I find myself in my head a lot. Over thinking, planning and analysing. More often than not I operate from a head space, or so is my perception of myself. My body has a super loud voice, viscerally telling me if something is right or not, but it’s taken me 33 years to learn really how to truly listen to it when it shouts at me. Even if it is as simple as communicating to those around me that I’m doing something outside of my comfort zone and am feeling super anxious about it.
I got back from Evans Lake on Saturday. A beautiful camp on one of those stereotypically breathtakingly beautiful and picturesque lakes with pine trees right to the shoreline and towering blue mountains in the background that Canada is so famous for. The air filled with bird and tree noises during the day, woodpeckers tapping out bugs from trees, the ravens caw echoing across the lake as it imitates some bizzare cackle, and the trees talking to each other around the valley. The water lapps listfully at the dock I’m sitting on in the sun, watching it sparkle and dance over the slight ripples the wind is making in the water. I’m feeling very vulnerable and open – witch camp has this magical way of creating a safe space for me to explore all my deepest vulnerabilities and edges, roughly destroy any lingering crutches or unhelpful security blankets, then provide the support and love needed to put my heart back together and repattern, and re-wild my being into a stronger, more self loving, more self confident version of me.
My comfort zone is interpersonal skills, performance, facilitation, or things that ask me to step outside myself and observe, analyse or look at myself in relation to others. Looking at myself in relation to nature, the earth and my existence and communication with it, is all very new ground.
Innately I am drawn to it. My mind calms when I am in the forest, swimming or splashing in a waterfall, but when I am not moving, when my body is not galavanting my brain across a mountain path, I find the brain voice takes over. I start looking at things technically, as photographer, or even drifting mentally far away checking in with all the minute and mundane carry on in my life that may even be the slightest bit worrisome.
Being the city version of wild has been a massive part of my story, drug and alcohol fueled mischief and mayhem. Getting lost in music, darkness and nightclub lights to shut up the constant static dribble in my brain. Here my body is vibrating to the boom of bass, writhing in a sea of hollow beings, zombied and numbed out of this reality into a darker world. All the connections or what I thought were friendships from this era of my life have evaporated, realising these friendships were parasitic for what they could use me for. My little socially awkward, shy inner child learning to ‘perform’ friendship, devastated and longing for connections that meant something more lasting.
Survival is animalistic, and sometimes comes at a cost of shutting down bodily and emotive responses to accomplish a task. I’ve run away from life and survival several times, turning to sex work to survive, selling my body to feed, clothe myself and at one point in secret also support a partner. All my life I have admired the strong ones, who stood up for sex workers, were proud of their profession and choice of work. My experience felt shameful, full of guilt from my conservative christian upbringing. I couldn’t talk about it, I can’t even physically remember large chunks of time I spent servicing the patriarchy.
Since I started talking about it again I have been slowly healing, taking down my walls against all those I saw that resembled the men who used to use me in exchange for my survival.
Belonging. What is belonging? Is it feelings of validation that are not connected with sexual gratification? Is it feelings of being worthy or valued that doesn’t come with expectations of submission or meeting sexual needs? Part of my healing process has been crucially connected to the difference between intimacy and sex. Feeling connected, belonging and letting go the desire to please, present a version of my self curated for the audience at hand in order to please, or be liked. I always felt like didn’t belong in my conservative christian family who still to this day pray daily for me to repent of my homosexual lifestyle, and who would probably turn a horrified shade of pale if they read this story.
I am a feral Sagittarian body, held in check by a cautious, risk averse, slow processing Capricorn brain, with my delicate Piscean moon flowing with emotions, feels and love looking for a safe place to share and be seen and heard.
I allowed my body and emotions to drive me all last week at camp. I let it break me, re-wild me, re-wire, re-pattern me. We had a cave, we wrote, scrawled cried our stories out on the cave walls. We talked to the earth, listened to the guidance of the stones, connected our hearts, skin, bones and beings with the living things all around us. Green bloods, the bones and life force of animals worked into our magick with permission, consent. Remembering that we were all once in constant communication, that the seasons worked around and within us all. Throwing off the constraints of the over culture of today, the expectations, the internalised shame and believing in each other, being and believing in ourselves.
I stood in that circle of humans, markings of my feral wildness smudged all over my face. I had made my mark on the cave wall. An outline of my hand, the word “body” and a love heart.
My commitment to myself, to stay true to myself, be aware of painful of situations where my bodily responses completely shut down in order to survive. A pact of self love and kindness that I am worthy of love, I am loveable, and that I can find intimacy that isn’t sexually dependant, and sex that is conscious, gloriously consensual and doesn’t ever define my worth as a human to myself or to others. My body went into shock. I stopped being conscious of the story my lips were sharing with the group. I let go, broke, and my mind fully released control – to my body. Tears flooded down my face, and my lungs heaved with relief of releasing and acknowledging my trauma and pain. Not comparing it to the gravity of the experience that others shared, but appreciating the healing, and space held around me. Conscious of the arms that slinked in around me, not conscious of who they were, as I collapsed into the soft caring shoulder offered to me. You all held me in my moment of grief, vulnerability and fragile healing. You all have a special place in my heart.
Traveling is like getting to know another dimension of yourself under a microscope. Everything in heightened.
Adventure, stress, excitement, exhaustion, feelings, happiness, and displacement. Being able to feel at home in yourself when your surroundings are constantly changing and on the move, letting go. Letting go of perceived stability, routine, things in the past that will never be the same again. Opening up to the unknown, new versions of friendship, new journeys, new depth of understanding of self and what my body needs, what is important to me, what I love, who I love and even what it means to love.
I feel like I’ve had three life times already on this trip – I’ve seen so much, fallen love a little with Irish countryside and all over again with traditional music. I feel so fortunate to be able to make these travel opportunities happen. ♡
Traveling on a shoe-string budget.
Traveling as an extroverted introvert finally having a moment completely alone to crash, cry and be vulnerable with myself. Realising how “on” traveling requires on to be. Feeling grateful but also so helpless when surrounded by both gratuitous displays of wealth and drug/migrant poverty… and not knowing how to make a difference in each place I go.
Learning more about my spirituality, my ancestral roots, the respect for nature and culture that builds a motorway around a tree because it’s a Hawthorne fairy tree… meeting wonderful people and shooting them for a queer tarot card, in different places around the world…
Looking at the grey rainy-sky with patches of blue and remembering loved ones lost. ♡
“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” ― Pema Chödrön
I trust my abundance is in my pleasure. I trust it is in my alignment. When I feel abundant I am abundant, when I feel happy that is my definition of success.
Pleasure is success, the way it feels is success. When I am in a state of self love, I am going towards what is good for me, what is right for me, what is aligned with me.
When I am not able to pleasure myself, not loving myself it exposes where Im at, my inner circulation of love.
I am worth of pleasure and love and I will make time for it. Taking a moment to check in and trust myself to look after myself. Trust that I will check in with myself, help myself process big feelings my whole nervous system softens. I become less anxious, I feel better and radiate joy, life and vitality.
Create Magick: Waterfalls in my heart
I’m breaking my addiction to struggle, guilt and lack of self pleasure. Moving from my head into my heart… Working through the discomfort, feeling it, and challenging my belief systems and changing where I focus my energy and healing.
Breathe in nature, breathe out gratitude. Feeling so small in this giant planet, and feeling an appreciation for the temporaryness of everything through my rose tinted glasses of wonder, curiosity and joy.
Learning self generated happiness, learning to let go of external validation and examining all the patterns and resistances in myself for what it can teach me.
Being thankful for the gentle and precious love and strong trusted friendships I have in my life. Making space for sexual and non sexual intimacy and examining my subconscious desire. Stepping back from “group-think” influence and allowing space to listen to what my gutt is telling me with out feeling like I need to know “why” or defend my desire.
Self love is my sacred ritual.
Create magick: Self love is my sacred ritual.
When an adventure allows you to discover more about yourself and grow from it. Thanks Canada you’re showing me love and how to love myself more.
Finding patience to just “be”, love to share and heart to open to the unknown and unexpected.
Momemtary, temporary, transient, impermanent, fugutive short lived, fleeting. We pass each other by and we don’t share our time for long. We have a change of mind and the moment ends and life goes on. We go on by ourselves and that it wont be for long. Then we find someone else, it starts again. I should let go.
I think of you more than you know. We weren’t a big deal and you’ve probably forgotten me, you seem happy – guess that I am too. But I can’t forget about you.
There was something great about you, something that will never be the same without you, something that I’m gonna miss but I guess that is how it is. And live goes on.
Aloneness is presence to ones self.
Create Magick: Sunset on my soul
My goal is to do something that scares me a little bit every day. To say yes to new opportunities or doors that may open. Even if it doesn’t work out or I get it wrong, I’m actively working on being my truest self and putting myself out there just a little bit more than yesterday… I’m responsible for my own adventure so why not make it an open, interesting and heartfelt one?
My happiness is my own damn responsibility. ♡♡ And the life you manifest is the life you get. So here’s my life full of love, happiness and adventure. Not in some wishy washy new age kinda way. But in an authentic *it’s not always easy* “I’m constantly working on being a better person for me, so I love myself more.”
What a crazy few days/week it’s been. I know I’m trying to slow down but this pace is exciting. From sleep over dates and getting to know and feel comfortable with a new human, to having my van stolen – AND completely surreally getting her back. Buying RV insurance then immediately using it the next day. The serendipity has been incredible in a way it has left me feeling completely out of control, and ungrounded where all I can do is trust, all I can do is let go. To release my attachment to any plans, and to work hard when opportunities and doors open to me.
Last night my vehicle was stolen. I heard it start up, (holes in her muffler make for a super loud and recognisable sound) and drive off. My first ever 911 call and my body shut down into shocked eerie calmness while I gave the dispatcher details. I’ve never been in quite an intense trust situation where everything feels so dark, hopeless and out of control – when all you can do is feel that tiny glimmer of hope and feeling that it is all part of the journey.
Later that night the police called back having found my van, arrested the thief and told me to come collect it. In 1 piece, 99% unharmed and without impounding it or taking her off me! She lives, and we get to continue her restoration journey together – towards my dream of living in her on the road traveling. What a glimpse into the shadow world. Just before the new moon in Gemini!
Since then I have yo-yo’d between exhaustion, overwhelm and a beautiful reminder to share my gratitude, love and thankfulness for the opportunities, love, support and access I have to a means of transport, financial means of supporting myself and doing a up a van, and a life in a country where emergency services actually help – search helicopter and all.
I am feeling so grateful. This I’m back catching the bus to and from work because my Van has been hanging out at my mechanic’s house… I’m pooped. I am so thankful for my out of the box ways of thinking of things and not giving up. Being told by an auto mechanic that doing her up would take 50k and 12 months, too making wonderful leaps and bounds in progress giving her love has really warmed up my heart. It almost feels like my heart is being taught to love again in a way that’s completely new to me.
With a human body I’m not familiar with but am wonderfully attracted to – gentle, gorgeous and softly caring and sweet. To a vehicle I almost regretted for a second bringing into my life. The clouds started all black with her till slowly my determination not to give up and to find a way around “the system” has opened up my heart to dreaming and imagining our adventures and travels together. It’s exciting, thrilling and a terrifying emotional roller coaster where I’m learning so much about the things I am scared of. Challenging the things or parts of my identity that I’ve been clinging to and how to smashing it pieces straight out from under me.
Woken up, lit up grateful, thankful and overwhelmed.
Riding the bus this morning and not having my headphones to loose myself in inspiring podcasts but to actually having to sit with my brain. Finding a precious moment to be present and create this stream of consciousness and gratitude. To feel grounded in an urban routine of stopping for a second to allow my mind space to breathe. I wouldn’t have imagined a few weeks ago how happy I’d be to have a long bus ride to work.
I have a public Voice: Deciding to create is scary, deciding to create in a field where there are already thousands of products is scarier. That point of pressing the go button that I realised this project will have so many eyes on it, and that my art is out there for public opinion is daunting. To be rejected and criticised is the tax I will pay on having a public voice. Even really the loudest critic I have to work with is the one that lives inside my own head. Radio K-Fuck has been saying all these things to me in the last few weeks:
– You’re not a photographer
– Your photos aren’t very ood
– You’ve never made a documentary before
– You have no idea how to run a crowdfunding campaign
– You’re not an expert Tarot reader
– What makes you an authority to decide this should be created
– People will think you are narccasistic
– You don’t have any qualifications in this field
– Will anyone really care once it’s been created
– That’s alot of effort to put into creating if no one knows it exists
– What if you get called a fraud?
– People will think you’ve only done it for money
Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Here is my pep-talk to myself.
I am in deep love with my creative project, but am realising that it must not be my child. I can nurture, create and foster it all through the creation process, but once it is done, I must let it go. I am not doing this to get hundreds of followers. I create my art from a place of creative necessity, that speaks from the darkest places in my heart. I create out of pure love of the creation process. Telling my story is the only story that I can tell. The only story I am qualified to tell. Not to tell my story, and how I am finding, learning and growing myself through my Queer Tarot Project would feel like I was living a fake life.
What motivates me with this project is the need to be seen, to be known… Hell I don’t even need to be liked. I just want people to say “I see you.” To me, my definition of being an artist is: walking through the world saying “don’t erase me.” I feel like this is my journey to finding my voice, unblocking the fear of being shot down for speaking up or having an opinion In the case of my Queer Tarot project I think that collective “me” resonates. It is saying that “We matter. Our stories matter, and we have a place in tarot and other forms of spiritual or esoteric practices”.
I need to know that I’m here, and alive. I need to know that you feel that Im here. I’m still learning what it feels like to be okay to take up this space in the world. To create, to make things, to make art, and say to the World, “Here I am”. It is through this project, every time I create a new Tarot card with someone, that I am finding the lost pieces of myself, healing the brokenness of my confidence, finding again the magick and light in my soul. Physically, mentally and emotionally living the lessons of each card as it comes alive.
My older, wiser (some how that seems perfectly logical) future self would say to me, “Stop being so hard on yourself, you’re doing just fine, just keep at it. You are more courageous than you think.” Thanking the inner critic radio for keeping me alive today and deciding to take those risks, and jump into the fire feet first. I realised just now that I live terrifyingly. I consistently and on-purpose, put myself in situations where I absolutely have no idea what I’m doing, then FURIOUSLY go about learning every single thing I can to become proficient at the thing I’m trying to do.
– Moving countries
– Applying for jobs
– Starting my own business
– Making Tarot Cards
– Making a documentary
– Making image-recognition fancy thing for my tarot cards
– Dating… haha
This I guess is the arrogance of belonging. I belong here because I have showed up to learn, create and do the work. I may not be the best or even the worst but I have showed up to my life and I am here and creating shit. “You’re out of your mind.” “Good, all the best things happen outside of mind.” I have to remind myself that this applies to all of this list I just wrote.
Over and over again, but although right now at this very moment of writing I feel incredibly uncomfortable with this change and the flux I’m going through, it is also an environment that I flourish in: It’s challenging, with lots of opportunity to lear and try new things. Thanks Amy for helping make this okay for myself again. I am still getting used to the idea that I find my power when I feel the most powerless. When I feel the most restless I will find ways of channeling that energy into creativity.
Life doesn’t happen to me, it happens FOR me, And I keep doing these things for myself not too myself. It’s not enough to love my art, I must believe my art, my Queer Tarot project, all you wonderful humans who have touched my life with your stories – that you love me back.
What makes it all just a little bit easier is the knowledge that there is nothing I can put out there that is truely my own. Every idea has already been done before, even this idea of a Queer Tarot deck. I started and immediately found 5 or 6 people already creating their own interpretation of what this idea brought to them. All I can do is follow the fire in me and share it with my voice and my experience. That is all that is unique about this – Me.
This week I am stopping to remind myself that confidence is something that ebbs and flows. Something that has cycles just like the seasons. I’m currently on my moon cycle and this month I feel a heightened sense of shadow self. So I’m just going to sit with it, heal, to feel all my emotions, to be kind to myself and forgive myself instead of being my own worst enemy. I don’t feel sexy when I’m on my rag. I don’t feel sexy when I’m feeling low. One of my very dear friends, challenged me to go to a place in my head when I did feel sexy and sit in that energy, to absorb that happy and warm feeling, to remind me I have it within me even if it is on a little break for a quick minutes’ rest. So here is my “Sexyiess is a Contradiction” musing.
I feel sexy when I’m alone, the air is thick with music playing that my body can’t resist to dance to and misty smoke swirls of delicious incense fill the air. My body feels in touch with my inner magick and power. When I feel like the dark and light all at the same time, when I’m not the naive little girl I used to feel like, when I feel like the woman grown, mature, wise and sensual in the way I move, hold myself and know how and when to share my energy with people who deserve it. I feel sexy when someone looks at my energy, connects with the me that hides behind my eyes. When the manic noise of all our existences slows down for a second and we just breathe, giving space for beauty, silence and all the senses to come alive. Sexy is shaving all past off my head and letting my tears flow, feeling vulnerable, standing in the middle of the campsite naked in the warm spring pouring rains, with not a care in the world.
Sexy is stranding up for myself when I’m scared and hurting. Sexy is looking into someones eyes and seeing that although I’ve changed and gotten a bit more beaten up around the edges I’m still the truest version of ME that exists right now and being proud of that. Sexy is the wink the glance across the room from someone who makes me blush and heart beat faster. Sexy is watching seeing someone enthusiastic and in the moment and rhythm of what they love to do. Sexy is getting lost, losing all sense of time and space in movement, passion, sound and rhythm.
Create Magic: Baby Flossy
Sexy isn’t the modeling photos I shot 10 years ago that I showed you when I wanted your attention. Sexy isn’t the memories of my clubbing days, the skimpy outfits, big smiles and enlarged eyeballs of the young me that drowned out my inner introvert with colour, noise and wild adventure. That self didn’t know how to make any kind of deep or meaningful connection. That self didn’t give a fuck, but made no space for vulnerability or things less superficial.
Those to me represent eating disorder I battled when I was 20, the way I knew how to contort my body half one way and half the other to create the illusions you see in photos. Sexy isn’t someone finding me attractive, putting me on a pedestal of what they admire in me. Sexy isn’t the sheer revealing clothes I wore as a sex worker, selling my body for money to support me and my ex girlfriend even though she didn’t know that’s what I was doing. Sexy is refusing to conform to the unachievable social norms of women’s beauty standards, and embracing my dork, my short colourful hair that will never be “normal”, sexy is forgiving myself for binging on food and alcohol that makes my body feel and look shit, and healing myself with baths, hot showers and delicious fresh food that makes my heart sing. Even if it costs more to feed myself this way, when suddenly I’m not flush with money, I make this a small self love priority.
Sexy is floating in the ocean, the sea lifting the weight of my boobs off my chest and letting my legs relax after holding me up all day. Feeling like a streamlined ocean creature that loves water and moves swiftly and gracefully through the warm salty water at sunset, that feels sexy. I can imagine a place where the sky is magical and covered in stars, I feel safe and at home in my space- maybe a tent by myself, warmth envelops me in a comforting blanket of love, and my shape melds with blankets and covers. I like being that sexy slug. There I don’t feel like you have any expectations of me and what my confidence in myself should be. There I don’t have to be or do or look a certain way in order to gain approval from anyone.
Letting myself be okay and at peace with rarely feeling sexy around other people. Making space for being scared of be vulnerable or sharing my insecurities – which have always been there, bubbling like a little creek. I’m just putting less energy into hiding them now, the creek doesn’t go underground any more. I can’t pretend to be the eternal optimistic fountain of all joy and carefree optimism 24/7 – I still am these qualities, however I am allowing myself to be more selective with who I share that joy with.
I love being open and connecting with wonderful people I meet on an emotive level, but I choose who, how and when I let people in or share that gift with now. I’ve been told two or three times recently that I’ve much thicker walls up now and I’m much less open than I used to be. This used to worry me, but I wonder if it is because people who used to feed of this energy no long find it accessible to them?
My sexy is now sacred to me. My sexy is my gift, my joy. Those photos on the internet of me almost naked showing the curves, the body, the smiles and the “seduction”- THIS is my performance art. I’m a great performance artist but I want to retire from “being on show”. I want to retire from supporting everyone else with my positive free spirit attitude. I really truly believe love increases the more you share it but am exploring my boundaries keeping it safe and protected, I think just for now. I know right now my boundaries are pretty close and tight, and as time passes and I grow I believe they will expand to share and love more people and be more open again. Sacred joy, sacred shadow self, winter of self love that grows back when I nurture it softly.
I feel sexy when someone approaches me to bootblack my leather shorts. I feel sexy when I feel my dance partners body pressed against mine and know she can read my body language. I feel sexy when I’m naked in the warm summer rain. I feel sexy when your eyes never reach my body they stare deep into my soul and when tears stream down my cheeks they keep eye contact with you and you show me your openness and softness in return. I feel sexy when you say you’ll miss me but we’ll still hold space and love and support each other even if we won’t live in the same country for a while. I feel sexy when I hold you to warm you up on a cold night out and your body leans back into mine. Everything happens for a reason, it’s up to us what we do with these experiences. <3
“It us a long time, many of us longer than others to come up out of the darkness of our feelings of unworthiness, of unlovableness. Of allowing that liquidity to happen, of feeling safe to be in the presence of love. However you are at this moment, when you can accept that you are loveable, then the fear starts to dissolve. It’s allowing your own beauty. It’s allowing the beauty of your soul, which is behind your personality, it’s behind all of that stuff. Just another radiant bit of light, another soul. And I think at this moment there’s nothing violent to do, you just observe the kind of sadness, the feeling of loneliness, the feeling of separateness, the feeling of pain. You just watch it and allow it. Don’t get too fierce about it, don’t feel too deprived about it, don’t milk the self pity. You know, just notice it’s just a passing show, it’s another place your mind is grabbing. It’s all mind. You realise that, the only thing you are stuck isn’t even history it’s just mind. It’s a model you have of who you think you are, and who you think everyone else is. That’s all it is. That exactly what is causing your suffering at this moment, is your own thoughtfulness and your clinging to them and saying “this is real”. And it is as simple as that, it really is the mind.”