Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcome 2014! The Year of The Deer Spirit Animal - Symbol of Gentleness and Heart Energy

Deer Spirit Animal

When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are highly sensitive and have a strong intuition. By affinity with this animal, you have the power to deal with challenges with grace. You master the art of being both determined and gentle in your approach. The deer totem wisdom imparts those with a special connection with this animal with the ability to be vigilant, move quickly, and trust their instincts to get out the trickiest situations.

What is the meaning of the deer totem? The meanings associated with the deer combine both soft, gentle qualities with strength and determination:

Gentleness Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace Being in touch with inner child, innocence Being sensitive and intuitive Vigilance, ability to change directions quickly Magical ability to regenerate, being in touch with life’s mysteries


Dear spirit animal, symbol of gentleness and heart energy

When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are able to bring gentleness and grace in every aspects of your life, even in the most challenging moments. By inspiration from the deer’s qualities, you can achieve ambitious goals and tackle difficult situation smoothly with a touch of gentleness and grace.

The deer spirit animal will remind you to be gentle with yourself and others. The grace and gentleness characteristic of this spirit animal echo the qualities brought forth when living from the heart. For example, the traditional symbol used for the heart chakra has the deer (sometimes also represented as an antelope) as emblematic animal of the energy of love and harmony with oneself and others (Read more about the heart chakra and its symbols).


The power of the deer: Grace & determination

The deer horns are great means of defending and asserting yourself. Being gentle does not being being defenseless. With the deer as a power animal on your side, you can be strongly determined and gentle at the same time.


Deer totem wisdom and innocence

Another quality that the deer spirit animal brings to those who have a connection with it is a felt sense of their own inner gentleness, a clear connection with the innocence of their inner child. The spirit of the deer reveals to you a fresh perspective on old issues. Takes advantage of this opportunity to revise and reverse patterns of thought or behavior that no longer serve you. A mystical totem animal, symbol of regeneration of life and heart energy

The deer’s antlers can grow back once they fall. Because of this characteristic, this animal has been revered in many traditions as a symbol of life regeneration. There’s a cloud of mystery around this ability that gives the deer a magical and mystical quality. If you have the deer as power animal, you could tap into life’s magical ability to renew itself.


A spirit guide to develop sensitivity and intuitive powers

If the deer has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, you may be called to use or develop your sensitivity at various levels in your life. This animal powers guide you to refine your intuition and psychic abilities. You can refine your receptivity and use your senses and intuition to reach farther out.


The deer spirit and vigilance

Those with the deer as animal totem may be inclined to be constantly on the move, being on the look out for the next opportunity. By affinity with this spirit animal, you may also be watchful of your “predators”, which translate into a tendency to be sometimes overly cautious. It takes time for you to trust someone or feel safe in your environment.

You can invoke the power of the deer to guide you in getting accustomed to new surroundings and people. This spirit guide might show up in your life to warn you encourage you to trust your instinct. The deer spirit animal will also show up in your life to encourage you to take some time by yourself in a quiet environment to rest or in nature. It invites you to find rest and peace in silence.

http://www.spiritanimal.info/deer-spirit-animal/

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Wisdom of Unconditional Love

On the 15th, I completed another year around the sun and turned 33 years old. On Saturday, I spent the day biking through the mountains of Santa Cruz with my partner. He spent the night planning out a special place and route for us to ride and bought us each a bike in the morning. The last time I rode a bike I was at burning man, and before that, I was in Amsterdam. Both times it was with my partner...my love. The bike ride he chose was a combination of trails summing up to 30 miles through Wilder Ranch State Park. He had never been there, but did some research and said it was going to be amazing. I had imagined a leisurely ride through a park. Instead it was extremely challenging with lots of twists & turns and narrow pathways in the forest. I was so surprised on how difficult it was. The first 2 1/2 miles was intense! It was the first time in a long time that fear for my safety and well being came over me. On the other hand, my partner looked so comfortable and confident scaling the mountain. He lead the way - music blastin' from our little Audiobomb and completely worry free of whatever may lie ahead. He would occasionally look back to check on me and yell out words of encouragement. The thing he said that stood out the most was to look at the experience as if it were a vision quest. And with that...I did. I started meditating on unconditional love and what it means to me. I looked at how unconditional love has been such a guiding force in my life and how I've spent most of my life working to embody it. The ride got much more interesting after I stopped being so focused on getting it over with and instead, started enjoying the journey. When we got to the end of the twisty part of the trail (called Dairy Trail), the ride was a lot more manageable. It was still uphill, but we were out of the forest and able to feel the warmth and serenity of the sun. When we got to the top of the trail, my partner and I stopped to have lunch overlooking a magnificent view of the mountains and forest we just conquered. We talked and laughed. Took pictures and gave each other lots of loving kisses and hugs. Then he said some thing like " You have to appreciate what we just did. You can't just have this view without working for it". As I looked around, I realized that this was yet another experience I'm so blessed to have shared with the love of my life. That's when everything clicked. The mountain and the trails were like a metaphor for life's journey. And my partner represented the gift and blessing of having someone special to witness the marvels of life with. As I mentioned earlier, I have spent most of my life learning about unconditional love and how I am able to express and manifest that in my being. Giving love is my passion. Its what makes me feel fulfilled & complete. What I didn't expect to find during that ride was that I had found someone who found me worthy of giving unconditional love to. My man really truly loves me...all of me. He's told me that before countless times, but I don't think I really believed him. We've gone through so much together, good and bad. When we have issues in our relationship, I'm the one who is always quick to bail. He is always solid and unwavering in his love for me. I never could quite understand how confident and sure he was of us and our path together. But now I do. This ride revealed so much. It showed me that I needed to really open my eyes, my heart and arms to unconditional love and receive it. It showed me that unconditional love is a natural cycle of giving and receiving. It showed me that even with my imperfections & insecurities, I AM WORTHY OF LOVE AND BEING LOVED!! Aside from my partner, I felt the love from all my relations - my children, my mother & uncle, my new extended familia, my AP fam, real peeps whom i've been fortunate enough to share time & space with, and my circle of strong, loyal beautiful mamas who are down to ride this rollercoaster called life with me. This is my breakthrough and my gratitude. It took 33 years to get here, but I am so happy to be here so I can spend the next 33 years or so being present and always ready for love and the abundance that comes with it! After lunch, the rest of the ride was pretty much smooth downhill sailing. The freedom I felt from that moment is something I will never forget. We took turns leading the way, stopped to observe the wildlife that crossed our path (saw 2 deers, some rabbits, & foxes!), and even stopped to do a photo shoot at the garden at the end of the trail. The rest of the night followed the same type of flow...but i'll spare the details :) P.S. When I was in labor, I had a vision of 2 deers, a baby and mama. On the day my son was born I received my power animal and a deeper understanding of unconditional love's role in my life. Earlier this year while I was in Fiji, I discovered my totem animals through my medicine cards, and again, deer revealed itself to me as one of my guides. For those who want to learn more of deer's significance, I included some info below. One. *** Deer, Power Animal, Symbol of Gentleness, Unconditional Love and Kindness By Ina Woolcott Deer's medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understanding of what's necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland goddess, alternative paths to a goal In the Celtic tradition, there are two aspects of deer - female and male. The Hind (the red female deer), called Eilid in the Gaelic language, symbolises femininity, subtlety and gracefulness. The Hind is believed to call to us from the Faery realm, tempting us to release the material trappings of so-called 'civilization', to go deep into the forest of magic, to explore our own magical and spiritual nature. The topic gentleness is part of this tradition. Many stories tell of Hinds changing into women, often goddesses, to protect does from being hunted. The lesson to be gleaned here is that when we explore magic and spirituality, it must be with good intention, to harm no living being, but to enter the realm of the wild things in the spirit of love and communion. The Stag, Damh in the Gaelic tongue, is also linked to the sacredness of the magical forest. The Damh represents independence, purification, and pride. It is known as the King of the Forest, the protector of its creatures. For time immemorial people have sought to identify with the stag by ceremonially wearing antlered headdresses and imitating the deer's leaping grace. Both Celtic and Native American hunters prayed to the deer to give them a good hunt, and in return promised to take no more than was essential for the survival of the tribe. This helps remind us that our spirit of gentleness and unconditional love should extend to all species, not only our own. Maybe the most effective way to summarize the lessons of these beliefs, is to say that only when we move through life in the spirit of love for all beings can we melt the barriers that separate us from others, from other life forms, and from the beautiful mystery which is our own magical and spiritual gift. By observing the ways in which deer behave, it is possible to see what amazing qualities - or powers - they possess. From the deer we can learn that the gift of gentleness and caring can help us overcome and put aside many testing situations. Only love, both for ourselves and for others, helps us understand the true meaning of wholeness. If a deer crosses your path, this may show you that you are a very compassionate, gentle and loving person. If you don't have these qualities, then consider if you have a problem that needs addressing. Are you facing a challenge in your life, whether with a fellow human being or a delicate situation? If you are feeling negative emotions such as anger, try letting go. Think about whether a gentler and more loving approach can sort the issue out. It may be necessary to speak the truth, this is best done with kindness and from the heart, this will generally give a better result. Deer teaches us how powerful it is to be of gentle demeanour, to exert keen observation and sensitivity. Deer's are in tune with nature and all it comprises. They are sacred carriers of peace and show those with this power animal how to open their hearts and love unconditionally. Frequently twins or even triplets are born in the spring. Females and males reside in separate groups until the mating season. White-tailed deer are rather sociable, and family members forage food together along with other family groups, which gives the appearance of a large herd. Fawns are born a colour that protects them, camouflaging them from a predator’s sight. In the first few days of their life they hardly move, until their energy field is strong and grounded. They then stand up and begin to follow their mother around. A magical sight to behold is fawns coming out of forests, following their tenderly protective mothers. Even when grazing, the mothers are constantly watchful, fully aware and alert of what is going on all around them. They travel through forest and field with deliberateness and clarity, mindful of the fragile creature they nurture and protect. There is a powerful lesson to be learned here by us. Though we are born with an inborn ability to be unconditionally loving, often we are born to parents whose life experiences have taught them to become hard, and to lose that ability to experience and give unconditional love. Watching the deer and her babies is a reminder to honour and respect the child-like innocence within your self and go about your life with gentleness and an open heart. You should also stand strong on your path, in your beliefs, and not allow yourself to get distracted by outside influences. Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of love with full consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love ourselves. A deer's senses are very acute and they see extremely well in low light, giving them the ability to understand the deeper symbolic meanings of things. They can hear a twig snap a very long way off. People with this power animal are often described as being swift and alert. They are intuitive, often seeming to possess well developed, even extrasensory perceptions. Sometimes their thoughts seem to race ahead, and they appear not to be listening, to be somewhere else. Anyone with power animal has latent clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities. They can see between the shadows, detect subtle movements and hear that which is not being uttered. Ask the deer to help you develop these true gifts. The set of antlers grown by the male deer are antennae that connect it to higher energies. If you come across a deer in the wild, try to count the number of points on their antlers. This number is associated with numerology and can carry great significance for those with this power animal. Deer teaches us to be gentle, to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are in our lives. Don't push people to change, rather gently nudge them in right direction, with the love that comes from deer. Love and accept people as they are. The balance of true power lays in love and compassion. When a Deer totem enters your world, a new innocence and freshness in about to be awakened. New adventures are just around the corner and there will be an opportunity to express the gentle love that will open new doors for you.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Artist Bio (extended)


Artist Bio (extended): love/speak (intentionally uncapitalized), also known as Joana Cruz, is a woman who freely speaks with her heart in her hand. Inspired by the concept of love and its variety in form, love/speak writes to capture the purity and rawness of love as it manifests in that moment. For love/speak, this is where truth exists and what guides the soul through the journey of life. Its breaks barriers and boundaries. It builds bridges of communication and understanding. It has a powerful ability to heal, empower and inspire. Learning about love and documenting her personal observations and experiences of love with honesty, depth and flair has been love/speak’s passion all her life. From poetry, to essays, love letters to random philosophical musings – the subject of love and it relation to human interactions never gets old (or dull!), Writing about love is her way of actively living love. This process not only allows her to explore her creativity, but helps her move through life always aiming to elevate the vibration of humanity. Creative expression through her writing is love/speak’s homage to life and the interconnectedness of all things. Each piece she creates act as reminders of love’s existence, significance, and the importance of the appreciation for it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Meditation (Fiji State of Mind)

Returning back home, I don't feel quite at peace
I feel like I am in a box
Limited by my surroundings
to feel the fullest potentials
of the Earths's love

I am feeling uneasy
My mind is racing and
I feel the pulsations of my body
moving at light speed
I miss waking up and greeting the sun as it rises
I miss the wind's cool breeze on my face
I miss the sound of the ocean as it crashes on to the surf
I miss feeling the mana in the ground as I walk

I have been changed by the pure magic that still exists
My soul has opened up to receive the bounty of Creator
And in return, I reflect all that I am
back to giving unconditionally, selflessly, freely

But being back at home, I feel my senses closing up
The energy that exists is fast and furious
and my soul is sensitive to it
Reacting in ways that digress from higher self

I write to remind myself that everything is ok
That the changes are meant to give me more strength
to do my work, to share more love
Here at home and beyond

I cannot forget what I've learned from the islands
That everything I need to exist and thrive
on the outside is within
That home is always in the heart

I cannot forget that moving my body
and connecting with it daily
sends endless endorphins dancing
happily throughout my inner universe

I cannot forget that a simple smile
sends so much love and positivity
and that there is so much to gain
by having random conversation with strangers

I cannot forget that we are all one
and come from the same source
And that even in this state of uneasiness
The potential to to do the greatest good exist

Monday, October 15, 2012

the little earth mama who wore her wings


It's been over 2 years since I've been on my own.
Everyday & everynight, my life is filled with the energy of others.
I'm not complaining - I love it.
I'm blessed because of it.
But this week, I had the rare opportunity to see the world with a different set of lenses that allowed me to peek into my past lives, inner-self & future manifestations.
It's been too long since I had a moment to be with myself.
It's been so long since I had a moment to be by myself...to be myself.

Today, I write because I've lived it.
I write because it is important to me.
I write because it helps me grow - as a mother, as a sister, as a woman, as an artist, as a Pinay, as a leader.
I'm writing to OWN MY SIGNIFICANCE.
I'm writing because everyone needs to know how to remember the precious moments in their lives.
I'm writing so I don't ever forget because it's so easy to do.

(Much appreciation to all those who've sprinkled love, spent time & shared space. You all make my heart smile)

*******

My Life (In The Sunshine)

Monday Night
* Drinks @ Toronado w/ Cleo Fung, Travis Robinson, and the lady bartenders (Lower Haight, SF)
* Hot Cocoa, Aviator, Mezcal @ NOPA w/ Cleo Fun & Travis Robinson (NOPA, SF)
* Mowtown on Mondays @ Madrone Art Bar w/ Cleo Fung, Travis Robinson, and the lady bartenders (NOPA, SF)

Tuesday
* Ethiophian @ Moya w/ Cleo Fung, Travis Robinson, and the lady bartenders (SOMA, SF)
* Drinks @ Bloodhound; Dominoes & Rummy (SOMA, SF)

Wednesday
* 10 Years of Catching Up w/ Rymo Cortado @ Sunflower Cafe (The MISSION, SF)
* A Walk to Land's End w/ Jesica McIntyre (Outer Sunset, SF)
* Skype w/ My Boys Teao Sense & Sakima Jairo Xae (HOME SWEET HOME)

Thursday
* Playtime w/ Maitreya! (ALL OVER Berkeley & Oakland)
* Skype w/ My Boys Teao Sense & Sakima Jairo Xae (Queendom, OAK)
* BRL Film Premier - "A Lovely Day" w/ Tomas Alvarez, Rob Jackson, BRL Click, Val Shagday, Lexx Valdez@ The Grand Lake Theater (Lakeshore, OAK)
* Koryo Sushi w/ Ella Blends & Kaira Espinoza (TELEGRAPH, OAK)
* Night 1 @ The QUEENDOM (Lakeshore, OAK)
* Girl Time w/ Kaira Espinoza (Queendom, OAK)

Friday
* Solo Bubble Bath (Queendom, OAK)
* P.E.A.C.E. Fits Biz w/ Andreas Smith @ Lakeview Cafe (Lakeshore, OAK)
* Car Battery Died & Tomas Alvarez Came To The Rescue! (Lakeshore, OAK)
* Shopping @ Collage Clothing Lounge (Lakeshore, Oakland)
* More P.E.A.C.E. Fits Biz w/ Andreas Smith @ Rooz Cafe (OAK)
* Halloween Warehouse Party Prep w/ Joshua Saenz @ hOMevolution (W. Oakland, OAK)
* Glitch Hop Warehouse Party @ hOMevolution w/ Andreas Smith, Kaira Espinoza, Joshua Saenz, Stephanie C. Moore)
* Legos Roots @ New Parish w/ Andreas Smith, Joshua Saenz, Stephanie C. Moore & Afrolicious)
* Late Night Sushi @ Koryo Sushi w/ Andreas Smith, Joshua Saenz, Stephanie C. Moore (W. Oakland, OAK)

Saturday
* Skype w/ My Boys Teao Sense & Sakima Jairo Xae (Queendom, OAK)
* Internal Cultivation (Queendom, OAK)
* The Most Amazing Samba Reggae Class w/ Kaira Espinoza & Kim Moor @ MCCLA (The MISSION, SF) - http://www.missionculturalcenter.org/MCCLA_New/teachers.html#metzi * Inner Meditation (Queendom, OAK)
* Tuk Tuk Thai Cafe w/ Stephanie C. Moore, Isabella, Cri Cri & James Robinson (Berkeley)
* Reflection & Redemption @ Home (DaPharm, SF)

Sunday
* House Cleaning Purple Rain Marathon!! (DaPharm, SF)
* Blessed Meeting Lil' Jionni w/ Tanisha & Ricardo Lopez (Alamo Square, SF)
* Indian Dinner w/ Ras K'dee Cunningham & Jennifer Greco @ India Clay♥Oven (Lower Haight, SF)
* Making Space: An Evening of Ritual, Griots and Touching Earth With Both Hands w/ Jennifer Greco & Patricia Barretto Ong @ La Pena Cultural Center (Ashby, BER) * Dessert & Dub Mission...for like a second! w/ Jennifer Greco (The MISSION, SF)
* Reflection: A Week In Review (DaPharm, SF)

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Letter to My Son

You entered the world taking a breath before your time
And for a moment,
Time & space was absent of sound
I spoke your name out loud
And prayed that with each breath I offer to Creator
life is breathed into you
With each chant of your name
a promise was made
that my life was not my own now, but yours
I prayed that you would hear my voice
And that it would lead you back to me
Back to the safety of my womb
Were you grew & thrived
Undisturbed, a way from danger
where you had everything you needed to survive

But here you are,
in my arms
Outside my protective vessel
Naked & bare
Fighting to live as you are learning how to simply be
At this moment, I realize all I have is faith
All I have is the love in my heart
And the commitment that
I would do my best to be a loving mother for you
And if the fates gave you a chance to be a man
Then I pledge to teach you how
to live a life with virtue & valor
That the essence of life is interconnected
to harmony with the land
That your gift of intuition is to be used for the higher good
And how gentleness can tame the wildest of spirits
You will learn that power is only honorable when used responsibly
And how being a leader for your tribe
Can be attained walking the path of love.

You entered the world taking a breath before your time
And for a moment,
Time & space was absent of sound
I spoke your name out loud
And prayed that with each breath I offer to Creator
life is breathed into you
Sakima Sakima Sakima
My son, you’ve elevated my being
Into its highest form
Sakima Sakima Sakima
Your very breath is my existence
Sakima Sakima Sakima
Rise and take your place as king amongst men
Sakima Sakima Sakima

…And for a moment, time & space was absent of sound
Until a glorious cry coming from the mouth of my newborn baby
broke the deathly air of silence
And in that instance, I knew my prayers heard
And that my work has just begun…

Sunday, December 11, 2011

something bout the way...

the soft guitar strings
signaled it was time to have our last dance.
your hands reaching out in the dark
invite me to come closer,
and despite being afraid to engage, i oblige
and make my way.
we move to each strum.
our bodies synchronously sway.

in your eyes, i'm locked in
to a forever that cannot be
yet once felt like
forever.
the reflections of the past is vast and deep.
roots grew and flowers bloomed
birds flew, and you and i,
were eternally attuned.
my soul took shape with each step forward.
a transformation setting ablaze
a light so pure, so warm, so bright
i am better, stronger, wiser,
seasoned.
because of you
my unconditional lover
i feel my heart being pulled slowly
out of my chest
strings detaching
our lovely time is passing

A Love Letter From A Friend

"Who are you?

Where did you come from?

Are you an angel?

In your presence, I enter an ancient dream where

the past, future and present become ONE

TIME and SPACE

fall away

As you exhale

I inhale

As we are comforted by the eternal rhythm of our

breath

Where OUR fathers' LIMITLESS LOVE exists

You are the definition of LOVE

You communicate LOVE'S LANGUAGE as your smile

encourages flowers to bloom

This LOVE exists in the GOLDEN LIGHT that radiates

out of the

Center of your being

And heals everything you touch

In the POWER of your womb where the seeds of

FERTILITY and CREATIVITY reside

In the still waters of your eyes that emanate cool

violet serenity

LOVE exists in the time that the creator took to

make you

Every inch of you is BEAUTIFUL

YOU ARE BREATHTAKINGLY RADIANT

SACRED like a rare gem

NEVER FORGET HOW SPECIAL YOU ARE

I have come here to remind you

Monday, December 20, 2010

.:sweet thing:.

you make my heart sing...

swaying to and fro
to the shakes of quakes and
the rolls of thunder
the melody is perfect chaos
i the staccato
sprinkling sudden bursts of joy
to your continuous legato
producing an arrhythmia
i once ran away from
because it could prove fatal
afraid to sit and bask
in the truth of our connection
i forget how our souls kissed
and made love while we slept
as we were secretly dreaming, longing
for the warmth in each other's touch
the harmony in our layered chords
sealed our accord, sending our spirits
to auditory ecstasy
because together...
the melody we make
when we freely be
sings a song so sweet
so real, for our divine eyes to finally see
that this union of sounds
is music meant to be

The Sense in Sensibilities

Last night, I woke to a powerful thunderstorm brewing beneath my belly.
An energetic vortex exists in my once calm sea and Svadhisthana demands to be fulfilled.
Every inch of my skin begs to be touched; my lips quiver to be kissed.
My knees rise towards my chest. Tonight, I embrace them tightly. “Aahhh…” I close my eyes.
I am drowning…drowning in a whirlpool of fantasy.
Drowning in desire…drowning in guilt.
As my body twists like an uncoiling snake in heat, I kick off the blankets, quickly peel all layers
and begin to pray for peace to pacify the rapidly increasing pulsations agonizing me from within.
Oh my Goddess…
One hand is cupped below, the other, stretches out to feel for the phone.
My mother would never approve… or would she?

You see, growing up Catholic, my mother tried to ingrain
at an early age that sexual exploration
is only without sin when experienced
in the context of marriage between a man and a woman.
That a girl who allowed herself momentary and transient sexual
pleasures lacked self-respect and was a sinner in the eyes of God.
When I was a teenager, she told me stories of her childhood in the Philippines.
Of how propriety was observed by all the women in her family
And of how signs of the possibility of promiscuity was punished
with the sinner kneeling on grains of rice in front of the cross
while praying to Jesus for a clean mind, forgiveness and salvation.
I knew what she expected; what my ancestors expected.
But even at a young age, I knew that things were not so black and white
That the complex world we lived in was held together
by very delicate strings…

At the age of 21, my mother married a man almost 50 years her senior.
This union was not one of romantic love, but of security and opportunity.
It was a manifestation of the connection between poverty, opportunism,
a woman's mobility, and the global patterns of inequality.
But even with these social factors, no one can deny, especially her children,
how she sacrificed every little girl’s ideal dream for a marriage with sensibility.

When my father died and she became a widow in her late 30’s,
My mother experienced a freedom she hadn’t felt since her youth.
She began to feel like a woman again…
Not a mother, not a wife, not a provider…
Just…a woman…looking for a partner to share this lifetime with once again.
But she was different this time around. Time brought her many lessons.
She wasn’t young and na├»ve as she once was.
For years, she had been repressed by her gender, by her economic status,
and by a man she didn’t love. This time around, she…was seasoned.
Uncompromising, she looked for love and nothing less.
For desire to fuel her fire…for an ideal she thought she could never reclaim.
Like Stella…mama got her groove back and had no qualms about it.
But not everyone saw this experience as a form of liberation;
a celebration of life and of re-birth.
I knew the neighbors were intimated. She did too.
And it used to bother me that they were
as I watched many lovers come and go.
My perception of my mother changed.
In my mind she became the model of who not to be.
And I…I wanted to be different; to be accepted and respected.
She was no longer my Mother Mary, but more like Mary Magdalene.
And I, became one of those who threw stones…
I look back today and I ask myself why…why did I judge her?
Why did it matter what everyone else thought?
Why could I not see that she never stopped being
wonderful mother to me?

I adored her.
She was the epitome of an independent woman –
the vanguard, breadwinner, protector and caretaker of the family.
She was beautiful, loving and fearless.
She held all authority and was not to be questioned.
I desired to be a good daughter and to please her.
As a child, I wanted to be just like her.
But why was it that as I blossomed into a young woman,
I worked so hard to mold myself to become
as far from a the image of the woman I thought she had become.

But only time reveals certain lessons and experiences…new insights.
In June, I turned 29. A time of endings and new beginnings.
By this age, I felt society expectation to be a wife and mother.
To nest a sacred space for family.
To have a stationary home.
To be an established career woman.
To be done with youth and along with it
…it’s whimsical freedom.
But that’s not me.
That’s not my Pinay story.
Saturn’s return came with full force and revealed
the secret mysteries of life – joyful, sorrowful and glorious.
I realized who I’ve become…who I am.
I am single, childless and on my own.
My passions are art, travel & understanding human connection.
My family & companions, kindred spirits I’ve met along the way.
My home, is everywhere and anywhere I am welcomed.
My work is that of a healer…a babaylan priestess incarnate.
Reaching higher-self is my purpose.
And like my mother, my heart has been tried and tested.
It’s felt the pains of loss, as well as the ecstasy of love.
My own web has been spun and with it many stories
which continue from the thread that began with my mother.
I was told a long time ago, that to know history, was to know self.
Stepping into her shoes, I received my right of passage.
And finally, I am able to see the intricate complexities and honor
of what it means to be a woman by embracing my mother…my sweet, strong, amazing mother.
Now I can live life with no qualms and total ownership of my future.