Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Father's Hair...

So the Natural Hair movement has taken the world by storm in the past few years, and me the low maintenance person I am who had damaged their long relaxed hair by keeping it in one virtually all the time out of laziness and 'cant botheration' not only jumped on the band wagon, but begun to drive it.

Taking better care of my hair and spending time with it, I begun to appreciate myself even more as a result. Switching from sulphate shampoos and silcone conditioners, being cognitive of the fact that what I was putting on my hair was able to seep into my scalp and thus my bloodstream, became a conscious  thought. I started reading labels more and tried more natural hair and skin products. I did a lot of research and started feeling excited about the journey I was on, reconnecting me to my roots - literally! For me, the Natural Hair Movement is not political or social, rather it has become a very personal journey. As I explored different options to improve the health of my hair and skin, I begun to eat better and now after 2 years of being a non-smoker (yes yes I appreciate the applause) I figure, if I can quit smoking I can do anything :). So with that said I decided to do the Big Chop even though I planned to transition for 8 months, I called my hair dresser and told her I was ready 3 months in.

My Big Chop experience was not the liberating experience that most women describe. Between a few yells of "Oh my......" followed by a few expletives, mixed in with hysterical laughter as a friend of mine instructed my hair stylist to cut down the middle of my head so I had no choice but to sit there rather than go to work the next day looking like bozo the clown.

I had big chopped twice before years ago, but never like this, it was due to a break up (ya that psychological practice deserves a blog/article all on it's own). Those times however the natural strands didn't last too long, whether by Curl Activators or Texturisers, I immediately had to tame my hair. This time it was all for me, not emotionally driven, or the need to 'let go and grow' as it were.

So as more of my tresses fell to the floor and my scalp grew colder I raised a hand to touch my hair and in that moment my heart stood still. You see, I had lost my father in Nov. 2011, and as my fingers touched my hair, for what felt like the first time, I was immediately carried to a memory. I held back the tears and begun to smile and laugh a bit. In that very moment, I was now 4 years old again touching my Father's hair and placing clips in his hair. I remember he had just come from work, sat on the edge of his bed and it was passed my bed time, I was already 'pretending to sleep' and as I heard the springs in his bed sink, I jumped up, grabbed my clips and stood behind him to play in his hair.

Thanks to my mom, I have this memory forever also as a photograph. So as I sat there in my hairstylist's chair, smiling to myself, something dawned on me..... something so beautiful and simple.... I realized I have my Father's hair, and there is nothing I would ever do to change that again.

I love you Daddy!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Celebrating & Honouring the Yuletide

Yule is a seasonal celebration, which precedes the origination of Christmas and the Christianization of the earlier civilizations in Europe. Yule was usually observed by taking a tree into the home (Sound familiar?), of which, the family would cut the largest portion of its trunk to be burned little by little in the fireplace during the early winter, while the rest of the tree would remain in the home as a sign of the spring to come. If any of the cut log was left after the winter solstice celebration, it would be preserved and kept in the home for the year and used to light the subsequent log in the coming winter.

Yule marks a reflective time for one to assess the past and what they wish to manifest in the future, hence the symbolic burning of a living tree, to create heat for survival during one of the harshest months of the year. This is the darkest time of the year, when one looks inward and allows them-self to let go of things no longer needed to make room for what is to come, to burn what must be forgotten for the greater good.

This particular Yule time, will also mark the end of a 26,000 year cycle of our planet, with the alignment of our solar system with the very centre of our galaxy. Regardless of what one believes, this is indeed a time to acknowledge what we wish to manifest for our futures as individuals and as humanity as a whole.

What are the things you need to allow yourself to let go of?
What are the things you wish to manifest?
What aspects of you need healing?
Who do you need to send healing to?

As we get into the full swing of Yule, our minds tend to naturally wonder to the things we should have done and things we should NOT have done - we will do one of two things. We either force away the thoughts or we dwell on them. However, neither works to the betterment of self.

 Instead, try to acknowledge them and have the courage to HONOUR them. Ask yourself why you made that decision or why you didn’t, but most importantly be honest with yourself in the process.

One of the most difficult quests I believe anyone has to face, is to have the courage to be honest with oneself. It requires guts to acknowledge the hurt that you have experienced, but more importantly the hurt you have caused others and inflicted upon yourself.

It’s easy to blame others - to say well... "I had to, they gave me no choice" or "What did you expect me to do?" or "It’s not my fault" or..... I could go on forever.

The point is to assess the situation, person or time in your life in isolation - OBJECTIVELY. Look within and release the feelings of fear that led to you making those decisions. Ask yourself why you felt you deserved less or why you felt you deserved more than another person.

Guilting yourself into remorse is certainly not the objective - rather it is having the courage to face the truth of your actions. Once you are able to do that, then you can free yourself from guilt or the justification of your actions and then you can let go, and sometimes whether to yourself or others .......say sorry and be able to move on in TRUTH!

The celebration of Yule is both very emotional and liberating. To allow yourself to fully let go, enables you to be ready and open to receive in the future. It is time to free ourselves from the weight of our fears, insecurities and hurts. When you think about it....what’s the point of holding on to it anyway?! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Understanding Totems - Part 1

My belief is that one is capable of seeing signs and symbols from the Divine in everyday life. Based on archetypes past on through generations, civilizations  eras and ages from the Collective Unconscious, there exists an identification of energy and alignment in animal symbolism. I have been studying totems for a little over two years and am happy to share what I have learned with anyone willing to listen.

I simply find it beautiful to recognize that we are connected to each other and nature, and as such to Source and Spirit, and if we are so inclined, we can decipher the messages sent to us daily in waking life or in the Dreamtime, from something as simple as an ant or as unexpected as a visit by an owl.

A Totem can be looked upon as a Messenger, a Guide or Guardian. In different traditions, it is proposed that we are all born with Power Animals or Spiritual Guides - likened to Guardian Angels. The number of guardians differs in faith and belief. Some Native American traditions, numbers the amount to as much as nine. These cover the following directions: East, South, West, North, Above, Below, Within, Left and Right

Explaining each direction requires an entire note on itself (which I will write) but for now one can regard each direction as symbolizing an aspect of one's life and journey, as well as, characteristics of the personality. For Native Americans the directions fall on the Medicine Wheel of life, which teaches the different stages of life an individual must face, being born in the East like the Sun, with life setting in the West, but transforming in the North to return to the Great Spirit. (Directions also tie into the Sacred Elements; Earth, Air, Fire, Water - but will save that for another time.)

Based on knowledge of Scared Geometry, all the directions form the shape called the Merkabah which is a profound shape believed to contain the energy body of the individual, ie the soul. "Mer" means Light. "Ka" means Spirit. "Bah" means Body. We really are just skimming the surface here but let that simmer for now....back to totems.

How to find your Power Animals?

Usually, these Totems take the form of your favorite animals. Also they maybe animals that you have reoccurring dreams about, animals that you fear or even an animal that seems to always find its way into your life or home. Could be something as exotic as a Tiger, simple as an Ant or gross as a Lizard or cockroach (depends on what you find gross).

If one is aware of their Power Animals, then they are able to easily identify various Messenger Totems. These are animals that appear in your life for a moment or for a time period. They may appear in a dream to bring you a message, or you may suddenly be more attuned to coming across the image of a particular animal in material you read or see, or you may even see the creature in waking life. These animals bring a message that is to be heard, and appear only when it is necessary.

Then you have Shadow Totems, these are animals that persons have a fear for or even phobia towards. These spirit guides represent the archetype of a specific type of energy which you are ignoring towards your own personal development. They represent aspects of yourself which you have denied and also fear.

How to get to know your Power Animals and their messages?

Meditation is a great start, but it's usually not so easy for a first timer. The easiest method is to simply begin to research your animal's way of life, its habits, skills. How it hunts, is it more active at night, is it a loner? Does your favorite animal hibernate or have a shell? Does it transform and go through cycles like the Butterfly or Frog? As mentioned before our concepts that we have grown to know from our youth are a result of these archetypal energies being passed on through the ages. Each animal has a lesson to teach; the owl teaches wisdom and seeing into the depths, the spider is the weaver of words and expression, the ant is a teamworker and is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Returning to the Sacred Feminine

Raise your hand if you have ever been stabbed in the back by a female friend.
Raise your hand if you have met issues in the workplace due to a female colleague.
Raise your hand if you have been spoken about negatively by another woman.
Raise your hand if you have received negative customer service from a woman because you are a woman.
Raise your hand if you have been held back or prevented from excelling in school or the workplace by another woman.
Raise your hand if you have committed one of the above offences yourself. (This one is much harder to do huh?!)

The Sacred Feminine, is an appreciation and respect for the innate feminine energy which resides within both women and men. It is Divine and compliments Sacred Masculine energy which is linear and often very determined to reach point B from point A. Sacred Feminine energy prefers the scenic route, which may take longer, but which would be more enjoyable.

Celebrating your Sacred Femininity means recognizing this Right Brained way of thinking and appreciating one’s emotions, intuition and need to create and nurture, in yourself and also in others. Living in a patriarchal society has removed the Divine Feminine from our conscious minds and locked it away in a box within the subconscious.

We have learned that being emotional is wrong, that we need to remove ourselves from our own feelings and ignore the feelings of others. This cycle has reduced our sense of insight and compassion for others, in other words, we have become people who only think with the brain and not the heart, something which has been reduced to flighty journeys of the spiritual, hippies and unsuccessful persons who refuse to have ambition and climb the career ladder.

This way of thinking is masculine and linear, based only on logic and not from compassion. Masculine Energy is purposeful and determined, but without the Feminine becomes cold, empty and loses the beauty and appreciation of the journey to point B. Without the Feminine we only learn outcomes and not the lesson, we become shells operating only on one plane of existence, for material gain.

This brings me back to the much needed return to the Sacred Feminine. We often state that in looking for a male compliment to ourselves we need a man who is strong, a provider, someone that will stand up for you, and then the desire that often eludes us is, that this man should be in touch with his emotions, someone who is willing to talk and express himself and listen to your fears, voice his own and give you the reassurance you need. Yet in raising our boys, we teach them not to cry and to hold their emotions in - to repress the Divine Feminine aspect of themselves.

This unfortunate vicious cycle….sorry to say begins and ends with the woman! We ourselves lack appreciation for our own femininity. We repress it and then when we decide to use it, abuse its power. We fight another woman, rather than compliment her on success, her happy marriage or relationship, her wonderful children, her great haircut or her fabulous shoes or dress. What makes us unhappy for the other? What makes us send negativity to another in thought or action?

The answer is our own imbalance and inner fight of the Sacred Feminine. We are so busy complaining of the lack of opportunity for women, the need for greater freedom, the desire for equality and yet we give none of these to ourselves. What makes a man respectful of a woman and women in general? It is when he sees a woman who is willing to embrace and balance both aspects of herself, one who is determined and driven, yet passionate and emotional. A woman who has compassion for herself and others, who sees the end of the tunnel but appreciates the darkness along the way. How can we ask that of men, when we are lacking it ourselves?

We are on our way, more and more women are returning to the Sacred Feminine, becoming more introspective, more compassionate, and more empathetic. But we are still a long way from point B. It’s time to balance those aspects of ourselves harnessing the Sacred Masculine energy to the purpose of finding balance and actually getting there with Feminine compassion for others and self.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Where did God go?

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” 
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

With all the recent ‘rapture’ excitement, one’s thoughts leaned closely to God. Whether in jest or in seriousness, many conversations happened in regards to faith, prayer and salvation. God went viral for the first time in a long time, trending, hashtaged and being ‘Liked’ on various social media. It tickles me pink to think that He or She was delighted and possibly postponed original plans, if any at all, because ‘it was nice to be thought of once again’.
One night recently the moon was exceptionally beautiful, possibly because my usual private moment of personal reflection and prayer while staring at the night sky hadn’t happened in awhile (guiltily admitted). As I stared at the sky I heard myself say words which have resonated within me for the past few weeks; “I miss God, I miss You!”
My prayers/conversations are a little unconventional (to say the least); God and I have what I like to call ‘holy telephone conversations’ which are often one-way (to say they are two-way would possibly lead to diagnosis and medication in modern times). BUT unfortunately I hadn’t picked up the line in awhile and in that moment as the moon stared back, I felt guilty for succumbing to the matrix.
“I miss God,” suggested that God went somewhere, when in fact I was the one who walked away from my ‘holy telephone’, too busy or too caught up for simple reflection. I have become what I most feared, another drone of society ‘plugged in’. Having a job (not this…this is a joy not a job) which demands so much has allowed me to make the excuse of being too drained to talk with God, and in this case, when I say God, I mean myself.
The concept of God transforms across culture, faith and denomination. Most sociologists would agree also that the archetype of God is a direct or indirect reflection of what an individual, society or group deems as the ideal of authority.
Is it too far gone to then suggest that the Ultimate Authority/God is a reflection of us? That God exists within us, that God has never gone away, but that we have walked away from Him/Her and indeed walked away from ourselves?
A sense of spirituality is not bound by religion or denomination. Having spirituality is not correlated to one’s concept of God. One could go to a church, mosque or temple religiously (pun intended) and possess no faith or spirituality.
As we step away further from God and closer to our cars, smart-phones, laptops, greater workload, carpools, traffic, playlists, play-dates vitamins, Friday night out with friends, ask yourself — what is the purpose of it all? Where are we going? Where did God go?

As published by Ocean Style Magazine:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Independent Woman....Skewed Perception or Truth!

I hope to not disappoint, as chances are the person reading this is a woman aspiring for the above title, while men possibly saw the headline for the post and with eyes glazed over rolled them in despair thinking "another one" shaking his head.

The sad truth.......what we think entails being a strong independent woman is often far skewed by our own misguided perceptions and justifications for plain old DUMBASS behaviour.

I will be honest....I'm not going to say that I have never suffered from the Aspiring 'Independent' Woman syndrome.....thinking to myself I was strong, embracing the word 'bitch' depending on context and thinking to myself that the world understood what I meant and what I wanted from life.


We like to think as women that when we present ourselves as “liberated” females, often with a strong sense of self and our own sexuality we present the ideal strong and independent woman….but first ask yourself what independence means. What liberated means? What sexuality means?

Some women tend to follow the same modus operandi particularly after a break up, almost as if it were written in a specific handbook. We will lock ourselves away for an indefinite amount of time, and then emerge as the liberated and flirtatious butterfly, sure of herself and who she is……HELL FREAKING NO!!!

We would like to believe that! We will often cut our hair, an unconscious symbol of relinquishing the past and its hurt, while looking for new growth (a projection of ourselves to the world). Often times some women will either take the celibate route, or one that is not so virtuous, stating that they are liberated women free to do as she likes and justifying it by reaffirming the sad debate of the rights of women versus men and the freedoms of each sex based on what society says is right and wrong, in other words having LOTS of sex.

Women in this position will often feel that either on-looking men respect her for her independence, are drawn to her by her personality of liberation, believe she is a risk taker and more like “one of the boys” , that she knows what she wants and how she wants it.


Not so…..these men laugh at the sidelines watching the show of women each night, in each club, in the line at the bank, in the supermarket, as she aims to present this fa├žade and they…………….LAUGH! Maybe not aloud, or possibly with a single chuckle, but here is what they do know, they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this woman who has presented herself as the strong, sexy, independent type is the easiest to get in the sack. “Why not let her simply believe this…..I get what I want……she gets what she wants” (the belief of control).

Men understand us far better than we are willing to understand ourselves…..and I say this openly I have been one of those women, on a few occasions and it has taken me some time to realize that independence is a myth!

As humans, we live for attachment and crave and need it just as though it were a drug. In fact, it is a natural drug….the hormone Oxytocin, also known as the Love hormone is released in our systems each time we hug, kiss and orgasm. It is released after birth in mothers and between lovers each time there is sexual activity resulting in orgasm. This natural chemical creates the feeling of attachment and the bond that we seek to crave with a simple hug. The hormone also simply makes us feel good, happy and content even for the moment.

What I now present is an unfortunate truth…..the sexually liberated female is simply a slut.

Here’s why… much as we would like to state that times are changing, that women should have the ability to do exactly what men do….the truth is this…times haven’t changed that much and really women should not be doing exactly what men do. WHY?? Because wrong is wrong on either side of the fence.

The world is not fair! Chances are it NEVER will be! We live in a world of cycles, where one strives for balance their entire life, Abraham Maslow’s Self Actualization, never finding it until they are dead.

The media has a great part to play in this cycle of the Aspiring Independent Woman Syndrome, as artists and actresses search for themselves in the limelight, sharing the heartache and the pain that they must go through by elaborate shows of sexuality. Examples???? Madonna, Janet Jackson, Rihanna.

The point to all of this is that it is only one step on the journey of self discovery for a woman. A woman cannot and should not feel that this is who they are and will be for the rest of their lives……why? Simple, because she will be! Without any chance for growth, she will progress through life believing she is liberated when in fact she herself has chained her hopes, her belief in her potential, and her belief in love.

The journey is fun…….and we must appreciate each phase of life as just that, a phase! We must move on and let go and not blame others, men or the world for what we have done to ourselves.

We would like to be respected as women, as equals in the work place, in the bed room etc……ACT like it!! Because in equality there is difference, just as yin is to yang.

In not accepting each stage of life as a stepping stone, we neglect to respect ourselves and put ourselves in a labeled box of “independence” that the rest of the world labels as either slut or bitch.

 I will be the first to say that I have been both, but key word being been! It takes guts to look back on your life and realize the mistakes you have made but to say you don’t regret them, for no other reason than it made you who you wanted to be; an independent woman of thought, who is dependent on her family and husband for the support she needs, who needs reassurance every now and again (mostly for a week’s stretch once a month), and who appreciates every slutty and bitchy moment I lived through to become the person I can look in the mirror proudly and say “Nice to meet you!”.