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~ ✨Winter Solstice 2020 ✨ & Stepping into the Age of Aquarius ♒️ ~

Sunrise from Stonehenge, Feeling the Collective & Stepping through the Veil

03:45ADT Dec 21, 2020

I was disappointed to see the forecast for Nova Scotia would be a huge rainstorm starting hours before sunrise. I had planned to go the a small beach facing East and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean however, I decided that it was best to stay home and be cosy, rather than wake up my toddler and make him and my partner go out on a rainy and cloudy morning where we wouldn’t even see the sun rise.

Last night just before falling asleep around midnight, I had this sense of peace. Completeness. Fearlessness – not in a fierce, raw power way, but in a soft, gentle, humbling way. A sense that all is well. Everything that I worried about before, just dissolved. Like that! I felt great and continue to feel amazing.

I woke after only 3 hours of sleep. I nursed Milo back to sleep and with an unexplained joy in my heart, logged on to watch this event happening across the pond, yet in the here and now. To my surprise, as the live stream loaded…we laughed to see that it is grey and cloudy in the English countryside hahahahaha and here is going to rain heavily. My friend Rudi said last night, “Maybe we’re just not meant to see it, but feel it.” So powerful and wise. Of course! We are and have been asked to go inward and connect with this higher dimension that is on the other side of the thinned veil.

It felt incredible to join 14.9k viewers online. What a powerful global connection to share in this moment.

As I watch the fog encompassing Stonehenge and observed this grand, magnificent structure, built by our ancestors, I am brought to this present feeling of inexplicable bliss and peace.

After years of feeling the pain, suffering and grief of my beloved Earth sisters and brothers, and ancestors, and the other sentient beings on this planet, I’ve felt an intense shift in the last few weeks, bringing up all that pain and suffering once more. I felt it was coming up to be cleared, to be released for good. Only in the last few days before Solstice I felt an immense excitement and pleasure in my body and field.

Now, instead of pain and suffering, I am feeling beauty, an uplifting, a pure love and a sense of calm. Like a veil or filter has been lifted from my heart and soul. This is the stepping into the Fifth Dimension, our New Earth – liberated from our past, our karmic cycles and fear.

Welcome to the Age of Aquarius.

The Great Conjunction: the dance of Jupiter and Saturn. Mind blowing that they are millions of kilometres away.

After an exciting morning of meditation and bliss, we headed out to the ocean. With the rain and fog, we were the only ones out on the rocks. My friend Rudi was right, “we weren’t meant to see it – we were meant to feel it.” The Earth’s ascension to the Fifth Dimension calls us to “see” with our other eyes: our cosmic eye (third eye), our soul’s eye (heart) and for wombyn, our centre of creation (yoni, wombspace). Of course. Seeing a sunrise is magickal. However, in this Fifth Dimension, we can connect to the energy of the Earth and cosmos by seeing and feeling with our other eyes.

Playing my conch, I felt I was one instrument of an infinite cosmic orchestra of all beings here on Gaia, and across the Universe, celebrating this grand, long-awaited event – the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, the Great Galactic Alignment when rays of infinite love poured down to us from Source, celebrating the beginning of a new Age. I felt it deep within my being across all dimensions.

Although everything around me was dispelled in the foggy abyss, presenting a sense of solitude, I felt more connected than ever to my cosmic family across all space time, celebrating this grand moment for Gaia and our Universe.

Thank you for reading. For your presence and sharing this moment with me.

May you be filled with love.

May you hear your soul whispers.

May you have to courage to listen and follow your heart.

Blessed Be.

Time to S L O W D O W N

pure bliss.

I’ve always envisioned this moment. Typing on a turquoise typewriter while overlooking a stream in a forest…could this moment be more perfect. Milo is playing behind me and Siggi is making another delicious meal for us. In a time when our attention spans maybe only last the few seconds of a post or story, I embrace slowing down. As much as I find myself participating in this fast and faster world, I know it’s important to take a pause.

Decembers are usually intense with massage season being at its peak and feeling the bustle of the holidays. Even with loving boundaries in place for my own well-being, it is still a challenge to manage my energy while holding space for everyone around me…especially this past December…on top of a normally busy, crazy time.

I look forward to Januarys because it’s my time to pause and dive deep into my Winter cave. I get to surrender to much needed rest, and like animals, hibernate my body and mind. This is my restoration and renewal before the next Spring. Our minds and bodies need this slowing down, this flow and surrender to the darkness of Winter in order to step out of the Winter cave renewed come Spring.

I enjoy using a typewriter because it invites me to slow down my thoughts and write with intention and focus. Sometimes having that convenient backspace button encourages us to avoid making mistakes because our words can be simply erased, rather than seeing the true process we’ve experienced to create something.

Writing is intentional. Life needs to remain intentional. Slowing down to put some thought to my words, gives great power to those words. I write from a deeper place in my heart, speaking and living my truth.

Today, I take the time to slow down and reflect on what I envision for 2021 and beyond.

Nothing in nature blooms all year.

Surrender to the darkness.

Deep in their roots,

this is where plants store their light

Unknown + Me

I welcome my hibernation with excitement to write, create art, sip a lot of tea and cacao, take mindful winter hikes and deepen my inner exploration. Winter is the soul’s season to connect with its darkness. It’s the time we are gifted to witness our duality and alchemize the darkness into the fresh life energy of Spring and the wholeness of Summer.

Blessed Be.

Existing Beyond Duality

“Each one of us is one facet of the most illustrious, grand, and magnanimous, cosmic diamond that you could imagine…”

I write this not to stir and perpetuate the severe polarity that we are experiencing this year especially, but to shed light on welcoming different perspectives; to bring awareness to the simple fact that we each experience our reality differently to anyone outside of our individual self…so, this is merely one perspective of an infinity of perspectives. I ask that you please read till the end before making any polarized comments. Thank you for seeing me, allowing me to express myself transparently, without the fear of judgement.

E S S E N T I A L .

Hugs are essential.

Dance is essential.

Sunshine is essential.

Oxygen is essential.

Movement is essential.

Market gatherings are essential.

Gathering is essential.

Full, juicy, breathing is essential.

Seeing smiles are essential.

Natural immunity is essential.

Playing is essential.

Fairs and festivals are essential.

Live music is essential.

Witnessing birth is essential.

Witnessing death is essential.

Adventure is essential.

Physical touch is essential.

Family connection is essential.

Your tribe is essential.

Community support is essential.

Local businesses are essential.

Flow and ease are essential.

Simplicity is essential.

Wellness is essential.

Choice is essential.

Our livelihoods are essential.

Remembering our power is essential.

All of the above. In person, unm@$ked. These are some of what actually drives our livelihoods. Humans are tribal beings. Multidimensional and receptive to our environment. We thrive on connection, on being witnessed, on being seen. Placing our lives behind screens doesn’t give anyone real-time, moment-to-moment “feed” of the vast beauty of our days. An image, a post, a video are limited and compressed displays of our dynamic lives.

Rather than feeding the fear, violence, and pressure faced by our communities, by our loved ones to uphold health codes, can we shift our energy our focus and not forget about the other sides of this coin: our community wellness, our community spirit, our livelihoods and all the other factors that feed into our immunity as dynamic living beings – remembering that what is essential is completely relative to the values of whom is speaking.

Each one of us is one facet of the most illustrious, grand, and magnanimous, cosmic diamond that you could imagine – all one of the same – the diamond is our divine source, divine creator, Goddess, God – when we remember that we each are glistening facets of the divine whole – that someone else’s differing thoughts are only our own, from a different facet of the unified diamond…then we are liberated from the separation that causes the suffering, and we can be with each other in love.

Rather than perpetuating the duality, feeding into what divides us, let’s hold space, let’s listen to what the other perspectives are. After all, there are always at least TWO sides to everything – and, as we step into a higher dimension, the “sides” are limitless…let’s start opening our hearts to the other side, or sides. The longer we trap ourselves into the polarity of “it has to be ONE way” then the more pain, suffering, struggle and DIVIDE we create for ourselves and our communities. We’ve been encouraged and primed for far too long that everything is either right/wrong, good/bad, us/them, m@$ked/unm@$ked, our way or not valid.

You don’t have to agree with the other sides, but in order to serve our highest good as an Earth Collective, we need to step beyond the duality and not dismiss or disrespect the opposition. May we show love and compassion when we encounter someone with different essentials, different values, different perspective. Open your heart, liberate your mind, step through to the limitless potential you can create for yourself and others with that open-hearted space. From this place of neutrality we can create the most harmonious vision for our future.

It isn’t the m@$k-wearing or staying indoors that’s going to get us through the tougher times that lie ahead. We are living, breathing, multidimensional beings. Our breath is the primary source of our energy – the prāṇa that recharges our being. And beyond the breath, it’s our remembering of who we truly are and expressing love and compassion for each other and the divine connection we share together that will bridge these times of separation. It starts with compassion.

If you made it this far, I am filled with humbling gratitude for your presence and energy.

Blessings, kindness and gratitude.

Valentina Colibrí

Original image from Etsy Shop: HeartStringsByMorgan. Photo edit by myself.

Honouring My Mother: A Twenty Year Relationship with Death and Grief

My Mother, Marion Bernadette Philomena David Barber, died twenty years ago today. Sunday September 17, 2000. Today I honour her and the life she lived. The risks she took being an orphan and seeking education, her passion for living life; for food, for travel and for her family. I honour the lessons I’ve learned from witnessing her life. I am thankful for the gift of life she gave me and my siblings, for bringing us Earthside, safely and empowered. For always putting us first and teaching us to love life, be kind and have faith.

Mom passed away in 2000 – let’s roll back twenty years. Before 9/11, before high speed internet, before smartphones and the birth of the digital age. I often wonder what she would think of technology – and a million other things! I wonder if we’d ever shop like mothers and daughters do at the mall or if that wouldn’t be our thing; if we’d go for coffee or if she’d stick to her very sweet and spicy Pakistani chai. I wonder if we’d ever go to a yoga class together or if she’d judge me and the life I live now. It’s taken me years to realize that it doesn’t matter what she thinks and that I am here and who I am, because she is not here. I suspect I would be a different person if she were alive and had control over my youth and adolescence – and if I wouldn’t have been given the opportunities I have been since she left us. 

I sat in my pity and grief for many years, questions “why” God would do this to me, why my mother chose this, and why it wasn’t my father who died instead – so many whys, so much sadness, anger and questions seeking answers. 

My journey of grief has taken me into a world that I might not, or ever explored if I hadn’t lost my mother. Her death opened doors that may have never opened. I cried for many years on her death anniversary, wallowing in the past, in the memory of the pain and her absence. Being angry for choosing to do homework, rather than sit with her at the hospital in her last hours. So much guilt and anger! Twenty years later! Still processing…but each release feels easier, and my soul feels lighter. Of course I know that a mother would only want their child to experience joy and not be burdened with pain…especially not for twenty years! 

Yes, not having her alive, right now in my life, I sometimes feel a sense of absence. However, is it my memory of her that brings me to feel this absence? Or does my current presence in this moment, allow me to see the beauty in this moment, not having the awareness of absence. 

My journey with grief presented many paths of coping – I was never one to use substances in any degree for pleasure or to numb pain – it just never seemed logical to me. My soul has sought other ways to find answers to why this grief has such a powerful shadow over me. Is it just a human thing, or do we ever find a sweet spot in our relationship to grief?

I looked to other paths of religion and spirituality – again seeking answers, seeking truth and connection to Mom. I explored different forms of meditation, beliefs in reincarnation, Tarot & palmistry, talking to brujos in Mexico, shamanic journeying, Earth-based religions, yogic philosophies, bodywork,  and sound healing. Each provided their own medicine to my open, healing heart. Over the years, there have been some impressionable moments that were keys to my greatest healing.

One day my path took me to a bookstore here in Halifax, Bookmark II – where I saw on the shelf a book called Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman. I began reading the first pages and it felt like the writer had opened my heart was was reading it out loud! After over ten years of feeling alone and unheard, this book gave me so much peace in those few moments. At the time, I didn’t have a lot of money and even though the book was only about $20, I could not afford it. When I went back two weeks later, it was out of stock, so I had it ordered in. I waited patiently for the call that my book had arrived. And once I got it, I began reading it. To this day, I have not made it past the first three chapters. The grief was real, everything that she writes is so true and so real for me that I exhausted myself crying. My ex, even being the sweet and kind soul he is, at the time, he was also not able to hold space for me to process what I was reading. Since then, I’ve been on a different soul mission, so I haven’t picked up the book yet, but I’m sure if and when I do now, it might be easier to process and get to the end! I am a true believer of “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” and so goes for books. That book appeared when I was ready to accept its wisdom and comforting words. There are many of my shelves that have called me, but in their right time, I will open their pages. 

Another powerful healing moment was when another ex went to see a medium, who was able to channel his mother who had passed on early. She told him that she was happy being on the other side, happy and free; travelling the world as she had always wanted to do. This opened my eyes to another world. My upbringing in the Roman Catholic tradition had me wearing tight blinders for most of my life, including up until that point with the medium. I took this as medicine for my child heart, to bring peace to the unknown of my own Mother. To know that she was free, flying above and beyond what her human body would have granted her, gave me the greatest joy for her. 

Many years later, one of my closest and dear friends invited me to a Buddhist ceremony to honour a friend who had suddenly passed away. A ceremony to allow her spirit to move on from this lifetime, and reincarnate if they choose. Honestly, this particular ceremony, so beautiful and powerful in what it does for those who are left behind and for the spirit that has finished their time, gave me the most peace. It meant that Mom’s spirit moved on, completed its mission and perhaps moved on to the next lifetime. I became fascinated and relieved to hear of such things, so I began to explore life after death.

Here in Halifax, I am often asked where I come from and what brought me here. After some, what I can only describe as divine guidance, I can say, that my Mother brought me here. This story goes back twenty years when I was in Grade 10 English class, in Hamilton, Ontario. We were reading short stories from Canadian authors and of course, being asked to analyse them. Of all the stories, the one I chose was about a young mother back in perhaps the 1960s/70s – time when women were rediscovering their power and still struggling to get an education. The protagonist had a young daughter. Being inspired by the book she was reading, The Feminine Mystique, she wanted a different future for her daughter. She wanted her daughter to have more opportunities than she had. So she takes her daughter for an outing to the campus of Dalhousie University to show her that she has options, other than being a “good housewife.” A few years later when I was applying to universities, Dalhousie crossed my mind. And although their tuition was/is the highest in Canada, the program I was interested in was very well established at Dalhousie. I turned down a scholarship to Carlton in Ottawa to go off to Dalhousie. To this day, my father doesn’t know about the scholarship. Later in a session with a psychic medium, I was given this insight which certainly spoke volumes: the reader shared that my Mother’s energy was extremely strong here on the East Coast – like she had called me here like a beacon waiting for a response. Reflecting back at the short story, I wonder if it was just coincidence that I chose that one, or if it was a divine message from my Mother who had recently passed on. 

In more recent years, my life path has me exploring the quantum world. This area is vast and sometimes challenging to describe in words. I must say that all the lessons from previous encounters certainly gave me a strong foundation to receive the wisdom and knowledge of the quantum approach. The wisdom of Matt Kahn, Carolyn Myss and others, have affirmed the truth I feel deep inside. To see my life, the world, the Universe as a bigger picture, has given me the deepest healing. To understand our sacred contracts and the divine plan – so perfect and that nothing is left to chance.

I acknowledge the life of my mother; that she was the vessel to bring me into this world and for all the love and nurturing she gave me – potent nourishment for the years when I would be without her. I acknowledge what her death has meant to me so far and what gifts have come of it since.

I thank the angels who have stood alongside since my birth, since I lost Mom, and who are here with me always. I (like many of you) have done some extraordinary things in my short life, going on adventures, encountering new experiences, putting myself out there – and in many moments, taking risks that in hindsight, realizing that those sketchy situations could have ended in so many ways! However, I always felt protected. I had and have a trust in the divine that had been nurtured from my Mother. Her faith until her last breath has been my greatest teacher. Let me be clear that faith and spirituality are not contained by what we have created as religion, however, they are so much more vast than the smallness of religion. My Mother taught me faith, or you could call it trust. To trust. A skill that we are often not encouraged to cultivate and nurture. Until my pregnancy did I realize how important this “skill” of trusting myself, my divine human and the divine Source of us all, would be. 

I am thankful for all the angels and people that have cared for me for the past twenty plus years – through my Mother’s illness and darkest moments, until today. All the mothers that have mothered me, held me, fed me, shared words of wisdom as they would to their precious child, paid for things or lent funds to get me out of a stressful situation, or called to check in…all the parents, friends, sisters, tribe, that have stepped into that void of feeling the absence of my Mother, to each and every one of you, my soul, my child heart, thanks you with such grace and honour. You’ve kept me alive, literally by feeding me, emotionally and spiritually by sharing your wisdom and holding space, and helping me grow, so that I may realize and fulfill my purpose. 

I am thankful for all the divine synchronicities that have reassured my faith and trust in the bigger picture. The “too-good-to-be-true” encounters, the divine timing of meeting certain people or things happening…call it what you like, but I am a believer in this grand plan, and my trust has certainly allowed it to keep unfolding its mastery. And in that unfolding, allowing me to heal from deep within. 

It is said that “time heals all wounds.” I believe this is true for when we are truly present, that we allow the past to dissolve. And when I say the past, I mean the memory and the emotions we associate to a memory that we consider in the past. It does not mean that we forget that an experience happened, but we have grown out of seeing it in the past and the painful emotion that it carries. I am present right now in this moment, as I type. Now. Now. And Now. In this moment, there is no past. And so, I cannot dive into an emotional memory, because it just simply does not exist. Thinking of time as each year has gone by, has made me question more and more, “what is time?” Is this why September 17, 2000 feels like it just happened? Or some years, it has felt like that was a lifetime ago and that’s why I don’t cry anymore? Or have I grown? Have I forgotten? No. I know in my heart, I am healing that wound. And as I heal, I create a distance from that “past” moment in time. The quantum world may seem like a whirlwind when it comes to understanding timelines, however, I have found my peace with this particular life event because of it. I feel that I have found the missing key that helps me to unlock the bigger puzzle I’m in and free myself so I may truly live my life; shame-free, guilt-free, pain-free, and above all, have a healthy relationship with one of my greatest teachers, Grief. 

 A whole lifetime has passed, in the blink of an eye, yet when I slow down the years, the months, the days, the hours, the minutes and seconds, each moment is a lifetime, a timeline in itself. A moment where I had a choice. A choice to live and experience for its gift of beauty ~ a choice to appreciate the gift of another moment of life; to appreciate the opportunities at hand. 

Today, I honour my Mother Marion, with red roses, the tunes of Simon & Garfunkel, with loud belly laughs, indulgence in tasty food, and remembering the power of trust. I am her daughter, and I am a daughter of the Universe. I honour her life and death by sharing the blessings and lessons I have been gifted by her, rather than just focusing on her absence and grieving.

We all walk different paths; we are all on different timelines. This is my story, my experience. May you find your own peace, joy & happiness in yours. 

I dedicate this piece to all the children of all ages, generations, timelines, who feel alone since the passing of their mothers or caregivers. May you remember that you are not alone. Your mother would never leave you alone – she left you with a family of angels to protect you, guide you, nurture and nourish you, support you in every way. When we begin to remember, we see “all the little things,” all the signs, all the pieces of the puzzle. We realize that she never left us. 

My thoughts on death need to be honoured on their own. Stay tuned. 

And Now? Be the Change.

Artist: Sousa Machado

When I originally sat down to write this, I had more frustration and sadness in my heart. I sent my writing to a few friends of colour and while they might have supported my thoughts and writing, it still didn’t feel right to share something from a place of rage, frustration and blame. I knew deep down that it’s not in me to perpetuate this kind of behaviour, so I gave myself space from my writing, and from social media. Time and space to clear my mind and look at this from further back.

I know that trying to send a message isn’t always easy when we have heaviness in our hearts, so I’m sharing this with you because this is the best way I know how: through story. We ALL have stories. Here are some of mine. I know there are a lot of solutions being put out there, however, I would like to say that before we can make fundamental changes in our psyche, in our behaviour and in our actions, there needs to be a true connection. And that connection, for us humans, is through story. 

I am a brown skin woman. Born in Pakistan. My mother radiant like chocolate and my father, golden like toffee. I came to Canada in 1988 when I was 3 and my brother 18months. We settled in Hamilton, Ontario – predominantly Italian and Portuguese…and well, during a time when assimilation was cool – not guarding your culture and being proud of it. 

Here are some KEY moments in my life of thirty-four years: 

  • Being called “blackie” by my classmates when I was four years old. FOUR. One girl was a Black girl! Lighter than me – and so it confused me even more! 
  • If my brother and I got darker in the summer months, often my parents would suggest that we weren’t scrubbing ourselves hard enough…especially our knees and elbows. 🙄 My mom being a nurse, I’m surprised she didn’t just look to anatomy…where we have more skin there. But again, this is deep, post-colonial, cultural issue…stemming from white supremacy
  • My parents using chickpea flour, called besan, to give us full body scrubs. Apparently besan helps with whitening skin, not bleaching, but lightening skin. 
  • Going to the bank alone: I get “I’m sorry, that’s our policy, I can’t do anything to help you.” Even when pregnant and hand on belly. 
  • Going to the bank with Siggi, my white partner: “Let me see what I can do.” 
  • Going for a skincare appointment, with always a white aesthetician, “I used ____ product on you. It’s great for hyperpigmentation. You could try that for a while to even out some areas.” (I get that this is larger issue in our world of beauty ideals)
  • Never finding a makeup artist that knows how to apply makeup for my skin colour and always chooses the lighter foundation…making me look ashy. And when I ask for a darker shade, they are so wide-eyed I sometimes want to punch them. 
  • At 20 years old…it was the first time I my whole life that I appreciated my skin colour. I was on exchange in Cuba. Yes! Twenty years of not loving my skin colour. It took leaving a country that “accepts” all cultures (Canada) and going to a small island to BE SEEN. Fuck. To be adored for the beauty of my skin colour. It confused me! And maybe that’s why it was hard to leave. Going back to Canada where no one acknowledged me and it was hard to embrace my nature. 
  • Being confused by white people tanning. W T F. First you don’t accept us and respect us, then you tan? Yet you whitewash us, offer whitening products (even if natural) and use our cultures to market as your own? 
  • My own brother having racist after racist act committed against him. A coloured person can’t have nice clothes? Can’t have a dog and walk around? Can’t have a white partner? 
  • Questioning every job I’ve been offered…was it to fulfill the minority quota? Often times I have been the only person of colour at a workplace. 
  • My entire life always trying my hardest to look clean, proper, better, follow the rules, say the right things, to BE ACCEPTED. This may be the story for many BIPOC – to be accepted in a society that has discriminated against us for so long. The best we (my ancestors, my parents, my family and friends), can do is to “look” and “act” our best to try to fit in and be accepted. 
  • Being followed with suspicion in several stores at both Halifax Shopping Centre and MicMac Mall while I shopped OR I get the silent, “you’re invisible” treatment, yet if a white customer walked in, the retail employee suddenly comes alive to help 🙄
  • When I go to a potluck or gathering, I just look around…maybeee there are few other coloured people, but I just wonder, “Where are the BIPOC mamas?” or “Why am I the only coloured person in this Irish pub or North End potluck?” I am not dismissing these special experiences, and honoured to be a POC present. I just look around and this is what  see.

I’m not asking for you to feel sorry for me. I’ve made my peace with a lot of what I have experienced. It took until this most recent phase in my life…my thirties, to really work through a lot of that trauma. Like, I wonder what kind of strong woman I could be if I was loved and able to love myself fully from age one, age four, age twenty? And not be hit with racism, inequality, and disproportionate opportunities every time I tried to stand up and live my life just as any white person. I no longer see myself as a victim and see those experiences as in my past. I am bringing them up in this present moment to share and educate. However, it’s hard to fully put those things in the past when they CONTINUE HAPPENING. I personally haven’t experienced violence of physical abuse because of my skin colour. I have however, felt the real pain of my brothers and sisters near and far. This is why I am doing this work. 

What has empowered me to get past that victim mentality? My “no excuses” mentality – probably perpetuated by having to be resilient and work extra hard to just “get on with it” and be like white people want us to be. I also believe that the dark parts of our story, make us strong and maybe that’s why I am here now? Just like we have NO EXCUSES to have to do well in school (to fight for those scholarships), or stand out as entertainers or artists, as good parents, as good humans… I have to say that white people, there are NO EXCUSES for you to be ignorant any longer. 

I am happy and empowered to see that in my thirties there is finally more than a few shades of brown in the makeup section. I’m thrilled to see Black ballerinas and Black supermodels. Black Barbie is really a Black Barbie, finally. Black princesses. Black heroines. Black and brown Emojis. Black business owners. Black opportunities. And I am honoured that people seek me out because I am a coloured massage therapist!

So friends, fellow humans. I don’t have all the answers. I realize that with something so big, so fundamentally wrong with our everyday life, it is difficult to know where to begin, what words to say and how to go about correcting it. And I know some solutions might be more effective for some scenarios. And I am aware this is centuries of beliefs and  behaviour. 

I ask that you wake up. So many little things that you might not think twice about because the world is catered to you…that BIPOC have to consider and reconsider…or the thing we need is not even existing for us. 

But friends, business owners, fellow consumers: 

Do your outreach activities include your local BIPOC community? That goes for dance classes and sports teams, mom’s groups, market days, play dates,  spiritual activities like meditation and yoga sessions, holistic health, alternative child care…the list goes on. Are we welcome to fully experience these facets of society?

Where are the Black aestheticians in the luxury spas? BIPOC bankers? Black schoolteachers? Black beauty promoted far and wide? Black artists respected and paid fairly.

I know the past few weeks, months, years and centuries have been struggle after struggle, violent, hateful act after violent hateful act. Injustice after injustice. 

Will you allow it to continue? 

I am aware that there are several avenues for re-education, undoing and correcting of beliefs, behaviours; that there are several avenues for being in solidarity and rising up with our Black communities, and I am aware that there are several layers to this entire unfurling of truth. And I see that people are finally waking up and answering to the longtime cries of people of colour. 

What will you do from here? Many of you have shown a lot of support this week. Thank you for having the courage to speak up and dedicate the time and energy to posting what you could this past week. I get the #blackouttuesday but I personally believe that it’s not enough. I know some of you didn’t and don’t know what else to do but post a black square. I encourage you to speak to the BIPOC people in your life. Support your local organizations and change at a fundamental level. We need action. Please, use what you’ve learned through social media and apply it. It’s useless to the global BIPOC community if you don’t actually change.

For me, actions speak louder than words. Can we stop attacking each other over semantics and change from within so we can act?

  • Speak up against that racists family member and draw those hard boundaries.
  • Speak up with your friends, employers and coworkers. Stand with us, but stand with integrity.
  • Acknowledge your privilege yes, but we need to do better.
  • You have a choice of supporting gentrified neighbourhoods. 
  • You have the choice of changing your past prejudices. 
  • You have the choice to support local white-man politics or create the community you actually envision in your heart. 
  • Support the dismantling of all systems of oppression – this might be a tough one for many of us because it’s entangled in many aspects of our daily lives, but aren’t you just lucky you’re not systematically more vulnerable to those systems? IT’S TIME for these systems to change. Not just the policing system, but education, healthcare, entertainment, sports, arts and culture. The brutality and oppression can’t be undone if these fundamental aspects of what makes us human can’t be addressed first! 

Undoing the racism isn’t going to happen over one day or week friends. It’s actually going to require an undoing off all the systems, actions, behaviour built on racism. Are you, we, ready for that? Are you ready for taking responsibility and actively engaging in anti-racist actions? To dismantle white ideals of beauty? To have more unprejudiced opportunities for black families to live in your neighbourhood? To undo the layers of prejudice that exist in our education and health systems? To not follow a BIPOC around a store? To not see them as working the hard labour jobs?  To dismantle ALL systems of oppression? All of this and more! Are you ready? It’s been happening and it’s going to explode right now. So yes, take these days, re-educate yourself. Prepare yourself. Start with awareness. Start with conversation. Colourism and racism have walked a long road and are so deeply entangled in every single facet of our lives. Yes, we may come from the same source, but we are not in a world that collectively acknowledges our oneness without looking at our skin colour. Our beauty ideals, what our systems have promoted as pure, and worthy, give no power to supremacy when we truly see ourselves as one. But, it takes dismantling the behaviours and standards we currently have in place. Don’t let fear prevent you and don’t let those cute little social media posts make you think that you’ve done your work. They help. They are a start. 

And it’s not a question of what CAN you do. What WILL you do? 

When you’ve spoken to all the BIPOC people in your life, looked into their eyes, heard all the ranges of their stories (ranges of skin colour may have different stories unfortunately), then maybe you might have an idea of what it’s like. But friends, with all respect to those who are even awake and true supporters (I don’t even want to encourage the word anti-racist, because it’s more than that too!), to those who have done the work, who have taken the time and energy to relearn and understand, I admire your courage and strength, your love and compassion. Unfortunately the truth in this lifetime is, you will never really know what it is like to have coloured skin, dark skin. I don’t say this to reject and dismiss your effort and growth, but to say it as it actually is. So. Please, keep doing the work, keep standing by our side and being the full love that you are. We need you to keep going! It is important to have you in our lives and reduce the divide.

It all comes down to respect. It could be that simple.  But unfortunately it’s not because our global socioeconomic systems are created to oppress, and specifically to oppress people of colour. We are not ready as a global collective go collectively acknowledge at we are one, that we can respect each other. 

Respect looks like: 

Not having any of the skin colour biases that have been engrained in our brains for generations, and seeing a person of colour as a fellows human, as you. Until our systems can reflect this, we cannot stand behind “we are one”. We need to grow through the thick hate of centuries past to truly embody that level of respect. 

Black lives matter. Every. Day. Not just on social media Tuesday, not just a week in June. Every day. We can’t choose not to have coloured skin one day just cuz. It’s everyday. So, friends. This is where it starts. You gotta step up everyday. In all the little things, not just the big things like protests, donations, petitions and social media. It’s the day to little things that need to UNDO the systemic racism that is in every aspect of our lives. 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

How many more black people must suffer a tragic murder before it stops? How many more mothers, families, communities need be broken before it stops?

I am hurting. I am grieving. I am ENRAGED.

And this is not isolated to the US – this happens everywhere – colourism has its own racism, prejudice, discrimination and oppression. We continue to torture the human body and spirit. Day after day, century after century.

BIPOC! Our ancestors, as slaves, as the colonized, as the oppressed, built this world that we live in today, and we perpetuate it by allowing all the covert oppression, racism, and death of our cultures. No more! We must continue to demand respect and justice.

Justice, like all our systems, is broken. Justice will be won. We won’t let it go on like this any longer. We can’t. We must rewrite justice to serve the humanity and livelihood of all people, to include justice for people of colour! Not the “justice” we see that serves to protect murderers.

We must rewrite justice to serve the humanity and livelihood of all people, to include justice for people of colour! Not the “justice” we see that serves to protect murderers.

If you’re just waking up now, it might be a cruel and painful awakening, but what matters is that you take off those racist blinders – those centuries of oppression and make a different choice! Choose not to lay silent! Stand up in solidarity and take action! Silence is complicity. Silence ensures that the violence against black people and people of colour will continue.

I am you.

You are me.

We are one.

When we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves. When people in authority exercise brutality over another HUMAN! They hurt all of us.

Divide and conquer. It’s been that way all along. Even for POC. Are YOU aware? Do YOU see it? Do you see it in every f**king thing in your life? You vs. everyone else. Survive. Be better than ___. Have more and do more than ___. And why do we feel this way? They’ve made us feel like we are not enough. And that exercising more control (in all its forms) over another human is the way to win this life! That illusion is sickening, yet many people have yet to wake up out of it!

I am finding some solace in seeing white people standing up, speaking out and protecting. We need your support now more than ever. Yes, educate each other – become aware of your privilege and call each other out! When people get corrected, they feel shamed and then they get defensive. I ask that we approach each other with compassion and understanding that this racism and privilege runs generations back and so does that defensiveness.

Are you, me, we, willing to change? Are we willing to stop the ways we’ve thought for centuries, the privilege that runs in our blood and see that we are all one? I sometimes struggle to get out of my oppressed, victim mentality when the privileged continue with the oppression.

I sat in my little garden patch today and observed the lesson from the Bleeding Hearts (picture). Some were starting to wither and fade, fall apart and off the stem. In my small garden, nature speaks, giving her wisdom. Even Bleeding Hearts don’t last forever.

#blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforregis #restinpower #enoughisenough #racismistherealvirus #silenceiscomplicity #blackisbeautiful

Grieving the Loss of Touch During Isolation

In this time of great separation, isolation and restrictions I struggle with not being of service in the best way I know how – offering healing, caring touch and empowering wellness. My hands are grieving the people who may need touch right now: those who aren’t dealing with the current global situation in a positive way, those who are home feeling more overwhelmed, stressed, trapped and stagnant than ever.

As a global community, when we have experienced struggle through economic crisis, political dilemma, environmental disaster or cultural shocks, people turned to the healers, the medicine people, the body workers, the spiritual leaders to provide relief and healing. And now, we cannot step in to serve our communities.

I am in this too. I miss my body workers, my tribe of healers who nurture my healing. I yearn for giving and receiving hugs! I crave social dancing with my community!

How have you been coping with the lack of touch in the last few weeks of this upturning and sudden halt of our community’s physical connections?

Do you miss h u g s ? Handshakes? Holding hands? Gentle back rubs when a friend embraces you? A squeeze to your forearm or shoulder? Forehead to forehead? Nose to nose? A kiss on one cheek? Two kisses? Three? 20 second hugs to let that oxytocin flow? Those long, warm hugs where you can both take a long, slow deep breath together?

People in new or old relationships (of any kind) – how are you doing with the lack of intimate touch with someone you have just met and were excited about getting to know them in a more intimate way? Current relationships, has your touch changed? Are you so stressed that you don’t share hugs and intimacy as before or has this opportunity to rest, breathe and be together been positive in giving your partnership more time for touch and connection?

Those who were on the path to recovery and healing, how are you doing with the sudden halt of your healing or physical therapy sessions? Do you consider other options of rehabilitation? A form of energy work? How do you feel about not receiving the kind of touch that allows you to surrender and receive healing?

Social dancers, I know many of you fulfill your touch needs and connection through partner dancing. How are you doing with not taking classes weekly and gathering to dance regularly? Dancers, do you miss your teacher making corrections to your posture or technique – bringing awareness to where you can improve? This is all touch. Do you feel it in your body now? Your body stores that touch. Take a moment and reflect.

I know there are many other situations where touch is no longer present. It is different for each of us since we all have different levels of comfort with touch and are grieving its absence in our own way.

What are ways we can increase touch during this time?

Self-touch in all the ways, for all ages and genders:

* Indulge in taking your time to apply a body oil, touching every part of your skin, face, hair…

* Self-massage

* Wrap your arms around yourself for a good, long hug!

* Body talk – while doing any self massage or applying oil, talk to your body, thank your body

* Incorporate some movement into your day – through dance or yoga or an activity that you can slow down and practice greater mindfulness of your body

* If you have access to other people through your living situation, take the opportunity to give more touch (given that you have consent to do so). Check in. Cuddle. Rub each other’s back, hands, feet or play with each other’s hair (didn’t some of us enjoy this as children?)

* Through meditation and breathwork, listen to your body – where are the areas of tension, trapped emotion, or longing for touch – when we work on releasing that which is trapped, our needs shift

Ultimately, nothing may replace receiving human touch from someone else, but we can do our best to practice S E L F – L O V E and initiate whatever healing we require, from within.

~

We are being asked to stop a lot of the interactions that our social human nature needs to thrive: community, being in nature, creating an impact through our work/vocation and, t o u c h.

Perhaps we are being asked to each go within. Healers included. To go within, find quiet, find stillness, and listen to what our body and soul are saying to us. Now that some of the noise of our lives is slowed or stopped, there is space for us to hear what our inner self has to say.

May we listen.

May we use this time to make the necessary shifts being asked of us.

May we shed the old skin of fear, of distractions, of unhealthy habits.

May we enter the post-trauma period as a new person, honouring our highest self and our highest purpose.

Will we cross through this portal and transcend from the needs of our physical bodies to that of our soul?

May it be so.

Blessings, Love & Light,

Audrey

10 Moons ~ 40 Weeks Part 2

10 Moons ~ 40 Weeks Part 2: Conscious conception, a profound journey and becoming a portal for this sacred being’s birth.

40 Weeks of Transformation

I grew a human! I. Grew. A. Human. I’ve had to repeat this to myself constantly. With Milo being Earthside, it’s sometimes hard to wrap my head around the enigmatic truth that he was once inside, growing – and together our bodies, knowing what to do, grew him.

I have always loved biology and human anatomy, learning about nature and the nature of things, how things work. Studying human anatomy and understanding just this little bit of our incredible design (because there is so much that we don’t know, so much that is intangible and un-studiable) certainly increased my awareness and fascination with our amazing bodies. And now, going through the most powerful physical expression of human potential, creating a new life, absolutely blew my mind. I have gained so much more respect and admiration for our body, but more-so, the female body. Our unequivocal ability to expand, grow and house another human for this gestation, is an experience like no other. It deeply connected me to my body and purpose. 

During my pregnancy, I was awe of how my body was expanding and transforming to create home for a new being, and also growing a human inside! It does take a certain amount of conscious thought to wrap your head around. Often, on the outside, it seems so abstract until the baby “comes out” – but to actually hold for a moment, the thought that our body is actively growing a human, can blow your mind. 

It was really exciting to watch and feel my body grow! I remember at 13 weeks, I could feel him move! We were in Germany, and I could feel little tickles in my lower abdomen – a gentle popping sensation! It was absolutely incredible! Not having any ultrasound or prenatal screening, and giving full trust to my body and baby, and then feeling these movements, made it all so real and powerful in that moment! It was no longer this abstract process of growing a baby, but that it was really there! And doing well enough to move! I thanked my body and my baby for giving me the awareness to feel so early, and for communicating to me that “hey! I’m here!”. Any days when I wasn’t aware of movements, I’d take a moment to talk to my baby, and ask, “Is everything ok?” And soon enough, I’d feel a little flutter, or a big kick reassuring me that all is well and maybe he was just taking another nap. 

I think about Milo’s birth constantly, almost every day. So many moments, making up the ‘big’ event, yet, so easily I forget how it felt to be with a belly, thirty pounds heavier and massaging or dancing; the discomfort of those last few weeks of trying to sleep but dreading nighttime and only really enjoying my naps; never feeling completely comfortable, but always feeling grateful and happy. I took many pictures and wrote a lot of reflection so that I would remember all the cool things my body allowed me to do during those transformative forty weeks. I respected it, and it gave me back so much! Now, I look back and feel “yeah! I did that! – I can do ANYTHING!” 

I am so thankful for my tribe. I am who I am because of my tribe. For the support, the wisdom, the encouragement and sisterhood. 

Check out my previous post for the story of my journey through pregnancy.

I know that many other mamas who have experienced birth might relate – and that we each have different experiences, however, I just knew it was time to share these words from my heart. Thank you for listening.

~

Love & Light, 

Audrey

10 Moons ~ 40 Weeks Part 1

Part 1: Conscious conception, a profound journey and becoming a portal for this sacred being’s birth.

Pregnancy and birth aren’t just about giving birth at the end of this 10 moon cycle. It’s a journey during these 10 moons. Often we get asked how the birth went, and then, as time passes, the focus changes to the baby, forgetting how mama is doing (not my situation, but for many). Most women like to share the negative aspects of pregnancy – of how they had horrible morning sickness and their body grew and they gained weight…all the discomforts. I CHOSE not to dwell on those, very natural, very expected, minor discomforts. I CHOSE to talk to my body, my mind, my baby, in the most honourable, loving, respectful way – thanking nature and the universe for giving me the opportunity to create a home for a being, surrendering to what is most natural for my body to do, and embracing all the changes along the way – to show respect and admiration for our fascinating design and functions as human women!

I know each of us and our babies are distinct, and thus, our pregnancies and births – this is my story. Just that. I am not seeking to compare or suggest, just share, what has been my journey and only mine.

So, here is a little story, honouring my pregnancy, birth comes after. I’d like to share my pregnancy story. Of how I got to the birth, of how I got to the right moment for my baby to decide it was time to join us Earthside. The journey of birth and motherhood really starts as a journey of a womyn, many moons before birth.


My pregnancy was full of me being me – doing all the things Audrey would do, while, listening to my body, my baby and doing all my inner work in preparation for this transformation into a mother. I know that there really isn’t anything you can do to be fully prepared for life or motherhood, but there are ways to prepare as best as we can. With the guidance and inspiration of the wimyn and tribe around me, I started this incredible journey.

I experienced my journey dancing, travelling, performing, massaging, learning, teaching dance, meditating, yoga, taking courses, reading, hiking, writing, Pilates, reflecting, praying, talking to my baby, talking to my ancestors & guides, swimming, staring at the moon, kissing, cuddling, eating, making meals, spending time with family, getting a massage…did I mention dancing?

My journey took me through many emotions, mostly blissful, being in awe of my growing body and having deep gratitude for my extremely supportive partner. I spent much time meditating, continuing to nurture the connection to my body and mind, knowing that this is where my power was and ultimately, knowing that this would be how I could embrace any doubt and fear, and transform them into tools of my consciousness; to be aware of what might arise during the birth process.

I spent many, many hours reading – so much pregnancy prep and birth prep. I meditated, did gentle yoga, and prenatal Pilates, explored new boundaries as my body softened and stretched. My doula and birth keeper were two fantastic wimyn who nurtured me to rise and embody my power – they provided a profound support and made me feel safe with any doubt that crossed my field.

Above all, which is hard to capture in a picture, I rested. I cut my hours at work during my first trimester. I allowed my body to surrender to the needs of my growing baby. I worked, I ate, I came home and napped hard. I took time to meditate and rest my body. I would get so tired after a meal that I would crash hard for a few hours. And then, as my belly grew, I couldn’t eat the same portions, so I could eat less but frequently and rest more.

I ensured to keep movement and hydration a great part of my day, as well as seeing my chiropractor every two weeks until my 38th week. She was a vital part of my pregnancy and I am so thankful for her work – and my trust in her. I did receive massage therapy, however, I saw my chiropractor more regularly to compliment all the changes in my body.

Each day one step closer. One step closer to the known unknown. We know there is an end point, when this being takes it’s first breath, to then become the starting point of everything else. However, until that point, I remain in the unknown. As an adventurer, I enjoy being in this familiar place, awaiting the unknown, embracing it. This time, it feels a little different.

I never got to a point of being “too pregnant” – wanting the pregnancy to end. I surely I felt a lot of anticipation towards the end, but never a sense of “Ok, I’m done and I want this baby out!” I never felt like this. He came when it was just right for him to come. I accepted since the beginning that this was his journey, not just mine. I am the portal, so I accept whatever path it takes, however long or short it is. This acceptance made the entire process so much easier, lighter, and gentler.

It is a skill to listen to your body. To create and nurture this unique relationship. It didn’t come just during the pregnancy. I had to foster this for years before – and yes, pregnancy allowed that relationship to become more profound, but it never ends, I continue to learn about my body (all 10 realms of it) and I continue to go deeper, understanding the physical and metaphysical to truly honour it. Pregnancy and birth have shone light over this other superpower we have as wimyn, that only gets unlocked and used when we enter the pregnancy and birthing process. The whole experience connected me to this entire other aspect of my being, this magic and wisdom!

Pregnancy and motherhood has been a lot about acceptance, a better word, embracing. Having an awareness and deep connection, but also embracing as the journey unravels. My inner guidance has given me so much strength, clarity and motivation, that I felt strong – of course knowing that I “didn’t know what was to come” but having trust in my body and baby that they would do what is natural to allow birth to unfold, and the unknown no longer feel like I needed to fear it. And now, each day, having some idea of what to expect, but also being open and embracing, the “not knowing” what’s to really come.

Birth is a culmination of everything prior to that very special moment that our babies take their first breath Earthside. Birth has been this entanglement of my inner work, my self-love, the physical nourishment, the rest, the interactions, the mindset, the openness, and being surrounded by loving support. We as mothers are the portal, alone in our path to bring a being into the world, however, we are not alone on that journey to get there. We get there because of our tribe.

The strength and courage of my friends, having home births, listening to their natural cycles, honouring their bodies and babies, had a profound impact on my own path. I found myself at the Womyn’s Summit in 2018, learning about my monthly cycle, about being a womyn and living amongst a community of wimyn, my tribe. This gave me a lot of inspiration of how it is possible to live differently, in harmony together and foster this in our cycles as wimyn. Over the years as I witnessed the wimyn in my tribe transform into powerful mamas, as I’ve watched other dancers embrace the changes in their bodies and continue their path, while taking on this new layer of life, as a mama. It gave me the inspiration to think, yes, I can do this! I don’t have to fear sacrificing my freedom as a womyn; I can be me and also be a mother. I want my child to know I am happy, healthy, living my passions and listening to my heart and soul’s calling. After much deep reflection and sweet talks with Siggi, my soulmate and loving partner, we made a conscious choice to invite a soul to join us. I have lots to say on our conscious conception and choices – so please read more in my next blogs. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story! <3

~

Love & Light,

Audrey

One Year into my Journey

AudreyAs my first year of being self-employed comes to an end and my second year begins, I am feeling a lot of feelings as I reflect upon this last year and the beautiful journey it’s been. This year has been filled with a lot of moments of overcoming fears, learning new skills, outreach, exploring my capacities as a business owner and massage therapist. 

I am so grateful for all the people in my life who have supported me during this first year, friends, family, clients and of course, my dear Siggi – my life-partner and greatest support. You helped me get started with my website and purchasing my first linens and still drive me to do my laundry, while always giving me so much patience while I work on my website, or client files  and keeping me nourished and showered with affection when I’m deep in my work! 

To my family, friends and clients who have shown your support through words of encouragement, referring clients and helping me grow! To fellow RMTs who have given me advice, shared ideas and best practices, you have really helped me – serious shoutout to Whitney Anne – you have such a big heart! Thank you all! You have given me the courage to do what I love, and know that I am supported to continue along this healing path. 

Thank you to all the clients that have come for a treatment – your commitment to your health and well-being, really allows me to continue doing what I am passionate about. You inspire me to learn more, grow as a healer, and want to explore new ways to help you along your journey. Thank you for trusting me with your health and feeling safe in my care.

As I reflect on my first year, one of the most impressive aspects of growth I’ve noticed is all of the new skills I’ve had to learn, like building a website, accounting, writing blog posts and social media, booking my own clientele, doing way more laundry than I ever imagined, and accepting all the tasks that come with running a business – while maintaining my values and staying aligned to my purpose. It has been challenging at times, however I find a deep fulfillment in doing what I’m doing, finding my way of doing things. My most important value is to respect my truth and express my authentic self. 

I know this journey is just getting started and that it’s a process, but a deeply fulfilling one! I have some really BIG ideas that with each day, are getting closer to being fulfilled!

With deep gratitude and honour to provide my services to you, 

Audrey

What’s coming next?

This July I will launch three new services, Thai table massage and Thai Foot Reflexology, as well as Jade Stone Massage!

Mid July, I will an Ashiatsu (barefoot massage) course in Ottawa – great way to spend my birthday! Ashiatsu has been something I’ve always, always wanted to learn, and now I am excited to finally learn the skill and technique! 

Also, being inspired by some of my awesome clients, I’ve dedicated a page to success tips, best practices and advice from that has worked for them on their path to improving their health, living a pain free life and increasing their quality of living. I know self-care practices are different for everybody, and what works for one person, might not work so well for another, but I do want to encourage you to check out what others are doing to gain success in their lives and see if there is some inspiration there for you! Check out Inspired By You. 

I invite you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to keep updated with any promotions and when I’ll be launching these new treatments!