Spirituality

Healing through movement and sound

My dear readers, I am about to share with you all a few practices that have created such joy in my life and are proving to be real game changers along this healing transformation I am experiencing lately. My heart is singing just thinking about the calming impact they have had, at the same time exhilarated feelings that these practices have brought to my life!

Solfeggio sounds

I love to meditate. I have rediscovered it’s beneficial aspects again after having not made the time for this practice for too long, I can see how my life was seriously lacking it’s mindfulness results. So I restarted a couple of different styles depending on my mood and the amount of time I could give to it daily. I like both guided and Transcendental techniques. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon the information but I think it must have been in an article I was reading that explained the benefits of sound healing through frequencies like Solfeggio sounds. I did incorporate the information about the app I use called, SoundHeal in my long post last week, entitled “Visons proclaiming my future path”. I have come to look forward to the 10-15 minutes a day I allot for this practice because I literally tune the world out and get to be with myself. It’s a gift. It’s something I need to do in order to keep in the present moment and remain mindful. It calms and soothes me while adjusting my mindset so I can tackle my day.

Dance

Another very important practice I have restarted in my life is dance! I have written in past posts dear readers that I studied all forms of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and modern since age 2 and then quit abruptly due to emotional stress of competing at a high level and some other reasons I will elaborate on in future posts. Last week I posted, “This is me,” a video of myself dancing alone in my room to the song “Titanium” by David Guetta. I feel most alive when I’m dancing and moving my body. It’s so freeing and the best way, I believe for me to allow my spirit to soar and get connected with my soul’s essence. I recently returned to the dance studio too attending both a ballet and a jazz/funk class.

This resurgence of my love for dance got me thinking about the kind of dancing that allows people to connect with their true spirit and tell a story through dance. So I turned to Google and entered “transformative dancing” and the first video I clicked on was my answer!

Mindfulness Dancing

There is a woman from Ohio named Jaime Marich who is both a professional counselor with a human services degree and has a dance/theater background founded a group dance class called “Mindfulness Dancing”. She incorporated her love of yoga, breathwork and therapeutic dance into a group class that frees your soul and spirit! She discovered after getting sober and living in recovery that when you incorporate your body into therapy it produces such deeper healing results than just traditional talk therapy alone. I watched this video below a few times and was immediately struck by how when you allow your body to do what you feel, using even the simplest of movements, you tell your own story. She and the other participants admitted that people in their early 20s sometimes have a hard time finding the words to express themselves but can more easily find a movement that exactly matches their feelings. Add music to this and BAM….I immediately wished there was a local class I could attend like this! I have really learned the benefits of healing in a collective, a community of like minded people.

Perhaps I need to start a class here in Dallas like her model 🤔 Check it out here….

Bringing people through their pain and trauma while igniting their life force energy, aliveness is something that I admire deeply. There is a beauty to being within a group that casts no judgement or critique to one another. The complete opposite of the kind of dancing I grew up aspiring to perform. I can see now how the level I was at crushed my love of dance. After I quit, I turned my interests in music to following The Grateful Dead and twirling along with my fellow deadheads. Their music is still a big part of my life today. I put it on when I want to connect with myself, let loose and get free! This is one of my favorite medleys of, “Estimated Prophet/Shakedown Street/Fire on the Mountain/Sugar Magnolia” from 11/24/78 at The Capital Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. Being both the Jersey girl I am and born in 1977, this performance tickles my fancy and makes my spirit soar!! Enjoy it my dear readers, put it on, crank the volume up loud and dance my fellow soul dancers!

“The Art of Aliveness”

Lastly, I want to share with you my dear friend Chrissy Marie aka @comealivewithchrissymarie on Instagram’s new podcast called, “The Art of Aliveness”. She has recorded 7 episodes so far and each of them contain gems of truth, humor and insightfullness coupled with her quick witted intelligence on how to cultivate life force energy by utilizing curiosity and courage with play. Proving these practices bring joy into your life and connect you with your soul. Her latest episode explores the healing qualities of sound vibration within the body. She provides the science behind the proven benefits of sound and how talking to yourself, singing, chanting and humming bring your attention out of your thinking mind and into your body. Helps to regain your focus, improves memory and is just plain fun! I just adore her, my sassy red headed friend. I think anybody who wants to feel alive, boost their joy and laugh needs to listen. I take notes as I listen usually twice through each episode that spark laughter, sometimes I cry when she strikes that chord and mostly she makes me think. Afterwards, I can connect with the information and find what speaks to me that I can incorporate into my daily practices and healing.

“Triumphing over Trauma”

We are only on this Earth for such a short time and I feel like I don’t want to squander another moment being in pain or reliving trauma from my past. So far, since June, I have reignited my passions by remembering just who I am and what I came here to do. I believe we come to this life as spirits being many thousands of years old with amnesia. Everyday I am waking up a bit more, engaging in the conversations, living my truths, finding the situations and expierienced that make my free spirit take flight again. I am alive and it feels so good after years of living in and feeling stuck by pain, trauma, depression and anxiety 🥰 This is what my motto “Triumphing over Trauma” looks like….

Me in the boutique I manage “Studio Store”
My ode to sound healing
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

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, 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.

Mental health, Spirituality

Further understanding and integration of my shadow self, getting comfortable with discomfort

When I first started this spiritual journey into healing my mental health and searching for just who I am there were two concepts that honestly terrified me. Those two things were the idea of healing my inner child and meeting my shadow self. The latter being the most intriguing yet completely unacceptable to me way back then. November of 2011 was an extremely dark period of my life yet it also marks an important time in my life because I was given the gift of desperation. Once I hit my bottom the only way to go was up and through. Understand that clearly dear readers, the only way to healing is walking through the pain. There are no quick fixes, magic pills that numb your feelings forever because those feelings are sensations in your body that send your brain important messages of what your body needs.

Our society wants to ignore feelings, seeing them as a weakness not a strength. Swallow or stuff them in order to be strong when in essence it is completely the opposite that grows one’s mental strength. This past weekend’s full moon was a very powerful reminder for me to actively release all that no longer serves me. It also brought up some more darker truths, that being the existence of my shadow self. But what is shadow self?

When we are born we don’t know anything about how our body works and what it needs. As our knowledge about theworld around us grows our personality is forming. Based upon what is socially acceptable, some aspects of ourselves are repressed and denied because they are seen as negative. It is the subconscious part that our egos don’t want to identify with, everything of which is unconscious. Basically the unknown. In order to truly become enlightened one must explore, accept and integrate this side of ourselves to achieve true balance and a sense of wholeness. Again, there is no way around this, one must walk through. There are many ways that we can learn more about this mysterious side of ourselves but my favorite is journaling. The kind of writing that is free flowing, not thought out, in order to access those feelings we deem as ugly, the ones we don’t want to admit to having. We all have parts of ourselves that we deny because we naturally seek love and acceptance. Our egos tell us loads of lies to protect ourselves from rejection, abandonment and pain. What’s amazing is that this other side of ourselves is actually incredibly powerful and necessary to our evolement, by becoming more self aware we grow to accept others too. We can identify and show empathy toward others when we see these sides of their personalities emerge. We become less judgemental of first ourselves, then of others. We can forgive more easily and practice humility. When I consciously made the decision to meet my shadow self my ego was screaming at me to stop, close that door and bolt it forever. Throw away the imaginary key that I had created in childhood. The energy that I have now restored within myself by ceasing to repress this side is so empowering. All that exhaustively wasted energy was my egos attempt to keep my true spirit covered. I thought I was protecting myself and staying safe. The exact opposite is true as I was a prisoner of my own mind. Stuck really, feeling as though I was fighting my own brain. I repeated this pattern for a couple years. Put my self healing on a shelf, not ready to deal with it.

The same patterns emerged around facing my inner child. That wounded little girl that was conditoned to betray herself and her needs in oorder to have the acceptance of others. Over time that progamming made me feel unworthy of love and attention cementing within me that I was unimportant. That is where real suffering begins and lies. I had ignored my childhood pain for long enough because these mixed up messages were creating chaos within my relationships. I was constantly being triggered into a trauma response morphing me into this extremely hypervigilant, nervous and fearful individual who had an over abundance of anxiety.

By following me and reading this blog of mine, you should be able to tell by now that I have made a lot of progress in investigating, facing and accepting both my shadow self and healing my inner child. I believe it is a lifelong conscious decision and isn’t something that happens overnight. I am actively reparenting myself by tending to that part of my wounded self. It demands my patience, requires self compassion and asks for me to allow space for showing myself grace. This concept is especially challenging for me because I want to deny myself, blame myself and hurt myself when I feel certain of my needs aren’t being met. It is up to me and only me to fulfill these needs and tell myself new stories, creating a new tape to play in my mind when I am triggered.

Monday morning I awoke feeling so powerful and confident but by that evening I found myself triggered, acting out and all those parts of my shadow self were alive and well in my behavior. I created chaos within the partnership with my fiance because I was relying too heavily on him to mke everything better. He was so confused and alarmed by my words and actions. In hindsight he had every right to question the woman in front of him. In the past I would deny any of this was even happening because I wasn’t ready to acknowledge the darkness within me and the pain inside me that had been laying dormant for years. That is the old Maria, now I am choosing to heal by accepting this new path. I spent yesterday giving myself permission to show myself some love. I practiced self care, rested my overworked body and mind by spending some extra time practicing meditation. Inner peace is only achieved when I can slow down my thoughts, observe them without judgement and become mindful of my breath.This is where the power of choice comes in. Making the conscious decision to understand mysef more fully AND accept whatever comes up is like a new superpower.

Making friends with the darkest of my emotions has sparked a tremendous surge in my creativity. Realizing my shadow self is a reflection of my power, honesty and passion. I can laugh at myself with ease and rerelinquish the perfectionist in me that tells me to hate myself when I make a mistake. I can take myself less seriously. I use my meditation practice to focus on self compassion when I feel like I want to start beating myself up again. Squashing old patterns and forming new pathways takes mental, emotional and spiritual awareness. The mental strength and courage to be my best and most whole self. It’s like meeting myself for the 1st time. It’s the most gratifying and profoundly powerful experience to date on my self healing journey.

Sending love, compassion and understanding to al the other self healers out there, we got this💪🙏✌💖

Mental health, Spirituality

Happy 1 year anniversary to me

Just one year ago, I started this blog called “Emotional Musings”. I have been journaling, writing poems and short stories my entire life but always kept them private. Sometimes, I have written poems as gifts for my loved ones. This blog has started a new adventure for me. I have been able to connect with almost 1,400 readers from 30 different countries around the world.

I really didn’t know how writing these posts would affect me. Basically, I use the poems I write as my muse for what each post is centered around. My poems come to me as visions and take little effort to write. Each of the blog posts on my page discuss in depth, the meaning behind each poem. It’s a very introspective thing on my part to delve into what I was thinking and feeling each time a new poem comes to mind. I believe this process to be very cathartic and quite helpful to my overall healing from Complex PTSD.

In total I have written 62 posts on this blog. Most of them are centered around my experience as an empath in this fast paced and often confusing world that we live in today. Our culture focuses mostly on the analytical mind paying little attention to our emotional health and wellbeing. A few of my posts can be considered social commentary on how I view our culture, humanity as a whole and how spirituality plays a role in our society.

This blog has also been a vehicle for me to even consider myself a writer. Earlier this year I self published my very own book of poetry which is available on Amazon in both paperback and digital form. It means a lot to me to have all of my work titled “Emotional Musings ” because that’s the truth, each word is a reflection of my emotional state. I have been gathering my latest poems for the second book, “Emotional Musings2” which I plan to release before the end of this year. Stay tuned!

A huge thank you to my current 24 followers. I didn’t expect anybody to actually read this and I’m so grateful these posts resonate with others. It’s a real labor of love for me to write these posts as I view each one as an opportunity to not only reveal more about my personal journey but to allow others the space to consider theirs.

My mission here is to provide a space where others can relate to and find connection with their own emotional journey. It has been almost 10 years since I set out to discover just who I really am, what my purpose is and to heal from the traumatic events of my past. November will mark eight years since I first attempted suicide. That act of desperation as led me on a beautiful, painful yet ultimately rewarding expedition that has allowed me to constantly peel back the layers of my life’s onion. Uncovering and understanding my authentic self as a result of writing is absolutely priceless. I highly recommend this process to anyone who is searching for their own truth.

My wish for this next year to is be able to interact more with you readers. Please share my blog with others whom you believe it will resonate with, comment below and tell me more about yourselves. I hope to make this a more interactive space where I can lead open discussions on both whole body health and wellness along with spirituality. Mostly, I want each person who takes the time to read this blog to feel less alone in their emotions.

For so many years, I felt like I couldn’t discuss what was going on inside of me. Why did I know what others were going to say before they said it, why did I feel their feelings without first being told and where were these phantom pains coming from? Aside from my empath experiences, I know many of my experiences aren’t unique either. There are many of us out there who have spent time in psychiatric hospitals, inpatient and outpatient programs and weekly sessions of psychotherapy yet still feel lost even discouraged about their mental health.

This is Mental Health Awareness week in the United States. I hope my blog can serve as a safe space for others to not only recognize their own struggles but to gather information regarding the important role our emotions play and what our body’s are trying to tell us. I feel there needs to be more public education about how important it is to recognize one’s feelings and the sensations in the body. It’s essential for whole body health to be able to do a body scan and recognize where we hold emotion in our bodies. This is especially true for those of us healing from trauma. It’s true, the body holds onto trauma and we will continue to hurt until the root of the pain can be discovered and released. I highly recommend reading, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Van der Kolk M.D., Bessel.

On Monday I woke to a much less humid day here in Dallas, TX. I decided to spend the afternoon running along the path at my favorite park. The path stretches around a huge lake for approximately ten miles. I took in scenic views of sailboats, canoes, fishermen and wildlife. Mostly I rejoiced in feeling the wind on my face. It was a beautiful day that produced the poem below, “Wind”. Autumn is my favorite season. Hopefully, I will get many more days just like this one.