Journey to Wholeness https://journeytowholeness.org Wed, 15 Jun 2022 06:53:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://journeytowholeness.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/logo-150x58.png Journey to Wholeness https://journeytowholeness.org 32 32 PhD Dissertation Proposal https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/06/14/dissertation-proposal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dissertation-proposal Tue, 14 Jun 2022 22:46:19 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=1050

Abstract

Through colonialism, slavery, and capitalism, European and Euro-American men have created socioeconomic and political systems that dehumanize, traumatize, and exploit Black women’s bodies.[1] Black women have been ravaged by physical, spiritual, and psychological wounds inflicted by racial and sexual oppression rooted in the commodification of our bodies.[2]As a result, we are often dispirited, energetically dismembered from our physical body, a site of a tremendous amount of generational pain and suffering.[3]

Unresolved injury of the spirit, or soul wounds[4]leave embodied traumatic imprints that devitalize our internal and external environments, which can directly affect the psycho-spiritual, psychological, and physiological development of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and beyond.[5]Soul wounds live and breathe in our bodies and are silently transmitted to the “next generation like an undetected disease.”[6]

In this discourse, I use intergenerational and historical trauma theories to examine the trauma effects of unhealed soul wounds that fester in Black female bodies, and how they are unconsciously passed on to successive generations to uncover methods for intergenerational healing. I posit that embodied spiritualities thwart the transmission of trauma by transmuting trauma retentions and creating harmonious psychosocial and biosocial environments conducive for intergenerational healing. In addition, embodied spiritualities have the power and potential to restore and activate the womb space, our sacred energetic center of creativity and creation.[7] The energetic dismemberment of Black women’s bodies must be acknowledged and solutions explored that 1) re-member our bodies:[8]2) reclaim our power; 3) release the bondage of trauma; and 4) revitalize the life-force of past, present, and future generations.

If you are interested in reading the proposal in its entirety, you can follow this link: Dissertation Proposal

Footnotes:

[1]. See Akeia A. F. Benard, “Colonizing Black Female Bodies within Patriarchal Capitalism: Feminist and Human Rights Perspectives,” Sexualization, Media & Society (October- December, 2016): 1-11; Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (New York: Routledge, 1990); M. Shawn Copeland, “Body, Representation and Black Religious Discourse,” in Postcolonialism, Feminism, and Religious Discourse, ed. Laura Donaldson and Kwok Pui-lan (New York: Routledge, 2001): 180-198; Angela Y. Davis, Women, Race & Class (New York: Random House, 1981); Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (New York: Vintage Books, 1997).

[2]. M. Shawn Copeland, “Body, Representation and Black Religious Discourse,” in Postcolonialism, Feminism, and Religious Discourse, ed. Laura Donaldson and Kwok Pui-lan (New York: Routledge, 2001), 182.

[3]. Collins, Black Feminist Thought, 1990; Cynthia B. Dillard, Learning to (Re)Member the Things We’ve Learned to Forget (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2012).

[4]. Eduardo Duran, Healing the Soul Wound: Trauma-Informed Counseling for Indigenous Communities (New York: Teachers College Press, 2019), 10.

[5]. For discussions on the intergenerational transmission of soul wounds see Duran, Healing the Soul Wound, 2019; Richard C. Francis, Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes our Genes (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011); Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies (Las Vegas: Central Recovery Press, 2017); and Gabriele schwab, Haunting Legacies: Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010).

[6]. schwab, Haunting Legacies, 3.

[7]. Queen Afua, Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit (New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2000), 32.

[8]. Dillard, Learning to (Re)Member, ix.

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Ritualized Writing With & For Our Ancestors https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/16/ritualized-writing-with-for-our-ancestors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ritualized-writing-with-for-our-ancestors Wed, 16 Mar 2022 10:35:28 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=654 “The dynamic interaction of energy through the use of work, celebration (in music, song, dance, myth) and placation (sacrifice, offering) was the standard mode of worship for early African peoples” –Luisah Teish Since the beginning of time humans have engaged in ritual to consciously collaborate with seen and unseen forces of nature. Rituals color our […]

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“The dynamic interaction of energy through the use of work, celebration (in music, song, dance, myth) and placation (sacrifice, offering) was the standard mode of worship for early African peoples”
–Luisah Teish

Since the beginning of time humans have engaged in ritual to consciously collaborate with seen and unseen forces of nature. Rituals color our entire existence and solidify our knowingness of Spirit. Ritual is an intentional patterned movement of energy used to heal, create, and transform. Through ritual we familiarize ourselves with our own internal power to create, move, and replenish energy. Rituals elevate the energetic vibration of one’s internal and external space, creating a sacred invitation for spirit to work its magic. The interaction of energies created by integrating sacred words, thoughts, and symbols with breathing, meditating, dancing, chanting, and visualization allows the power of spirit to mesh seamlessly into our daily lives.

As I navigate the waters of spiritually activated scholarship, it is critical for me to engage with voices of transformation, courage, and liberation that shoulder me in this lifetime. These voices are multi-dimensional, extending beyond the physical realm into the otherworld of Spirit. This divine interaction allows me to be an artist of written communications.

Writing is a form of sacred reverence to my ancestors. I venerate their voices by becoming an open vessel, channeling their energy and wisdom through scholarly writing. In Jambalaya, Luisah Teish speaks of the importance of honoring our ancestors or Egun through ritual, which include food offerings, song and dance, alters, and the maintenance of sacred relationships with those souls that have moved beyond the physical body. Being in right relationship and close proximity to my ancestors allows for unlimited access to a sacred river, one flowing with divine wisdom, guidance, and protection. Therefore, I write with and for my ancestors, offering them my voice and presence through ritual.

Writing Ritual

I: Create a sacred space

Prior to doing any type of creative or academic writing, it is imperative that the writing space is free and clear of stagnant energy. You must also imbue the space with creative life force energy by setting sacred intentions and maintaining a stone grid for the recycling and transmission of energy.

  • Smudge the workspace with sage
  • Light incense for grounding
  • Light a candle for creativity and connection to your ancestors
  • Create an energetic healing stone grid. If one has already been created, draw awareness to the energy emanating from the grid.
  • Pull a card from a Goddess deck to receive direction from Divine Mother • Set your intentions for the writing session

II: Integrate Mind, Body, and Spirit by grounding

Grounding centers the mind, body, and spirit by rooting us into Mother Earth. In addition, it facilitates surrendering to the present moment and power of Now. The higher spirit self is activated through this practice of mindfulness.

  • Sit upright in a chair or cross-legged on the floor
  • Close your eyes
  • Place hands in your lap and face palms upward
  • Take three full deep breaths from the belly
  • Visualize a beautiful bright spiraling light entering your crown chakra located at the top of your head. Follow the light as it descends into the body, illuminating each of the Chakra energy centers. Continue to observe the light as it travels out through the bottom of the feet
  • Follow the light as it descends into Mother Earth making its way to whatever you visualize the core or womb of Mother Earth to be. Stay here a moment. Absorb whatever energy is needed prior to ascending back into the body.
  • Observe the light as it travels up through Mother Earth, entering the body through the bottoms of the feet, and exiting out through the crown chakra.
  • Continue to observe the light as it travels into the sky.

In this moment, you are grounded. Notice your sense of calmness, centeredness, and connection to the heavens, earth, and everything in between.

III. Establish ancestral connection through invocation

Ancestral communication is made through intention and invocation. Teish states that “our purpose is to contact the spirits of ancestors, kindred spirits, in order to get their guidance, protection, and healing so that we may be better able to create a better world.” The intention of this ancestral connection is to create a writer’s circle.

  • Close your eyes
  • Visualize a circle of ancestors and physical realm beings that are here to assist you with your writing
  • Invoke ancestors you know by name that love and support your journey. • Invoke ancestors that are not personally known to you in this lifetime, whose writings, teachings, and wisdom you admire and/or wish to channel. Personally, I always invoke and invite Maya Angelou and Phyllis Wheatley.
  • Invite your chosen ancestors into writers circle
  • Thank them for joining you
  • Upon the close of the writing session, release them with love and gratitude, and thank them again for their presence.

As a petition for writing guidance from my higher self and ancestors, I was gifted this writing ritual. Our mystical, spiritual collective provides us with energy and space for the creative process to be conceived in love, birthed in truth, and nurtured in wisdom.

And now I gift this sacred writing ritual to you.

Blessings!

Kimberly J.

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Black Women’s Lives Matter Too https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/16/black-womens-lives-matter-too/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=black-womens-lives-matter-too Wed, 16 Mar 2022 10:29:58 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=651 “If I speak to you in anger, at least I have spoken to you: I have not put a gun to your head and shot you down in the street; I have not looked at your bleeding sister’s body and asked, “What did she do to deserve it?” –Audre Lorde Political activist, scholar, author, and […]

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“If I speak to you in anger, at least I have spoken to you: I have not put a gun to your head and shot you down in the street; I have not looked at your bleeding sister’s body and asked, “What did she do to deserve it?”
–Audre Lorde

Political activist, scholar, author, and professor, Angela Davis asserts that the liberatory project of each individual must entail the liberation of all humanity. Therefore, neither the oppressor nor the oppressed can experience freedom until their relationship is transformed into one of human equality. Activist, scholar, and author Audre Lorde affirms that “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is any one of you.” Bell hooks, educator, scholar, and author argues that the engagement in a movement to end sexist oppression requires participation in a revolutionary struggle to “eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels.” These African American women scholars, activists, visionaries, and revolutionaries give clarity to the importance of naming, shaming, and eradicating all manifestations of race, sex, and class oppression. Unfortunately, there is deafening silence on the advocacy for Black women and children who are victimized, sexually assaulted, beaten, and assassinated by law enforcement agents across the country.

Intersectionality is a concept that draws awareness to unique experiences of oppression informed by the intersecting identities of race, class and gender. Black women’s lives are adversely impacted by critical intersecting issues that result from the pathologies and practices of oppression. Kimberlè Crenshaw, thought leader and scholar coined the term intersectionality to explain how Black women are marginalized from both feminist theory and antiracist politics. When race, class, and gender intersect, African American women’s experiences of exploitation, discrimination, and abuse are excluded and far too often ignored. This issue of state violence against Black women remains in the margins and on the side-lines of movements for social justice. As a result, police brutality of African American women occurs with impunity while white mainstream feminists remain silent regarding racialized violence against Black women.

Mainstream feminists surmise that racial issues have no direct relationship to their own experiences as women. However, this reasoning is faulty at best and deadly at worst. Any man, law enforcement agent or otherwise, who uses physical brute force to unjustly harm or murder any woman, is a threat to all women. Not only are mainstream feminists movements complicit in police brutality against Black women, racial justice movements are often criticized for centering only Black men in the fight against police abuse. These movements have failed to prioritize or make visible African American women and children that are victimized by state violence. The focused attention of racial justice movements is overwhelming centered on the police violence against Black men. Crenshaw states that “failure to highlight and demand accountability for the countless Black women killed by police…leaves Black women unnamed and thus under protected in the face of their continued vulnerability to racialized police violence.”

The #SayHerName movement created by Kimberlee Crenshaw provides visibility into unnamed victims of police violence by exposing their cases for public awareness in an effort to hold perpetrating officers accountable. These cases illustrate how race, gender, sex and class work in unison with racial stereotypes to inform violent responses to Black women from law enforcement agents. I have personally been admonished, chastised, and threatened by white male police officers for being a “strong” Black woman. Crenshaw argues that just as officers are not held accountable for killing innocent Black men, they are not being held accountable for killing Black women and children; however, the difference is in visibility of the victims. Black women are written off as collateral damage and the officers involved are neither held accountable nor convicted of any crime; case in point, Rukiya Boyd, Korryn Gaines, Sandra Bland, Atatiana Jefferson, and Breonna Taylor just to name more than a few. The Say Her Name Report, created by the African American Policy Forum provides an extensive listing of all the names and faces of Black women who have lost their lives to police violence in an effort to make visible their names and narratives in the fight to end state violence against Black women.

That report can be found at:

https://aapf.org/s/SHNReportJuly2015.pdf

Both mainstream feminist and black anti-racist discourse evade the intersectional dynamics of race, class, and gender. However, it is precisely at this intersection that Black women’s bodies are subjected to terror and abuse. Antiracist politics are organized around what happens to Black men and mainstream feminist theory around white happens to white women. As such, black women are marginalized in the very movements they adamantly support for political, economic, and social change. Failure to analyze, address, and expose the consciousness and historical roots of violence against Black women allows for the pathology of abuse to continue, hence, making elusive opportunities for real solutions.

I am calling for a holistic view of the police brutality epidemic in Black communities, which is mandatory to expose this issue on a larger scale and not confine it to Black men. Casting a wider net in which to explore state sanctioned violence against both Black men and women will reveal how law enforcement officers are trained to serve and protect white supremacy. Furthermore, I advocate for creating autonomous communities in an effort to divest from oppressive state systems and lessen the dependency on state provided resources. Creating communal frameworks in which to self-govern and police is a powerful solution to eradicate state violence. I was first introduced to the concept of autonomous communities by community activist Paula X. Rojas in her discourse, Are the Cops in our Heads and Hearts. She states that “revolution is about the process of making power and creating autonomous communities that divest from the state. And as these autonomy movements build they can become large enough to contest state power. Movements defined by building autonomous communities are rooted in spiritual frameworks that promotes power as the respect for self and the humanity of all people.

Black Women’s Lives Matter Too as they are our mothers, community leaders, business owners, politicians, nurturers, teachers, nurses, doctors, healers, and most important the life bearers of future generations of Black lives.

Kimberly J.​

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The Antidote https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/16/the-antidote/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-antidote Wed, 16 Mar 2022 10:26:34 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=648 “In a world marked by violent ethnic, racial, and religious conflict and deepening social and economic inequality, any possibility of social transformation {and healing}…requires a spiritual revolution.” –Leela Fernandes All disease and illness comes from imbalances in our personal, familial, social, and global environments. The current viral mass invader is produced, reproduced, and feasts on […]

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“In a world marked by violent ethnic, racial, and religious conflict and deepening social and economic inequality, any possibility of social transformation {and healing}…requires a spiritual revolution.”
–Leela Fernandes

All disease and illness comes from imbalances in our personal, familial, social, and global environments. The current viral mass invader is produced, reproduced, and feasts on those imbalances. The extent to which we are engulfed by this pandemic is a direct reflection of the pandemics we are slowly dying from in our bodies, families, societies, and governments.

The year 2020 ushered in the energy of massive structural transformation to support a new global paradigm of egalitarianism, liberation, healing, and empowerment. We are being challenged to dismantle and rebuild dysfunctional, unsustainable, oppressive, hegemonic, systems of power, control, and greed. Either we can sit idly by and witness the destruction or we can do the work to heal and transform. Consumerism, abuse of Mother Earth and her natural resources, abuse of the animal kingdom, abuse of children, police abuse, desensitization to poverty and homelessness, greed, poor dietary habits, rugged individualism, indifference to injustice, racism, sexism, homophobia, mass incarceration, caged children, are all egregious acts of bipolar imbalances. As a result, our personal and collective immune systems are compromised.

The antidote is not a vaccine. I repeat, the antidote is not a vaccine. A vaccine is a chemical cloning of the aforementioned imbalanced energies; it is produced with the intention of greed, and injected with the manipulative power of fear. Fear serves to keep us paralyzed, complacent, and complicit in our oppression.

The only antidote is lifestyle change both personally and collectively. We must shift to indigenous ways of being in relationship with ourselves, each other, the land, and planet. As such, honoring the sacredness of every living species, and divesting from the commodification of human and non human nature. So where do we begin? First, we must heal our minds, bodies, emotions and spirits by raising our energetic vibration and boosting our immune systems. Below are suggestions for strengthening the mind-body system. The antidote lies within your balanced body.

1. Trust the genius of your body. The body was created to heal itself given the optimal environment of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional balance and wellness.

2. The antidote is your energetic body. Illness and disease resonate at a lower vibration. Elevate your vibration through holistic lifestyle changes; nutrition–fruits, vegetables, herbs, roots; sleep; exercise; meditation; nature—trees, sunshine, moonlight; prayer; gratitude; receiving energy; aligning with your divine purpose; being love and joy; and disconnecting from negative fear-based energy, experiences, and people.

3. Fear and worry lowers your vibration, matching that of illness and disease.

4. Use and trust your intuitive senses to navigate your movement safely in the world.

5. We are all interconnected. Raising our vibration as a collective will destroy the virus. However, lowering our vibration through fear, selfishness, worry, blame, shame, ostracism, and anger will feed it.

6. Disengage or detox from mainstream and social media. If you find that too difficult, limit your time to less than an hour a day.

7. Breathe, be still, be compassionate, read, write, pray, meditate, love, laugh, reflect, give gratitude, sleep, dream, honor this moment in time to experience the ebb and flow of life with courage and humility.

Kimberly J.

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The Healing Power of African Drumming https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/16/the-healing-power-of-african-drumming/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-healing-power-of-african-drumming Wed, 16 Mar 2022 10:20:09 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=643 “Used as a vehicle to conjure, create, and transport life force, our ancestors noticed first that the same beat was present in all beings, in everything, and created vessels that embodied this essence, the eternal drum, implying heart and beat…With the heart beat drum as our guide, we—our ancestors called forth all that exists into […]

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“Used as a vehicle to conjure, create, and transport life force, our ancestors noticed first that the same beat was present in all beings, in everything, and created vessels that embodied this essence, the eternal drum, implying heart and beat…With the heart beat drum as our guide, we—our ancestors called forth all that exists into equilibrium.”
–Afia Walking Tree

Everything She Creates Has a Beat…

Life begins with a beat; a vibration of energy that permeates through the cells of all human and non-human nature. The first sound we hear in our mother’s womb is that of her heartbeat. A fetus vibrates to the primordial rhythm of the mother through the vibrations and pulse of her blood flow, the chemical energy in her body, and her emotions. These are rhythms of the living Spirit within the human body, as evidenced by the primordial beat of the drum.

The physical drum is indigenous to Africa and the vibration of Spirit that resides within the drum is indigenous to our great Cosmic Mother. As a result, drumming is used to honor and connect to the divine feminine, the giver of life. Africans revered, channeled, and communicated with Mother Earth utilizing the vibration of sound, singing and drumming for whatever they needed, food, shelter, healing, and to express gratitude for life.

As Africans began to migrate to other places around the world, they carried the sacred Mother in the body of the drum. The body of the drum houses stories, traditions, and energy directly infused with the Spirit of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. The African drum, carved from the trunk of the tree, embodies the energy of Mother Earth. With roots extending far into the depths of her body, trees are said to be the largest and most spiritually advanced plants on earth. Each tree psychically transmits wisdom, energy, and healing directly from Mother Earth.

Master drummer Babatunde Olatunji, pioneer of African drumming in America, contends that the power embedded in a drum is the result of the amalgamation of many spirits; spirit in the carved body of the drum; spirit in the skin of the drum; and spirit in the player of the drum. The drum with its accompanying spirits, was a constant companion to Africans and a source of divine wisdom, healing, connectivity, and love.

In ancient civilizations prior to the global patriarchal conquering of women, women were the keepers of the drums. As Africans migrated to various parts of the world, they took with them their matristic belief systems, culture, and worship of the Cosmic Mother. However, as a result of patriarchal imperialism, Goddess centered cultures and societies began to vanish and women were strictly prohibited from engaging in any relationship with the sacred Mother which included communication by way of the drum. Author and Scholar Layne Redmond explains that “the drum was the means our ancestors used to summon the goddess and also the instrument through which she spoke.” The goal of patriarchal imperialism was to sever all ties to the Cosmic Mother, denouncing her power and existence to give rise to the paternalistic power of a dominant Father God.

Disconnection from the wisdom and power of the Sacred Mother through embodied spiritual practices like drumming has created a planetary imbalance resulting in the destruction of Mother Earth and her inhabitants. Our wounded planet is calling for the collective forces of mankind to remember and reclaim our sacred Cosmic Mother. It is imperative that women heed the call by returning to their divine power. As such, they can create a spaces for men to release their destructive oppressive behaviors and dismantle the systems that perpetuate the great divide. The drum is a sacred technology that can serve to instantly reunite us back with our sacred Mother, inducing healing, balance, compassion, and love for all planetary beings.nd. The place where sacred love resides.

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The Sacred Power of Love https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/16/the-sacred-power-of-love/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-sacred-power-of-love Wed, 16 Mar 2022 09:32:05 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=640 “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” –Rumi Love is the foundation for all creation. It is an outpouring, an expression of all there is. Without love there is no creation, no manifestation, no peace, no sleep, […]

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“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
–Rumi

Love is the foundation for all creation. It is an outpouring, an expression of all there is. Without love there is no creation, no manifestation, no peace, no sleep, no life. Our planet is mired by its inability to love. You do not love one another which is a direct result of not loving yourselves. When you accept that there is no difference, that your differences are only a mirage, and that you are one in the same, then maybe, just maybe you can love yourselves, and as a result each other. This great experiment here on earth is all about the oneness of creation, the love of creator, and the unification of perceived differences, understanding that these differences are truly an illusion of the mind. The mind is the most powerful tool on the planet. However, it is just that, a tool! Powerful is the one that can use the mind as a tool, and not his master. Love is the master, the ruler, the non-negotiable. It is the means to create your ideal of heaven on earth, the connector of human form and spirit. Love is not an outward expression of deeds. It is surrender, peace, gratitude, lived experiences, an acceptance for all there is and not as it appears to be.

Love cannot be bought or sold on an open market. It can only be cultivated from within. Cultivated, nurtured, and grown from your ability to plant seeds of love in your everyday life. Seeds that reside within and are created by you. Seeds of courage, wisdom, perseverance, growth, gratitude, expansion, peace and compassion. You create the seeds from your sacred heart, pollinating them with the breath, and spreading them throughout your entire body. Use the mind to cultivate, nourish, and grow the seeds. The body co-creates with mind using balance and oneness to emit and radiate high vibrations and frequencies of love and light. As the light moves through space and time, it draws upon more energies that emanate and radiate at higher frequencies resulting in beautiful expansion and evolution of life.

The mysteries of love lie in your ability to create the seeds that sow your inner universe. Your inner universe is a place of expansion of spirit, of all that words are inadequate to describe. Discover the vastness and the power of your innerverse. It far supersedes any facet of the mind. Allow it to be your playground, a space for discovering your power center, literally your power plant. The universe is waiting for you to consciously pour life force energies of connection and expansion onto the planet, clearly seeing beyond density, fear, and judgement, which are creations of the mind. Go into the depths of your inner universe. Get comfortable there. It is so much to explore, free from all limitations and control by the mind. The place where sacred love resides.

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The Sacred Art of Healing https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/16/the-sacred-art-of-healing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-sacred-art-of-healing Wed, 16 Mar 2022 08:52:38 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=629 The art of using healing touch and caring hearts, relationships and remembrance, to ease the pain of self and others, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual pains. It is the art of cultivating awareness that we are surrounded by Spirit, by energies and elements, ancestors and guides with whom we can be in contact and […]

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The art of using healing touch and caring hearts, relationships and remembrance, to ease the pain of self and others, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual pains. It is the art of cultivating awareness that we are surrounded by Spirit, by energies and elements, ancestors and guides with whom we can be in contact and in dialogue as we make our daily round
–Anna Joyce

My pathway to the sacred healing arts was a yellow brick road to an entirely new way of being in relationship with myself, children, family, community and the world. I was introduced to the art and mystery of healing in 2010 by way of navigating spaces within the depths of my being to restore and remember what had been lost inside of me. I was immersed and lost in a masculine world of duality and hierarchy that no longer served my heart and soul. I was starving for meaning, truth and connection, something far greater than the capitalistic ideologies of success and financial bottom lines which consumed me both professionally and personally. The sacred healing arts was my parachute out of 25 years of corporate management and into my divine feminine body which housed the sacred mysteries of cosmological existence and most of all healing. As a result of my own healing journey, I was empowered to create spaces for other women to find the source of their sacred power within.

This natural and supernatural power is required for women to overcome doubt, fear, abuse, and intergenerational trauma and internalized oppression, which often makes us complicit in our own pain and suffering. The sacred art of healing is divine in that it brings new harmonious life force energy into our physical vessel–damaged, worn, and weary–by the forces of patriarchy, sexism, racism, and capitalism. Healing as a sacred art emphasizes our power to create, and our worthiness to manifest the beauty of our creations. Reality is created based upon individual and collective choices. Making choices from a place of higher consciousness requires accountability and reflection, taking moments to explore and investigate the realities we have created, and embodying the courage to course correct and recreate when necessary. I believe one of the primary reasons for our incarnation is to create the world we want to experience. The sacred art of healing is about connecting with the divine forces within—spirit, ancestors, God, Goddess, angels, spirit guides, masters, teachers—to create spaces for wholeness, expression, dreaming, healing, truth, beauty, love, and compassion. Without it, we would cease to exist.

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I Am Worthy https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/16/i-am-worthy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=i-am-worthy Wed, 16 Mar 2022 08:47:49 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=625 You must be courageous enough to explore the depth of your inner-being, inclusive of pain and trauma, to fully realize self and deem her/him/they worthy. –Kimberly J. Who Am I, Really? Posing this question begins the journey to self-exploration and establishing a sacred relationship with self. Reclaiming the pure essence of the embodied heart, prior […]

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You must be courageous enough to explore the depth of your inner-being, inclusive of pain and trauma, to fully realize self and deem her/him/they worthy.
–Kimberly J.

Who Am I, Really?

Posing this question begins the journey to self-exploration and establishing a sacred relationship with self. Reclaiming the pure essence of the embodied heart, prior to parental, societal, and egotistical conditioning is the key to loving ourselves enough to do the work to liberate mind, body, and spirit from oppressive, mundane cycles of fear, trauma, and unhappiness. You get to choose. Are you choosing to immerse yourself in the person you have constructed yourself to be based upon everyone else’s vision? Or are you choosing to be your own unique vision and version of you? Self-worthiness is predicated upon a fully realized self. One who acknowledges their pain and suffering as an integral part of their journey without fear or judgement; one who chooses daily to be the best version of self that they can be; one who is committed to boundaries; one who sees and embodies the power of spirit; one who divests from people, situations, and experiences that do not represent their highest expression of self. Self-worthiness is a conscious choice.

Who and what are you choosing?

10 Steps to Reclaiming Self-Worthiness

1. Acknowledge emotional, mental, and physical pain and trauma. Stop avoiding and hiding your wounds.

2.Shift your narrative from being the victim to victor. You own the telling and perspective of your narrative.

3.Take ownership for creating your life. Everything around you is a product of your conscious choices, your creation. If you don’t like it, change it.

4. Seek and trust divine inner guidance and discernment, you know what’s best for you.

5. Seek professional assistance – counselors, healing practitioners, workshops, life coaches, retreats.

6. Engage in daily rituals to affirm your power – meditation, affirmations, mantras, journaling, breath-work.

7. Divest from negative people, experiences, and activities that drain your energy.

8. Do mindful exercises – Yoga, Qi-gong, Tai chi

9. Date yourself, treat yourself to alone time, spa, dinner, movies. The most important relationship to cultivate is with yourself.

10. Always under all circumstances speak and stand in your personal truth.

Self-worthiness is the acceptance and acknowledgement of your authentic self which is rooted in healing and reclaiming every aspect of your holistic being-mind, body, emotion, and spirit. You can do it. You’re worth it.

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Cultural Healing: The Black American Dream Experience https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/01/cultural-healing-the-black-american-dream-experience/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cultural-healing-the-black-american-dream-experience Tue, 01 Mar 2022 08:57:43 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=147 “Our dreams are the most accessible way to communicate with the ancestors. Through our dreams we can create a ‘secret language.’ You and your ancestors set, establish symbol systems, and agree on their meaning. The relationship becomes one of call and response.” (Luisah Teish) The Black/African American dreaming experience is multi-dimensional, brilliant, and dynamic. It […]

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“Our dreams are the most accessible way to communicate with the ancestors. Through our dreams we can create a ‘secret language.’ You and your ancestors set, establish symbol systems, and agree on their meaning. The relationship becomes one of call and response.” (Luisah Teish)

The Black/African American dreaming experience is multi-dimensional, brilliant, and dynamic. It is rooted in African spirituality and tradition which has endured the perils of slavery, abuse, mass incarceration, police brutality and all the other weapons of mass destruction endured due to race. Dreaming is a gateway to reclaiming ourselves, culture, and ancestors, and ultimately our place in the matrix of cosmological existence.

Interwoven deeply into the fabric of Black American’s daily lives, the social and spiritual content of dreams provides us with solace in times of despair, discernment when guidance is needed, unconditional love from our ancestors, and healing for the wounded mind, body, and spirit. Dreams are deeply revered in the African American community as the mystical link between the material and spirit realms of creation.

Unfortunately, dream ideologies within Black Americana and experiences are often overlooked by mainstream dream organizations. Meanwhile, movements are grossly underrepresented in dream psychology studies. Dream writer, researcher, and scholar Anthony Shafton concurs, stating:

“There are scarcely any African Americans among the researchers, instructors, and authors in this field…Blacks are poorly represented among the dreamers they write about.”

In this article, I explore multifaceted aspects of self, community, ancestors, and spirit in the African American dream experience. Through these perspectives I seek to demonstrate that Black dreaming is rooted in an African spiritual worldview, one which acknowledges dreams as an access point into interpenetrating realms of existence and, as such, is a powerful tool for healing. Psychology professor Dr. Augustine Nwoye explains the primary sources of dreaming in an African worldview:

  1. Individual-centric: The dreamer addresses either the daily residue or the personal concerns and well-being of the dreamer.
  2. Triangulation: The individual dreams about the concerns and well-being of others, not solely about themself. Vital messages are conveyed to the dreamer for another.
  3. Transcendental/Spiritualist: Agents of the spiritual (ancestral) world initiates spirit communication in the dream state for healing.

Dreams create a portal to explore the vastness of inner and outer life. They are the gateway to all aspects of cosmological, material and spiritual existence. Accordingly, dreams are a sacred form of communication consisting of vital discerning messages from beyond the physical realm. While dreams may contain wisdom that arises from within, reflecting our individuality, they can be viewed as paradoxical in nature because they do so in a way that bypasses personal volition. “Dreams are both ours, in that they arise within our individual consciousness, and not ours since they mostly arise and unfold of their own accord” (Fariba Bogzaran and Daniel Deslauriers). It is from this perspective that African Americans immerse themselves in the mysterious power of dreams.

Black Americans honor, revere, and engage with dreams from a landscape that is dynamic and universal, encompassing all aspects of natural and supernatural beings, realms, and consciousnesses. Dream analysis expert, Kimberly M. Harmon believes that dreams are sacred and that Black people in particular understand that dreams are spiritual in nature: “Dreams come to us with power and purpose. We are talking about God power.” The African American dreaming experience deepens connection to self, community, ancestors, and spirit, thereby placing us at the center of our own universe.

An abstract painting featuring various people of color, some animals and the Statue of Liberty.

Untitled by Jodi Bonassi

Although African American’s dream lineage is strong with roots planted firmly in West Africa, the dream journeys of Black people remain unchartered in the study of dreams. One vital explanation for this phenomena can be found amongst several black psychologists who contend that the westernized study of dream psychology is narrow in its approach to analyzing and interpreting dreams. They argue that Black culture has its own dream language and traditions that are aligned with ethnological spiritual beliefs and practices.

The African American dream experience is distinct from other dreaming cultures when it comes to healing. Not only does the experience include dreams that address personal healing and wellness, it also includes dreams that address individual and collective survival as the result of societal oppressions. Consequently, Black Americans dream more frequently about race, self-empowerment, and liberation. Dr. Nwoye’s refers to these dreams of healing and empowerment as anticipatory:

“Anticipatory dreams have as their main theme, the attempt to help the dreamer have a kind of symbolic/imaginative realization of what he or she consciously yearns for…The aim of such dreams is to make the dreamer…have hope that his or her present aspirations or yearnings will soon be fulfilled. The result gives rise to the notion of the hope healing function in the psychic world of the dreamer.”

Anticipatory dreams heal by providing inspiration to the dreamer as a coping mechanism to help prevent the depression and hopelessness that accompany oppression. This inspiration may come in the form of dream or waking state visions of liberation and empowerment for one’s self and others. Community organizer Marion Stamps uses dreams as a tool for coping in our unjust world: “I know for myself, having been part of the whole black movement for self-determination, I’ve had to rely on spirits and dreams” for personal and collective healing and empowerment.

As African Americans continue to fight for survival in a westernized world filled with daily micro and macro aggressions, proactively engaging with dreams can provide healing, courage, wisdom and discernment required not only to survive but to empower and thrive. Thus, dreams connect us to the source of our sacred power and are an integral byproduct of African spirituality, which has endured within the African American psyche for many a generation.

In Africa, dreams are used by traditional healers as a means of holistic healing to diagnose illness and imbalance. Much like our African ancestors, Black Americans can look to dreams for discernment on how to diagnose and heal mental, emotional, spiritual and physical ailments. Our innate sensitivity to dreams is strongly influenced by the symbolic messages we receive from our ancestors in the dream state.

Ancestors are intermediaries between the physical and spirit realms. One is considered an ancestor once they have left the physical realm. However, they may or may not be venerated as reflected by the life they lived here on earth. Ancestors appear in dreams for myriad reasons which include but are not limited to: visiting to bring forth love, wisdom, and blessings, warning of impending danger, providing health diagnosis and advice, imparting discernment and guidance, and protecting us from ourselves.

Author, scholar, and Yoruba priestess, Luisah Teish—who’s quoted at the beginning—points out that “sometimes the ancestors deem certain information so important that they send it to the subconscious mind without being consciously asked.” However, the dreamer may or may not recognize the ancestor(s) that appear in the dream, and the dream messages may or may not be intended solely for the dreamer.

African Americans analyze and interpret ancestral dreams primarily by discussing them. To discern meaning, dreams are first shared with the immediate family; if no interpretation emerges, they are taken to a spiritual advisor or woman in the church with the gift of sight. To help discern ancestral dreams, Teish suggests the following: “Keep a bowl of water under or near your bed. If you are having nightmares, add a piece of camphor or a little bay rum to the water. To keep dreams sweet, add a nice oil or perfume. Change the water weekly.”

Ancestor visitations in dreams are of paramount importance because they illicit deeply emotional responses in the dreamer. My mother often shares dream experiences of visitations from her deceased mother, my grandmother. These dreams provide her with immense comfort and healing, in addition to profound wisdom and guidance. Ancestral dreams are predictive in nature since, quite often, our ancestors deliver psychic messages. Dreams foretelling births and deaths are often transmitted by our ancestors. According to Teish, prophetic dreams are vital, memorable, and rich in symbolism: “They linger with us until we recognize their importance, analyze their symbolism and act on their content [and] do something about their meaning.”

A painting of a Black man in the subway with various "spirits" surrounding his head.

“Angel the Music Man” by Jodi Bonassi

African American dreaming is culturally rich and imbued with sacred power to heal our individual and collective mind, bodies, and spirits. It is critical, now more than ever, that African diaspora peoples reclaim indigenous spiritualities rooted in African worldviews that honor the power of healing through dreaming. Probing deeper into aspects will make the role that dreams play in enhancing our connection to self, community, nature, the ancestors, and our planet evident.

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Conscious Community Magazine Feature Story https://journeytowholeness.org/2022/03/01/conscious-community-magazine-feature-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=conscious-community-magazine-feature-story Tue, 01 Mar 2022 08:57:22 +0000 https://journeytowholeness.org/?p=144 Oak Lawn, IL – March 26th, 2017 “Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even when you wish they were.” – Unknown I had to laugh when I read the quote above. It defines true hospitality. I recently had an opportunity to visit the Journey to Wholeness Center in Oak Lawn, and deeply felt such hospitality. From the […]

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Oak Lawn, IL – March 26th, 2017

“Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even when you wish they were.” – Unknown

I had to laugh when I read the quote above. It defines true hospitality. I recently had an opportunity to visit the Journey to Wholeness Center in Oak Lawn, and deeply felt such hospitality. From the moment I entered this healing oasis until my final goodbye, I felt a powerful sense of connectedness. In fact, as I was leaving, the last words that the owner, Kimberly Davis uttered were, “Please come again. You are always welcomed!” While one can view this statement as a trite farewell greeting, when Kimberly said it, she really meant it!

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama XIV

The two events I attended were about gaining a greater sense of peace. Noting my recent feelings of unrest, I felt drawn to them. I have recently experienced a growing anxiety within myself, and among many of my fellow community members regarding the polarity of our current politics. Frankly, I have been perplexed by the push-pull of my own emotions and subsequent actions in response to it all. While I don’t know what the answer is, I know that what I have been doing has not been working. I feel a growing sense of anger, anxiety and hopelessness, as I constantly listen to the radio throughout the day, and engage in the Facebook battles that besiege my computer screen.

“Learning to distance yourself from the negativity is one of the greatest lessons to achieve inner peace.”  – Roy T. Bennett

 

Julia Knickerbocker and Theresa Puskar

 

For the past year, I have been making a very conscious attempt to distance myself from negativity. Attending these workshops was another successful step in that direction. The first was a free meditation session with Julia Knickerbocker.  A seasoned Reiki practitioner, Julia was a master at setting and holding space. The meditative journey she guided us through was very profound. While I don’t remember the specifics, I recall experiencing something new. While I was conscious of the journey, I was also suspended in an altered state. There was a sense of a “pink bubble” that surrounded me. I felt like I was in a parallel “other” place at the same time Julia guided me. By the end of the meditation, I felt a wonderful sense of peace, contentment, and wellbeing.

“Each one of us has to find peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Theresa Puskar and Kim Plesha​

The more I meditate, the clearer it becomes that inner peace is a choice I can make in each passing moment. Along with Julia’s meditation, Kim Plesha offered us tangible “peace” tools in her workshop. She began by emphasizing the importance of creating boundaries. This concept is something with which I have struggled. We all know energy drainers. While most of them are not conscious of their actions, they do so all the same. Many spiritual seekers are empaths by nature, and as such, are energetic sponges. Thus, it is important to avoid absorbing the lower frequency energy of others. On the other hand, there is the theory that if you build a wall, the enemy will come. Thus, if I build a wall and focus my energy on fear of being drained, I may attract such individuals into my life. So, where does one draw the line?

“Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it… Don’t allow his anger to become your anger.” – Bohdi Sanders

One of the things that Kim emphasized was that the current political upheaval is a catalyst for change. Last summer I viewed a YouTube video by metaphysical teacher and speaker, Matt Kahn. He provided a very powerful and different perspective on the election. After viewing his talk, while meditating, I got an insight that was very powerful. If there is cancer in the body, but it is deep within and not seen, it can be difficult to detect, thus not easy to heal. When a cancer manifests as an adhesion on the surface of the body, it is visible, and because of this, it can be dealt with. Perhaps the current unrest in America is a manifestation of what has been hidden, and is a catalyst towards higher consciousness and greater healing.

“Nothing can disturb your peace of mind unless you allow it to.” – Roy T Bennett

Another tool that Kim suggested was to shift from “doing” to “being”. The premise being that focusing our energies more on being still, over getting anxious and angry, can better assist us in moving forward. This brought up another point of concern in my current political struggles; I note that when I constantly follow and engage in the media battles throughout the day, my energy becomes depleted, and I often feel discouraged and even hopeless. In response, I have changed my behavior. I listen to the news once a day, and I do not read or engage in the political bantering. At the same time, I think it is important that we take the action we are called to, so that we can be the change that we want to see.

“I’ve made peace with myself. Good for you. That’s the hardest war of all to win. Didn’t say I won. Just stopped fighting.” – Joe Abercrombie

Full clarity came to me in Kim’s final exercises. She suggested that we focus daily on strengthening our auras through the use of visualizations, sounding healings, and Epsom salt baths. She often calls on the strength and support of Archangel Michael, and stated, “When you can’t hear, go to your heart and listen from within it.” In that moment, I realized that I often get caught in the ramblings of my brain. By integrating the suggestions, and following the guidance of my heart, I can continue to raise my energy while focusing on co-creating a more conscious world. As Eckhart Tolle so aptly shared, “Pleasure is always derived from something outside of you, whereas joy arises from within.” While life’s pleasures come and go, I opt for cultivating more joy in my life.

To learn more about the Journey to Wholeness Center, you can call 708-634-3664, or log onto journeytowholeness.org.

Please come and see me in my new show, BEAUTY, BOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND on May 16, at 7:30 pm. in Chicago. Free workshop included. RSVP by May 1st & see info at theresapuskar.com.

Theresa Puskar, our All About Town contributor, is a writer, trainer, speaker, minister, and inspirational audiobook producer.  She is the author of The Terri Series – seven children’s books that focus on bullying, honoring diversity, celebrating creativity, non-judgment of emotions, finding alternatives to technology-based entertainment, discovering a non-judgmental God, and overcoming fears.  She has also recorded a powerful experiential audio program, How to De-Clutter Your Mind and Live a Heart-Centered Life. To place an order or learn more about her ministry, you can visit her website, theresapuskar.com.

 

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