Tag Archives: spirit

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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Running from the Reign: Discoveries of Freedom & Spirit

Hey Speakerz! Back at it again! I am currently writing this from a sort of renewed and re-birthed place. So, if you feel newborn vibes from me, it’s all a part of the cycle. With yesterday being Easter, it was so important to harness the energy of the day as I spent it in Prospect Park in Brooklyn with some wonderful Warriors of Light (I’m calling whoever I meet as my tribe member at any point in time a Warrior of Light) as we worked through our collective pain to re-birth ourselves. Sharing my growth into today is my name. The most difficult thing for me to embrace is my name. My birth name is different from what I feel I need to be called and though I’ve been fighting it for a long time, I’m learning to embrace my true name and my spirit. After all, words are spells and we must use them to bless and not curse. Today’s topic is on Love, Self & Spirit. Let’s dig in!

What’s something that you love so much that you could not drown, but swim in? For me, that’s rain. I love the rain. Yesterday in Prospect Park, it rained heavily for about 15 minutes. It was cold and almost like knives digging into my flesh. I heard people running and screaming around me in fear and I thought. “It’s water.” How can we say that we love water and rain that falls from the sky and yet want to interact with it only from the safety under an umbrella? How have we as human beings and spirits of the Universe lost our selves so much? Loving something, someone, some self, means that we don’t drown in it with the intention of sinking to the bottom, never to be seen or heard from again. To love something wholly, means to swim, to flow with the tide, to ride, to seek, to find solace in, etc. and yet to understand that love is freedom. Set what you love free so that it can roam, live, and be found again anew within you. When we hold on to what is no longer ours, we don’t allow for the energy to flow. We remain stunted in the same loop. To keep the flow of energy going is to create an elevated loop, a deja vu that’s not quite the same.

How do I really love? I know that I’ve been programmed to believe that sex is an act only done with someone you love, love is possession, love is all-encompassing, an act of passion, monogamy, workaholic, self-sacrifice, etc. The more I roam this earth and meet more spirits housed in human bodies, the more I realize that love is so much more than I could ever have imagined. Yesterday, sitting in a cocoon of love, I realized that love doesn’t reflect time. It lives outside of it, yet it is still stable. Grounded. Reveling in love, doesn’t need to mean the things that I was programmed for them to mean. Being in the present with time is understanding the harnessing of present energy and respecting it. Living in the moment and letting that moment live.

How then, do I love my self? How do I establish a relationship with my self so strong that no matter what I do,  I am always my authentic self? Self love and self care. Lately, “Self Care” rather than “Self Love” has made it’s way into my vocabulary. How to Care for ones’ Self is an important space to live in, to make a home in. So many human beings have made homes in places and left the self an empty shell. But what if we all became committed to making homes in our selves and roamed in freedom and nature? What would that look like?

Duality. There is an important necessity in duality. The world balances itself out. In every day simple things, we have the presence of a penis, balanced with a vagina. Masculine energies balanced with feminine energies. Warm white light balanced with pure and black energy of creation and absorbed power. As so above, so below. Neither is better or worse, it just is. It is simply, maintenance of balance. As human beings with eternal spirits, how do we revel in our own duality? What is our dark nurtured by our light, what is our wrong nurtured by our right? Still, there isn’t just the two extremes side by side. There’s a whole scale. I’m attracted to the spectrum. I enjoy chocolate, vanilla, and cherry, mango, pineapple, etc. Our duality is all encompassing and we should be allowed to explore and play in it, rather than be forced to pick a side unnecessarily.

This leads to Spirit. Some call it spirit, intuition, “gut instinct”, etc. That feeling in your core at various moments. How often do you listen to it? In the span of a few months, I’ve been training myself to each morning, check in with my self, my intuition, and receive instructions for how to care for the little girl inside of me that still needs raising in so many ways. Sometimes the instructions are sweet: “Make sure to get a good hug and moment in the sun today.” Sometimes the instructions are sour: “Sit your ass down today and write”. Sometimes they just are: ” Fruit is imperative at this time. You need to be sweet and a little sour. Cut out all other foods and listen to the world speak”. Knowing when to listen to intuition versus the ego is crucial. When is my ego speaking? When is it my intuition?

Always operating from a place of love, acceptance and openness is so easy that it’s hard, and I’d be lying if I said that I always did it 100% because I’m human. I falter. But let’s remember to always rise. Move through our collective pain, embrace our human, be free and well, live this life we are blessed with.

 

Love Always,

 

Damali Speaks Xx

Truth or Not: Meditations of Self Confidence & Failure

Hey Speakerz! This week’s blog post is about innerstanding the value of your own self confidence as well as leadership & failure. How do we use our self confidence, our self love, our self worth in the moments that really matter?

If I tell myself that I truly value my work as an artist, a hard worker, a soul-filled entity, but then I do something contradictory to those notions, how much do I truly love myself? How much confidence is “average”? What does it mean to truly have a purpose?

This week has made me think so very hard about who I am in space, mostly because I’ve been around so much wisdom. I love speaking with people who, as my mom would say “Got some years on ’em”. I had the great fortune this week to be able to sit and really listen to people who know way more than me and are willing to share the wisdom that they possess. As a young twenty-something I constantly feel that I’m deconstructing the programming of what is and isn’t true for me. As soon as I find one thing that seems to be true for me, it changes and is suddenly no longer true in the same way. It’s incredibly frustrating but also eye-opening. I can be all the things that I am. The confusing, multi-faceted human being inside of me is worthy of love and truth-seeking.

The theme for the week seems to be “What is your truth?”. If living in the world as it is, is something that no longer works, then what does work? This leads to self-confidence. I’ve always said that if I must fail, I want to fail big. I want to possess the self confidence to make HUGE choices and therefore huge successes or huge failures. How often can we trust ourselves to jump without a net? To hug without the assurance of receiving? To truly love without the guarantee of getting any of it back?

What is a leader? As I thought about that this week, I realized that many of the problems of “millenials” is that we’re new age leaders. We break boundaries without even realizing just what a boundary is. I’ve never wanted to be the worker, I want to be the boss. I’m not and never will be a good worker bee. I’m constantly challenging the status quo. Call it what you will, but I think it makes me unique. Let’s embrace our unique, our special, our truth. In it, we find freedom and isn’t that what all this is about anyway?

 

Love Always,

 

Damali Speaks Xx