Ownership In Selfhood – Poetry by Damali Rose Xion

No one will ever really get you dear one.You live up to your word

You switch and change with 

The weather

And yet it is still your truth

You are

Impossible to get all of

Except with your own

Permission

Stop seeking to be accepted

Love that you are this mystery ocean bottom

Talk less

Open more to your

Own mysteries.

-Damali Rose Xion

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I Awake, I Escape, I Cultivate, I Expose: Meditations on Soulwork 

Hey Speakerz! Happy Monday! As my first day off in a long time, I’ve committed to writing this from the joyous comfort of my bed. Today’s topic is one of spirit and yes I may get very third eye open, next level plane spoken. I owe the title of this post to a theater exercise introduced to me by my tribe of the moment. If you’re reading this, yes I mean you. The Topic of the day is Soulwork and how we engage with our spiritual experience in our hueman bodies.

Lightworker

I remember being a child and feeling the confusion of ancient and youthful. I was always finding ways to communicate with a deeper sense of self. I would suck on crystals, spend all day digging in the earth, play with birds, and splash in water while at the same time find moments of extreme stillness and quiet and at other times become a regular 5 year old who wanted to run and play after her older brothers. Always a contradiction, no one really knew what to do with me. I’ve learned in my growth that when human beings are confused, we seek out ways to make sense of what doesn’t make sense. We box things. We label. We “under” stand. Why not let something just be what it is in all its contradictory confusion? Is there a way to “under”, “inner”, and “over” stand and then simply just embrace the moment for what it is?

Angel in a Blue Dress

What is it to be different? What is it to not “belong” and instead of shy away from that, embrace it? In this, I’ve found “soulwork”. Soulwork for me is the act of balance in working on mind, body and spirit. All of these culminate in the creation of a soul. I’ve talked before about my theories on soul and while I do believe that soul can’t be boxed and just is, I also believe that there are ways to truly know, love and explore what my own personal soul is. I will be exploring from now until the day my soul leaves this plane of existence and goes beyond, so why not embrace the ride. I always notice that when I’m moving with my soul and flowing with life, just how blessed and engaged I am and when I move against, just how congested and sickly my life becomes. So maybe the question is, how do we let flow?

Self love routines and creation with exploration can all lead to a healthy amount of soulwork. But what really is “Soulwork”? How can we listen to Mother Earth? How do we cultivate true and real love within ourselves before engaging in anything else? What is the work that must be done to truly see both light and dark, whole and fragmented, deep and shallow in our own existence?

Light in Dark places

Most recently, I sat with someone that I consider a soul-mate and anchor. They talked about how they’d seen things, their passion and their hopes and within them, I saw my own soul staring back at me. I wanted to listen to them talk forever. I got home that night and cried, because I know my own soul. This knowing allowed me to recognize and love the separation and collision of atoms that brought us to that moment. That’s connection. That is soul work. Doing the work that is required of your own soul. I’ve written about this before, but when I say “soul-mate”, I mean that there are people in my life that I consider mates of my soul. They are maybe people that my soul has lived with before in other lives or maybe just on the same vibrational frequency. Whatever it is, there is something so familiar about them and we always exist in peace and learning together for however long we have.

Food of life

Most recently, I had an eye-opening conversation with a part of my heart. I work a lot with a belief in chakras, alignment, blockages, etc. Having a steady aura and energy is very important to me. I work with crystals, I have a balanced diet, I do lots of yoga and am focusing on how to turn my love for theater, music and teaching into a business. It takes a lot of work and time and yes some money, but everything is unfolding as it’s supposed to. I realize that I walk through the world with my third eye and crown chakras first and foremost. The way that I engage begins from the top and works downward. With all of the barrage of information and advertisements, most people in America in particular, operate with huge blockages. We are such a sexually explicit and yet repressed society and so many people think with those parts of themselves first and foremost and yet lose sight of the magic of what energy can really do. How do we cleanse so that we awake? What exactly is it to be woke? Is it balance?

How then, do we find the balance of awake, escape, cultivate and expose?

Love Always,

Damali Speaks Xx

 

Self Love: The Importance of Romancing the Soul & Old Ways

Hey Speakerz! This topic came about one late sober night as I sat by myself, romancing my soul and I thought it would be cool to elaborate on with y’all! Today’s topic is on romance, and the emergence of “old” ways and how they can play a part in self care and self love.

When I was little my mom would always say that I should learn how to play by myself. Let’s just say I learned the lesson too well and now I’m a lot bit introverted. I appreciate the outside world and its inhabitants, I just love my own solitary space so very much that I have a hard time giving it up on odd days and maybe even too. The more I speak to elders in my life, the more they talk about how important it is to have a “self care routine”. This routine is all about getting deep into your own soul and while it is in fact work, it can also be a soothing, cleansing release from the everyday conditioning of the world.

I’ve always been sensual. Aware of all the senses and wanting to use and explore each one. This lead to being a serious romantic. For a while, it was a secret. I hid it under lock and key. It seemed that in the world I lived in being romantic and or sensual needed a monogamous relationship and without that, there was no place for my sensuality. I don’t mean to say that sensuality and romance are inherently mutually inclusive. They can be, but don’t have to be.

I’ve learned in the years of adulthood, just how to be romantic with myself. Usually, when I get home after a long day, I light some sage and incense followed by candles and of course string lights. After the ambiance is set, I pull out jazz music because my soul loves jazz in the best of ways. Most nights,  I’ll make my own tea from herbs that I pick up here and there with almond milk and agave and just sit and revel in what I’ve created. (If anyone wants a recipe for teas, hollar at me!) It may seem like a little old lady and I don’t mind. It gives my soul completion. So what do you do? What’s your self care routine? Does self care come instinctively?

I always used to ask myself the question that if I don’t want to romance and fall in love with myself, why or how would I be able to do the same for someone else. While I love being able to romance other people that I have in my life, I always appreciate being able to do it for myself first and foremost. Onto the emergence of old ways. I know that myself and a lot of friends tend to make fun of each other for being “old”. Most of my friends have old souls and I like to think that it’s because vibration attracts vibration. In a society that values youth so very heavily, how does that make for being able to embrace the sensual solitary act of curling up with a book or coffee or even just staring out the window at the sky? Does it at the core have anything at all to do with age? Maybe we put too much on it. I have aunts and uncles who are older and although married, still value their alone time, their “self care routines”.

In romantic routine, is there something to be said for the old? I’m a bit of a purist. Although a staunch minimalist, I have an old cassette player and cassettes, vinyl, old clothes of my grandmothers and mothers, etc. I appreciate the old things that seem to carry so much history with them. It seems that in America, societally there’s an obsession with certain time periods and although I love what those time periods have to teach me, I’m not drawn to them for the purposes of re-living. I’m drawn for the purposes of remembrance and self exploration. I love jazz from the 40s because it pulls on my heart in a certain way, but I also love jazz from 2016. How do we establish balance between the old and the new?

Self care doesn’t have to involve romance. Your self care is your self care. What’s important is that you do take care of yourself. Develop your routine. Romance yourself before anyone else.

Love Always,

Damali Speaks Xx

Freedom & Choice, Wisdom & Voice: The Barriers to Break Down of Ancestral Remembrance

Hey Speakerz! It’s Monday again! Wooooooofff!!! I for one am SO glad. This topic has taken me a few weeks of milling around in my head and finally, I’ve chosen to “speak” on it. So let’s get started shall we? This week’s topic is on Ancestral Remembrance regarding the African Diaspora in NYC, the POC millenial presence, apologetic nature and how we can use our voices, bodies and spirits to elevate our village. Put on your seatbelt, cuz we’re going on a ride.

Many people are not aware of the early enslaved African presence in NYC. It isn’t taught in schools. During the colonial period in New York City (circa 1700s), then under Dutch presence, nearly 41% of households owned slaves. That’s a little less than half. Exact numbers would be helpful but alas.  That would mean that nearly 20% of the population was made up of enslaved Africans. Some of the main ports for the slave trade existed along the east coast spanning from Charleston, Richmond, Washington D.C., New York, Providence and Boston. Enslaved human beings built New York City. They built and made up the American Stock Exchange. They built the battery and it’s strongholds. They built the Wall for which Wall Street gets its name. Their presence is everywhere and yet the only memorial to them is a Burial Ground, only made up of 400 or so bones exhumed from a dig gone wrong in the early 2000s. Where are the rest of the THOUSANDS of bodies? Now you may say, well that was so long ago. To that I say that during the years before the Civil War, Central Park was a stronghold of freed black peoples named Seneca Village, proclaimed imminent domain and then turned into central park, then later, the Great Migration, during which freed Black Americans flocked to cities to find jobs and to escape the poverty and racism in the South, New York City once again flourished with black bodies creating and building. They built the trains and their stations. My grandfather ran a train for many years. We built up the education system. My mother was a teacher in the NYC public school system. The list goes on.

IMG_6026

How do we gather a village if we are not aware of who we are? What was one very important thing that the enslaved were forbidden from doing? Reading. The one thing that each generation of black collective has done less and less is apologize for who we are. Much of this unapologetic stance comes with education. By this, I mean that apology has been bred into our DNA with ignorance of self. Those enslaved survived at first because of compromise and apology. Those who fought through it were dubbed rebellious and indeed they were. It takes a spark of rebelliousness to poison one who proclaims to be a “master”, or to run in the dead of night or the light of day. It takes a spark of self love to leave everything that you have ever known to carry yourself and your family to a city that seems foreign. If it takes a spark of those things to do what our foremothers and fathers did, just imagine what a river of those things can do. I notice lately that myself and other “woke” millenials have less and less apology. We are in fact the dream and hope of our foremothers and fathers. We are carefree, spirit-filled and yes, a lil bit magic. This apology oftentimes comes in the present form of making sure that those who are in positions of oppression do not feel threatened. Let’s be real, “feeling threatened” is why so many young and black bodies are dying today. We are continually under attack because we dare to be what we were denied…human. So it’s natural that in situations of possible escalation, we might feel a need to appease. But, we’ve learned from history that appeasing doesn’t work and very often hastens a different kind of death. A death of the spirit. We must remain whole if we are to move forward. How and when do we learn about who it was that we came from and how do we move forward? Must we leave those who wish to remain behind? What then is freedom and choice? 

Freedom. An ideal. A reality. A hope. I wish to be free to make my own choices. That seems like such a small wish and yet as the great grandchild of those enslaved, I can’t help but know that I carry the weight of those not allowed to breathe, to dream. What does remembrance take? It starts with Choice. We must actively choose every day to remember, to elevate, to push for freedom of voice, of self, of collective, of learning and unlearning. The unlearning that we must do will take most of the time. The fight against what the mind “thinks to be true” is one that can be exhausting, while the learning is like a sponge.

Most recently, I had an experience where I had to explain the system of racism and why it was that poc do not have the structural wherewithal to be racist but can indeed be prejudice. As I explained, I felt myself become rageful. Why was I being forced to educate? Why didn’t the school system teach a grown white woman? Why was I dealing with ageism, racism and sexism at the same time?

But then, what about how black and brown bodies hold, comfort, and revere other black and brown bodies? Black and brown men and women are taught from various angles to be weapons to each other. What has stuck since slavery is the tearing apart of the black familial structure and we seem to cling to what we’ve been taught.  To simply exist is an act of defiance. But existing isn’t enough. How do we heal? How and when do we comfort? Most recently, I’ve been experiencing a well of blood memory. Blood memory is the remembrance that comes in our blood, the tapping into of ancient memory.  As an empathic person, it’s something to be aware of, moving through places that can hold a lot of history. In experiencing this, sometimes it is like a tsunami, a huge wave of sorrow and confusion that I feel like I’ll be lost in forever and all I can do is cry and hold on to something, anything that feels familiar. In this, I’ve found a strong wish to be held and surrounded by other black and brown bodies that feel like home. But what if we as black and brown millenials woke or not, don’t know how to comfort, or have become desensitized to the brutality or the normalcy of racism? Where does this leave us? It all goes back to self love. The ability to look deep and uncover my own soul, gives me permission to be unapologetic, to be open and available, to be expansive. The programming is so ingrained and must be broken so that we can reclaim, restore and ultimately rebel. But is it for everyone? Who is the next wave and what will we do with the knowledge that we are acquiring?

It is the human experience to be conflicted, to falter, but also to rise and move forward. The people make up the systems of oppression as well as the systems of love and wholeness. We must hold all accountable. No one is exempt. We must work hard at cultivating a whole self, spirit, mind and body. We do the work of uncovering with art, with the written word, with self care, with science, with archaeology, with conversation and while we do the work, we must be prepared for the healing work that comes with the reveal. So I ask, how do we each choose to use our freedom and choice, wisdom and voice?

 

 

Love Always,

 

Damali Speaks Xx