Brighter Diamonds on Haight-Ashbury

We block our light because we don’t believe in our own brilliance. We are more than cobwebbed echoes floating through eternal space. We are brighter diamonds, sparkling in the deep night sky. ✨✨

I moved to San Francisco 3 weeks ago and am filled with gratitude. The way that took me here has been winding, filled with adventure, and absolute heartache. But I’ve come to realize that we are the ones holding ourselves back from our horizons.

11/16/2021 Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco.

We block our light because we don’t believe in our own brilliance. We are more than cobwebbed echoes floating through eternal space. We are brighter diamonds, sparkling in the deep night sky. ✨✨

Love on Haight, San Francisco

We are vast beings beyond our physical bodies and minds. We are consciousness born anew every day. It’s startling to witness & difficult to understand. True being can only be lived wild and unfettered- out beyond our finite comprehension.

Freedom feels dangerous because we’ve been conditioned to fear the strength of our own dreams. The ways to awakening are before us at every moment.

In each attempt to create the best version of yourself you actually become that person. Through every act of conscious co-creation we bring Earth into greater expansion.

For we too will one day be buried, and all of this will have become so beautiful.

In that final moment what will your last thought be?

Perhaps we are here simply to guide each other along the conversation of life. Pieces and people come together when you are ready for them to be put into place. Inspiration arises organically when you surrender to your dreams. Walking every arduous step led you to now. 🔥

All of us is everything and everything is us. Separation is an illusion. Nothing is greater than being the love that changed you. Everything which came before was preparing the way to your calling. Become your full potential. That is how the light gets in. Go to where your destiny is taking you. That is how you change the world. 🖤🌈🌏❤️✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻🥰🙏✨

Express Yourself, Respect Yourself, Baby!

There’s a freedom to be who you are in Portland and it’s sacred. This city is unlike any place I’ve lived. The overall ethos of the city is to live with respect and communion with all people and harmony with the Earth, without pigeonholing everyone into tidy labels and categories. That’s one reason why this city (and so many others) are ready to come together to helping other people, communities, social groups.

If it’s good for the goose it’s good for the gander 😅

Speaking out against oppression and refusing the status quo has been a hallmark of Portland’s overall championing of social justice and human rights in various domains. The added bonus of empowering others gives one a new sense of ownership in their own lives.

Facing down police brutality and calling out fascism with thousands of like-minded people emboldens even millions more to physically and mentally stand up to corruption and agents in many facets of society.

It’s helping many of us grow and retrain our private thoughts and actions in our personal lives.

You cannot grow in the same place that forced you to expand.

And if you are not growing it will be very hard to stay in complete balance. Too often contentedness leads to complacency with apathy not too far behind. One begins to wither, grow bitter, or blameful without continual observation, discussion, and contemplation. We must tend and cultivate our inner gardens even when they are not in beautiful luscious blooms of life.

Until recently I realized I still had/have shame of owning or talking about the sexual aspects of my sexuality. Though I am gay and proud of it- many of us have been conditioned through the lens of cis-gendered hetero-normative White Christian practices and policies.

We have been culturally manipulated by the Church, as a whole, to believe that our sexual organs are to be hidden- tucked away. The act of sex is restricted to procreation and otherwise is condemned and mostly immoral.

We are shamed out of acting upon our innate biological drives. The reproductive organs of our physical form are shamed due to cultural and religious mores that have caused women and so many other people groups shamed out of not only being comfortable in our own bodies.

For Black people, and Indigenous and People of color they are shamed, generationally oppressed, and persecuted just for the color and melanin of their skin.

The falling away of stifled and unnecessary cultural mores- of even the ability just to be free from the constrains of clothing in Oregon & other places in the world has given many people (self included) a new ownership in many areas of our lives.

Especially where owning the physical and sexual ascpects of myself proudly and without fear of breaking rigid taboos that seem so silly and antiquated now.

The more comfortable one is with themselves the more they able to make spaces for others to feel safe and also express their individuality.

Symbiotic relationships aren’t just relegated to sea creatures and cute orange fish with a short fin. We exist in constant feedback loops- of a taking in new information, processing that information, and our reaction is a result of variables and life experiences that cause us to grow, shrink away in timidity, recoil in disgust, aid in oppression, or revolt against tyrannies.

The broadening and active efforts to achieve social equality, championing of human rights, and equity across is all tribes, races sexual orientations, gender identities, polyamorous and many more identities and lifestyles embolden each one of us to embrace our own selves and elevate to a higher aspect of ourselves.

To Those who are struggling with your sexuality, gender, coming to terms with a non-heteronormative identity. I truly hope you will find yourself. You are worth living your truest life.

Follow your inner guidance- your life is your own. The Earth is ready to teach us the true power of humanity.

We must first accept that power for ourselves and not be afraid to treat yourself right, Express yourself, Show it off and show yourself and others a sustainably respectful good time.

Running Up That Hill

She spoke out of the side of her mouth on a sunny Seattle morning,  “I lost 4 kids to the state. I was the one who wasn’t supposed to make it, but I did. It took two decades and finally my fifth child to get it all together, and now I help parents who are in the exact place I was in. I went to rehab and all the classes. I did everything it took to get my son back. I was clean and sober but still toxic inside for a long while.” #relatable

A room full of social workers sat quiet and stunned by this woman’s incredibly powerful story. Her vulnerability was buoyed by the steely strength reflected in the angular ridges of her sharp cheek bones. She was made of true grit, borne with cards stacked against her, and full of personal tragedies scattered throughout her life.

She didn’t talk about many generations of societal oppression, decades of prejudice, inequality, poverty, denial of rights, betrayed promises, lack of resources that are disgustingly common to so many Americans & people around the world.

And If she only could, would she make a deal with god? Would she want to shout profanities to the mountains too? How many of us have done the same only to hear the resounding shrill of well-meaning Christians but not the voice of god. The void of silence is deafening. At least it is quantifiable. As much as it sucks at least silence is real.

The hardest part about social work is that there are just too many underlying factors that have brought families to their lowest points. There is often a lack of knowledge of the resources available not to mention the Manila and brown folder bureaucracies sidestepping the way to freedom.

Parents and caregivers are often depicted and treated as villains– when in truth they are often using substances to self-medicate, to just get through the day, to function in a world that sees their disabilities and mistakes as another reason they are unsafe, unfit, worthless, unsalvageable. There are those who have committed unspeakable acts against vulnerable children and who should have no access to their children.

Washington has a ton of resources available to aid parents and children- related to housing, mental health, medical care, counseling, dietary needs, summer camps, and programs that work to strengthen parental skills and personal development. The strengthening of our most vulnerable populations should never be seen as a handout. There are millions of people who have not been afforded opportunities that so many of us have taken for granted because we lived in two-parent households and graduated from school districts that reflected a certain tax bracket- or those of us who barely made that echelon and have been trying to keep up with the Joneses and the Richers, who often live a very guarded and gilded lifestyle- putting the blinders on to the plights of people living across town and sometimes just across the street.

But now I have felt the harsh judgement from people who used to be closer than family. The darkness enclosed like a coffin, like an abusive lover holding you down along with your shame. And then I held myself in the lair of guilt and self-recriminations. I will make sure my clients don’t go it totally alone.

I’m the one who made concessions and apologies but have not gotten any in return. I didn’t hold certain people accountable for being there for me when I needed them. I let them off the hook now. This bitterness does not serve me. The reminiscing over the wounding only infuriates the healing. It takes a while to get your life back on track. Especially when you’re the one responsible for the fuck up.

Part 2: A deal with God

Not gonna lie, this transition has been amazing, but quite solitary; it’s not terrible it’s just different than I imagined. It’s also just the beginning.

I had been living in patterns of devolution for months. A persona unrecognizable to others who knew me well. I hit upon a rage that had never been expressed and a volatility of shockwaves that rippled beyond the bounds or intentions of my person. It all had to burn away before I would have accepted a bipolar diagnosis and that I needed help- that I needed to change some ways of living.

Moving is an inherently solo journey- one I’m so fortunate to be complaining about. Things could be seriously so much worse. I’m very thankful they are not. I’ve been lucky to have a lot of amazing people & friends physically present in daily life.

I wish could take back and redo a lot of last summer. I wish I was over it all. Most days I am. For awhile it was all I could think about. Now I’ve accepted that it’s all part of the ebb & flow of healing.

Sometimes you wonder if you’re alone because you want to be or b/c you’re the problem. Maybe it’s your time to “work on things,” but when does the working cease? When is someone finally worthy enough?

The annoyingly spot-on answer- You’re the only 1 who can determine that for yourself. And in case you want to argue spoiler alert- the fact that humans and this Earth even exists is a 1 in a quadrillion chance miracle. *don’t @ me on that math. 😂

A client told me if he had known what would have happened he’d have done it differently. Wouldn’t we all? He strangely didn’t seem completely remorseful couldn’t figure out why at the time. Then it hit me- he’s accepted the reality of awful circumstances that led him here and apart from his family. I’m grateful the stakes have never been that high for me.

This current journey into social work is much different than it was in Texas for many reasons. I now know what it’s like to feel out of control, embarrassed, regretful, alone, sober, forgiven, in treatment, and finally becoming the best version of oneself.

The ones who have seen the error and changed course- those are the ones who are worth fighting for, and deserve the resources to get their life on track, to get their children back.

How many times have you regretted an action and let it play out over and over in your mind? You remember the events that led up to certain actions and thoughts. Your body revs with anxiety as you relive the event in your mind. When recounting or thinking about a trauma the human body cannot qualify whether that action occurred in the past or present.

Whatever you focus upon will also reflect in your body as your neck tenses, heartbeat increases, etc. In essence we are reliving that past trauma every time we talk about it which often causes involuntary physical reactions. It feels like a haunting at first but distance from a problem or a helps one to see things w/ perspective. Never underestimate the power of your breath in a chaotic situation & therapy to address everything else.

It’s true you can’t win every time. You can’t save everyone and there are some relationships not worth saving (which is tough b/c I’m a life long friender.) My sister gave me the gift of being present while I confronted the personal beasts raging in my head and heart. She gave me the gift of family. My dad gave the gift being there without me even knowing it. So many friends have done the same.

All we really need is someone who will stand with us between the raucous & silent phase of darkness. Western skies are filled to the brim with nights made of stranger diamonds.

There is a beauty in new beginnings- wildflowers blooming in wind. Fragile miracles embedded in the tomb of dirt and earth. We are plants bursting through soil. That initial thrust must have been initially painful, but so worth it now that everything has bloomed. Trust the process for if you are trying- the harvest will eventually bring its bounty.

 

The Rolling Stoned/ Halfway Home

I’m halfway through writing my second book, re-planning my move to the PNW, & waiting for 2nd interviews. The words flow much more freely this go round, but will they see the light of day? It’s been difficult to get out of bed since the end of December, but I’ve been getting out and up each day all the same. Looking forward to the future with a much tempered hazy optimism.

I wish I could be a plastic. That I could fake it. That I didn’t have a heart which feels and cares so deeply. Call me Blondie. She breaks like crystal glass these days.

It’s been a decade since I’ve experienced long term depression. The deception of depression is making you think that the real things aren’t there any longer and that you will never escape.

Sometimes I wish I could just be a corporate sellout, make a shit ton of money, and live happily ever after with a six packed boyfriend in an easy-bake oven life. But then I wouldn’t be me. I am here & who I am for a reason. Aren’t we all?

The only thing worse than not pursuing your dreams is to achieve them and realize that it was probably all for nothing.

This wasn’t part of the plan. Neither was MAGA. A great many unplanned things have come and gone in the world that weren’t supposed to. I wish these mistakes could all be rectified.

Clawing forward is proving to be more insurmountable a challenge than I thought because the wind in these sails have lost their fury and also some of their desire. But claw ahead we must.

I must have been delusional to think that people cared to hear what I had to say, at least enough to finally make writing my chosen profession at this time.

Why did y’all lead me to believe you wanted to hear my words? Or was it intriguing to watch from the sidelines hidden in sheep’s clothing? The wolves are out for blood most nights.

To quote the Talking Heads, “and here am I the biggest fool of them all,” and the only one to hold responsible. Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself, or just brutally honest. The truth lies somewhere in between.

The signs were there and I didn’t heed them. I should’ve left Mexico the day my wallet was stolen, but I had a book to publish, and a new life as a writer with fantasized royalties to earn.

The pouring of my life story and message of encouragement for other people to live their truest lives went mostly unnoticed and without interest in book form. I posted a chapter from my book to a newly purchased website for 7 days in July.

Why did I get so much appreciated and unexpected attention 3 days after launching my blog site? That was the most crushing blow of all. I was fed a cruel deceit and lapped it up thankfully.

Tears pooled into an endless stream of gratitude for weeks. I would have been way more responsible with my heart and savings had that not happened. But I was so confident that writing was/is my destiny. Just didn’t realize Ms. Destiny wasn’t going to pay the bills at least not right now.

Control is illusory. We are at the helm of our ship but no amount of skill or years at sea can steady the ocean’s waves. After all, “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

The difficulty is discerning if the roadblock is an obstacle to surmount or a wall dead-ending the future. I’ve always preferred smashing through than waiting out the resistance.

Perhaps I have perfected the art of subconscious self-sabotage because I was taught to hate aspects of my core identity since childhood. I lost focus on the things and people important to me. I spiraled briefly out of control when I tore my foundation asunder.

I looked into the abyss and found the abyss. I toppled over the edge and plunged downwards. What happened to finding mountains instead? Cloud cover isn’t limited to sky alone.

The deception of depression is making you think that the real things aren’t there any longer and that you will never escape. Depression feels like this state will always last. It is a caustic companion that seeks to snuff out all joy and promise of better days to come.

I’d rather take the long road ‘round than sit in gridlocked traffic. Maybe there is still hope upon the horizon. How long will it take to find it? As long as it takes to find yourself or until you settle. Maybe it’s a little of both.

I have to trust this will all turn into something really grand, and if not, at least I tried my hardest. At least I tried at all. A mountain is still a mountain.That’s got to count for something even if the haze won’t let me see it now.

Hope is the great unknown. Kingdoms have been overthrown by less. Some days it’s the only thing I have more of.

How long will it take to resolve this existential quandary? As long as it takes to find yourself or until you settle. Neither have yielded fruitful thus far. Forward marching I will go. Trying to accept grace along the way.

The Rolling Stoned-

The stoned days are over. I dropped mine in the sand.

You looked at your own Then outstretched your hand.

An opulent few once parted a river. The ancient practiced craft of a Summer Indian giver.

Two seasons have gone by. You’re a little bit closer. I’m farther than crows fly.

A whipping wind sears across this prairie-crone.

All’s been begged and borrowed. Nothing to call your home.

Islands traded for beads. Wasteland riches spoil the hands that feeds.

Black gallons slither round a corporate greed.

You can’t always get what you want. You don’t get to see me bleed.

I cashed in our love for a jettisoned heart

The leaf scattered oracles herald defeat & then depart.

Magdalene had time to lean. Blood’s never made anyone clean.

A Tomb rolls open. Just a spin of the dice. What’s left for white-washed Jesus Christ?

Here I wait amongst setting sun.

Sleep folds in waves a coarse blanket, shadow-spun.

What becomes of dreams once followed and dreams undone?

Days of nightly wondering and the promise of days to come.