Getting in touch with your emotional truth, by processing feelings to improve the human condition in the 21st century. Living out loud by my motto,"Triumphing over Trauma" 🌈
In light and in shadow, always with ❤
I’m back from my hiatus dear readers feeling rested and refreshed! It was important for me to listen to the messages I was receiving internally that were guiding me to take this much needed break from my usual routines of writing and posting online. I established a new writing ritual in a workbook I purchased called, “The Goddess Journaling Workbook” by Beatrix Minerva Linden. Each day there are two questions to focus on highlighting a different goddess divided into 6 cycles for the entire year. I have found this exercise to be highly stimulating for my imagination. I also keep a daily journal and have done so for many many years. This workbook is a welcome addition to my writing practice.
I’ve also recommitted to my self care routine this past month. I like to visualize myself as water, filling each moment with my entire being. Maintaining an “all in” mentality, holding nothing back and giving all of my open heart to wherever my focus is. Leaning into the connectedness of God and the beautiful creations found in our world. Choosing to reject the illusion of separateness is something I meditate on daily asking for the strength I need to thrive in our current human condition. This practice is vital to my self healing routine and my role as a shamanic healer to stay in touch with my most vital relationship to self and the environment. I took some day trips to the beach and to my favorite parks to perform Earth blessings. Each one helped me gain more appreciation of God’s unconditional love for us and how available that feeling is inside of each and everyone of us at all times! It’s truly awe inspiring and can be called upon, accessed by setting the intention for it. Vowing to live a more heart centered life, where I intend to live my daily life in true alignment with my personal values, purpose, inner mortality, personal experiences and intuition. The fullness I feel, the inspiration that has grown within me giving my creativity a boost was exactly what I needed. Here are the poems I wrote during my time away from the laptop, writing exclusively with pen and paper for the past few weeks was so freeing!
Reading these here, I can see the progression of my internal story within these poems. Since March, the energy driving me was very yang in nature and powerful. This month I’ve noticed I’ve shifted into a more yin energy which feels much more serene and calm. The ending of an 10 year chapter of self healing, reconnection to soul and a personal renaissance serving as a time of transformative change. This is a change that included my attitude, behavior, habits, health and spirit. A tune up for my heart and soul to realign myself in a way that feels much more authentic inside and out. For me this meant major changes in the ways I eat, dress, analyze, prioritize and engage with the world around me. It also showed me the relationships I wanted to deepen and the ones I was ready to let go of. My partner has undergone his own awakening in light of mine which commenced fifteen months ago. In this past month, I feel much more connected to him because of his own inner growth and healing.
There is no growth without pain my dears and these past months have highlighted areas of my life that required brutal honesty that at times was excruciatingly painful to look at. Some days, it took everything in me to keep going, exercising my resilient nature by not allowing anything to ever hold me back from expressing my true self.. I made this promise while in the psychiatric hospital in 2011 after my suicide attempt. I’m grateful beyond words for the challenges I have faced, learned from and conquered. This is a quote that comes to mind when I think about my journey thus far,
“It’s sometimes the prettiest of smiles that hold the deepest secrets, the prettiest eyes have cried the most tears and the kindest of hearts that have felt the most pain”.
I can relate so much to these words and they resonate deeply within my soul.
I also updated my business cards and created a hat I can wear to promote myself. I’ve never met a hat I didn’t love and this one is no different. I strive each day to live my motto of, “Triumphing over Trauma” proving that when you set your heart to change, anything is possible. Greatness of spirit is achievable and powered by love.
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Since Saturday’s Lion’s Gate portal opening and breathwork ceremony that I took part in I have been feeling on top of the world my dear readers! The ceremony was especially powerful delivering so much continued healing for my mind, body and spirit. If you get an opportunity to participate in a breathwork class, do it!! Breathwork is extremely transformative and fosters healing on a physical, mental and spiritual level giving your body just what it needs. It helps to relive or re-experience traumatic events and process deep emotional wounds. The practice is also somatic and weaves together mindfulness and sound vibrations in such a way that I find incredibly soothing. My entire body buzzes as I can hear my own blood flowing through my body. I have laughed, cried and moaned creating noises that are guttural in nature and deliver a feeling of tremendous bliss afterwards. This particular session was extremely visual thanks to my spirit guides and the information shared with me from Divine. My dear soul sister Chrissy Marie holds them once or twice a month via Zoom. Check her out on Instagram @comealivewithchrissymarie
My heart is so incredibly full and expansive. As an intuitive empath, I usually receive clues regarding such transformative events beforehand that I know will impact me in this way and it was no surprise to me that Friday afternoon while sitting in my favorite park I felt a rush of serene energy wash over me. My entire aura turned blue in color which represents an eased nervous system, a balanced existence that alchemizes life force energy into an overall feeling of cool, calm and collectedness. It felt like my entire body, mind and spirit took a deep breath and was relieved….a real AH-HA moment. I wrote this poem soon after sitting with myself for what felt like hours🥰
On Sunday my son Ty and I spent the entire day outdoors enjoying the beautiful but super hot and steamy weather here in South Florida. My mindset continued to shift and process what I like to refer to as waves of change in a much less resistant manner than that of the last three months. I believe all the deeply concentrated inner and introspective work I have been doing is finally paying off coupled with a more relaxed astral energy in our cosmos currently. It’s a welcomed breath of fresh air for sure!
August is a big month for my family and friends birthday wise. I have a long list of loved ones that celebrate their revolution around the Sun this month. My niece and goddaughter turned 21 yesterday which is such a milestone birthday. I am so blessed to have played an integral role in her upbringing and was the 3rd person to hold her after she was born! Gabriela was the first baby born between my two closest sisters and I, her birth was incredibly monumental for our family. Here is a picture of our first meeting and the poem I wrote in her honor to celebrate and remember the day.
I’ve decided to take the rest of this month to continue processing and enjoy my newly found footing and freedom of spirit. I won’t be posting here for at least the next two weeks and have also decided to take a much needed detox from my other social media platforms. Going off the grid by putting myself in an intentional blackout is good for my self care. I will continue my other writing practices, I just won’t be posting anything publicly. I have been receiving many messages that it’s time for me to start writing my long awaited memoir, a project I have been contemplating for many years now. I would like to take the rest of August to get started on that and see where it leads me.
If you’d like to contact me for a tarot card reading, shamanic healing session or check out my three books of poetry please follow this link below. It’s a one stop place for everything Maria Teresa and Emotional Musings. Enjoy the rest of your summer my dear ones. So much love to you all😎
On days like today, I don’t avoid the rain but purposely go out into it, with my bike or on foot. Today I chose my bike. I like to go for long rides up to 20 miles on some days. The last time I rode in the rain I was annoyed, frustrated and just wanted to get it over. Today’s ride was born from those feelings, they are what drove me out into the storm. The rain holds the magic in which I cleanse my soul while drenching my entire being and allows for clarity. Often in these past two weeks, I have felt utterly lost in emotion.
I have been running from myself for years. Avoiding, dissociating, distracting myself with many different things like abusing alcohol, over exercising, excessive talking and other people’s troubles. Anything to not feel me. Lately I have discovered the wisdom in stillness and quiet. Emotional dysfunction whispers lies yet my soul knows there is always hope. I no longer have the luxury of doing the types of activities and maladaptive behaviors that keep me separated from myself, they have officially run their course. As I write this post, the two songs that have played from my playlist were Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight” and Bill Withers “Lean on Me”. Both are appropriate for this post because their lyrics shine light on exactly how I have been feeling these past couple of weeks. My feelings have brought me to another layer of shedding what no longer serves, letting go of attachments to allow for my authentic self to come through. Thank you God for showing me in practical, real life instances to lean on you. I certainly have felt this coming for some time, especially at night.
Learning to become a shamanic healer has taught me that I must first face the challenges in my life, the very ones that I’ve avoided in order to fully help others in their own healing. I must first heal my own soul as a requirement for this role. It’s been whispering to me, “it’s time Maria” and “you can do this”. All the while I have felt so utterly alone. Despite living with both my parents and my son. This minus my partner has made my heart feel so blue without him. He’s my best friend and companion, the person who nudges me out of my seriousness and all the pressure I put upon myself. He accepts me fully no questions asked. We made arrangements for his arrival this week that have been unfortunately postponed for the time being due to circumstances beyond both of our control. That question of “what is in my control” has been popping up a lot lately and I have been taking a lot of what’s been going on personally, which does me no good. I learn so much about myself through our relationship which a big reason I respect, admire and love him as I do. This time apart has presented another opportunity for me to fully accept myself, on my own. I feel so different since we were last together and fear started creeping in again. Would he still love me?
My ride today solidified that the way I was going about this situation isn’t serving me best. I can’t look to anyone or anything to give me these answers. During these long wet rides, I talk to myself and God. That’s when it hit me, I have to rely on God who aids my own inner strength for these realizations. I’m meant to be alone for a bit longer and really I’m never truly alone. That’s an illusion my mind has been telling myself forever, since my confusing childhood years that were loud and scary. As a middle child, I have always had others around me. I have lived alone for very short amount of time in my life. In the total of my 42 years I’ve probably spent less than one year on my own. The light that shines brightly within can’t be denied and I love myself for knowing that, for feeling that again.
Since May, moving and starting this apprenticeship I have seen the different aspects of my being that I have avoided, tried to erase, betrayed and denied. If one is to be whole, ALL of these parts must be integrated into an I AM mantra and belief. There is no separation, no duality, no personality that owns my whole. For I AM all of them which today gives me comfort, no longer fear or shame.
I keep writing throughout all of these realizations and ah-ha moments. This morning after meditation, the message I kept hearing was, “Maria, bloom where you grow”. Then I wrote this poem. While I’m writing this paragraph, Dolly Parton’s “Wildflowers” is playing. This song is exactly how I have felt my entire life. Listen my dear readers…..
Lao Tzu said, “Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle.” Patience is a virtue I have been cultivating in my garden of growth for years now. After my bike ride arriving home, I feel at peace and I can say the water is running clear my dear readers.
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Even though the beach is closed, my son and I ventured down here so we could soak up some sun and salt air. Our Universe is in a major retrograde season, six ruling planets are in different positions and boy oh boy have I been feeling the affects! Yesterday in particular was a ride on the ol emotional roller coaster. One I haven’t taken in quite some time.
As with everything, I find myself looking below the surface for the life lesson in every situation. My life has taken another step forward recently, big changes have taken place that are bound to happen when we move to a new environment. Not all of it is awesome and I would be lying if I said there haven’t been some struggles adjusting to things. Mostly I miss my partner and the comfort our companionship provides me. He is my person, my touchstone and the love of my life so living here without him is a huge adjustment. There are times, especially when I am still in meditation that I just burst out in tears.
Yesterday I experienced every feeling under the rainbow and had to force myself to take care of myself by practicing my rituals and selfcare routines of reading, journaling and meditation. My anger hasn’t bubbled up like that in quite sometime. My son and I went for a seven and a half mile trek to the park where they board horses. He rode his bike and I ran. They recently reopened the city parks yet there was nobody there. Unfortunately, the horses weren’t out in the meadows as I had hoped. Being out in nature and observing these beautiful creatures brings me such joy and peace.
I want to let you know my dear readers that we are extremely cautious and safe, wearing masks and social distancing when appropriate. Mostly we haven’t come across any other people while we are out and about. Right now while there is caution tape everywhere here at the beach, there are under ten people spread out either walking along the sidewalk or sitting on benches, like us across the street from the beach. Ty and I both love being outdoors and since the beach is my happy place, I came here to enjoy the energy of being near the ocean.
On a day like this I would normally running into the waves and floating in that gorgeous blue-green water. That is one of my favorite soothing activities and right now my senses could really use a good soak🌊
In the meantime, I’m taking deep breaths and doing what I can to keep calm while the ups and downs of the astral energy have me wanting to pull my hair out at times😜 God is guiding me to focus, breathe, surrender, release and let go of that which I want to instinctively hold onto. Like anything beautiful, we mustn’t hold on too tightly for then its beauty can’t be enjoyed to the fullest. Choosing what to engage my energy and attention in becomes more confusing right now. The best I can do is try to remain as non-judgmental as I can, accept whatever feelings and emotions arise so that I can go with the flow.
I’m highly aware of my own energy these days and I don’t want to do anything to become blocked or stagnant therefore I must allow for space to keep everything copacetic. Practicing yoga, freestyle ballet routines and running are my go to activities. Listening to my favorite music helps me connect to my joy. Keeping little Maria engaged in playful activities like riding my new bike reminds me that being playful helps fuel not only my curiosity for life but my creativity. Spending time with my son is amazingly healing too😁
I had a hard time sleeping last night and I found myself wide awake at 3:30 AM so I wrote this poem highlighting what ghosts retrograde season resurrects for me. Writing always helps me process the most difficult and challenging emotions I feel.
Take good care of yourselves my dear readers, peace, good health, light and lots of love 🥰
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🦋
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.
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.