I blog for Change…

As I attempt to orient the windy and often treacherous roads that encapsulate life, here are some of my thoughts on the successes, failures and ultimately the hope and positivity in which I strive for a better world. I also hope that I can use this blog as a platform to elevate the social justice issues that are somewhat forgotten in the modern discourse of staying silent on issues that challenge. Sx


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With my Heart as my Guide.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve started to ponder about why it is that while people have paired up together so instinctively around me I have so adamantly chosen to remain single. When I was younger I was convinced that it was because I was cursed; surely I had horrific luck when it came to love and that was why I kept encountering people who were utterly wrong for me.

The more I’ve aged though the deeper I have come to understand that I haven’t been as complicit in this whole endeavour as the ‘poor me’ rhetoric of my youth would have you believe. I just haven’t been ready which might be reminiscent of the type of emotionally unavailable men I have gone after. Because somewhere deep down I knew that they were not capable of the reciprocal type of love that is destined for me and in actuality, neither was I ready for it.

As time has gone on and I have matured, I have perhaps been more ready and more capable of love. But in saying that I have attempted to build a life with, again, utterly the wrong people. The past few years have provided me with so much growth and inner strength that I have understood my life journey is not dependent on anyone else. In taking that one step further, even if it was, that person would not be a one size fits all mould who could slot into my life with minimal fuss.

My family members as of late have been quick to remind me that perfection is not realistic and thus urge me to compromise in my pursuit of love. They warn me that I will never find all of what I am looking for and they may be right. I probably won’t but mainly because life rarely ever gives us what we want. This is usually because that very concept is one which is fluid in itself and thus dependent on what junction we are at in life’s journey.

In attempting to take forward the advice of those around me, I have tried to pursue what they would regard as normalcy with many ‘just anyone’s’. I’ve gone through the motions in order to quell the questions about my personal life to show that I am ‘at least trying’. But it’s as if even though my head and my body urge me forward and will me to affirm this normalcy and establish a relationship, my soul yearns for something more.

Maybe this is because it knows that there is something deeper and more core shaking out there for me. Perhaps it’s because it has experienced this level of love, of intimacy with someone in a past life and those memories reverberate still but on a different frequency which transcends time, space and dimensions.

What if it is the case that it knows exactly what is destined for me, what I have sought after for all these years and what I will eventually have and therefore it will not allow me to settle for any less.

So with my heart as my guide, I continue forward on a journey towards what I have to believe is the type of love, partner and relationship that doesn’t come along easily. I know that this means that I can never give up the fight and I refuse to enter into an existence of meaningless coupledom.

My soul, my entire being yearns for something more which it knows is out there somewhere. Because of course, it has experienced it before, in a lifetime that is now buried in my subconscious as a distant memory. One in which I re-enter only in my dreams and one in which I am reminded of twin flame, of the soul mate I am seeking to find my way back to.

Sx

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#FreeAhed

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If you follow me at all on social media you would’ve seen how incensed I have been lately at the incarceration of a 16 year old Palestinian adolescent, Ahed Tamimi by Israeli forces. The circumstances of Ahed’s arrest are absurd as they are terrifying. What is worse is the deafening silence by mainstream media outlets on her story.

For those of you who are interested in the facts, Ahed is a 16 year old who lives in Nabi Saleh, a village close to Ramallah in the West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories. Within the past decade this region has seen an increase in seizure of land and forcible removal of its native Palestinian population as construction of illegal Jewish settlements has indiscriminately pushed forward. Ahed, as is the case for many of the children in these villages, has come of age during a time in which her family has been continuously intimidated, belittled, harassed and forced off their ancestral lands.

On the 19th of December 2017, Ahed was arrested and taken into custody to face an Israeli military court; her crime?.. slapping an Israeli soldier. Yes, you read that previous sentence correctly a 16 year old was forcibly detained and faces conviction for slapping a fully grown, heavily armed adult man. The story of her arrest reads like a traumatic kidnapping in which Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers stormed her house at 4am and took her away from the shelter and protection of her family and into custody; over a slap.

To identify the farce involved here seems without question but I will highlight it nonetheless. Ahed is a child… she is 16 years old. The ‘aggressive behaviour’ she displayed which apparently led to her arrest was after an Israeli soldier shot her cousin point blank in the face with a rubber coated metal bullet. Shattering his head on one side of his face and leaving him in a medically induced coma for 3 days. Oh and by the way, her cousin is 14 years old.

The only apparent crime which has been committed here is not actually a crime at all but instead the act of a 16 year defiant Palestinian adolescent seemingly emasculating the might of the Israeli army. According to Defence for Children International (DCI) the numbers of Palestinian children in custody amount to between 500-700 per year. In most cases they are forcibly detained and interrogated without parental supervision or a lawyer present. Their crime you ask? In the vast majority of instances the most common charge is stone throwing.

Ahed Tamimi languishes in prison till today. She has been incarcerated for over 3 weeks and faces a trial in Israel’s military court which has a near 100% conviction rate. During a documentary in which her father was asked why children in Nabi Saleh are so involved in the resistance movement he commented that if this course of action was not taken, their children would have no future to live up to in the first place.

For Ahed herself, a mere child, she explains that if Palestine wasn’t under occupation, she would have been a soccer player… if only.

#freeahedtamimi #endtheoccupation.

End.


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The significance of the Gypsy..

As of late I have been focusing a lot more instinctively on creativity, self expression and self reflection. For whatever reason, whether it be astrologically or as a point of permanent juncture in my life I have felt much more comfortable with myself and in and of my own skin. As a result my creativity has soared as I feel a renewed surge to write, agitate and advocate in an attempt to change the world.

I recently got a gypsy tattoed on my arm and her significance is one that I can’t help but reflect on now. For those who ask me about the subjective meaning of this figure I respond with the importance of the symbolism around the nomad, the searcher, the seer and the mystic.

She is the one who stands at the fringes of society and refuses to be what is expected of her. Who rarely puts down roots as she commits to moving around constantly in an attempt to live life her own unique way. Often times people do not approve of her lifestyle and label her all kinds of things associated with not measuring up to ill conceived standards of conformity. But to this gypsy woman nothing would be worse in comparison than not following her dreams and pursuing a style of life whole heartedly unique to her.

The instant this figure was tattooed on my arm I felt a deeper connection to the symbolism of the figure itself. I felt more confident, reassured and emboldened by her beauty and the courage of her spirit. She takes up the spot closest to my heart and her presence has afforded me with a sense of calmness and ease that I cannot fully put into words. Nor would I need to, as verbalising this feeling would not only be utterly futile but it would only serve to cheapen its significance.

The connotation of the elusive gypsy looking up into the sky and yet staring down the future so fiercely sits at the heart of my fascination with her. I would hope that I attempt to mirror this resonance through my own life. I associate myself as a free thinking, forward looking intersectional feminist that has committed to living life my own way in spite of the objections of questioning onlookers.

I too have never belonged, falling between cultures and outside of understandings of most. I have constantly lingered on the edges and never felt truly grounded or at home in any group setting, with a person or in and amongst any event or situation.

In reality my spirit of freedom, of exploration can never be tamed. I, just like this gypsy on my arm will never be reduced to a one dimensional figure that can be put into any one box. My soul, my being is searching for something so much more than the path perceivably paved for all others.

Sx

 


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To 2018..

ART-by-MYSTICMAMMA-allrightsreservedWell here I am at the beginning of yet another year. This interval point for me most often signifies a symbolic juncture point into another phase in which I wipe the slate clean. I usually choose to set positive intentions for the 12 months ahead and attempt to ensure that these are not just resolutions but action points to guide me on the journey that awaits me.

This year has been no different. However I have attempted to take a slightly different approach than I usually do. This year I choose to focus on concepts and leave the interpretation of how I live these out quite broad. So as not to get half way through the year and feel utterly demoralised because the positivity in which I started the year off on has somehow been thrown out the window due to unforeseen hardships. The truth being that facing hardship and obstacles are the only real truths in our lives. So with all this in mind I’ve scribbled down the following intentions for 2018:

  • Heal
  • Exercise
  • Write
  • Love
  • Advocate
  • Laugh
  • Travel
  • Lead

I’ve deliberately put ‘heal’ at the top of the list as it applies to me in so many different but intersecting ways. Late last year it was made obvious to me that I am my own harshest critic and that this one element is holding me back the most in life. I began to realise that it wasn’t that I didn’t or don’t believe in myself, in fact it’s the opposite; I believe in my capability and self-worth so much that I am judging myself against an unfair set of standards against my progress. I started to understand that I needed to accept myself in all my glory in the here and now and not delay my acceptance to a future better version of me.

For this reason I am I total convert to the practice of daily affirmations. So FYI, these are mine for the year ahead:

  • I am
  • I am enough
  • I am the person I have been searching for
  • I am the warrior, equipped with the drive to direct my own ship, ward off competitors, and define myself
  • I am the pioneer and the leader of the vision born through me and laid out upon the horizon of my mind’s eye
  • I am confident in my capacity to be an active participant in shaping my own reality
  • Attuning to my own song and my own vibration, summoning the strength to step forward, I imprint my own unique footprint upon my journey forward
  • I wait for no one in the realisation of the destiny that beckons me

I utter these affirmations with a spirit of kindness, gratitude and acceptance. For the year ahead I innately trust and believe in myself and my unique path ahead. Towards a joyous, prosperous 2018 filled with laughter and love.

Sx

*Image courtesy of the amazing, ethereal, dope Mystic Mamma.


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Dear 2017.

Dear 2017,

I have to admit that you have been pretty good to me. Unlike the years that preceded you there haven’t been too many tumultuous or soul sucking moments throughout. I had definitely had my fair share of stumbles but I have yet to fall to the depths that I have in previous years.

You started out giving me such an utter gift earlier in the year. I found a source of creativity and freedom within myself which I had believed to be long dormant. You prompted me to look inward and push myself to achieve the very things I had erroneously believed were far beyond my reach.

You have taken me to the most incredible of places in which I have met other human beings who have influenced and shaped me for the better. There have also been instances during these times when I have felt like I have been pushed to my emotional limit. Encountering such hideous examples of the worst of humankind has made me question the element of humanity at its core. But in turn the strength and resilience that this has inspired in those I encounter has given me the drive to fight alongside them.

I truly believed that this year I would find the love of my life, the one, my soul mate. I had absolutely no doubt that this happenstance would occur and that I would find the content and peace I have always been searching for as a result. But as every something turned out to be nothing I questioned that belief. I found myself towards the end of this year thinking that yet another year had gone by without the element that has alluded me the most…

What I didn’t realise then was then I had indeed found the life of my life and that person, in actuality was me. I had found unconditional love, I had found content, peace and acknowledgment of the person I was becoming. I had found all of these things within me. For the first time in my entire existence I was able to truly love and accept myself. Not for the person who I would become, but for who I was right then and there in that moment. I was finally able to look at myself the way I had hoped the right person would look at me. With honesty, respect and unyielding love. I came to understand that I was the saviour that I have always been searching for. I was the one who would change my life for the better. I, within myself am the one I have been searching for.

So 2017, I have to thank you. Because the day that someone walks into my life who mirrors all these things appears, I will not look within them for the validation I have always been seeking within myself. They will not be my be all and end all, because you helped me to see that the only person who will ever play that role, is me.

For this I am eternally grateful.

Sx


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Yes Feminism was the most researched word of 2017 but..

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So according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary ‘feminism’ has been deemed ‘the’ word of 2017. It cited the reasoning behind this was to do with pure mathematics it was the most looked up word of the year. The events of the Washington March on International Women’s Day and the release of the Wonder Woman film were pointed to as catalysts for curiousity over the term. As an FYI in this instance I’ll put in a reminder that the term feminism is defined as ‘the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes’. However, as much as we tend to praise the rise of this all encompassing feminism the form of movement which seems to be being promoted is that of a more palatable marketplace feminism which is devoid of its political messaging.

Branded as ‘mainstream feminism’ this version of the ideology takes residence within the proclamations of celebrities like Beyonce and the wider remnants of pop culture. Now don’t get me wrong I am just as much a fan of Queen Bey as the next person and utterly in awe of her accomplishments. However, the popular discourse around the ‘feminism’ that she represents seems to a version that is much easier to swallow than what has been misconceived by its branding as ‘radical feminism’. Sure the statements about breaking through the glass ceiling and shaking up the dynamics that render structural inequalities are on display but the level of agitation and activism which is necessary to push the movement forward seem to be lacking.

In exploring this popular brand of feminism further one can take the example of fashion labels and their use of the term ‘feminist’ on items of clothing sent down the runway. Whenever this occurs the media will inevitably point to this instance, praise the label and herald the new era of so called equality. But dig a little further into this and you’ll find that while feminism is being toted in this way in public behind the scenes companies are systematically continuing to discriminate and oppress the women who physically make these clothes. Whether it be being subjected to long and impossible hours of labour in sweat shops, inflexible working conditions or just plain abuse fashion labels are compartmentalising the idea of feminism without considering the intersectionality of race, class, status and power dynamics. They continue to perpetuate a hierarchy whereby those at the bottom of the wrung are systematically repressed and subjugated due to their status of poverty.

Another example of the duality involved with the popular form of feminism which is currently being touted is the example of how the Wonder Woman film has been glorified. What hasn’t been talked about is the Zionist stance of the lead actress Gal Gadot and what this means for women of colour within the feminist movement. While Gadot’s feminism promotes a sliver of intersection, she actively supports the queer community and their placement within the movement (all power for that!). However, on the other hand she actively leaves out the women who are oppressed by a system she vehemently defends, thus being Palestinian and Arab women living in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. The mere fact that the media and the general public are choosing to silo this element represents a functionary motivation of tone deafness whereby the easier route has been taken in which intersectionality is purposely ignored.

Surely we cannot sing the praises of our wins within the feminist movement if we are continuing to push other women down in order to promote others. The predominant form of feminism being branded is still one which is associated with whiteness, ableism, wealth, status, power and those who are cis gendered. We cannot simply rest on our laurels and think that well at least one form of feminism is being accepted. This is not a representational form of the movement! It isn’t one which represents the majority of women living in this world. Paradoxically it willingly ignores the deeper level structural issues which keep women of colour, women with disabilities, women living in poverty, trans women and LGQTQI women down and silences their voices.

Sx


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The Pervasive Loneliness…

I have drafted a few pieces about the concept of loneliness. It’s definitely an element, an emotion and an entity which society perceives as being that of a persona non grata. Everywhere you look we are prompted to view the ‘win’ in life as that of being coupled up in neat pairs. What society doesn’t tell you however is that often times we feel so pressured to conform to this ideal that we forget about what we want for ourselves as individuals.

I’ve gone through times in my life where I’ve attempted to fill every single second of my time in order to avoid that feeling of loneliness. What I have come to understand over time however is that there is indeed a difference between pervasive loneliness and being alone.

The truth is that we are and will be alone for most points, moments and events in our lives. In fact it’s been in the moments when I have too hastily entered into a relationship or situation for entirely the wrong reasons that I have felt the most alone even though I am surrounded by people.

The past few years of my life have ushered in a series of painful but necessary experiences which have seen me walk the path towards my future by myself. However had this have not happened I am not entirely sure that I would have any idea of the person I am, what I want for my life and what I am infinitely most capable of. I wouldn’t have understood that the power of my voice and the influence for good I have in sharing my weakest points, vulnerabilities and debilitating insecurities has evolved from taking the journey up to this point alone.

Yes, there have been moments in my life where the loneliness has been palpable in its intensity. But when I have dug deeper the feeling at the heart of the emotion is not entirely one of my own volition. In fact it is one that has been for the most part projected upon me in order to avoid the societal fear of being labelled as ‘lonely and alone’.

To be alone is not the shameful thing that the popular discourse would have you believe. It is in fact a necessary part of growth and development. Sure loneliness is inevitable as we are sensitive human beings after all just looking for love and acceptance. But don’t make the mistake of believing that your future is tied to someone else’s presence in your life.

I am a firm believer of what is supposed to be will be. You cannot escape your destiny even if you actively tried to. Be patient, continue to plug away at your goals and remember that your individual power is enough to change this world. So go ahead and be comfortable in your status of being alone. Sit with that nagging loneliness when it surfaces and meet it without the fear that society would have you believe is your only response in that moment.

Success, love and abundance are coming for you. In fact the key to accessing them is to be found within you. You as a sole entity! So have the patience to harness your own energy towards the future you want, no one else can do that for you.

Sx