Spirituality

Love is a choice

Lately I’ve had a lot of time to think and be with myself. I started reading a book that looks at how we define love in our culture and how we are living in a largely loveless society. Whether you were raised in a functional or dysfunctional home, with one or both parents, not dependent upon financial standing, race or religion so many of us question what the true meaning of love is and many of us have never experienced it. We have a better understanding of care and affection but love takes a different level of unconditional commitment. A kind of “no matter what” place of focus. My dears, we are definitely in search of it. I like the definition that is presented by M. Scott Peck in his classic book “The Road Less Traveled” in it he clearly defines love as “ the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” To go on he says, “Love is as love does. Love is an act of will-namely, both an intention and an action. Will implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” “I believe in order “to love someone completely, openly and honestly while expressing care, affection, responsibility, respect, commitment and trust” we must truly be ready to willing to openly focus on each of these values with our whole heart. For me love is not a noun but a verb.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, love is my lane. For me, giving and sharing the love that’s in my heart is akin to The Golden Rule. I have raised my boys by reminding them frequently that they may not like other people but you must always love others. Loving others is something that comes natural for me and the more I look around the more I believe love is needed in all of our interactions with one another for than ever! The pandemic and current long overdue social uprising is begging of us to love one another my dears. Like one of my favorite bands sang, “All you need is love”. Yes, we sure do❤

I was listening to another Beatles song today off “Rubber Soul” on my bike ride. “The Word” really made me think about love in a way that I hadn’t before. Here are the lyrics:

The Word

The Beatles

Say the word and you’ll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

In the beginning I misunderstood
But now I’ve got it, the word is good

Spread the word and you’ll be free
Spread the word and be like me
Spread the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

Every where I go I hear it said
In the good and bad books that I have read

Say the word and you’ll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

Now that I know what I feel must be right
I’m here to show everybody the light

Give the word a chance to say
That the word is just the way
It’s the word I’m thinking of
And the only word is love

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

Say the word love
Say the word love
Say the word love
Say the word love

What sparked all these thoughts about love? After taking part in the ‘Wounded Healer” interview last week and in the post before that one called, “Triumphing over Trauma” where I wrote about releasing shannon a deeper level, forgiving myself and it struck me. I’ve decided to destroy the mask I wore so often completely and forever, once and for all! You know the one we wear for society, for family gatherings at times, the one we put on so we feel “safe” and so others won’t judge us or ridicule us. Imagine if we all said NO to putting that damn mask on? Oh how much lighter I feel even writing that!

This past year I have been hyper focused on my healing from the inside out. I reclaimed practices, did a lot of deep inner soul work that required an extended amount of alone time and quiet contemplation, meditation and intentional detaching from things that were the root cause of my suffering. Today I woke up and decided in order to step forward and accept the Maria I am today, I must decide who I no longer am.

I have decided that in order to be vulnerable, honest and loving towards myself I have to keep strict boundaries with others. Listen closely to my intuition and protect my precious emotional energy at all costs. Say NO when I feel any of these things are being threatened and giving myself permission to allow for grace and gentleness from myself. For so many years I thought I had to kick me own ass in order to be successful and get things done. Now I know that I need to be still in order to hear what my next steps should be. I can move energy in and through my body in a much more gentle flowing way while pumping the brakes on the old balls to the wall mentality. All that did was exhaust and hurt me creating an inevitable burnout. Today, it’s clear, my choice is to love me!

By loving myself, I’m free to love others without resentment or expectations. Like the Beatles sing, “it’s so fine, like sunshine” and now I know that what I feel must be right, I’m here to show everybody the light.” The light that is within me. Once we can discover our light and allow it to shine from the inside out as God intended….OH BOY my dear readers, what a world we could all be enjoying together! I’m reminded of another song, “This little light of mine” that I’m sure most of you have either heard or sung growing up. I just love the playful energy that ignites within my soul and releases my true authentic spirit being reminded of this lesson😉

These three poems are focused on the ideas of love, gratitude and aliveness. I want to share them with you my dear readers. Allow these words to resonate deep within your own heart and then go out and love the heck out of everyone you meet!

“Let love shine in”
“Grateful aliveness”
“Growing pains”

Please check out my 3 books of poetry now available on Amazon at the links below 😊

Spirituality

The wounded healer interview

Go to https://mentalhealthathome.org/2020/06/25/wounded-healer-interviews-maria-emotional-musings/ to read my interview for Ashleigh’s interview series. I didn’t realize how both empowering and healing doing this interview would be for me. I always say I have lived a few lifetimes in this one life journey here and this reinforces that concept for me.

Enjoy your day my dear readers!

Please check out my 3 books of poetry available on Amazon at the links below!

Spirituality

Triumphing over Trauma

I’ve written many times on here referring to my personal motto and mission statement which is “Triumphing over Trauma”. After this last eclipse, a week of deep healing through shadowwork, I feel I have turned a real corner and stepped into my power in a very stabilizing way! This revelation makes my heart sing my dear readers. I’ve finally put the past ten years in the rear view mirror and forgiven myself for ALL of it.

A dear friend and follower on here, http://davidsdailydoseorg.wordpress.com/ commented on my last post, “Short and sweet” about shame and it really got me thinking. Thank you David for your thoughtful and insightful comment because it got me thinking, how much shame have I allowed others to place upon me, how much did I absorb and take responsibility for of which I shouldn’t have. Well, the answer to that is a lot! Last week, I revisited many of the precipitating events and decisions that I made surrounding my divorce and the subsequent decision to move away from my children in order to find myself, thus saving my own life! That decision was the most difficult I have ever made in my life and I have beaten myself up over it for most of the past ten years.

It’s taken being reconnected with my oldest son Ty to truly see the young man he has become to say to myself, Maria, you did a good job! He’s ok and you’re ok. Miles, my youngest will be ok too despite the fact that we are still mostly estranged. Releasing myself from the shame of being a bad mother or abandoning my children (placing then in the full time care of my ex-husband) has lifted a HUGE and heavy weight off my shoulders. I raised them for their most important formative years, Ty until he was 11 and Miles until he was 6. I have expressed to many of my closest friends, family and numerous therapists that leaving them felt like I would die. I spent years in a depressive state, completely not functioning. In the midst of my sorrow, I met my fiancé who is the love of my life. He has told me many times that I was putting an undue strain upon myself by carrying the whole of the responsibility regarding the breakdown of my marriage. It’s taken this past year of deep introspection, this pandemic and all the sudden life altering changes for me to finally see that! Lord God above, thank you for finally helping me to release that self induced burden and for giving me the strength to forgive myself to move on with this next chapter of my life.

What a chapter that has started to be my dear readers! I’ve reconnected with my son Ty, healed old wounds with my parents and my sisters, learning a new career in the art of energy healing and self publishing two books of poetry since April! Yes my dear readers, I’m really excited to announce that I released “My Heart’s Song” on Amazon over the weekend! I haven’t had any book signing events for any of my three books, I don’t employ a literary agent, pay for adverting but I have plans to start hitting the pavement in a real way to push my work. I’m extremely proud of myself for the work I have accomplished and in a few weeks I will be doing an interview with a dear friend and healer who hosts the podcast, ‘The Art of Aliveness” on Spotify. I have referenced Chrissy Marie in past posts and praised her magic. She is a force of nature, so wise and welcoming with her presence and essence of sisterhood. I just adore everything I have taken part in that she facilitates! I will keep you my dear readers posted on when that interview is up but for now, here is her latest episode.

“Art of Aliveness”

In celebration of Father’s Day, my family and I went out for an Italian dinner at my parent’s favorite spot. My Dad is 100% Itialian and going out to eat is our family’s favorite way of getting together! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I must say this is the first time I had gotten dressed this fancy since March and worn lipstick! I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup daily anymore since I stopped managing the boutique but I do love lipstick because it really embodies everything feminine and is just FUN💄

Feelin sassy
The Praticos
Ty & I

I know it’s only a matter of time before my partner and I are reunited here in Florida and then my heart will really soar! In the meantime I feel like singing from the rooftops “look out world because this woman is Triumphing over Trauma”! I continue to create, sing to my favorite Grateful Dead tunes while I ride my bike and smile through it all😁

Please check out my 3 books of poetry available on Amazon at the links below📕

Spirituality

Short & sweet

This week has been a fast moving one for me my dear readers filled with highs and lows. Our planetary system is preparing for the “ring of fire” eclipse this Saturday, the second of this eclipse season which will end on July 5th. This one is quite powerful and with Mercury in retrograde again along with Venus, boy have I been in my feels this week!

My son decided to go back up to R.I. to visit his girlfriend and his brother, my youngest who still lives with my ex-husband. All the times I’ve had to say goodbye to him always bring up unsettling and sad emotions from the past. I brought him to the airport yesterday morning and sobbed the entire way home. I also gave myself a pep talk, one of the tools for coping I use to handle my strong feelings. When I talk to myself I allow myself the grace to understand and to feel. Being in my own body and feeling is something foreign to me since as a child I learned to dissociate myself from myself because of intense fear.  Once back home, I kicked off an entire day of intensely focused self care and nurturing myself by taking myself out on a date.

I hadn’t had a haircut since January and that was first on my list of to-dos. Refreshing my look is the fastest way to uplift my spirits and it definitely did the trick! I feel like I got my groove back with this short and sassy fresh cut. I then went shopping for some new candles, a book on crystal healing and a teddy bear to help me sleep without my love😉

Short&sassy💇‍♀️
My milk chocolate teddy bear replacement for now

My partner is still held up sorting out his personal affairs in Dallas and my heart literally aches without him. We’ve been apart now for 6 weeks and that’s the longest time in 6 years that we haven’t lived together.  I took part in another powerful breathwork class this past Sunday and afterwards I realized how much I have been white knuckling things in order to cope with all the newness in my world. I wasn’t allowing myself to grieve my old life and it has taken a toll on my mind, body and spirit. Since mid March, like the rest of our world, I was laid off from my position managing a boutique. A job I viewed as a dream position and I LOVED. Then came the decision to move back to South Florida because of extenuating circumstances with my living situation. My son agreed to move with me after 10 years of him living with my ex-husband. We are now living with my parents while I transition into a new career as an energy healer and practitioner. That’s a lot of change in four short months!

I’m grateful and blessed, please understand my heart is very much at peace yet I wasn’t allowing myself to feel again. Since my apprenticeship started I have learned so many things about myself as it relates to energy and my highly sensitive nature along with following my intuition much more closely. Boundaries are a real challenge for me since I didn’t grow up learning how to establish them. Now, while practicing energy healing and performing rituals, if I don’t rest myself or follow my intuition I am at a real danger of hurting myself. I learned that lesson the hard way over the weekend. I must listen to my body now or suffer some painful consequences.

All of this prompted some intense purging of what no longer serves me and an in depth introspection of myself AKA shadowwork. Sitting in uncomforbility while integrating the parts of myself that are darker, sticky and uncomfortable is a process I first learned a year ago while going through a spiritual awakening. Acceptance is key to self forgiveness, self love and trust. People like me who have gone through trauma (I am diagnosed CPTSD) have a difficult time with this which leads to shame, the closest vibration energetically to death. I know that feeling intimately and I’m glad I now understand how to heal from it and bring myself out of its grip. A shame spiral is something I lived in for years and it rendered me unproductive, non functional and severely depressed. These days I have many practices I lean into and as you know my dear readers, writing is my #1. I wrote these poems this week to help me process my emotions. Being honest and authentic with myself and those around me is a non negotiable thing these days.

My heart aches without my man💔
What’s in your backpack?

As we head into the weekend and I put this experience in the rear view mirror I feel so grateful. I’ve come a long way baby in these ten years! I’ve conquered situations that threatened to dim my light completely and have emerged on the other side triumphant once more. I know it’s never over. Our journey to salvation is as long as God deems fit until He calls my spirit back home. For now I feel good in this body once again and am ready once more to “Triumph over Trauma”. Love, peace and blessings to all ❤✌🙏

Please check out these links below for the 2 books of poetry I have available for purchase on Amazon. “Emotional Musings” and “My Soul’s Language”. Stay tuned for my 3rd offering coming soon!

Spirituality

Brainstorms Award nomination

BrainStorms

I would first love to sincerely thank Tangie T. Woods at Mrs. T’s Corner https://www.tangietwoods for nominating me for the Brainstorms Award! It’s a true honor to interact with so many talented writers and artists on WordPress. I will do the best I can to answer the questions asked of me and then nominate five other awesome bloggers that I follow with five of my own questions. Here it goes…..

Question 1: When did you start blogging?

I have written about this in my early posts and I would like to share my story again now. I’m reminded of a quote by Brene Brown, “Owning your story is the bravest thing you will ever do.” I have kept journals, written poems, short stories and essays my entire life for pleasure and as a way to process my own deeply felt emotions. Writing is how I make sense of the world around me as a highly sensitive person and empath with extra sensory perception. I think in metaphors and analogies. I recently had a dear friend of mine who is a professional astrologer give me my natal chart reading and wasn’t the least bit surprised that writing came up so often. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a child. I told my parents that someday I would write screenplays and who knows, perhaps I will but for now I enjoy authoring this blog and writing my poetry books (the links to which are below and available on Amazon).

In August of 2018 I came across a new movement on social media started by Ms. Jameela Jamil called @i_weigh which is a statement to say we are more than just the number on the scale, our outwards appearance, beliefs, race, sexual orientation etc. I started following her and the movement on Instagram and started liking other people’s posts of their selfies with adjectives and short phrases of who they really are like sister, trauma survivor, home chef, good listener….you get the point. I felt so inspired that I posted my own no make-up selfie with my own words. The response I received was so overwhelmingly positive, it really blew me away! I made fast friends with a soulful woman who lived in Australia and we immediately bonded over how many things we had in common including Complex PTSD, going tlbeing divorced, being empaths, political leaning views, music and writing. She asked me if I had a blog since so many of my messages to her read as lyrics to her. I told her that I enjoyed writing poems but I didn’t share any of it publicly nor did I have any clue how to! She really helped me birth not only this blog but the formatting of my poems. She gave me the confidence I needed to start really producing my writing in a whole new way. I found an app called Mirakee, I highly recommend it to my fellow Android users (it’s not currently in the iTunes store) for creating poetry. In October of 2018 I launched “Emotional Musings” here on WordPress. Here is the picture that launched it all.

@i_weigh on Instagram

Question 2: Why did you start blogging?

I have a motto that I live by and that is “Triumphing over Trauma”. For the past ten years, I have been on a journey, to heal my soul and uncover who I really am. I like to say I have lived a few different lives in my 42 years on this planet. Most of them were under an umbrella of depression, anxiety, intense fear and trauma. The deepest wound is the childhood sexual abuse I finally spoke out loud just one year ago. I have always felt different and not knowing what an empath was, believing I was crazy because I could feel other people’s feelings and know their thoughts without being told scared me and also separated me from my family and friends until I was 35 years old. Once I discovered there are other people who communicate with spirits, are highly intuitive and possess other metaphysical gifts, it changed my life! In the last year I have experienced two big shifts in the form of spiritual awakenings that have not only brought me closer to God but have allowed me to accept myself, embrace selflove, trust and believe in myself. Yes my dear readers, those were qualities I never had before.

When I first really started to heal from my life’s struggles ten years ago, I went the route of our mental health system. After I attempted to take my own life 9 years ago and proceeded to go in and out of a psychiatric hospital for an entire year (I showed up there once a month) I fell down a rabbit hole of misdiagnoses and a slew of psychotropic medications. I was on them prior to my suicide attempt and in total for fifteen years. I attended every support group available, outpatient program including CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) and intensive psychotherapy up to three times a week. I have been in some sort of therapy since I was seven years old. I have experienced both catatonic depression and dissociative episodes since I was very young.

I wear all of these experiences as a badge of honor, not the shame that used to paralyze me. I mainly write this blog to share with others that they too can heal. We aren’t as alone as our ego centered thinking would have us believe at times. Ten years ago when I asked my ex-husband for a divorce, I was a broken and a lost soul. I didn’t want to be a wife and stay at home mother anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted or who I was anymore. I had been trying to fit into the box others wanted of me. I was living two separate lives really, who I was on the inside and who I presented to the outside world. I voluntarily wore the heaviest mask which was invisible to me and I had no clue I was wearing every day. I did what I had to do to survive while separating myself from my own intensely damaged feelings. I felt incredibly alone in this world yet if you asked one person close to me at the time, they would tell you I was a happy woman! That’s how good I was at performing in the starring role of Maria Teresa Pratico. I was an academy award winning actress in my own movie taking “fake it till you make it” to new heights! I loathe that phrase by the way because these days I don’t fake anything. If it doesn’t feel good, I don’t do it. Period. I follow my heart and intuition at all times. After living so long separated from my own soul, I refuse to go back in a closet of darkness.

That’s not to say I don’t sit in my shadow at times and still work to integrate the sides of myself that are sticky and uncomfortable because I definitely do. To know light, we must accept the dark too. I write this blog so that others don’t have to ever feel as alone or crazy as I once did. We humans are made for self healing and unfortunately our society programs us into accepting a belief system that in part teaches us to ignore our emotions. I know better. When you can feel, you can heal and fully embrace who you are in the moment. That’s the key, living in the present by fully feeling instead of dissociating, ignoring or covering up what you feel. It’s the path to true freedom and I hope this blog stands as a beacon for that light to shine while allowing others to do the same. I muse over emotions and like my tagline states, “Getting in touch with your emotional truth, process pain and improving the human condition in the 21st century. Living out loud by my motto “Triumphing over Trauma”.

For all my readers, from my heart to yours….believe in your inner beauty💜

Question 3: How often do you blog?

When I first started this blog I was unemployed and therefore had loads of time on my hands. Since the last major trauma I endured, getting strangled by a disabled client I had while being a direct support staff for a non profit organization, I hadn’t held employment for five years from 2013-2018. In the fall of 2018, shortly after I started this blog I was hired by Starbucks to be a barista and then was quickly promoted to a shift supervisor. In many ways, this blog helped me get my life back in order. I was posting once a week for about one year. Last June, I went on an emotional leave from that position so I could fully concentrate on healing from the childhood sexual trauma because at that time I once again found myself not being able to function. I was leveled at my knees and ultimately I discovered that that trauma was the root of all my pain. My life began to go through a big metamorphosis and I was hired for a new position, managing a dear friend of mine’s boutique inside a luxury hotel in downtown Dallas. That job was and will always be a dream position because it helped me marry all aspects of who I am so perfectly. I started posting every 4 days and that’s the schedule I do my best to adhere to. If you’re a regular reader of my blog here, you know I usually post a poem of mine at the end of each post. My posts here are usually in conjunction with the creation of my poems. Both serve as an artist expression from my heart and of my soul.

Question 4: What are your thoughts about interacting with fellow bloggers?

That’s a big part and a true highlight of operating this blog! At first I was kind of shy and to myself here, as I am in life believe it or not! It takes me a minute to warm up and want to engage with others, I need to feel into it. This past fall I started branching out and reading more from my fellow bloggers and commenting on their posts. I quickly met some great ladies and gentleman that I truly admire for their own writing skills and how they touch my heart. We are fruitfully blessed my dears by our little community here and I must say especially now during this pandemic lockdown, reading and interacting with you all is a highlight of my day. I have met people from all over the world and it is such an honor for me to be able to do that. Each and everyone I follow and read serves to shine a light and bring joy into my life. I want to thank you all for your dedication to writing and your friendship. I’m a hugger and here is a virtual hug from me!

Question 5: Have your blogging expectation(s) been met?

I must admit, I had no idea what to expect coming into this and my one goal has always been to share my heart. I believe if I remain true to that this serves it’s purpose. Some of my friends and family have asked me if I make money from this blog and although I have considered changing my plan as of right now I don’t. My goal is quite simple. To share and connect with others. To put my artistic mark on this world as part of my digital footprint. I enjoy expressing myself in my writing here and I hope to spread some hope, inspiration and joy into the lives of whomever reads it!

Well, that’s it my dear readers! My nominees, if they should choose to participate are the following:

Erika Kind at https://erikakind.me/

Luna pen to paper at https://lunatheblog.com/

V at https://millenniallifecrisis.org/

Meg at https://wheregoodadvicehappens.water.blog/

Unique Soul at https://coronadayslockdown.wordpress.com/

Here are my five questions:

1. Why did you start writing and what led you to start a blog here on WordPress?

2. If you could go anywhere in this world, where would it be and why?

3. If you could have one superpower what would you choose and why?

4. What are some of your favorite hobbies besides writing?

5. If you could sit down and have a conversation with anybody living or passed, who would it be and why?

Please check out my two books of poetry available on Amazon at the following links below: