Category Archives: Blog

You ask how I’m doing…

But do you really care?

When I answer truthfully I scare you off.
Is it my honestly?
My dreams?
My pathetic excitement and curiosity in my own life?

You shut me down and criticize me for answering the way I did.
(Whatever that was)
So I am conditioned to not open up.
I close myself off to you.

This pattern cycles around in circles like the seasons.

I begin to think
“What if you are right?”
and I really have palty aspirations
that don’t offer anything to anyone,
that I’m not valuable,
that me being on Earth and me not existing wouldn’t make a difference to you, or anyone.

If anything, it would be less of a hassle if there was less of me..

So why do you ask how I’m doing?


Sorry for the depressing ass shit lately. It’s a phase I’m going through, hopefully. Luckily, I’m remembering how therapeutic writing poetry is for me…you reading this probably understand

“I want to die”

What is this voice inside of me that keeps on saying “I want to die”?

It scares me.

Do I really want to die?

Is it my fate to pass over even before I pass the age to get off my dad’s health insurance plan?

I hope not.

But the voice that wants to die is so loud…
so determined…
to make itself heard and make me FEEL the pain in those words

I justify the dialogue by saying
“It’s just an aspect of my personality that wants to die.”

But how can I be so sure
that those words
“I want to die”
don’t mean all of me?

I’m always shocked when…

…I see one of my friends light up a cigarette.

Especially when I experience them as strong, health-conscious women.

Maybe they reserve the cancer sticks (gag, too cheesey?) for alcohol-infused social gatherings…or maybe not.

Why?

Why do you smoke cigarettes?

Why do you ingest those levels of nasty ass chemicals when you also understand the traumas that Mother Earth goes through and connect that to the female body? Is this a gnarly blind spot for your very own ecofeminist outlook?

Do you realize that you are choosing the unfortunate fate for your very own fleshy space-traveling vehicle?

😦

Those conversations that leave you feeling…

elevated and better than before…they remind you of the magic that can weave thru reality.

They bring out your most optimistic, excited, highest state.

They make you feel buzzing, with ripples of shivers migrating across skin. Kundalini? Are you hanging out too?

Thank you.

Let’s keep on cultivating these interactions, and prune out of the rest to save energy for what really matters.

Where to escape in a city:

“It’s not a city, it’s the suburbs,” says my narrow-minded, ignorant family member.

When I️ can only make out the Big Dipper and Orion at night, when the streetlights keeping me up at night are brighter than the sun peaking over the morning horizon, when the buzz of traffic is constantly evident…I’m in a city.

It’s not your fault though…you don’t know what it’s like to live in a rustic cabin with no WiFi or to have to gather your own firewood and start a fire every night. You don’t know what the world looks like behind your 65-inch TV or your 4-inch iPhone and you certainly don’t know that “leisure” and “outdoors” can go together without an agenda.

The only other human at this artificial lake is a boy. Someone dropped him off just after I️ arrived so that he could fish. I️ think he is catching some, but I’m also hearing a handful jump out of the water in front of me.

Nature is refreshing, like a glass of ice-cold water for a red-hot angry mind.

Some people use the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” to unofficially describe the impacts of a lack of slow-paced quality outdoor time.

Irritability, fear, apathy, confusion, and anxiety make their way into my “normalness” when I️ skip the parks and forest hikes for mindless modern-day entertainment. It clouds around me like a swarm of stickiness. I️ think that it’s normal…but it’s not. At least, it shouldn’t be.

Sometimes it just takes a stop by the park to shift me back into a more satisfying way of being alive: patience, relaxation, and imagination.

Luckily I️ am just visiting this massive “suburb.” For getting an afternoon date with myself at the park here is like getting to eat a carrot or two after fasting all morning. I️ am malnourished being here, but luckily I️ know what I️ need to feel satiated.

The Wilderness Within (Final: Reflections)

Last weekend felt like a healing retreat. It catalyzed some deeper process that’s happening to me right now. Maybe this is the step from one phase of the lifecycle to another. Transitions sure feel like deaths. A part is dying, the part that was up to this point, “everything” to me. Does it hurt a snake or crustacean to shed its exterior? Does it hurt for a caterpillar to turn into organic soup before it re-forms back into a butterfly? This was briefly brought up in the lifecycle talk (I think). These psychological transformations we go through are complete paradigm shifts. “Molting” is changing, yes, but there isn’t any real change besides growing larger into whatever was there.

I feel like I’ve been molting quite often, mistaking that for true transformation. (For something to radically change forms?) Would it need its whole self for the true transformation process? All the pieces go into the pan and BAM, alchemy happens and something new pops out.

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In the past and now still, I don’t accept all parts of myself. Even if they aren’t glamorized or accepted in our culture, Ecopsychology is helping me see that all pieces matter.

The Wilderness Within (Part 6: North)

I am cared for.
I care for you.
I care for all.

Not going to lie, North seems slightly boring compared to the rest of the directions of the psyche. Yet, it also seems like it’s so present in my life. North helps me out when I’m swinging upside down from a tree. North is trying to help me out through this current personal winter before Earth winter has yet to come.

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In my notes I wrote:

Inner Critic –> meanest EVER, seriously so evil and smart

Later I wrote:

Thanks for looking out for me, inner self.

…and this was the “mean” inner self. It makes me feel whole to learn that even my fragmented parts still want me to be “whole.” Their view on the world is different though, which is why it’s so easy to judge them and think they are failures. The Loyal Soldiers really are incredible. They are serving my life in such an adorably immature way.

I don’t have much to reflect on about North here…I think I explored that (fragmented North) a lot in the October 2nd entry above.

The Wilderness Within (Part 5: West)

Oh, Wild West…
You leave me facing myself.
You terrify me!
You astound me!
You simply let me see my Self.

To be honest, I was extremely nervous for the West Walk…specifically the part about finding darkness and talking to it. I just had a feeling going into the night that it was going to power transformation in some way.

In a way, the West walk started before we even left when I made my rhythm instrument. I used to have a buffalo drum. I was so in love with playing it but was living out of my car last year and didn’t have space so it went to a friend. I didn’t have anything that I could think of at home. A few days before this, I had some things brought up to me from my parents’ house in Gilbert. Along with a bunch of warmer clothing, I also had a craft supplies box. As I was unpacking this care package from home, I noticed that I had a box of plastic jewels. These are the type of jewels that are flat on one side, jewel-y on the other, and sparkling like a mermaid’s tail. Bingo! They rattled so nicely in their little box. All I needed was a little tape to seal them in and I was all set. This little task ended up being me decorating the outside of the jewel box with multiple colors of tape. It may seem like a childish, pointless part of the process, but it actually was the first intentional step to the West Walk.

Fast forward to the start of the rhythm circle. I’ve always felt drawn to drumming. Back when I played soccer, sometimes we’d practice at a high school during the same time that the drum line was rehearsing. As I got older, I started listening to Hardstyle music (a sub-genre of techno) and felt drawn to the faster paced rhythmic 150 beats per minute found here.

Drumming with other people seems like one of the best ways to connect with someone else. Yet at the same time, we all tap into something new. The music becomes our connection point rather than playing directly with the people next to use. I actually tried to do this but it made me lose my rhythm. I very easily started to sink in and release. I used a hand drum and the jewel box rattle that I made intermittently, though sometimes at the same time.

While in the rhythm circle, I started to feel my body dissolving away. Everything still worked fine, but focus shifted from the physical to predominantly just awareness. My physical boundaries felt transient and subtler.

Before I knew it I was leaving. I never thought to leave; I was just standing up, turning around, and making my way up the hill to the path to carry on with my night. I played as I walked away from the circle, keeping up with the rhythm as long as I could hear. I walked south into the darkness. It was a welcoming, safe darkness though. My intention was to walk about 10-15 minutes down the path and then migrate up to a hill to get a better view of the night sky. This plan was quickly cut off though. A few minutes into my walk I noticed a cluster of younger ponderosas off the path. Basically…DARKNESS. I looked away and went back to searching for my perfect stargazing spot.

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Nope. That wasn’t the overall goal of the night. I laughed at the irony and turned left towards Darkness to immediately be greeted with a perfect rock to sit on. The welcoming was too obvious. I sat down and introduced myself. It was a shallow conversation at first until I really sunk into the spot.

Darkness is always there to hear whatever I have to say or ask, and whatever I choose to withhold. I kept on imagining the terrible things that could happen to me: someone jumping out of the darkness and attacking me, something lashing out at my face…

I quickly became aware that I was the source of any harm that I perceived. I would non-visually hallucinate things jumping out at me. Sometimes my face flinched by the realness of it. I was left in a void. I projected insecurities and threats into that space. Is this the fragmented West making itself known?

My homework to myself is to be more curious and accepting of Darkness. On a day-to-day level, this is found when I walk past a dark room in my house at nighttime and consciously avoid looking in that area. When I notice I do that, I stand in place for a few breaths, slowly turn to face the dark room and look into it for a little bit, then I slowly turn back around and make my way to where I was originally going.

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain

This quote speaks to me about the relationship between fragmented and whole West psyche. If my fragmented West is taking over, I see things trying to attack me (similar to what I was experiencing during the West walk). When my whole West is present, I see the truth and inner beauty through the lens of curiosity. It is an esoteric path that is terrifying and terrific, awful and awesome. Maybe not exactly these words…but the West shakes up my logic.

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The Wilderness Within (Part 4: South)

Ahhh sweet, wild, primal South!
You make me feel,
or maybe just…because of you
I can truly feel.

My South walk consisted of me playing aerialist on the rope swing that was on the hill behind the cabin. I wanted to get a taste of the rope swing at some point, and it just perfectly worked out that it was this walk.

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Is this swing even safe? Many people probably have used it before… Did a certified arborist check it out? Does the branch look sturdy? If I fall, will I hurt myself? What if I fall when I’m out THIS far…will I die if I land upside down?

Was this fragmented North trying to protect me? Or whole North? Aww, thanks, bud! I’m going to play anyway. I’m used to swinging on hanging things. I feel supported by my own physical strength and body awareness. But would the tree say the same?

I tested out the answer to all those questions by swinging on the swing. I started slow. I felt in my body. I felt the bounciness of the rope. I started picking up speed. I’d walk-jump to the other side. How does it feel? How do I feel? THIS FEELS LIKE I WANNA GO ALL OUT! Alrighty, South, hold on a sec. Let’s work our way up to that, said Whole North.

It wasn’t long before I became more comfortable in my body. I experimented with different types of twists while swinging from one side of the tree to the other. I could twist in either direction before landing (not on the same swing though…there were just options on how I wanted to get to the other side). Sometimes I’d jump so far away from the tree that I was able to lean backward and look at the world from upside down. This was the perfect chance for the inner dialogue to say “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! DO YOU SEE THE GROUND UNDERNEATH YOU? DO YOU WANT YOUR HEAD TO LAND THERE?!?!?!” Dear Inner Critic, I DGAF at the moment and want to continue having fun. I loved swinging back and forth on there. Towards the end, I was able to do two spins before landing on the other side. Though, I did kindly/gently smash into the trunk of the tree during the experimentation phase.

It was a dance to be swinging back and forth on the tree. In a way, I felt like the tree and I were dancing together. At times there was even music! Yes, real music. Someone was playing the flute at the bottom of the hill. The wind carried most of the music to me and I acted it out in girl-on-rope-swing form.

I struggle with expressing all emotions and feelings (if they are even the same?). Ever since November 2015 (when my friend was in the hospital for a perceived suicide attempt), I have been trying to be conscious about being open and honest when people ask me about how I am doing. Most of the time “Good” is not a completely accurate way to describe the rich inner world and experience of life. Who wants to hear a novel when they might have just been asking a generic question? (Why should I care…)

South has taught or reminded me to be a raw, expressive self.

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The Wilderness Within (Part 3: East)

“You are me and I am you
I’ll always be with you
You are sun, the rain, and the moonbeams
You are the Divine Goddess of my dreams”
– Shpongle –

reflection

East is the direction or aspect of psyche that I have the hardest time understanding, defining, or explaining.

I definitely resonate with the escapist or addict or even blisshead. I’ve abused drugs regularly in the past, I can latch on to any new spiritual ideology that invites me to leave my worries and problems where they are and transcend them, and I avoid having certain types of interpersonal conversations that I feel vulnerable about. These are all actions my fragmented East takes to bring me closer to the divine. Thanks? Actually…Thanks. You are trying your best with what you have.

What is whole East like? Is it the feeling of walking in a meadow in pitch black night while looking at the stars and getting slightly dizzy at the abundance of stars and perceiving the curvature of the Earth? Is it the feeling of looking into the distance in a forest and feeling “tripped out” by the 3D-ness of the surroundings? Is it the epiphany that anxiety can be felt in different parts of the body at various times?

Elusive

East is elusive and ethereal to me. Maybe it can’t be picked apart into pieces because it would then lack wholeness and unity, its essence.

I have in my notes:

Spiritual love / humbling love:
-brings you to knees in humility
-dissolves defenses
-cuts thru bullshit

When I started writing October 2nd’s entry above, the opening could have said:

I just got off the bus and walked to this spot in the forest. Up until now, I was feeling on edge, about to crack. I hadn’t done my morning meditation yet, so I decided to do it here. I sit down, I start the stopwatch, and immediately tears start rolling down my face. I let it all out now. I’m embraced by the soft, pokey pine needles, the crazy wind, and the sunlight kissing my face and wiping my tears away. This sure feels like the spiritual love that makes me surrender.