Mental health

My 2nd Poetry Slam

I’m continuing to get on the microphone and dramatically read my poems. When I was younger and studying all forms of dance my dream was to dance on Broadway. I do love the thrill and terror that comes from being on a stage.

Last night’s slam was very intimate and cozy. I met some wonderful artists and even made plans to host a book signing with the promoter of this event who was so welcoming and made me feel so valued as an artist. This is called “Nothing But Poetry Live” and it helps showcase artists in and around Dallas, TX. I really love being around other creative people in this performance capacity!! I have found my people! Being seen and heard, my personal feelings landing with my own unique flare is so empowering. I was asked if I have a music accompaniment to go with my poems last night. I will be doing a collaboration with an old dear friend of mine from high school who is one of the most amazing guitar players I have ever heard and have the pleasure to know.

I asked the promoter Sam, to video me since I attended this event solo last night. This poem is called “Losing my best friend” and is inspired by what’s going on with my partner who is my best friend. My fiance played and retired from professional football with both the NFL and Arena football leagues. Watching and witnessing his struggle with mental illness including memory loss, hearing voices and not knowing who he is at times is beyond heartbreaking. Ironically, he wanted to attend with me last evening but had an anxiety attack that kept him from leaving our apartment. He later admitted how hard it is to see me in pain over what’s happening to him. I know he can’t help it and I don’t take any of it personally because I know how much he supports and loves me. My writing has always served as an outlet for me to process my feelings. This entire situation is hard for both of us yet I know he is my biggest fan even if he can’t show it 100% of the time.

I was having a conversation with my oldest son yesterday about how fast time goes by. I believe it passes even quicker as we age. He wasn’t too thrilled to hear that but I said it just makes every moment more precious. I want to stay mindful in each of them as much as possible to fully enjoy my life these days. I’ve squandered so much time in anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s been 9 years since I was in and out of a psychiatric hospital myself with complications from CPTSD. These days, I celebrate my life and am intensely grateful for all of it! This is what “Triumphing over Trauma” looks like…..

“Losing my best friend”

This year is my year for transformation, a metamorphosis. I am going after my dreams by keeping my foot on that gas pedal and making the most out of this momentum energy I’m cultivating by doing it. It’s so exciting and it makes me feel so alive to be up on a stage again. Keep watching as this free spirit spreads her wings and soars high🦋

Mental health, Spirituality

To love is to live

My dear readers, have you ever woke up to a certain song stuck in your head? I did this morning and the way my mind works I’m always so curious as to where it came from. I grew up with my mother playing a lot of John Denver and American folk music in our house. The song that popped in and kept replaying was “Annie’s song”. That’s still one of my Mother’s favorites and I must admit mine too. Whenever I hear it I want to run through a brighly colored meadow or hike up a mountain. The whimsical visions that are sparked in my mind are so clearly an ode to love and nature. Lately, it’s a love affair with myself and my new found self love Imthat I’m so interested in exploring. I envision myself holding hands with my younger self running through that meadow and the look on the face of that little girl inside me.

Life has a way within its ebbs and flow to present me with what I need to consider more of and work on when it cones to either delving deeper into shadow work or exploring more and caring for my inner child. Lately, it’s the latter I have been being reminded of. I’m not sure if I have published my real name yet on this blog but it’s Maria. My full given birth name is Maria Teresa Pratico. Little Maria has been begging for my attention lately and wants to be nurtured. My legal last name is Swanson and I chose to not change that when I went through my divorce because I wanted my boys to see us as still being a family. Now i choose to use my maiden name because it resonates more within me. The Swanson in me was a robotic force and Pratico is more of my true identity.

After the realization I had in June of the abuse that I suffered it’s like a whole new part of me has been awakened and is demanding my attention. I must tell you my dear readers, my own years of therapy, the countless books and articles I have read on processing emotions has taught me that when our feelings are not properly realized and our emotional moods go unexpressed, over time it creates a real issue that just continues to hold us more and more captive. This is especially true when it comes to trauma, the more we stuff and repress the harder and heavier our bodies get holding onto that energy. That’s what having sessions of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy has helped me to release. However, there are other ways my inner child wants to be recognized and reparented in order to fully integrate her into my body. In his book, “The body keeps the score,” Bessel van der Kolk writes about unresolved trauma from a neuroscience perspective and explains why traumatized people experience incomprehensible anxiety, inexplicable numbing and intolerable rage, and how trauma impacts concentration, memory, and the ability to form trusting relationships. These are symptoms that our bodies display because it’s been holding onto that energy, trapped in our body.

For so much of my life, I operated in an auto-pilot unconscious state of being. Now it feels like I was almost two separate people. The me before and the me now. I wasn’t awake, I lacked self love, self confidence, I doubted myself in almost every situation and really I can admit I wasn’t really living! I held myself back so much by choosing to focus more on other people’s feelings and emotions, their problems in hopes that if I could fix them I would be loved. Now I know that the only person who can give me the full attention, fulfillment and happiness I crave is me. It’s not an external process and doesn’t come from material things. I feel like I’m really living and in doing so I am living out loud, unapologetically and on purpose. Speaking my mind and my truth in my loudest voice whether or not it makes some people uncomfortable and disagree with me…all of it! If you don’t like it, look away and step out of my way because nobody will become my next excuse for not taking care of myself or stopping me now. At 42 years old, I have stifled myself for far too long and it’s my time to shine!

With it being a new year and a brand new decade, I made a promise with myself to do the things that made me uncomfortable. Right now this includes getting more and more comfortable with uncomforbility. I started recording video confessionals on my social media that I call, Maria’s Musings. I’ve never been a fan of myself in pictures and video because I’m so critical of my looks and my voice. No more!! I even record myself without makeup, dressed in my pajamas or workout clothes. It’s me being me and loving myself every step of the way. You can find me on Instagram @emotionalmusings. I checked off a goal on my vision board too by doing my first poetry slam over the weekend. I performed my poem, “Glimpses” which is a tribute to my dear Nana who is now one of my spirit guides who appears to me as a butterfly🦋

“Glimpses”
For my Nana

The new me has confused some people in my world and one person in particular is my partner. He gets upset with my new and total focus on myself at times because he is so used to me putting others, like him first. This has created a lot of friction between us. In the last five months we have argued more than the last six and a half years of our entire relationship together! I have disclosed in previous posts that he is also someone living with severe mental illness stemming from traumatic brain injuries and the many concussions he sustained while playing professional football.

https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/lincoln-coleman-former-cowboys-running-back-struggles-with-effects-of-head-trauma-10983207

Another harsh reality he faces are the facts that have been well publicized about the connection between traumatic brain injuries and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)which is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. The symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. These symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia.

It’s creates quite a challenge for him as he has watched many players die or commit suicide by shooting themselves in the heart so that their brains can be studied. Recently, he lost another player to suicide and when he told me, the look in his eyes rattled me to my core in a very deep way. Our connection and bond is so strong and to think of losing him in anyway but especially in that way terrifies me! Then I start examining everything he is doing and saying in a more critical way. The empath in me has had to learn how to actively block him so I don’t get caught up in his energy and thoughts.

Lately, it’s all been too much for me and my own regularly shifting fast moving energy collided and had in a way a head on collision with his energy and BAM! Making life decisions based in fear is never a good idea and results in undesirable outcomes. It’s my nature to love and accept others. That must include both myself currently and his reality too. All of that became entirely too much to handle last week. We had a bad blowout that resulted in both of us saying things we didn’t mean and I ended our relationship.

I also allowed this overly active fear and emotional state to spill over into my job as a manager for a dear friend of mine’s boutique. Without going into details, I did something that I shouldn’t have that could of put the business in jeopardy. My emotional state had me not thinking straight when I made this mistake. Then I went further into crash and burn mode by telling her I was quitting and gave my two weeks notice abruptly and without any warning which hurt my girlfriend’s feelings badly. I know now what I did could’ve had irreparable damage to their livelihood and our great friendship. Taking stock of the situation took some serious sole searching on my part. The will to listen and quiet my own fears so that I wasn’t acting so selfishly and considered all sides of the situation. I’m praying for a positive outcome to my apology.

Living in fear is like being backed into a corner, triggering me to feel scared, helplessness and confused just as I did during the abuse I suffered. As I continue to heal, these parts of me are lying dangerously close to the surface and my own current reality. They at times become twisted up and entangled in a way that clouds my decision making and has me wanting to escape. This is by no means an excuse, it’s my reality and I’m addressing it head on.

I want to share with you dear readers the importance of addressing what you need to in life because we only get one shot at living. Life is precious and short. I’m someone who wanted to pull the plug by cutting my own short because living was so painful and I felt the only way out was death. A permanent solution to a temporary problem. Learning to love myself and having the ability to love another person, despite terrifying circumstances shows strength, resilience and most of all courage. Summoning that courage took the abity for me to use pain as a motivator not as a roadblock. I admit, I don’t always make clearheaded decisions concerning my life. I have the tendency to want to blow up my life and throw the towel in and say FUCK IT ALL!

Not giving into these urges is hard for me because my natural tendency has been conditioned to not focus on my own uncomfortable or challenging feelings of fear, anger and sadness. I stuff, numb and dissociate from them just like I did in childhood during the abuse. It was easier to put my mind in another place and numb out. It’s our bodies defense, protecting our brains from the highest levels of anxiety and circuit overload. I now know this coping mechanism no longer serves me and I must change that maladaptive pattern before it continues to wreck havoc in my world today.  Following inner compass suits my life and decision making much better!

Choosing to love and remain in love is hard during these fearful moments but if I want to live, I must love. I have also been programmed to find pleasure in pain. I have been noticing that when typing a lot I tend to type live instead of love. That’s what sparked me to start investigating this vital connection between loving and living. In order for me to consistently maintain my happiness, I must choose to love in order to keep living. The abuse is over. The little girl who experienced that rauma is grown. I have learned a better way to live. I can make better choices. When I fall down and make the same mistakes my from past, I can now recognize them and correct them by taking responsibility for my words and actions by choosing to not blow up my life. If it’s one thing I have learned it’s that the grass is never greener.

I choose to accept my partner’s prognosis and conditions because when taking stock of the pros and cons of our relationship, the pros undoubtedly outweigh the cons. More on that in upcoming posts my dear readers. Once I can snap myself back into my body, I can easily recognize this. When I was high in emotion mind, I wrote this poem. Thankfully for me writing is such a great outlet. One I need to rely upon more so I don’t actively allow fear into the driver’s seat unnecessarily.

Mental health, Spirituality

The art of allowing love is magic

Oh love, what a complicated and fickle pursuit it can be! My dear readers I have come into such an abundance of love’s pure energy flow lately and so far my new year is as bright and shiny as my spirit is. Last Monday I expierenced my third vision, out in nature, which I just love. Awe inspiring and breathtakingly beautiful! Looking up at the sky now holds more meaning for me than ever before. As I continue to heal and push through obstacles, one solution remains constant and true and that is love. When we allow love to flow freely throughout our entire being it frees us from our problems and allows us to be closer to Source and Divine power.

In keeping with my daily rituals while always setting the intention to allow a steady stream of unconditional love to flow through I am reminded to surrender. Love presents a polarity between weakness and strength. When we are in love we are vulnerable because we are putting our heart out there and there’s always a possibility we might be hurt or let down. Yet when we do this, we are showing strength in our belief that we deserve and want love. Accessing superior energy, which is God (or whatever higher power you believe in) we are able to look inward and feel that essence inside of us. It’s there in abundance dear readers. I know this to be true because I kept myself closed off from it for years. My intuition was quiet almost inaudible, barely being listened to. Now, ten years into this spiritual and self healing journey, it is loud and clear.

The first step was learning to love myself and to do that I had to figure a few things out. Understanding where I had been, why I was here and what was my soul’s purpose became goals that had me reading anything in the spiritual realm I could get my hands on. Seeking out therapists, taking medications for a time (15 years to be exact) to heal from the severe traumas I had experienced, attending outpatient therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). Getting my mind right as the kids say, was a painstaking process that has instilled patience with myself into my core. None of this happens overnight 🤯

Along this journey I learned some powerful tools that I incorporate into my daily self care practices. Meditation is hugely vital to my well being and allows me quiet reflection and observation space to my rapidly shifting thoughts. Listening to binaural sounds at varying frequencies allows me to hear my spirit guides better and receive messages from them. We all have these angels all around us and last week Universe gifted me an angel orchestra of them during my vision. I have been asking for a sign to show me they were here and as I gazed up into the big blue sky while the moon was showing herself, all of a sudden I saw hundreds of twinkling white lights! Immediately I knew that they were my guides saying hello. I was filled with an indescribable sense of comfort and warmth while tears streamed down my face, it was one of the most beautiful sights to behold.

After that, my week continued to unfold in both positive and painful ways. I have come to a point in my life where I can see the beauty and purpose within pain. It’s my body’s signal and way of teaching me what I need to heal from, let go, accept and turn into strength. It’s like magic when you think about it that way. I’m no masochist, I no longer engage in self denial and I don’t seek out pain on purpose. I do however believe pain is one of our greatest teachers. Over my 42 years, I have experienced an incredible amount of pain and heartache that I know now served its purpose in instilling a deep love and kindness for my fellow humans and all living things for that matter.

When you allow love in you understand it’s the only truth

I was drawn to do some inner child healing too last week which used to scare me because it was painful to look at. Now that I feel more in tune with my own emotions, loving myself in this way allows me to reparent the little me inside. Planning for and scheduling activities that bring out my childhood essence is really important for my continued growth, self integration and evolvement. These include talking to myself, dancing, going out in nature, painting, listening to music and singing along. Playing around with sounds like chanting, even swinging on a swing! That was my favorite activity as a child, I always felt like I was flying so high and free.

Remembering this part of me allows me to be my own hero and rescue myself which is hugely empowering. I write letters to my younger self at different ages reminding her she is no longer alone and is seen, heard and loved. It’s again, a kind of magic when those old stories that ran through my head telling me I’m not good enough or I am too much, too sensitive get triggered to start playing and now this new more calming and comforting voice is heard in their absence. Reparenting myself is a huge gift to not only me but those who love me and are in my life can see a big shift in my outlook and self confidence. Isn’t it amazing how music can fill the shallow parts of our souls allowing us this wonderful connection with who we are?

As an empath, I have lived most of my life distracted and focused upon other’s feelings and thoughts while neglecting my own. Honestly, my own were scary to me and overwhelming so I neglected them in favor of trying to save or rescue another. I can also admit that even during my current relationship with my fiance, there have been many many times that I looked to him to save me. Finally, I understand that only I can save me. I am responsible for my own happiness and the inner joy I feel is fueled by such self love and gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned. I have no regrets and I wouldn’t change a minute of my life thus far.

My main goal for this year has been to put myself out there more by releasing my inhibitions once and for all. I have forced myself to do more video confessionals that I post on my social media @emotionalmusings on both Instagram and Facebook. I hoped to attend my first poetry slam where I would perform one of my most personal poems, “Glimpses”this past Friday. My words are like my children and it both terrifies and excites me to share them on a stage. Unfortunately the weather here in Dallas kept me from attending but it turns out Universe is granting me another opportunity to do it this Friday because I have the night off from work!! YAY😊

I also reached out to a dear fellow empath friend @emilyrainbowglo on Instagram to ask her if she would want to do a collaboration with me, a live chat for our fellow empaths to feel empowered by and learn from. I was thrilled with the outcome of our conversation yesterday, it was seamless! It’s still available for a few more hours if you dear readers would like to hear what we had to talk about. It’s based around love and surrendering to it, allowing in self love and care so that we can protect our precious spirit and gifts while being open to receiving messages from the Universe. I have also asked another healer and dear friend of mine if I could join her on her new podcast. I will keep you dear readers in the loop of when that happens but for now you can follow her on Instagram @comealivewithchrissymarie and her podcast on Spotify is called, “The Art of Aliveness”. I will post the link below so you can check her out too.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/7aiqLKqwfl9Z4KkjLllPe8?si=Aw8ANxUhRnW3cLMg1WzGjA

I have made up my mind that this year, 2020 is the year I stop holding myself back. I have done just that for one reason or another for the last 40 years and finally, FINALLY I feel strong enough to put my hand ✋ up to anything or anybody that tries to have me go back into a box or wants to label me, stifle my spirit….no thank you!! I am determined to let my free spirit soar as high as I can fly! I also did a confessional for a company I represent by sharing my story. I have it published here as a post under, “My journey with BodHD,” but I will also drop the link below so it can be accessed here too.

I wrote this poem last night that really expresses my love and gratitude to the elements, the Universe that has held me in its loving arms, nurturing my spirit even when I was neglecting it and continued to show to love and acceptance. That little voice has always been there giving me the strength to never give up. Whatever pushes you along my dear readers, keep doing it. Don’t let anything stop you, ever. Shine and allow the world your gifts. Never give up. I am a forever friend to all and I appreciate your support, follows and likes. You can always reach out to me, I love to listen. You too can “Triumph over Trauma “😊💪💜

The elements that make me who I am
Mental health, Spirituality

Intentions for an open heart

When in doubt follow your heart. That mantra has been my focal point all of my life. As the empathetic, passionate and free spirited woman I am following my heart’s desire has always felt right to me. In the years since I have been healing myself from trauma however, there were many times where I would tell my partner that I felt a disconnection between my heart and my mind. I can recall a specific time four years ago when that realization made me so sad and confused. Unraveling trauma, pain stuck in my body has taken time and required me to simply be patient with myself.

I have loads of patience for others yet I tend to be more harshly impatient with my own progress in this area. The integration between my heart and soul while processing my own emotions surrounding trauma has taught me that I can’t force anything to happen. Creating a false sense of security by telling myself that it’s not that upsetting or lying to myself that “I’m ok” only furthered the process. The sentiment of “time takes time” just came to mind. I’m thankful I surrendered to the process and showed myself grace. It’s yielded tremendous growth for my spirituality and awakening journey!

Another opportunity presented itself recently in regards to allowing my heart to remain open, just feeling the feelings, without intellectualizing them and over explaining them. I was made aware of the fact that I tend to do this. It’s an old coping skill I developed in order for me to feel safe in my body, feeling everything and everybody all at once. As an empath, for so long before I realized it was detrimental to my own well being, I have tended more to others feelings while stuffing or numbing my own away. My fast moving energy creates BIG intense feeling sensations in my body and I was fearful of them.

After reflecting on why I have done this throughout my life, understanding that it’s no longer necessary and shifting into open heartedness requires me to evoke that same level of patience with myself. I have noticed that when I start to digress into old behaviors and patterns my posture changes. I cross my arms and hug my body, slouching my shoulders, I don’t stand with my head held as high. Being aware of how this overwhelming and uncomfortable feeling actually feels in my body allows me an opportunity to grow. In the past, I would allow this low vibrational fear to consume me. Now, operating from a place of love which is a higher vibration, I feel more empowered to overcome that fear. Sitting with it, tending to my own emotional response has proven to be so powerful!

I recently learned how to quickly reconnect with my heart and my soul’s power by clearing my central channel. I rub my hands together creating energy and hold then in front of my pelvic/hip region. Then I raise them up over my body slowly while visualizing releasing any stagnant energy that may be blocking me from my power. Once I get to my heart I stop and shake my hands off as though they were wet. I practiced this the other day while staring at myself in the mirror. The intense feelings I got, the rush of self love made me feel happy and warm all over.

I’m using my power and gifts of sense mastery to heal myself! It’s incredibly empowering my dear readers. This is new ground for me. Becoming the master of my emotions and the creator of my reality is a shift I had no idea would change how I see everything in my world. Forever, my feelings and other’s have run my life in a negative and harmful way. I didn’t know how to sort it all out and I have gone through forgiving myself for not knowing how best to care for myself.

I believe that the way I was treating myself, misunderstanding how best to care for my spirit left me with a deep sadness that I have carried for a long, long time. When someone would ask me, “what’s wrong” it was often difficult to articulate exactly why but now I know it was this heaviness dragging my down creating sadness and eventually pain. Like a broken heart. I was unaware of how it was affecting my life. Now that I’m on the other side of it I know I have found the key to eternal happiness.

Happiness isn’t something you can get from external sources my dear readers. It must be cultivated from within. God has created us with everything we need for balance and peace within our own amazing bodies! I used to feel my heart was failing me because I felt too much and that my brain was attacking me because my thoughts ran so quickly through my mind. It was a terrible, victim like perception I was inflicting upon myself. I now see that I had the power all along to change and feel better. By taking care of my emotional and spiritual needs on a daily basis I have established a strong bond within myself. I make the promise with myself every day to never go back to my old ways. I release the worry and fear surrounding the entire thought I even would.

This new year 2020 feels like it’s going to be my brightest year yet🌠🌈🎇🙏❤

Mental health, Spirituality

Wherever you go, there you are

I have always liked the idea of wherever you go, you take yourself with you. In other words, you can change your physical location, surroundings or environment and that is all that actually is different because you are still you. The idea surrounding the possibility of instant growth simply because your physical surroundings are different is idealistic. We take ourselves, good, bad or indifferent wherever we go because we are creatures of habit. We don’t naturally like change. Change is scary and it upsets our egos. Ego mindset is there to keep us safe and small. Observing and deciphering the story our egos tell us is the first step in creating the real shift that is necessary for actual change.

Happiness is an inside job my dear readers. You can fly around the world, search the deepest forests, oceans and scour the beach for the meaning of life or buy things in attempt to find happiness and still come up short because no matter what you do or where you go, we must still answer to ourselves. Searching the external world for what makes one happy is never the answer for only we can create joy and peace within our own reality. The ability to think is what makes us uniquely human. The ability to understand we are not our thoughts is what allows us to become creators of our own reality. How empowering is that? Very😊

While I was thinking about writing this post, I read an article about the comparison of attitudes that either empower growth or can hold one back. The following are five attitudes that create confidence in contrast to overconfidence in life.

There is a difference between feeling truly capable of handling something versus thinking that YOU are the only one capable of accomplishing something. Now, I will state that I know and believe that the only thing I think I am the best suitable person for is taking care of myself. That being said, in every other situation, it isn’t very productive to think and definitely act like you are the only one who can do XYZ. When one thinks that way, it’s a set up for failure.

Overconfident people will continually talk without hearing others, I mean really listening to them. Confident and successful people understand that it’s best to always be learning while keeping an open mind to hearing something new. There must be a balance between talking and listening. I tell my boys to always remain open to new ideas and concepts because when one stops learning, growing ceases and spirit starts to die. This is a mindset that is easy to spot in others, usually depressed people who think they have nothing to offer the world. When those thoughts arise, recognizing that that is an ego based story devised to keep us small and free from changing. That thought can impede growth and squash all possibilities if one acts upon it.

The right kind of attitude is necessary for success in everything one sets out to accomplish. When I have an unrealistic belief that I’m too perfect to make any mistakes, I am attempting to act like a God. We are human and only God is perfect. Therefore it’s best to keep yourself in check by putting your best effort into achieving your goals. Thriving for your best, effortly speaking, is a better way of knowing that the only control you have is putting your best foot forward. We humans are fallible and will make mistakes along the way indefinitely.

That idea brings me to my next point which is being able to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t have to repeatedly keep making the same ones over and over again! We can either learn from our many mistakes along the way or we can choose to let our mistakes hold us back from actually acquiring the lesson and instilling it within our souls so the next time we remember that feeling and take steps to avoid that kind of self induced pain again.

Lastly, people who are confident work to gain respect from those around them by showing loyalty and kindness towards others while maintaining a down to Earth attitude. Overconfident people demand to be the main attraction and the center of attention. The latter type of person I try to avoid at all costs because they are extremely draining on my energy reserves. They lack self acceptance and are constantly seeking it from external sources.

Honestly, I have recently noticed that throughout my life as an empath, I have drawn in many narcissists and sociopaths. Those looking to drain my life force energy because they are so unsettled within their own beings and have no regard for human emotions. Since my spiritual growth has taken hold and my vibration has been raised, I only attract other like minded people to me. Mostly other extra sensory people, empaths, lightworkers and metaphysically interested people. It’s very awesome and a gift from Universe💜

Through daily meditation, over the years, I have learned to observe my own at times monkey mind. I can’t control what I think because I know our minds love to link information together and at times, tell us lies that keep me safe ….ego stories again. All that is within my power is the ability to put space between my thoughts and my actions. Meditation helps me grow that much needed space by passively observing. That’s when I can decipher what my thoughts are trying to tell me. I’m able to then break down my thoughts into the category of either rational or irrational.

I first learned these techniques while attending cognitive behavioral and dialetical behavioral therapyies. These two courses saved my life in many ways because I was allowing my overactive thinking to control my life instead of me being the master. I found myself in a downward spiral trying to escape my life in unhealthy ways and ultimately in permanence when I attempted suicide eight years ago.

I’ve entered a point in my life today where I feel an intense gratitude for everything! The people I have met, the lessons I have learned, the mistakes I have made, the opportunities I have been granted, the many experiences I can add to my tool belt by living life with am open mind along with my free flowing spirit. I love where I am. I am so grateful for where I find myself today and yes, I have brought myself here.

Mental health

Celebrating the small steps

In the last few days an undeniable and solid peace has washed over and is comforting me. My analytical mind wants to call out all of the reasons why I think this is so. Again, even while writing this and essentially downloading my thoughts on the subject of furthering this self healing journey I am on, I can’t help but see how both parts of my brain are working together. Not just the logic seeking, results driven analytical part but also the communicative, creative and empathetic part too working in a kind of see saw effect. I once dwelled so intensely in just the analytical part of my mind. So much so that I would get lost in the whys and feel terribly stuck. Sound familiar to anyone?

In the past as I just mentioned, I felt cut off and deprived at times from my creativeness. I believe that to be the lighter, more carefree and fearless part of me that can show myself compassion and grace. These two sides are no longer at war with each other. They have founded a new partnership and by doing so I am feeling a real sense of freedom.

I spend a lot of time these days reading about and exploring levels of consciousness. I believe that I am in the process of teasing out two concepts. One being observing how my ego mediates between superego and the id aspects of my personality. The stories each can spin in order to protect myself and impede the incredible shift that I’m undergoing are challenging my entire thought process while I expand my consciousness. Uncovering my true self, rewriting old and unfounded beliefs, lies really that don’t match my reality is for me just a higher level of awareness.

The second concept is integration of my shadow self and how much awareness I now have whenever I feel myself getting uncomfortable with parts of myself that feel at first shameful and threatening to my sanity. By digging a bit deeper and unconconditionally loving those parts of myself, I have created space for more acceptance of myself.

For example, the beliefs I have surrounding my own sexuality used to feel dirty and wrong. Instinctively I have been both dissoactive and dialectical when it comes to sex in general seeing it as both beautifully pleasurable, necessary as a bodily function while also feeling negatively full of shame. Yes, that is due to the sexual abuse and trauma I have experienced but it’s amazing how many other stories my ego would silently scream at me surrounding other aspects of my personality that aren’t part of my sexual identity as a woman.

I am continuing to tap into my self care rituals and reestablishing my yoga practice, breathwork and meditation has been hugely effective in gaining more mindfulness of both my thoughts and my physical awareness. How my feelings feel in my body. The most recent being a redefined focus of how anger feels. I know anger is born out of fear and while most of my life has been run by fear and anxiety, it makes sense to me that I am now paying closer attention to how anger feels.

I had blocked, stuffed and dissociated myself from these two most uncomfortable and troubling feelings. It sounds silly now to me but fear played a role in my drive that in the past I felt necessary to propel me on in life. Anger was something I completely denied and wouldn’t allow myself to truly feel. When I’m angry I have felt ugly, wrong and unworthy. These were the mixed messages my brain was being sent that only drove me further down sufferings path.

Now integrating these different yet vital pieces of my psyche I can clearly see how each one serves me and allows my resilience to grow. I’m having to have patience with myself which is extremely hard for me. I’m great at holding this space for others but when the focus is on me I immediately become impatient with myself. Meditation allows for and creates space between these conflicting thoughts. Once messages are challenged and the universe sends me signs that tell me to accept, love and care for myself in spite of my shortcomings, peace and contentment can grow and take root in my soul.

It’s so richly rewarding to be taking care of myself in these ways. Reparenting my wounded inner child, loving and accepting the small accomplishments will lead me to succeed. I have always held space for others, putting them before myself being and being the ultimate people pleaser. These days I am reevaluating how I feel in each of my relationships and establishing stronger boundaries. I’m deciding what is and isn’t my responsibility and what I will or won’t allow from others. It’s the ultimate in self love dear readers.

I’m really seeing how much these last 6 months of deep diving into integration of my shadow and reexamining my self acceptance, holding space for grace towards myself has given to my entire outlook on life. I know success is in my near future now. Doing this work has allowed me to open up my ability to tap into my flow state more. Operating from a much more conscious place. Focusing on really learning to love me.

Untangling shame is so empowering and is helping me alter my perceptions which give my creative mind even more to explore. Dwelling in the sticky uncomforbility of it all, challenging difficult emotions and moods is becoming a new superpower. I have accepted that only Maria can take the best care for Maria. This conversation I’m having with myself represents true inner beauty and acceptance because both light and dark must meet in order to be completely authentic ❤️

Mental health, Spirituality

Anniversary reaction and the new moon

This October has been very emotionally draining for me. As I realized the date today staring back at me just this morning it dawned on me the fact that every October and November in the past eight years have unfolded that way. Having Complex PTSD is the culprit because there is this little phenomenon that happens called the Anniversary reaction or effect. My body remembers that eight years ago within the months of October and November I endured tremendously intense trauma.

This month also ushered in the Harvest full moon on Oct.13th and in the past two days we have been feeling the affects of the new moon rising in Scorpio. Google defines this new moon as this:

The 2019 New Moon In Scorpio is about embracing the unknown. It’s rare that life unfolds exactly as you want it to. Often, what results is a mess of both success and failure. Even if you get what you want, it might not feel as fulfilling as you thought it would.”

Boy does THAT resonate with me! Needless to say, the combination of energy forces has proved to be quite tumultuous for me dear readers. It’s required me to put more effort into my self care by closely monitoring the daily reflections I jot down in my journal. My favorite tool in counterbalancing these emotional shifts is journaling. Remaining self aware of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors helps keep me in the moment as much as possible when my ego starts whispering lies and goes into full on protective mode.

Becoming more and more “realized ” as an empath, the rapidly downloaded messages I receive from the universe have also kept me on my toes. Here in Dallas, we expierienced a tornado and lots of thunderstorms that caused severe damage. Thankfully, the area of the city I live in was unaffected but I can definitely attest to feeling the vibrational pressure and sheer force of that kind of destructive power. The only option when faced with such strength is to remain as calm as possible by constantly reminding myself that this too shall pass. These temporary effects in nature and the energy being felt has resulted in an overwhelming amount of heaviness on me. Each day this month I felt a varying degree of extra pressure.

The best defense I have found is sticking to my daily rituals. The more my body can expect the comforting aspects of each self compassion tool I employ the more relaxed my hypervigilance is. Granted, this is time consuming and can definitely put strain on my day if I don’t make the proper allowances. Time management is an extremely important part of planning my day.

Another thing I’ve been reminded of this month is to resist making decisions during this period of intense emotional upheaval. Making decisions based in emotion is something I used to do a lot in my past. Afterwards, I learned that those decisions produced unsuccessful outcomes so I must refrain from those knee jerk reactionary responses. This month I was reminded almost daily to chill out. My best defense is to NOT react.

This month is a good example of growing pains. Nothing changes when life is easy and I don’t challenge myself. In the past six months I have conducted a complete overhaul of my internal story, my core beliefs and reassessment of the painful memories related to the traumas I have survived. My brain pushes back upon the new pathways I have built because our brains don’t accept change easily. My fight, flight or freeze triggers have also been in overdrive as I confront the difficult emotions that have long been cemented into my internal story.

These challenging feelings include an unrealistic sense of being abandoned, unaccepted and unloved. A constant, nagging reoccurring thought of not being worthy has threatened to cripple my behavior and how I respond to uncomforbility. I want to give up, throw the towel in. Pushing through these moments creates a feeling of accomplishment that raises my self esteem. I’ve been reminded that, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I have leaned on this mantra a lot lately. Incorporating breathwork and meditation is essential for soothing the conflicting messages my brain screams at me. Again, this too shall pass…..if I let it!

Relaxing into the natural flow and unfolding of life by consciously releasing my white knuckle grip on how I think life should be is a daily challenge and one that I meet with head on every morning. Positive self talk sets me straight and gives me permission to accept these difficult emotions. Reminding myself that growth is sometimes painful. Change isn’t easy. It’s natural to have bad days while the process of self healing continues. It’s a never ending journey. Eight years ago I attempted to end it all. Even though this month and next stand as yearly reminders of my painful past, it’s also another opportunity for self forgiveness.

Today, I feel more empowered and I know that I have a choice. That’s a fact I didn’t believe I had eight years ago. I am not my past. I have grown a lot and am continuing to heal. A journey I am grateful to of chosen.