Raise a Glass…

I just learned that Sir Ken Robinson passed away today.

He was my gateway drug to self directed learning. In 2007, I watched his first ted talk which is now the most watched you tube video of all time. I went on to devour his books and research and I used it in many ways to thwart the systems within which I was teaching and receiving my two masters degrees.

By the time Elena had arrived in 2011, I was deep in mourning for a society that I had deemed incompetent and unable to shift into truly embracing a new paradigm that I knew would be the only way we would be able to sustain as species on the planet long term.

And here Tommy and I were bringing babies into a world that talked like they want to embrace what Sir Ken was saying and yet structurally, systemically, there was no place for that to happen without a drastic burning to the ground, a dismantling of every system that is irreversibly connected and that keeps us trapped yet feeling secure.

And yet I knew what must be done and that what we were doing as a collective would not sustain. In my or in my children’s lifetime it would all begin to unravel. I understood clearly that we must be ready to change every core system away from racist, extrinsic, survivalist, competitive nonsense and embrace equitable, intrinsic, individuation within a community mindset. That would offer creativity to thrive. And the structures that require us to be living shells of ourselves living only to pay bills and feed ourselves and fill our lives with status, things, and addictions without time to know deepest needs and understandings, those would be the end of any humanity I wanted for myself or my descendants.

So I must follow these threads Sir Ken was weaving with his own work on the myriad ways in which school was killing creativity and so much more. I was entrenched in these systems and knew they were strangling me and the student debt I had accrued to jumó through the hoops of that system reminded me of how I had sold my soul to it all. And so I began the journey to see if I could unravel it enough to ensure my children’s souls could be be spared.

Here I am in 2020, with so many lessons learned from the journey that Sir Ken pushed me toward in his Ted Talk in 2007. So many lesson learned but the biggest one is that you can not truly set your children free until you are free. It’s why we are all bound to our ancestors who were not free either. So freeing ourselves from these systems, not only frees our children but it frees all our ancestors, or at least those seven generations back and it offers respite for our descendants, seven generations forward. And who wouldn’t want that?! That kind of freedom will change the world.

Cheers to you, Sir Ken, for sharing your vision. May we carry it to the far reaches of existence and back again.

“Raise a glass to freedom. Something they can never take away. No matter what they tell you.” – Hamilton

The Labyrinth

(a story from my program offering Retrieval: Self… Soul… Story…)

A while ago, in the year leading up to my 42nd birthday in fact, I read something about how the body physiologically renews itself every 7 or so years. At the time I was deep into my own radical self awareness journey that I have shared in fits and starts throughout our time together here. It was fascinating research that deserves its own rabbit hole, so if you are interested in the specifics of that science, then click here to learn more. Enjoy if you choose to embark upon that adventure!

Around the same time discovering the idea of a 7 year physiological cycle, I was deep in the study of Tarot, in particular the Fool’s journey of the Major Arcana, which you can visit in the course module on the Tarot Triad. The Major Arcana is a metamorphic experience which can be split into 3 parts, each holding 7 archetypal energies. Lindsay Mack’s Tarot for the Wild Soul teachings explains this process more fully. Eager to learn more, I made the decision to take her yearly intensive course on Tarot because there are no coincidences and I was listening to all connections to the cycle of 7.

Aside from a tarot connection and some interesting science, what does this cycle of 7 have to do with my own personal journey to radical self awareness and healing that led to creating this course? Well, here is that revolutions story. I hope that it offers you a spiral path to your own unfolding healing story. 

My healing journey began in earnest at the turn of the new year of 2018. After a nearly year long swim in the deepest abyss of depression that, in December of 2017, for the first time in my life, had me fleetingly contemplating what it would be like for my family if I wasn’t around to ruin everything. And by “wasn’t around” I mean I thought about ending my life or at least spiraling into a situation where I died and everyone lived happily ever after without me ruining everything all the time. That scared the shit out of me and I wanted to never feel that way or think those thoughts again. My perfectionism had become a monster inside my brain telling me clearly every single thing I was doing wrong while amplifying the problems of the world that for so long I thought I was somehow responsible for curing. So I began the quick process to chemical balance that antidepressants provide, but I wanted more than just to be chemically balanced. I wanted to begin the work to fully heal and liberate myself so that, as my dear friend and healer, Courtney Yellowwolf Graham explained to me once, I would never fall so far off the side of the mountain that I couldn’t get back up.

At the end of 2018, I was contemplating how fruitful surrendering fully to the journey to healing had been as well as setting intentions for more in the coming year. I began thinking about what my “Year of” theme would be for 2019. I have never been a big fan of resolutions, as I feel they just end up being disappointments that become too tedious to keep up with for even a week let alone an entire year. But I find that picking a theme and tapping into it in different ways throughout the whole year, works very well for me and has been a centering practice through even the hardest years of a recent memory.

When considering the 7 year cycle discovery and the “Year of” theme together, it got me reminiscing about the previous 7 years and how I had evolved. Here’s the actual blog post from that time, The Power of Seven Years, to use as an example in case you are interested in exploring that practice for yourself.  I was in the completion of my 6th 7 year cycle, turning 42 in June of 2019, and the Tarot dabbling I had been doing around the fool’s journey juxtaposed with a recent interest in Jungian archetypal work had me in quite a deep learning spiral. I was excited for the possibilities it could bring forth if I continued to follow this thread. 

And so I chose 2019 to be a “Year of Listening” and the downloads began almost immediately. The first connection to doing any research around cycles of 7 was the evocation of the Labyrinth. As soon as it appeared in my research, I knew that I had received an important message and that further retrieval was essential. I did a search, and of course, the first obvious reference was one of my favorite Guillermo del Torro movies that I have loved since it came out in 2006.

El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) takes place in the post- Civil War Spain of 1944. My paternal grandfather escaped pre-Civil War Spain in 1934 because of his connection to and support of the Labor party and the secular government that won in 1931 and was being targeted because of its anti-Catholic Constitution. He and his brothers escaped just prior to violence erupting all over the country and my grandmother stayed behind with my uncle who was very young. They were safe because my grandmother’s family was deeply rooted in the Catholic Church and after the overthrow by Franco, they were safe. 

My grandparents reunited in the Dominican Republic 14 years later in 1948 and my Father was born shortly thereafter. The war in Spain and my grandparents’ reunion was always a piece of lore that laid heavily on my soul because I believe that my grandmother was heartbroken to leave her home and family to reunite with my grandfather across the world. I believe that her sadness and homesickness was threaded into the blood and DNA of my father who was already deeply troubled soul and that his DNA that I carry in my genes is the very sadness shaped around my own soul that I was on this journey to heal; The labyrinth revealing itself to me. The movie, Pan’s Labyrinth was the first story I had ever seen that so closely looped in elements of my own family’s story. I still watch it and can feel my ancestry in its details. When I hear that phrase representation matters, I understand it so much through this movie and am in an allyship for all who believe that to be true and necessary. 

I come from a line of storytellers who weave exquisite tales and share them on both sides of my family. My father was the master of magical realism in family taletelling. After he left us, I simply could not get the stories from his side of the family for a long time as I didn’t know the language of his family well enough to connect to the sacred richness of those nuances necessary to fully grasp all the layers of a story properly. My cousin was able to share her version and is a gifted teller as well and from her I was able to piece together a bit more about my family. So in my teens, when I discovered Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his epic tale, One Hundred Years of Solitude, I was enraptured that there was a genre of stories that felt like the ones that had been shared with me as a child and felt like the energy that filled all my senses when I was living with or visiting my family in the Dominican Republic. Garcia Marquez led me to Isabel Allende and her novel, The House of the Spirits, that was even more viscerally connective for me than One hundred Years.

 I realized in reading these beautiful family sagas that I was destined to share my own family’s story. And yet I would try to write it throughout the years and it never felt right.  I always felt like I was missing a huge piece of the puzzle. In 2002, I stumbled upon a new author writing about life in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and I was besotted with The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I devoured his first book and waited impatiently for his second to be translated to english and did the same with that one. Then I discovered that he had released a third book to the series. I read that one in 2014, just after I moved back across the country for a second time, within a year of having my second baby in 22 months which led in part to the breakdown that had to do with moving back across the country and causing our family to be split apart. Clearly I was not in the best mindset and I misunderstood this third book to be a disappointing culminating book of the series. I was unimpressed but had so much going on in my life that a poor ending to what I thought was going to be a triumphant series was just another disappointment to add to what felt like the end of the world for me. 2014 was tough and beautiful all at once. My husband was living across the country trying to make ends meet and keep us above water after my complete breakdown the previous year and loss of a vitally needed second income for survival. My daughters were the most snuggly wonderful medicine and I was devastated that their pap couldn’t be with them because of what I thought was entirely my fault even though my community was taking care of me and trying to help me remember that it was not actually my fault. And that wonderful community, family and friends, were so dear during that time… But reading books, even my favorites, were not a priority of the survival mode that I ebbed and flowed through for the next few years until I crawled out of the abyss at the end of 2017 and slowly began to piece myself together again. 

I hadn’t thought about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in ages. But here I was on this healing journey, listening allowing the universe to guide me. In that google search of the Labyrinth, I was brought to recall a fellow Argentine writer and contemporary of Garcia Marquez’s , Jorge Luis Borges and his collection of short stories titled Labyrinth. I was physcially reading multiple books at the time and was hoping to find his work on Audible. When I did a search nothing came up for him as that collection of short stories had not been added to audio. But another book came up under the Labyrinth title with a cover that looked just like the Borges story of the Library of Babel, which happens to be found in his Labyrinth collection. Anyway, that book took my breath away. The Labyrinth of the Spirits: A Novel (Cemetery of Forgotten Books) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It couldn’t be! That series ended poorly in 2014. Well in the daze of my life back then I was mistaken! The fourth and final book in my beloved Cemetery of Forgotten Books series was in fact out and had just been translated into english that previous fall. I devoured it and it was every bit the triumphant culmination to the series that I had fallen in love with in 2002. The synchronistic medicine that it offered to me in the winter of 2019 was the elixir that I had been missing in my attempts to write my family’s story. The Labyrinth of the Spirits was a key to my own secret garden of understanding to my own family history and lineage, to coming to terms with my devastation for the state of the world we live in now, and most importantly, to the self assurance that my claircognizance is real and an vital to my own self sovereignty, self healing, and to my calling in this lifetime. The message from the Labyrinth was clear. I need to be sharing my stories for the healing of my ancestral lines and for my descendants. That is my labyrinthine journey and it is for me to explore how to go about that. It was overwhelming and brilliant all at once and propelled me to keep listening closely and deeply for the rest of 2019. I knew then and there that what I needed to hear for this next cycle of 7, my seventh of seven, would reveal itself clearly in 2019. 

It was no surprise that the Tarot for the Wild Soul class that I had signed up for that spring began on the first day of Spring, the very day that I finished The Labyrinth of the Spirits. So I spiraled into this deep tarot journey which connected it all back to the battle cry I had been calling out since 2015. TO THE REVOLUTIONS: ALL DEFINITIONS APPLY – the labyrinthine journey , the tarot spiraled journey, the wheel of fortune card that kept coming up encouraging me to create my first spread in the shape of a  labyrinth… I just leaned into the messages and let them lead me forward. 

I was desperate for more messages from the Labyrinth, so I typed it into my podcast search bar and went down that rabbit hole which led me to an old childhood obsession, Atlantis. The Labyrinth connection came through an interview with a researcher named Mark Adams who wrote a book called Meet Me in Atlantis where he travels to possible locations for Atlantis, one of which is the isle of Crete where ruins found there are rumored to be the ancient labyrinth of the Minotaur from Greek Legend. Regardless, of whether that is true or not, the stories of those seeking the lost city of Atlantis have always fascinated me because as a child my father told me that our homeland of the Canary Islands are said to be the last bit of Atlantis that is above the sea. Whether or not that is true also doesn’t matter. The labyrinthine connections were made and brought me full circle to the deep knowing that I have had since I was a child that I need to tell the stories of my family because we are a living epic novel of magical realism in real life. Hey universe! Message received!

All of these beautiful vibrations coming from a contemplation around an article on the body physiologically regenerating every 7 years. 

I want to end this labyrinthine tale with one final spiral deeper. In the fall of 2019, I discovered human design. I had never heard of it before but I was drawn to it because of the “circuitry” involved, which I connected to the 7 circuit labyrinth. Still following the breadcrumbs of deep listening, I created a chart and read a bit about my design type of Projector and it knocked me down. My whole life became so clear and I fully released the shame I held around never feeling like I was enough even though I was pouring my soul into everything I had been committing to do my whole life. Yet I was always ending up in the same place: overwhelmed and exhausted and deeply bitter.  Even when, outwardly, I looked extraordinarily successful and like i was kicking ass and taking names doing what I loved and believed in, the work I had created for myself, especially in founding and trying to support a school that I built to set my children free had, in fact, imprisoned me. I saw in myself that pissed off minotaur wandering restlessly through that ancient labyrinth, increasingly agitated every second. I realized in that moment that it was time for me to walk away from this monolith I had dedicated my life and family to account to the shame and fear I had manifested within myself after the breakdown. I was making up for what I felt at the time were my failures and I didn’t want to do that anymore. I had come to the center of the Labyrinth to the deep unapologetic knowing and I was ready to make my way back out again with lessons and healing galore. So I set in motion the process to release myself fully from the school by the end of the 2019-2020 school year regardless of whether the school continued on with me or not. My journey was coming to a completion cycle, interestingly one that had begun 7 years prior in a spiral of increasing anxiety over our dysfunctional education system and my desperation to fix it all in time for my girls to attend school, that was a big part of that nervous breakdown I had in 2013. 

In winter of 2020, I decided that this course, Retrieval: Self… Soul… Story… needed to exist so that others could labyrinth their way through to a deeper self sovereignty and maybe tell the tale that will offer another spiral journey on and on like the ripples of rain droplets on a calm surface of water. Low and behold as I began creating the content for this course, I connected the most deeply to Human Design, of all the modalities I offer, other than my beloved Tarot and the Archetypes that weave through all of this work. And in learning about the intricacies of Human Design, I have made it more understandable for myself. In sharing it, I had the realization that all the moving parts of human design can be expressed through a journey from big picture to the individualized gates and channels that make us all different yet so deeply connected as if we are all walking a 7 circuit Labyrinth. And the course brought me to a knowing that I am the magical realism that was missing from my family story and my children are the next iteration of magical realism in my family’s story. So I begin my tale with me. Full circle. A journey through the labyrinth and out the other side. Just exactly in perfect timing, completing a cycle of 7 years. Now that is a REVOLUTION if ever I heard of one!

You have a revolution story too. We all do. We all are in the Labyrinth. Be still and listen. Your story is woven into its pathways. Breath and keep walking forward which is really just wrapping you right back around to yourself. 

Cheers y’all!

Sonia

Shift…

You can be a country that was under a dictatorship from the 1930s until the late 1970s and then come out of that, and in 2020 when you have seen the devastation of a global pandemic ravaging humanity, you can make decisions in your country about how to protect your citizens and have that put in place so that nothing like this ever happens again. I’m talking about Spain in April of 2020 creating a plan to offer a base universal salary for every citizen starting this year and continuing on forever. That is my family’s homeland. My grandparents are from the Canary Islands and fled those islands because Franco’s regime would have never honored its citizens in this way back then. A civil war was waged against this kind of humanity. Those, like my grandfather, my Papa Rufino, who believed in taking care of the people over government and church were executed en masse in the late 1930s. And now Spain is a different place in a different time and leading a movement of systemic care that we are not seeing in any capacity in the United States on any systemic level… And because of their citizenship laws, I just need to live there for a year to reinstate citizenship based on my grandparents who had to flee during the darkness of 20th century Europe. Such light shining now. I’m not lying that a move back to the Canaries is not out of the question for my family in the coming years. But for now, I will appreciate the light from afar.

That’s the spirit that every country should be channeling right now but instead you’ve got ignorance and bigotry and, as my 9 year old said when I was talking about this earlier, bullshit. Yep! My 9 year old said that the response by the world governments to this pandemic is “bullshit” because she knows. And she’s the future, y’all, that will come up and be the leaders in a few years. And she knows. Community collective is what is coming and these kids coming up are not going to put up with this ignorance or be a part of a world where this is the norm.

And by the norm I mean the way that countries are handling covid-19… the way governments are handling this especially the United States. I am not talking about the people on the ground, the grassroots efforts. That’s beautiful. You staying home is beautiful. You helping your neighbors so they can stay home is beautiful. You doing what you need to do for your family and friends who are at risk of this killing them is beautiful. More of that as “system”. More of that beauty as “system”. And less of what we’ve got now in the systems. Less of that. Burn that shit to the ground. 

Now, I fully acknowledge that Spain, my homeland, the paternal part of my ancestry, is responsible for the desecration and extermination of billions of indigenous people over the history of its existence. I know that sits in the heart of everything we are built on in the United States. I hold the blood and DNA of the Spanish executioners and the Indigenous Guanche people of the Canaries in tandem. And what needs to happen is it all needs to be burned to the ground and we need to start over again. But I look at the collective energy that Spain is offering or that Spain has made the decision to provide for its citizens as a tiny, the tiniest evolution; systemic evolution. And I am not asking for the country to get a pat on the back but i am saying that it’s time for everybody to completely burn down what they thought and what they believed and what they were entrenched in and begin to review the way that we view things. And then begin slowly and incrementally to move toward a collective community lens that lifts everyone up. And that is not any system that is in our nation, that is not any institution in our nation. Nor is it any system or institution globally. 

So… If you know me and you know my ferocity, you will know that I have been preaching revolutionary flames for nearly 2 decades. I’ve been calling forth a global cycle of burning, cleansing, and a rising from the ashes anew, Phoenix style, for a lot of that time especially since my own personal Phoenix cycle saved me. And this little virus that is invading everybody’s systems, invading everybody’s systems, invading everybody’s systems, all of the systems here inside us but also everywhere within which we are ensnared is a tap, a nudge, a check in. This is the beginning of the unraveling. And get right with the liberation. Because it’s coming and it’s overwhelming and the best thing that will happen to you.  

Now is the time to think through what stage of grief you are in because we are all in different stages of grief. Even those of us that have been waiting for something major like this are still adjusting. Now my adjustment may not be as tumultuous and wave making as your adjustment. But I’ve been doing a lot of work on finding the balance in that wave for many many years. I have posted here below a graphic on the stages of grief for your review. Because what are you doing? What are you doing with your time right now? In this never before moment where you are being required to be home and slow down. So take a couple of minutes and sit with that. When you wake up tomorrow and you have the little bit of extra time because you don’t have your day filled to the brim with all the things that you used to have it filled to the brim with so that you would not have to think about how broken and how dysfunctional everything in every part of your life has been because we are living out of sync with, like everything, everything that we are made of. Take some time with it. Drink a cup of coffee and look over this graphic or reflect on it with a glass of bourbon tonight… Where are you in this shift? How far have you come and into and out of what are you moving?

If you are not drinking alcohol in this time, grab a big glass of water. Water is a healing elixir to nourish that body that is riding these waves of grief. We are all made of water. And you know, if you watched Frozen 2, water has memory. I mean that is not the only place where that information is available. Olaf is probably getting that message to a larger audience than the scientists who have been doing research with water, memory, and the water cycle and how literally the water we are taking in right now is the same water that our ancestors drank because water doesn’t ever leave our planet. it just keeps recycling itself over and over again. And we are made of that. We hold all of that. We hold the memories. We hold everything. And deep down, we already knew that without Olaf, scientists, our doctor, trainer, or holistic healer reminding us to stay hydrated after any intense mental, physical, or spiritual session. We know it.

We hold the memory of what humanity was before it was corrupted into the capitalistic, bullshit, jumping through hoops society that we are today. We also hold all of the gross stuff too. But it is a balance. We have to just find the balance. The shadow is just as important as the light. We have to go through the shadow. We’re in a shadow time. This is a fucked up time and honestly it has been for decades, centuries, millenia. But specifically right now in this paradigm where we can see ourselves mirrored in every human on earth morning noon and night through technology. It offers us to SEE.  Because the shadow shines a light really clearly. The light becomes really clear when you are in shadowy times. And so now we are going to figure out where we are in our grieving process. Move through the grief. And then be ready for a new paradigm. And work toward it and fight for it. Woah. Look, I’m so indoctrinated into the vocabulary of the old systems that I said work and fight… Rather than “work”, I want you to spend time with the shift, acknowledge it, take it in, and let the change become who you are. And instead of “fighting”, heal yourself so that you are in a space where you will not accept anything less than “systems of care.” 

And then let’s go. Let’s GO! Let’s create, co-create, in a new energy, in a new collective energy… It’s not new. It is in a collective energy that we all remember and will not allow ourselves to forget again. In that Spirit then we can co-create and be the generations that offer that energy, drop into that energy, and hold the door open for our descendants now and for many generations as we all move into that co-creation of collective systems of energetic care.

Pour Forth…

a contemplation by sonia fernández leblanc

pour forth

the magic that is

held within the vessel

of your soul.

vessels are for pouring,

for emptying…

then filling again, fresh.

if a vessel can not fulfill

its natural meditation of

filling up and pouring out,

that which is inside

becomes stagnant, stale.

emptying… refilling from Source…

over… and over again…

is the Revolution.

the cyclic nature of humanity.

I am a vessel of purest life giving water.

I must spill out… replenish… spill out again… on and on…

I am source.

the cycle of replenishment is within Me.

within all humanity.

be still.

bathe in Source, cleanse,

as any well used,

beloved vessel,

mine is veined

in gold and silver

where the cracks

have mended.

the broken bits

and cracked pieces

not forgotten but

healed through the

Revolution of magic

pouring forth.

 

Fear…

October is a time to connect with ancestral bridges that offer a chance to drop into deep understanding of ourselves and the fear we carry, to untangle the frustrations that fear brings up every day.

A tremendous part of my daily inner work on self and outer work as a staff member, spokesperson, and parent in a paradigm shifting transformational learning community, resides in fear.

And I have been connecting with fear every time I feel him and sense him in others. Each time, I intentionally drop in and meet him face to face. And here are some things I have observed about this energy we know as fear…

Fear dwells deep at our core, within our DNA, because we needed him to survive and evolve into the species of humans we are today. We carry the traumas of our ancestors in our DNA, which wrap themselves around him, that primordial fear, and envelope him in warmth and safety. Fear has a really dark and comforting tiny cave deep within each of us with an unfettered supply of ancestral trauma to fuel his cozy abode.

When fear comes out to play though, he uses the brain to tag us, which can get confusing, because we humans are indoctrinated into the tale that our “advanced brains” give us righteous power over all creatures great and small… But y’all, that’s fear down in his cave at your core screaming through a bullhorn into your brain that you are “it”.

Some of our universal ancestors listened to fear, but they knew how to filter him through their gut, their senses, their intuition, and that allowed them to survive and evolve for generations. Some of those ancestors stopped listening through the filter to their intuition and decided to listen directly to fear’s bullhorn echoing around in their brains, which bred the need for power over rather than a collective powerful understanding of all. And that’s when fear reclused itself even deeper into our core and began feeding off the power it had manifested in the brains of humans.

And here is where my personal work picks up. I have been dropping in to pay fear a visit daily for a while and this is what I know.

That tricked out tiny cave where fear lives has guards posted at the entrance. Fear rarely leaves his comfortable home because we don’t need to give flight that much anymore… But its fighting game is strong. In some humans, fear has anger and hatred on guard. That’s when shit gets scary, right?! Fear loves that!! Fear loves our world right now! Fear owns this society we live in. Every single aspect of it.

So to face one’s own fear, guarded by anger and hatred, we must be brave and listen to our fear through the filter of our soul. This is not something happening widely nowadays but it’s having its moments in some circles…

Tapping into our soul, connecting to her, the deepest and longest existing part of ourselves, is the key to meeting fear in its darkest interior, guarded first by anger and hate.

Lindsay Mack, of Wild Soul Healing, gives the brilliant analogy of radio stations. Radio 1 is the brain and it’s turned up really loud while Radio 2 is the soul which can’t be turned up as it’s exactly as it should be heard. So we must turn Radio 1 down so that we can listen to the intuitive whispers of that radio of the soul that can tap into the other instincts that are more subtle and just as needed as fear. And they tell fear to settle down. They offer him respite, which he really wants. And in that offering, he backs off and tells his guards to take a break… But he’s always ready to scream into that bullhorn. So it is a practice that we must maintain, a development of habit to listen to the soul more deeply and hear fear less.

But sometimes fear lives out in the open with worry as his roommate/guardian of sorts. It’s a tricky codependent relationship where they both claim that love is the reason for their incessant need to override the brain’s volume control drowning out the soul and its deep knowing.

It’s fascinating once you see truly how fear is always at the core. You see how it got us this far in our survival and how it also could be our downfall. It deserves to be acknowledged and then it needs to be told to have a seat…

There is a healthy relationship fear can have though; when fear is balanced with respect, responsibility and personal freedom, there is a certain magic that we encounter within ourselves. It harkens back to that primordial combination that evolved us. We remember it when we really listen to our soul and allow our brain to recall for us the information we need to know about all that is… The combination of Respect, Responsibility, and Personal Freedom honors life and existence, taking it seriously: The earth, life on earth, earth’s evolution, the cosmos, the promise of humanity as a collaborator, a member of community.

The balance of respect, responsibility, and personal freedom that rests in the soul allows us to respect fear when we need it to survive, free ourselves from its incessant grip, and hold it accountable when it tries to overthrow the balance.

And then we can listen to our soul, deeply for it will speak the truth. The soul will never lead us astray and in listening we heal our traumas in this life and within the DNA we hold of our ancestors.

Cheers to this labyrinthine journey!

Sonia

P.S. Below is the poem I wrote that inspired this essay reflection… enjoy.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Dear Fear…

We are not best friends.

You are welcome

to keep me alive

In times of peril

Of which there are

few nowadays.

You can have my attention

In car garages

And in parking lots

at night when I’m

leaving Target loaded

down with nonsense.

You are welcome

when I am making

sustainable shopping choices

recycling, composting,

and doing my part

to caretake the earth

as we burn us up.

But I am turning

away from you

when I am not at risk.

Survival is no longer

a priority.

Not like you want it to be.

We no longer get chased

By saber-toothed tigers.

I’ve turned you

down as a friend,

Dear Fear.

Me and my soul

are BBFs now.

I LISTEN to her more

And hear you less.

Cheers,

Sonia

#rootdown #riseup #totherevolutions #alldefinitionsapply

Written at Rockvale Writers’ Colony 9/21/2019

Flames through the Broken

On September 16, 2013, I broke by all mainstream standards. Two years ago, around the 4 year anniversary of the break,  I wrote a beautiful message to myself about how I was beginning to heal myself from the broken and I compared my broken to how I felt the world was in the Fall of 2017.  Here’s what I said:

There’s a Japanese art form and philosophy known as Kintsukuroi (Kint-su-ku-roy) , which is a technique where broken pottery is mended with gold, silver, or platinum dusted lacquer so that the broken piece is literally “repaired with gold”.  It’s a philosophy that holds that the journey of an object’s breakage and repair is an important visual of the object’s history that deserves to shine through rather than be disguised. The broken is the beauty. Isn’t that awesome?

There is a ton of broken in ourselves and in our world. I am hyper aware of and equally sensitive to all that is in utter disrepair on every possible level.  But I serve no one but the darkness when I allow my own disrepair to remain. So in my repair, I dusted all kinds of gold all over myself and the tiny pieces that turned to dust when I broke apart just changed my repaired shape a bit. 

All this broken in our world and within each one of us can be illuminated in the repairing. There is much mending to do in ourselves, in our society, our country, and our world and it can’t be forgotten, disguised or ignored because it’s hard or hurts too much. Rather we can fill in the broken spaces between us with gold, silver, and platinum and let that broken shine through as a tribute to our incredible bravery for continuing on.  

Now that I have traveled 6 revolutions around the sun since my break and 2 revolutions since I wrote about the practices of self-healing akin to Kintsukuroi, I have come to understand more deeply that what happened to me was really just an opportunity to burn away underbrush that needed clearing so that new growth could proliferate. Looking back on the sacred space that was created for my family, the healing I had no choice but to focus on, and the community building I have made a priority in the years since that break, I am so damn grateful for that beautiful me of 2013, who in failing her own perception of success, was so tired and overwhelmed; who was filled with love and heartbreak;  who was pining to just be with her babies in a society that was not built for her.

She/I burned those perceptions to the ground by simply walking away from the material world to which we were so devoted yet so exhausted trying to upkeep. For years after, she/I fought the guilt and shame that came with the desire for perfectionism all the time. And then she/I rooted into our healing, spent our days loving our loves, disentangled our brain from anger, shame, fear, forgave us over and over again, lacquering that cracked bowl, repaired in dusted gold, silver, and platinum, with a a shine and gleam that speaks of deep, thoughtful care. 

I took my meds daily and didn’t stop once they worked, as I had done in the past. I opened myself to community, my most long-standing sacred form of connection building. And I re-centered my life for the revolutionary change I had felt was coming deep in my knowing long before the break that, like the phoenix rising, burned away and revived the eternal fire of my soul.

And so I am writing of the unraveling, the un-intentional burning of my life to the ground, to say that the fire I set to my soul 6 years ago this week, offered an opportunity to create a life where I am empowered to re-define success as a daily practice in listening, manifesting joy, and deep self-understanding.

And so I root down and rise up to another day, year, occasion for growth… Another Revolution. All definitions apply.

Spinning…

There is a story that is told about me when I was very young. It goes like this: When I was three years old I went to an iceskating birthday party for a friend who was a year older than me. It was my first time on the ice. I was fearless. I was off the wall within a couple of laps around the rink. I was trying tricks in the center of the ice that my friend who had been taking lessons for a while was just getting comfortable with doing after lots of practice. All of this was relayed to my mama by my friend’s mama at the end of party. So my parents signed me up for iceskating and it was the first great love of my life.

I liked learning edges, jumps, lunges, and spirals! But going fast was my favorite. And going fast into spins was the best of all. I skated for 9 years until a tragic accident in my family caused us to move to my father’s birth place, the Dominican Republic, where there was hardly any ice even to make your drink cold much less to skate on.

In my older years, I can no longer do those fancy moves but I love the mediation of circling the rink and finding my flow. And now that I have integrated tarot into my storytelling and writing process, in studying the Wheel of Fortune, I was offered a connection to those spins I used to perform with such relentless dedication.

When you learn to spin, you gain momentum with speed, find a point in which to focus for each revolution, and then you center into your core. The tighter into your core you center the faster you go and the more control your center has. Stretch your hands high above your head and your body’s energy literally roots you deeply in place. After a spin, I would check to see how tightly the circle was that my blades made into the ice. THe tighter and deeper the better the spin, the more powerful the energy is channeled.

Anything outside that core can be chaos but you are the axle, the hub. You are literally perfectly rooted in the spin. It’s magic and physics all at once and our bodies are perfect vessels for this kind of revolution.

This is one perfect example of a physical revolution that I tapped into when I was very young. But the idea of the power of a revolution has come back to me on so many levels and through countless iterations of my life story. I have crafted it into my personal mantra,  “Rise up! To the revolutions! All definitions apply.”

That phrase centers me as that spin in childhood did and empowers me to embrace revolutions, call them forth even and to rally those around me to call forth and embrace their own. In centering, in rooting into a revolution, we eliminate the fear and draw upon the power, the pure energy of the core, the axle, the hub. It ensures us that we can face anything that seems out of control as long a we root into the center and extend above. We are the revolution.

And so my current revolution is in the realm of unearthing my mystical core, my center, from which the societal milieu of embodied life in this epoch encouraged disengagement. But in reconnecting to my soul, I have entered into an expansion that is calling me to rise up and pay homage to ALL the revolutions that we encounter along our journeys.

I was recently compelled to create a Revolutions offering for anyone who wants to tap into the energy of revolutionary self empowerment at your core. It is my first tarot offering and is a combination of my own visionary knowing, my increasing connection to ancestral understanding, and the internalization of the teachings and offerings from the following brilliant, wise, mystical souls with whom I have had the great gift of learning from during my spiritual labyrinthine journey.

Adrienne Maree Brown  

Courtney Graham

Lindsay Mack’s Soul Tarot  

The intersectional movement of the now archived Little Red Tarot Blog 2011-2018,

Teri Uktena and the Akashic Realm

Karen Renee Robb of Frame Drum Wisdom

You can contact me at totherevolutions@gmail.com to book a reading which includes a photo of the spread, the prompts, and the cards in which you pulled for deeper analysis and connection after the reading is complete.

Cheers! Sonia

 

From the Labyrinth…

I just finished The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and it is a masterful culmination of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series which I have been reading since the first novel, Shadow of the Wind, was translated to English in 2004. 15 years with this series.

I discovered the last book, The Labyrinth of the Spirits, had been translated and released in the fall of 2018 because, in my year of listening, I have been devouring all things labyrinthine and I stumbled upon it in a search for Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths and The Library of Babel… I tabled Borges when I saw that the Cemetery quartet was complete. I have been head over heals in it the last week or so.

There are so many gorgeous excerpts but what gnaws at my soul as I read the story set in my grandparent’s country in their lifetime was how exactly current and present the themes are on the grand political scale today, as well as the resilience of the people who must live, love, and resist as best they can in “small times.” Feels present to me so much that it is chilling but never surprising.

We are the resilient in our current small times. Those of us that know this know that the stains of hate will never leave us and that the stories of connecting our ancestors’ times to ours is medicine that will sustain us. All the while, we grow the muscles we must develop to thrive amid the rein of the modern era of “great men <and women> in small times.”

My beloved authors, Zafón, Allende, Marquez, and the fallen Diaz, whose fuku and shield of machismo swallowed him up at the same time, have been guides in my own journey as a storyteller. But more so as a woman, whose family story feels full of magic and ripe for the telling and realizing that it’s also my story. It’s a part of my own magic to share what I know because it’s important for our current circumstances.

The quote by Zafón’s character Isabella just reaffirms that we must understand the nuances of stories past as they reflect us today and are a map for us as we move forward.

#riseup #totherevolutions #alldefinitionsapply