The Pivot: Therapy

Hey friends! We’re so excited to debut a new blog series! Please, welcome Ky Anderson and The Pivot to the COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION!
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A mid-week turning point, an idea that levels you out, gives you something to chew on, and propels you into the weekend. For me the weekend means work, and Wednesday is a respite from the hustle of my day job, a day to get work done, whether that work is chores, self care, research, or personal breakthroughs.
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This week I started therapy. It’s not my first attempt; however, it is the first time I have been engaged with the process. Unsurprisingly, knowing the issues I need to address (rather than self-shaming myself into therapy as I have before) is tremendously helpful.  

I had been promising myself I would start this process for the better part of a year. The thing about waiting for the right time is that it is ultimately an avoidance tactic. I have been ready to deal with my stuff for a while. Naturally, I found flaws with each candidate I researched and quickly distracted myself with other people–dates, romantic interests, friends, et al. Their strengths bolstered me to a place where I felt I was generally fine. Maybe not great, but ok. I was surviving, but not thriving.

People enter therapy for different reasons. Each time a relationship ended, career path stalled, etc, I’d tell myself, “Now is the time to get to the root of why I keep playing the same records on repeat–now I can figure out why I am how I am.” I want to be better–at communicating, at managing anxiety and stress, at navigating gender issues, at dealing with past traumas, at confronting relationship dynamics. I want to get unstuck from the morass I am trudging through.

I felt simultaneously emboldened and fragile in that first session. It motivated me to purchase “More Than Two.” I devoured it. The accompanying site I explored hinted at the depth of understanding I might glean from the volume and, naturally, I needed all the answers. Still new-ish to poly, I directed myself straight to the chapters on communication, underlining and mentally noting precisely what I intended to bring up to one of my partners the following day. I was nervous/excited for the opportunity for us both to grow.

Well, I never got that chance. The next day my heart was returned to me along with a few personal effects and a cup of over-steeped mint tea. So it goes.

The mere fact that I recognize the emotions I’m feeling as they come and go is a testament to the emotional work I accomplished in the past year. I designed my community to be expansive, supportive and nurturing. Somehow I am still surprised by and in awe of these beautiful people I include in my life, appreciative for the opportunities they afford me to grow and consider new perspectives. And I am grateful for the chance to experience love that nurtured, challenged and pushed me to grow. There are a few things I would have changed, but the experience ultimately changed me and I regret very little. It is a fact that I loved deeply, entrusted my vulnerable heart in their hesitant hands, endured rejection, and lived through the experience. That’s a lot of living for five months.
This blog is a path to my own wellness, a challenge to keep me accountable to my own self care. The uniqueness of a blog developed  specifically for queer wellness is that it intentionally expands the conversations we have beyond the screen and pushes us to transform this awareness into a practice.

Maybe you practice yoga to heal. Maybe you pull tarot to find direction through an impasse. Maybe you craft a playlist to get you through the most challenging moments. We tell ourselves stories–through poses, through readings, through music, through experiences–in order to live. Whatever your process, this is the space to share it.

This story is my pivot–one of many I choose to share with you as part of my chosen community. This space is a gift intentionally developed for us to connect in our vastly diverse truths and share in the healing that facilitates. What I pen in this space is my lived experience and the ideas that emerge from them. These fractures we endure encourage healing in ways one can never quite predict. What is a wellness site for queers if it cannot help mend and uplift us in a time of immense need? This is what we are here for. Let’s get to work.

See you soon,
Ky

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Ky (they/them/theirs) is a genderqueer, intersectional feminist writer who perseveres to impose positive change on a personal and professional level. They live, work, and play in LA. Wednesday Pivot is their attempt to put their ideas and challenges on the table to connect with a broader community of wellness- and growth-minded folks.

Core Work: Stay the Course

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” I believe in knowing who you are but without limiting yourself to your expectation of who you are.”

~Charlotte Eriksson

Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for the Great Perhaps

I keep finding myself in these conversations lately, these big life, capital ‘C’ conversations. The kind of conversations you realize are these informal summits, the ones that are going to change the history book of your life that hasn’t been written yet, the life you have yet to experience. And, here’s the weird thing, I have a seat at the table. People are listening to me, really listening to me. We’re taking turns talking. We’re nodding and mirroring and offering each other space to say our piece, but the conversation is awkward and stilted.

See I’ve consciously and conscientiously curated my dinner party guest list to queer unicorn perfection. I’m pretty damn proud of it actually. If my dinner party were an invitation it would be the one that spills out a fabulous array of mismatched glitter. You want to be pissed because you realize you’re never (EVER) going to be able to clean it all up but the theme is so ridiculous, the menu so perfect, the dress code so delightful, and RSVP list so magickal that you know you’re going to smile and shake your head remembering the shenanigans from that night every time you pick glitter off your work clothes– so you just surrender.

The thing with these perfect queer unicorn dinner parties though, is that when you gather a group of folks that aren’t used to being asked their opinion, folks that are generally not heard/seen, folks that have spent the majority of their time on this planet figuring out how to fit in enough to survive, it’s hard to have a serious summit about the course everyone wants their lives to take. All of sudden we realize that we’ve clawed and crawled our way to this point in our lives when we have a little bit of agency and we haven’t a damn clue what to do with it.

Understanding who we are in this life in a way that allows us to grow is a great task of development, but an extremely daunting adventure. It expects us to walk with clarity through the gauntlet of other’s perceptions while not losing our pathway back to our core selves. For most of us this door was shut a long time ago the first time we were shamed for having an internal world that differed from those who were charged with decorating and tending to our external one.

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Once this conflict is setup it rears it’s insidious and self-defeating head in multiple situations and in subtle and not so subtle ways. It doesn’t just come up from the larger more visible oppressive systems we all live in, it comes up in our individual stories and our families of choice. Sometimes it doesn’t even look like a critical voice. In fact, more often than not it comes up in affirmations, in agreeing to things we don’t realize we don’t want to do.

It might look like leaning into a physically challenging asana practice before we have a good hold on our internal clarity (read: a lot of the yoga we practice here in the West). It might look like saying yes to consuming things that aren’t actually good for our minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits. It can look like rejecting needed and nurturing rest. It can show up as acts of love when we believe supporting  our partners means agreeing with them, consistently and unequivocally. The problem with this is that we are growing bodies, building lives, and navigating relationships in ways that are not sustainable and consistent with our true selves. We’re doing work without doing the core work first. We need to solidify and strengthen our centers before radiating outwards. Otherwise, just like physical practices we’re not ready for, we hurt ourselves.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I interact as a human that wants to live in family, community, and relationship. How do I value my own autonomy and encourage the folks around me to do the same? I do believe that it’s important to hear the voices and reflections of those I love and respect, and even constructive criticism from those that might have a more challenging presence in my life, but I want to be able to grow without losing my own individual root system. I’ve been thinking about how I’ve seen this lack of ability to calibrate to our own individual meter effects folks I interact with in both my personal and professional circles. How can we be communal creatures, learning and growing from one another, while still remaining true to the most authentic versions of ourselves?

{Image Credit:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/244179611021661681/}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/244179611021661681/}

I think that being open to growth and change while also knowing how and when to stay the course is a delicate practice. It requires a level of understanding ourselves that honors the sophisticated fluidity around core identities.

In perfect worlds we would have all been raised in environments where this was practiced and modeled around us. We would have been lovingly and meticulously assembled in protective bottles until we were ready to take our ships out onto open water. My guess is this isn’t how it looked for the great majority of us.

Our choice then, is if we want to dedicate the time and energy to hone our ability to live in this authentic practice? Is it worthy work to do the painstaking task of coaching our internal parents to raise fully formed, solid but growth oriented beings?

I would like to know myself in a way that can hear new points of view but isn’t threatened by every new opinion I encounter. I would like to interact lovingly with those around me while knowing the difference between compromising and being compromised. And most importantly, I don’t want my ability to be self-actualized to my most authentic form stinted by anything, including my own expectation of who I am supposed to become.

So with that in mind, I will honor the struggles that have made me who I am,  I will continue to learn the craft of compassionately piecing the person I’m supposed to become together, and I commit to believing in the innate structure of my ship to weather any storm.

Staying the course,

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.

Tarot Tuesday: Do you believe?

PlayshopBannerMorning COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES and Tarot-ists!

Read: “Tarot-ists” out loud. I kind of love it. It came up serendipitously awhile back referring to the ever lovely, Kaeti Gugiu. I was referring to her wisdom or singing her praises (as often happens) and laughed to myself at the sound of what I had written.

I erased it.

Then I re-wrote it.

This process of experiencing whatever has presented itself to us, feeling shame/doubt/insecurity about it, and then re-learning to trust ( and see) it’s purpose can be a challenge. It can be especially challenging for those of us that are often told our internal experiences are wrong– those of us that hold queerness in our ascribed identities, are attributed queerness by normative privileging, and feel the power and draw towards radical alternative healing.

Tarot and other intuitive forms of wisdom and healing are often distrusted in our worlds and, subsequently, distrusted in ourselves. We’re seen as healthy functional adults if we’re compliant with our prescription for blood pressure medication (even with it’s list of negative side effects) as we rush off to work. On the other hand an eye brow is raised skeptically at us if we pause in times of stress to pull some tarot, check in with the cycle of the moon, or read our astrological report (which might tell us to take a breath, slow down, or focus on some self-care). The clear and simple act of checking in (and listening) to our minds, bodies, and spirits can be interpreted as (and in some ways are) radical and political- direct action efforts to deconstruct the power structures of institutional violence and oppression as they stand.

 

{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}
{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}

Andi Grace takes this challenge of remaining in trust on in her piece “Coming out of the ‘Woo Closet’: facing shame, stigma, and historical trauma.”  Connecting it at the point of multiple intersections:

I see the woo closet as being composed of several parts: historical trauma that has roots in the witch burnings, the stigmatization of neuro-atypical mental states, and also the legacy and present day impacts of colonization – specifically as it relates to spirituality and conceptions of knowledge and knowing.

She spins a vision of a future where we return to this trust:

And then of course I wonder, what if we didn’t wait? What if we unabashedly came out as the magical, powerful creatures we know ourselves to be in our dreams and our hearts? What if we said to ourselves today and every day, “I am a powerful witch” and actually took responsibility for what that knowledge means?

That would be the beginning of some powerful unspelling.

So consider it with me, what can you do to unspell capitalism, racism, patriarchy, cis-sexism, homophobia, ableism and colonization?

Cause I see you. And I believe you are powerful beyond measure..

And I believe that are you more than capable of making beautiful magic.

So amateur tarot-ists, lurking about the playshop! Speak up! Speak out! Organize protests against narratives that don’t honor your heart and spirit. Engage in solitary sit ins when self care calls for hibernation. Trust your cards and your wisdom and your magick! Come out of the “woo closet” with us!

In love + light + “woo woo” sound bites,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

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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.

 

Isn’t it Queer: Early Signs You Would Eventually Become… Yourself

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I am a slut for words.I have a bizarre kinky affection for Audre Lorde and Shakespeare.  Finding a word that describes a feeling you’ve had but could never describe, is liking finding out vegan milkshakes exist.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JY0zkQ}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JY0zkQ}

Today I was inspired by:

énouement

n. the bittersweetness of having arrived here in the future, where you can finally get the answers to how things turn out in the real world—who your baby sister would become, what your friends would end up doing, where your choices would lead you, exactly when you’d lose the people you took for granted—which is priceless intel that you instinctively want to share with anybody who hadn’t already made the journey, as if there was some part of you who had volunteered to stay behind, who was still stationed at a forgotten outpost somewhere in the past, still eagerly awaiting news from the front. {http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/}

This word moves me because I have often flirted with the sorrow of not being able to let my 16-year-old-self, know that there is so much more to the world than the isolation and humiliation of public high school (see “monochopsis”). If I had known that the glorious, chaotic, noisy world of city life, queer community, kink, polyamory, and art existed, and with such vibrancy, I can’t even imagine what I would have been capable of then. Which brings me to one of my favorite topics: early signs you should have seen, that you would become yourself.

One of my favorite questions to ask the amazing humans that I work with at the dungeon is, “Growing up, did you see any signs that you would become kinky?” Their answers are never less than fantastic. One dominatrix told me the story of her taking turns “kidnapping” her siblings and tying them up to chairs and blindfolding them. Who knew that she would one day get paid to do that to people? One of the submissives described to me a game she played in highschool with friends that involved competitively smacking each other on the face as punishment for losing the game they called, “rock-paper-scissors-slap.” Just little hints that they would perhaps one day become proud purveyors of kink and sadomasochism.

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

This question is also fun to adapt to queer communities and alternative lifestyle communities. I often ask, “Did you ever see early indicators that you would be queer or gay?” or “Did you have polyamorous habits as a kid?”  At a party of non-monogamous individuals, I listened to one individual describe that at their preschool they had managed to acquire two boy-friends and one girl-friend and that the little radical collective would gather in the sandbox and make each other mud-cakes to celebrate their group love. They said laughing, “I should have known at that point that I was going to try non-monogamy, and I am still baffled that it took me so long to figure out that I liked men.”

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1NvHc37}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1NvHc37}

I personally like to laugh at myself, as I answer the question, “Were there early signs that I would identify as genderqueer?” I recall making my college boyfriend dress me in his clothes, brown corduroy trousers, a black band t-shirt and a charcoal grey newspaper boy cap. I looked up at him in the mirror and said, “Oh my god, this is so hot! I make such a sexy boy!” I laughed semi-maniacally and I believe his response was a confused shrug and a chuckle, “sure…um…yeah.” That night I threw on my favorite tight black dress and red lipstick and went to ladies night at Hamburger Mary’s, and thought bitterly, “why do I have to pick.” The beautiful little red flags of gender deviance were flying but I wasn’t ready to wave those bad boys with pride.

Isn’t it queer that there are so many red flag moments, we remain blind to until we are older? Of course now that we identify as who we are, have been through what we have been through, and have a grasp on our identity (or are on the journey to getting that grip),  it’s obvious what those experiences meant. You have to laugh at the fact that  there is no way to go back in time and whisper in your own naive ear, “Bitch you are gay!!!” or some other such revelatory fact. What were your red flags that you would become who are you are today? What moments in your current life do you think might one day be seen as those same beautifully ironic red flags?

With that said, this enouement, that we feel, this sulky regret that we cannot forewarn our past selves of our impending future, can be bittersweet. It can be even sweeter if we remind ourselves that even being able to recognize that we are in progress as a human, or that we have made such substantial leaps forward in developing our identity, shows incredible resilience and emotional fortitude. In the days when we were young (whether your young moment happened when you were four or forty-three), you were absolutely doing the very best you could- to be yourself- with the tools you had available at the time.

Sitting on the precipice of your new life, looking back at a landscape of awkward teenage moments, misunderstandings of self and times you sold yourself short, you can show yourself gratitude for all the learning and growing you had to do to realize those moments were just that. So goddamn it thank yourself!!! And maybe, the next time you find yourself questioning a conventional norm while discovering your preferences, let those flags fly!!! Because you are stars and nothing less, even on your seething days.

Happy Pride my loves!

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

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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.

 

Tarot Tuesday: Growth in The Tower

PlayshopBannerWhen I found tarot, in a functional sense, I met it with wide eyed optimism. I’ve heard some folks new to tarot express some fearfulness around accessing this source of wisdom and healing, and I never really experienced much of that. Looking back I wonder why I didn’t. {Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Iq974y}{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Iq974y}

I was going through a period of immense change- to many around me I imagine it might have looked a bit like disaster rather than Disaster.

For someone who didn’t have much experience with the positive aspects of faith I realize the blindness and readiness with which I moved into a tarot practice was actually quite uncharacteristic of me. Perhaps it was the time, a particularly good fit, or just the relief of having accurate queer reflection from The Collective Tarot (my first deck and the one I still use almost exclusively) staring back at me.

Whatever the reason both my universe and my tarot pulls requested (kindly and lovingly) that I lean into Disaster or, more traditionally, The Tower. {Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JoQkVK}

The Tower is the 16th card in the Major Arcana. It is a card about inevitable change and the way we experience it. This might be actual change around us or a shattering of our perceptions– ways we’ve come to know, understand, and explain our world. The literal representation of a tower that shows up in decks is described by Jan Woudhuysen in Tarot Therapy: A New Approach to Self-Exploration:

All of us feel the need for protection from the cold inhospitality of the world. We build defences of some sort or another. We build a tower, strong enough to withstand rain and storms from the enemy with his arrows and gunpowder. We gain security, but only for a price. That price is our ability to move, to grow, to develop. p.81

Later, in the same passage about The Tower, Woudhuysen questions whether, after forced by “disaster” to rebuild our towers if we’ll use the same broken stones? It immediately made me think of the Audre Lorde quote: “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” I often think of The Tower as a space for new growth but also a call to check in on the soundness of the structures I’m building and/or confined within. Sometimes utter demolition is needed and sometimes it’s a wake-up call to realize I live in earthquake country– roller bearings, got it. 

There are so many levels of what we might be called (or demanded) to deconstruct and reconstruct, and it’s going to take all of our attention to do so well. If we’re busy struggling, trying to keep our tower from falling, are we going to be able dream and manifest a more accurate version of our safest spaces? It’s going to take radical vision and innovation to live in and design institutions that hold and heal the queerest most divine versions of our authentic selves.

So, I offer you The Collective Tarot’s challenge to lean into Disaster:

“You are free. A flash of enlightenment. A release of energy. Lightning of revelation, inner truth… If the mind becomes closed, so that we cannot see the world outside, then it becomes a prison of pride and illusion…. When you turn the compost, it is uncomfortable, but growth and newness awaits.”

In honor of Disaster,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

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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.

 

Tarot Tuesdays: Queer Healing Playshop

PlayshopBannerMorning REVOLUTIONARIES!

Welcome to the second installation of Tarot Tuesdays new PLAYSHOP Series! As soon as the idea of a “playshop” came into my awareness the philosophy of it has been treating me well. I’m a big believer that learning, healing, transfer of wisdom, etc isn’t a top down (or for that matter, somber) flow. However, this all feels different when I’m the one offering some insight/information. Subsequently submitting whatever little nugget of information that pops up to this passion project and community starts to feel daunting and insecurity inducing. The questions start. What am I trying to say? Does it stand up to investigation? Why does it matter? How is this all relevant?

In the very first conversation I had with my partner, casually in a bar, amongst safe folks and drinks, they commented on why I started and ended comments with, “I don’t know.” They queried, “Do you say that a lot about things you actually DO know a lot about?”

It stopped me dead in my tracks.

I pride myself on being a relatively confident human- someone who is conscious not to take up an inappropriate amount of space but someone who can also speak up for myself. Why then in this safe and casual setting, discussing a topic that I did indeed spend a lot of personal, professional, and academic energy exploring, did I feel the need to preface every statement with a disclaimer that my thoughts were irrelevant?

After that pleasantly fateful night, I’ve been lucky enough to have my partner’s loving and compassionate reflection call me on this pattern in my speech a number of times. As a talk therapist (and general INFJ listening ear), I’m also lucky to be entrusted with the stories of others often. I was struck with how common it was to hear this disclaimer in the narratives of other queer individuals around me as well. Once I tuned into it, I heard it everywhere, it might as well have been a community motto.

“{Insert an individual’s experience here}, but I don’t know.” 

“I don’t know, but {Insert an individuals opinion here}”

“I don’t know, but {Insert an actual reference to an article/event/etc}.” 

I have all sorts of explanations for why this is the case, but it doesn’t change the current pattern or lessen the toll this passing negative affirmation may be playing on our spirits. It’s also a desirably conscious and mindful quality to tread lightly with self-centric viewpoints. It’s a courtesy we’re not afforded nearly enough by the majority, but what place does this disclaimer have in a conversation about mindful self healing exploration and practice? If healing is personal and individual doesn’t it have to be as queer as we are? For it to work don’t we have to believe in the accuracy of our individual queer lens as we utilize it?

This is why I like the idea of a personal tarot playshop practice so much! First off, it’s a practice, an action, something that can be done and redone, a little knowledge and skill gained every time. It doesn’t have the pressure of a performance or require the dedication of a study– unless we want it to. We can come back to it when we need it. We can’t fail at it. We can’t be wrong. Secondly, if we enter into it with the spirit of play we can enjoy it with youthful wonder. It can develop with us and validate us- unlike some of our childhoods.

10462676_10102446908352874_6831252115277572020_nWhether you’re new to tarot or a studied practitioner I encourage you to try a playshop practice! Trust what you’re pulling, how you’re pulling, and what associations are coming up for you! Is there a way that helps you get into a moment of childlike curiosity? When my partner and I pull together we often plop our butts down on the cement, take some time to play music or talk about our intention for a pull first, and then take turns reading and discussing cards. We leave sidewalk chalk out, let our selves absentmindedly surround our cards with swirling doodles, and literally imbue our pull into our physical space. If we’re curious about a card we pull another. If a card gets stuck together, falls out of a shuffle, or if we have to chase one down that starts to blow away in the wind, we put it aside and ask why it’s trying to get our attention.

Tarot can be serious and insight inducing but it can also be comically humbling. Nearly every time we pull someone gets a card that instigates a sheepish grin and a loving protest of, “Shut up, Tarot, you don’t know me!” Having a spirit of playfulness allows us to not feel so defensive and take in the sometimes somber wisdom that stares back at us. We trust the conscious play time we put aside for our tarot pulls.

So with that, happy Tuesday everyone! We hope you put aside some play time this week with your tarot decks!

Playfully yours,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

 

 

 

MHM 13: Gratitude + Presence

“Work is love made visible. And if you can’t work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”

{Kahlil Gibran}

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Hello COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES!

Happy Monday! Skye and I are so happy to be back in podcast land! We don’t get to do the whole podcast together today and we had to record remotely but we’re sitting in present gratitude to be able to share with you all today.. in any format. ❤

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Take a listen! Or visit our LibSyn Page here.

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.

New Queer Tarot!

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Happy Tarot Tuesday, friends! I’m on the road today, but I want to draw your attention to what promises to be an awesome column over at Little Red Tarot:

Queering the Tarot! by Cassandra Snow

I love how she digs into The Fool’s more traditional meanings, opens space for what else this card might offer queer-identified folks in a reading, and moves playfully into more generally queering it, offering alternatives for interpreting a message from The Fool that speaks to navigating oppressions, community activism, and more. If you’re looking for more in the world of queering tarot (are really, who among us isn’t looking for that?), check her out.

And then, DO YOURSELF A GIANT FAVOR and check out Slow Holler’s kickstarter for their tarot deck collaboratively illustrated and imagined by 29 artists and 3 writers who have Southern ties, identify as queer or both.

It looks astoundingly beautiful, and a lot of folks are whispering about it carrying the legacy of our beloved Collective Tarot. I ordered my copy – I think you’re gonna want one too.

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Kaeti 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.

MHM Ep11: Clear Requests

Morning REVOLUTIONARIES!

Today on the Mental Health Mash-Up we want to talk about clear requests– why they’re so challenging, how we can all be a little bit better at them and why they’re so important to our mental health.

MHMBannerClear requests are difficult for everyone but they can be especially difficult for queer folks. Is this because we’re some different awkward convoluted breed of communicators?

No.

It’s because a lot of us have had experiences of our requests not being appreciated, honored and, often, down right ignored and disrespected. In fact sometimes the opposite gets validated. Sometimes we ask clearly and get punished while at other times we find some alternative way of getting our needs met– and they are. We don’t think we’re making too large of a projection to say this doesn’t feel very good when it happens. It doesn’t give us evidence that all the hard work that goes into being clear with our requests is worth it… but it is!

When we can’t voice clearly what we want/need to the world around us this becomes a loop back to us. Soon we’re not asking ourselves what we want/need. Soon we’re not even sure how to ask ourselves what we want/need.

Is there a behavior or way of interacting that isn’t functioning well in your life? Take a few moments to really sink into it– not just the negative reactions/responses/outcomes but also the positive ones. Take your time. You might need to spend a few breaths on it, take a break and come back to it. Still unsure? Maybe check in where you feel it in your body when you think about it. Maybe think about the folks that it seems to happen with (if it’s a behavior that happens with others.) Take a moment to think about what else you need in life or from those people.

This can be a long process. After all, how old are you right now? That’s that many years that your clear requests could have been getting denied and your alternative ways of asking could have been getting answered. Be compassionate with yourself but know that learning how to listen, dialogue and affirm yourself is a worthy practice.

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.

MHM Ep9: Membership Cards

Happy Monday REVOLUTIONARIES!

Today on the Mental Health Mash-Up we’re thinking about “Membership Cards.” How we get them, who gives them, when “membership expires,” how we’re accountable to the spaces to which we’re allowed entry and, of course, how this affects our mental health.

MHMBanner

We often joke about “Membership Cards.” It’s a way to humorously commiserate about the struggle of the marginalized as if there was some secret exclusive queer country club where we could gather to drink organic fair trade coffee and discuss oppression without the privileged rif raf getting in and mucking up the place. The truth of the matter is though, we need those spaces, not for their exclusionary value but for their safety and healing.

So what’s the problem? Gather unicorns, gather!

Well, there are a few challenges we’ve noticed. For one unicorns are a diverse group- we come in different colors, shapes, bodies, sizes, with varying abilities of flight and magick. The “Queer” community cuts across all other demographics of race, ethnicity, gender, physical/mental ability, age and socioeconomic statuses. Some of us are athletes, intellectuals and self-proclaimed geeks! Some of us crave the nightlife, a blaring dance track and fancy cocktails while others of us want nothing more than to hunker down with some hot tea, a good book or our favorite Netflix series on a Friday night.

So, okay, start a meet-up group to check out the newest clubs, get folks together for a hike, organize a book club, plan a movie night and stop whining.

Okay, okay, we could do that and know that folks do! {As a sidenote, if you’re trying to get out and meet folks we totally recommend doing a quick search on Meetup for folks interested in similar activities. Of course you won’t know if it’s a good fit until you go but it totally takes a ton of the social pressure off that everyone is going with the intention of meeting new people!} Here comes the next challenge. Do our memberships, especially for those of us that fall in the middle of the spectrum or have some fluidity in our identities, depend on how they currently function in our lives? Sure, we can hope that folks can check their biphobia at the door if someone happens to have an other gendered partner at any particular moment but how about if your group’s activity is a monthly “ladies” night where everyone gathers to dance, hang and meet who everyone else is dating? The LGBTQ community often gathers in gender segregated “safe” spaces (and we’re not even at how this affects intersex|genderqueer|agender|bigender folks yet.) While we’re on that subject what happens when we’ve built community in one identity and find that our identity starts to shift? How does it affect all of our interactions? Even if no one is drawing a hard line to keep us out, how comfortable is it to change the safety of a space with your presence or to bring in someone who changes the safety of a space when you yourself are acutely aware of how necessary safe space is?

It gets confusing.

And, yet, anyone with multiple identities (read: ALL OF US) will tell you that different parts of our identities need to be attended to, reflected and nurtured at different times. Many of us with multiple marginalized identities will also attest to the fact that finding these spaces can be an uphill battle and compartmentalizing the healing around them can be exhausting! So when our identities shift we’re often stuck in the grief of losing these memberships while also conflicted with wanting to protect space we know was so important to us.

Is there a way to access these spaces while still honoring them in our present form?

How are we accountable to the privilege of the new memberships we hold while still honoring that the memberships we held over the course of our life journey might still need some of our attention?

Here are some thoughts on how to manage changing memberships:

  1. Take a moment to reflect. You know how marginalized communities are always talking about “holding space?” Hold some space for yourself and the process that you’re going through so that you can get a clear picture of what you need and where you might be able to access it without impeding on anyone else’s needs/space. We were really moved with this article on space holding around a different type of transition, but we think that it holds a lot of resonance for the complicated and emotional work of holding space for ourselves in the fluidity of queer identity.
  2. Get accountable! Take some time to notice as your membership changes and be honest and open about what you observe. Then if the same behavior that was once acceptable is problematic take steps to do something about it. Honor your current and past memberships by realizing the new intersections of privilege and oppression you find yourself at. So for example, you’re a newly passing transman? Does that mean you’re only allowed to access communities that hold an assumption of a cis-male experience? No! Your journey is (and will continue to be different) but know that you no longer have an all access pass to female space and that your interactions with women are informed by your male identity. We’ve recently been in conversation with folks about this article on Rethinking Masculinity as a Newly Masculine Presenting Person and really dig the reflections and the tips.
  3. Accept if your membership level changes! Sometimes when our memberships fluctuate (via ourselves or our partners) it’s just about conscious, respectful navigation. So for example, you’re a queer female identified person dating a fabulous feminist man? Great! Take your new love interest out on the town and enjoy that new queer art gallery opening on reflections of femininity and power, but accept that you might have to forego the small group women’s only discussion space afterwards if you want to hang with your honey all night. Sometimes you might also have to accept that membership may change from identified community member to ally. For example, you’ve been a feminist female identified activist fighting for women’s safety on your college campus but over the course of the past year have started to align with your transmasculine identity. You identify as male, use male pronouns and are recognized as male out in the world. Should you stop supporting the issue of safety on your campus? Hell, no! We need strong feminist men and safety is important for all genders! However, maybe take a supportive role to your female co-organizers for the next rally on keeping the gym safe for female students and take a leadership role in the discussion group on how men can create a safer campus. It might be difficult to see your membership changing but allies are important and if you can accept this role respectfully you can still be a part of the communities that are important to you. We really like Everyday Feminism‘s article on 30 Ways to be a Better Ally.

Memberships are a complicated issue- especially in the context of queer community. Unlike gathering around race our memberships can sometimes shift depending on our ascribed, attributed or functional identities. It can be a lot of work to keep all your cards updated but it’s totally worth it- there are so many glittery unicorn filled intersectional discussions, social gatherings and movements that need your participation and support! It might be troublesome but it makes us more conscious, honoring humans, that can engage in safe and authentic interactions with one another. So go forth and mingle in identity appropriate circles, we believe in you.

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.