“I can’t argue with you. No! You’re mad. I’m happy”. The Plies voice over on Drake’s 8 out of 10 is everything. It demonstrates how ineffective communication can be between people who are in different places and spaces. It also infers that happiness is determined by the individual. Let the church say, A-Woman! True happiness, joy that isn’t swayed by external events, cannot be achieved until the journey of healing has begun. 2018 was the year I started my healing path.
Throughout the year I started to focus on healing and the connection to self. We all know traditional prayers and I’m guilty of just saying and reciting things but I needed more depth. I needed to create experiences that were designed to bring me closer to my natural and spiritual self. Every day, I talked with God during my commute to and from work, completed my morning affirmations (i.e. You are Fabulous, flaws and all, You are strong, Do you Boo), went to the gym with a focused mind + body mindset, and visualized myself completing tasks and navigating difficult conversations. I even started to share my story conversationally with others going through similar experiences and reigniting my blog to formally share. These experiences were all steps forward and I knew there was still more for me to learn. After talking with a friend about his experience with a healer, I was enlightened and opened myself up to the idea of meeting with a healer.
As a self-care gift to myself, I had my first healing/coaching session in early December. Before visiting my coach, I had a very limited history of holistic healing practices. For my readers who aren’t familiar, chakras are energy sources in our bodies. The 7 Chakras – A Beginners Guide To Your Energy System, states that “each of the seven chakras are governed by spiritual laws, principles of consciousness that we can use to cultivate greater harmony, happiness, and well-being in our lives and in the world”. I’m purposefully adding, chakras add internal balance to an every changing external world. Although my experience going into my session was limited, what I did have was my very deep and present relationship with God, belief that my path is destined, and a clear sense that this was an intentional step in my spiritual journey. Because all things work together for the good, I took a lot away from the session, both in things to think about and actions to take to keep me on the healing path.
Before sharing my experience, first, let me tell you about my coach. She is a bay area native and a San Francisco State University alum. Her passion is working with people of color to “re-member” and reimagine the way we heal together in today’s world. She holds a strong belief in working in a non-hierarchical, collaborative, holistic coaching approach where together the “practitioner” and “client” can co-create. Our meeting was destined. Not only did we come from the same place and graduate from SFSU, we believed in co-creation.
We met at a holistic center in San Francisco. Entering the building, I immediately noticed the atmosphere. Native art, drappings, signs encouraging serenity and rooms named after each element. We welcomed each other with a warm hug and walked to her room. She made me a cup of green tea and started off our first session discussing the moments in my life that led up to our meeting and what I was looking to gain. I shared my story of surviving a toxic relationship but that it was still very difficult navigating because we have two children together. I expressed wanting to hold my ex accountable for one: continuing to build his relationship with our children despite our divorce and two: honoring the rules for how we interact. Ultimately, I wanted to protect the progress I had made so far, specifically with clear communication, self-empowerment, tapping into my support group, as well as calling out my own toxic behavior of emotional suppression and pacifying abuse. You know the passive thoughts that pop in your head: “Well maybe you shouldn’t say anything”, “What will people think”, “They have feelings too”, “What if people judge you” Yea those thoughts. In terms of gains, I expressed wanting to grow in self-awareness, create boundaries and hold myself and others accountable for said boundaries. She took notes asked me questions, all necessary to help build our relationship. A plus, we even talked about the connection between religion and healing. This was a special moment for me because we often isolate our experiences instead of finding intersections that can bring enlightenment and growth.
I’m not going to give away my whole session because I believe everyone is worthy of an individual, personalized experience. However, I will share two important pieces of advice I got from our 1st session. She reminded me that I needed to show myself forgiveness for decisions I made in the past. Sometimes we forget that piece, which can impact future decisions and impact love for self. When those moments of self-doubt and “how could you”, “what were you thinking” come up (let’s keep it real, they do) I remind myself that I’m forgiven. Even for the stupidest and hurtful choices I made, I’m forgiven. I was also reminded of a piece of advice my Dad gives at church: take time to be still. In that stillness, whether it’s 5 minutes or an hour, meditate and pray. Those moments of stillness will intentionally set the tone for the day and bring a sense of calm when ish is going crazy.
Through growth, one of the things I have re-learned is that healing isn’t a one-and-done situation. Healing is a constant process that requires dedication, awareness, discipline, and self-care. Faith in God without doing the work on SELF is a scenario plan for disaster. We must put in the work to build and look within. For me, the work is being the example through sharing, being in a constant state of awareness and reminding myself of the purpose (am I acting in self vs a place of service) being intentional in every action and re-grounding myself when things go unplanned so that I remain balanced and true to God through SELF.
With that shared, 2018, thank you for the lessons. To the doubters and downers, thank you. The experiences you brought made me stronger. To my support team, thank you for checking me and giving me the space I asked to grow. I am excited about 2019 and the purpose it will bring. I know one thing, it won’t bring “No Arguing” because true happiness is the focus and it’s all up to me.