The Life of Lucianna
A Blogger who shares stories and spreads love ...
I've been meaning to share with you all since the last blog post: Why I am No Longer a Christian. I had even started to write my responses and then didn't save the draft! Oh well! Part of the process.
As you can see I started this blog post on 2/29/2020 ... today it's 4/06/2020, and we are in the midst of the corona virus pandemic.
Anyways, I digress. I am going to respond to some of the questions asked of me in response to my last post.
First, to my handful of friends who responded positively and support me in my new way of living, thank you!
"All I can say is that I wish you all the best in your new shift in life! I love being a Christian and I am so happy about it! I trust my God's purpose and His love for me. I feel better with Him than without Him! But that's what you mentioned before "Free Will" -- we choose what we choose in hopes that it leads us the right way! Sending you a big hug!"
I receive the big hug and send a huge one back!
I am one who really thinks deeply about any important decision that I am going to make in my life. When I was a Christian, I LOVED being a Christian. It was was THE WAY, for me.
When you say, "Feel better with Him, than without Him", I am assuming you think that I am without God? I guess first I should address the question:
Do I believe in God?
Yes, I believe in God. Do I believe in God in the sense that "He" is portrayed in the Bible and as believed in by Christians? No.
I believe in God as a the unseen Source of life that WE ALL are a part of. That includes those who act favorably towards their fellow human beings and non human creatures AND those who are considered "less than" or "scum of the earth".
I'll use the analogy of the ocean. The ocean is vast and is made mostly of water molecules, which are made of atoms. I believe God is like the ocean and we, humanity and other living creatures are the drops of water that make up the ocean (the atoms). I believe everything is connected.
Take a body for example. By the way, the New Testament talks about believers being "the body of Christ" -- each having a unique function, but all part of ONE BODY.
Even the anus has a very crucial part to play for necessary bodily functions; but for the most part it is called "the a#5hole". Pun intended.
I believe the ONE BODY (God, Great Spirit, Universe, Great Mother, etc) is made up of every creature and all is connected to each other.
I used to believe that God was only the "the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" (the great mystery). Well, it's still a mystery! I now believe everyone is an expression of Great Spirit. We are all discovering other parts of the same body.
I don't like to use the term "feel better", but rather "I feel at peace/content" about where I am in my views about spirituality. I actually feel liberated in my current walk.
Liberated, because I no longer believe in an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent being that is, if you look really closely, portrayed as one who is also easily offended and not really a picture of "unconditional" love (referring to the Old Testament).
I believe in a Creator who WE are all a part of and who is absolute love and requires nothing back.
"You had me at hello. But you lost me at Satan story. We don’t serve a narcissist God. Satan had/has a choice. Jesus had/has a choice. You have a choice. I have a choice. I’m thankful for the believers that encouraged you along the hard way. Trust me. I get it. I’m walking the single mom road too with three kids. But every step of the way Jesus has opened doors for me that I can’t deny as miracles. He is the living God. You know it. And where ever you are today, I love you and accept you, and so does He. Keep singing, dancing, living life. You are beautiful and shine!"
I feel the love from you and I'm super grateful. I reciprocate.
In response to: "We don’t serve a narcissist God."
While I totally respect your views, my view is that the God portrayed in the Bible is a narcissistic God. Why do I feel this way? Well, I kind of went over it in the last blog post but I'll expound a little more here.
Any "ONE" who demands worship appears to me as a narcissist. What does "unconditional love" mean? If Jesus Christ is the epitome of unconditional love, how can He also demand worship?
Unconditional love is exactly what the term denotes "love with NO EXPECTATIONS". How can you love with no expectations yet also have a fiery hell waiting for those who don't reciprocate the feeling?
In my mind, unconditional love is COMPLETE - needing NOTHING back.
In response to "Satan had/has a choice": How exactly did Satan have a choice in being created? I'm going to leave it at that.
"Jesus had/has a choice" -- but wait! If Jesus is God, there is no option here. It was already intended ... yes, through choice ... but what came first, the chicken or the egg?
The words that come to mind for me are: intention, purpose, goal, objective ... God had a purpose. According to Christianity, God's purpose was fulfilled through Christ (who is also God).
So, we could also say "God had/has a choice". If God is all knowing and all powerful, etc... would it even make sense to say "God has a choice".
Everything is in motion or in existence because of God. I guess if it comes down to the argument of choice though, Satan had no choice compared to Jesus Christ. Satan is just a character in the play.
Unless of course, God is also playing the part of Satan? I mean, isn't everything part of the Great Source (God)?
I have an easier time believing this idea (that God also is playing the part of Satan) than to believe that Satan was given free will by being created, yet he chose to go against God and now he is doomed!
I don't know if I am making sense to anyone.
"But every step of the way Jesus has opened doors for me that I can’t deny as miracles. He is the living God. You know it."
I believe everything in life is miraculous or magical. Those words are kind of the same thing to me.
I've experienced so many "miracles" and I know it's because we are a part of a wondrous system (creation).
Every moment to me is something to be grateful for... from the opening of a flower, to the birth of a baby, to the death of a loved one. It is all part of this thing called life.
I've seen people who were involved in horrific car accidents amazingly recuperate. I've never gone hungry during my most difficult days. All miraculous and "praise worthy" moments.
But what about those children starving in third world countries? Or the child that was molested by his parent? Why do they suffer?
Life is life. There are going to be uncomfortable and traumatic experiences and there are going to be exhilarating experiences as well.
If we didn't have the unpleasant experiences, how would we know love? Darkness and light both need each other for them to make any sense.
I believe God plays many parts.
I want to thank you for kindly responding with beautiful words of encouragement and for sharing your point of view! I honor you and look forward to seeing you again!
"I admire you putting all your questions out there and showing vulnerability. I believe that is the way we find the truth. Keep searching. I believe many of us that have been in church for awhile become disillusioned with God because we equate the church, who are supposed to be representing God, with God and that leads us to disappointment every time. I encourage you to continue searching for truth, but don't look to people. We will disappoint more times than not."
I really appreciated this response (like all the others). I am reminded right now about a thought I've had for a while.
"Mostly everything I know (information) that has come to me either through schooling, taught by parents, searching on my own accord through books, elders' wisdom passed down, prophecy, social media, youtube, you name it ... is from another source"
We search because there is a sense that something is incomplete. Kind of like a mystery that begs to be solved.
We take the "information" that moves us deeply and make some kind of sense about it and say "yes, this is truth".
Honestly, does anybody really know truth? What is truth?
I've come to realize that I am part of a system. A program or a game. One day it's like this. The next, it's like that. There are some consistencies and there are some inconsistencies.
All I KNOW is, what do I do with the present moment that I am in and how do I respond in love (the thing that makes most sense to me).
I don't equate God with the church. I just don't think the church is the greatest example of unconditional love (or Jesus Christ, in another translation), as you already know.
Therefore, Christianity no longer "attracts" me to this beautiful idea of an idealogical love; the kind where we put others before ourselves. This concept "love" can be found mostly outside of Christianity.
My Christian friends are just as imperfect as my non-Christian friends. There is no difference.
"Thank you so much for sharing your heart Lucianna! I know that took a lot of guts and bravery. I am so sorry for what you have gone through! Life is so hard for many!
I struggled for 6 years as a single mom and got no help from my daughter’s biological father at all! I was an active member of a church when I got pregnant, without being married.
I got judged by so many in the church. I left a church service crying, because I felt the judgement of some when my pregnant belly started to grow, and it was obvious I was carrying a child.
I brought my daughter in this world completely alone. I understand hardship, pain, judgment, and the failure of people to really get Jesus’ message. I totally get it.
Logically it makes absolutely no sense. When I first started attending PBA, people tried to convince me to become a Christian. They would stay up late into the night trying to convert me. However, I had perfect rebuttals.
I used exactly the same arguments you are using. I really tried to think critically about religion. I was born and named Jewish in the synagog. I went to Catholic school growing up and, I knew there was a God but didn’t think he cared or knew me personally.
Now I was at a Baptist college and was thinking critically about my beliefs and what made sense to me. However, while I was doing this, I was becoming friends with people that really loved me and accepted me for who I truly was.
I had never experienced that unconditional love before, even from my own family. I began really praying and asking God to reveal truth to me. From the bottom of my heart I desired to know the truth (whatever truth that may be).
After seeking truth and having an open heart to answers, a friend of mine came up to me one evening when I was working. She told me God wanted her to talk to me. She grabbed my hands and instantly I felt a supernatural feeling of peace through my whole body. She told me things I was praying about, that I never told another soul.
From that moment on, I became a believer and have never looked back. Can I say that my life has gotten easier? In most ways not really. However I gained a purpose in life.
My life no longer consisted of me following whatever desire I had at the time. I also gained a compass. I no longer just followed whatever justification I could come up with to pursue my sin at the time.
I now had a right and wrong code to live by. I also gained salvation. I no longer had a fear of the unknown and the big death or end of life. I could finally sleep peacefully at night confident in the fact that I know there is a heaven, and I know I am going.
The most important thing I gained that night is a father. I no longer had to face any hardship alone. When I come to Him for anything, He never disappoints.
There have been times where I’ve needed Him every second. And He has been there. So I completely understand what you are saying.
Logically it makes no sense at all! People are so stupid and do not get Jesus’s teaching at all. We are all failures and sinners. However if we look to Him only, we find answers for everything.
I would never believe in Jesus, if I tried to logically figure it out. However I can never deny what happened to me that night at PBA over 20 years ago.
I have never had the flooding of feelings of peace like I did that night, however I have had glimpses of His peace and love, and I feel completely complete and safe in His presence. I am completely ok with surrendering to His control and resting in the knowledge that I am not meant to have all the answers and be in complete control of everything.
I really pray that you are complete and happy and of course respect and love you know matter what. But I love you too much to say nothing.
You were one of those friends at PBA to show me unconditional love and even prayed for me when the enemy was trying to get me.
I’m not sure if you remember a Bible study at your house. One day there was some guy that brought with him a darkness. I was a new believer but could feel a strong feeling of darkness and sadness as soon as I entered his presence. And it just grew worse when he started to pray. I couldn’t shake the sadness and started to leave your house crying.
You and someone else stopped me and began praying over me. And as soon as you started praying, the feelings of darkness and sadness left me. I will always be grateful to you for that. I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t of stopped me that evening. I am so grateful! Hang in there! I will be praying for you."
This was so beautifully shared! I do remember and I am glad that I was a positive impact on your life.
All the feelings that you are referring to: the strong sense of overwhelming peace, the "super natural" feelings, etc ... I have experienced as a Christian and even after, as a non-Christian.
There is a saying "whatever you focus on becomes your reality"; I am not sure who came up with this, but I believe it applies to life.
When I was a Christian, I believed a lot in "spiritual warfare" (fighting unseen entities that were against Jesus Christ and His chosen). As mentioned in my last blog post, I used to think there was an evil entity behind every vice and consequently I used to battle with these entities in my dreams.
As I changed my perspective and started seeing everything as interconnected, I had less and less dreams of that nature and actually started dreaming on animals more. I believe that is when my interest in shamanic healing began to crest.
I have experienced deep healing in the past few years, that goes way back into my ancestry. Although I no longer subscribe to any religious beliefs, ancestral healing has become a huge part of my life.
During some powerful shamanic circles, I've experienced such deep emotions that were just as powerful as my encounters with "Holy Spirit". There is no difference.
All of it was weaved in a cocoon of unconditional love. Jesus Christ, to me is a pure example of love. The only things that have changed for me is my belief that He is the only way to eternal life and that I have to "worship" him.
Jesus Christ represent to me: going within and seeing that eternal life ALREADY exists within each one of us and we are all eternal. You and I don't "really" know the exact life of Jesus Christ but we do know He has had a powerful impact on the lives of countless people.
He is a reminder that love is the answer and that when we truly love others unconditionally, after of course "loving ourselves" (and this is not selfish), we are living in alignment with Source.
Loving ourselves involves taking a good look at the mirror and taking the time to uncover some "painful" aspects about ourselves, seeing where we lost part of ourselves through trauma, and bringing those lost parts back (soul retrieval).
I bring this back to the idea of the "body" ... when we look at our bodies and really start loving EVERY part ... even the stinky parts and acknowledging them as equally necessary for full function, we are able to integrate the shadows and the light as one WHOLE.
This brings complete peace and balance. Trust me, I know many Christians who have yet to truly find that "peace", yet they live their lives in total service to God.
If I die today, by the way, I am already in eternal peace. Isn't there somewhere in the Bible that states there is no yesterday or tomorrow for God? Time is of no essence to me in this regard.
My code to live by is LOVE and I feel this ever so strongly.
"Great writing Lulu. I look forward to reading future posts.
I’ve experienced many of the things you wrote about also. It is sad when Christians give a bad name to Christ. I have been able to reconcile my faith but I still agree with many of your observations about the Bible, Christianity, and humanity.
Don’t stop asking questions or seeking answers. I look forward to seeing more writing as you continue on your journey. Xoxo"
Thank you! Love exists everywhere, not only in the "name of Jesus Christ". I have experienced deep love and patience from atheists who sat through my preachings. HA HA HA!
I believe the idea of faith is a very personal one. Each person is on their own journey of discovering. There will be so much information to sift through. What I tell my kids though is this, "question everything and know that the answers are already within you".
May we all tune into the frequency of love that we came to this earth with and hold space for every other fellow sojourner that we interact with.
Every day is an opportunity to show unconditional love; regardless of our faith choices. This, I believe would bring Jesus Christ so much joy!
Why I Stopped Going To Church
Let me start out by saying that this blog post is NOT meant to BASH anyone or make fun of any organizations.
I have thought long and hard about writing this post. Many have questioned my spiritual beliefs and some have been shocked by my shift from Christianity.
I also want to say that I am so grateful for those who are Christians and have loved me and shown me grace throughout my journey.
This post is going to disappoint a lot of you. This is NOT MY INTENTION.
Some of you will actually congratulate me for being true to myself and following my intuition. Others, have remarked on how brave I am for being open and authentic. Thank you.
Also, this post is how I FEEL ... I am not asking for your opinion; although I am open to hear it.
Becoming a Christian
Okay, so some of you know me from church life. I became a Christian when I was 14 years old. This was on my own accord.
I will talk about becoming a Christian in another post (stay updated). In the meantime, nobody forced me into Christianity. It was a part of my life journey.
I am so grateful for this sacred time of my life because it was exactly what I needed.
Christianity kept me safe from a lot of heartache, STDS (HA HA HA), unnecessary drama, etc.
When I was a Christian my focus was on Jesus Christ. This meant living a pure and holy (as much I could) lifestyle.
I can honestly say that if I wasn't a Christian in my teenage years (up into my twenties), I would have gotten into so much more trouble than I would have if I wasn't.
It definitely kept me on the "straight and narrow".
I would not leave my bed in the morning, until I had read the "Word of God" - which was the "Sword of Truth".
I used to believe that the Bible was the "ONLY true word of God" -- the inerrant and infallible word of God and anything else, was not "of God"; therefore it was of Satan (God's nemesis).
My dreams would consist of me fighting demons in the "Name of Jesus Christ". There was a demon to every vice. If I was lusting over some guy, it was because "a demon of lust" was influencing me.
If I was afraid, it was because "a demon of fear" was lurking around. You get the point.
Leaving the Church
After my separation from the father of my children, I began a new cycle of life. I call it the "restoration and realignment cycle".
I am truly grateful for all relationships in my life. Especially the ones that are the most challenging because, that is where I get to face my true self and begin true healing.
Difficult relationships are meant to bring out the parts of us that were traumatized in this life or past lives (ancestral trauma). All is meant for healing and realignment; I truly believe this -- even though at the time, I didn't see it.
We all play a part ... either through being the one that illuminates and uncovers the pain, or the one that brings healing to the wounds.
Back to the story. I met this wonderful man a few months after my separation. To this day, I believe he -- like my ex-husband, is a soulmate of mine.
This man helped me to rediscover myself in so many different ways. He was gentle, tender and kind. He provided and held a space for me, that amidst all the chaos I was going through, brought peace and calm into my life.
I was still going to church at the time. The church was my safe place -- or so I thought ... I wanted to belong but never really ended up belonging, even though I met some beautiful people at the church I was attending at that time.
My Christian convictions at the time, were so strong that I tried evangelizing this new lover of mine by desperately trying to convince him to go to church with me.
At the same time, I was seeking help from that church and other Christian friends of mine. I was struggling financially. Barely making $400 a month.
About two or three Christian couples and Christian friends that I had been friends with for many years were my true heroes. They stood by me and supported me emotionally and financially.
I want to stress how WITHOUT these few Christian individuals in my life, I would have been completely lost.
The rest of the Church -- about 85% of all my "Christian" friends and acquaintances were silent or had turned their backs.
I must admit, as I started walking away from the church I became more "liberal" and so understandably, some of my lifestyle was too "impure" for some to continue being friends with me ... lest I caused them to stumble.
The church I was going to helped me out a little bit -- they even tried to help me save my van from going into repossession, but alas the $300 that they gave me was not enough to cover the complete cost of $3000 to get my van back.
They even paired me up with a generous lady who was gracious enough to welcome me into her home with my three children and live with her for a few months.
I won't go into how I felt restricted or judged while I lived there because this beautiful soul and I didn't always agree on how to live a Christian lifestyle.
Instead, I will express my gratitude for this time and how my needs were met.
I bring this up not because I'm angry, but because I want to make a point about something.
With the roughly $400 I was making a month and any child support money that came in, I made sure to tithe -- basically give 10% of my income to the church.
My boyfriend (my soulmate that I mentioned a little while ago) who was also supporting me at the time, made a few comments about how many people like me out there, who are avid church goers -- devoted to the church, tithing and giving their time while pastors and higher-up members of the church are living lavish lives (most living off the church tithes).
I don't know how some pastors become so wealthy. Maybe they have some kind of inheritance or maybe they had savings from jobs prior to their current service as a pastor, but most were driving the best cars, going on the best vacations and pretty much living it up. This doesn't apply to every pastor out there.
This was one thing that started bothering me.
It just didn't equate in my mind. Jesus Christ lived a humble life; from what I learned by studying the Bible. He talked about taking the shirt off your back if you saw someone who needed it.
From all the money that I had put into the church -- money that I definitely needed for my kids and I to survive, keep a roof over my head -- to all the other money that goes into the church; there must be a way for the single mothers, the homeless etc to have their basic needs met (housing, clothing, food, transportation etc).
Not just "if someone needs shoes" give them shoe laces or tell them you're praying for them to get themselves together.
My understanding of the Bible and Christianity, was that we are supposed to walk along these individuals, support them "ALL THE WAY TO REHABILITATION" and provide for their basic needs with what has been gathered in the "pot" (tithes).
This applies to helping those who you don't agree with -- for example, "you don't support their divorce".
I'm not talking about free handouts either. I was doing my part. One example of an amazing Christian friend of mine: she offered to teach me some of the tricks of the trade she was in and helped me to become a legal assistant.
This job led to many other jobs and skills I learned as a new single mother.
Another Christian couple that I've been friends with for many years paid for my rent a few times. Yes! ... not many people do this. Other Christian friends watched my kids for me when I was sick or unable to ... numerous times. Another Christian couple helped me with bills that were due or would give me a check here and there for food etc.
I don't want to leave these pivotal people out. I will always have a deep reverence and gratitude for them.
They were the minority though. So that song "... and they'll know we are Christians by our love ..." started to sound more like "fantasy" to me. To me, my Christian friends who were helping me were just as generous as my "heathen" or non-Christian friends who there for me.
Another thing that began to bother me was also a point that my boyfriend at the time brought up.
This one was the main eyeopener.
He asked me this question: if God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, and gives us "FREE WILL" -- why would He ever create a being that would one day turn against him (knowingly) and lead many to destruction?
The being referred to was Satan.
Did Satan have a choice in being created?
Yes, Satan had a choice (supposedly), but wasn't his script written out for him already?
Satan would one day play the role of the villain. In most stories, there's always a hero and a villain.
Other Christians would say, "yes, Satan had a choice but he chose to turn away from God!"
How could he have had a choice when he NEVER asked to play that role?
How cruel is it to assign a role of villain-hood to one, so that my plan for redemption (enter Jesus Christ -- the sacrificial Lamb of God) would one day come to "Save the day"?
Sounded a bit like a narcissistic God to me.
I thought about this for a while. I thought of my children. If I had the foresight that my child would one day be a mass murderer and I had a say in their creation, I would not bring them into existence.
No, I'm not talking about abortion. We are in a far more sophisticated conversation. Please just think.
It would cruel of me knowing that bringing my child into the world, would bring so much pain and sorrow to only conclude in the ultimate destruction of this child and all the others destroyed by his or her doing.
In the New Testament, God is depicted through Jesus Christ - the embodiment of goodness, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness, joy, peace and ultimately LOVE (Galatians 5:22-23).
First Corinthians 13 describes God as LOVE: "...Love is patient, Love is Kind ..." and then when you read the Old Testament, God is depicted as a "jealous God", supposedly slow to anger ... yet, He commanded the Israelites in First Samuel 15:3-4 to annihilate their enemies, not leaving even the babies.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
By the way, the Old Testament is filled with orders from God, to carry out violent attacks on anyone who didn't follow His commands.
Then suddenly through Jesus Christ, He changes his mind? Did He not think this out before?
I just could NOT put these two contrasting portrayals of God together. Believe whatever you want, but LOVE cannot be so filled with rage and anger. At least, not my understanding of it.
Needless to say I started to see the errancy of the Bible, when from the age of fourteen to 37, I had made every excuse as to why God had to prove a point.
Why would God have to prove anything if He is ALMIGHTY?
Love doesn't ask for ANYTHING back. That's my understanding. It doesn't ask for a reciprocal devotion or pay back. It just gives.
I know I've gone on and on when this was supposed to be a shorter blog post. I just wanted to give you an idea of what went through my mind when I made my shift.
The questions above began opening so many other unanswered questions that I totally overlooked and tucked away while I was a passionate evangelist. I'm not going to go into them now.
To sum up why I stopped being a Christian:
Number three is where I am currently. It is funny that mostly everything we know is from our perception of someone's experiences or accounts of something, or from learning it because that's "the way it is".
There is a FEAR (the opposite of LOVE -- I was reminded of this by a friend in a recent conversation), that if people were left to make up their own minds and choices (and not subtly fed or forcibly fed) there would be CHAOS.
In comes the word: CONTROL.
What is control? Ah! Good question. Somewhere in there, I smell "FEAR". If we lose control ... then there will be chaos. So, we must bring things into order -- so that everything works smoothly.
This brings up the point "manipulation".
The last question I will ask and leave you with is: Where is the LOVE?
Traveling through the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway
Ever feel like you just need to get away? Like you're going to go crazy if you don't put some time aside for JUST YOU?
Well, that's what happened to me! Life happens. We get overwhelmed by daily life requirements - chores, the job (or jobs), kids, bills, taxes, cats, dogs, blogs ... blah blah blah ... GIVE ME A . FREAKING . BREAK!
Ha ha! Can you feel the intensity? That's how bad I needed to get out of my comfort zone and go connect with nature.
By getting away, I was able to be with my thoughts, my silence, my quiet and think outside of the box -- become creative about how I would take my business to the next level, and sort out so many other things that were weighing on my mind.
I had been contemplating it for a while, but was too chicken to actually get out there and get moving, so when my niece told me she would adopt our little rescue kitten, Paragon, I toyed with the idea of driving from South Florida up to Massachusetts.
So what did I do? I put my four-legged companion, Kahawa -- aka "Puppy" and Paragon in my car and started driving north!
Traveling with Pets
Okay, so traveling with animals is fairly easy but there are a few things to keep in mind before you drive long distance with your four-legged companion:
Five Ways Solitude Is Beneficial
There you have it! So, take some time for yourself on a regular basis.
Get to know yourself -- find the places that are still hurting and are asking to be healed within you.
You will discover a beautiful labyrinth of uncharted territory and you will find that there is so much more hidden within that the world around you could benefit from.
SIX BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN NEW ENGLAND
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can and as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river… Open your mind, get up off the couch. Move.”
The following blog post is written by my wonderful friend, Lauren. You can check out her adventures on her website: lyricallauren.com
Travel is one of the best experiences anyone can have, regardless of their age, gender or socioeconomic group.
Obtaining new experiences and visiting new places opens your eyes to a world you may have never even known existed.
Many people think that they need to leave the country to be true travelers, but the truth is, you simply need to leave your house.
The United States has a wide variety of amazing destinations just waiting to be explored.
Below, we will touch upon some of the more popular travel destinations by region, beginning with New England.
Visiting New England
1. Acadia National Park: While the state of Maine is absolutely gorgeous unto itself, Acadia is located right next to the popular tourist town Bar Harbor.
This provides you with the chance to stroll along the beach and take in some of the more touristy areas before escaping into natural scenery that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Be sure to get up early and drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to witness one of the most spectacular sunrises you will ever see in your life!
The operative word here is to arrive early, as space at the summit fills up quickly, especially in the summertime!
2. Boston: The capital city of Massachusetts, this is a place that is rich in history.
If you do nothing else in Boston, be sure to make time to walk at least the majority of the Freedom Trail, a nearly 8 mile, very easy trek that leads to right past some of the most historical places in all of New England!
Follow the yellow line embedded into the side walk to stand on the very same spot where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired, visit the iconic Faneuil Hall, or take a stroll to the harbor where the Boston Tea Party unfolded so many years ago.
For sports fans, you simply cannot do better than to take in a Boston Red Socks game at Fenway Park!
3. Cape Cod: Also located in Massachusetts, this is perhaps the most famous beach town in all of New England!
With a plethora of beaches, gorgeous boardwalks and some of the freshest seafood you will find anywhere, this is a great spot for families and couples alike!
4. Burlington: A relatively small city nestled against the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont, Burlington is an awesome spot to visit to truly get a taste of Vermont culture.
Be sure to take an afternoon to wander up and down Church Street, an open-air pedestrian market that boasts a number of excellent selections for dining before headed down to the lake front to sample a frozen concoction at the historic Shanty by the Shore!
Just a short drive away, you will find the incredible Shelburne Museum, along with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and of course, the Ben and Jerry’s Factory!
5. Mystic: A beautiful seaside town located in Connecticut, you can visit the Mystic Seaport to be transported back into time as you wander through a living museum that allows you to experience the day to day life of sailors back more than a hundred years ago!
There is also an absolutely phenomenon aquarium here, complete with penguins and even a rather friendly Beluga whale!
6. The Kancamagus Highway: Be sure to fuel up before embarking on this nearly 35-mile long drive through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, as there is literally nothing between the starting point in Conway and the end in Lincoln.
This means no gas stations, no restaurants, no bathrooms, and no cell service.
What you will find, however, is turn after turn off paved road that affords you with spectacular views of the White Mountains.
There are plentiful opportunities to leave your vehicle and explore various lookout points, or if you are feeling very adventurous, take one of the many day hikes located in this area!
WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY IN A RELATIONSHIP?
***Warning: the following post includes F-bombs and such.
How Relationships Mirror Inner Turmoil
A friend of mine asked me — what is the difference between:
I live by the concept of the latter: "it is necessary to create a space where people feel safe" -- not, it is "my responsibility to make someone feel safe in a relationship".
Apparently I had not made them feel safe in our relationship.
These two things are not a play on words.
They are vastly different, in my opinion.
The first puts the responsibility and burden on someone to ‘force the other’ or ‘coerce the other’ to “feel a certain way”. As though I am responsible for HOW they "respond to my actions".
The second focuses more on “what CAN I do” to create a safe haven for someone to feel safe to be their authentic self.
I prefer to not use “make someone”.
It feels like "manipulating the way a person feels." A person chooses to "feel" a certain way. If I slapped your face by surprise, did I make you angry or feel a certain emotion? Or is your response your choice - even though I may have influenced it?
If you chose to slap me back; did I make you? Or did you you chose to react that way?
Ya, I could understand me slapping you bringing about (kind of like a trigger of sorts), feelings of mixed emotions, rage or hurt - but how you respond is entirely your choice.
You could chose to retaliate or, see it from a completely different perspective and be calm and walk away ... etc...
Who knows? I would probably slap you back -- because that is where I am at in my human consciousness.
Either way, it makes sense to me that our outer relationships have a lot to do with our own inner relationship. How do we really view ourselves? This is not a black and white view - but like I said, it makes sense.
HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
(there are experts on this topic, you know? ...)
A lot of you don’t know about this situation; but when my eldest son was around eight years old, he decided he wanted to live with his dad.
I fought this for the first few years. My reasoning: "he is my son - he SHOULD live with me too".
"I am his mother. WHY is this happening? He needs me."
I panicked “how do I keep him” and not “lose him to his father”? HA HA HA -- leggit feelings and thoughts!
Then I spoke with a friend of mine who lives in France - who was having similar issues with her son of the same age.
She encouraged me to allow my son to chose. She helped me to see that, “that is what love does”.
LOVE ALLOWS FOR SPACE. LOVE DOESN'T PUT A TIME LIMIT ON HOW LONG ANOTHER PERSON NEEDS TO MAKE SENSE OF THINGS.
It was so difficult. There was a fear of rejection that was taking over. EGO was really hurt and wanted to play into that "victim mentality".
It is not about “how much I give…” - it is about the freedom you allow someone the space to sort things out.
I decided it would be best for my son — and for me, to allow him that space — how-EVER FUCKING long it took!
For all I knew, he might not ever want to come live with me and might decide when he was in his forties to have a relationship with me.
I wasn't giving up on our relationship. I wasn't "taking away the safe haven, that is very natural for me to create and keep for my loved ones".
I was simply looking at the situation objectively and realizing that my son really needed to feel like he was in control of how close he would let me get to his tender heart. I learned that it is more important when you love someone, to take a step back and allow things to flow as the should.
If I acted out of fear or hurt, I would have probably ended up hurting us both and pushing him away even further.
As Mooji says, “relationship is not something to keep. It’s to be enjoyed out of your freshness; and in your strength you will find that everything becomes more pure”.
He goes on to say “everything wants to be with you when you are empty of intention …too much intention creates ‘TENSION’”.
This has been an ongoing lesson in my life. There is a lot of pain and trauma stuck on our cells - 'our pain body' (as Eckhart Tolle refers to it) - starts crying out “pay attention to me”. It then goes on further to demand, "make me feel a certain way, in our relationship".
I'm sorry, but I don't buy into that.
Is it my responsibility to hold a sacred, caring space? -- DAMN right it is! I accept that responsibility and have never shunned it.
But, if I'm doing the best I possibly can - while you're not exactly being the perfect example yourself, and you are failing to see my efforts, it is completely absurd to expect me to have that responsibility.
I am NOT responsible for the lenses in your eyes and how you view reality. That is your story.
I could tell you until you are blue in the face, how much you mean to me and in my own love language, do my best to love you - but if you have your own limiting beliefs that have triggered your pain body to react because it is deeply hurting, there is NO freaking way I am going to convince you of my devotion and love.
You will continue to see things through your pain.
This is the moment, I feel where - we can really tune in and observe:
You see, what my son taught me and continues to teach me - is that LOVE (how I understand it) is unconditional.
LOVE is freeing.
LOVE holds space.
Guess what? A few months ago, my son started coming around more often.
I thought I had LOST a lot of time. Yah, granted …sometimes a few days will go by and he gets taller.
But there is this sweetness and tenderness between us - regardless of our own emotional issues. We are going through the process of healing — but, as we continue to be present to each other, our relationship deepens.
It's not always peaches and cream (if you like that kind of thing) or a "bed of roses" or in my case, "chocolate cake".
I have no expectation of his devotion to me as my son. I allow him to be.
He has slapped me in the face before and told me “FUCK YOU, I HATE YOU, I WISH YOU WERE DEAD…” and I in the past, have not been the most patient mother. I have retaliated in punishing him more harshly than I would in my current awareness.
I could have said, "How could you? You are my son! You're supposed to respect and honor me. After all those months I carried you and labored in delivery, all those years I took care of you ... blah blah blah".
The pain was real. Sometimes it comes back and hits really hard.
But what does un-fucking-conditional love do?
[By the way, if you're judging me for over using the F-word, you should have paid attention to my warning. It actually feels liberating to use that word. Oh, sorry - did I MAKE you feel uncomfortable?
OR, was it your pre-programmed judgment and feelings about the word?]
Back to LOVE ... WHAT DOES UNCONDITIONAL LOVE DO?
It does NOT have expectations. Love is the gift that gives without expecting anything back.
If I was continually hurting someone and they were loving on me all the time, it would make total sense to walk away from the relationship and keep your distance.
Love allows for someone to take the time to make sense of things. Love also looks at our own actions and how we contributed to someone needing space.
My son - he knows he can come back to me any time. Not because I MADE him feel that way. Rather, because time and space has allowed and encouraged him to take that step.
But if he doesn't believe me when I show him I love him and his pain body is blinding his perspective, there really is no way to convince him.
Yes, it helps that I also create a “safe place” for him. I can’t force him though, to see things through my point of view.
I can only do my part.
We create stories. We have our own stories and project them onto others and then get hurt, expecting the other person to be the bigger one.
I do this too. But that is just my pain body telling me that something within me, needs MY attention and is asking to become aligned with Source.
I see you, I honor you and I love you.
Lately I've been drawn to shamanism in a very deep way. When I say lately, I mean -- the last two to three years.
What is Shamanism?
It's an ancient way of life practiced by many cultures all over the world. It goes back thousands of years.
To me, shamanism means: connecting and being in communion with our source (which includes nature, animals etc.); basically encompassing the unseen aspect of what drives life.
I remember being about 14 - 16 years of age and being a "New Born-Again Christian" and being somewhat drawn to shamanism, even though I looked down upon it with judgment.
You see, as a Christian - shamanism didn't coincide with biblical teachings. So, I shunned it -- even though it beguiled me.
My journey as a Christian is part of my story. I embrace and I am proud to share it.
Christianity for me, was my hiding place. It was my place to go for protection and belonging. It brought about healing in different ways ... However, it had many contradictions that came along with its biblical background/teachings.
From the age of fourteen to 36 (ish), I studied the bible as intricately as possible. As I got older, the paradoxes in the Bible began to make me question it's infallibility.
Some things just didn't match up! I will write another post some day about that.
Once again, shamanism reappeared into my life. I was becoming more and more drawn to it because it didn't have any conditions attached to it.
I started to see the parts of me that I had shunned and put away, or had neglected to care for. I started embracing my shadows.
What I once saw as deep flaws, I started to actually pay attention to and allow that "hurt part" of me to tell its story.
I also started seeing people who really pissed me off in a different light. In the past as a Christian, it would be "Oh, I love that person because they are a creation of God".
This time, it was more like "that person is just another version of me". There was no separation except two different bodies.
If you want to know more, check out my shamanic journey post. I talked about my first journey with my beautiful friend Jaes Seiss. By the way, I am reading her book "Awakening Darkness" and it is just riveting!
Jaes then invited me to join her and a few other women to a Sacred Sisterhood Rites of Passage circle. Here we honored the directions of the medicine wheel:
North - represented by the hummingbird. This was a time to create healing for ancestors and your connection or lack of connection with them.
West - represented by the jaguar. We went through our own death rites and shed/released what was holding us back; preparing a place for the new.
South - represented by the serpent. Here, we re-kindled our passion, purpose and joy in life.
East - represented by the condor. We renewed our innocence and awakened the creative spark in us by going on a birth star journey, re-visited our visions and activated our prayer arrows (mission/desires for this life journey).
HOW CAN WE HEAL THROUGH OUR ANCESTORS?
WOO! Don't get me started!
I realized that there is a lot of pain passed down from generation to generation. I also have been learning that pain is only a messenger that comes to show us where we are not aligned (in the wise words of my friend Kevin Walton).
There is A LOT of pain in every family. I won't go through the stories of the pain that has been passed down through my own family.
Pain gets trapped in our cells. Seriously.
Science supports this theory that emotional trauma is passed down our blood lines. You can read this article here.
I will share however, that one of the ways I've been healing is through honoring my ancestors. In our medicine wheel of the north - where we honored our ancestors, I took the time to honor all the women in my ancestral line - even a few generations back). I did also honor my dad.
I made a decision to bring any pain/trauma that has not been dealt with to the forefront. I became a voice for my ancestors. There was a lot of crying and emotional release.
This is still happening today. I am aware of it when someone or something triggers me. Instead of ignoring it, I will pay attention to it.
There are different ways of healing emotional trauma passed down through lineage:
Then there is DANCING! Which is basically "artistic expression".
Psychology Today has a cool article on healing trauma through dance: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/make-your-life-blessing/201610/the-power-dance-work-trauma -- and I quote:
"Dance organizes life in societies and cells in the body. It celebrates weddings, harvests, seasons, and can bring strength and comfort in times of grief."
Before I start dancing, I am not always in the mood for dancing. I may be exhausted or just dealing with emotional baggage collected throughout my day.
Something really magical happens though when I put on some music. Especially music that is African influenced. Being from Africa and all...
So today, my friend Jeni-Lee told me that I need to listen to this song and dance to it.
I was already in a dancing mood today, so without hesitation I pumped the volume and started to move.
Friends like Jeni are awesome fire kindlers! Thank you, my dear!
Here I am below releasing trauma in my cells! Oh what a joyous and sweaty time!
My message to you... dance! Even if you can't move your legs, dance where you are... your body loves movement!
WHAT TO DO WHEN AN IGUANA GETS STUCK
We moved to this beautiful townhouse on a lake. I immediately fell in love with this place and knew this is where I would be happy. The universe opened up the way and boom!
The kids and dogs love jumping off the dock and swimming in the refreshing cool water.
No, there are no alligators - the lake is man made from a quarry and has no canals linking the lake to the everglades.
Anyways, iguanas love to spend time on the deck lazing in the sunshine and then taking a cool dip into the lake etc.
Our dog Bella also loves to do this. Sometimes though, she isn't allowed to because we have to constantly monitor her etc. So we put up this dog gate/fence to keep her from getting out.
Well, this iguana must have been startled by the dogs that when it tried to run away, it got stuck.
I had a video of the iguana stuck, but it never showed it actually getting away (long story).
So anyways, I had to use some olive oil. I must admit, I was a bit nervous. I didn't to get whacked by its powerful tail or get scratched by it's scary looking claws.
Okay, I know you see the two dogs in the video. They actually didn't try to hurt the little bugger. They were curious though and kept smelling the little guy and at some point, licking the delicious olive oil off of him. No, I don't know if it was a male iguana.
I ended up having to use crowbar action with a hammer, to pull the wires apart. Then I had to tilt that heavy cage by maneuvering in such a way that it didn't crush the iguana and get the section he was stuck in, into the water.
After a few wiggly movements - thanks to the olive oil and the water - he slipped out and swam away to freedom!
Yes, I admit I shed a few tears of joy and relief.
Could this be iguana spirit medicine? I don't know.
WHAT DOES IGUANA TEACH US?
The iguana reminds me:
I hope that helped you! Have an amazing day!
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
It's been a while! No worries ... everything happens at the right time. This song - "what's up" by Four Non Blondes has always had such a profound effect on me. I can truly relate and emote it because it speaks about out our society and life.
That's the not the reason for this blog post. This post is about "doing what you love". The last few months have been very emotional for me - going through the dermoid cyst situation followed by the ovary removal surgery and then recovering after that.
One of my greatest loves is singing! After surgery, I had to regain my abdominal strength and diaphragm "oomph" - sometimes, I would become so depressed because what I wanted to express wasn't coming out the way I was used to.
Everything however, happens at the right time. Patience is truly a virtue. When you truly love something, it WILL, in due time develop as it should.
I still feel like I have some ways to go ... but this is a start and it's my "come back".
I hope you enjoyed it!
p.s. You can head over to our website: Organic Parlour to check us out for more about "South Florida Musicians".
WHY HAVING A DOG IS HEALTHY
Seven years ago today, Kahawa came into my life. She's my "liberation" puppy. She represents "freedom of choice" to me as an adult.
Kahawa means coffee, for those of you wondering - in Swahili (my native tongue). You can read more here. I love coffee and her fur is the same color of how I like my coffee!
I was in a relationship where I didn't "feel" I had much say. Some of you may interject because you think you know what my life was like - since you were with me every waking hour and moment 🤣.
This post is NOT about shaming anybody. It's sharing MY experience as I feel there are many who might be experiencing what i did and this might shed light or give encouragement.
We both had our own issues/hurt/pain to deal with and didn't KNOW how to treat the other accordingly - or rather, or rather "speak their love language". YES, I take responsibility for my part. This relationship was one my best teachers, in showing me that I didn't love myself enough.
I was told that I'm "impulsive". Yes, maybe I was - and sometimes, still am! Well, I'm still learning what it is to be a human, as I come from Spirit - the "unseen world".
One of the things I came into this world is my love for animals - especially a strong bond with dogs and cats. So for a few years of wanting a dog (since as a child, I grew up with and was always surrounded by about 8 dogs), I was told "no". I did receive two kittens two years prior to Kahawa - after 8 years of begging for a pet; in an effort to save our relationship. I could be wrong about the motives - but that's the message I got.
Nearing the end of this relationship, I took a bold step (knowing I had no financial way of providing for a dog - let alone three kids), and adopted my puppy! I don't regret this decision at all.
Kahawa is my spirit animal and one of my soul mates (this is my interpretation). She is my friend, child, guide (for she reflects my inner state). She is a beautiful loyal companion, guard, playmate, and quiet listener (when I really need it). She's also super boisterous and full of life! She gets along well with pretty much everybody and other animals.
At one point in my life when Kahawa was about two years old, I had to to give her away temporarily to two amazing people: Amanda and Dan. I was going through a very difficult time - a house eviction, and I couldn't have any of my animals. Thankfully, another friend took the cats and guinea pig, Winter. We were all reunited in about six months after that.
TOP REASONS TO GET YOUR KID A DOG
You're probably still wanting to know the top reasons for having a dog. Here you go:
I can go on and on ... but I'm sure you're already convinced just by looking into Kahawa's (Aka - Puppy's) eyes!
Here's to "Puppy" - I would adopt you over and over again. I love you Kahawa! Here's to many more years with us!
UPDATE ON MY CYSTECTOMY HEALING JOURNEY
*Disclaimer: I don't claim to be a writer. I am better at singing and dancing. I just like sharing!
HEALING FROM AN
The swelling has gone down considerably. I miss having "harder abs" (insert monkey face with hands over mouth emoji here) - but once my insides are completely healed, I'm going to start getting toned again!
Maybe this time, I can have some kind of a "six-pack". WOO HOO!
Either way, I'm on the mend and I'm excited that I will be able to move more freely in my artistic expression.
Welcome to my personal blog. This blog is going to be filled with everything magickal. Even the grimy stuff of life.
For even in grime and dirt, do you find true gems.