happy places, 2018

as i look back at this year, i see how it could be a bad, or hard, year. the irs grabbed me by the neck so i could barely breathe. trauma memories found me everywhere – on stages, in bed with lovers, during meetings that i was facilitating – clarity i’ve prayed for, but oh i didn’t want it when it came. i was disappointed in love experiments, and surprised by our limitations in our movement capacity. we were not able to keep Alana alive.

and yet. it was a year full of tenderness, and love, and pleasure, and miracles, and generosity. more than ever before, i was rigorous with my own attention. i was rigorous about putting my attention on the good, and moving towards the happy places available to me.

here is small list, in no particular order:

Alana’s bedside. i fell deeper in love with my friend as she was defying death and finding magic and pleasure and grief everywhere. the time we spent laughing and facing death together changed me.

standing in a room full of organizers getting the news that Siwatu is free. each room that conspired on her miraculous freedom.

Italy, on a small island where old friends reveled in each other and new friends delighted each other. we were so glamorous! a highlight for me was dancing naked in the moonlight as a lightning storm rolled in.

Thailand, a small apartment with old friends and their new baby, my new nibbling whose name means ‘ring around the moon’. learning breastfeeding and endurance, remembering the sacred service of postpartum doula work, interspersed with ritual, Buddha and a daunting bout with fecal waterfalls.

nibblings…so many nibblings so little time. i write this while one nibbling is on my lap in cat ears and another waits for me to continue rubbing her back. my blood nibblings are joined by those i’ve chosen, and those who have chosen me. my upstairs neighbor nibbling yells out to me from the stairs by my door, and if i’m home i come running. i have a nibbling who started reading before she knew the alphabet. i feel joy and huge auntie capacity, and anytime i’m with them, it’s a happy place.

la (or anywhere) with my woes. started the year with beach and my woes. we found each other in many places this year. we did rituals and held each other up and got so much done by living as a community. i am more excellent than i was at the beginning of this year.

anime on the couch…most relationships don’t last, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some good in there. this year i spent a lot of time watching anime on my couch with someone sweet who let me hold onto their soft belly, and it was good, and it was a comfort.

time with my plants – actually, any time at home, period. i feel in love with my plant babies, and with the sweet rhythm of a life that supports the well being of plants. i love the way light pours into my kitchen, the little blue cave of my room, sunbathing on my deck, hot baths, being cozy in my living room. i love my home, and i know time there is still too rare.

writing time. i finished two books this year, and a zine. it will all come out in 2019. i went to martha’s vineyard and wrote in the deep quiet. i wrote in new orleans during a cold snap. i wrote in detroit, on planes, in baths, in stolen moments, on the edges of my life. i wrote for free, i wrote for patrons, i wrote things that made me laugh and things that came from great weeping. writing is ALWAYS my happy place.

sistercation/family time – my sisters and i went to see Beyoncé this year and just get deep check ins. i also got quality time with my parents, who jump through fire for me and make sure i know they love me and are proud of my work. i love that, as a family, we put in work on being sisters to each other across borders, families, time limits, technology and distance. this is how we hold each other through changes.

somatic space! being a student and trainer with generative somatics meant that i got to spend several weeks of this year watching and feeling as people leapt wholeheartedly into their highest selves. ghosts and dreams meet in those rooms.

goddess weekend! the group of women i went to college with has become a circle of brilliant, creative bad ass leaders raising families and standards for what our species can be. i am so humbled that i have won these additional sisters. i love our commitment to annual extravagance.

emergent strategy immersions and facilitation training. i scarcely know how to speak of these. my dream, my deepest most tender vision, grew this year. so many people took risks and gave of themselves to grow with me this year. so many people showed up to give me feedback, to weave with me. i can’t even express the gratitude, it’s too much and when i think of it i am moved to tears.

podcasting…primarily i am grateful to get to be in transformative conversation with my sister in a regular basis through How to Survive, but also getting to be a guest on so many other podcasts. i love conversation as a way of learning, and i always think grace lee boggs would be pleased by the practice.

Black space! whether it was BOLD gatherings, or facilitating for BYP100 and BLM GLOBAL and M4BL, i was continually blessed to get to hold space and be with some of the most brilliant Black people alive. i know who i am meant for.

opening up gifts and care packages. i love gooood gifts so much!

there are so many more, but these are the highlights. and i am grateful for how much i’ve learned about putting my attention on beauty, love and freedom and going that way through all obstacles. thank you all for being a part of this good life.

the cold moon

the year is almost over and it’s a massive moment for release – solstice and full moon! the darkest night and the cold full moon, somehow it works together in a beautiful impossible contradiction. have you seen the moon tonight! i can’t take my eyes off of her, she is so full and fat that i feel beautiful.

tonight, it is a time for letting go. here is a recipe for release:

i release my fear of the dark. i promise to trust that the shadows will shift as i grow and change.

i release any grasp oppressors still have on my attention. i promise to give my dreams and waking life to that which inspires me, and those who love me.

i release any traces of scarcity in my heart. i offer love, joy and connection from the incredible regenerating well that is sourced from the very miracle of my own life.

also…thank you moon, for bathing us in light, for showing us the rhythms between light and dark. thank you for moving me so viscerally that i cannot sleep, for pulling the tide out of me, and for teaching me the sacred value of reflection.