Before an organization starts antiracism or equity workshops…….

The last few years We have been co-facilitating equity and antiracism workshops with some pretty amazing people! There are so many things We have learned in these educator dynamics, but even more so from the various organizations and “clients” We’ve collaborated with. We’ve been noticing some patterns in the ways orgs approach this work that, in a lot of ways, sets them up for failure. When orgs fail, they can feel like the equity and culture changing work isn’t worth it, but it definitely is if we ever want to finally dismantle these oppressive structures and cultural aspects that so many of us suffer from. Below are just a few questions folks should think about before engaging in equity work at their place of work.


Before you started looking for antiracism workshops, did you do any sort of internal assessment on what your needs actually are? There is no one size fits all to equity work since each organization has its own internal culture, and adapts to harmful white colonial norms in different ways. There are some orgs that are predominantly white and think solely by hiring more staff who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) they will solve the problem. But equity is more than diversity. The culture needs to change in order for BIPOC staff to feel genuinely safe, welcomed, and advance their careers in the same ways as their white/white passing peers. Identifying where the pitfalls, challenges, roadblocks, etc. are within your org is extremely helpful so you can identify what kind of workshops you ACTUALLY need, rather than trying to engage with content that you think you MIGHT need. For example, do you really need that workshop on microaggressions you’ve been eyeing for your staff? Or would leadership coaching for your predominantly white/cisgender/heterosexual/middle class executive team be a better choice in this moment in time?

This internal assessment can be done through private surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, group meetings, and so many other ways. The important thing is to approach these conversations and assessments as a community, rather than leadership telling everyone what they “have” to do.


A lot of equity work focuses on the power dynamics of dominant culture vs marginalized people/communities. These power dynamics can often be reinforced in work settings where those in senior level positions tell the rest of the organization that they are now going to engage in workshops, affinity groups, interviews, etc so that the org can become more antiracist and equitable. However, without input from staff, volunteers, and the people or communities your organization serves, you end up starting your equity work with a foundation of re-enforcing power dynamics. In the assessment phase, you should be gauging staff’s interests or needs within this work. Do they feel it will be beneficial for their individual role? Their department? Will it help better their relationships with their co-workers, supervisors, donors, board members, and others they regularly interact with? This is a moment where leaders need to do more listening than talking!

We are so accustomed to showing up to our jobs, leaving our personal shit at the door, enaging in our work for 40+ hours a week, clocking in and out like little worker drones at times. We are in a cultural shift where people are being asked to engage in equity work at the same place where they collect a paycheck, which can feel off-balance since equity work is so connected to our heart and spirit. We cannot treat these as random professional developments that staff are going to engage in, but rather as moments of community building work that aims to see each individual staff person as a whole being, and to create a work environment where each person can thrive as their most authentic self. Check in with your staff if this work is a priority for them, and in what ways you can ensure you can all collectively engage in this work with sincere intention.


Many orgs will say they don’t have the funds to do this work, which for many small nonprofits/businesses may be true. Living in a capitalistic society can definitely have us facing financial instability, even on an organizational level. Some things to consider:

  • Revisit your organization’s budget: Some orgs will say they don’t have the funds without doing a financial audit of their spending habits first. Are there some folks in positions of power who are making six-figure salaries, while other employees are making SIGNIFICANTLY less? Where can there be alterations to their salaries to still provide them living wages, but to start allocating funds to the importance of integrating equity work and healing for the org, while simultaneously addressing the economic disparities between people in senior leadership positions, and those they supervise. Is there any frivolous spending your org engages in that they can cut back on in order to make more room in the budget for these trainings and services? Where can your org start to look how it earns and spends money as a whole, and identify how it does or doesn’t align with your equity values, hopes, and dreams.
  • Fundraising campaigns: many orgs do a variety of fundraising, why not fundraise in order for your organization and community to be able to have the financial resources to engage in equity and antiracism work? This work not only impacts the internal org culture, but also the work they engage in, the relationships they build, and more. If we tell our community and constituents this work is REALLY important to us, and share some of the positive ripple effects that it could have, we can hopefully get them engaged in supporting your org to move forward becoming more equitable with the resources and support you need!
  • Grants and foundation funds: This work is becoming more and more necessary for so many organizations and institutions around the world. You may be surprised at what kind of funds are available out there for your org to leverage. I know it takes some physical labor, but doing the research of what other financial opportunities are available to help fund this work can be super helpful.


For a lot of nonprofits and other organizations, the board has a lot of decision-making power, and can often be one of the biggest obstacles of being able to bring in outside help to address internal needs as it relates to equity work. This often stems from boards being predominantly white and affluent (or upper class), a population who is in most need of this type of work, but often engages in defensiveness, avoidance, gaslighting, and other harmful behaviors. There may be a point where senior leadership (executive directors, CFO’s, program directors, etc.) needs to become a strong advocate for their staff members and community. This could also be a great opportunity to start doing collective advocacy work where leaders can bring their staff members to board meetings to share how important everyone feels it is to start addressing these necessary internal cultural changes. Remember, we are always stronger in numbers!

You can also begin to create formalized expectations of what current and future board members must commit to when being a part of the board at your org. For example, all board members could be required to engage in a workshop around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) if this is something they don’t have experience with, or be required to allocate a certain amount of the funds they donate or raise for the org to be spent on the org’s DEI initiatives.


We have experienced, SO many times, moments where orgs signed up for DEI workshops, treating it as if it was any other professional development like learning how to use microsoft excel, or google suites. They often don’t realize that this work can be very heavy. Which is difficult when you’re used to a culture where you clock in to work, leave who you are (mostly) at the door, clock out, and keep it moving. We are starting to bring the personal aspects of ourselves to the surface, in a space in which that is not normalized or even welcomed. We are going through a major cultural shift right now where we are recognizing our staff members are more than just people who help us make profit, but are whole human beings who have trauma, complex identities, experience cultural and systemic oppression and/or carry various privileges that keep them safer or more accepted in this world.

When we begin to have conversations about racism, transphobia, sexism, ableism, and all the ways humans judge, harm, and oppress one another, it can bring up a lot of difficult feelings and emotions. We can begin to surface the ways we have been harmed, or have been complicit to it. It is so so SO important for orgs to figure out what does it look like to heal as individuals, and as a collective, as you move through this work. It could look like taking days of rest on the days of or after engaging in equity work. It can look like having a social worker on site incase folks need a bit of counseling. It can look like offering extra mental health days, particularly for those most impacted by systemic racism and oppression, so that they may rest and recuperate after difficult conversations or interactions. Or even perhaps engaging in meditations, art making, or other community bonding type of activities where you don’t just focus on the trauma of oppression. There are so many options to try and see what works best for you and your work community.


One thing We consistently see in Our workshops is unambiguously Black and Brown people having to relive their race-based trauma in order to inform or educate their white/white-passing peers. Which is why thinking about some of the items listed above is so important. It can be a jarring experience for BIPOC staff members to sit and listen to their white co-workers essentially learn about how violent and anti-Black american and global culture actually is; which can be a huge slap in the face for those who have a long-lived experience with racism and the abuse it enacts.

Before moving forward with equity work, figure out the ways in which you are not going to put additional emotional, spiritual, and physical labor on those who are most negatively impacted by all of this. Do BIPOC staff NEED to attend EVERY single workshop? Or can you make some of them for white/white passing folks? Are you able to create racial affinity groups where folks can learn or hold discussions based on the needs of their particular community? You can even find ways to come back together as a whole community to share what you’ve learned and discussed. Do you prefer to have someone “in-house” organize your equity work for your org, rather than hiring an outside consultant or facilitator? That’s fine! As long as your community thinks this is also a good idea, and you PAY THAT PERSON.

All in all, prepare yourself for the long-haul of this work. It took thousands of years to get us where we are at today. Systemic and cultural oppression is not going to go away overnight, or within a few workshops or conversations. We must be prepared as individuals and as a collective to take care of ourselves, and one another, so that we can do this work in a way that is sustainable and doesn’t continue to lead to burnout, emotional harm, or worsening tensions and conflict.


Capitalism is The Devil

Today I asked Spirit to provide me with any messages I should bring to the collective of what aspects of oppression and healing we need to be focusing on right now, and pulled a tarot card to gain clarity on this.  In addition, to help contribute to the healing justice component of my blog entries, I also pulled an oracle card to guide us in what healing practices we can utilize to address the issue/challenge brought up within the tarot pull.

Not surprisingly, for today’s tarot pull we received The Devil and immediately Spirit started talking to me about Capitalism.  I kind of chuckled because, honestly, the two entities are indeed synonymous and I’d like to take some time to explore with you all as to why.


On its most basic level, capitalism is meant to serve as a free-market without government intervention.  This is to allow those who create products and services to have primary decision-making and ownership off of what and how they sell.  There is also an expectation that they develop resources for all of us through the practice of supply and demand; the more people want something the more companies provide it. In theory, this means that the consumers should be driving the market, not corporations who are selling.

Ultimately, any good capitalist wants to look at what product or service they sell, what are the goods they need to utilize to bring these products to fruition, and how can they sell these products at a cost/earnings ratio that works to their benefit so they are making as much profit as possible (translation, they don’t give a fuck about the consumer they just want that coin!).

Because we are in a system that thrives off of selling items, and collecting money as a result, that means we also NEED to make money in order to spend, even for our most basic needs of survival.  Whereas we used to barter “back in the day,” capitalism has created a system in which we need money to survive within it.

The idea is also, if we work and earn money, we will fuel our capitalistic economy even further, ultimately “strengthening” its effectiveness and, as a result, it will create jobs and other paid opportunities so that we all getting coin. Which sounds good, right?  We all have what we need as far as survival resources, as well as monetary, and all is good in the world.


The Devil

Capitalism is a highly inequitable practice and system.  In fact, it thrives off of inequity in order to function.  First, looking at products that are pushed and sold.  There are many products that are necessary for our basic survival (food, cleaning items, shelter, clothing) that can become inaccessible to folx because of price gauging or depriving them from certain communities and neighborhoods. Not to mention inequitable pay rates for work (or lack of work!) that leave most marginalized communities, especially Black, Indigenous, Disabled, Trans, and Undocumented communities, left with minimal funds to buy what they need to survive.

While capitalism is meant to be fueled by its consumer, in reality, what has happened is that this system is deeply controlled by corporations and business owners.  While there is a level of supply and demand that consumers have input on (like the increase sales of hand sanitizer right now due to the current pandemic) capitalists have also used many manipulative means to either convince consumers they need certain products (when they really are just luxuries), or to price gauge necessary items in order to siphon as much money as possible for their own personal gain.

Not to mention that capitalism has created a scarcity mentality that consumers feel they may need to buy products because they will “run out” even though this is unlikely in more developed (A.K.A.: highly colonized) areas.  This scarcity mentality is magnified within communities of capitalists who hoard money and other financial means for themselves, and as a result, make abusive decisions of how to run their business that directly impact those who are less financially wealthy.  This includes outsourcing materials from economically disadvantaged communities and countries to decrease their expenses, paying extremely low working wages (or even utilizing free labor whenever possible), or depriving their employees of necessary benefits, like sick time and health insurance, in order to cut expenses and increase their net profit.

The detrimental ramifications of capitalism is that it has created a clear distinction in class as it relates to socioeconomic status. Because capitalists utilize any means to “save a buck,” and hoard their own wealth, it deprives our ability to have an equal distribution of wealth.  As a result, we see an increase of people living in poverty or low-income lifestyles.  Our basic necessities can seem impossible to achieve because, although there is enough financial abundance for literally everyone in the world to live comfortably under a capitalistic society, the hoarding of wealth by capitalists leaves people homeless, starving, or without access to means to increase their own wealth like getting an education, developing a savings, investing in their retirement, etc.

Capitalism in itself is also deeply racist as those who hold the majority of wealth are white cisgender heterosexual men.  As such, they have created practices that abuse and take advantage of labor done by people of color, young people, immigrants, and other marginalized communities while preaching that if others just work hard enough they can achieve the same economic liberation.  However, one thing we don’t hear capitalists talking about, is the ways in which generational wealth has supported their longevity of being rich.  The same people who they utilize for labor in order to garner their own wealth cannot work up this system because there have been too many practices and policies put into place for marginalized people to truly achieve economic greatness to the same level as white cishet folx.

Lastly, capitalism has leaned into utilizing ANY means in order to make money, even if it comes to the detriment of our lives.  Since the industrial revolution, we have continuously seen our technology evolve and expand.  This technology helps produce products at a faster rate, getting us to buy more items and more frequently, keeping us in low economic status because we’re not saving our money or thinking of wealth on long-term sustainable level. But also it negatively impacts our environment as a result.  The increase of factories and utilizing harmful and toxic materials to develop products is literally poisoning our land that grows our food, our air supply, our drinking water, and so much more harm to all of the other non-human creatures that inhabit our planet.  In addition, because it relies on labor to keep going, yet there are very little to no accommodations made for employees to take care of their physical or mental health (paid time off, health insurance, accommodations for disabled folx, etc). people are becoming extremely ill (or already existing illnesses are worsening) because they are forced to work to simply survive.

Capitalism is purely the devil because it does not care about anyone elses needs or desires except for its own.  It is willing for people to die and suffer for its continued survival and expansion, causing billions of people to sustain its “success.”


Interestingly enough, even though capitalism is supposed to not have government involvement, we definitely see it happen regardless.  Because of the significantly evil practices that have resulted in white wealthy people trying to hoard or expand their finances, and their willingness to do literally anything to do so, government has had to step in to intervene and deescalate the harmful practices of this violent system.  Slowly, but surely, government has had to put in policies to protect workers because capitalists literally don’t give a shit about our lives or well-being (we are easily replaceable to them after all) and so politicians have had to introduce and implement regulations around mandatory minimum wage, child labor laws, mandatory sick time, etc. (Don’t get it twisted, government might have enacted these laws, but it was definitely grassroots and Black/Indigenous protesting and activism that pushed them to do so!)

However, our government is also complicit in fueling the devil that is capitalism.  Because many of these corporations fund the political campaigns of our politicians, we continue to see capitalism and politics intersect.  While there have been changes in labor laws to protect employees, politicians still have many practices that strengthen capitalist’s abilities to exploit their workers.  One major way we see this is in the theory of trickle down economics in which politicians continuously state that by giving deep tax cuts (or even providing bailouts) to corporations and business owners, that the money they are able to “save” will then be fueled back into the economy whether through employees wages, bonuses, or expanding their business to create more jobs, so on and so forth.  But, again, capitalism has pushed corporations to focus more on hoarding wealth then identifying the various ways in which they can distribute it evenly amongst their employees and community.  Even with decades of proof showing that trickle down economics is not real or effective, politicians keep using this excuse as a reason to keep supporting corporations and their unethical practices.


Living in a capitalistic society can be incredibly disheartening on so many fronts.  Many of us, particularly those of us of lower-income status, are fucking tired.  I know, personally, I have been working pretty much nonstop since I was 16 years old (I am now almost 35) and I have rarely had a chance to get a break.  Even in the times I did have a break, it was predominantly because I got too sick or disabled to work anymore and needed to stop everything in order to prevent further harm.  This is a narrative that is too true for billions of people across the globe.

The forcing of working to survive also inhibits our ability to genuinely show up for our spiritual selves, our families and communities, and so many other aspects of our lives.  We are continuously asked to prioritize the needs of our jobs rather than ourselves, and when our bodies and energy become depleted, we are then replaced by someone else to carry on the torch while we try to figure out how to continue to survive this system.

While there is certainly no spiritual practice that can save us from capitalism, I offer today a step in a positive direction.  When I asked Spirit, through the use of my oracle cards, what healing practice we need to lean on right now I received New Moon: Promise.

new moon promise.jpg

The new moon is a beautyfull time to start envisioning what you want to cultivate in your life.  This could not be a more appropriate card for us right now!  Below, I offer a practice to lean into this new moon energy so that we can all collectively working not only dismantling the oppressive aspects of our world, but to start envisioning the life we want to live instead.


A practice that I have found significantly cleansing and strengthening (and a practice I am still learning very much about) are spiritual baths.  These are actual baths you take mixed with a variety of ingredients that are all utilized for specific intentions and manifestations.  These baths help to cleanse your aura and spirit of any negative blockages or entities in order to enhance your inner divinity and magic!  It is also a great way to connect more strongly to spirit and ancestors.

It is totally ok if you do not have access to a bath as you can also put together the ingredients in a large bowl and pour them over yourself from shoulder to foot (if you can start at your crown, EVEN BETTER!).  I personally utilize the bowl because I despise baths (I know! I’m weird, haha) so please feel free to utilize either that feels best for you.

Be sure to clean your tub first.  Take a regular shower first if needed, save the spiritual bath for the end.  Please don’t rub yourself dry if possible.  Let yourself go to your room and air dry.  Dab yourself if needed.  Keep garbage out of the bathroom while you engage in your spiritual bath.  And really make sure you cut out a couple of hours to enjoy the bath an the afterglow.


Please feel free to look up your own mixtures or intuitively choose your own.  I personally like to use:

  • Coffee or coconut milk as the liquid base
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • A smidgen of florida water
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh rose petals
  • Red raspberry leaf
  • Other ingredients as desired

As you’re mixing your ingredients together, pray to Spirit/Ancestors and set the intentions of calling forth the new world you want to see once capitalism is dissolved.  Ask for Spirit to bring you wisdom and insight on what you need to do in order to dismantle internalized capitalistic practices or thought processes.

As you are bathing or pouring the bath over you, continue those thoughts, prayers, and intentions.  Visualize all of the things you need to unlearn and release washing away with the water down into the drain; asking Spirit to not let those entities harm you or anyone ever again.

After your bath, take time to rest.  Be still.  Write.  Meditate.  Whatever your spirit calls you to do.  But should not be engaging in productivity tasks.  You really should take an hour, preferably several more, to tune in to what your spirit is feeling and how it wants to move forward.

If you can, repeat this bath ritual at least once a month.  The intentions of the bath can vary, of course.  For my fellow spiritual folx or highly empathetic/emotional peoples, a weekly spiritual bath is in order (remind me to take my own damn advice on this!) as we tend to collect and hold on to not only our challenging feelings, but those of the collective and sometimes even from the spirit realm.  Take care of your energies my loves.  You’re going to need to be grounded for this next phase of evolution our society is going through.  ❤


Stop shaming people for NOT voting

Tis’ the season for everything presidential campaigning and voting and I have seen a significant increase of pro-voting harassment.  This is from people of all party and political affiliations.  Even “woke” folx.  I have actually been taken aback from some of the spiritual leaders I follow, whose opinions and wisdom I hold dear to my heart, turn around and put people down, judge, or villanize them for not voting.

The most peculiar thing is that many of these pro-voting initiatives often begin with the phrase “I know the system is flawed, but……” And that’s the issue, the system is DEEPLY flawed.  Since voting was first created, it was reserved for wealthy white men with land.  Not even white men of lower class could vote.  Since then, it has evolved to be more “inclusive”, but has always centered suppressing the voting of particular communities, more often than not, those of color.  Even in women’s history month we must remember that while many folx celebrate the women’s suffrage movement winning the right to vote in 1920, it wasn’t until 1965 that Black women had that same right; a whole 45 years later.


Voter exclusion still very much exists and the following groups of people currently cannot vote:

  • Non-U.S. citizens, even if they have legal residence here (and pay taxes). As of 2019, it is believed that there are around 1.2 million legal non-US residents, and roughly 10 million undocumented immigrants.
  • Convicted felons. Many states still deny the right to vote even after someone has served their time AND completed their parole. As of 2010, it is noted that there were approximately 19 million citizens with a felony on their record. And, of course, it is no surprise that most felons are people of color, with a high rate of those folz being Black men.
  • Those living in “U.S. Territories” including Guam (164,000 citizens), Puerto Rico (3.2 million), Northern Mariana Islands (55,000), and the Virgin Island (107,000).
  • Those under the age of 18- I wasn’t able to find a more specific number for those ages 14-17, but it is roughly 5 million. (side note: before you try to say “young people are too young to vote!” please research all the amazing social justice work they have been doing on a global level to address gun violence, global warming, racism, etc. We cannot keep silencing our youth while continuing to create legislation that directly impacts them on the daily.)

In addition to voter exclusion, there is still a significant amount of voter suppression.  Many working families are not always able to make it to the voting polls because they do not get time off and there isn’t mandated legislation to give people PAID time off to vote.  Sometimes they can’t make it to their polls on time because they have other obligations in addition to work such as taking care of children, elders, going to school, or perhaps do not have transportation to get to their polling site.

We have also seen suppression actions which I will let you review here because the list is pretty damn long:

We also have systems like the electoral college that strip away the voices of millions of people, and give power to candidates who were not genuinely voted in by citizens, which can leave people feeling like their vote doesn’t even matter.  In many ways, our government and all of the manipulation it enacts in our voting system, that statement can be true.



Despite all of that, people still come out and say the likes of “if you don’t vote, then you don’t care about our country.” Or “we can’t be friends anymore.” The fact is, there are a lot of damn people who can’t vote.

On top of which, the same people that are shamed for not voting, are more than likely those that politicians do not care about or support anyway.  Many folx believe that by promoting voting rights, and encouraging others to get to the polls, we can have a larger impact on the system and strengthen or better it.  But the reality is, its not just the voting system that is flawed; it’s the whole way our government functions (or doesn’t) that isn’t working.  Perhaps it did once upon a time (for a small select few) but the role of politicians has become more of a national gang vs. gang mentality and politicians spend much of their time bashing each other, or trying to sabotage other parties efforts, then actually building relationship with and advocating for the people they say they are there to serve.  In addition, the political realm has become so corrupt, that many politicians on a city and national level are found taking bribes, appropriating tax payer funds for their own personal wants and needs, blatantly lying, and so much more. Most importantly, many of these politicians, even the liberal ones we keep saying will “save us,” keep creating and reinforcing legislation that is transphobic, racist, classist, sexist, and overall xenophobic.

Pushing someone to vote, in my opinion, is like pushing someone to stay with their abusive partner because “they love you and they will change eventually; just give them time.” Asking people to continue to endorse and support their abusers is a damn travesty.  But I feel like this is often out of fear.  People fear a world without government, without voting, without law and policies, because they don’t know what to replace this all with. They continue to try manipulating and changing our current system as if it is some sort of malleable object they can shape-shift into something that works better for them.  People, particularly those of privilege, keep pushing this capitalistic white supremacist system forward not always because they believe in the system, but because they literally can’t imagine any other way our world can function.  As the saying goes, “better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t know.”  The same reason why many of us might have stayed in unhealthy, abusive, codependent relationships; sure it’s a shit situation, but at least I know how to handle THIS shit situation. I’m not out here trying to experience a whole new one, you feel me!?!

I understand that mindset but I think it is one that is also holding us back from true liberation.  If we are too scared to see what could be on the other side of this system if we just let it all crumble, fall apart, and die, then how do we truly progress and evolve as a country and civilization?  If you never left that toxic relationship, how else would you have come to know the more intimate, confident, strong, beautiful aspects of yourself? While I know this may spark fear in folx, I find comfort in the imaginings of our current way of functioning completely dissolving and then blossoming into something new.  While many people think of all the things that could go “wrong” if we don’t engage in voting, I keep thinking of all the opportunities that could arise as a result.  This very much reminds me of the Tower card in the tarot deck.




When I do tarot readings and folx get this card, they sometimes get scared or nervous.  But I encourage them to welcome this card with great excitement!  Yes, the tower does mean there are certain aspects of your life that are going to fall the fuck apart.  Yes, it will likely be painful, scary, discombobulating, etc.  HOWEVER, what I always tell my clients is that the tower is there to serve you, not harm you.  The tower disarms everything dangerous or unhelpful in your life.  After that tower crumbles, you now have a new plot of land to rebuild a glorious castle that has more rooms, better sunlight, a river and fruitful garden in your backyard, and whatever else you can dream and imagine.  The tower is equitable to growing pains; emphasis on the pains.

But we live in a country that utilizes fear as a behavior management or controlling tactic (hello, look at our prison systems, classrooms, parenting).  As such, too many people fear letting all this shit fall apart because deep in their hearts they know that it will likely lead to suffering.  Which is probably true!  There will likely be a period of discomfort, insecurity, imbalance, if we suddenly decided to stop functioning as we have been for centuries, and try something different.  It is also true that we may not see the positive evolution of our country and world in our own lifetimes because healing and rebuilding from centuries of trauma will take a lot of time.  But that doesn’t mean it’s all bad because as we evolve, we create culture that genuinely meets the needs of our citizens as opposed to creating a one-size-fits-all platform that continues to oppress people and communities.  Fearing suffering should not be the point from which we make decisions.  By solely focusing on our joy/peace/privilege (and how to maintain those while enacting national change), and avoiding anything that may create a fissure in that joy, denies billions of people in the present and future the right to live free, liberated, safe, well-rounded and abundant lives.


If we truly want to be active citizens who push this country forward in a positive direction, we need to stop putting so much emphasis on promoting and electing politicians and other government officials.  Because the reality is, there have already been countless people throughout time who have been dreaming and creating an alternate world for us.  So many Black, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, and other marginalized communities have already long given up on voting (or have utilized it as only one of their MANY antioppression practices) and have started initiatives, rituals, communities, programs, businesses, etc. to provide our people with what they need not only for their basic survival, but to thrive in this horribly oppressive world.  To put so much emphasis on the predominantly white cis male politicians who are “representing us,” and not investing that same energy, financial capital, people power, etc. to the marginalized individuals/communities who have BEEN doing the work to create a more equitable and safer world is, in itself, oppressive.  I’m not saying not to vote, that is your choice!  And that’s the beauty of voting, it’s A CHOICE.  But if other people opt out because they see how this system has stripped them of their freedom and safety, do not shame them.  Inquire as to why they made that decision (if they are comfortable answering) and identify other ways you can be of service outside of the polling station.

As my boo Audre Lorde said “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”  White men created voting in this country, the U.S. government, current laws and legislation in this country, and we keep trying to utilize their tools to “take them down.”  Perhaps that may work eventually, but it will never be truly effective until we strengthen community-led initiatives and ways of leadership because without the voices of our people, all we are doing is watching mostly white people dictate the way and quality of all of us, and the truth is, most of the politicians don’t give two shits about us.  So, if you go vote, cool.  But if you are voting solely out of fear of “but what else do we do instead?” or “I’m just trying to pick the lesser of two evils,” then I encourage you to see what else you can do outside of voting to achieve the world you want to live in.  But that does not need to come at the cost of shaming other people for not voting.  Some people are willing to sacrifice the way our world is now to usher in and welcome a brighter world for us; let them have that.



This is a mediation exercise for you to do at home.  This is in particular if you are trying re-envision a stronger, safer, more equitable world.  ❤ This does not have to all be done in one sitting as there are several aspects to it.  I would actually find 1-2 weeks (or longer!) to dedicate to the reflections below.  Make it a daily practice, even if for just a few moments.

If you have a tarot deck at home, pull that tower card out!  Or feel free to draw or create your own version.  Place it on an altar or somewhere where you can see it regularly.  When sitting or viewing the card, take time to meditate on:

  • What do you love about the current state of our world?  What makes you feel uplifted?  Included?  Invigorated? Hopeful?  Invested?
  • What about our world do you find challenging? Restrictive? Isolating?  Harmful?
  • What shifts are you hoping to see in our world and culture?  What does our world look like when it is safer, more inclusive, welcoming, and abundant for all? Utilize all of your senses.  What does this world sound like, smell like, feel like?
  • What are 3 things you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve the world you dream of?  This can be behaviors, tangible things, belief systems, language, relationships, etc.

After you have taken some time to gain a better understanding of the prompts above:

  • Write down 3 fears you hold about engaging in those sacrifices.  What are you afraid to lose?  Gain?  Miss?  Hurt?  Write each fear on its own individual paper.  As you continue with a daily mediation practice (even if only for 5 minutes)  I want you to find a piece of string/yarn/twine and envision that world you created in your heart and mind on the 3rd bullet point above, and simultaneously wrap the piece of paper (your fear) while keeping the vision of our renewed and healed world in your mind.  Repeat the mantra “My fears will not stand in the way of my liberation.  My fears will not stand in the way of our collective liberation.”  Continue to breathe deeply, and repeat this mantra to yourself until all the fears are bound.


You are welcome to find your own way to dispose of these fears.  Burn them.  Tear them up and recycle them.  Rip them up and create new art with them.  Or hold on to them and re-wrap them with string whenever you feel anxieties or stresses coming up.


I encourage you to find your own style of meditation.  This can include just sitting with your thoughts, but can also include writing, dance, art, tarot pulls, crystal pendulums, altar work, and so much more.  Please adapt this healing/reflection exercise as you see fit.  There is no one size fits all practice.  Do what naturally calls to you and guides you closer to your intuition, alignment, and liberation.

You don’t hate New Yorkers- you hate the impact of systemic oppression

We have all heard how nasty New Yorkers can be.  They have an attitude.  Are rude and disrespectful.  Confrontational.  Selfish. So on and so forth.  That the city is too expensive.  Too overpopulated.  Too polluted. Etc.

For many years I believed these same tropes about folx in NYC.  Not to mention, that New York City was so hard to live in.  I saw one of my aunts live here for almost 25 years, and in that time, she always worked 2-3 jobs and was still broke.  As a result, I also witnessed her deal with endless health issues that progressively got worse because she just didn’t have the time to address them.  Not to mention, her being overworked led to a lot of those health issues in the first place.  Seeing her live this life, I promised myself that I was NEVER going to live in NYC because it seemed so terrible.

As luck would have it, I ended up moving here anyway for a relationship.  After that 8 year relationship dissolved, I stayed in NYC but often regretted and resented it.  I felt trapped, claustrophobic, like I was stuck here and never going to be able to get out. I’ve spent many years trying to apply for jobs in DC, California, Washington State, even Hawaii to get out of this “hell hole.”  I was getting angrier at how congested the city was/is with cars, people, sound pollution, and actual pollution. I was tired of everyone around me in trains and on busy sidewalks yelling at me, harassing me, and forcing their heavy energies into my Spirit.  For several years now I have done everything in my power to get the hell out of NYC, and yet it keeps me locked in place still.

It wasn’t until September of 2019 that I really understood as to why.  I developed a better understanding of WHY I felt so angry at NYC and its culture, and have gained a stronger understanding of why I have never been able to leave.  What I have realized is I do not hate NYC, I hate the impact of systemic oppression and global colonization.  When I sat down to really reflect on the “why” of my feelings towards NYC, I recognized that many of the same behaviors or culture that myself (and many people) complain about is created and fostered by colonization, capitalism, and white supremacy.

The city is ridiculously expensive to live in; people often can’t even get their own apartments and often have to live with roommates just in order to make rent (I myself have 2 roommates).  They changed minimum wage to $15 an hour, which leaves you with LESS THAN $32,000 as your annual salary.  Rent alone will take approximately $15-000-$18,000 annually from an individual ; if you are making minimum wage that leaves you with about $13,000 for the remainder of the year.  This is all not including the fact that the take home pay is a lot less due to taxes and any other additional benefits.   How many of you feel like you can successfully live on $13,000 (or less) a year with your mental and physical health in tact?

Many New Yorkers end up having to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.  Which means people are fucking exhausted.  Their bodies and spirits are beyond tired.  Their health is at risk because capitalism forces them to prioritizes the needs of their jobs over their own.  It is extremely disheartening because this city continues to invest in the tourists who come to our city to “fuel our economy,” and to pander to corporations and corporate executives who build their businesses here utilizing cheap labor from desperate New Yorkers, immigrants, young people, and other marginalized communities who are just trying to make any kind of coin to survive.

Living in NYC also brings to the forefront global social justice issues as we have individuals from literally all across the world coming to live, study, and work here.  In only 13 miles of land, we have over 8 million people.  It is believed that at least 3 million of those people were born and/or raised outside of the so-called united states.  And, of course, we also have an influx of other americans who come from all over the country. And while we would ideally love to equate American ideologies as inclusive and accepting, it is often anything but.  As gentrification continues, we have been seeing an increase of racist white or white passing people (particularly those of upper-middle or higher economic classes) take over our communities, push out our businesses, close down our community organizations, all while asking us to be grateful and stop complaining.

As a result of this global influx of people coming to live in NYC, there is an increase in diversified belief systems and cultural practices; ones that can sometimes be deeply rooted in xenophobia. While there are definitely some equitable practices and cultures in NYC, we also experience deep levels of transphobia, homophobia, sexism, ableism, etc. because so many people are bringing in oppressive and outdated belief systems.    In the total population of NYC we have many people who are incredible change agents, activists, educators, healers, community organizers, etc.  But there are also many people who bring in bigoted belief systems, physical violence as an oppressive tool, verbal abuse, and so much more.  Everyday a New Yorker walks out of their house, they never know who they may come across and how others will impact their emotional and physical safety.  This risk of being harassed or harmed is at an even higher increase if you live within a marginalized body/identity.

I can go on and on about the challenges we face in NYC.  With the most racially segregated school system in the US, to train systems bombarded with cops physically wrestling poor people to the ground who didn’t pay the $2.75 fare, to failing infrastructure, and so much more.  What I ask folx is to consider all of that when crossing paths with one of our lovely citizens.  If someone goes off on you, if someone gives you side eye, if someone is not super friendly, take some time to think as of why.  But most of all, please stop demanding our attention, affirmation, and joy.  We are having a hard time here.  And for the world to demand that, upon their arrival, we engage in performative happiness is rude and disrespectful to the plights we experience on a daily just to survive here.  What the world is asking us to do is, push aside the fact that we are tired, hungry, don’t know how much longer we can survive, have our health be consistently compromised, be harassed because of different aspects of our identity, be touching shoulder to shoulder with people because of how populated some areas of NYC are, and despite all of that, to still be happy, cheerful, polite, etc.  It is an unreasonable and selfish ask. Our mental health needs in NYC are dwindling, and people not being sensitive or empathetic to that just pisses us off more tbh.

Folx may suggest “well, then, just leave NYC!”  Which is a mentality I functioned from for the longest; for myself included.  If I don’t like it here, then I should just leave.  The reality is, that many people don’t have the financial means to leave (going back to that minimum wage amount) or their entire community and family is here.  But I think what people should reflect on is why their solution to challenging situations is to just leave (something I have been personally meditating on for my own personal and spiritual growth).  That is deeply colonizer behavior.  Once we take up all the resources of a land, and can no longer inhabit it, lets just leave the land abandoned and sick, and go find new land to strip of its natural abundance.

What I have learned, in my own purpose, is that I need to stay here and fight for the liberation of our land.  There are SOOOOOO many people and orgs doing incredible work to contribute to the liberation of New Yorkers.  We need to stop running away.  We need to stop escaping.  Because ultimately, what happens in NYC can (and already is) spread to other regions; no one is immune to this way of life.  The restrictions and oppression placed upon New Yorkers is not new, it is just most apparent and prevalent because of our highly concentrated population in such a small area; these same oppressive behaviors exist EVERYWHERE but may not be experienced as intensely or blatantly on a daily like in NYC; giving people more room to work on their mental and spiritual health to combat the oppressive behaviors they may face and increase their ability to survive and their overall quality of life.  We cannot just keep abandoning land if we see the people and environment suffering.  It is irresponsible, and is an act that leans into our privilege while stripping the freedoms and safety of others.

Through my leanings around social justice, colonization, dismantling white supremacy, etc. I have learned that this escape mentality is exactly what oppressors want.  They want you to flee.  They want you to run away.  They want you to give up.  THEY WANT YOU TO FEEL POWRLESS.  Because that’s what weakens your mind so they may have even more power within your spirit and mind (internalized oppression).  By standing on our land, with pride, and defending the freedom of our people, we send a message that this land is OURS and it does not belong to the demons of white supremacy and capitalism.

So, the next time you come to NYC, and someone is rude to you, instead of being rude back or becoming judgemental ask yourself “How can I be of support?”  By lending your empathy and positive contribution to our evolution as a city, we can all work collectively to alleviate the strain and stress that New Yorkers experience regularly.  I ask you to join us in creating a healthier, safer New York.  One that we feel excited to live in and that we feel proud to call home.



Breakups are hard but necessary

Since October of 2018, I have been going through some serious breakups. I’ve been cutting ties with a lot of people; a big deal for me as someone who tries to make relationships of all kinds work for way pass their expiration date, which inevitably leads to lots of emotional turmoil and trauma. I’m trying to break cycles over here by having some necessary breakups and cleansing. It’s been an emotionally exhausting yet spiritually freeing experience.

One of the hardest breakups so far was with my family.

I keep thinking about one of the last things my mom said to me before we cut ties.

She said she hoped I would stop having so much hate in my heart.

I was really surprised she said that.

I have never perceived myself as someone who has a lot of hate. I have A LOT of fucking anger and rage though, and I think those two things get confused way too fucking often, especially for women/femmes who are already deemed too emotional so anytime we fucking feel ANYTHING, we are already overreacting.

It’s interesting to me that both my family and I are at odds with one another because we feel the other is full of hate. They think I’m full of hatred for them because I think they’re racist and transphobic (which they are). They also think I’m full of hatred because they see my anger towards them as meaning I don’t love them or appreciate the ways in which they tried to care for me when I was a kid.

Essentially, in this particular family dynamic, I’m not allowed to have opinions or judgements of their character whatsoever. Although, they have regularly made it a priority to give me their critiques of (or make jokes about)every aspect of my life; a fact I have reminded them of on several occasions. They have literally pointed out everything “wrong” with every aspect of my appearance (hair, tattoos, clothes), school choices, job choices, definitely my partners, my parenting, my messiness, my finances, and so much more. They have made it a priority to dissect and critique every part of my inner and outer body (and do so of pretty much every person they encounter); to me this feels hateful. So I get confused when they can exist in that way and it is deemed OK but when I push back and say “hey, maybe you shouldn’t say black people don’t have a right to protest or trans people shouldn’t be in the military, that could be considered hateful,”I am the one full of hate.

What this translates to me: When I am asking them to be kind, empathetic, and intentional about trying to become better people, I am the one who is full of hate.

But, of course, that’s only my perspective, and I’m still angry as fuck, so there’s that.

My family and I have had a toxic relationship since I was born. Cutting ties with them, although challenging and sad as fuck, has been a really healing process. Meditating on the experience thus week, I became acutely aware of how many of us allow ourselves to endure so much pain and abuse in the name of love. We think because people are blood related to us, proposed to us, went through some major life transition with us, that we have to stick by their side NO. MATTER. WHAT. And finally, at age 33, I cut that shit out. Because the biggest lesson I have learned in MY life, it is usually the people who claim they love you who hurt you the worse.

When I think of all of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual pain I have experienced in my life (and there’s been a whole damn lot) it was always the people who claimed they love me or would be there to take care of me who were inflicting pain.

So I no longer believe in being loyal or loving to people because of the role they played in my life. I would rather focus on loving those who show up for me, treat me with kindness, are accountable when they are hurtful, and hold my ass accountable too. I wanna focus on people I can grow with, not people who keep me in older versions of myself that no longer serve me. In order to do that, sometimes breakups gotta happen.

That’s not being full of hate, that’s being full of LOVE for self and the future I am trying to cultivate.

At the end of the day, when cutting ties with anyone, it doesn’t matter what they think of you. And they shouldn’t give a damn of what you think of them either. Breakups are hard. They suck in any shape or form. But breakups are important. Because they make space for the love that IS healthy for you. We all love in different ways and if we keep forcing certain loves to maintain because of old ideologies telling us to do so, then we just gonna continue being out here miserable fucking messes because we’re all forced to stay in situationships that drain us and make us unhappy and/or unfulfilled.

Why the fuck do we do this to ourselves? Let’s do something different. Let’s put our happiness first, even if it means we gotta be a lil sad or experience some loss for a bit of the process.

Accomplishments first…..intentions later

Usually every New Year’s Eve I get excited to spend it by myself, order Chinese food, and do whatever rituals feel good to bring in the new year. It’s genuinely one of my most favorite holidays of the year.

Part of my ritual usually is to set intentions. I have these same set of intention-setting questions I answer every year. It’s cool to look back on what I was trying to achieve and manifest before, and see where I’m at now. But as I was surfing around Instagram, I noticed a lot of people were doing picture flashbacks of all the things they accomplished in 2018. And I was really happy for them! Then I realized, oh shit, every year I set these intentions without even looking at what I’ve accomplished. Ive never really reflected on what worked or not throughout the year, where my successes and challenges were, and what I may need for next year based off of that.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a pretty consistently deeply reflective person, so it’s not like I’m ignorant about how I showed up in 2018. But I do think it’s just a good reflection practice before looking at a whole other new 12 month cycle. I figured I’d make a quick list because I felt like I hadn’t accomplished much. I’m usually a very active person and working on several projects at one time. This year I set and met an intention to shift more of my energy into my work and cut the extracurricular for a lil while in order to rest, heal, build spiritual self. So in my mind, I didn’t “do shit.” So I’m really glad I wrote this list because at first it was whatever, but then as I started writing and I went IN. I kept repeating to myself “holy shit I did THAT too?!” Most of it was all about my character and happiness rather than tangible things or results. That shit made me so happy and extra proud of myself.

This originally was just going to be a little IG post but ended up turning into a blog cuz I ended up writing a lot more things for 2018 than I thought I would, which is awesome. Plus I also wanted to provide some context.

Lastly, I wanted to share that I was also really grateful to do this reflection of achievements because it’s encouraging me to slow the fuck down this week. Last week I was traveling and lots of things were just super stressful. So I went into this week super excited to get things done that I can’t normally get done when I’m still working. I made these to do lists, got organized, and it was great. But ultimately I’ve gotten almost nothing on that list done because I’ve just been doing other shit, like tarot, blogging, giving advice, watching standup, hydrating, cuddling with my dog. This is what I need instead.

That list reminded me that a lot of what led me to my successes in 2018 was listening to my body and intuition more and responding accordingly. And to do that I often needed to say “fuck time; it’s a man made construct. I’m gonna do shit when I fucking feel like it.” And that mentality really helps this time of year when the push of setting intentions and accomplishing things can be really pushy and almost peer-pressuring. So I will get to writing my intentions when I’M ready to. And I’ll do all that other shit when I’M ready to or need to, whichever comes first lmfao. Right now, my body and spirit knows that I just need to be a sloth/hibernating bear this week because next week means going back to work, and writing a workshop proposal for a conference as well as several grad school applications which are all due within the next 2-4 weeks. So I need to recharge right now cuz the next couple of weeks are gonna be rough. 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽

After those tasks are complete (which are part of my intentions anyway) I can set more focused time to further reflect on what I want to accomplish for the next year and beyond. So in the meantime, enjoy celebrating with me all the amazing shit I accomplished last year! Share in the comments what you’ve accomplished, too! Let’s bask in our successes a little bit more as we bring in 2019; let the year know who it’s fuckin with ♥️

Alex’s 2018 Accomplishments

1. Managed to survive January where I had an average bpm of 100-110 and lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks because my anxiety was so horrible. Even though every day it physically felt like I was on the verge of having a heart attack, I still focused on trying any healing method that I felt called to.

2. Found an antidepressant that actually worked! (And survived the meds I took after I was misdiagnosed bipolar).

3. Got a full time job with an amazing WOC leader who actually listens to me and helped me heal a lot of workplace-induced ptsd (that shit is SO REAL). She is the first legit mentor I’ve had in my adult life. It’s so fucking rewarding and refreshing. And she doesn’t silence or censor me when I need to roar about shit lol (omg she’s so fuckin patient-it’s unreal). Also she pretty much lets me do whatever I want without making me do a whole show and dance and statistical analysis report because she actually trusts my instincts and my skill set. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS TO FIND!?!? I legit work with Beyoncé and Michelle Obama’s secret love child and she is a true goddess.

4. Got to see my bestie GLOW THE FUCK UP and living her best life with her dream job, her amazing doggies (aka my goddogs), and incredible partner (he’s legit the first partner I haven’t hated and they’re both such fucking weird and deeply loving/affirming individuals that they are just even more wonderfully weird when they’re together. Ugh. They are #relationshipgoals. I’ll stop now cuz you’re not actually supposed to write this much in a parentheses. Also, my best friend gets weirded out by how much I love her boyfriend and how I get so teary eyed about it like I just watched Eternal Sunshine again.). My best friend looks sooooooo fucking happy, y’all. It makes me so damn emotional 😭😭😭😭♥️ Also, I’m really enjoying getting old with my bestie! It’s hilarious!!!!!!!

5. Adopted Meatball. She has helped my depression, especially since I need some long-term solitude right now. She keeps the spirit of trying to love others unconditionally alive, and she provides that for me every day. 💚🐶

6. I came to terms that my depression/ptsd are simply a part of me and nothing I need to make “go away.” They are actually perfectly rational reactions to being an empathetic human being in the current world we live in.

7. I fully came out as non-binary and queer and claimed my pronouns! And started refusing to minimize any of those aspects of my identity any longer, no matter who I was around, because by doing so I was feeding into people’s transphobia and sexism. I am no longer adjusting myself for prejudiced people. Im gonna take up the space I deserve to take up.

8. Have accepted and learned to love that I am a cryer; that shit is releasing and water is healing.

9. Deepened my spiritual practice by researching and following like-minded folx and practitioners on Instagram with an emphasis on following POC folx because white spiritual capitalism is real .

10. Officially came out about the fact that I coparent with my rapist; a dark truth I held onto for 14 years that’s wreaked havoc on my mental health that entire time. I feel so fuckin free now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone is always saying “reclaim your power” and I’m like “wtf does that even mean?????” I know now 🙏🏽

11. Have regularly practiced speaking more about aspects of my identity that I usually hid because I feared people’s judgement of things/people I love, or potentially making those people uncomfortable and having to endure the insults or unsolicited (and usually triggering) advice. I shouldn’t have to silence myself because some people are assholes.

12. I started doing some work around gender with our students as well as antiracism work with our staff in the school I work at. I have been trying to manifest opportunities like this for YEARS. This shit is part of the long term “career” work I want to be doing and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to start spearheading or participating in that work.

13. Started practicing “radical transparency” with my 6 year old kid this year; talks about my depression/ptsd, the child/sex abuse I experienced, racism, poverty, systems of oppression overall, sexual assault, sex in general (including “taboo” topics like oral/anal and sex toys), consent and so much more. She probably didn’t retain 60% of it, but I am making a commitment as a parent to continue initiating and encouraging conversations around our humanity.

14. Spent the year focusing more on the type of person I want to be rather than looking at how much I could produce or create.

15. Set some healthy AF boundaries and genuinely cut ties with people who were just plain toxic instead of focusing energy and time on trying to “make it work.”

16. Made hydration a priority.

17. Admitted I needed help.

18. Allowed myself to be sad without always needing to justify it with a reason as to why I was sad.

19. Allowed myself to legit crumple on the floor and fall apart IN FRONT OF people without worrying about what the fuck they thought (people showed up for me more often than I thought they would ♥️).

20. Learned to use my overuse of social media to my advantage (rather than treating it like some addiction I need to control or eradicate) by curating it to teach me about race, gender, mental health, etc. Which has actually really strengthened my learning because I have always LOVED reading, but actually have a hard time reading longer texts and retaining information (another reason why it took me 3 years to finish my thesis 🙄). So I feel like I really met myself at my learning style rather than treating myself like some social media addict who is too lazy to read a book. Also! It allowed for me to start using it as a platform to engage in conversations about and advocate for various social justice issues, particularly those revolving around mental health (follow @cuzimagemini if you aren’t already!). And pushed myself to use it more as a way to actually FaceTime and text people; sometimes we really do need to maintain that social connection. That’s how we remember that we actually have people we can get support from. It’s helped me be social on my own terms and comfort zone! Especially as I deal with my recent challenge around being in crowded public settings (which is pretty much everywhere in NYC) so I need a few more months of hibernating at home. Sometimes that isolation can really trigger feelings of depression so I appreciate all the people who randomly FaceTime me! It makes me sooooo happy, loved, and like I’m still included in the “real world” while I take this lil spiritual/physical healing sabbatical. It makes me even happier that they completely understand why I need to stay home right now and don’t try to push me to do something I don’t want to do or guilt me for not doing it. You don’t know how good that validation makes me feel and helps me sleep at night 💚

21. Stopped taking shit from straight cis men.

22. Became celibate with no particular end date in mind in order to honor my body’s worth and deserving for genuine, safe, tender (but rough lol) intimacy. No more settling for fuck boy/ghosting culture.

23. Started getting better at minding my business about what other people think of me.

24. Decreased the amount of tv I watched after work; making more time and space for me to focus on my spiritual healing which ultimately led to a lot of healing for my mental health as well. I’m feeling so much more grounded and aligned.

25. Didn’t give up on tending to my chronic pain and other health issues even tho they make me feel so fucking sad, alone, and defeated at times. Also hugging and loving the depression that’s connected to my chronic pain right now. This is still feeling new so we’re still learning how to coexist peacefully.

26. Became hella accepting and loving of my body and showed my nakedness more!!!!!

27. Remembered to breathe deep and reaaaaaaaaallllly stay in the present more, which helped with my anxiety a lot.

28. Was more transparent and honest when people asked me “how are you?”

29. Took more naps and didn’t feel guilty for it…….which I’m gonna go do right now. 👋🏽♥️😴

Healing my depression in the ocean

For the last several years, I have definitely had to get creative about my mental and emotional healing.  I’ve tried several different strategies to either prevent myself from getting depressed, deepening my depression, or to get out of my depression.  Essentially, like any other disease, almost every second of my life is dedicated to addressing my mental health in some shape or form.  Yes, it’s exhausting.  It’s constant work really, which is likely why I feel so tired so often.  But, diversifying my approaches to healing helps keep me on my toes.

One of the ways I have allowed myself to feel in a peaceful state of mind is being at the ocean.  I’m not huge into swimming, even though I can.  I just like sitting in the water.  And it needs to be a real beach; I need waves.  I need to be as close to naked as possible.  I need the sun warm on my skin like a blanket.  The moment my toes go into the sand it’s like I’ve plugged into an electrical socket of calm and serenity.

I’ve always felt a connection to the ocean.  It’s only since I’ve gotten older that I’ve noticed how good it has been for my mental health.  Now, during the summer time, I definitely try to make it a priority to go to the beach as many times as possible.  Also, if I ever go on vacations I will primarily book places that have easy access to beaches.  The town could literally have nothing else going for it besides a beach and that’s likely where I will go vacation at any point in the year.

Last year, I went to vacation in Honolulu.  I went to 9 different beaches in 6 days.  Every single one was different from the other; it was incredible . I was in such a state of depression during that time.  It had been less than a month since I was released from the psychiatric hospital and every day after I could barely get out of bed, cried all the time, found it hard to eat, and often disassociated at random points of the day.  I would just randomly stare off into space, not feeling anything, and becoming a total zombie.

When I went to Hawaii and sat on the beach for the first time, I smiled.  Then I started to laugh.  Then cry.  I was crying happy tears for the first time in a long time.  I will never be able to put words to how or why the beach heals me, but it has been magical medicine for me.  I feel like my mental health completely disappears.



As I have deepened my spirituality, I also find myself at the ocean meditating in the water, creating rituals, taking moments of prayers (especially to my grandmother Iridis).  Water is powerful.  As I swim in it, I can feel the pressure off my body, my muscles loosen up, and the water supporting me.  The rhythms of the waves remind me to breathe deeply.  Digging my hands into the sand help me feel more grounded and connected to nature.  Sometimes I may put offerings into the water (like flower petals) to put as homages to the water spirits as well as my ancestors and others who watch over me.  Even if you don’t believe in that kind of stuff, putting wishes or hopes on the petals and releasing them out can be therapeutic.

While I was in Hawaii there was a full moon.  I went to the beach late at night to honor my grandmother and to develop a ritual to release pain I was holding on to that was deeply fueling my depression and overall mental breakdown.  I brought items of my grandmother, I played Celia Cruz (one of her favorite singers), burned sage, and had some crystals.  I placed my body in the water, asking for the ocean to wash away my pain; naming each individual aspect of my life and experiences that were still plaguing my brain.  With each wave that came in, I would inhale deeply and imagine the gentle, maternal hands of all the women in my family, past and present, cover me like a cocoon.  As each wave retreated, I exhaled loudly and imagined those same hands grabbing on to black energy within me and pulling it away.  I did this repeatedly as the waves continued and began to cry.  Well, sob loudly was more like it.  And it was fucking beautiful.  I had no light but the moon; it was so incredibly luminous that I kept thinking the light was actually coming from a car’s headlights.  The water was so warm and smelled crisp.  The ocean is my medicine and I continue to love and appreciate her.


I know it may seem impossible, but keep trying anything and everything to help with your depression.  You never know what might actually work for you.  I hope that you are able to find that one thing that doesn’t necessarily solve all your problems, but at least bring you some relief from the chaos that can be your brain.  It is completely possible.  Don’t give up the search……









Shifting Focus

April 2nd, 2015 I started Warrior Queen Initiative; something that just started off as a woman empowerment Instagram account and slowly started to turn into a LLC that was building community for femme/nonbinary folx to support gender equity across the spectrum.  I was genuinely focused and excited about uplifting femme identities in the wake of living in a severely misogynistic society.

The long-term goal was to create an official organization where I would lead workshops and trainings to teach folx about gender, sexuality, intersectional feminism, etc.  I also really wanted to further invest in expanding Queer/Trans/People of Color (QTPOC) communities to continue supporting each other as we continue to face oppression in a variety of forms.  However, in 2017, my life changed, and now so has my focus.

To cut to the chase, I had severe health issues in 2017, the most impactful being my mental breakdown in which I was hospitalized for 9 days.  After leaving the hospital I thought “that’s it, I’m fixed.”  Little did I know that the hospital was nothing but a blip on my map to getting mentally well; I’m still on that journey now.

As I’ve continued to face my depression head on, I’ve noticed that it actually impacts and is impacted by my past and day-to-day living.  Many of the concepts I talked about on Warrior Queen still relate to my own personal health.  My chronic depression and PTSD have been greatly fueled by how I exist in this world and how the world perceives me in regards to my gender, ethnicity, parenting, etc.  So the goal of empowering and connecting to others through exploring and celebrating our gender identities is still very true, however, I am now looking through a lot of that process through the lens of mental health.

Mental health is still such a stigmatized topic all around the world.  It is still seen as a controllable force that people just need to “get over.”  I’ve definitely learned that is absolutely not true.  By believing this, we continue to worsen our health and ultimately our quality of life.  So I want to start speaking out.  I want to start showing people they aren’t alone.  We’re all fucked up in the head, and there are LOTS of reasons why.  Mine will absolutely be different from others, but the resulting feelings may be the same.

The one thing I want to point out about this blog is that it is going to share EVERYTHING in regards to my mental health.  There’s still a lot that I keep on the inside because I’m scared people will think I’m “insane,” will distance themselves from me, will be scared of/for me.  But I need to let it all out.  One, for my healing.  Two, because deep down I believe many of us have these darker thoughts, and we sit with them and let them fester and consume us.  I don’t want that anymore.  Feelings are not facts.  I want to let those feelings out so I can decipher what is true for me, and what is my mind doubting itself.

With that said, if I write something that makes you nervous on here, feel free to reach out to me; I am always down to have open communication around mental health.  What I will request is that you try not to worry about me.  These “negative” thoughts or feelings are nothing new.  I’ve been living with them since I was at least 12 years old but have kept them very much to myself.  I’ve learned to coexist with them.  I am working on loving them and learning from them .  So I ask that you try to be on this journey of transparency and acceptance with me; let’s support each other in being our most vulnerable, most rawest, authentic selves so that we can stop shaming ourselves every time we’re not “perfect.”

I will say I am absolutely scared shitless to start this blog, haha.  But I’m excited!  I think it’s going to be great for my own healing as I’ve been wanting to get back into more regular writing and I’m hoping that this will be that outlet for me.  Also, I want to help other people.  If by sharing my experience helps someone else feel a little less damaged, freakish, alone, crazy, then I’ve been able to fulfill my purpose on this planet.

Last but not least, the name of the blog.  I’ve always praised my Gemini identity.  I felt like it explained so much of my behavior, lol.  I have these two strong, opinionated, powerful people living in my brain. One is very soft and kind, full of compassion, love, and understanding.  The other is more aggressive, passionate, opinionated, unwilling to budge, and sometimes self-deprecating.  Neither one of them is inherently good or bad, they just are, and I love my “twins.”  Recently, learning more about my mental health, I’ve been better able to understand what’s going on in my brain, but because I truly believe laughter is medicine, whenever I have a moment where I don’t act in the ways I wish I could, I blame it on being a Gemini 🙂 .

I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in my life.  I’m excited to have you all along the ride with me.  Please feel free to reach out with any topic ideas, questions, pictures, quotes, your own personal stories you would like for me to share, or anything else you’d like to see pop up on the blog!  Thanks, fam.  Until next time……..