon we were traveling South until we reached the Cape May Ferry, which we promptly boarded, kidtz and all.


Traveling with cats is super fun. Bringing them everywhere I go reminds me how much they enjoy doing fun things too! Tiffany likes to be in the driver’s seat and look out the window, Oliver likes the bed or under the bench, Adelé will flop anywhere, and Shiva can be found in my underwear basket during the heat of mid day.


Now we are spending a few days in Ocean City Maryland with my in-laws. It takes a few days to get used to being relaxed but taking the time to organize the space and eating enough food helps me to feel more at home.❤️

Full Moon Metta

Usually I leave the astrological genius to the Master StarMan, this Full Moon I have some advice, which is mostly for myself but I thought I would share anyway. Usually when I am going through something someone else somewhere is too. So here it goes. 

Full moons are illuminating. Turn the lights on full blast and even the darkest corners of your soul feel illuminated and bare. Sometimes being seen in full light can feel liberating and powerful, other times it can feel crummy and hurt your eyes. Seeing the truth to who we and others really are is sometimes not what we want revealed to us. 

My solution to the discomfort of being ablaze is lovingkindness metta: simple prayers uttered to align with love. I send them to myself and I send them to others. Especially to those who I am pissed off with.  Honestly this is one of the huge keys to happiness and to forgiveness. 

May I be filled with lovingkindness. 

May all beings everywhere be filled with lovingkindness. 

❤️

The Power of Anal Penetration

The world would be an amazing place if everyone had anal sex. My favorite thing about anal penetration is it is inclusive because everyone has a butt! Even if you don’t think of yourself as the type to receive in that way, read on to see why I think it’s a good idea. 

It could be sex with a partner, solo playtimes, or deep ceremony. Either way, the opening of the root chakra is an opportunity that we can take advantage of physically. Most chakras are trapped inside the body but the first two chakras have very sensitive openings that we can tap into.

The first chakra is located by the anus, and the second chakra is located by the reproductive organs. During stimulation of the sacral chakra many have experienced the kundalini rising from sacral to crown in an energetic loop along the spine. This experience is powerful and can send one into the sexual dimension.

However if we stimulate the root chakra then the kundalini activation begins at the lowest chakra and then goes up to the crown. This kundalini awakening is seemingly much fuller and the energy opens in ways unlike any other. 

Sex isn’t the only way to stimulate and open the root chakra. Enemas and colonics are powerful energy clearings that have health benefits to go along. 

If you’re still reading, thank you! Topics like this are only taboo because we let it stay hidden in the shadows. If you are new to anal exploration, find a way that is most comfortable for you and be open to what might happen! If you have any thoughts to add to this topic I would love to hear them in the comments below. 

For more amazing information on mindful anal I found this article to be most friendly.😊

Peace and Serenity from Abusive Relationships and Toxic Interactions

For me having a zero bullshit policy is how I protect myself. This means that if I feel that anyone is messing with my energy as a means to trigger me into fight or flight mode, I choose to remove this energy from me.

This looks like unfriending people who troll and belittle my beliefs. Refusing to spend time with people who display habits of hurt, apologize, repeat. These cycles are harmful because they trick us into thinking that the healthy and loving traits that people have overpower the clearly unhealthy behavior that can sometimes be displayed.

If someone hurts me in repitition, even if they are sorry I must make the choice to walk away. If I stay in that position then I will only grow to resent myself and the other person for allowing the hurt to continue. I must empower myself in every moment to see that my inner peace is paramount.

The keener my intuition is, the stricter my no bullshit policy seems to get. More and more times I see how I have allowed energies around me to pull me down. I know my own strength and I must respect my limits. Sometimes the things that trigger me may seem small to someone else, and that is why I know what is best for myself, and you know what is best for you.

Sometimes I am tempted to allow these energies near me because I want to be kind, or because I am attracted to that which is different and seductive. Ultimately I know that everyone is on their perfect path, but this does not mean that I must be close to everyone in every moment. It is okay to take space from people. It does not mean that anyone is wrong or bad, it simply means that we are working on different things.

Doing my best means being aligned with my intuition. Trusting it strengthens my relationship to myself and I feel in harmony with my being. Isn’t this the peace that so many of us are looking for?❤️

I Put Period Blood in My Plants

They loved it. I knew about this anchoring idea of fertilizing plants with blood but had never tried it until now. I have seen significant plant growth since I fed them a mixture of period blood collected from my menstrual cup and water. 

Period blood contains the major nutrients that plants need to grow, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The best part about this natural fertilizer is that it is free. Talk about DIY! 😊