Spirituality

Breath is life

I am so happy to say good bye to April and welcome in May😊 Last month was one of the hardest of my entire life. More details to come on that subject in future posts but for this post I would like to express my new found love for breathwork. You may be thinking my dear readers, what is breathwork? Here’s Google’s definition: Breathwork defines various breathing practices in which the conscious control of breathing is said to influence a person’s mental, emotional or physical state, with a claimed therapeutic effect. Last evening I participated in my second such course offered and facilitated by my dear friend Christina Tucciarone aka @comealivewithchrissymarie on Instagram.

Chrissy has an amazingly powerful presence as both a leader and a teacher. She and I have worked together a few times and I feel so blessed to call her my friend. I sincerely appreciate her devotion to what she teaches coupled with her insightful guidance during each session. Last night I really appreciated her steady reminders to push through the resistance that can be felt once the body is fully oxygenated. There were three rounds of active breathing for 7 minutes and then a minute each of holding the breath and releasing it at the bottom. During the first round I immediately felt pulled to the wounds from my inner child and an intense sense of fear and sadness. My entire body went completely numb. I knew instinctively that my body was attempting to dissociate. This coping mechanism is something I developed at a young age during the sexual abuse I endured. It served as a survival technique then and I must admit for most of my life over the past 35 years.

In the past year, since acknowledging and healing from this dark secret I have experienced a spiritual awakening that has transformed my life in such a way I view it has the Maria I was before June of 2019 and the Maria I am now. Going in and out of dissociative episodes when I found myself involved in intense emotional situations has been both a subconscious and conscious way for me to escape from reality. Over the years I had become very keenly aware of what was triggering me yet at the height of those experiences I was dumbfounded as to how to stop them from occurring. It felt humiliating afterwards when I would “wake up” and realize how much time I had lost. During the recent Divine Intervention session I had, Mr. Adifon confirmed that I regularly lose hours and still days of myself. Maria feeling Maria 100% of the time is very new still. Last night was a reminder of how going to that detached place no longer serves me.

I began to explore what little Maria was telling me. I listened and began a running dialogue in my mind with her, soothing her fears and reestablishing trust by vowing to not abandon her again. The human brain fascinates me. How such an intense level of fear and panic can create a whole new space for our psyche’s to travel to if just for a visit! My mind created this safe space, like a holding pattern for little Maria to still exist in yet not feel what was happening. Violation of a child is so seriously shameful.

However damaging that experience has been to my life I don’t regret it. I have learned so much about myself and the world around me from every single experience, everyday and in each moment over the past 42 years. Putting all judgements aside, good, bad, ugly and beautiful what I have learned is how vital all of it is to living a full life.

Here are some of the main things I have learned about myself over this past year……but most assuredly had them solidified last month. These were the messages I told little Maria I was proud of her for. Experiencing the pain of long held fear is absolutely terrifying when first felt yet in moment last night I knew I had to take control of my healing and be my own hero.

You are not afraid of change, you welcome it with an open mind and heart.

You have an intense love and trust for others, humanity fascinates you and you never meet a stranger.

Keep wearing your heart on your sleeve and remain proud of your free spiritedness.

You allow your big heart to lead in and through life’s ups and downs. Don’t ever change that Maria.

Empathy and intuition are your superpowers.

You my dear little Maria are extremely resilent.

Keep the people you love whether family or friends close to your heart creating friends for life!

It was an awesomely amazing hour. I cried a lot with becoming so flushed with emotion, sweat and gratitude seeped out of every pore in my body as we finished and wrapped up the session. I quickly composed myself and tucked myself under my trusty weighted blanket. Then I grabbed my journal to document the experience. I then took a separate sheet of paper out and wrote down the things I knew were time to release and let go of. My convictions growing deeper with every step towards the backyard, I read my own words aloud then lit the paper on fire. I closed the ritual with a personal prayer.

I wrote the poem below on Friday, before the breathwork course last evening. I’m so grateful for understanding and accessing my intuition and continuing to heal my inner child wounds. Life never ceases to surprise and amaze me. As always, with an open mind and heart I humbly bow my head and give thanks to God🙏

Intuition

Spirituality

Stuck on memory lane

Ahhhhhh dear reader’s I can tell I’m neck deep in my own “stuff” when I wake up and immediately feel left over anxiety and frustration from the night before. Any little irritation sets me spinning off and yes I have been feeling quite heavy for the past 2 days as I reminisce about the good ol days of my youth. Since my last post I have been stuck on memory lane💭

Sadly, on Sunday my Mom called me to tell me that my step sister Liz’s husband passed away. My parents are both not well enough to travel from Florida to New Jersey for the service. I immediately thought of my nephews and niece who are now without their Dad. He was a great father and he and my sister were married for over thirty years. There are six of us siblings all together and I fall second to the last in age order. Here is a picture of all of us at their wedding sometime in the early 80’s…..

That’s me on the left😊 I was probably 7 or 8 years old.

My parents came into their marriage together with two children each. Back in the late 70s they did the best they could to create a blended family, which was extremely difficult because of our wide age gaps. My step brother Jay is twenty years older than me, my step sister Liz is eighteen, then comes my sister Tami (my Mom’s oldest daughter) who is twelve years older, then my brother Billy is ten years my senior. My parents had me in 1977 and lastly the baby of our family, my sister Gina was born in 1979. Thinking back I remember us all always spending holidays together.

When someone passes it always makes me think of the past and how fast time has gone by.  I remember the little girl I was so wide eyed with wonder, curious about everything and super shy. I really didn’t break out of that phase until I started dancing competitively at around age 10. With all I have unearthed surrounding my sexual abuse at age 5 and 6, I have been slowly going back in my memory bank. That expierience taught me how to dissociate and being numb to my own feelings began there. Eventually I developed Complex PTSD, but that diagnosis took many years to come about.

Little Maria age 3
Silly Maria age 5

For this post however I’m choosing to focus on how my youngest sister Gina and I had the best of everything provided to us. She and I are just twenty-two months apart. I call her G, she was my first best friend, we did absolutely everything together and my Mom dressed us alike for too many years I think🤣 Looking back at these pictures however, I must admit how darn cute the two of us were (are)❤

Sisters in the summertime
We ❤ this hammock

We grew up in a very idyllic neighborhood, nowadays I would compare it to Mr. Rogers’s. Our small town, Wyckoff, NJ is located just 15 minutes from NYC. Everybody knew everyone, all the kids in the neighborhood rode our bikes together, played on each other’s front lawns and swan in each other’s pools in the summer. Our neighbor directly across the street became my first friend outside of family because our mother’s were pregnant with us at the same time and I like to say we were bonded in the womb 😄 Around Christmas time, we would dress up and go caroling. Even my grandparents joined us and the neighbors would invite us in for hot chocolate and cookies. You could run to any neighbor’s house at anytime and feel welcomed. My sister and I went to summer camps, took all kinds of lessons including tennis, swimming, dance, piano, art, and sewing just to name a few, played sports and went on at least one family vacation yearly. We were extremely blessed to have been exposed to so much from an early age.

My sister Gina and I both started dancing soon after we could walk. I know I was around 2 years old. We were always paired in duos once we started dancing in competitions and we were always next to each other in the same line (our director said it made it easier for our Mom to take pictures!) usually front row, in all of our dance numbers. Thinking back, dancing was the highlight of my childhood and into my teenage years, creating my passion for dance and movement today 💃❤

Jazz sisters
“Dreamgirls” opening recital dance

Since G lives in Florida and I live in Texas, we are far away from each other. I can’t just get in my car and meet her to get our nails done or grab some coffee. When I was married and lived in Rhode Island while she was living in New Jersey, we used to meet at a half way point on I95 a lot so our children could see each other. Many times I would take her daughter and son back up with me to RI so the cousins could spend quality time together. I also used to drive down to NJ at least once a month to stay at my parent’s house for the weekend so everybody could visit together. Lately I have been thinking about her and missing those times we spent together a lot! So much time has passed since the sweet days of our youth and early adulthood. I’ve been experiencing a lot of inner child wounds that keep bubbling up to the surface. That’s what happens after you stuff a dark secret away for thirty-five years. It’s like holding a balloon under water, eventually it will find it’s way to the surface.

So I have spent much of the past two days in my head and in my shadow. All of the old beliefs about myself, old thinking patterns, nightmares and memories are back in full force. It feels sticky and honestly very awful. I must console myself by myself because that is the job of reparenting. It’s bittersweet because as much as I love these pictures, I can’t really remember any of the specific details that go along with them. My memories are really hazy and clouded by fear, anxiety, stress and an overwhelming sense of panic. I have often said my body felt like it ran on a motor of all of these fore mentioned feelings. Healing comes in waves. I’m weary and I feel weak. Time to retire this heavy head and ❤ of mine.

I wrote this poem before I fell asleep last night…

Spirituality

The most ridiculous thing I have bought

A fellow blogger friend of mine, Trina at https://itsgoodtobecrazysometimes.wordpress.com/about/ posted a question the other day and asked “what is the most ridiculous thing you have ever bought?” I thought about it while staring at my alter. A small table where I keep the knick knacks and stuff I cherish, hold a deeper meaning for me and relax me. Immediately, the little statue of a magenta ballon animal shaped as a dog silently barked! I purchased it last year in an art gallery in Miami when my son, Tyler and I were there on vacation. It was a very memorable time because my son and I hadn’t seen each other in over 2 1/2 years! Yes, divorce sucks! That particular day, we rented a car and drove from my parents home 45 minutes to Miami for the day. I had the best time just talking with him, sitting on the beach together and showing him my favorite spots to hang out, eat and shop. Ty is my oldest, my first born and the light of my life. We have so much in common. I was a stay at home Mom in the first part of my adulthood.

Continue reading “The most ridiculous thing I have bought”
Spirituality

I don’t want to

This will be another short post. I want to share with you my dear readers what a blessing it is to write and have the ability to channel my energy into my poems. At times, when emotions are running hot…that’s when my creativity comes alive. I write this one just last night.

Emotional pain yields breakthrough in my creative process

This poem below is a message from my inner child, my little Maria to my adult self. Healing is a process that has taken a deeper dive into all the facets of self. Some people name their alter ego, I have not but lately have been considering it. Just to keep them straight. I know my partner likes to refer to me by a different name when I’m displaying characteristics that are unsavory. I keep pushing myself to uncover, untangle and help my true authentic self emerge more and more often😁💜

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
Spirituality

Channeling my inner goddess of empowerment

Happy New Moon my dear readers. This is the second to last new moon of 2019. Since I’m a Sagittarius and will be turning 42 in two weeks, it’s that time of year when I reflect upon my past year. It’s hard to believe we are at the end of another year but even more astounding is thinking about the end of this decade. I recently got involved in a social media challenge to celebrate saying goodbye to 2010-2019 by posting a picture of myself from 2010 and one from now. It’s the time of year I get uber nostalgic by looking at old pictures, rereading my journals and cleaning out my closet.

Me at my 1st road race 7/4/10 in NJ

Me at the boutique I manage here in downtown, TX last week.

This decade has seen the ending of many important events in my life. I got separated and divorced from my ex-husband which was a huge catalyst for many intense and much needed changes in my life. I moved around more times than I can count or care to acknowledge in this decade, changing my address, even the states I reside in. I started this decade in Rhode Island where my ex-husband’s from, then I moved to Florida where I met my fiance and we relocated three years ago here to Dallas, Texas. Just the change of region within our great country has been quite an adjustment for me to say the least. My fiance’s Mom likes to call me a Damn Yankee. It’s a term of endearment coming from her which means I’m from the North, a Yankee, I moved to the South and stayed becoming a Damn Yankee 🤣

During these past ten years I took a deep dive, plunging head first into my own mental health by beginning my spiritual journey and awakening after a suicide attempt in 2011. Hindsight is always 20/20 and boy oh boy has this been a long, painful, challenging, beautiful and awe inspiring experience. I spent an entire year going from inpatient to outpatient and back again in a private psychiatric hospital where I learned life lessons that taught me so much about myself for an entire year! That hospital became a big support system for me for a few years, 2011 to 2013 exactly, while I began healing from the many traumas I have endured. At times I remember feeling really ashamed about needing to return so often to which my doctor replied, you are learning and require repetition, there is nothing to feel badly about.

Thinking about the woman I was then, very broken and fragmented, a shell of who I have grown into today is like reflecting upon the weather. That time feels like there was always a raging thunderstorm brewing creating hurricanes that at times became blistering winds knocking me to my knee and forcing me to crawl. This last year especially as felt like finally seeing the sun peak out from behind those dark clouds turning my gray skies into a clear and brightly colored blue hue accompanied by a peach colored warm sun.

As a child I loved to lay on the ground and watch the clouds dance across the sky. My sister, our friends and I used to shout out whatever shapes we thought we saw up there in their white puffiness. At times I feel like I am living a dream that I could’ve created out of those clouds.

Recently I have decided to stop apologizing for my inner strength and personal power while I shine brightly like a 1,000 watt bulb. While speaking to a dear girlfriend yesterday, I told her this and added that if others take issue with this, they ought to put on some sunglasses. This is my time. Period. 😎

It’s virtuous to think of others before yourself but for my entire life I did this to the detriment of myself. I held myself back and focused all of my energy on others. I first did this with family members. I’m a middle child and being born the fifth child out of the six my parents share together provided a great opportunity of how to get along with others. Then I got married and had my two boys. Needless to say, their needs took precedence over my own and I was obliging to that.

I believe I did this in search of unconditional love and acceptance that I truly never felt I could ever receive or be worthy of from others as a highly sensitive person, an INFJ personality and an empath. For my entire life, I have always felt different, awkward and not a part of. Some people are called the black sheep of their family. My Mom can tell you I definitely marched to the bear if my own drum! What I have come to discover is that ME and only ME can love myself in that way. I wrote in a previous post that only Maria can take the best care of Maria.

Awakening to a higher level of consciousness recently has taught me to name and recognize where my thoughts are coming from. For instance, when I’m having ego centered thinking, that is my psyche trying to keep me small and protected. When I’m thinking as my wounded inner child, my thoughts are centered around needs that weren’t met as a child. These mindsets are often triggered or tripped like a wire attempting to throw me off my peaceful voyage through life. When I am putting some space between these mindsets I can recognize and acknowledge my true and authentic self, my original spirit. I feel more ME than I ever have before because I’m integrating my fragmented self. The parts of me that I clung to for protection and safety. I truly am a multidimensional spirit having a uniquely human experience!

All of this being explained, I awoke earlier than usual on Monday morning. Mondays are my days off and I was wondering why I was up so early, being so alert and awake, but something was pulling me. I put on one of my guided meditations and started free flow journaling. As my thoughts were coming together and I was feverishly writing, I had a thought to look up the different goddesses of empowerment.

I found myself being drawn to a blog post that described these 7 goddesses in detail. The first one struck me with such an intensity, I reread the passage three times before I decided to write it down. Immediately it made perfect sense to me why I was up before I usually am.

The more I read about the Egyptian goddess Isis, the more I felt myself channeling her spirit. She is known for her ability to transmute bad situations into good ones. According to mythology, Isis is the queen of the sky, Earth and moon by being the most enigmatic of the goddesses who embodies the female psyche as she has for thousands of years. As with any of the female deities, her strengths are motherhood, fertility and nurturing yet her main areas of expertise are in the areas of magic and healing.

Isis has an incredibly intense determination and excels most at alchemy. She is said to have served as the template for all other female deities around the world across cultures and religions. Most importantly she embodies the power of alchemical transformation. As the goddess of magic, she teaches us how to use our own unique gifts to create the life we desire. She also serves as an agent of change. By channeling her through my spirit, I am learning to use my ability to show unconditional kindness and love to others to abolish negative energy.

Her influential energy as been circling within me for some time now I believe. This most recent transformation is due to a Kundalini energy release. Kundalini is your life force energy. It’s believed that in those who are unawakened, their energy remains coiled at the base of their spine. For those who have an awakening event like me, we become conscious and that energy spirals upward, activating each chakra leading me to enlightenment.

That is where I believe I am at right now in my evolvement dear readers. Part of my soul’s purpose is to transmute negative energy into positive by using my powers of kindness, understanding and unconditional love for all who cross my path. This is a task and duty I humbly take on with a gracious commitment to create a life beyond my wildest dreams not only for me but for those around me. This is what I believe we empaths and light workers were sent here to continue to do. We are the seekers, the leaders pointing to the path by example of the way we naturally interact with others. It’s a blessing to be able to go forth with purity of heart and conviction for making this a better world for all to coexist in together. We are all connected. Life is truly a beautiful gift🌍❤✌🌠🌈😊

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

Feelin shook up

Life is full of ups and downs, ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys. Living with Complex PTSD and experiencing dissociative episodes these last eight years as a result of the severe trauma I have endured has presented many difficult challenges to my stability and daily functioning. Lately I have expierienced a shift that feels like the rug has been pulled out from under me. I’m stumbling and struggling while riding these waves of intense emotions. A place I haven’t been to in quite some time.

When I was with my family this past February, my son got to witness up close and personal how my empathetic abilities draw strangers to me for healing. These are the walking wounded, people who are looking to release their life’s burdens. He quietly observed as this woman approached me on the street to share with me her life story of heartache and pain. She needed to vent to someone who would listen with compassion and understanding. I’m humbled and blessed to be that outlet for others!

This past weekend I had my own unique experience with a fellow stranger who I later came to find out is an empath. She and I knew each other a very short time before she held my hand and confirmed to me some events in my life I haven’t admitted to myself or even uttered out loud. I have been walking around with this deep dark secret since a young child. This is the repressed memory and acknowledgement of being molested when I was five and six years old.

Four years ago I started the journey into healing my inner child. The main healing tool that has worked wonders for me is EMDR, the reprocessing of emotions pulling that “charge” of the trauma away lessening its severity from my mind, body and soul. Trauma is held in the body and can be reactivated and triggered long after the actual physical damage has occurred. Even though these events took place some thirty-five years ago, my cells have been “refired” and thoughts, feelings and flashbacks have come flooding back with a vengeance.

To add to this complex situation, I work in a fast paced, highly stressful work environment. Two days ago I had an emotional breakdown before work. In an instant I was struggling to breathe, heart racing, uncontrollable crying…..the whole thing. My current emotional mindset is NOT conducive to helping and serving others. I need to repack my trauma baggage, rediscover who I am while continuing to peel the layers back of my life’s onion.

I have been riding an intense wave of high emotions, enduring intrusive thoughts and nagging feelings of shame. Anybody who has gone through sexual abuse knows the debilitating feelings of shame. For me they have crippled my life for years at a time. My fear and panic gets triggered as I worry that I’m backsliding into the depths of overly intense emotions all over again. Something I thought I had neatly packed away and compartmentalized in my psyche.

The two questions that first stopped me in my tracks were, why me and why now? Everything was going great and I was feeling so confident. Now I feel angry, ashamed and sad. A kind of mourning is going on. I’m in the process of patiently accepting and observing these emotions without judging myself or wanting to harm myself. Que the intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation. Here comes that heaviness in my heart and overall exhaustion telling me to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. I’m grieving my childhood and loss of innocence all over again.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far. This is all part of the healing process. We must continually throughout our lives revisit the pain and trauma from our past in order to learn, grow and accept it ultimately freeing ourselves. I refuse to become “stuck” again. I know I must carry on and this too shall pass. I’m taking a break to be kind and gentle to myself. I’m not ok right now and that’s ok.

Consciousness, Spirituality

A peek into my inner child

I have been involved in some type of therapy since age 7. This year I will turn 41 years old, needless to say, I’m well versed in all things psychology related. A few of my therapists have even admitted to me that they felt I was more qualified and knowledgeable than they were on certain topics. My major in college started out in psychology but I switched to humanities and later sociology. My main focus and curiosity in life has always been very analytical in regards to myself and the human condition in general. What makes us tick? What is the root cause for an emotion or behavior? I have been fascinated by others around me for as long as I can remember. Sometimes my curiosity and burning desire for the truth has led me down some unpleasant paths. Mostly I am in awe of the human brain, our psyche’ s and interaction with one another.

If you have been reading my two blogs thus far, you can probably draw conclusions has to why I am so preoccupied by humanity. For my new readers, I will tell you the two major influences are first and foremost my family of origin’s pathology, my dysfunctional and traumatic upbringing. Second is my own life as a physical and intuitive empath. These two aspects of who I am have been my ruling forces and have always guided my way. My journey into self awareness started very young because I was constantly being bombarded with thoughts and feelings I instinctively knew were not always my own. I devoured books on subjects including psychology, new age metaphysics, different world religions, different social sciences and even neuroplasticity. Discovering the answers and uncovering the truth were my goals. Three years ago I embarked upon a path on my journey that would lead me inside all of it and most importantly reconnect me to myself; inner child work.

Just another layer of the onion my therapist at the time reassured me. We had been having some very intense sessions of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) when he asked me if I had ever done inner child work. Damn, I whispered to myself, it’s THAT time. I have brushed off and avoided that topic for too long and now was the time to dive in head first. I understand that our society forces us to repress our inner child and “grow up”. The truth is while most adults physically “grow up” they never quite reach emotional or psychological adulthood. This leaves us in a state of childish fears, angers and traumas that fester away in the unconscious mind for decades. Inner child work is the process of contacting, understanding, embracing and healing that original self who we represented when we first entered this world. It is our capacity to experience wonder, joy, innocence, sensitivity and playfulness. At that time my 37 year old self was completely disconnected from that original girl locked away inside.

My therapist guided me in a few exercises to start. First I was to have a chat with my little girl. Now was my opportunity to protect her and care for her like I never felt I had been. Telling myself, I love you, I hear you, I’m sorry and thank you felt silly at first. In time and with the aid of visualizations it became second nature and felt really rewarding. Many of my most intense emotional break throughs have happened as a result of this one exercise, absolute healing. Then I was to search for picrures of myself as a child to remind myself of what I looked like then, not only my appearance but my expressions representing that presence of innocense. Luckily for me, my mother took tons of photographs and I had many albums to remind me of that little girl. I was truly enthralled by the sight of myself and the feelings these pictures evoked in me. My therapist advised me to recreate what I loved to do when I was younger as another way to reconnect. I remember I loved splashing in puddles. The next rainy day I set out and did just that for hours! I also rediscovered MadLibs, as a child I loved creative writing. To my surprise, I really enjoyed creating those silly stories again! Another component for healing my inner child was to go through different visualization and meditation sequences that really helped me focus in on and reflect on what I was feeling at age 7 and 8. That was the age we targeted because that was when a lot around me became too overwhelming to process properly.

Further along down the path of healing, I was asked to write a letter to myself in the perspective of myself at the age I feel emotionally inside (which for me is 17) from the adult (present time) me with my other hand. I’m a right handed person so this would be done using my left hand. I can not express how much this letter helped me. It sounds so simple yet this one exercise left quite a profound impact on me. In that moment I was again bonded with my teenage self and my adult self was my hero. I’m getting emotional thinking about it and writing this.

In the years since putting myself on this path of healing my inner child, I write poems. This poem is an ode to that little girl inside me and how she reckons herself with the world today.