Tag Archives: Happy

Loved in the Light: Meditations on Retreat, Building & the Importance of Sisterhood

Hey Speakerz! THIS WEEK! This week has been incredible, with the highlights of  an even more wonderful weekend and retreat. When I was a little girl, I recall that my mother would go on retreats with her best friends, her sisters. What they would do on this retreat, I have no idea, but they would always come back with shining souls and tired bodies and I couldn’t wait to be old enough to go on my own retreat weekend. This weekend, I returned to a place of home, New England, specifically Rhode Island with my friends and sisters and together we explored retreat, soulwork, racism, solidarity, ancestral remembrance, self and sisterhood.

I’ve been on a self-love adventure for a while now, and with each year that passes, I find myself more and more in tune with the world and all it’s never-ending levels. I’ve always known that my ancestors walk with me. My whole life I’ve felt them talk with me, walk with me, love me, hold me up and sometimes hold me back. One of the reasons why I love art so much is because I feel that I can use it to express those feelings in safety and adventurous exploration.

With the world that we human beings live in, there are so many stressors. The stress that capitalism and greed bring to the world. The hidden truths of the past in the metropolis’ that sprang from the great hurt of oppression and continued active genocide. The stress of growing up and old, etc. However, with all these stressors, it is truly possible to simply tune out of the stress frequency and in to the soul’s truth. Mayhap that’s the reason for the origins of long-standing practices of hermitage, medicine people, active sports, etc. Caring for the body, brain and soul is a mission in this world. I’ve always been interested in the nature, the land, the growth, the act of tuning in and getting the healing. This week, I found myself deep in preparation and solitude. Deep introspection ruled my days and I didn’t know why but I knew that it was so very necessary. This is where my sisters come in.

I have some amazing sisters. No, they’re not biological and yet that makes them no less of my family. Our souls have lived, searched and flown together for millenia and as we continue in this life, it is as though we fall into a routine all our own. All queer women with passion for education and work in the arts, they constantly challenge me to be better and to truly embrace all of myself. How often in the world is there such a strong connection between multiple individuals? We are a force. A sisterhood that endures despite space and time. Spending 2 whole days together meant strength in elevation. We actively challenge each other to love more openly, to speak strongly, to move with more intention and to trust the process. It is so incredibly important to have a team to build with and to establish balance. Just how do we push ourselves to be our best selves?

Healing comes in so many ways. For me, heading back to a place that I experienced profound hurt and joy in, helped me to realize that returning somewhere doesn’t make me any less of the person that I am today. Healing is immeasurable. I can’t really measure how much I’ve healed in a year, but I do know that I’m different and that I know much more of myself today than ever before, except maybe in my childhood. I know that I mentioned it on this blog a while ago, but I did a performance piece last year around 3 enslaved African women. Phyllis, Rose and Fanny. They’re buried in Providence, Rhode Island and going back gave me a chance to visit them once more. I felt so incredibly connected to their spirits, despite the fact that they died 200 years before I was even born.  I laid on their grave in the greenest of grass and as I did, the sun shone on me brighter than ever and I felt warmed with love. They led me to find my own people. My own origins. They held my back as I cried and experienced such pain for the land stolen and the pain that is still palpable today. Ancestors have a hold on us. They guide us and teach us. I truly believe that there is no such thing as coincidence.

I’ve always felt as a sexual violence survivor, that I wasn’t the first in my family. There had to be a narrative of sexual violence, just as there is a narrative of patriarchy and male violence throughout history, thereby giving us the name “his story”. I was right. The strongest of themes from this weekend was love. I have been told repeatedly that I need to be “Loved in the Light”. Myself, along with the women in my family and ancestral bloodlines have been so accepting of being loved in the dark. We take love in the various forms but how often to we demand the level of love that we give, back? We deserve to be loved in the light. We deserve no excuses and action with truth and acceptance. I don’t know that I’m so comfortable talking about all I experienced this weekend with my sisters. Maybe it’s just supposed to stay between us. What I can say is that I’m calling for an Elder to help me discover and understand more of my Native American Ancestry. I’m excited to delve into documentation and artwork that calls upon all the energy I possess and to step into my light as a healer descended from power-filled healers. For the first time in a long time, I am excited for my life. I let the tears fall as they may and the love wrap around me as a warming blanket of comfort and I move on.

 

Love Always,

 

Damali Speaks Xx

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Let Us Not Forget: Meditations on How and When to Slow Down and Live in Truth

Hay Blogosphere! The last time we spoke in this fashion, I was just about to venture to New York City. Well, here I am in NYC, setting up my apartment, working all the time on myself, my elevation, and my art. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything in a political vein. I think I let that part of myself disappear a little bit because frankly, I’d much rather live with all of my energy intact and too much of my energy was sacrificed in moments of speaking politically and critically. I do realize that being an activist is a deep part of myself and in the wake of the Womens’ March on Washington and other cities and talks of intentional spaces devoted to all women, I found myself sliding back into the thoughts that I once loved so very much. Talking about injustice and working toward the collective human experience go hand in hand in my spirit. So what is the topic today, you ask? The topic of today is about not forgetting the truth, the importance of knowing  your spirit and listening when the universe says to slow down.

In this particular world that we live in, we all hold different identities. While some of us hold fast to these labels, others of us don’t. But society likes to define us human beings in gender, sex, “race”, socioeconomic stature and more. The further breakdown encompasses “what we do”, our hobbies, our bread and butter, our talents, what makes us money. Somewhere thousands of years ago, somehow those designated sexually as male, decided to oppress those sexually designated as female. Through centuries of perfection of the system, we have patriarchy as it exists today. Separated into categories mentioned previously, there developed the hierarchy according to “race” and sex, etc. This applies to the Womens Marches because every time women as an oppressed group gather to voice, somehow, white women are always the loudest voice. Until this changes, where can a movement of womens’ concerns go? Until all women are truly listened to and accepted for the magnificent Goddess deity’s that we are, how can we instill change? The short answer being that we can’t, and that is why very little progress for all women’s rights has truly taken flight across the globe, not just in the United States but elsewhere as well.

Since exploring the self love journey and truly seeing where the rabbit hole goes, I’m learning how to listen when the universe says to slow down. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of work, and very little slow down, with vampire hours of operation. Although this feels good because I love working for myself, this can sometimes facilitate a work into a whole. There are lots of ways in which the universe facilitates a slow down. It always takes me a huge whammy because as my mother says, “A hard head makes a soft behind.” So today while making a smoothie, I cut my finger. I mean, cut into, lots of blood, hand taped up cut. Did I really need any other message for slowing all the way down? Nope! I could say,  woe is me, I can’t draw or write for at least a week, but that’s boring. I can still type, drive and truly exercise my ambidextrous nature!

When the Universe forcefully places things in our path, how well do we adapt? Human beings are natural adaptors. We either adapt or die. We see it all the time in survival films and tv shows. We go back to our natural state of being and adapt, move forward. Meanwhile, as we survive, we forget about how important it is to thrive. On this incredible journey of life, let nothing stop you from your dreams and needs. Constantly challenge yourself to adapt, breathe and move at a pace that you set for yourself.

 

Love always,

Damali Speaks Xx

 

On Definitions, Artistry & Trusting the Process

Hello Blogosphere! What are weeks in this world that we live in? I’m loving the fact that each week is so very different from the last and when I sit down to write this, I’m incredibly inspired just from my experiences of the last 7 days. Alrighty! What happened this week, you ask? Well, it was full, I’ll tell you that much. The topic of this week involves definition of self, the cycle of life and trusting the process of finding yourself.

I’ve always had a hard time defining myself. I like to live in the undefined because secretly, I have a hatred of words. It sometimes feels like the language in speaking is exhausting rather than exhilarating which makes me the quiet entity that I am. I would much rather take my time to formulate my thoughts. Thoughts are deceiving. If I said out loud everything that crossed my mind, I dunno what the world would be like for me. Chaotic maybe? Taking the time to dig into myself and to sort my thoughts before I speak them gives me the good sense to know who I am, truly.

Definitions are boxes that I prefer to live out of. This would be great, if I wasn’t an artist and if building a business didn’t require me to label myself for convenience and building a following. Every day that I leave my house, I as a human being on the earth, am forced to define myself. I’m an artist, theater artist, singer, dancer, choreographer, artistic director, director, playwright, etc. All these labels do nothing but exhaust me and half the time I don’t actually feel like I embody any and all of them. So how do we find the freedom? How do we truly know who we are albeit the thoughts and words that we speak?

Finding myself requires a constant state of observation. Lately, I’ve found myself saying that I want to crawl inside myself, set up a shelf and build a home. In doing this introspective work, I’ve found that I have a real affinity for animal spirits. It’s funny, as New Age as I am, I can sometimes shy away from the stuff that seems “too new agey” and animal spirits was one of them. After literally growling at my friend the other day, I took notice and decided to do some research. We as human beings are in a constant state of flux. We have to allow the space where we are and where we want to be to invigorate us, otherwise we fall into the trap and never come out again. Who am I today? Who have I been? Who do I want to be?

Someone once told me that life is formulated in cycles. Whoever came up with the circle of life via Lion King circa 90’s needs a raise. The cycle of death and rebirth is constant from the time we’re born to the time that we die and even after. It’s a giant circle. Lately, I’ve had the impulse to hold a baby. I realized that baby was and is myself. I’m being reborn into a new cycle of myself. Why do I say all this? Well now I have to find out who I am as an artist. Yes. I am an artist. I am a multi-talented artist. Now what? Dig deeper.

 

Damali Speaks Xx

Establishing Womb, Home & Center: Meditations on Change and Self

Hey yo Blogosphere! I know, that title is a little daunting and you’re probably wondering what in the world I’m about to write about. Well, a “new year” brings with it new revelations as well as new waves of energy to be used. Whether used for ill or well, the energy demands that it be used. How is the question isn’t it?

I haven’t spoken about my sexual assault history for a long time, mostly because I’m at a place where it no longer plagues my life. I’ve made peace with it and choose to live in forgiveness. I learned from the experience. But, one of the hardest parts of living as a survivor of sexual assault for me was the healing. I will be in a process of healing for the rest of my life. Does that make me angry? It did. Does it make me exhausted? It used to. Does this all make me human? Even more so. We are in control of what the universe sends to us, and when we aren’t we can choose how to build and grow from the experience. I am not a victim. I was sexually assaulted, and I choose to build myself, grow and to support others as we continue to live on this misogynistic plane. We must embrace our own forms of healing, because the only person who can heal us is ourselves.

Part of my healing process has been to embrace my womb, the womb that was taken forcefully and yet is still very much mine.  Looking at how we do healing in the US, I seem to have been steering away from your classic therapy. I’ve found some of my most healing moments not in group sessions or one-on-one meetings with a trained therapist, but in spaces devoted to yoga, meditation, crystals, masturbation, and journaling, etc. to have all been very healing for me. We find our healing in different ways. Sometimes, talking through the pain and the illogical findings of the brain are what’s best, and other times, I have to find my own way through the trauma with physicality, warm spaces and tears. All are valid. All are sacred. Most importantly, all are what I need for myself and given to myself freely and with nothing but love.

For some people, healing involves completely abstaining from sex. For others, it involves having a lot of sex. Sex with a womb that needs healing can be daunting. I know that when I was having frequent sex, I personally found myself having to stop sometimes because of an on-coming panic attack or just feeling a memory and being caught in the flashback. It’s hard and it’s something that isn’t really talked about. We must be patient with ourselves through the pain and embrace the pleasure of our own energy. I give myself the permission to wake up, to be power-full, to embrace all of myself.

I’ve said it before in other posts, but home for me is myself. Wherever I am is home because I am home inside of myself. I want to open myself up like a book, look around, carve a little shelf and go to sleep in my own warmth. In doing this, I’ve found who I am and just what it is that I’m capable of. I’m an artist in so many ways, a writer, a dancer, an alchemist, a creator, and so much more. We must heal ourselves, we must reclaim our energy, we must move forward. Live in the truth. Stand in your truth. Stand in your light.

Love always,

Damali Speaks Xx

When The Underworld Offers You Food & Drink: Meditations on Vibrations

Hello Blogosphere! Wow. I can’t believe that a week has gone by so very fast! In all the flurries of life, I almost forgot the “holiday season”. I don’t celebrate at all. I haven’t made a holiday phone call or bought gifts for about 2 or so years. I think of the “holidays” as purely for commercial purposes. A time to get lost in the flurry of the wrong vibrations, so as to not focus and cultivate the powerful vibrations present at this time of year. But I’m getting so far ahead of myself. Let’s go back and start at the top.

When I was little, I developed an obsession with Greek mythology, in particular the story of Persephone. Persephone was the daughter of the Goddess of Spring, Demeter. Persephone is tricked into going into the Underworld by Hades, ruler of the very same domain. There are many ways to tell the story but my favorite was the trick of food and drink. The trick is not to eat anything or drink anything when one is in the Underworld. If you refuse the sustenance, you can leave, relatively untouched. If you eat or drink of the Underworld, the Underworld owns your soul. Persephone ate and drank while in the Underworld and Hades married her and kept her there during the winter months, while during the Spring and Summer, she was allowed to return to her mother. I remember when my mom would say, “Be careful who you eat and drink with. Only break bread with those who wish you well.” I always remembered that. There are so many moments in life where our gut tells us one thing and we know damn well that we shouldn’t do it, yet we go right on ahead. I know that Persephone’s gut intuition must’ve said, “Girl! Don’t eat that food!” and yet she trusted so much that people wouldn’t hurt her, that she ate it to her own detriment. Why don’t we follow what we know to be true? Why is it so simple that we make it hard?

Trust. Trust is one of those things that takes years to build up and can all be destroyed in 30 seconds or less. Yet, we have to go through life with even just a small amount of trust, right? I trust that my car won’t break down. I trust that this food is going to sustain me and not make me ill. I trust that I can hop in my car and drive to the beach without getting killed on the way there.  But what about when that trust is shattered? Is our existence at stake? How do we take stock of who we are when trust has been compromised?

My mother used to always tell me to “trust vibrations” because “they never lie”. She would say that people can hide their motives, they can hide their real feelings but “vibrations” can never be manipulated. If we go back to science, we and everything on this planet is made up of energy. We come from energy, we return to energy and with this energy, comes a certain vibration. It isn’t good or bad, it just is. Low vibrations tend to make us operate at a lower frequency and exist solely on one plane of essence. We eat, we sleep, we go through the motions. Higher vibrations help us to elevate. We run, jump, meditate, create, move mountains, and more with endless possibility and endless existence. But what about when we get scared of our own greatness? Reaching higher vibrations, or elevating can be scary. Life can be so simple that it’s hard and it’s in that simplicity that we find the courage to move forward with our purpose in life.

I heard a quote one time and I can’t remember who said it now but it ran along the lines of “It’s not our dark but our light that frightens us.” This makes me think. We all have a dichotomy that we cling to and fight against. The dark vs. the light. My personal dichotomy is between allowing my greatness to soar or allowing pride to surface. How do we truly find the balance? When we take the time to know ourselves truly, inside and out, we recognize our humanity and allow our souls to soar. We elevate. In elevation, we must also recognize that there is balance in all things. Humanity survives on balance. When things are extremes, we find panic attacks, anxiety, hopelessness, depresssion, etc. Stay in balance. Check yourself before you wreck yourself and allow yourself the accountability. It’s okay to say “I fucked up”, just don’t let the fuck up stop you.

To bring it all back, being careful about where and how we accept food and drink is really how we accept life and love from ourselves. Trust in vibrations, is truly about how we trust in our own greatness and in our own vibrational force. As the Matrix compels us, will we take the red or blue pill? Will we set ourselves free with the tools discovered, or will we go back to a world of misgivings? I choose to wake, to love, to engage fully with myself and to reap the benefits of all that encompasses.

What will you choose?

 

Damali Speaks Xx

Meditations on Sexual Energy: What Is It to Find Yourself?

Hello Blogosphere! I am sitting in a Starbucks in LA writing this and as I do, I chuckle to myself. A few months ago, I would’ve been so embarrassed to write this. I would’ve dimmed the screen and made sure that no one could see it. But the me I am now is like, “That’s right I’m writing about finding myself sexy! And WHAT?!”

Okay, on to the topic at hand. A few months ago, I decided to promise to myself that I would only have sex with a person that I allowed to make love to my mind completely before ever getting my clothes off my body. So it’s been a dry few months. Call it what you will, celibacy, abstaining, etc. I call it Sex with Self, because really, I’m not going without and the energy I would’ve put into “gettin some” has transferred to my art, so I am making SO much art ova here!

I decided to focus on sex with myself, mostly because I’d always had a hard time finding myself sexy. I always have been, I just didn’t embrace it in myself. I have a very earthy drop in energy about myself despite being an Aquarius-Pisces. I notice that either people drop in with my energy or they get the heck away. I don’t take offense either way, but I was curious about how this transferred to my sex life and view of myself as a sexual being. I’ve said it before but I was a very sexual and sensual child. I wanted to use all of my senses to experience the world. Well, how do we incorporate that into how we use sex? Physical Sex is very base. It comes from a physical urge to mate and procreate and yea connect on a deeper level, but if we choose to honor the urge, the act can be pretty empty and purely physical. But within that is an exchange of energy, emotions and joining. Condoms protect against a lot, but not that, so how do we make sure our energy stays clean? How do we maintain who we are? Can that same energy be turned around and used on myself for my own sensual and sexual pleasure? I’m way more interested in the spiritual, emotional and psychological benefit to sexual energy that is channeled toward my own growth and exploration.

I’ve been taking a lot of time to find the answers for myself.  As a young black girl, growing up with an older brother, I was always taught to be less aggressive, to make myself smaller and yet all I wanted was to be like my brother and not at all like my mother. When I would openly scratch my vagina because things get itchy, especially during puberty, there was always the moment of “Don’t do that.”But my brother could do what he wanted. Yet, my house was a matriarchy. Sometimes I think that my mother and I put ourselves in a prison that we didn’t have to live in. A prison of unattainable “femininity” and “purity”. Exploring myself sexually with other people seemed only rational, especially post sexual assault. But the part of reclaiming my energy is mine and mine alone. Sexual energy is powerful. Why did I give it up without learning to wield it myself first? In wielding it, why not focus on all the areas. How am I connecting to myself spiritually? How do I feel emotionally as I break down and build up my sexual nature?  Lately, I’ve been getting to know my body and my soul so very intimately and loving what I discover because I am a maze that I want to learn my entire way through, backwards and forwards. Masturbation is liberty and so definitely not death. Abstaining completely is the same as well. What works one week, may not work the next and vice versa.  At the same time, my sense of style is completely changing, and I welcome it. What feels good to my body is what gets worn. What fabrics make me feel what? How does it feel to wear a skirt with nothing underneath, for no one but myself? How does it feel to sit and just discover my breathing? What do my dreams tell me? How does the sexual energy express itself throughout my entire existence without limits? If I don’t want to uncover and explore my own existence, why would anyone else?

The other day, I sat in yet another Starbucks with a friend of mine and we interviewed each other and recorded it on voice memos. One of the questions he asked me had to do with what I’ve been really marinating on for the past month. Instantly, I knew what this weeks blog post would be about. There certainly aren’t enough black women voices telling us that it’s more than okay to find yourself sexually with yourself and for me, that’s been my main focus. I am sexy. I exude sexual energy for myself and myself alone before I share it with anyone else. I enjoy my sexuality. Take that as you will. I hope that you enjoy yours too.

 

Damali Speaks Xo

Can Freedom be Found in Collective?: Meditations on Living in a Collective Space

Hey Blogosphere! I have to say that I owe you all a huge apology. My life since moving to Los Angeles has been super cray, super fast. I’ve gotten jobs, quit them, found other jobs and started living in a collective with two other beautifully black individuals who constantly keep me on my toes in more ways than one. As a result, my blog has suffered! BUT! It suffered because I’m focusing a LOT of my energy into a YouTube Channel! My YouTube name is Damali Speaks and moving forward, everything here will be shared there and visa versa. The blogs I start here will be videos answering the questions I pose there, etc. I promise to share all links and also to blog while I establish this new thing. I will not leave you! I promise. I have to say that I really do love writing this blog and I miss it terribly when I’m away. There’s something about typing life’s chronicles that is entirely different from video. The art of writing, old as it is has a certain something that I can’t help but come back to. Let’s dive into the topic of today’s post!

I recently went from living mostly in a single fashion, to living in very close proximity with two other human beings. It’s definitely true that we as human beings learn more about ourselves when we interact with others. Do you ever find yourself in other people? What I mean by that is: What attracts you to other people?. That’s a question that I’ve been asking myself throughout this entire process. The more I get to know about these people, the more I realize that “I am you. You are me. We are one. ” is the truest statement ever.

To simplify it, did you grow up hearing ” Be careful who you keep company with.”? As much as we may dislike to admit it, the people in our lives are simply reflections of us. So if I’m letting people in my life who don’t seem right, it may be a good idea to do some digging and take stock of where I am emotionally, psychologically, physically, etc. Now this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there are people who I like to call “Energy Vampires”. They see my energy and they want some, so they attach themselves to me and now I’m stuck with someone that I didn’t even realize did absolutely nothing to be in my space except charm the pants off me and I’m the one suffering. So I say sayonara and make a swift exit!

How do I know who means well and who means ill? Well, that’s the tricky question isn’t it? In living in collective, I consistently question. I’m always asking if this is real. I’m always waiting for these people to turn on me or make a swift exit themselves. But in reality, when I surround myself with giving people and we’re all focused on giving to each other, we’re not thinking about taking and running, we’re thinking about giving and building off what each of us possess and give to each other. We each have our roles and even though those roles switch, they still stay very much the same. One of my loves likes to say that they “call things into existence”. I’ve called it “Manifestation” for years. I manifested a collective over the course of years. It kept coming and being entirely too messed up for me to truly invest. I manifest my life moving forward. My responsibility is to be ready for the manifestation to appear.

But enough about me. What do you manifest? Where does your collective lie? What is your self love plan? Do you have a plan? Who has your back?

I send you light, love and acceptance. Until next time.

Damali Speaks Xx