Contractions

So here we are: BANG!

A fresh new life. Aries has arrived with its fire and spark. The season has shifted to new beginnings and freshness. Do you smell the tenderness?

This is a new year. It makes sense to start off intentions with the season of new birth, instead of the white man’s interpretation of time, a new year in the dead of Winter? It just makes sense to re-program the perception of our existence to Earth’s cycles. It makes sense to decolonize our view on time because it helps carry us forward – as we are an energetic extension of the Earth and she helps us with more than just a surface to live on and exploit.

And then it all goes back to that, right? The truth of the times we’re living in and are desperately trying to run away from. All of this chaos around us. Is this our big break from it all? Where is the big break? Now that we have shed it all, new life means happiness, no? But time works on a continuum and so, we’re not going to wake up to all of our problems solved. Instead, we grow. We mature.

The continuum we’re in, is what it is. We can look forward, with hunger, harnessing the warrior spirit of Aries, while embracing the KNOWING that things will never be the same as they were before. We will not flatline into a state of bliss and ease or denial, as perhaps life was simpler for some of us before or we faked it as such. Instead, we are IN it. We’re in the uncertainty, the rage, the pain, the desperation. If we think of this era as a birthing process, you best believe, we are in the middle of the contractions. Where we peak and fall as the body (the collective force) pushes out new life. And yes, giving birth could be a blissful experience but, we’re not with the parteras, midwives and doulas – the collective consciousness has not learned that lesson yet. We are with the white coats that used black and indigenous women as guinea pigs. We will have to learn the hard way, how much its costs us to live from the scope of violence that is white supremacy and patriarchy.

And so, I invite you all to breath through the contractions. Breath and remember that life continues and that our life givers have known this truth. I invite you to call on eagle medicine to detach from being so deeply immersed in the polluted sea of change, and view life from a higher plane. See the whole and trust that warriors always carry forth whether in body or spirit or force.

May we push forth new life.

May we embrace our power and force.

Happy Spring Equinox

 

A New Dawn

What is to keep us from suffocating when we’re surrounded by concrete? When the breath of our chest, and the Earth’s heartbeat feel tortured and locked in? What do we hold on to when all seems grim?

Hope.

We’ve seen it all and continue to see the worst, and if we haven’t, we carry some far off memory of it in our bones. We’ve suffered through the motions of worlds that have ended time and time again. Our predecessors have literally cried and bled us to life, and here we are now, again, scavenging the final bits of life we have within, to try and live another day.

But reach for hope.

Reach for a vision, a dream, a life of our own. Hold on my love, because our ancestors honored the sun. They knew that after the darkest night, comes the dawn. And if we would just stop and feel the many ways, shapes and forms that they’re here with us, to guide us and love us, we would carry the prayer and wisdom that supports us on our path to liberation.

Our ancestor’s respect, reverence and connection to spirit and Mother Earth was the most vital aspect that lead to our present day survival. Our connection to spirit is rebellion, because not only does it hold the key to infinite strength and illumination, but it honors all ancient prayers that held true homage to our collective resilience.

We did not come here to suffer. Nor do our ancestors want us to forget that we come from lineages of sunshine and color. We CAN hold ourselves through this moment in time and space by imagining new ways. We are the visionaries. We are abundance. Our very core is sustainable. We are people of the Earth and our Mother will heal us if we remember to tend to her. We are people of spirit and our guides will move us through to clarity, strength and strategic purpose. We CAN be hopeful and dream up solutions that heal our very own broken hearts and calls our power back to wholeness.  

Expecting the Unexpected

We all have that one family member that arrives at the party uninvited. They’re the one who we know we should save a plate for but dread if we do or if we don’t because we never know when and if they’ll be around, or what kind of necessary chaos they will bring this time. This family member sometimes makes us face the harshest truths about ourselves. They make us see what we have been desperately trying to escape. Sometimes they bring the revolution to our doorstep, when some of us are “all lives matter” and “i don’t see color”. This family member is usually the shadow that no one can get around to make themselves too comfortable with because, well, we’re afraid of shadows aren’t we?

Death is this family member.

Death likes to peak its head in and linger. It likes to remind us of the fragility of life, in a world of false control and illusion. But we’ve misunderstood. Death doesn’t mean to be scary, we just can’t seem to understand it. Death is the reality of life that we can’t grasp or make sense of and instead have pushed away into an abyss. And just as any child that is neglected, darkness builds from within and expands, wanting to swallow up anything in its path because, we can’t just push reality away and expect it to disappear.

Changing the way we perceive endings and fears, will shoot a healing meteor of light into the dark hole of death – lessening its intensity. Inviting an inner dialogue of honesty, compassion and understanding to our relationship to death is a form of liberation. If we look around at all of life, death is around us continuously. The day dies during sunset and is rebirthed during sunrise, because right beside death is new life.  Life and death exist in tandem. But, there is the passage, there is the night, the Winter, the Birth canal, that we must push ourselves through to get to the other side, to new life.

But first, we must face the dark.

The dark may come in form of grief, anger, shame, loss, sadness, shadows, anxiety, depression, loneliness, solitude, crippling pain. All things we want to run away from but can’t escape. Sometimes, we require peer or professional support and guidance to help us move through this stage. Sometimes, we must do this work on our own and call on the support of the divine/god/universe/ancestors/light. There is no shame in any of this, we all experience Death. It requires being completely honest with ourselves to know what our needs are while we grieve, so as not to remain stuck or lost. And we may be surprised to find that after welcoming Death in a few times, that there is treasure to be carved out of the depths. That we are phoenixs, consistently rising from the ashes in our purest forms.

We WANT to get to the other side, there is always life ahead. THERE IS ALWAYS LIFE AHEAD.

Learning the language

On the path to decolonization, I like to sort things into either a cardboard box or a circle. Depending on how natural a thing is, it either goes into the box or the circle. For example, buildings go in the box, planets go in the circle. AC goes in the box, seasons go in the circle. I’m always aiming to get closer to the things in the circle, but there are many things in the box that are yet inescapable. The English language goes into the box because it is a forced reality (forced assimilation), one that emerged from the perspective of the white man. Colonization brought with it the idea of limitation and scarcity, where before there was the belief in abundance and communion. Things became a grid, concrete, black or white, a selling point, much like the urban streets we walk on today. This is opposite of the truth of the natural world, where the wild and color live.

Much like the grid, English forces us to cut up our fullness to make it fit into the box that it is. If we think of the richness of Caribbean cultures for example, the warmth, the passions, the vibrancy, the drums, the vitality, where even a death is a party, we can feel these ways within us much more clearly than we are able to verbalize them. And, when we do have the words to describe these ways, it leaves entire groups of people out of the understanding because, English is deeply rooted in classism and access to education. So when we do this cutting of the sun, to fit into the cardboard box, most of the circle, our people, our feelings, our truth, is then missing.

This is why storytelling has been one of the most sacred tools to reach the hearts of all the people. Not only has it traditionally been a way of bringing all age ranges together, it’s been done in circle gatherings. Through jokes, fairy tales, poetry, sharing of knowledge and experiences, we all fit in the circle and have something to take away with us. Storytelling is medicine, a way to heal, to inspire thought and hope, to reconnect with the ancient voices of wisdom that lie within each one of us wanting to shake us free of the shackles of the box.

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Note: As the atabey(r)Evolution journey evolves, so too does my awareness of my sacred responsibility as a story holder and messenger, to create a journey that is accessible to everyone who resonates with my work. I aim to closely monitor my privileges, so as not to leave anyone behind within my own blind spots. I am going to be continuously making the necessary adjustments, to the best of my abilities, to simplify my speech while also remaining deeply anchored in my truth.

Welcoming the medicine

As people subjected to 500+ years of forced assimilation, we don’t need to appropriate anyone’s cultures or traditions to respect or reconnect with the spiritual symbology of our relations on Mother Earth – we just need to observe. This observation begins by looking at our relationship to indigeneity in the context of (de)colonization and the pursuit of liberation. Whether we choose to account for black indigenous peoples stolen from Africa or not, and in spite of the very real and deeply rooted anti-black sentiment from colonized Native peoples – indigeneity, first and foremost, begins with the principle of being of and in balance with the Earth.  

If we look at black spiritual practices that emerged from the African diaspora, we find that most of these practices today, pay homage to different natural energetic representations of the Earth, through physical landscapes, deities and symbology. If we think of all things as energies or spirits and as a vital part of the web of all that is, we will learn to respect and welcome all the varying degrees of healing available to us from Atabey.

Water, for example, as we all know is fluid, but it is also our life source. Our bodies are mostly water, the Earth is mostly water and it is from water that we are born (*except that these days u cant be too certain about where all these billionaire babies are born from with all this GMO shit, honestly. But thats beyond the point*). If we call on the medicine of water to purify our grieving hearts, to heal our hurt, we are calling on life source energy and may find that after perceiving crying as cleansing, that our hurt feels more tended to. If we offer up our sorrows to Yemaya, or the great mother of the Ocean, we may find that our spirits feel lighter.

Observing how animals relate to their place in the cycle, can be another way to perceive guidance when we need to call on different types of strengths. The lioness, for example, doesn’t have to go around biting the entire Queendom’s head off to “prove” they are the Queen. The lioness just needs to hunt their feed, what it needs to survive, feed their fam, sit back and be protective of their shit, and all animals in the Queendom still know what’s good. Not all calls for a lion either, because there is the eagle and the ants, and the plants! The owl sees in the dark and guides us through the inevitable process of death(night) and rebirth(day). Welcoming the owl, may serve us to let go of what is no longer serving us and allowing grief and regeneration to run its necessary course. Every spirit has its place in the circle, serving as medicine that bring us back into balance and understanding that we are of the Earth, not the machines we’re made to believe we are.

Becoming the example

I see you

&

I see me

.I see God.

 

How critical are we of others? If we listen closely to the inner voice that picks others apart, we will hear the very familiar tone that we critique ourselves with. How much of a difference would it make on the pressures we place on ourselves to approach our consistent evolution with compassion and understanding?

It may seem strange to hold our hands up to our hearts and say “baby it will be ok” but we already talk to ourselves in the subconscious ways that we communicate with our internal frustrations. Also, its important to reflect on the reasons why we perceive loving and sweet affections towards ourselves as strange to begin with. Have we disassociated from love, so much so that we cannot bare give it to our own selves without feeling awkward about it? That is telling. It is telling of how capable we truly are of loving.

We deserve all the love in the entire universe. We deserve our own love the most because that is the love that bears peace and acceptance. The knowing that whatever phase we are in, whether we’re in our shadow or feeling like the brightest light of this solar system, that this very moment is teaching us how to love ourselves deeper and stronger. Its ok baby, it’s ok if we are harsh sometimes, unfair, judgemental. Its ok, to wish to be in another place, in another time. Could we sit with ourselves and accept that?

Love doesn’t shame, love is a warm hug when we’re shivering with discomfort. It is an entire life process of being lost and found, of death and rebirth, to align and consistently re-align with love. To shed skin and trauma. To meet the many facets of ourselves. To learn peace when the world teaches chaos and turmoil. It’s ok baby, it’s ok, I love you – Could we sit with that? Could we repeat it often?

We are all in our own very unique journeys. Seeking to inspire love within self, is the way to inspire love in the world. And this world baby, is in dire need of our love.

Slowing Down

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quote-junot-diaz

The system of capitalism is asking us to speed up, to work harder and defeat more barriers. The entire culture is asking more of us. How much more can we give if we are really about “it”? In this system of indoctrination and programming, how well can we prove to the world that we are what we’ve been made to believe we’re supposed to be? In this mining of our spirit, as John Trudell once put it, we’ve forgotten that we are an extension of the natural world.

The Earth is everything but fast, it is almost a screeching halt that seems unmovable, a pace ancient to our minds. The work of decolonization, not only asks, but requires us to slow down.  Extraction and exploitation works in such a way that it depletes so quickly that it doesn’t allow for the steady process of growth to reclaim its time. If we are to defeat white supremacy-capitalism and save ourselves and the planet, we must remember what it’s like to mirror the cycles of the natural world. Otherwise, we are continuously feeding the machine of destruction.

Envision a day when everyone decided to just stop and tend to the emotional and spiritual wounds inflicted upon us by the violence of settler colonialism – the entire system that we’re actively exercising our energies to fight against – would cripple. But, this is not to be confused with neutrality. It is in cyclical, steady and deep introspection where respect and understanding for the seasons and longevity is born. For example, the winter calls for rest, reflection, intimate connection with self and loved ones.  It is a time to honor our need for hibernation, and dream up the visions for the birth of new life come Spring.  This is where we begin the process of creation and build the sturdy foundations towards legacy. This is when we tune back in to our genius, our power.

When we slow down we reject centuries of mental colonial programming, and face the truth of who we really are and in which ways we’ve been indoctrinated to place our self-worth and value on our external output. We’re also actively engaging in a rebellion against this system that heavily depends on our physical and energetic productivity. In fact, the more we build our personal power within and the less we slave it away for these institutions (including the non-profit industrial complex), the closer we get to personal and collective liberation.

This call to internal recalibration is hard work, because it depends on placing our trust on the momentum of the cosmos, day in and day out. It’s asking us to depend on nothing but time and love. Love for our self- actualization, liberation and respect for our own process of re-conditioning our minds to the pace of the natural world. Calling on a connection with the medicine of the turtle, revered as a symbolism of wisdom, patience and Mother Earth, could help us hone in on this pace and vision.

This work of a lifetime, leads us to further align with freedom. It is the pursuit of wholeness and truth. It is the work of enriching the roots and soil, upon which, once strengthened, we build the material world.