Tag Archives: Moving

Meaning-Filled Meditations: On Home

Hey Speakerz!  Yea it’s Friday and you know that means a new Meaning-Filled Meditation Episode! Hope you enjoy! Like & Share! 


Love Always,

Damali Speaks Xx

Advertisements

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

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

Accountability, Gratitude & Accepting the Love We Deserve

Hello Faithful Blogosphere! I’m sorry to have been gone for a few days. What had happened was, I got sick not just in my body, but in my soul as well, and I had to take a second, recoup, regroup, and get my damn life. BUT, what’s funny is that even though I’m still recovering and working towards where I want and need to be, I feel SO GOOD! Lemme not get too far ahead of myself. Backing up.

Three of the biggest lessons currently being learned that I see among myself and my friends at this juncture of our 20’s is accountability, gratitude and accepting the love that we deserve. Let’s talk about and dissect each one slowly, shall we?

Accountability. According to my dear friend Merriam-Webster:

Accountable (adjective): 

required to explain actions or decisions to someone

or

required to be responsible for something

So what’s so important about being required to explain ones actions or decisions to someone, to be responsible? I’ve thought about the times in which being accountable and being vulnerable go somewhat hand in hand. To be accountable, to admit my wrong-doings or my mis-understandings is to be vulnerable. I admit that I am not super-human. I am human and therefore fallible. I fucked up. Now, how do we move forward? The people that I’ve seen who have a really difficult time with accountability?

White people, who fail to admit their role whether willing or unwilling in the oppressive world that we live in.

Men, who oppress the women around them by staying silent during cases of misogyny or refusing to listen when being called out.

White Feminists like Lena Dunham, who don’t understand their role in refusing to assist their black and brown sisters in the fight for equity and equality.

Americans who turn the other cheek when the government decides to build a huge pipeline over the sacred grounds and homes of Native American peoples.

The list can go on forever, but the point isn’t to point out a negative with no solution. The point should be to take stock of the oppressive structures, and gather to find a solution. The hardest point of taking accountability in your 20s for myself and my friends is that I think it requires great maturity. As 20-somethings, we don’t really have that yet. It’s so much easier to blame others, to refuse to bend or to label things “good” and “bad” in an attempt to establish a false sense of hope. This particular thing is good, therefore it must be done and this particular thing is bad, therefore we stay away, right? That only works in a perfect world where humans aren’t fallible.  Accountability doesn’t care about good and bad. Accountability just is. Either you stand up or you sit down.

We as human beings are responsible for our own happiness. There is never going to be a moment where someone else takes our lives and our happiness into their hands unless we let them, and even then, you are letting them have that power. At any moment, we can stop. It all leads to accountability. How do we remain responsible for our lives and our actions even as they lead us to feel such harsh and sometimes cruel emotions? Then, what if we factor in the oppressive structures? If black people are being shot and killed daily, do I really have the choice to be happy? I think it isn’t as clear cut as it seems. The world is hard, but I don’t think being “harder” always makes a life worth living.

Moving on to gratitude. In the midst of being accountable, I’ve experienced great moments of gratitude. Let’s consult my dear friend again.

Gratitude (noun):

a feeling of appreciation and/or thanks

Along with learning how to be accountable, I’m learning rapidly how to be grateful for the moments of calm, blessed moments that seem to speak to my spirit. In the midst of great oppression, I’ve experienced great joy. I can be thankful for those moments and those kindred spirits, without erasing my oppression.

So far, in my almost month in Los Angeles, I have met some amazing human beings. I’ve also met some people that aren’t going to make it to the friend status. Being able to spot when and how compatibility works is so crucial. Sometimes, we have to set people free to welcome others. I’ve also heard from people that I haven’t heard from in a while. Friend break-ups that return. How do we stay in a state of grace through the constant fluctuation?

A lot of my friends start the day with affirmations. Gratitude for waking, Love for the world and the day, Abundance for the world has much to give you. These affirmations, do they turn into wishes, reality, hopes and dreams or are they just something beautiful to remind us that we are in fact alive?

For the final topic and probably the biggest that weaves together all previous is accepting the love we deserve. At 24 years old, I’m aware of the love that I’ve received from friends, family, significant others and most recently myself. Does it all match up?

I don’t know how many of you have been tuned into the world via Astronomy, but we are in an interesting time right now in the month of September. Mercury is in retrograde and we just had a Pisces full moon. Why is this significant? Well, Mercury in Retrograde makes everything go haywire. You might see people that you would never in your life expect to see, you might trip over nothing and break your nose, you might lose your keys only to have them returned by a dog who found them in the sewer. Anything is possible and believe me it’s wacky. The full moon always brings us as human beings closer to what many believe is the line between the spirit world where spirituality and all that encompasses it resides and the world that some deem as “reality”. Who really knows? But just for flips and giggles, have you ever noticed that your body just knows when a full moon is coming? You’ll be minding your own business and look up and voila! you knew it was there but you didn’t really take stock. The sign of Pisces is one of emotions. Pisces signs feel deeply, they are incredibly intuitive, warm and at many times old souls. As a person born under the Aquarius-Pisces Cusp, I will always have great love and appreciation for the Pisces sign. The moon we just came out of was a Pisces moon, and was great for letting go, channeling in, being fully aware of emotions and feeling very much tuned into the wacky that is Mercury Retrograde.

How does this filter into the talk of loving and giving love? Sometimes, my friends and I choose to give of ourselves to people who are not compatible, yet in this new area and place in life, I feel a new sisterhood forming. Ever since I was a little girl, I heard the phrase: You have to love yourself before you love anyone else. Now that I’m older, I realize just how harmful that ideology is. So you mean to tell me that I’m not worthy of love unless I fully love myself? So my being singular is punishment because I haven’t yet learned to love my own existence? What about recognizing my existence in someone else? Loving oneself is paramount. I do not mean to diminish that. I do think that there is more than one route to discovering love of oneself. I think it is a discovery. It’s a long journey that I will personally be going on for the rest of my life. I won’t ever finally love myself because I won’t know all of myself all the time. Human beings change so often and so drastically that with each new moment in life, I fall deeper in knowledge and love of myself.

With that knowledge, I can now discern the love that I deserve from the love that I don’t. Have you ever been friends with someone and something goes a lil bit haywire in the friendship and you react in a way that past you wouldn’t have? Did you recognize the love that you deserved and that this person was giving you less than that? For myself, there are two moments. I recognize that something is up and then I do something about it. Sometimes, those moments in between are FARRRRRRR apart. How do we close the gap?

Last year, I met two beautifully spiritual and awake young people who helped me on my journey of rituals and using the earth around me. I went through a ritualistic big chop (Cutting off all my hair), calling on my ancestors for strength and then continued to have ritual moments with these beautiful human beings. In loving myself, I found my spirit finds freedom in the ritual. This full moon, I gathered two of my sisters and off we went to manifest by the ocean under the moon. Loving oneself is a slow process. Letting go is a slow process. Moving on is a slow process. Accountability and gratitude are slow processes. If we remember that we all do it and we all must be gentle as we find ourselves within each other, love wins.

First Day, LA – I Just Wanna Be Successful?

IMG_1276

Back at it again! What’s goodie, Blogosphere! I started writing this post when I had four days in New York left before I jetted off to the land that is Los Angeles, California. In this time, I’d been cleaning my childhood room, spending lots of time with family and friends, applying for jobs, looking for cars and apartments and marinating on what exactly it is that my life is and is not.

I’d found myself stumped by this ideal that is “Success”. When I was a young girl, I always wanted to be “Successful”, but I never really knew what that meant. Did that mean winning a Tony Award? Did that mean getting all A’s in school? Did that mean meeting the person of my dreams, falling in love and having a family? What is “success”? Is it real? Is it a social construct? Is it that as long as we are satisfied with our work and our lives, we are success? Can just living, being and trying be classified as success?

I am incredibly blessed to be the big cousin of two beautiful brown thirteen year old twin girls. They keep me constantly questioning, searching, loving and learning. I never knew that my heart could be so full until they were born. Premature and weighing in at one pound each, doctors and family alike believed that they wouldn’t make it. But they beat the odds. Here they are today, strong and smart, funny and talented. They push me to be a better person. I want them to know that as  young black women in this world, they are capable of so many things. The sky is the limit. Failure is your good fortune.

This morning, I boarded a plane at 5am, bound for the land of eternal sunshine, movie stars and amazing beaches. Los Angeles. I felt as though I had been planning for this day my entire life. Or maybe just this year. I had packed all that needed to be packed, made a reservation for a car rental, made arrangements to stay with my god-brother and his wonderful husband in West Hollywood until I find an apartment, and gone to the gym so I could feel good about my body. I don’t think I ever could have prepared myself for the reality of what it is to step out and leave everything I know, for complete mystery and a need to explore.  This day has by far been the longest day of my entire life. I slept on the plane, slept when I got to WeHo (West Hollywood), and still woke up feeling exhausted. I made myself get up and walk around and I found out that the drama bookshop 15 minutes away from the apartment is hiring part time, which drove me to do a happy dance down Sunset Blvd.

Beyond that, I’ve been Craigslisting for cars, because when in LA, one must get a vehicle. Everything here moves at a much slower pace, even though it is a city. It’s hot, but the heat doesn’t make your face want to melt off, much like the heat on the East Coast. I think, I’ve found home for now. But I still have a list of things that need to get done.