Core Work for a Conscious Practice

banneryoga

“Subversion best describes a practice in which the power of the patriarchy is turned upon itself,

to REVOLUTION and HEALING.

A REVOLUTION that, because it is subtle and not frontal, can be effective even in the face of formidable obstacles.”

Laura S. Brown

Subversive Dialogues

I sat down this morning with an intention to pour myself into starting this blog series. It’s  been a concept that I’ve been rolling around in my head for awhile. It keeps popping up in different incarnations, taking shape, and then just as quickly as it appears, dissolving into the day’s to do list of chores, errands, dates, obligations, and general life distractions. It kept shifting and changing and I was having a hard time getting a firm grasp on it. Sitting down to write about healing challenged the time and space I was making for my own. I would get excited about a certain practice and then bunny hole into its problematic nature.

It was then that I realized that this was the connecting factor– the complications and intersections! Anything explored consciously and connected will remain in the, sometimes daunting, but always insight building, constancy of transition. It’s the intention behind this tiny queer healing space in this great big internet universe.

With that in mind, I spent the morning reading blogs about the yoga industrial complex, the appropriative nature of western yoga, and the conflicted way this practice has been a powerful source of agency for marginalized folks and communities of color (not withholding, but also not primarily focused on communities of South Asian Americans).

Healing is a complicated (and politicized) animal. The reading I did reflected a struggle that I’ve experienced often, and not just around my personal and professional yoga practice. We may want to take our own complicated healing journeys out of this but we can’t, and I would argue, that we shouldn’t want to.

We live in a culture that parses out our minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits into segregated categories. When something in ourselves or our worlds becomes “broken” or “pathologized” we don’t think first to take a breath, check in with the wound, analyze it for both positive and negative messages, and reach into our internal resources to fix it.

We go find an expert to tell us what’s wrong.

Furthermore, this external (and problematic) healing isn’t neutral or accessible to everyone. It’s one battle to accept that we need healing, another battle to figure out what that healing might look like, and an all out war to integrate it into our lives in a conscious and honoring way. Talking about healing through war metaphors isn’t an accident. It’s a place of internal conflict.

When I walk into a yoga studio I carry with me all of my intersections and all of my stories. I hold places of privilege and oppression. When I’m taking class I do my best to “take what I need,” and when I teach I often encourage my students to do the same. While I could pat myself on the back that I don’t preach asana for beach bodies, I’m also invariably awkward when pre-class conversation includes the latest high protein (read: meat) based diet and the way vinyasa flow can tone your arms. The familiar anxiety of female bonding office lunchroom chat washes over me. I often defer to silence unsure whether it’s more yogic to “observe without judgment” or start handing out copies of “Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere.

The truth of the matter is- the yoga that I’ve learned, re-shaped, and now want to share helps heal my original wound. A wound that (even with the potential for projection) I believe is shared amongst a lot of us. It meets us where we’re at. It honors our bodies and what they are trying to speak to us. It’s science and spirit and heart space. And it’s also the offspring of this bastardized arranged marriage between a need to heal wounds created by western culture itself and the inherent resistance of eastern spiritual healing. Even as the consciousness of a donation based intention and a queer folk filled playlist subverts one oppressive narrative, it makes other roots invisible.

I didn’t (and haven’t) come to a clear answer as to how to solve this. Similarly, the analysis around ways that we heal here in the west are broken into two general camps. One camp discusses the process without relevance to the history and intersections of power, privilege, appropriation, colonization, and abuse while the other often focuses only on these challenges. The latter also often holds “calls to action,” solutions to ways we can be more accountable, while individual healing journeys are often mis-routed to more activism/advocacy. This can pose a troubling conflict for those of us that are already hyper conscious, sensitive to the constant barrage of trauma in the world, and working tirelessly to find healing that works for our courageously soft and divinely broken spirits.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JMjfpR}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JMjfpR}

I noted to myself that I started this morning highly motivated to dig into the depths of healing practices. By the time I finished my consciousness raising reading list, I wanted to quit everything, wrap myself in my overpriced yoga mat, and sit in a shame corner while the rubber stink slowly filled my lungs and asphyxiated me with the weight of oppressive appropriation.

I know… not super helpful.

This isn’t a defense of privileged fragility (that’s nothing new) but rather a question of how we can institute sustainable (as well as ethical) self-care practices for ourselves. It’s a challenge around how we can hold and honor the best of what nurturing wisdom is already in existence as well as forge our own paths. It’s a request to hold awareness around roots while also grounding ourselves in our current context.

It’s faith in the healing exploration of living consciously and connected.

This blog series will be an offering to this discussion and search. A place to process the complicated, unique, unexpected, and sometimes problematic, intersections where healing happens.

In Passionate Compassion, Subversion, Revolution, and Healing,

Traci

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Traci Medeiros-Bagan {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is currently in the depths of intentional core work to build a conscious practice. They are a therapist, yoga teacher, and human in progress. Information about where, when, and how they share this journey with community can be found at compassionaterevolthealing.com

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Springtime Fire: Ace of Keys

TarotTuesdayBannerRemember back at Winter Solstice, when we were dreaming with the spark of light in the dark and cozying into little seeded  visions of the year to come?

Well, Spring has arrived and the days are warming and the spirit is stirring and those sunflower seeds are sprouting – the first to burst out in my garden this year!

sunflowersproutsWhat card might you draw – in actual practice, or in your imagination right now, as you read this – to tell you a little bit about what’s sprouting up for you this Spring? Maybe it’s not what you expected, but there it is, poking its head up through the soil and stretching for the light of your attention.

Wands have been visiting me a lot lately, and I was struck this morning by how that’s probably the suit I most fumble with interpreting, especially in words, out loud, to others, in the moment. Which is funny, cuz wands are totally out loud, in the moment. Thinking about which card symbolizes Spring the most for me this time around, I immediately pictured The Ace of Wands – in The Collective Tarot, which is especially my favorite deck for how they present the wands – keys, for this deck – and how they make powerful sense to me.

ace-of-keys-collective-tarotThis feels especially like Spring to me – unlocking the chest – out of which come flying flowers and fire and visions of creative projects and busy buzzing bumblebees! (It can’t just be me with an overwhelming amount of projects taking shape, can it?) Maybe this is literally unlocking the chest, a new phase in the heart-opening yoga that has been such a friend to me through the winter, and the fiery heartfelt feelings that surge up to the surface in that practice. I certainly feel a good kind of fire in all the opening windows and spring cleaning that comes with this time of year, and the fire of purging old stuff out and away to craft  physical spaces that support my evolving needs. Like Springtime, Ace of Keys reminds me that change can come all in a rush, even when you see it coming, even when you choose it by turning the key, and that that fire can be released in a way that fuels dreams and visions into practice and reality.

And I like the idea of keys being concrete things we do to unlock our passion, sexuality, creativity, and flowering heart spirit.

What works like a key for you to unlock your fiery chest?

What do you think you might find in there?

Sometimes “wands stuff” isn’t all sexy good times and art projects and flower hearts. Old (or fresh) wounds in these realms can make this territory particularly fraught, shut down, angry, explosive, melancholy, or even paralyzing. Over the last week, I’ve found myself coming back to an old album and realizing it always grabs me each Spring – something about it perfectly captures the mixed up kind of melancholy winter hangover and hot promise of summer that catches me up and makes this time of year feel strange and volatile, but gentle like plinky singbird ukelele and laying around in the breezy grass at the same time.

Coming back to the Ace of Keys can help focus and maybe reclaim some of the energy that surges up around Spring. Get this card out, or find/make another image that symbolizes hope, desire, or new life for you. Put that image somewhere you’ll see it. Breathe in and out and let yourself expand into your body, into the space you naturally and rightfully take up. Be gentle with yourself if this stuff makes you angry, sad, scared, or exhausted. Take a walk and soak up all that bright new green and know that everything in the entire living northern hemisphere right now is feeling these growing pains along with you.

springLet this Ace of Keys energy and spirit and slow-bursting newness infuse your busy bee life. Let yourself feel a little fire in your chest. Take up the space you need to let your most hopeful visions start to become reality. ❤

Anything

Kaeti Gugiu is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. Photos in this post are attributed to Kaeti unless otherwise specified. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Engaged Theory Makes Change Possible

Happy Friday REVOLUTIONARIES!!!

We talk a lot about collaboration, community and, of course, living consciously + connected. We talk because it’s important to be in conversation about these things. We also want there to be action, we want to be a part of the action, we want to inspire you all to take action and we want to engage in action together!

We also realize that to live consciously and connected in this world can be a daunting task. Especially for those of us that already feel and experience things with intensity and vibrance. It is with this in mind that we want to honor those doing this exhausting and powerful work. We want to honor those out there that are courageous enough and dedicated enough to fight and create space for all of us to have these important and scary conversations so that we can heal together on a holistic level. We want to make sure everyone knows about this amazing conference that’s happening…

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The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter

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Go visit Sistah Vegan , donate to the cause and get involved in the conversation because…

“Engaged theory makes change possible.”

Carol J. Adams

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Team

The Cost of Healthy Living

AshBanner

In this episode of Quick Healing Tips With Ashley, Ashley shares information about the true cost AND value of healthy living!

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Ashley is a healing seeker, adventurer, provider and sharer. She offers healing services through her practice http://www.holistichealinghelpers.com and is working towards creating a mind body healing site in Honolulu, Hawaii.