Toxic City

It has been a while since I last wrote. I have been on a much-needed hiatus from social media, electronics in general, and most importantly–I’ve been focusing on my health in every aspect. Experiences that highlight our mortality have an interesting way of making us take a long hard look at ourselves.

 

With my mental, physical and emotional health under a metaphorical microscope, it has certainly been a time of deep introspection and healing. It may have something to do with the kickboxing classes I enrolled in, but I’ve really been embracing my inner Buffy and slaying energetic vampires and toxic situations from my life.

 

And in order for one to heal, one must first locate the root of the ailments within. Every so often, you have to go really deep. The sickness must be treated. It must be removed, sometimes with a shaky hand and scalpel, leaving behind a mound of scar tissue.

 

We all hurt. We all have wounds rooted extensively within ourselves. Sometimes it as though we are scanning the ocean floor for a single spec of sand in order to locate the source of our pain. We are powerful and vast beyond measure, as the sea.

 

While at the beach the other day, I watched closely as people took dips within the depths of the source of all there is. As some floated effortlessly with the waves, others took tumbles and lost their shorts in the process. I noticed that it was only when those were not paying any attention to the swell heading their direction or tried to fight the waves, a wipeout would take place.

 

And I couldn’t help but think, this isn’t much different from life, is it? If we are un-present, unaware, and try to resist what is beyond our control, we are guaranteed to wash away. Some of us, never again to return to the surface.

 

It seems we are amongst a time of abysmal addiction. Addicted to our phones, addicted to suffering, addicted to substances designed to make us feel nothing at all as a result of such suffering. With this realization, my heart breaks. Shatters, like pieces of the most delicate china thrown against a brick wall.

 

The traumatic truth that not all of us are equipped to navigate such feels. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves at times. And in those moments, it is our moral duty to love the fuck out of ourselves every chance we get. To love the fuck out of those who are hurting. To set clear, energetic boundaries and have no remorse when untangling cords of venomous vultures of our joy. But, the ability to show up in such ways first begins with the capacity to show up for yourself.

 

I am currently in this interesting place of being addicted to being present. Addicted to learning. Addicted to showing up more. Addicted to healing deeper. Addicted to accepting my completion, embracing my wholeness. Returning to Source.

 

Because at the end of the day, as the sun sets and the ocean glistens like a field of diamonds, that is all that matters. You. Your happiness. And the connection to everything.

 

 

 

 

Image by Pietro Tenuta

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The Ever-Perplexing Paradox of Existence… and Coachella

 

I have just returned from Coachella. These are words I never imagined would dance upon my lips. But, life is funny like that, isn’t it? Things change. You change. Everything is changing.

 

I never once thought I would live in Los Angeles, either. Yet— here I am. I was always under the impression LA was full to the brim of soulless, shirtless narcissistic toolbags.  This notion was based merely on a hunch, having never actually spent much time there.

 

Since moving to LA, I can now confirm this rumor as truth. Though, there is, in fact, a lot of particularly cool shit here capable of elevating your dream life to the next level.

 

And to be quite honest, the same goes for Coachella. Trust me, I know what you’re thinking.  “Ew. What a basic fecking betch!” But I’ll be the first to admit that the infinite sea of poor sweatshop fashion choices tickled my gag reflexes.

 

I watched a woman eat a bag of chips with a fork. I nearly had an aneurysm from the infinite selfie captures. The monstrosity of litter left behind actually made me weep.

 

People were entitled as fuck. Someone eloquently told my girlfriend they were “gonna fuck [her] up” if she didn’t “get the fuck out of the way.” Stay classy, Coachella!

 

This is the type of shit one would expect from attending such an event, perhaps the greatest gathering of trust funds the world has ever seen. Yet, despite the next level of fuckery, no ‘bos were thrown.

 

What did fuck me up in the best of ways, was the overwhelming amount of women and people of color speaking their truth like absolute royalty. It was a strange and beautiful thing to see such diversity in what seemingly was the epicenter of white privilege.

 

In these bizarre times, it seems the empire has fallen. Basic bitches were de-throned. Those once forced to the back of the bus are now forerunners of a movement of empowerment, making and changing history right before our eyes.

 

Leading this crusade is no other than the Queen Bee herself, Beyonce. Yes, I said it. Judge me, hipsters. But- if you saw what I saw that spectacular Saturday night, you wouldn’t dare.

 

The drumline, the twirling, the twerking… the stank faces! Few things excite me more than a beautiful woman unafraid to look ugly. My southern belle-self was transported back to Mardi Gras and football season and I have never been so proud to be from Louisiana. Who dat?! Bee dat!

 

In addition to being utterly mesmerized, an unsolved mystery was decoded this night. I now know the source of Hurricane Katrina to be undoubtedly rooted in Beyonce’s wild and whirling luscious locks. I have never seen anything like it! I was blown away, literally!

 

But more importantly, the testament to black magic and power was of a caliber I have also never had the privilege to bear witness to. The most creative and talented people, all born with less privilege than I, simply because of the color of their skin, were on the biggest stage with an astronomical audience, owning their power more than most… more than any.

 

One would likely not expect this from a stereotypical event such as Coachella. But the thing about stereotypes is they begin to lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. And that simply is the joy of life. Everything is a paradox. Even Coachella.

 

Remember that, the next time you choose to spew hate towards something you may not understand. Because rarely are things exactly as we may think. Tap into your inner queen and ask, what would Beyonce do?

 

As the Queendom rises and tears drip from my cheeks, I am ecstatic to be a woman amongst these potent times. It is our duty as women, as people, to share our truth and empower ourselves and others. In moments of self-doubt and negative talk, look yourself in the mirror and repeat,  “I am the dragon breathing fire. Beautiful mane I’m the lion.” Now go, and release your roar! Don’t be afraid to get dirty, because “a little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody.”

 

Precious Moments

 

My inner peace, as much to be achieved whilst living in Los Angeles, was hijacked by a bizarre sound, jarring to the nerves. It was distant but immensely invasive. The regularity of these reverberations was truly startling. They certainly weren’t fireworks or motorcycle braps.

My mind immediately started to think the worst. Anxiety consumed me. Is that an automatic rifle or some shit? What the fuck?! What do I do if there is, in fact, some crazy person on the loose? Holy shit.

How did all those kids feel when they discovered their terror was a reality? I can’t imagine. But then again, I kinda just did. The feelings; tangible sensations, consuming my being were too much, trippy to the touch.

We know all this horrendous shit is happening around us at all times, yet do we ever stop to really empathize? Or are we too damn busy over-exerting our thumbs from behind an illuminated screen with someone named Larry or Debra about how Jesus says we need more guns?

Life is weird. And us humans are really fucked up. This can be a terrifying truth to accept. Yet, there’s always a flip side–the ever-perplexing paradox of our human experience.

This is why we absolutely MUST practice compassion. Take a damn breath every once in a while. Tell people you love them every chance you get. Be in the motherfucking moment. Because frankly, that’s all we got.

 

 

Image by Gabriel  Levesque

LA Mornings

Another day waking up in paradise. And by paradise, I mean arising to the sound of a 4 pile car crash outside my window, hours before my alarm intended. Living across the street from one of the Pacific Northwest’s busiest roadways doesn’t have any perks, just lots of irks, like constant screeching and hollering, a thick film of pollution that consumes every surface in your home– like a secretion from some dark lord– and a constant reminder that everyone is always going somewhere, perpetuating a steadfast state of anxiety.

As my one year anniversary with Los Angeles quickly approaches, I find myself asking, “What the fuck are you doing here?” I know, in theory, why I moved here. But nothing of that sort has quite gone to plan. I guess that’s the way life works, huh? I know, though- I often forget, there is a shit ton of magic happening here. There’s also a shit ton of shit.

I’m partially convinced LA is some kind of purgatory, like a hellacious Disneyland for insane adults. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. But the question is, can you? Should you? And if not here, where?! THAT is the ever-perplexing question that continues to rear its ugly head, time and time again.

Is there a place that exists sans such torture? What does it look like? Or, is that place just really inside of us after all? As my coffee starts to kick in, this is what I’m convinced to be true. We’ve seen some bedazzled Pinterest quote a time or two telling us that everything we seek is inside ourselves. That’s where the real nuggets of wisdom are. Somewhere, inside of me, there is a crystal clear ocean, with the perfect ocean breeze and a steady flow of piña coladas, preferably served via bronzed babes in minimal bikinis.

Am I alone in this thinking? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? What is stopping you? What would it look like if we helped each other get there?

Think about this, as I go rinse off from the coffee sweats currently brewing inside my love’s fuzzy robe. And remember, “darling, the moon is still the moon in all of its phases.”

A Total Eclipse of the Heart

What happens when thousands upon thousands of people journey to the forest in the middle of Oregon to bear witness to the celestial spectacle of our lifetime? Magic… that’s what. Having journeyed to many a festival in my day, I must say- nothing quite compared to the Global Eclipse Gathering.

The rumors are true. Teamwork makes the dream work. And this colossal communal experience was nothing short of a wild, wet dream come true. Each of us embarked on this soul pilgrimage, traveling from all over the globe with our unique intentions, varying expectations, yet- all heading the same place. There’s so much beauty in that.

Getting there is no cake walk. In fact, once you’ve made your way through the pearly gates, it ain’t exactly a breeze. It’s more like getting caught in the tailwind of a psychedelic Tasmanian devil. But, this is what makes Symbiosis what it is. Its essence is rooted in chaos. And like Nietzsche says, “you gotta have chaos within to give birth to a dancing star.”  

And beneath those glimmering Oregon stars, I danced more in those few days than I have in years. Shout out to the Moon Stage, particularly  El Papachango, Releece, Tiger Fresh, and a 6-hour Deep Medi Showcase for making my ass do things I didn’t know it could. I was moved, both literally and figuratively, perhaps more than I ever have been in the totality of my existence. And though there may be some, while buried in their heaps of jade, who scoff at the idea of being transformed by a transformational festival, there’s a reason the name reigns.

One needed a doctorate degree to read the schedule, so I immediately tossed the notion of following an itinerary to the wind and fully submitted to the flow. Yee-Haw! Since I was less concerned with where to be and when, and more consumed with making sure I wasn’t peeing on a rattlesnake or falling down a deep ravine, I simply pulled up my swag rag dusk mask, courtesy of Peace Fits, and let my earholes and eyeballs lead the way. My orifices did not disappoint!

An act that blew me away like no other was Pendulum People; PendulumPeople

Brooklyn-based cøsmic crew consisting of Nova Zef, Soraya Lundy, LVDF,  and Justin Conte that take the meaning of next level… to the next level. Amongst a stage made up of vibrant peacocks and butterfly dragon heads, we were instantly hypnotized by the magic these creatures possess. Their astral aesthetic and entrancing beats evoked an expressive exorcism of sorts. Truth bombs exploding from the lips of Nova, a galactic gangstress, high priestess that together with her powerful posse, incited a riot within.

Their choreography and wardrobe are truly out of this universe. With each song came a costume change. Your imagination and inspiration were left gushing for more. Their performance was the epitome of a show, an experience that delights all the senses. At times I laughed, cried, and even howled like a banshee. The wild woman within was woke AF.

With the oversaturation of electronic music these days, many have said artistry is dead. But, these folks straight up performed an expressive baptism on our tainted souls. On that theater stage, I bore witness to the most inspiring form of creative expression I’ve yet to experience.

This was particularly powerful because I felt as though this trippy troupe’s performance was perfectly in sync with what this total solar eclipse symbolized.

As the stars aligned, the sun and moon danced, and the divine feminine soared. This union served as a celestial catalyst to face our shadows, embrace the light and let our truths shine bright. While the sky grew dark, our ego died. The flame of our fears extinguished, making way for our true gifts and an abundance of self-love. For it has been said that a revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having. But, together we dance. Together we rise.

 

Artwork by MerakiLabbe
Photo by 
Cadencia